Archive for July, 2013

31/07/2013

Divide Uttar Pradesh into four states, Mayawati says

As we said in our post yesterday – https://chindia-alert.org/2013/07/30/bbc-news-india-coalition-approves-new-state-of-telangana/, India now has double the states it started with after independence. And the more sub-divisions are approved, it seems that more ethnic/language groups want their own state.  Where will it all end?

Times of India: “The Bahujan Samaj Party demanded splitting of Uttar Pradesh into four smaller states on Wednesday, a day after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) urged the government to form a separate state of Telangana.

“We have always supported smaller states,” BSP chief Mayawati said here at a press conference.

She said Uttar Pradesh should be divided into four smaller states — Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Pashchim Pradesh.

English: Map of UP subregions. It has been bui...

English: Map of UP subregions. It has been built on the public domain work “Uttar Pradesh locator map.svg” in Wikipedia. This work is also public domain. Free for any and all use without any restrictions whatsoever. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When this population is divided between four states, development will increase,” she said.

“Ministers in central government who hail from Uttar Pradesh should build pressure on the central government for formation of these states,” she added.”

via Divide Uttar Pradesh into four states, Mayawati says – The Times of India.

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31/07/2013

China’s New Migrant Workers Want More

BusinessWeek: “The red neon sign over the front door of a new entertainment complex in Beijing’s suburban Daxing district—a local garment manufacturing hub—reads simply “The Skating Rink.” Inside, Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” crackles over loudspeakers, and a strobe light casts red and green pixels of light across a hardwood floor. The young migrant workers who toil in the garment factories nearby typically work on weekends, and have only two or three days off a month. So a crowd begins to form only in the evenings, after overtime shifts end around 9 or 10 p.m.

Twenty-one-year-old He XiaoJie (right) lives in a five-person dorm room within his factory

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the rink has just a handful of early skaters. Among them is a family of five. (Many migrant families manage to disregard China’s one-child policy.) Pudgy 3-year-old Zhefang, wearing a yellow sundress and short pigtails, tugs playfully on the laces of her 5-year-old brother’s skates. Her other brother, who is 9, races full speed around the rink. Juping and Xinfing, the parents, are both 29 and moved here from Jiangxi province seven years ago. Today is one of the precious few days all year that they are together as a family. Because the parents lack a Beijing hukou—or residence permit—they cannot enroll their children in local schools. The two boys now live with their grandparents back in Jiangxi. Xinfing says she “really wants our girl to stay with us” once Zhefang reaches school age, but knows it’s not likely. She scoops up the little girl in her arms and lovingly pats down stray hairs that have shaken loose of her pigtails.

China’s great modern migration from countryside to city began roughly 30 years ago. Starting in the 1980s, new factories in southeastern China began to churn out goods for export and lured workers who could make more on the assembly line than on the farm. In the 1980s and ’90s, most of those who left home were young single people, like the women described in Leslie Chang’s book, Factory Girls. A majority of migrants expected to work for a few years, save money, and eventually return to their hometowns. However, in recent years this pattern has notably shifted. Government planning documents refer to migrants born after 1980 as “new generation migrant workers,” and recent reports from China’s National Bureau of Statistics show how they differ from their predecessors. Just as Juping and Xinfing moved to Beijing as a married couple with a young child in tow, several studies show that a majority of migrant workers now move with at least one other family member.

Beijing’s Daxing district lies outside the Sixth Ring Road, a 90-minute drive from the city center. The local government has made a push to attract garment factories ranging in size from those with a few hundred employees to those with less than a dozen. The workers who come here are mostly in their late teens and twenties. Like previous generations, they have come to start a new life with little savings and a lot of gumption. But they are more tech-savvy, fashion-conscious, and educated than their parents. Most significant, they expect to integrate permanently into city life—putting more urgent pressure on the government to change China’s current system of allocating social services (including schooling and health care) only to those with difficult-to-obtain city residence permits.

In his recent book, China’s Urban Billion, analyst Tom Miller of GK Dragonomics writes, “Surveys show that the majority of the new generation of migrant workers [have] no intention of returning to the penury of rural life.” In explaining the attitudinal shift, he notes: “They are significantly better educated than their parents, and usually adapt far more quickly to urban ways. They hope to become fully fledged urban citizens and enjoy a modern consumer lifestyle.””

via China’s New Migrant Workers Want More – Businessweek.

