Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for April 15th, 2011

The Difficulties of Housing in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

comment from here about China’s housing bubble.
“”If a Chinese blue-collar worker had been working nonstop since the Opium War, then he or she might have enough money to buy an apartment in Beijing today. A prostitute would have had to work every night from the age of 18 to 46. Those estimations were part of an anonymous writer’s email that was spreading in Chinese cyberspace several months ago.

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China’s Impending Crash- Housing Bubble

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

Here is a blurb about China’s housing bubble. We all know about Americas little bubble and also the one Japan had that lead to dire consequences. Well, it looks like its China’s turn.

from here
China’s unrelenting real estate boom has driven housing prices up by 140 percent nationwide since 2007, and by as much as 800 percent in Beijing over the past eight years. The soaring prices have even affected relationships

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Mao’s Spirit in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

From The Party (Richard Mcgregor)

Mao instilled in people’s minds a philosophy of cruel struggle and revolutionary superstition. Hatred took the place of love and tolerance; the barbarism of ‘It is right to rebel!’ became the substitute for rationality and love of peace. It elevated and sanctified the view that relations between human beings are best characterized as those between wolves. The letter concluded with an appeal for Mao’s body to be buried in Shaoshan, Mao’s hometown, in Hunan, ‘to mark the start of a process of alleviating the sense of national grievance and violence prevalent in Chinese society’.

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Fearful China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

From The Party- (Richard Mcgregor)
One of the propaganda department’s greatest recent battles in the history wars–how to manage the cataclysmic collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe in the late eighties and early nineties–is still being fought out today. As late as 2006, an eight-episode DVD series about the lessons from the Soviet Union’s demise, classified as ‘secret’, was distributed to central, provincial and city-level party bodies as compulsory viewing. Ahead of the 2007 party congress, the authorities were still on the lookout for any mention of the Soviet collapse and the Cold War that preceded it. Before the meeting, the department issued twenty general guidelines for editors in the choice of news for the year. Edict nineteen directed them to ‘strictly control reports on the ninetieth anniversary of the October Revolution and not to play up the disintegration of the Soviet Union’.

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China’s Propaganda Department

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

The Party- (Richard Mcgregor)

The propaganda department does not underestimate the gravity of its task in enforcing the official line. Nothing less than national security is at stake. ‘In China, the head of the Central Propaganda Department is like the Secretary of Defense in the United States and the Minister of Agriculture in the former Soviet Union,’ said Liu Zhongde, a deputy-director of the department for eight years from 1990. ‘The manner by which he brings leadership will affect whether the nation can maintain stability.’

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Rant From Mylaowai.com-China and the Media

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

Here is an excerpt from a rant by mylaowai.com . This is old, and from Aug of ’08 when China was getting all that good press from the press. The thing I like about this rant is that I whole-heartedly agree with his assertion that China often gets the benefit of the doubt by foreign media. Sure they may blast them for things like the Dali etc. but how often are they really telling it like it is in China, or maybe they really dont know. Anyway, here is part of his rant, you can click here for the rest or better yet go to the site.

from here– rant in progress

“…Because, you see, there’s an even more deserving recipient, and that would be the Western Media, those same people who are so regularly accused of showing unfair bias against Poor China. Oh sure, there are a few journalists and reporters who do know their topic, and who are not afraid to write the truth. Sadly, though, they are few and far between. For those of you who might read this, please understand that I value you all the more for it.

Let’s just go back to my opening remarks, shall we? When, in all those events, did China ever get the caning it so richly deserved from our media? Somehow, they’ve always managed to squeak through smelling, if not of roses exactly, at least not like the dogshit that they are. For hundreds of years they’ve had the benefit of doubt, they’ve been the poor underdog who just needed to be given a chance and a little encouragement, the child who always got let off lightly when he didn’t play well with others. And then they got the Olympics, and the harsh glare of the international media spotlight was upon them. And we let them off the hook again!

