Protesting Too Much: The Communist Party’s Anxiety Over Internal Dissent

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 04:29
Voices of dissent inside China's Communist Party over the Xi Jinping's long-running anti-graft campaign appear to have gained enough currency to make some in the leadership nervous.
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Hints of Détente Between Dalai Lama and Beijing

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 03:37
Some of the frost appears to be melting off the frigid relationship between Beijing and the Dalai Lama.
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In Hong Kong, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus Price Premium Jumps to Over $1,000

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 03:05
In Hong Kong, the gray market for new iPhones is flourishing thanks to strong demand, especially for the bigger iPhone 6 Plus.
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GSK to pay £297m fine for Chinese bribes

FT China Feed - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:38
UK pharmaceuticals group to pay fine after 15-month investigation into accusations it bribed doctors to promote the use of its medicines
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Indian Newsreader Fired Over ‘Eleven Jinping’ Blunder

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:37
During an early morning news bulletin on Tuesday, a Doordarshan newsreader confused the Chinese president’s name with the Roman numeral XI.
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Xi’s Visit to Sri Lanka Heralds a Coming Free Trade Agreement

China Briefing - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:35

An MoU on the development of a free trade agreement (FTA) and 20 other bilateral deals were all in two-days’ work for Chinese President Xi Jinping this week during the Sri Lankan leg of his South Asian tour. The FTA, projected to cover trade in goods and services, investment, and economic and technological cooperation, comes after a feasibility study was jointly completed by the two nations earlier this year, to positive results.

The post Xi’s Visit to Sri Lanka Heralds a Coming Free Trade Agreement appeared first on China Briefing News.

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Chinese Artist’s Project Makes Music From a Mob of Voices

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:26
What happens when you put nearly 300 people in a dark room and let them make any voice they want? Chinese singer Dadawa tested the idea and found the answer: a surprising harmony.
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5 Things to Remember From Li Na’s Tennis Career

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 00:50
Li Na, Asia’s biggest tennis star, announced her retirement on Friday. Here’s a look back at our top five favorite moments from China’s most famous sportswoman.
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Who Wins the Battle Between Indian and Chinese Billionaires?

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 00:23
India and China, two of Asia’s largest and fastest-growing economies, have minted millionaires at an unprecedented rate over the last decade. But which billion-plus-person country has more billionaires?
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China tennis trailblazer Li Na retires

FT China Feed - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 23:23
Li Na, the first Chinese national to win a Grand Slam tournament, struck a patriotic note when she announced her retirement, citing a knee injury
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China debates how to impose carbon caps

FT China Feed - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 22:35
China sees a need to temper growing carbon emissions, but fierce debate swirls over the preferred method for doing so
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Ilham Tohti Awaits Verdict as Trial Ends

China Digital Times - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 22:03

The trial of Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti on separatism charges has concluded in Urumqi, Xinjiang, though no verdict has yet been announced. Media were not allowed in the court room, but his lawyer, Li Fangping, told reporters that the defendant spoke to the court for 90 minutes and vehemently denied the charges against him. From AFP:

Ilham Tohti, a former University professor and outspoken critic of China’s policies in the vast western region, told the court in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi he had “always opposed separatism and terrorism, and that not a single one of his articles supported separatism,” according to his lawyer Li Fangping.

The United States,the European Union, and several human rights groups have called for the release of Tohti, who stated his opposition to independence for Xinjiang in interviews, and now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

[...] Tohti, 44, said in a closing statement that “he loved his country…and that his opinion has always been that it is in the best interests of Uighurs to remain in China,” Li said, adding that the scholar had spoken loudly with a hint of anger in his voice.

He also told the court that it was “unjust,” for the trial to take place in Xinjiang, as all the evidence presented by the prosecution related to his work in China’s capital Beijing, where he has worked at a University for over a decade. [Source]

Human rights activists also criticized the decision to hold the trial in Urumqi. From Radio Free Asia:

“Ilham Tohti is a Beijing intellectual whose household registration is here, whose job is here, and whose website, work unit and students are all based here,” [activist] Hu [Jia] said.

“This is the most important political case in China this year, and it shouldn’t be treated as a local affair,” he said.

[...] Sichuan-based rights activist Pu Fei said the authorities were likely seeking to isolate Tohti by holding the trial in Urumqi.

“I think the real reason is that they want to stop people converging [on Beijing] for the Tohti trial,” Pu said.

“[If that happened], the impact of this case would be much greater.” [Source]

Ilham Tohti’s lawyers were not optimistic about the outcome of the trial as they awaited the verdict. From Jonathan Kaiman at The Guardian:

Although the court has not yet announced a verdict, Tohti’s lawyers said he would likely be found guilty and sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.

“I am innocent,” Tohti said, according to a tweet by Liu Xiaoyuan, one of his two defence attorneys. “I have never organised a separatist criminal group, and I have never engaged in criminal activities intended to split the country.” Tohti has claimed that he spent his career attempting to foster an honest dialogue between Han and Uighurs, rather than advocate Uighur independence.

Police, both uniformed and plain-clothed, sealed off the streets around the courthouse, barring journalists and diplomats from attending the trial, according to accounts posted online.

