Posts tagged ‘politics’

29/03/2014

This is why Germany doesn’t want China anywhere near Berlin’s holocaust memorial

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks to students during the welcoming ceremony by German President Joachim Gauck at Bellevue palace in Berlin

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks to students during the welcoming ceremony by German President Joachim Gauck at Bellevue palace in Berlin

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Germany for the next two days, meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials. It’s the third leg of Xi’s European Union trip, and an important one – as Deutsche Welle notes, Germany is China’s most important trade partner in Europe.

There is, however, once place that Xi isn’t wanted during his time in Germany: Berlin‘s famous Holocaust memorial. Der Spiegel reported this month that German authorities had refused a request from Xi’s entourage for an official visit to the site. While the Chinese president may visit the site on his own, it will not be a part of the official itinerary and Merkel will not accompany him.

Visits to the Holocaust memorial, officially known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews…

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25/03/2014

A Chinese blogger’s view: China is too sensitive about other countries’ actions

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

Chinese passengers vent anger over delayed international flight

Chinese passengers vent anger over delayed international flight

For many years, the Chinese government has been unstable about its diplomatic direction. A slight change from another country will make a huge difference about the attitude of the Chinese government toward that country.

The same  slight action will also cause huge movement amongst the Chinese people and politicians. Thus, though many years have passed, China has no allies, not even Pakistan and North Korea.

Apart from that, the Chinese have no clear about who are our enemies or who are our friends. Seeing the tiny action of another country, we think that country is our friend.

However, just as quickly, it becomes our enemy. Generally speaking, other countries’ actions have led China into confusion and even a mess of diplomatic ideas.

It is the sensitiveness of the Chinese government that causes us to be trapped, but our government is ill-informed…

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03/03/2014

China’s bloody train station attack shows how terrorism is spreading out of Xinjiang

keeper @ chindia-alert:

The map does seem to show that terrorism is moving well outside of Xinjiang into major urban areas.

Originally posted on Quartz:

A group of black-clad men and women armed with long knives killed dozens and injured more than 130 in a train station in Kunming over the weekend, in the latest in a series of violent attacks in China in recent years.

Officials blamed Western China’s Xinjiang Muslim separatists for the attacks, and displayed a banner found at the scene that included the Islamic declaration of faith. But in a stark departure from earlier incidents attributed to the group, it took place far from the Xinjiang, a sign that insurgents are branching out throughout the country in search of soft targets.

Kunming, more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) from Xinjiang, is the capital of the mountainous, ethnically diverse Yunnan province, without a significant Uighur population of its own. “It shows that Uighurs are, like Chechens in Russia, expressing their discontent throughout the country, not just where they are based,” Dru Gladney…

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09/02/2014

The party and the media: Learning to spin | The Economist

T WAS not a typical government press conference. A journalist had asked a mayor some pointed questions about the safety of a paraxylene chemical factory planned for her city—the same type of plant that has prompted environmental protests around China. The mayor dodged the question in standard government-speak when the reporter, a portly man in a checked shirt and blue jeans, rudely interrupted her: “Please answer my question directly.” The room erupted with laughter.

This was, it turns out, a class at the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP) in Shanghai—one of five national schools for training Communist Party members. The “mayor” and the “journalist” were both low-level officials from Zhengzhou, an inland city, simulating a real-life situation in a class teaching functionaries how to cope with today’s media.

The party still exerts firm control when it comes to anything sensitive. But outside politics the media landscape has changed completely. Consumer programmes, investigative reporters and a noisy mix of microbloggers and middle-class NIMBYs are holding the party more to account. The classes at CELAP demonstrate that the leadership has understood what is at stake, even if it is still learning how to deal with it. Some of the party’s biggest recent problems have come from mishandling the newly probing media.

The message of the classes is clear: officials must be more responsive to the press and the public even as they toe the party line. Environmental protests, angry villagers talking to global media and spokesmen stumbling in news conferences have become teaching opportunities.

via The party and the media: Learning to spin | The Economist.

