Archive for December, 2012

31/12/2012

* Report confirms blog’s power in fighting graft

This research report confirms what has been obvious for several years: the power of the Internet over formal communications channels.

China Daily: “Micro blogs, like the social networking site Sina Weibo, have improved authority’s efficiency in handling anti-corruption cases, but also pose challenges in distinguishing true from false, according to a recently released report by Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

Of the 24 widespread micro blog reports this year, nine have been confirmed as frauds, the report said.

“The micro blog plays a major role in fighting corruption nowadays, but posts online need to be carefully sifted to find what is reliable information,” the report said.

As more netizens become familiar with and participate in fighting corruption, more messages spread each day that await authorities’ attention, said Xie Yungeng, an expert in public opinion and new media at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“A regulation should be established on what kind of reports discipline authorities should respond to and set time limits for their response,” he said.

“The new way of fighting corruption is testing the wisdom and ability of disciplinary bodies,” said Zhu Lijia, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governance.”

via Report confirms blog’s power in fighting graft[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

31/12/2012

* Reform plans published for migrants’ education

A good news item to end the year with – moves to embrace migrant workers rather than treat them as a short-term anomaly.

China Daily: “China’s Beijing and Shanghai cities and Guangdong Province on Sunday published plans to gradually allow migrant workers’ children to enter senior high schools and sit college entrance exams locally.

china_gaokao.jpg

They are the latest in a total of 13 provinces and municipalities to formulate plans to ensure that rural children who have followed their parents to cities can enjoy the same rights as their urban peers in education.

Beijing will allow migrant workers’ children to attend local vocational schools in 2013 and allow them to be matriculated by universities after graduating from the vocational programs in 2014, said a statement from the city’s commission of education.

The eastern metropolis of Shanghai took a step further, saying it will allow migrant children in the city to enter local senior high schools, vocational schools and sit college entrance exams (commonly known as gaokao) locally starting in 2014.

Guangdong, a manufacturing heartland in south China and a magnet for migrant workers, has asked its cities to start recruiting migrant workers’ children in local senior high schools in 2013.

The province will allow these children to sit gaokao and compete with local residents on an equal footing in college entrance starting in 2016, Luo Weiqi, head of the province’s education department, told Xinhua.

Luo said the restrictions would be relaxed gradually and “step by step” as the province must solve the conflict between its gigantic migrant population and a scarcity of education resources.

Migrant workers, whose children could be benefited by the new plans of the three regions, must have residential permits, stable jobs and incomes, and meet other local requirements, according to the plans.

China’s hukou, or household registration system, used to confine children to attending schools in their home provinces. A 2003 regulation amended this by allowing migrant workers’ children to receive the nine-year compulsory education in cities where their parents work.

But the country has in recent years faced mounting protests from its migrant workers, whose children under current policies had to either return to the countryside for further schooling or risk dropping out of school if they chose to stay with their parents in cities where the parents work.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Education asked Chinese cities to formulate plans before the end of this year regarding the further education and gaokao of migrant workers’ children.

Official figures show that China has more than 250 million farmers-turned-workers living in cities. An estimated 20 million children have migrated with their parents to the cities, while more than 10 million are left behind in their rural hometowns.”

via Reform plans published for migrants’ education |Society |chinadaily.com.cn.

31/12/2012

* Top CPC leadership

Further signs of more openness amongst the Chinese leadership.

Xi leads top leadership, meeting pressXinhua: “Editor’s note: On the occasion of five weeks after the new central leadership elected at the first Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee took office, Xinhua News Agency opened the “Top CPC Leadership” special column. Over three consecutive days beginning Sunday, Xinhua will broadcast profiles and related photos of the seven members of the Standing Committee of the 18th CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.”

Go tohttp://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/topcpcleadership/index.htm

31/12/2012

# Question: Who did China woo in 2012?

Answer: everybody!
Up to the beginning of the 20th century, China was very reclusive. It deemed itself self-sufficient, not needing anything from anyone else. China in the 21st century seems to have turned itself 180 degrees and is seeking to network and collaborate with everyone.  The list of over 100 countries below has been compiled from on-line articles in China Daily and Xinhua News. They are countries that either sent senior leaders to China or to which China sent senior leaders (often the Prime Minister) in 2012 to discuss and agree collaboration, or with whom China forged or renewed some significant treaty or alliance.

