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Archive for May, 2009

Is China recession proof?

May 28th, 2009 10 comments

In this McKinsey report, a panel of leading Chinese economists explains how the world’s fastest-growing economy has kept expanding despite the global downturn.

China’s economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience in the midst of a worldwide slump. How has the country coped with the financial crisis? Is China finally emerging as an engine of global demand? Can its economy generate enough new jobs to maintain social stability? What will drive future growth? How should foreign firms in China adapt? In this interview, conducted by McKinsey’s Janamitra Devan in March 2009 in Beijing, four distinguished members of the McKinsey Council on China Business Economists explore these questions. Watch the video, or read the transcript below.
Read more…

(Letter) Next Generation of Hongkongese More Spoiled Than Ever

May 23rd, 2009 5 comments

香港下一代愈來愈嬌生慣養

Next Generation of Hongkongese More Spoiled Than Ever

The next generation of Hongkongese are more spoiled than ever. Survey revealed 8 out of 10 one-year-olds can not eat on their own, had to be fed by parents or nannies.

Hong Kong has one of the lowest birth rate in the world, with less than 1 rearing average. Although China’s one-child policy does not affect Hong Kong, due to the hardwork in raising children, many couples Hong Kong only have one child. University conducted a survay interviewing 1,100 some families, showing the majority feel Hong Kong’s only child are becoming more spoiled becasue the parents are over-protective of them. Not only does it feel this way, facts prove over-protecting children may not be good for them. Survey shows Hong Kong’s infants have hight % of doctor visits, with 3.47 doctor visit every 6 months. That’s to the doctor’s once every month and a half.

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(Letter from kui) A recollection of the 1989 student movement in Tianjin

May 20th, 2009 224 comments

admin’s note: This year is the 20th anniversary of the 1989 student movement. No matter what your view on this subject is, what happened 20 years ago is no doubt an important piece of Chinese history. As Zhu Rongji, former Chinese premier minister, then mayor of Shanghai, famously said, on June 8, 1989, “No one can cover up historical facts forever, and the truth will eventually reveal itself” (历史事实是没有人能够隐瞒的,事实真相终将大白).

Many people are interested in the events happened on the Tiananmen Square. While undoubtedly it was the epicenter of the 89 student movement, we should not lose sight that large scale demonstrations happened in many other cities too. To almost any college student at that time, 1989 was a life changing year. Previously Eugene recalled his experience as a student in Shanghai. Here is an observation and reflection from a student in Tianjin (天津), the closest major city to Beijing. This post was emailed to me by kui (thank you very much!). I took liberty to  modify the original text slightly. I hope more people of the ’89 generation will come forward and share his/her experiences and thoughts.

I was 21 years old and studying in a college in Tianjin in 1989. When I first heard that the student protest in Beijing had escalated to hunger strike, I was shocked that such extreme measure was taken. Hunger strike is not without health consequences. What if the government refuses to give in? But it did not even take me five seconds to decide that I should support it. Almost every student in our college supported it. We decided to boycott classes. Very few students who had different opinions still went to library to study and I saw them confronted by other students.
Read more…

Categories: General, politics Tags: , , ,

(Letter from pug_ster) China slams US foreign affairs bill proposal

May 20th, 2009 No comments

US Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced “Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 and 2011 (H.R.2410)” on May 14. It drew some criticism from the Chinese government about this because “It meddled in China’s domestic issues of Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong.” It can be accessed here.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h2410ih.txt.pdf

Among most of this 320 page broad proposal, it has some interesting tidbits about about Tibet (sorry I didn’t properly format it yet):

