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Archive for the 'AP China' Category

Chinese GDP E vs. W

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

 

The map above from The Economist in 2010 shows China’s province’s GDPs and lists their nearest equivalent in the international community. The map illustrates the gap between China’s prosperous east and less prosperous west.

New Light On Chinese ‘Reeducation Camps’ For Muslims

Friday, August 10th, 2018

41-year-old Sayragul Sauytbay has testified about the existence of a network of “reeducation camps” in western China where she says thousands of ethnic Kazakhs are incarcerated for “political indoctrination.”

Unlike others who’ve fled abroad, saying they’d been forced to endure dehumanizing indoctrination at such camps, Sauytbay was not a camp detainee. She was a camp employee.

Before crossing into Kazakhstan on April 5, Sauytbay had been the head administrator of a kindergarten — a position that, together with her membership of the Communist Party, technically made her a Chinese state official.

She says Chinese authorities had forced her to train “political ideology” instructors for reeducation camps in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

That, she says, gave her access to secret documents about China’s state program to “reeducate” Muslims from indigenous minority communities across western China — mainly Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and Hui.

Read more of the growing pile of evidence.

China hints at three-child policy

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Designer Han Meilin (R) poses for pictures as he presents his design manuscript for a Year of the Pig stamp that shows a five-member pig family to Liu Aili, president of China Post, at a ceremony in Beijing, China 6 August 2018

 

Postage stamps unveiled earlier this week to mark the incoming Year of the Pig in February 2019 have led many social media users to question whether a loosening of family planning restrictions could be imminent.

The stamps show a parent pig couple and three piglets. On the surface, it hardly appears to be a policy announcement. But users on the popular Sina Weibo microblog have pointed out that two years ago, before the one-child policy was abolished, China issued Year of the Monkey stamps featuring two baby monkeys.

And in recent months, the Chinese government has been strongly encouraging couples to have more than one child. Local authorities have even been offering incentives, such as tax breaks, and education and housing subsidies.

Please Vote For Me

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

 

Please Vote for Me is a 2007 documentary film following the elections for class monitor in a 3rd grade class of eight-year-old children in the Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China. The candidates, Luo Lei, Xu Xiaofei, and Cheng Cheng, compete against each other for the coveted role and are egged on by their teachers and doting parents. This was reported to be an interesting use of classic democratic voting principles and interpersonal dynamics.

The documentary gives a glimpse into China’s contemporary urban middle classes.

Criminal Arrests in Xinjiang Account for 21% of China’s Total in 2017

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

According to Chinese government data, criminal arrests in Xinjiang accounted for an alarming 21% of all arrests in China in 2017, though the population in the XUAR is only about 1.5% of China’s total, based on the 2010 Census. Ethnic minorities account for nearly 60% of Xinjiang’s population, the largest group being ethnic Uyghurs, who account for 46% of the population.

 

 

 

For both arrests and indictments, the sudden increases in 2017 from 2016 are staggering. While the government has not provided explicit explanations for the steep climb, it is likely the result of hard-line tactics adopted by the Communist Party secretary for Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, who was appointed in August 2016, after implementing harsh measures to “maintain stability” as Party head in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chen is reportedly responsible for a 92% increase in “security spending” in Xinjiang from 2016 to 2017, as well as a large expansion in police recruitment. Furthermore, many of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs detained in extrajudicial re-education camps—to which almost all are believed to have been sent without being criminally detained or formally arrested—have since ended up in the criminal justice system.

 

Read more here

How Did Women Fare in China’s Communist Revolution?

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

While the Communist revolution brought women more job opportunities, it also made their interests subordinate to collective goals. Stopping at the household doorstep, Mao’s words and policies did little to alleviate women’s domestic burdens like housework and child care. And by inundating society with rhetoric blithely celebrating its achievements, the revolution deprived women of the private language with which they might understand and articulate their personal experiences.

When historians researched the collectivization of the Chinese countryside in the 1950s, an event believed to have empowered rural women by offering them employment, they discovered a complicated picture. While women indeed contributed enormously to collective farming, they rarely rose to positions of responsibility; they remained outsiders in communes organized around their husbands’ family and village relationships. Studies also showed that women routinely performed physically demanding jobs but earned less than men, since the lighter, most valued tasks involving large animals or machinery were usually reserved for men.