 

In other words, China is not leaving matters to chance but taking proactive action. Maybe the Chinese leaders have read and internalised Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Win_Friends_and_Influence_People) or even Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People).

On the other hand, maybe China has heard of the saying: “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” and since everyone can at some time be a friend or a foe, China wants to keep close with everyone.

By the way, if your country is not one of those listed, either I missed an article OR you better start worrying. 

  • December: Mexico, Bolivia, India; New Zealand; USA; Cuba; Kazakhstan; Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Latvia; South Africa; Bahrain; Armenia
  • November: Nepal, Laos, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh; Cambodia; Luxembourg; Russia; Palestine; Spain; Tajikistan; Benin; Surinam; Italy; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Germany
  • October: Colombia; The Netherlands; New Zealand; Maldives; Cambodia; Bangladesh; Philippine; Vietnam; Laos; Poland; Romania; Croatia; Moldavia
  • September: Vietnam, Russia, Singapore; Myanmar; Malaysia; Turkmenistan; Canada; Cambodia, Sudan, Algeria; France
  • August: Bulgaria; Ghana; Taiwan; Indonesia; Brunei; Malaysia; Croatia; Philippines; Egypt; Germany; South Korea; New Zealand; Congo; India; Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji; Montenegro; Cambodia; Burundi
  • July:  Cuba; Slovenia; Israel; South Korea; Malaysia; Niger; South Africa; Egypt; Ivory Coast; Equatorial Guinea; Niger; Nepal
  • June: Belarus; Georgia: Afghanistan; Myanmar; Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Russia; Denmark; Sri Lanka; Belgium; Ethiopia; South Korea; Singapore; Brazil; Congo; Uruguay; Argentina; Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe; Argentina; Poland; Chile;
  • May: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; Taiwan; USA, Arab League, Colombia; Japan, South Korea, Romania, New Zealand, Australia; Croatia; Netherlands; Luxembourg; Brazil; East Timor; Singapore; Kenya; Turkey.
  • April: Kazakhstan, Britain, Cyprus, Brunei, Premier Wen visit: Iceland, Sweden, Germany, Poland; Thailand, Japan, North Korea, Timor-L’este, Colombia, South Sudan, Indonesia, VP Li Keqiang, presumed Premier-to-be, visited: Russia, Hungary, Belgium, EU, Central & East Euro states, Malawi, Malaysia, Zambia, South Korea. 
  • March: Britain, France, Italy, UAE, Albania, Angola, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, South Africa, Japan, Cambodia, Taiwan, Ireland, Russia and India. 
  • February: VP Xi Jinping, presumed President-to-be, visited US; Canada, Australia, Turkey; Taiwan; Myanmar.
  • January: Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Germany, Libya, Sudan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan; Vietnam; Chile.
31/12/2012

# Chindia Alert: 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

30/12/2012

* Chengdu aims to be world’s next Silicon Valley

SCMP: “Entrepreneurs in China’s southwest are dreaming of turning the city of Chengdu into the world’s next Silicon Valley as the government encourages more investment outside the booming coastal regions.

applechengdu.jpg

Small start-ups as well as big-name western companies have flocked to the metropolis of 14 million people, attracted by cheap labour costs and favourable government investment policies and hoping to tap into China’s rapidly expanding consumer market.

And the Silicon Valley dream is becoming reality as the city, already a hi-tech manufacturing hub, seeks increasingly to become a magnet for software development and innovation.

Between one-third to one-half of the iPads sold worldwide are assembled in Chengdu, while computer giant Intel makes up to half of its chips in the city.

Far from the booming coastal regions, Chengdu can offer perks through the government’s “Go West” development programme, with incentives for start-ups such as one-year interest-free loans.

So far it has attracted about 29,000 companies to its 130-square-kilometre “hi-tech development zone”, including about 1,000 foreign enterprises.

Chengdu is also developing a nearby “Software Park” as the city aims to go beyond manufacturing and become a centre of innovation.”

via Chengdu aims to be world’s next Silicon Valley | South China Morning Post.

30/12/2012

* China expands pollution monitoring to biggest cities

Reuters: “China plans to release hourly air pollution monitoring data in 74 of its biggest cities starting on New Year’s Day, state media said on Sunday, in a sign of increasing responsiveness to quality-of-life concerns among prosperous urban people.

