Posts Tagged ‘China’

China’s view of the world

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

FT columnist Martin Wolf recently participated in an international conference convened by the Tsinghua University Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking. He describes it as “franker than any I have participated in during the 25 years I have been visiting China”, and lists seven propositions that the Chinese elite expressed to their foreign guests:

1. China needs strong central rule.
2. Western models are discredited.
3. China does not want to run the world.
4. China is under attack by the US.
5. US goals in the trade talks are incomprehensible.
6. China will survive these attacks.
7. This will be a testing year.

Martin simply describes these three propositions, without criticism. I assume that he agrees with them, but perhaps he will express disagreement in a future column. Or, perhaps not. In the meantime, I pass along to you his description of proposition number two, which I found most interesting, and most disturbing for western states: (more…)

intellectual property theft by developing countries

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Dean Baker has posted a blog that nicely complements yesterday’s TdJ on “the rise of China“.

[I]t was largely the United States that has set the rules in this story and it is demanding ever more money for items protected by its patent and copyright monopolies. We do this through our control of trade arrangements, most importantly the WTO …. These rules were about forcing developing countries to pay more money to companies like Pfizer and Microsoft for everything from drugs and medical equipment to seeds and software. ….
(more…)

the rise of China

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

FT columnist Martin Wolf has a long essay in today’s Financial Times on China as an emerging superpower and the potential for destructive clashes with the USA. It is balanced and well-written, exceeding even the high standards I have come to expect from Martin. (more…)

healthcare in China

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Healthcare used to be free for Chinese citizens. Now the healthcare system is moving toward that of the United States – a low bar for healthcare, at least for the poor. (more…)

crony capitalism with Chinese characteristics

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

FT columnist Martin Wolf warns us of the danger of China’s return to strongman rule, even though the framework “strange though it may sound (and indeed is) — communist capitalism”.

Mr Xi has discarded the attempt by Deng Xiaoping to institutionalise checks on the power of China’s leaders — itself a reaction to the wild excesses of the era of Mao Zedong. What is re-emerging is strongman rule — a concentration of power in the hands of one man. It now looks a bit like “Putinism with Chinese characteristics”.

Martin Wolf, “Xi’s power grab means China is vulnerable to the whims of one man“, Financial Times, 28 February 2018 (gated paywall).

China’s covert operations overseas

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

This rather negative opinion piece on the overseas activity of China’s United Front Work Department has already attracted comments from 212 readers. This is a heated debate with diverse opinions!

“Chinese operations are much more subtle, less targeted and more about long-term influence-building than Russian operations,” says Christopher Johnson, the former head of the China desk at the Central Intelligence Agency and now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“But as we start to realise that China intends to socialise us rather than become more like us, the debate in the west has taken on a harder edge and people are asking whether 40 years of engagement might have been a sham.”

Jamil Anderlini and Jamie Smyth, “West grows wary of China’s influence game“, The Big Read, Financial Times, 19 December 2017 (gated paywall).

 

 

Liu Xiaobo, a brave dissident

Friday, July 21st, 2017

The current Chinese leadership have all read Alexis de Tocqueville’s The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution and also closely studied the periods leading up to the 1917 Russian Revolution, the 1911 Chinese revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union.

Their conclusion is that authoritarian systems are at their most vulnerable when they attempt to liberalise. The Chinese Communist party must therefore avoid this at all costs.

[…]

To understand the ruthless authoritarian logic behind Beijing’s treatment of Liu is not to excuse or condone it. But it is important for people outside China to understand it, especially as China becomes more prominent and active on the world stage.

This is how Liu himself put it in 2006: “Although the regime of the post-Mao era is still a dictatorship, it is no longer fanatical but rather a rational dictatorship that has become increasingly adept at calculating its interests.”

Jamil Anderlini, “The logic behind China’s treatment of Liu Xiaobo“, Financial Times, 19 July 2017 (gated paywall).

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (born 1955) died on 13 July 2017. Liu was formally arrested on 23 June 2009, tried on 23 December 2009, and sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment (his fourth imprisonment) on 25 December 2009. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Hong Kong changes leaders

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

… but not policies. Plans for a universal pension, in particular, will not be implemented, nor even debated, by the Legislative Council.

A long-forgotten peace resumed in the Legislative Council on Wednesday as the city’s new leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended her first question-and-answer session ….

While radical lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung was again ousted from the chamber as he protested against Lam for not implementing a universal pension scheme, lawmakers from both sides agreed the meeting was more constructive and peaceful than those attended by Lam’s predecessor Leung Chun-ying. ….

But not all people were happy.

“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung feared the [pan-democrat] camp would become more passive – or even be dismantled.

Jeffie Lam and Kimmy Chung, “Peace returns to Hong Kong’s legislature as new leader Carrie Lam attends first session – but how long will honeymoon last?“, South China Morning Post, 6 July 2017.

waiting for universal pensions in Hong Kong

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Hong Kong is a city of immense wealth, but it is also a city where far too many residents – especially older residents – live in poverty. The people of Hong Kong have shown remarkable patience while the government refuses to implement a universal pension recommended long ago by their own consultant, University of Hong Kong professor Nelson Chow Wing-sun. (more…)

private schools in China

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Demand for private schooling is increasing in China, but supply is stagnant. Selection is tighter and the number of disappointed parents and grandparents is increasing. (more…)