søndag 24. april 2016

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or over a loudspeaker so much as via the Internet, where some 700 million citizens are connected to China’s heavily censored version of the world wide web. Dozens of these songs about Xi have gone viral. What is behind Xi's efforts to cultivate a cult of personality? How significant is it to the shape of Chinese politics going forward? Read more

Beware the cult of Xi

Official media are filled with fawning over “Uncle Xi” and his wife, Peng Liyuan, a folk-singer whom flatterers call “Mama Peng”. A video, released in March, of a dance called “Uncle Xi in love with Mama Peng” has already been viewed over 300,000 times. There have been rumours recently that Mr Xi feels some of this has been going a bit far. Some of the most toadying videos, such as “The east is red again” (comparing Mr Xi to Mao), have been scrubbed from the internet. Read more

Xi Jinping named as 'commander in chief' by Chinese state media

Chinese state media have unveiled a new title for the country’s president, Xi Jinping, calling him “commander in chief” of the nation’s new joint forces battle command centre as he seeks to consolidate power over the military. The Xinhua news agency and the broadcaster CCTV both carried reports in English and Chinese referring to Xi by the description for the first time after he visited the command centre on Wednesday. Read more

Behind the Personality Cult of Xi Jinping

It is evident from his first three years in office that Xi’s top priority is to legitimize his authority and rejuvenate the Communist Party. Therefore, any resources he can marshal to that effect — be it revival of nationalist fervor, the espousal of “red” rhetoric, or songs in praise of his personal and professional conduct — can only further this objective. It is an open question what the precise role his cult of personality will play in the larger agenda but its successful cultivation surely figures as a political gain. Read more

lørdag 16. april 2016

Panama Papers: China detains lawyer after he shares details of leaders online

A well-known Chinese civil rights lawyer has been taken into police custody after sharing information about the Panama Papers on social media, human rights groups have said. Ge Yongxi, an outspoken attorney known for defending underground church leaders and political and social activists, was taken from his home in Foshan, a city in southern China, at about midnight on Thursday by five plain-clothes policemen, according to activists and his lawyer. Read more

China's economic tightrope act

Are the storm clouds gathering over the global economy once again - and are they blowing in from the East, more specifically from China? There are certainly worries casting some gloom over the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington this week. China's latest figures show the economy in the first quarter of the year expanding 6.7% from a year earlier. The slowdown continues. But the data do not give us any definitive answers to questions about how China is going to influence the rest of the world. Read more

fredag 15. april 2016

Foreign Investors in China Face Hurdles Amid Economic Slowdown

Foreign investment in China would be lower this year compared to 2015 because of a slowing economy, higher labor costs and market access barriers, the report said. Two other concerns are an uncertain policy environment and difficulties in competing with local companies. Read more

Q&A: China and the Panama Papers

Alexa Olesen of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) covered China affairs as Associated Press' Beijing correspondent for eight years. Her latest piece, "Leaked Files Offer Many Clues to Offshore Dealings by Top Chinese," is part of the first series of ICIJ's Panama Papers. She tells VOA Mandarin service reporter Yinan Wang the leaked documents could provide insights about Chinese President Xi Jinping's domestically focused anti-corruption campaign. Read more

Ten Years: The film that irked China's Communist party

The film mostly takes place against the backdrop of the anti-colonial riots in late 1960s Kowloon, when Tony Leung's writer womanises his way through the guests at his hotel. Philandering is his attempt to recapture a great lost love, depicted in Wong's earlier film In the Mood for Love, which also embodies an unachievable nostalgia for a bygone Hong Kong; this dissatisfaction fuels his writing of a sci-fi story, set on a gleaming train hurtling towards "2046", a mysterious place no one has returned from. Read more

Average North Koreans will be hit hardest by sanctions

Times have never been so tough for North Korea. Starting in early March, the North Korean state found itself the subject of a set of unprecedented international sanctions. The United Nations sanctions banned or severely restricted North Korea's ability to engage in foreign trade. North Korea is not permitted to export such minerals such as gold, vanadium, titanium and rare earths. The export of iron ore and coal - the single largest export item of North Korea - is permitted, but with many restrictions. Read more

torsdag 14. april 2016

Panama Papers: How China's wealth is sneaked abroad

In the shadow of Hong Kong's big banks, rows of currency exchange shops specialise in quick, anonymous transactions. But behind the scenes, much larger deals are helping to move money at an unprecedented rate. Wealth is flowing from the mainland, through currency dealers in Hong Kong and beyond. The leaked Mossack Fonseca documents have revealed to us how the families of China's leaders keep money offshore. Read more

Why are Chinese companies snapping up overseas assets?

Chinese firms have spent $98bn buying up overseas firms in a range of sectors - from agriculture to property to entertainment. That's a whopping 237% increase from the year before, and is almost worth the entire value of deals signed last year. So what do Chinese companies want? Here are three reasons why Chinese firms are shopping. Read more

China claims jurisdiction over Taiwanese taken from Kenya

Chinese authorities say they have jurisdiction over a group of Taiwanese who were taken from Kenya in a high-profile diplomatic incident. State council and security officials said the Taiwanese were part of a telecom fraud ring who cost mainland victims billions of yuan. It is the fullest explanation from China since the furore began this week. Taiwan has protested at the move, calling it "extrajudicial abduction" and demanding the group's release. Read more

Hong Kong protests: Student leader Joshua Wong forms political party

Joshua Wong, 19, is the most successful street activist in Hong Kong. His televised arrest in September 2014 helped spark pro-democracy protests that would continue for 79 days, paralysing the heart of the city. But they ultimately failed to win any concessions from the Chinese government on greater voting rights for the territory's residents. Mindful of that failure, Mr Wong is stepping into an unfamiliar role: general secretary of a new political party called Demosisto. Read more

Kina står overfor store velferdsutfordringer

Arne Tesli er forsker ved instituttet NIBR på Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus (HiOA) og har med midler fra Forskningsrådet kunnet studere trygd og sosialhjelp i verdens største land. Tesli har samarbeidet med forskere ved et av Kinas mest anerkjente institutter for velferdsforskning, China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD), i provinsen Hainan i Sør-Kina. Les mer

onsdag 13. april 2016

China welcomes Stephen Hawking on Weibo with awe

Chinese netizens have given a warm welcome to Prof Stephen Hawking after he joined microblog network Sina Weibo. The British astrophysicist amassed two million followers within hours of launching his account on Tuesday. His first message was a greeting to his "friends in China" posted in both English and Chinese. Some Weibo users were comparing the experience of interacting with Prof Hawking online to making contact with the universe. Read more

Counting the cost of China’s left-behind children

The best current estimate suggests that more than 60 million children are growing up in the Chinese countryside while their parents live and work elsewhere, manning the assembly lines and operating the construction machinery at the heart of China's economic miracle. That's one fifth of all the children in China and, in recent years, the country's state-run media appears to have been given license to discuss the tragic consequences. Read more

Job Discrimination Case Raises Questions of Transgender Rights in China

A labor arbitration panel in the southern province of Guizhou held a hearing on Monday in what is being described as China’s first transgender job discrimination case. A ruling is expected this month in the case, brought by a man born a woman, who said his former employer fired him for wearing men’s clothes. The 28-year-old plaintiff, who has been identified in Chinese state media only as Mr. C, said in an interview that he had considered himself a man and worn men’s clothes since college. Read more