Choking pollution and murky grey skies in Chinese cities is a top gripe among both Chinese and expatriates.

Microscopic pollutant particles in the air have killed about 8,600 people prematurely this year and cost $1 billion in economic losses in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi’an, according to a study by Beijing University and Greenpeace that measured the pollutant levels of PM2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.

The new monitoring will include not only PM2.5, but also sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, the Xinhua news agency said, citing a Friday announcement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.”

via China expands pollution monitoring to biggest cities | Reuters.

 

30/12/2012

* How India treats its women

BBC News: “People have called her Braveheart, Fearless and India’s Daughter, among other things, and sent up a billion prayers for a speedy recovery.

An Indian schoolgirl holds a placard during a prayer ceremony to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, at a school in Ahmadabad, India, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.

When the unidentified woman died in a Singapore hospital early on Saturday, the victim of a savage rape on a moving bus in the capital, Delhi, it was time again, many said, to ask: why does India treat its women so badly?

Female foetuses are aborted and baby girls killed after birth, leading to an an appallingly skewed sex ratio. Many of those who survive face discrimination, prejudice, violence and neglect all their lives, as single or married women.

TrustLaw, a news service run by Thomson Reuters, has ranked India as the worst country in which to be a woman. This in the country where the leader of the ruling party, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, at least three chief ministers, and a number of sports and business icons are women. It is also a country where a generation of newly empowered young women are going out to work in larger numbers than ever before.

But crimes against women are rising too.

With more than 24,000 reported cases in 2011, rape registered a 9.2% rise over the previous year. More than half (54.7%) of the victims were aged between 18 and 30. Most disturbingly, according to police records, the offenders were known to their victims in more than 94% of the cases. Neighbours accounted for a third of the offenders, while parents and other relatives were also involved. Delhi accounted for over 17% of the total number of rape cases in the country.

And it is not rape alone. Police records from 2011 show kidnappings and abductions of women were up 19.4%, women being killed in disputes over dowry payments by 2.7%, torture by 5.4%, molestation by 5.8% and trafficking by an alarming 122% over the previous year.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has estimated that more than 100m women are “missing” worldwide – women who would have been around had they received similar healthcare, medicine and nutrition as men.

New research by economists Siwan Anderson and Debraj Ray estimates that in India, more than 2m women are missing in a given year.

The economists found that roughly 12% of the missing women disappear at birth, 25% die in childhood, 18% at the reproductive ages, and 45% at older ages.

They found that women died more from “injuries” in a given year than while giving birth – injuries, they say, “appear to be indicator of violence against women”.

Deaths from fire-related incidents, they say, is a major cause – each year more than 100,000 women are killed by fires in India. The researchers say many cases could be linked to demands over a dowry leading to women being set on fire. Research also found a large number of women died of heart diseases.

These findings point to life-long neglect of women in India. It also proves that a strong preference for sons over daughters – leading to sex selective abortions – is just part of the story.

Clearly, many Indian women face threats to life at every stage – violence, inadequate healthcare, inequality, neglect, bad diet, lack of attention to personal health and well-being.

Analysts say deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed to make India’s women more accepted and secure. There is deeply entrenched patriarchy and widespread misogyny in vast swathes of the country, especially in the north. And the state has been found wanting in its protection of women.

Angry citizens believe that politicians, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are being disingenuous when they promise to toughen laws and speed up the prosecution of rapists and perpetrators of crime against women.

How else, they ask, can political parties in the last five years have fielded candidates for state elections that included 27 candidates who declared they had been charged with rape?

How, they say, can politicians be believed when there are six elected state legislators who have charges of rape against them?

But the renewed protests in Delhi after the woman’s death hold out some hope. Has her death come as an inflexion point in India’s history, which will force the government to enact tougher laws and people to begin seriously thinking about the neglect of women?

It’s early days yet, but one hopes these are the first stirrings of change.”

via BBC News – How India treats its women.

30/12/2012

* China’s transport improves, faces pressure: minister

Ever more infrastructure.

Xinhua: “Some 87,000 kilometers of new highways opened in China in 2012, marking a record-high year-on-year growth rate, a senior transport official said Saturday.

Minister of Transport Yang Chuantang said 11,000 km of the new highways are expressways. In addition to building new highways, China has also improved 194,000 km of rural roads this year, according to Yang.