“Greece won the gold medal in doping”, said Jacques Rogges, and his words were faithfully reported around the world. But, how many reporters mentioned that the Greek athletes in question had had their dietary supplements laced with steroids, quite deliberately, by the Chinese company that produced them?

“Keep politics out of sport”, cried the Chinese Propaganda Ministry, and the media picked up the tune. How many reporters mentioned, even in passing, that China had boycotted more Olympics than any other nation in history?

“Protest Zones have been established in Beijing”, announced the Chinese Security Services, and the media loved it. Very few made much of a deal about the fact that not a single protest was ever approved, and that many of the applicants were taken directly to a slave labour camp for re-education.

Rogges again: “For the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China. There will be no censorship on the Internet.” And our media loved that one. Well then, why didn’t they use the opportunity to exercise their new-found freedom, and report on the plight of the millions of people who are currently in Laogai slave labour camps for Re-education Through Hard Labour, and who are quite outside any legal system. Or report on the vast number of people who were sent to live in the countryside, so as to hide Beijing’s true squalor from the gaze of any Olympic visitors? How many reports did you read quoting stories of horror from the lips of Tibetan victims of torture and oppression? How many Uyghur’s were interviewed for their views on the illegal Chinese occupation of their country? I didn’t read a single report highlighting the fact that the face on the money is that of Mao Zedong, the greatest murderer in all of human history, who was proudly responsible for the deaths of more people than Hitler and Stalin combined? Did you just happen to miss that one, did you, media hacks?”

continue here


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China Jailing Dissidents and Photograph Takers

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

From here

(Reuters) – Chinese police have detained a prominent rights lawyer suspected of “creating a disturbance,” and another who had said he was being followed is thought to have been taken into custody, the latest examples of a sustained crackdown on dissent.

Meanwhile, a retired Chinese man who took photographs of police officers at a proposed pro-democracy “Jasmine Revolution” protest in Beijing was sentenced to labor re-education, in the second confirmed punishment in less than a week for the Middle East-inspired gatherings that were squashed by wary authorities.

Dozens of Chinese rights lawyers, activists and grassroots agitators have been detained or have lost contact with friends and relatives since February, when fears of contagion from Middle East and North Africa uprisings triggered a crackdown by China’s domestic security apparatus.

Detained lawyer Ni Yulan, 49, was not involved with promoting the online calls for pro-democracy “Jasmine Revolution” gatherings that have recently led to a sweeping crackdown on dissidents, a person close to Ni, who declined to be named, told Reuters by telephone.

“She has nothing to do with it. She can’t move at all, so there’s no way for her to participate. She was very careful about not getting involved,” the person said.

Ni, who is known for defending the rights of people evicted from their homes, was left disabled by a police beating in 2002 after filming the forced demolition of a client’s home, and then jailed.

Read the rest here


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Ambiguity in Chinese Meetins- What Did The Manager Really Mean?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

After suffering through a Chinese meeting with my friends new Chinese start-up, I marvel at the ability of the locals to understand the ambiguity and lack of direction offered by the local leaders. “It is cultural” I have been told. “Historically the minions were supposed to guess or divine what the emperor wanted.”
“and if they couldn’t?” i muse
“I don’t know, maybe they were punished or killed.” i was told.
Ok i can feel you. Apparently for thousands of years the whims of the emperors were not lstated per se, but were something that the commoner was supposed to predict. This cultural phenomenon is alive and well as most come to find out when they come to China. Whereas in the west we tend to clump the important information at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph and the leader leaves little doubt as to what they require, the same is definitely not true in China.
I have asked my colleagues about such things and have been told it is nothing less than a Chinese peculiarity. When I ask how they know specifically what the leader wants, I am told that they usually do not. Although you can guess what they want, it is oftentimes less than obvious.

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China Fact- Minimum Wage by Region

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

Here are the minimum wage standards in China as of 2010-8-19. The information comes from here

Chinese workers take home larger pay packets

For more information look here

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China Fact- Lots of Vehicles

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 15, 2011

China currently has 168.03 million vehicles including all types.

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