torsdag 29. september 2016

‘Independence is not an option’: meet the star of Hong Kong's pro-Beijing party

He is one of the rising stars of Hong Kong’s most unabashedly pro-Beijing party. But ask Holden Chow who his political inspirations are and it’s not the architect of Communist China, Mao Zedong, he name checks but that of New Labour. “Tony Blair was a new figure. A new face. He represented a lot of new thoughts,” muses Chow, a newly elected lawmaker to the former colony’s parliament as he reminisces about his university days in London during the heyday of Blairism. “I recall that he used the term: ‘The third way.’” Read more

tirsdag 27. september 2016

Ny bok: - Hva er det med Vietnam? spør Einar Kr. Holtet


-Hva er det med Vietnam? Hva er det med dette landet, som ble istykkerslått av kriger, den ene etter den annen - gjennom århundrer? spør Einar Kr. Holtet i sin ferske bok Verdens tøffeste folk. Han minner om at vietnameserne alltid har reist seg etter hver ny krig. Og nå gjør de det igjen. - Jeg har vært og jeg er nysgjerrig, skriver han. Holtet var i 1979 med på en redningsaksjon i Kinahavet som endte med at et stort antall vietnamesiske båtflyktninger ble reddet om bord i en norsk båt. Mange var barn. Han kunne høre de små hjertene slå gjennom dyvåte klær.  Senere har han besøkt Vietnam flere ganger. I boken sin forteller han om det nye Vietnam. Her får du et utdrag fra den.

Countering China's Psychological Warfare


The government in Beijing claims that China is the long-suffering victim of Western powers, Japan, and other countries. In this narrative, China’s rulers bear hardly any faults. Without any sense of irony, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) repeats its Orwellian twist that China is the “victim” in the South China Sea, though it is the strongest claimant and bullies others to submit to China’s control of areas by using militarized, environmentally-damaging claims to fragile reefs, rocks, islands, and maritime areas within an egregious “nine dash line.” Read more

The Crucial South China Sea Ruling No One Is Talking About

The July 12 award offers a sweeping condemnation of Chinese maritime law enforcement practices. Amid the significant media buzz and scrutiny over the arbitral tribunal’s July ruling before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) regarding disputed maritime rights in the South China Sea,which sided with the Philippines on most counts and resulted in a major legal and diplomatic defeat for China, an important but less conspicuous ruling within the PCA award document on Chinese coast guard behavior was largely overlooked by the press. Read more

China should be proud of Wang Quanzhang - instead it persecutes him


Last July, the Chinese government launched its most widespread crackdown on rule of law advocates in decades, detaining some 300 rights defenders. Some have been held incommunicado since, with lawyers and family members trying to visit them in detention being told to look elsewhere. Meanwhile, state media has been given exclusive access to parade many activists as criminals on television before their trial. One of the key targets of the crackdown is lawyer Wang Quanzhang. Read more

China labor activists sentenced for helping workers in wage dispute

Three labour activists have been given suspended sentences of up to three years, Chinese state media said on Tuesday, citing their involvement with “overseas organisations hostile to China”. Zeng Feiyang, director of the prominent labour rights group the Panyu Workers’ Centre, was given a three-year sentence suspended for four years, while his co-workers Tang Huanxing and Zhu Xiaomei received 18 months suspended for two years, the official Xinhua news agency said. Read more

tirsdag 20. september 2016

Once a Voice of Young China, Han Han Stakes Out a Different Path

Once celebrated as the voice of China’s rebellious youth and the country’s most-read blogger, Han Han, who turns 34 on Friday, has shifted more of his energies in recent years into his career as a racecar driver, filmmaking and family life. Since 2013, he has rarely updated hisblog, preferring short messages on his Weibo account, and often addressing personal issues rather than the scathing social and political criticism that made his early reputation. He writes movie scripts, song lyrics and, in 2014, he directed his first movie, the road trip comedy “The Continent.” He is working on two more films, adapted from his own novels. Read more

For Confucius and His Descendants, a Cultural Comeback


Among the various qualifications Kong Dexin had to direct and choreograph a flashy new dance-drama about the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, one in particular stood out. According to Ms. Kong, 34, she is a 77th-generation descendant of the revered sage, known in Chinese as Kongzi or “Master Kong.” “Growing up, it was something we talked about casually in my family,” Ms. Kong said in an interview before a recent performance of “Confucius” in this former dynastic capital. (The production will make its American debut in January at the David H. Koch Theater in New York.) “The way my grandfather talked about him, Confucius felt more like a great-grandfather than a very distant relative.” Read more

hina Announces Inquiry Into Company Trading With North Korea


The police in northeastern China have announced a criminal investigation into a Chinese conglomerate that does extensive trade with North Korea, which researchers in South Korea and the United States say included materials that can be used in the production ofnuclear weapons. The Public Security Department of Liaoning Province said on a government website last week that the Hongxiang conglomerate, based in Dandong, a major trading center with North Korea, was suspected of “serious economic crimes.” Read more

