lørdag 18. november 2017

Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, on "Xi Jinping and his era"

On the morning of Oct. 18, Xi Jinping, standing behind a lectern in the Great Hall of the People, delivered a report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The 32,000-character report, the most significant of its kind in recent decades, drew more than 70 rounds of applause from delegates. In the report, Xi said socialism with Chinese characteristics had crossed the threshold into a new era. "This is a new historic juncture in China's development," he stated.

The report has been translated into 10 foreign languages. Most of the translators and foreign linguists involved used the word "powerful" to describe their first impressions.

Hong Kong football fans take a stand as Chinese anthem law looms

Dressed in red and armed with flags, fans of Hong Kong's national football team politely applauded the Lebanese anthem while they waited to seize their moment. As the Chinese national anthem "March of the Volunteers" boomed from the loudspeakers at Hong Kong Stadium, fans erupted into full-throated boos, some waving flags, others covering their faces. Jeering the anthem has become almost routine at Hong Kong international matches since pro-democracy protests in 2014, but now with the prospect of a law that could bring a prison sentence, it's becoming a more dangerous -- and pointed -- protest.

The Chinese connection to the Zimbabwe 'coup

A visit by Zimbabwean army commander Constantino Chiwenga to China would not normally be seen as unusual, given Beijing's status as Zimbabwe's largest foreign investor and longtime ally. But days after Chiwenga returned from a recent trip to meet senior Chinese military leaders, Harare was plunged into political chaos as the Zimbabwean military -- led by Chiwenga -- seized control and placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest. 

torsdag 16. november 2017

Seeing U.S. in Retreat Under Trump, Japan and China Move to Mend Ties

When Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, met with President Xi Jinping of China on the sidelines of a regional summit meeting in Vietnam over the weekend, the pair shook hands and posed for a photo. Mr. Xi, who had looked more dour in previous meetings, flashed a grin. It was a sign, the Japanese news media suggested, of warming relations between the two longtime adversaries.

With President Trump creating unease among allies about the role the United States will take in the region, Japan and China are inching toward a possible rapprochement as they recognize the shifting dynamics around the Pacific Rim.

Aung San Suu Kyi complicit in Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar, MPs told

Aung San Suu Kyi is implicated in the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, UK MPs heard on Tuesday. Giving evidence before a parliamentary committee, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Burma Campaign UK and other rights groups urged the government and the international community to see the Nobel laureate as “part of the problem”. They said the bloody military crackdown in Rakhine state had left “thousands” of Rohingya Muslims dead, with others subjected to “appalling rape”, and 600,000 people driven from their homes.

HRW, which has been documenting sexual violence against Rohingya by the Burmese military, attacked the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development (DfID) for failing to send specialist teams to speak to victims who had fled to Bangladesh.

Believe in socialism not sorcery, China tells party members

One of China’s top leaders has chastised Communist party cadres for putting “ghosts and gods” before Marx and Lenin. Writing in the party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, Chen Xi accused some officials of becoming politically and morally “degraded” and of looking to religion, superstition and – perhaps even worse – western-style multi-party democracy as their faith in socialism faded. “Some don’t believe in Marx and Lenin but believe in ghosts and gods; they don’t believe in ideals but believe in sorcery; they don’t respect the people but do respect masters,” wrote Chen, who was last month handed a spot on China’s 25-member Politburo. He added: “As Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out … cadres need to be both red and professional.

onsdag 15. november 2017

Torbjørn Færøvik: Vinden blåser Kinas vei

Så mye strev for så lite. I ti dager har president Donald Trump reist fra land til land i Asia og talt og gestikulert. Han har stått opp tidlig og lagt seg sent. Og vinneren heter president Xi Jinping. Beijings fremste mann kan igjen bevilge seg et lett overbærende smil, for vinden fortsetter å blåse Kinas vei.

Trump innledet sin asiatiske rundreise i Japan før han dro videre til Kina. Xi ga ham en keiserlig velkomst med eksepsjonelt røde løpere og en velsmakende bankett i Den forbudte by. Trump ble henrykt og gjengjeldte smigeren med søte ord. «Du er et uvanlig menneske», sa han til Xi. «Sammen kan vi løse alle verdens problemer.» Kinas statlige medier var ikke sene om å gjengi sitatet. Neste dag fløy det over hele landet.

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now)

Experts say China has compelling domestic reasons to get out of coal — eventually. Chinese leaders face acute domestic political pressure to curb air pollution, and so it’s in the government’s interest to phase out coal. “China’s own domestic air quality interest is very much aligned with its climate commitment,” said Jiang Lin, a China specialist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which conducts research on behalf of the United States Department of Energy. “To reduce air pollution it has to move away from coal. There’s no doubt about that. The question is how fast.”