31/07/2013

China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution: paper

Reuters: “China plans to invest 2.3 trillion yuan ($375 billion) in energy saving and emission-reduction projects in the five years through 2015 to clean up its environment, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a senior government official.

The plan, which has been approved by the State Council, is on top of a 1.85 trillion yuan investment in the renewable energy sector, underscoring the government’s concerns about addressing a key source of social discontent.

China has set a target of reducing its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level, and raising non-fossil energy consumption to 15 percent of its energy mix, Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was quoted as saying.

As part of broader plans to curb pollution, the government will also roll out tiered power pricing for eight energy intensive industries, while sectors that struggle with overcapacity will face higher power tariffs, Xie said.

The government will also gradually expand a carbon trading pilot program to more cities starting from 2015, with the aim of creating a national market, he said.

Seven cities and provinces, including Shanghai, were ordered by the NDRC in late 2011 to set up regional carbon trading markets.”

via China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution: paper | Reuters.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/greening-of-china/

30/07/2013

China urbanization cost could top $106 billion a year: think-tank

Reuters: “The cost of settling China’s rural workers into city life in the government’s urbanization drive could be about 650 billion yuan ($106 billion) a year, the equivalent of 5.5 percent of fiscal revenue last year, a government think-tank said on Tuesday.

A man rides an escalator near Shanghai Tower (R, under construction), Jin Mao Tower (C) and the Shanghai World Financial Center (L) at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The figure is based on the assumption that 25 million people a year settle in cities, with the government spending the money on making sure they enjoy the same benefits in healthcare, housing and schools that city residents have, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(CASS) said.

“I think the biggest obstacle for turning rural migrant workers into urban citizens is the cost issue,” Wei Houkai, a researcher at CASS, told a news conference, adding that to achieve equality of treatment could take until 2025.

Millions of migrant workers from the countryside and smaller towns work in China’s big cities, often in low-paid manual work, but lack access to education, health and other services tied to the country’s strict household registration – or hukou – system.

China sees the urbanization drive as pushing domestic consumption, which it wants to make the main engine of growth for the economy, replacing exports and manufacturing and investment.

Rural migrant laborers only earned an average 2,049 yuan a month in 2011, or 59 percent of average urban workers’ salary, CASS added.

But they need to pay about 18,000 yuan annually per capita to be able to live in cities and another 100,000 yuan on average for housing, it said.”

via China urbanization cost could top $106 billion a year: think-tank | Reuters.

30/07/2013

India coalition approves new state of Telangana

There were 14 states and six union territories when reorganised in 1956 after independence, totalling 20.  Now there are 35, with Telangana – if approved by parliament – becoming the 36th. And there are another six or so others lobbying for statehood. The primary reason is ethnic / language differences between different population mixes in the original / existing states. Given that there are 22 officially recognised languages, plus another c6 adopted by some of the new states, it would seem that the pressure for more sub-divisions is in sight.

Apparently, it is said that some Chinese strategist predicts there will be 40 Indian states! (http://wakeap.com/news/political/china-plans-to-split-india-into-40-smaller-states.html)

BBC: “India‘s ruling Congress-led coalition has unanimously agreed to the formation of a new state in the Telangana region of southern Andhra Pradesh state, officials say.

Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) activists demonstrate as riot police stand behind a barrier during a pro-Telangana protest in Hyderabad on June 14, 2013

With a population of 40 million, the proposed state comprises 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts including Hyderabad, India‘s sixth biggest city.

The state has seen protests for and against the proposal in recent years.

Backers of the new state say the area has been neglected by the government.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but now everyone has been heard and a decision has been taken,” senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told Indian media.

Opponents of the move are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, could become Telangana’s new capital.

Congress party spokesman Ajay Maken said that Hyderabad would remain the common capital for the two states for a period of at least 10 years until Andhra Pradesh develops its own capital.

“A resolution was passed in the meeting where it was resolved to request the central government to take steps to form a separate state of Telangana,” Mr Maken told a news conference in Delhi.

He said that the resolution was cleared “after taking into account the chequered history of the demand for a separate state of Telangana since 1956”.