Denise Ho: the Cantopop Queen on a crusade against China's Communist party

Denise Ho’s struggle against the Communist party of China began at 5.58pm on a Sunday afternoon. It was as the Hong Kong Cantopop queen watched aghast as live television images showed police fire the first of 87 canisters of teargas into a sea of pro-democracy demonstrators, in a botched bid to quell their protest. “I couldn’t stand by and just watch everyone fight,” the 39-year-old pop star recalls of the clashes in September 2014 that sparked the former colony’s umbrella movement street occupation, two years ago next week. “I just had to stand up and to say something.” Read more

Dalai Lama visit to Strasbourg provokes threats from China


China has expressed anger and threatened countermeasures after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama spoke at the European parliament in Strasbourg last week and met its president, Martin Schulz. 
China regards the 81-year-old Nobel peace prize-winning monk as a separatist, though he says he merely seeks genuine autonomy for his Himalayan homeland, which communist Chinese troops “peacefully liberated” in 1950. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday the European parliament and Schulz had ignored China’s “strong opposition” about meeting the Dalai Lama, which ran contrary to the European Union’s promises to China on the issue of TibetRead more

Krisen i Kinas jordbruk vokser, og den angår de fleste av oss


I utkanten av Beijing, i en park av eviggrønne trær, ruver Himmelens tempel. Den sirkelrunde bygningen med sin rike dekor betraktes av mange som Kinas vakreste. Fortidens keisere pleide å oppsøke tempelet to ganger i året, først om våren for å be om gode avlinger, så om høsten for å takke Himmelen for markens grøde. Nå er tempelet bare en turistattraksjon, men jordbruket er fremdeles et viktig tema i det kinesiske lederskapet. De siste årene har kornproduksjonen stagnert. Derfor må Kina importere stadig mer korn og andre matvarer fra utlandet. Jordbruksminister Han Changfu roper varsku. I et ferskt intervju minner han om at befolkningen trolig vil vokse med rundt ti millioner årlig de kommende årene, skriver Torbjørn Færøvik i Dagsavisen. Les mer

Hurra, norske bedrifter flytter hjem fra Kina!

Ti bedrifter har så langt flyttet produksjon til Norge fra lavkostland, ifølge NHO-foreningen Norsk Industri. En av dem er østerrikske Neuman Aluminium på Raufoss i Oppland, som produserer aluminiumsdeler til flere bilmerker. – Vi lager produktene på omtrent en fjerdepart av tiden, og vi bruker en fjerdepart så mange operatører, forteller fabrikksjef Christopher Braathen når han viser TV 2 rundt blant en hær av hardtarbeidende roboter i fabrikkhallen til Neuman. Les mer

onsdag 14. september 2016

US ambassador's 'surprise' at China's Australia influence

The outgoing US ambassador to Australia has expressed concern about the influence of Chinese money on Australian politics. John Berry told the Australian the US was "surprised" by the extent of China's involvement in politics. He urged greater transparency around political donations. Last week, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari resigned from the opposition frontbench after admitting taking money from companies linked to China. The scandal has led to debate about reforming rules on foreign donations, with Labour calling for a ban. Read more

Is China totally impotent on North Korea?


North Korea's latest nuclear testwill pile the pressure on China -- the country's economic benefactor and only real ally -- to rein in Kim Jong Un's regime. But, even if it were willing, Beijing increasingly appears unable to influence its unruly neighbor. Read more

China's demand for African donkeys prompts export bans

These days, there simply aren’t enough Chinese donkeys to make enoughejiao, so manufacturers are turning to Africa, where donkey populations remain in rude health.In Niger, some 80,000 donkeys have been exported to China this year, compared with 27,000 in 2015. In Burkina Faso, donkey traders sold 18,000 animals to international buyers in the first quarter of 2016, up from just 1,000 for the same period last year. Read more

Typhoon Meranti: Taiwan and China brace for biggest storm of 2016

Tens of thousands of homes lost power across Taiwan as the island was hit by super-typhoon Meranti – a storm rated the strongest in the world so far this year – forcing schools and businesses to close and leading to flight cancellations.Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau warned that the Category 5 storm would threaten several southern and eastern cities, including Kaohsiung and Hualien, with strong winds, torrential rain and flooding. Meranti, which grew in strength as it neared Taiwan, was carrying maximum winds of 216km/h (134mph), meteorologists said. Fallen power cables and trees were among some of the early damage reported on Wednesday. Read more

Verden må ikke stole på at Kina vil bidra til å temme Kim Jong-un


Spørsmålet er ikke lenger bare hva Kina vil gjøre for å bremse Kim Jong-uns våpengalskap. Det dreier seg også om hva Kina kan gjøre. Skjerpede sanksjoner – det snakkes om oljeembargo – vil neppe ha den ønskede effekten, mener kinesiske eksperter. For det første vil landet være i stand til å skaffe seg olje fra andre kilder. For det andre er det få som tror at Kim vil oppgi våpenprogrammet nå. Det anslås at han har nok kjernefysisk materiale til bortimot 21 atombomber, og at han sannsynligvis er i stand til å utvikle atomstridshoder som er små nok til å kunne plasseres på interkontinentale raketter, skriver Inger Bentzrud i Dagbladet. Les mer