Torbjørn Færøvik: Da Kinas spedalske ble brent på bål

En junidag i 1951 foreslo en høytstående partifunksjonær i det sørvestlige Kina å brenne til døde et hundretall spedalske. Som formann Maos lydige elev ville han skape et samfunn fritt for sult og sykdom. Helst så fort som mulig. "Men vi kan da ikke gjøre noe slikt," innvendte en kollega. Diskusjonen endte med at de spedalske ble stuet inn i et hus, som så ble påtent. "Ofrene ropte om hjelp, men til ingen nytte. Bare seks av de 110 overlevde´," skriver professor Frank Dikötter i sin bok, The Tragedy of Liberation. A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1957.

China Faces Increasing Competition in Myanmar

Chinese domination of Myanmar can not be denied, as China is Myanmar’s top trading partner, and over the past three decades has also emerged as the single largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the southeast Asian state. Myanmar-China bilateral trade had already reached $5.5 billion in the first half of the present fiscal year. Myanmar mainly exports agricultural and animal products and minerals to China, while it imports machine, electronic, and other consumer products. Trade is not excessively favorable towards China, as Myanmar exports to China are valued at $2.46 billion, while imports are estimated at $3 billion. 

Can Red China Really Be the World’s New Green Leader?

Chinese President Xi Jinping has used China’s 19th National Congress not just to anoint himself the Great Helmsman but also to firmly enshrine environmental protection in the country’s development path. Read more

Chinese Nationalism Jostles With Academic Freedom in Australia

It was a routine quiz in a university business class in Australia, but the answer to one of the questions was a surprise: Chinese officials are truthful only when careless or drunk. Gao Song, a student from China at Monash University in Melbourne, was so upset that he condemned it online. His post created a stir back in China, where it was quoted in the local news media. The Chinese Consulate in Melbourne contacted him requesting regular updates. Global Times, an influential state-run newspaper in China, asked him to write articles about the incident.

Under pressure, the university judged the question to be inappropriate, and it suspended the professor. “As China is becoming more and more powerful, we have strong backing even when we’re overseas,” said Mr. Gao, 24. “When others find faults with China, we can stand up to them and tell them we Chinese are great.”

tirsdag 14. november 2017

Trump in Asia: A ‘Very Epic’ Charm Offensive

The extravagant red-carpet welcome he received from President Xi Jinping in China, President Trump said, was one like no other American president had ever gotten. America’s relationship with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines — accused of a bloody campaign of extrajudicial killings in his nation’s drug war — was now “better than ever,” he proclaimed. After a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, he said the two were developing “a very good feeling for each other” — despite what he later called efforts of “haters and fools” to drive them apart.

Trump Asia tour focuses on trade, not human rights

When a president who boasted he could shoot someone in central New York and still get elected meets another president who boasts he has actually killed people, and remains popular and in office, you know not to expect much on human rights. And so it proved in the much-anticipated meeting of US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Over the past year and a half, many thousands - the actual numbers are hard to calculate exactly - of people have been killed in President Duterte's war on drugs, some of them children, some with only scant evidence of any connection to the drug trade.

Australian academic claims China book 'censored'

An author has said a publisher withdrew plans to release his book about alleged Chinese influence in Australia due to fears of "retaliation" by Beijing. Prof Clive Hamilton said the Australian publisher, Allen & Unwin, was concerned about potential defamation actions. Allen & Unwin described the decision as a "delay" based on legal advice.

Allegations of Chinese interference in Australian universities and other aspects of society have caused much discussion in recent months. Prof Hamilton said the decision not to publish his book, titled Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State, was significant. "This really is a watershed in the debate over China's suppression of free speech," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Behind the Scenes, Communist Strategist Presses China’s Rise

He was a brilliant student during the dark days of China’s Cultural Revolution. He visited America, and left unimpressed with democracy. Plucked from academia, he climbed the ladder of Beijing’s brutal politics. He did not attend President Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping last week, but his ideas and advice almost certainly helped shape it: Few in the Communist leadership have pressed China’s effort to surpass the United States for as long as Wang Huning, a shrewd strategist who has served three Chinese presidents from behind the scenes.

Trump touts his dealmaking skills as solution to South China Sea dispute

US President Donald Trump has offered his services as a "mediator and arbitrator" over disputed territorial claims South China Sea issue, one of the most pressing issues for many of Asia's leaders. Speaking to his Vietnamese counterpart, Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Trump said he could employ his diplomatic skills to help Asian nations come to an agreement over competing maritime claims. "I can help mediate and arbitrate. Please let me know," Trump said. "I know you've had a dispute for quite a while with China, if I can help in any way, I'm a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator."

Trans-Pacific trade pact revived despite Trump withdrawal

Leading Pacific Rim nations have announced the salvaging of a trade pact that US president Donald Trump abandoned in one of his first acts in office. The remaining 11 countries, including Japan, Australia, Mexico and Malaysia, said they had revived the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, a multilateral agreement championed under the Obama administration. Ministers meeting in Danang, Vietnam agreed on the “core elements” of what was now called the comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a joint statement read.