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05/01/2014

* China says its massive navy buildup is world’s biggest

keeper @ chindia-alert:

China is no 2 to US in economic terms. Soon (if not already) it will be no 2 in military terms as well.

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Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

China’s new missile destroyer the Changchun

China’s new missile destroyer the Changchun

In 2013, China commissioned 2 missile destroyers, 3 missile frigates, 9 light missile frigates, 2 large auxiliary ships, 4 conventional submarines, 2 supporting warships for submarines, 1 nuclear submarine, 2 double-hull survey vessels, 1 warship for testing underwater sound equipment and 2 minesweepers, ranking the first in number in the world.

Chinese media says that, according to unreferenced “foreign media” speculation, China ranked first in the number of warships it began to build and launched in 2013. Chinese media also said that, according to unreferenced “foreign media” speculation, China began to build 3 missile destroyers, 2 missile frigates, 7 light missile frigates, 3 conventional submarines, 3 nuclear submarines, 2 minesweepers and 1 new-type electronic reconnaissance ship that draws people’s attention.

It launched 2 missile destroyers, 2 missile frigates, 5 light missile frigates, 2 conventional submarines, 1 nuclear submarines and 1 minesweeper,

Chinese…

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04/01/2014

AAP to contest Lok Sabha polls – The Hindu

The Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party) announced on Saturday that it will contest most seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal leaves after attending the National Executive meeting of the party in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said the decision was taken at the start of a two-day national executive meeting following the popular response across the country after the AAP took power in Delhi.

“AAP will fight the Lok Sabha election, contest in the maximum number of states, and in as many seats as possible,” he told the media in New Delhi.

He said the AAP will field candidates wherever “we have a reasonable (party) structure and we get good candidates”.

Another AAP leader, Sanjay Singh, added that the decision to enter the Lok Sabha battle had nothing to do with other political parties.

“We have made it clear that we have no alliance with the Congress in Delhi.

“We are not fighting elections to harm or benefit anyone,” he said, adding it made no difference whether the AAP decision harmed or benefited BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi or Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

via AAP to contest Lok Sabha polls – The Hindu.

04/01/2014

Gandhi Rises in India Ruling Party as Singh Says He’ll Step Down – Businessweek

Rahul Gandhi is poised to lead India if the ruling Congress party wins the next election after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signaled his support for the next member of the country’s famed political dynasty.

India's Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi

Singh, who yesterday announced he would step down after a general election that must be held before May, said Gandhi has “outstanding credentials” to run the world’s largest democracy. His immediate task is reviving a party that has seen its popularity fall under Singh on corruption scandals, Asia’s fastest inflation and an economy struggling to expand.

“If they had gone into the election with Singh as the prime minister, the party would have been dead on arrival,” said Brahma Chellaney, a professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi who worked on an economic task force led by Singh. “Removing the dead wood was essential if there’s any hope of winning some degree of credibility with the voters.”

via Gandhi Rises in India Ruling Party as Singh Says He’ll Step Down – Businessweek.

24/12/2013

China rules private clubs off-limits for party officials | Reuters

China\’s ruling Communist Party has banned officials from belonging to or visiting private clubs, saying they are often used as venues for illicit deals or sexual liaisons, in the latest move to stamp out pervasive corruption.

President Xi Jinping has pursued an aggressive drive against corruption since coming to power, vowing to pursue high-flying \”tigers\” as well as lowly \”flies\”, warning that the problem is so serious it could threaten the party\’s power.

He has already ordered crackdowns on everything from banquets to funeral arrangements, and has now turned his attention to private clubs, which have proliferated in Chinese cities, ostensibly offering a quiet place for meetings or socializing.

via China rules private clubs off-limits for party officials | Reuters.

18/12/2013

The rediscovery of India – excerpted from Reimagining India: McKinsey & Company

From: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/asia-pacific/the_rediscovery_of_india

Is diversity an excuse for disunity? CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says Indians must embrace their common ambitions if the nation is to fulfill its tremendous potential.

