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Archive for the 'AP China' Category

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

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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.”

The HK The Umbrella Movement Fights Back

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

The run-up to the Sept. 4 election for Legislative Council is getting tense, and the governments of both Hong Kong and Beijing are watching with keen interest. For the first time, a crop of fresh-faced candidates who cut their political teeth during the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014 are hoping to bring to the lawmaking body their battle to emancipate Hong Kong from Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian control.

The activists, most of whom are in their 20s, no longer believe in the promises of the “one country, two systems” principle set out in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997. Even after paralyzing major traffic hubs in the city for 79 days in 2014, they failed to obtain any concession to democratize the rules by which the head of Hong Kong’s government, the chief executive, is nominated and elected. They concluded from the experience that democracy is impossible in Hong Kong as long as the territory remains under Chinese sovereignty…

However many paratroopers are allowed to run for LegCo, their emergence has already changed Hong Kong’s political scene. It no longer is a two-way contest between the pro-establishment camp and the pan-democratic camp, both of which endorse some version of the “one country” ideology and, each in its own way, considers itself to be patriotic to the mainland. Hong Kong politics is now a three-way affair, with separatism the new force to be reckoned with.

Read more from the NY Times

China ‘detained 20 over Xi resignation letter’

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

China detained a total of 20 people following the publication of a letter calling on President Xi Jinping to resign, the BBC has learned.

The letter was posted earlier in March on state-backed website Wujie News.

Although quickly deleted by the authorities, a cached version can still be found online.

One of those held, columnist Jia Jia, appears to have been released, but most of the others are still believed to be in detention.

In most countries, the contents of the letter would be run-of-the-mill political polemic.

Videographic: What does China want?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

The Economist offers a 4 minute video response to the question so many of us have…

Chinese Propaganda Turns to Pop-Rap

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The state news agency Xinhua released an animated music video on Wednesday in its latest campaign for the hearts and minds of Chinese citizens.

  1. Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society
  2. Comprehensively deepen reform
  3. Comprehensively govern the nation according to law
  4. Comprehensively strictly govern the Party

Chinese Officials Vow To Fix Nation’s Crumbling Reeducation System

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

BEIJING—Acknowledging that its current programs are insufficient to meet the needs of a fast-paced, 21st-century population, the Chinese Ministry of Justice held a press conference Friday affirming its commitment to fixing the nation’s crumbling reeducation system.

 

According to government officials, the steady decline in the quality of reeducation is evidenced by the system’s serious overcrowding, dilapidated correctional facilities, and outdated propaganda materials, which have left a large percentage of China’s political prisoners unprepared for life as obedient citizens.

read on from The Onion 😉

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