Posts tagged ‘government officials’

08/04/2015

China Aims to Soothe Labor Unrest – China Real Time Report – WSJ

As slowing growth fuels labor unrest in the world’s second-largest economy, China’s top leadership is pushing for greater efforts to foster harmony across its increasingly agitated workforce. As the WSJ’s Chun Han Wong reports;

In a recent directive, top Communist Party and government officials called on party cadres and bureaucrats across the country to “make the construction of harmonious labor relations an urgent task,” to ensure “healthy economic development” and to consolidate the party’s “governing status.”

The policy paper was issued late last month and has circulated widely among Chinese labor scholars, lawyers and activists, who say it signals Beijing’s growing concern that festering labor tensions could soon threaten social stability or even weaken the party’s grip on power.

With China “currently in a period of economic and social transition,” labor relations have become “increasingly pluralistic, labor tensions have entered a period of increased prominence and frequency, and the incidence of labor disputes remains high,” the paper said, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It cited problems including unpaid wages to China’s legions of migrant workers, growing protests and other issues.

Labor scholars say the paper—titled “the Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council’s opinion on the construction of harmonious labor relations”—marks a rare move by Beijing to formally outline policy priorities for tackling worker unrest. It also comes after Premier Li Keqiang pledged in early March, during an annual policy speech, to curb unpaid wages for migrant workers.

“The government is acknowledging the reality of rising worker unrest and wants to make this a bigger priority,” said Wang Jiangsong, a professor at the China Institute of Industrial Relations in Beijing. “But it also lacks specifics on implementation—it remains to be seen how this would work on the ground.”

via China Aims to Soothe Labor Unrest – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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06/02/2015

Top Chinese Company Bosses Try to Atone After Bribery Allegations – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Acts of contrition allow disciples of the Roman Catholic Church to atone for their sins. Something similar may be saving souls in China’s Communist Party.

Mobile phone company China Unicom acknowledged findings published Thursday by the party’s official anti-graft agency that salacious acts of corruption gushed from its corporate suite, including abuse of power and bribery with sex as the currency.

Similar allegations have toppled government officials and corporate executives across China in the past two years, reflecting President Xi Jinping’s pledge that the party faithful will “remain resolute in wiping out corruption and show zero tolerance for it.”

Yet no one appears to be facing public reprimand at Unicom and a clutch of other state-run companies and government bureaus that the party this week accused of party discipline problems.

It’s unclear whether the fact no one is being publicly fingered for the problems atop key state-run companies suggests the party is satisfied the public shaming is enough punishment or whether it’s lightening its approach to violations. But what’s clear is the officials running the businesses have spent time in the party’s version of a confessional booth

The fresh allegations against powerful state-run organizations were published late Thursday by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which it said were the result of a round of investigations that began in November. Similar probes of state-run companies and government bureaus have continued regularly since Mr. Xi rose to power at the 18th Party Congress in late 2012. The commission last month said that an inspection of all top state-owned enterprises will be among its priorities for this year.

In addition to catalogue of problems at Unicom, the inspections found top officials at coal giant China Shenhua Energy Co. abused market power to gain “black gold,” leaders of China State Shipbuilding Corp. did illegal business and relatives of top cadres engaged in similar malfeasance at carmaker Dongfang Motor Corp. As well, the inspectors said they unearthed buying and selling of positions at power generator China Huadian Corp., as well as poor controls that caused loss of state secrets. The inspectors likewise cited discipline failings at state broadcaster China Radio International.

The anti-graft agency’s statements on each organization quoted their Communist Party leaders, including Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing, expressing contrition about failings at their groups and pledging to rectify the problems. The statements about the individual companies each include photos of top company officers in boardrooms discussing the findings and meeting with employees to address the problems. The statements quote officials pledging to honor Mr. Xi’s principles of party discipline.

via Top Chinese Company Bosses Try to Atone After Bribery Allegations – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

17/09/2014

Survey shows 10 problems of Chinese society – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

Twenty-four percent has cited the credibility deficit of the government as a main reason behind the lack of trust in Chinese society, according to a survey conducted by People’s Tribune, a magazine of People’s Daily.

Survey shows 10 problems of Chinese societyThe survey finds more than 80 percent of respondents think of Chinese society as “sub-healthy” and 40.4 percent  believe that a crisis of credibility is sickening society.

The “symptoms” are, in order, distrust in “whatever the government says”, “distrust between people’, “doubt over food and medicine safety” and distrust in “doctors’ professional ethics”.

A lack of faith is the most recognized problem in the survey. When asked to choose which group suffers the most from the symptom, more than half of the respondents chose government officials. In a report of the People’s tribute, the choice was referred to a recent case of the self-styled “qigong master” Wang Lin, who claimed to have supernatural powers. He has been put under the spotlight after his photos with many government officials and celebrities were published online last summer.

The superstition in officialdom mirrors corruption in the government, the report said. In terms of the reason behind the loss of faith, some 50 percent of netizens cited “unethical behaviors have gone unpunished”, while 20.8 percent blame the “mercenary” market economy.

Extreme, violent and anti-social behaviors have been chosen by nearly one third of the netizens as another major illness of society, with the “disadvantaged groups” as the most obvious example. “The growing social inequality and feeling of deprivation” have been cited as the main causes.

The full list of responses of the survey

1 Lack of faith

2 “Bystander attitude”or being indifferent

3 Anxiety over work, life and future

4 Habitual distrust

5 Ostentatiousness

6 Reveling in scandals

7 Hedonism

8 Extreme, violent and anti-social behaviors

9 Addiction to the Internet

10 Masochism, complaints about the Party and state system

via Survey shows 10 problems of Chinese society – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

11/06/2014

China targets officials who sent families abroad

China’s anti-graft campaign is now targeting officials who have sent their spouses and children abroad, where they can create channels to potentially funnel illicit gains and establish footholds for eventual escape from the mainland.