The final decision on a new state lies with the Indian parliament. The state assembly must also pass a resolution approving the creation of what will be India’s 29th state.”

via BBC News – India coalition approves new state of Telangana.

29/07/2013

Capability building in China

Abbreviated from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/asia-pacific/capability_building_in_china?cid=china-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1307

Article|McKinsey Quarterly

Capability building in China

 

Skill building must be rewards-based, rooted in real work, and tailored to local conditions.

 
July 2013 | byKarel Eloot, Gernot Strube, and Arthur Wang
 

Capability building—leadership, managerial, and team-based skills rather than technical ones—has become an urgent imperative for many companies in China. As the country loses its extreme low-cost-labor advantage, businesses must look for ways to increase productivity and internal collaboration, to better understand consumers, and to develop a more sophisticated appetite for risk.

Companies in China face many of the same challenges—a lack of up-front planning and inadequate resources—that bedevil capability-building exercises everywhere. But certain “China factors” stand out. For starters, the demand for managers with strong leadership skills and international experience is growing significantly faster than the supply of qualified candidates. That imbalance makes it more difficult to pull off successful skill-building efforts, even for multinationals that typically invest more in training than Chinese companies do. (Indeed, one implication of China’s white-hot war for talent is that outside trainers brought in by multinational companies to set up and run new programs often move on before relevant tools and internal processes are in place.) Another perennial challenge for multinationals: the Chinese context and culture, which may require local tailoring of global approaches.

Then, of course, there are China’s state-owned enterprises. Many of them only recently converted from government departments into commercial entities and are still working to adapt to a competitive environment and adopt a true business mind-set. These companies generally lack a systematic approach to nurturing employees moving up the organizational ladder. They misconstrue capability building as a classroom activity, missing the impact of linking it to actual business. And they are too inflexible either to fire underperformers or to reward and promote employees, including managers, who change their behavior and adopt the necessary mind-sets.

While the challenges facing multinationals and state-owned enterprises differ, our experience with leaders at both kinds of organizations (as well as with private-sector Chinese companies) has highlighted the importance of some common, broadly applicable principles. In this article, we describe three that should help companies overcome many of the obstacles that have frustrated capability-building efforts in the past.

1. Relate capability building to real activities

2. Instill incentives and create opportunities for promotion

3. Don’t forget China’s unique culture

The solutions may sound obvious: developing Chinese teaching materials to help solve problems, building day-to-day business problems around products that participants would find in the Chinese market, and localizing global training materials through culturally appropriate metaphors and examples. But we know from experience how easy it is to overlook these issues. In our own work, we routinely use a case involving a coffee machine to teach managers about the seven types of waste and how a “lean” perspective can address them. When we recently used this case at a Chinese state-owned enterprise, however, the managers couldn’t make sense of the story, because they had never used a coffee machine. We have now adapted the context to tea making.

About the authors

Karel Eloot is a director in McKinsey’s Shanghai office; Gernot Strube is a director in the Hong Kong office, where Arthur Wang is a principal.

29/07/2013

China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar | South China Morning Post

SCMP: “China has switched on a new pipeline bringing natural gas from Myanmar, a state company said on Monday, in a project that has raised concerns in Myanmar’s nascent civil society about whether its giant neighbour’s resource grabs will benefit local people.

myanmar_china_pipeline.jpg

The 793-kilometre pipeline connects the Bay of Bengal with southwest China’s Yunnan province and is expected to transfer 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas to China annually, according to a news release on the website of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). A parallel 771-kilometre pipeline that will carry Middle East oil – shipped via the Indian Ocean – is still under construction.

China’s investments, largely in energy and mining, have generated controversy in Myanmar because they have done little to relieve that country’s chronic power shortages. In response, last year the Myanmar government abruptly suspended construction of the China-backed Myitsone dam, which would displace thousands and flood the spiritual heartland of Myanmar’s Kachin ethnic minority.

While the pipelines are only expected to provide a small proportion of China’s oil and gas consumption, they are strategically important to Beijing. The gas pipeline that began operating on Sunday offers a nearby source of gas, and the oil pipeline would eliminate the need for tankers from the Middle East to pass through the crowded Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.

The two joint ventures are between state-owned CNPC and Myanmar’s national petroleum company Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Four other companies from India and South Korea also have stakes in the project, according to CNPC.”

via China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar | South China Morning Post.