22 SEC. 237. TIBET.
23 (a) TIBET NEGOTIATIONS.—Section 613(a) of the
24 Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (Public Law 107–228; 22
25 U.S.C. 6901 note) is amended—
1 (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting before the pe2
riod at the end the following: ‘‘and should coordinate
3 with other governments in multilateral efforts to4
ward this goal’’;
5 (2) by redesignating paragraph (2) as para6
graph (3); and
7 (3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the fol8
lowing new paragraph:
9 ‘‘(2) POLICY COORDINATION.—The President
10 shall direct the National Security Council to ensure
11 that, in accordance with this Act, United States pol12
icy on Tibet is coordinated and communicated with
13 all Executive Branch agencies in contact with the
14 Government of China.’’.
15 (b) BILATERAL ASSISTANCE.—Section 616 of the Ti16
betan Policy Act of 2002 is amended—
17 (1) by redesignating subsection (d) as sub18
section (e); and
19 (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the fol20
lowing new subsection:
21 ‘‘(d) UNITED STATE ASSISTANCE.—The President
22 shall provide grants to nongovernmental organizations to
23 support sustainable economic development, cultural and
24 historical preservation, health care, education, and envi25
ronmental sustainability projects for Tibetan communities
1 in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in other Tibetan
2 communities in China, in accordance with the principles
3 specified in subsection (e) and subject to the review and
4 approval of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues
5 under section 621(d).’’.
6 (c) SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR TIBETAN ISSUES.—
7 Section 621 of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 is amend8
ed—
9 (1) in subsection (d)—
10 (A) in paragraph (5), by striking ‘‘and’’ at
11 the end;
12 (B) by redesignating paragraph (6) as
13 paragraph (7); and
14 (C) by inserting after paragraph (5) the
15 following new paragraph:
16 ‘‘(6) review and approve all projects carried out
17 pursuant to section 616(d);’’.
18 (2) by adding at the end the following new sub19
section:
20 ‘‘(e) PERSONNEL.—The Secretary shall assign dedi21
cated personnel to the Office of the Special Coordinator
22 for Tibetan Issues sufficient to assist in the management
23 of the responsibilities of this section and section
24 616(d)(2).’’.
1 (d) DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION RELATING TO
2 TIBET.—
3 (1) UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN BEIJING.—
4 (A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of State
5 is authorized to establish a Tibet Section within
6 the United States Embassy in Beijing, People’s
7 Republic of China, for the purposes of following
8 political, economic, and social developments in9
side Tibet, including Tibetan areas of Qinghai,
10 Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan provinces, until
11 such time as a United States consulate in Tibet
12 is established. Such Tibet Section shall have the
13 primary responsibility for reporting on human
14 rights issues in Tibet and shall work in close
15 cooperation with the Office of the Special Coor16
dinator for Tibetan Issues. The chief of such
17 Tibet Section should be of senior rank.
18 (B) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIA19
TIONS.—Of the amounts authorized to be ap20
propriated under section 101(a), there are au21
thorized to be appropriated such sums as may
22 be necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 and
23 2011 to carry out this paragraph.
24 (2) IN TIBET.—Section 618 of the Tibetan Pol25
icy Act of 2002 is amended to read as follows:
1 ‘‘SEC. 618. ESTABLISHMENT OF A UNITED STATES CON2
SULATE IN LHASA, TIBET.
3 ‘‘The Secretary shall seek to establish a United
4 States consulate in Lhasa, Tibet, to provide services to
5 United States citizens traveling to Tibet and to monitor
6 political, economic, and cultural developments in Tibet, in7
cluding Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, and
8 Yunnan provinces.’’.
9 (e) RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN TIBET.—Section
10 620(b) of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 is amended by
11 adding before the period at the end the following: ‘‘, in12
cluding the reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism’’.

After reading this, it seems to be that the US government is running the TAR region. This proposal doesn’t mention much about Hong Kong and Taiwan though. I think that this bill was brought by Pelosi and company. I hope that this proposal won’t be signed into a bill.

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(Letter from pug_ster) HK Donald Tsang “raped public opinion” about 6/4 incident.

May 16th, 2009 1 comment

http://zonaeuropa.com/200905b.brief.htm#008

After watching this video I am disappointed on not about Donald Tsang’s believed on how people in Hong Kong felt, but how the pan-Democrats scolded Donald Tsang like a bunch of 5 year olds.

The strange thing is how the press reacted to this incident.

The coverage in the Chinese-language newspapers falls along the usual political lines, including:
– Nothing was found at Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po
– One small story in Oriental Daily, The Sun, Sing Tao and Headline Daily
– One front page story in am730 and Metro
– Multiple stories in Apple Daily, but the front page was assigned to the related story about the secret memoirs of Zhao Ziyang

And yes, press is much more freer in Hong Kong than in the Mainland, yet there is much self-censorship regarding to these sensitive issues.

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Scurrying Bao: Another Hysteria over Personal Responsibility?

May 14th, 2009 27 comments

Named after Running Fan, an overseas Chinese student surnamed Bao has been given the moniker Scurrying Bao (包窜窜) by angry netizens for becoming the first case of H1N1 flu in China.

The story is like this:

Bao, an outstanding graduate of University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), currently studies Physics at the University of Missouri. He was going back to Sichuan to get married. On May 7, he took a flight from St. Louis to St. Paul, then to Tokyo, and finally arriving in Beijing on May 8, where he stayed one night at a hotel.
Read more…

Categories: News Tags: ,

Saving Grace

May 12th, 2009 39 comments

This post was a translation from Li Chengpeng’s blog as part of our effort to memorize the tragic earthquake one year ago.  The author Li was a sports commentator who later on became active in other public spheres.  After the Sichuan earthquake, he went to Beichuan as a reporter as well as a volunteer.   As far as I know, this blog post had not been published anywhere other than his blog.  However, I find it to be a touching story of the human spirit  when faced with such disasters, and the miraculous impact a good conscience may have.