Prosecutors presented more than 100 articles by Tohti, as well as footage of his classroom lectures, to build an argument that he fomented ethnic hatred in an attempt to split the state, his lawyers said. [Source]

Read more by and about Ilham Tohti, via CDT.

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Picture China: Tibetan Protest, National Day Preparations, Hong Kong Demonstration

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 21:46
The day's China news in pictures: Exiled Tibetans protest against Xi Jinping's visit to India, workers set up giant decorative flowers in preparation for National Day celebrations, protesters from the financial sector hold a demonstration in Hong Kong and more.
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This is What Shanghai Has Done to the London Black Cab

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 21:32
Long a fixture of London’s streets, the city’s famous black cabs reflect the personality of their turf: somber, dark and understated. But this year the cabs will arrive in Shanghai
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Chinese Property Investors Make Big Bets Overseas

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 21:20
Over the past three decades, Xu Weiping has been an industrial designer, government researcher and appliance salesman. Now he's seeking to build a £1 billion business district on the edge of London.
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India Presses China to Resolve Border Dispute

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 21:02
India's prime minister pressed China's president for a speedy resolution of boundary disputes as hundreds of Indian and Chinese forces faced off in the Himalayas, overshadowing a summit meeting aimed at deepening economic ties.
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Heard in the Hutong: The Scotland Independence Referendum

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 19:39
As Scotland votes on whether the country should leave the U.K. and become independent, China Real Time hit the streets to see what Beijingers make of the referendum.
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The Economist: Xi Who Must Be Obeyed

China Digital Times - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:21

Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping has made it onto the cover of The Economist yet again, and is this time the subject of two articles in the most recent issue. Since Xi became China’s top leader two years ago, he has successfully gained mass popularity through a series of image-crafting campaigns, while at the same time steadily working to consolidate power within the Party. One of the articles outlines the charismatic leader’s presidential tenure to date, asking how his accumulated clout could best be used for China. The article opens by contrasting Xi’s personal cache of power with the policy of “collective leadership” that had guided the Party since Mao’s death:

THE madness unleashed by the rule of a charismatic despot, Mao Zedong, left China so

traumatised that the late chairman’s successors vowed never to let a single person hold such sway again. Deng Xiaoping, who rose to power in the late 1970s, extolled the notion of “collective leadership”. Responsibilities would be shared out among leaders by the Communist Party’s general secretary; big decisions would be made by consensus. This has sometimes been ignored: Deng himself acted the despot in times of crisis. But the collective approach helped restore stability to China after Mao’s turbulent dictatorship.

Xi Jinping, China’s current leader, is now dismantling it. He has become the most powerful Chinese ruler certainly since Deng, and possibly since Mao. Whether this is good or bad for China depends on how Mr Xi uses his power. Mao pushed China to the brink of social and economic collapse, and Deng steered it on the right economic path but squandered a chance to reform it politically. If Mr Xi used his power to reform the way power works in China, he could do his country great good. So far, the signs are mixed. [...] [Source]

A second article reads as a profile, and includes a survey of the personal risks that come with heavily fortified power:

Mr Xi’s bid for popular acclaim, however, does not involve any attempt to shed the secrecy that surrounds the doings of the party elite. Since becoming leader, Mr Xi has not given any press conference about his domestic policies, nor granted any interviews. He has tightened controls on online social networks and launched a sustained campaign against political dissent, including the rounding up of dozens of activists. Even those calling for officials to be more open about their wealth are being targeted.

Mr Xi may enjoy unusual popularity, but there are many Chinese who want changes that he appears reluctant to make: not least a bigger say in the running of their local governments and the protection of their communities from environmental damage. In the years ahead, as the economy slows, China’s new middle class is likely to get more restless. By painting himself as the main man, Mr Xi will have no one else to blame if things go wrong. [...] [Source]

A third article looks at the powerful princeling‘s father, late revolutionary hero Xi Zhongxun, and the postmortem popularity he’s enjoyed since his son came to power:

ASK a resident of Fuping county in rural Shaanxi province what the Chinese president has done for them, and they point to the smooth asphalt road beneath their feet. Since Xi Jinping came to power, the birthplace and burial site of his father has become a national tourist attraction. Xi Zhongxun was a revolutionary hero in his own right; since his son assumed power, he has been promoted further. [...] [Source]

This is the sixth time that Xi Jinping has appeared on the cover of The Economist (Oct 23, 2010; Oct 27, 2012; May 4, 2013Jun 8, 2013Nov 2, 2013). The May 2013 cover, which showed Xi wearing the Qianlong Emperor’s robe under the headline “Let’s Party Like it’s 1793,” irked censors in Beijing. Earlier this month, political news website The Paper, a newly launched site that is part of Xi’s new-media propaganda strategy, attracted netizen criticism after selectively translating The Economist’s August 23 article “What China Wants.”

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Now Available for iOS: CDT App

China Digital Times - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:58

China Digital Times has made our content more readily accessible to iOS users through our new app, now available for free download at the App store. Readers can easily use their smartphones or tablets to scroll through the latest CDT content, search the site, and toggle between our English and Chinese sites.

Download the App here and please contact us if you spot any bugs or have suggestions for improvements on future versions.

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