November 2013 | byFareed Zakaria

Is India even a country? It’s not an outlandish question. “India is merely a geographical expression,” Winston Churchill said in exasperation. “It is no more a single country than the Equator.” The founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, recently echoed that sentiment, arguing that “India is not a real country. Instead it is thirty-two separate nations that happen to be arrayed along the British rail line.”

India gives diversity new meaning. The country contains at least 15 major languages, hundreds of dialects, several major religions, and thousands of tribes, castes, and subcastes. A Tamil-speaking Brahmin from the south shares little with a Sikh from Punjab; each has his own language, religion, ethnicity, tradition, and mode of life. Look at a picture of independent India’s first cabinet and you will see a collection of people, each dressed in regional or religious garb, each with a distinct title that applies only to members of his or her community (Pandit, Sardar, Maulana, Babu, Rajkumari).

Or look at Indian politics today. After every parliamentary election over the last two decades, commentators have searched in vain for a national trend or theme. In fact, local issues and personalities dominate from state to state. The majority of India’s states are now governed by regional parties—defined on linguistic or caste lines—that are strong in one state but have little draw in any other. The two national parties, the Indian National Congress and the BJP, are now largely confined in their appeal to about ten states each.

And yet, there are those who passionately believe that there is an essential “oneness” about India. Perhaps the most passionate and articulate of them was Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. During one of his many stints in jail, fighting for Indian independence, he wrote The Discovery of India, a personal interpretation of Indian history but one with a political agenda. In the book, Nehru details a basic continuity in India’s history, starting with the Indus Valley civilization of 4500 BCE, running through Ashoka’s kingdom in the third century BCE, through the Mughal era, and all the way to modern India. He describes an India that was always diverse and enriched by its varied influences, from Buddhism to Islam to Christianity.

Can the country live up to its potential? If so, it will happen only because of a bottom-up process of protest and politics that forces change in New Delhi. India will never be a China, a country where the population is homogeneous and where a ruling elite directs the nation’s economic and political development. In China, the great question is whether the new president, Xi Jinping, is a reformer—he will need to order change, top-down, for that country.

In India, the questions are different: Are Indians reformers? Can millions of people mobilize and petition and clamor for change? Can they persist in a way that makes reform inevitable? That is the only way change will come in a big, open, raucous democracy like India. And when that change comes, it is likely to be more integrated into the fabric of the country and thus more durable.

I remain optimistic. We are watching the birth of a new sense of nationhood in India, drawn from the aspiring middle classes in its cities and towns, who are linked together by commerce and technology. They have common aspirations and ambitions, a common Indian dream—rising standards of living, good government, and a celebration of India’s diversity. That might not be as romantic a basis for nationalism as in days of old, but it is a powerful and durable base for a modern country that seeks to make its mark on the world.

About the author

Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, an editor-at-large for Time magazine, and author of The Post-American World (W. W. Norton & Company, April 2008). This essay is excerpted from Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower. Copyright © 2013 by McKinsey & Company. Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

19/11/2013

China: Post-plenum blues?

keeper @ chindia-alert:

A well thought through analysis, in my opinion.

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

BD1DD132-077D-4224-8230-E4D735F84FCE_mw1024_n_sThe third plenum of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) central committee, which concluded on November 12th, has left many observers disappointed. After months of efforts by the senior leadership to promote the meeting as a major reform landmark, its final report came as something of a let-down. However, it was broadly in line with The Economist Intelligence Unit’s very modest expectations. We continue to believe that the government’s proposals are too tame and that its approach, especially its refusal to contemplate political reform, remains too conservative.

The plenum confirmed that the CCP leadership is moving towards a new approach when it comes to the government’s management of the economy. The main element of this strategy seems to be a shift away from direct state intervention in the economy towards more indirect forms of influence – but without substantial loss of control over economic affairs. The communiqué released at the…

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