The urban workplace was hardly more inspiring. Women were shunted to collective neighborhood workshops with meager pay and dismal working conditions, while men were more commonly employed in comfortable big-industry and state-enterprise jobs. Party cadres’ explanations for this reflected deeply entrenched gender prejudices: Women have a weaker constitution and gentler temper, rendering them unfit for the strenuous tasks of operating heavy equipment or manning factory floors.

The state rolled out propaganda campaigns aimed at not only enlisting women in the work force but also shaping their self-perception. Posters, textbooks and newspapers propagated images and narratives that, devoid of any particularities of personal experiences, depicted women as men’s equal in outlook, value and achievement.

Read more from the NY Times

Why Xi Jinping’s (Airbrushed) Face Is Plastered All Over China

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

CHINA-CONGRESS_MAOISTS.jpg

 

NY Times delves into the Cult of Xi

Jesus won’t save you — President Xi Jinping will, Chinese Christians told

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Jesus Christ won’t drag you out of poverty or cure your illnesses, but the Chinese Communist Party will, so take down those pictures of Christ and put up a nice photograph of President Xi Jinping.

That’s what thousands of villagers in southeastern China have been told by local officials, in a sign of the growing cult of personality around the country’s powerful leader, as well as rising pressure on Christian worship.

A social media account in Jiangxi province’s Yugan county said villagers had “willingly” removed 624 posters showing Christian religious sayings and images, and replaced them with 453 images of Xi. The move, while still on a small scale, harks back to the personality cult surrounding Communist China’s first leader, Mao Zedong, whose picture was in every home.

“Many rural people are ignorant. They think God is their savior,” he said. “After our cadres’ work, they’ll realize their mistakes and think: We should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help.”

Chinese Feminist Group’s Social Media Account Suspended

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

The closing of the account for the organization, Feminist Voices, may have been linked to an article it posted about a women’s strike planned in the United States on March 8, International Women’s Day, feminists said on Wednesday. The strike, which is being coordinated by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington last month, is called “A Day Without a Woman.”

“This is about attacking civil society,” Lu Pin, a founder of Feminist Voices who lives in New York, said in a telephone interview. “They want to take away our voice.”

The move may also reflect a tightening of security two weeks before China’s annual parliamentary meetings, which begin March 5, during which the government traditionally cracks down on the already limited political debate in the country’s censored media.

How Xi Jinping Can Avoid Becoming a Dictator

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“While it’s possible that Mr. Xi is taking more time to pick an heir, there are indications that he intends to break with custom and hold on to his role as head of the party beyond the 10-year term.

In recent months, Mr. Xi has promoted many allies in key government and party positions to fill slots vacated by retired or purged rivals. He has been overhauling the military, making it more difficult for generals to disobey or to stage a coup. Neither Mao Zedong nor Deng Xiaoping was able to achieve such control.

The Communist Party charter does not impose term limits for its top leader. The 10-year limit is based on an unwritten custom.

Mr. Xi has no formidable rivals. He has used the anticorruption drive to purge disloyal party and military leaders, and to weaken his fellow Politburo Standing Committee members. Party elders are too old or too weak to cause him trouble.

Mr. Xi’s best option for extending power is to overhaul the Communist Party’s system of governance. Over the past year, think tanks and constitutional scholars are said to have conducted secret studies on how to legitimately prolong Mr. Xi’s rule. Some scholars, including Cao Siyuan, have suggested adopting an electoral presidential system tailored for China.

It may seem far-fetched, but such a system would grant Mr. Xi the legitimacy and public support he craves to stay in power. Without the legitimacy of an election, even a flawed one by Western standards, he would have to step down in 2022 or flagrantly ignore the party rules, and turn himself into a dictator who lives in constant fear of being toppled.

In transitioning to an electoral system, Mr. Xi could change China’s Constitution by the end of his term in 2022 to strengthen the power of the president. Once the president is given control of the government and the military, Mr. Xi could abolish the Politburo Standing Committee, shed his title as general secretary of the party, and run for a newly empowered presidency.”

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