Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for April 16th, 2011

Chinese Scene

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


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China Cracking Down on Dissent

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


From here
http://www.economist.com/node/18560351

A third reason to doubt the notion of gradual warming lies in the method of repression. Even the post-Tiananmen crackdown had a semblance of due process. Now such pretence is out of the window. People are picked up under arbitrary detention rules and then made to disappear. Mr Ai has not been heard of since being bundled away. Violence is part of the mix. Mr Ai needed brain surgery in 2009 after being beaten up by goons. Foreign journalists are being harassed on a scale unseen since Tiananmen Square. Vaguely defined “state security” is used as a reason to round people up. For perceived “troublemakers” such as Mr Ai, the government says, “no law can protect them.”

Western observers tend to describe the crackdown as a massive overreaction to perceived threats, but it may well be that China’s rulers know better. True, no seething mass stands ready to overthrow the regime. But in a vast country, many aggrieved people, from dispossessed villagers through unemployed graduates to angry bloggers, resent the state. The government is quite capable of handling each of these groups separately. But were those with grievances ever to coalesce, especially if the growth slows—as it will sooner rather than later (see article)—they would represent a potent force.

The view from Beijing, thus, is different to the view from abroad. Whereas the outside world regards China’s rulers as all-powerful, the rulers themselves detect threats at every turn. The roots of this repression lie not in the leaders’ overweening confidence but in their nervousness. Their response to threats is to threaten others.

Imminent political change may also play a part. Next year a crucial party congress will anoint a new generation of leaders, led by Xi Jinping, now the country’s vice-president, to take over the running of the country. Repression is the job of China’s powerful “security state”—the regular and secret police. Sensing rudderlessness at the top, it may be particularly inclined to flex its muscles now.

The fear of hanging separately

Many of China’s new leaders come from the “princeling” class, an aristocracy of families with revolutionary credentials from the days of Mao Zedong (see article). Some have lucrative positions which give them a financial interest in tighter party control over both the economy and society. Others use their ideological pedigrees to advocate a neo-Maoist approach, which includes scant regard for the law. There is plenty of resentment within the system at the growing power of this aristocracy, and repression can be used to defang opposition. A nastier China is the result.

continue
http://www.economist.com/node/18560351

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Air Pollution in China – Photos from Two Different Days

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


I try to take these shots each day. You can see how horrible China pollution can be

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China Dissidents and Disappearances

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


From here:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/04/law_china

According to Human Rights Watch, an NGO, it has also led to the most severe crackdown on dissent in a decade. It reports that, since mid-February, up to 25 lawyers, activists and bloggers have been detained or arrested by state authorities, or have vanished in unexplained circumstances. It also reports that “between 100 and 200 other people have been subjected to an array of repressive measures ranging from police summonses to house arrest.”

There are two worrying features to all this. One is the use of the law to impose political orthodoxy. On March 25th Liu Xianbin, an activist, was sentenced to ten years in prison for “slandering the Communist Party”. But second is the increasingly common resort to informal detentions, punishments and disappearances which are completely outside the law, and so offer the government deniability and the victim no protection whatsoever.

The government now dismisses the idea that one function of the law is to defend people against the arbitrary exercise of state power. On March 4th a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman told foreign journalists who had been beaten up by Chinese police while going about their work: “Don’t use the law as a shield.” Some people, she said, want to make trouble in China and “for people with these kinds of motives, I think no law can protect them.”

continue here
http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/04/law_china

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China Effect- Auckland Rations Milk Due to China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


Ah the beauty of China’s grwoth, they pollute the skies, their food, the water, their milk…and now Auckland is paying for it,,,,

excerpt from here:
Auckland supermarkets are selling baby milk formula to Chinese exporters thousands of cans at a time while rationing them to other shoppers.

This bulk trade has been unknown to export authorities and has now sparked an investigation.

As mothers fret online about disappearing stocks of formula, receipts obtained by the Weekend Herald show that major supermarkets have been allowing bulk sales to select clients, including a recent sale at Pak’n Save worth more than $170,000.

The purchase was made by an exporter who operates on a Chinese website similar to Trade Me and consisted of a single transaction for 5346 cans of Karicare baby formula and 2220 packets of Anchor milk powder.

When told of the transaction, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry manager for food imports and exports Bill Jolly said that it “puts a different context” on the trade of New Zealand baby formula to China and that investigators would probe the issue.

There has been a premium in China for New Zealand-manufactured dairy products since the deaths of Chinese children who drank milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.

New Zealand supermarkets were forced to ration baby formula to customers to stop exporters from clearing the shelves and selling to China.

“[The evidence of bulk sales] has stimulated my interest. It has the potential to cause quite a few concerns,” said Mr Jolly.

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Pollution in China- Photo

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


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Beijing at Night

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


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India Warns of China’s Evil Intentions

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


From here
ALLAHABAD: Expressing concern over the popularity and acceptance of Chinese products in the India, Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Gorakhpur Adityanath cautioned against evil designs of China for gaining control over Indian economy.

Branding China as a potential threat to India, Adityanath said here on Monday that China intended to establish its supremacy over India, akin to what it had done in Nepal and neighbouring regions.

continue

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-09-14/allahabad/28103451_1_evil-designs-work-unitedly-branding-china

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China Effect

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


From
The Beijing Consensus (Stefan Halper)

We explore China’s new global presence and its impact on the developing world and ask how Beijing can be a “responsible stakeholder,” as World Bank President Robert Zoellick contends, while its policies enable systemic repression among its impoverished partners and erode the values now informing the international system.

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Chonqching China at Night

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 16, 2011


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