Nearly 900, mostly mid-level, government officials in the southern province of Guangdong have been demoted or forced to resign or retire early after being identified as having spouses or offspring with permanent residency or citizenship abroad while they themselves continue to work on the mainland. Because they remain without their families, they are known colloquially as “naked officials” – a term popular with the public because of its mocking tone. It is the first time a provincial government has taken action against them. The move signals a new approach in President Xi Jinping‘s anti-corruption campaign that takes aim at a phenomenon in Chinese politics that has hindered the Communist Party’s efforts to curb the flight of crooked officials and their ill-gotten assets. “The perception among the Chinese public is that these officials use their positions for their personal gains, then they send their families away and when the time comes, they are going to bail,” said Dali Yang, a China expert at the University of Chicago. Guangdong authorities said they found more than 1,000 such officials, among whom about a fifth had promised to try to get their families to return to China.

Though it’s up for debate, the general definition of “naked officials” excludes officials whose children are only studying abroad but not holding foreign residency or passports – allowing the sons and daughters of top leaders to pursue expensive college degrees at top overseas universities.

via China targets officials who sent families abroad.

24/03/2014

China Cracks Down on Ghost City Monoliths – Businessweek

China is getting serious about reining in at least one aspect of its ghost cities—the monolithic work palaces built for civil servants. On March 19, the central government announced it has investigated 147 officials and punished 55 for violating a five-year ban, imposed last July, on construction of all new government buildings.

An empty apartment building construction project in Ordos city, Inner Mongolia, China

“The malpractice of constructing new government buildings should be exposed. Departments and individuals should never cover or shield the malpractice,” said the State Council in its statement. “Precious funds should be used for safeguarding and improving the people’s well-being,” the statement said, as reported by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The ban has at least two purposes. One is to compel local governments to spend state funds more wisely, as concerns about growing levels of debt are mounting. China’s National Development and Reform Commission last year announced that 144 cities in 12 provinces were planning to build more than 200 new towns.

STORY: Breaking Through China’s Great Firewall

A Feb. 20 analysis by Beijing economic consultancy Gavekal Dragonomics showed that by 2011, 45 percent of all investment in China was channeled into “stagnant or loser prefectures,”—defined as those with little or negative population growth.

“Empty towns and ghost cities are redundant constructions that do not generate much economic benefit. They are a huge waste of resources which pile debt pressure onto local governments,” editorialized the People’s Daily last year.

The ban is also part of President Xi Jinping’s effort to curb ostentatious behavior by government officials and crack down on graft. The aim is “to promote a national frugality campaign and curb official’s appropriation of public funds,” explained Xinhua.

via China Cracks Down on Ghost City Monoliths – Businessweek.

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06/02/2014

Big Pharma pushes for U.S. action against India over patent worries | Reuters

An Indian government committee is reviewing patented drugs of foreign firms to see if so-called compulsory licenses, which in effect break exclusivity rights, can be issued for some of them to bring down costs, two senior government officials told Reuters.

A private security guard looks out from a window of the head office of Natco in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

The drugs that are part of the review process are used for treating cancer, diabetes, hepatitis and HIV, said the sources, declining to give details. No timeline has been given for completion of the review process.

Emerging markets, from South Africa to China and India, are battling to bring down healthcare costs and boost access to drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Western drugmakers, including Pfizer Inc, Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG and Sanofi SA, covet a bigger share of the fast-growing drugs market in India.

But they have been frustrated by a series of decisions on patents and pricing, as part of New Delhi’s push to increase access to life-saving treatments where only 15 percent of 1.2 billion people are covered by health insurance.

via Big Pharma pushes for U.S. action against India over patent worries | Reuters.

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27/01/2014

* First Chinese-Taiwan Government Meeting Set, Daily Reports – Bloomberg

China and Taiwan officials set a date for talks next month, the United Daily News reported today, paving the way for the first official government-to-government meetings since a civil war six decades ago.

The head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Wang Yu-chi, will meet with the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun, on Feb. 16 in the mainland city of Nanjing, the Taipei-based newspaper reported, citing an unidentified person. Nanjing was China’s capital before the civil war forced Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Party to flee to Taiwan in 1949, ceding power to Mao Zedong’s Communists. Taiwan and the mainland have been governed separately since then, with the island’s constitution retaining the Republic of China’s name and territorial claims.

“The meeting is a considerable breakthrough because this is the first time that two government officials are going to meet in their formal capacities, representing a certain level of mutual recognition,” said Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong.

President Ma Ying-Jeou, speaking on an official visit to Honduras, said the meeting is an “inevitable” step in cross-strait relations, the Central News Agency reported yesterday.

via First Chinese-Taiwan Government Meeting Set, Daily Reports – Bloomberg.

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25/01/2014

India Said to Consider $32 a Ton Subsidy for Raw Sugar Exports – Businessweek

India, the world’s biggest sugar producer after Brazil, will consider a subsidy on raw sweetener exports to ease a domestic glut, two government officials said.

The government will consider 2,000 rupees ($32) a metric ton subsidy for shipments, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The government may also consider ways to reduce imports in the next cabinet meeting, they said.

N.C. Joshi, spokesman for the food ministry, declined to comment on the matter.

via India Said to Consider $32 a Ton Subsidy for Raw Sugar Exports – Businessweek.

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