Original title: 北川邓家”刘汉小学”无一死亡奇迹背后的真相  (The truth behind the zero death miracle of the Bei chuan Liu Han Elementary School)

Today, I am not going to write how many died. It pains me to write about these today. Let me talk about miracles. Read more…

512 Wenchuan Earthquake

May 12th, 2009 26 comments

Today is the Anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake. In the past year, I have treasured a number of particularly powerful photographs that epitomized this event. I share them with you now with no further comment, because they can tell this story of great tragedy and even greater hope, in ways that no words can.
Read more…

Sorting fact from fiction – Tiananmen revisited (Part 1)

May 8th, 2009 193 comments

Foreword

The following piece is the first installment of a two-part essay that explores the tumultuous events that occurred in Beijing during the spring of 1989. The essay is divided into seven sections, the first three of which appear here in Part I.

The first half of the essay provides a brief outline of the economic and social setting from which the movement sprung, and questions the motivations and organisational characteristics of the student movement in general.
Read more…

Categories: Analysis, politics Tags: ,

Taiwan and the WHO

May 6th, 2009 135 comments

The last time Taiwan tried to apply for observer status in the WHO, China slammed it down.  When the SARS crisis arose and China offered Taiwan help, Taiwan denied and declined.

That was 2003, when President Chen of the DPP still governed Taiwan.

Fast forward now six years – how things have changed! Read more…

(Letter from raventhorn4000) Swine Flu Scare, is it too much hype or just right amount of alertness?

May 5th, 2009 14 comments

It’s not permanent Orange Alert condition, but the latest swine flu cases around the world has definitely caused some small amount of panic.

Is it too much hype or just right amount of alertness? I don’t know.

It’s not Duct tape your house in case of chemical attacks, but some in the West have accused China (including HK) of overreacting, in the latest cases of quarantines imposed on Mexican travelers.

Over 300 guests in HK’s Metropark Hotel have been quarantined for several days now.

Some Mexican travelers in China have been put into quarantines despite having NO symptoms of swine flu.

Mexico has denounced these quarantines as discriminatory and “inhumane”.

But let’s put this in perspectives:

(1) the Guests in Metropark Hotel are mostly NON-Mexicans. That’s not “discriminatory”.

(2) the 1 confirmed case Swine flu of Mexican traveler who was on a flight to China, initially also did NOT show any signs of illness. So much is unknown about this particular strain of swine flu, including how long does it take from initial infection to showing symptoms.

This indeed justify some quarantines of travelers from some geographic origins.

This is not “discriminatory”.

(3) Mexico itself has imposed blanket shutdowns of virtually all public places, including schools, shops, etc., to prevent the spread of swine flu, with no end in sight.

One can hardly claim that China’s limited quarantine procedure in this case is unjustified when the Mexican government itself has imposed a far more draconian dragnet operation.

In terms of economic damages, Mexico’s own shutdowns have caused far more damages to its own economy and impacted far more of its own citizens than China’s quarantines.

*

While specific targeting of quarantines might be more helpful and less stressful to individuals, but one must face reality, even the CDC doesn’t know for sure how the swine flu is being spread. Undoubtedly it could be any number of means.

Even some in US are suggesting an outright border sealing with Mexico.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

(Letter from bai ding) 五三濟南慘案 The Massacre of Ji Nan on May 3, 1928

May 3rd, 2009 31 comments

漢節拼來一烈屍,危城罵敵蔡公時。
傷心我未磨新劍,直筆空題恭敬辭。
— 白丁
The martyr’s name is Cai Gong Shi (蔡公時). Ji Nan (濟南) is a city in the Shan Dong (山東) Province. Here is a brief background of Cai before he was murdered by the Japanese. He was born in 1881 in Jiu Jiang (九江) of Jiang Xi (江西). When he was 18, he had risked everything to organize a progressive group called the “Beware of Stains” (慎所染齋). Later, it was banned by the Manchu government. He then traveled to Japan and attended school. After he heard Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s speech, he was so moved that he joined Sun’s United Democrats Society (同盟會). He and Sun’s comrade Huang Xing (黄興) returned to China and worked secretly in Jiangxi to overthrow the Manchu. After Sun’s Revolution in 1911, he joined the Kuomintang’s campaign against Yuan Shi Kai (袁世凱). The first campaign was a loss and he had to flee to Japan again. He studied in Tokyo’s Imperial University. Yuan Shi Kai seized all his property in China and his first wife died in grief and fear.
Read more…

Categories: education, General Tags:

The Future of Chinese Characters

May 2nd, 2009 24 comments

Recently, the Chinese government announced that it is prepared to issue a new list of (simplified) Chinese characters. According to XinHua News, Read more…