29/07/2013

China’s brain drain may be world’s worst

China Daily: “Sun Zhipei has only been in Helsinki for four months, but he has already decided it is where he wants to settle.

The 35-year-old nanotech scientist previously spent almost 10 years living in Spain and Britain, and said he would not entertain the idea of returning to his native China.

“I can have more control about what I want to study here and carry out projects I’m interested in,” said the associate professor at Aalto University, who gained his PhD at the Chinese Academy of SciencesInstitute of Physics.

Sun’s attitude perhaps goes some way toward explaining a People’s Daily report in June that said China is experiencing “the world’s worst brain drain”.

Eighty-seven percent of the mainland’s top specialists in science and engineering who went abroad for work or study have no plans to return, the paper quoted an unnamed official with the Party’s coordination group on specialists as saying.

The group consists of 20 Party and government agencies, including the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, which oversees human resources.

China Daily interview requests with the organization department went unanswered.

Although independent experts and statistics do not confirm the severity of the brain drain, there is little doubt it exists.

Wang Huiyao, director-general of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank, said since the reform and opening-up policy of the late 1970s, 2.6 million Chinese students have studied overseas, of which about half went to the United States.”

via China’s brain drain may be world’s worst |Society |chinadaily.com.cn.

29/07/2013

China to Launch 24-Hour Live Web Broadcast of Pandas at Chengdu Research Base

WSJ: “To kittens and puppies, now add the latest species for couch potatoes to gush over: giant pandas.

China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has launched a free 24-hour live Internet broadcast of the cuddly critters, state-run Xinhua news agency said Monday.

Viewers can watch the pandas at the base in southwestern Sichuan province, part of their native domicile, via 28 cameras planted in five areas that will feed six channels: “garden for adult pandas,” “kindergarten,” “nursery for twins,” “mother-and-child playground,” “No.1 Villa” and “featured.”

In keeping with the bears’ famously laid-back characteristics, the broadcasts have an addictively soporific feel to them, based on China Real Time Report’s viewing of several clips the base posted as sneak peeks.

In one clip, two giant pandas sprawled motionless amid quivering leaves and small skittish birds on an elevated loft. About two minutes later, the angle shifted to a second camera, with the two pandas now seeking refuge from what appeared to be fairly tepid sunlight. In short order, another giant panda lay prone by a burbling stream, in the thrall of what appeared to be another pleasant nap.

The Chengdu base is home to more than 80 freely roaming giant pandas, so it’s unclear whether the subjects are different bears or the same few viewed from various angles.

A few minutes later, the panda by the stream changed his snoozing posture slightly. It’s a small maneuver, but rendered suddenly dramatic by the enervating lull of the video feed and the sheer celebrity of the monochromatic bear. So it comes as no surprise that the clips have already attracted nearly 15,000 viewers since their launch on June 24, Xinhua said.

“I’ve watched an entire morning of pandas eating bamboo, my appetite has improved!” a blogger called Janice Yi wrote on China’s Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo. “They eat, then they fight, and when they’re tired of fighting, they eat again, then they sleep, and a whole day passes.””

via China to Launch 24-Hour Live Web Broadcast of Pandas at Chengdu Research Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

29/07/2013

Japan’s top diplomat heads for China seeking better ties | Reuters

Reuters: “Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit China on Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials, the latest in a series of efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve relations soured by a bitter territorial row.

Japan's chief envoy to the six-party talks Akitaka Saiki arrives at Beijing airport November 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The hawkish Abe, who cemented his grip on power in an upper house election last week, called on Friday for an unconditional meeting between Japanese and Chinese leaders.

On Sunday, Isao Iijima, an adviser to the premier, told reporters that Abe could soon hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Often fragile Sino-Japanese ties have been seriously strained since September, when a territorial row over tiny islands in the East China Sea flared following Japan’s nationalization of the uninhabited isles.

Concern that the conservative Japanese leader wants to recast Japan’s wartime history with a less apologetic tone has added to the tension.

“Vice Minister Saiki will visit China on July 29-30 and exchange views with Chinese officials,” a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said. He did not give further details.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded to Abe’s overture on Friday by saying its door was always open for talks but that the problem lay in Japan’s attitude.”

via Japan’s top diplomat heads for China seeking better ties | Reuters.

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