“China’s transport sector has seen historic changes during the past decade,” said Yang, adding that the total length of highways in operation is expected to reach 4.1 million km by the end of this year.

However, Yang also said China’s transport capacity remains insufficient, considering the booming demand created by the country’s industrialization and urbanization.

To meet mounting demand, Yang said China will continue to intensify transport facility construction and try to make these facilities more durable and reliable.

China will also make efforts to improve transport facilities in rural areas as well as those in the country’s central and western regions, he said.

At the same time, China will improve road safety by taking measures to prevent serious transport accidents, Yang said.”

via China’s transport improves, faces pressure: minister – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/chinas-infrastructure/

30/12/2012

* Xinhua unveils top 10 domestic events of 2012

Xinhua News Agency on Saturday unveiled its list of the year’s 10 most attention-grabbing events in China.

“The events are as follows, in chronological order:

01 China cuts 2012 GDP growth target

At its annual session in March, the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, adopted the government work report, in whichgrowth - Ind vs Ch the country lowered its GDP growth target to 7.5 percent this year after keeping it at around 8 percent for seven consecutive years. The change was made in the face of global turbulence and pressing domestic demand for economic restructuring.

02 Medical reform meets three-year target

The State Council in March issued an implementation plan for reforms in the health and medical care sector in the next three years. According to official statistics, as of the end of 2011 the basic medicare insurance system covered over 1.3 billion people in China, more than 95 percent of the total population, marking the realization of the previous three-year target for the 2009-2011 period to form a universal medicare system.

 

03 Bo Xilai under investigation; Wang Lijun convicted

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on April 10 decided to suspend Bo Xilai’s membership in the CPC Bo & GuCentral Committee Political Bureau and the CPC Central Committee, as he was suspected of being involved in serious discipline violations in the cases of Wang Lijun and Bogu Kailai. The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection put him under investigation. Bo was later expelled from the CPC and public office and the case was turned over to prosecutors for investigation.

In August, Bogu Kailai was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for intentional homicide by the Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court in Anhui Province.

In September, Wang Lijun was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bending the law to selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking by the Chengdu City Intermediate People’s Court.

04 China vigorously protects maritime rights

SoChinaSeaIn response to some foreign countries’ actions infringing upon China’s maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea and East China Sea, China has vigorously launched campaigns to protect its legitimate rights.

Since April, China has dispatched government ships and planes to monitor Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.

Five months later, the Chinese government announced the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets and started continuous patrols in waters around the Diaoyu Islands.

In December, China reiterated its claims in the East China Sea by presenting to the UN Secretariat its Partial Submission Concerning the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles in the East China Sea.

05 China’s first female astronaut participates in successful manned space docking mission

In June, China sent three astronauts, including the country’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, into space for the nation’s manned Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, June 16space docking mission.

The three astronauts successfully completed an automatic and a manual docking between the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module in space before making a safe return to Earth.

06 Manned submersible sets new national dive record

Chinese submersible breaks 7,000m mark Also in June, China’s manned submersible, the Jiaolong, set a new national dive record after reaching 7,062 meters below sea level during its fifth dive in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

07 First aircraft carrier commissioned

In September, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was delivered to the People’s Liberation Army Navy and put into commission after years of refitting and sea trials. Last month, the country successfully conducted flight landing exercises on the aircraft carrier, where the home-grown J-15 fighter jet made its debut in a landing and take-off exercise.

08 New CPC leadership and new targets

Xi & LiThe CPC convened its 18th National Congress between Nov. 8 and 14, when the Party’s new leadership was elected, including Xi Jinping, who was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The congress also set new targets for the country such as efforts to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

09 Full coverage of pension scheme

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced in November that China’s urban and rural pension insurance systems covered 459 million people at the end of October and that as many as 125 million elderly people receive monthly pensions. The State Council had previously decided to make pension insurance available for everyone in urban and rural areas.

10 New CPC leadership rejects extravagance, bureaucracy

The newly-elected leadership of China’s ruling party has pledged to reject extravagance and reduce bureaucratic visits and meetings, in a bid to win the people’s trust and support.

In a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Dec. 4, members vowed to shorten meetings and documents, reject bureaucratism in domestic and overseas visits, reduce road closures for official activities and support more practical content in news reports. The leaders also promised to take the lead in putting these requirements into practice.”

via Xinhua unveils top 10 domestic events of 2012 – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India