Posts tagged ‘women in china’

01/06/2015

Beijing public smoking ban begins – BBC News

Public smoking in China‘s capital, Beijing, is now banned after the introduction of a new law.

China has over 300 million smokers and more than a million Chinese die from smoking-related illnesses every year.

Smoking bans already existed in China, but have largely failed to crack down on the habit.

These tougher regulations, enforced by thousands of inspectors, ban lighting up in restaurants, offices and on public transport in Beijing.

Analysis: Martin Patience, BBC News, Beijing

Smoking in China often seems like a national pastime. The country consumes a third of the world’s cigarettes. More than half of men smoke. It’s seen by many as a masculine trait – women, in contrast, rarely smoke.

A common greeting among men is to offer a cigarette – the more expensive, the better. A carton of cigarettes also remains a popular gift.

Anti-tobacco campaigners say many smokers are simply unaware of the health risks of their habit. They accuse the authorities of being addicted to the tax revenues generated by cigarette sales and therefore not warning smokers about the dangers.

But now there are signs the government has changed its mind. In the past, China’s leaders such as Chairman Mao and his successor Deng Xiaoping were rarely seen without a cigarette in hand. But the current President Xi Jinping has bucked the trend: he’s quit. And he’s also banned officials from smoking in public in order to set an example.

via Beijing public smoking ban begins – BBC News.

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01/05/2014

How Women Lost Out as China’s Property Market Boomed – Businessweek

In 2005, Zhang Yuan and her husband bought an apartment in Beijing for $30,000. Seven years later, in 2012, the same apartment was worth $317,000. Zhang, a professional woman in her 30s, and her husband both contributed money to the down payment and mortgage payments. Only her husband’s name appears on the property deed.

Beijing's central business District is home to high-end housing

At the time the young couple bought their home, Zhang wasn’t thinking much about legal formalities. Men—still regarded as the ostensible heads of households in China—have commonly registered property in their own names.

Since China’s Supreme Court issued a new interpretation of the country’s Marriage Law in 2011, Zhang’s has had second thoughts. The law now stipulates that if a couple divorces and only one person’s name is on the deed, that person—usually a “he”—walks away with full ownership of the marital home.

Since she took two years off work to care for her young child, Zhang has had trouble climbing back onto the career ladder. Today she worries more about money—and her financial dependence on her husband.

According to a 2012 Horizon Research and IFeng.com survey of homeowners in China’s leading cities, men’s names appear on property deeds for marital homes 80 percent of the time, while women’s names appear on just 30 percent of them. “The law is so unfair to women,” Zhang told sociologist Leta Hong Fincher, author of a new book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China.

The upshot, as Fincher’s book argues, is that China’s women have a claim that is tenuous, at best, to the country’s burgeoning real estate wealth. “Chinese women have largely missed out on what is arguably the biggest accumulation of residential real-estate wealth in history, valued at around 3.3 times China’s [gross domestic product], according to figures from the bank HSBC,” she writes. “That amounted to over $27 trillion at the end of 2012.”

via How Women Lost Out as China’s Property Market Boomed – Businessweek.

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23/09/2013

Wealthy Chinese seek US surrogates for second child or green card

SCMP: “Wealthy Chinese are hiring American women to serve as surrogates for their children, creating a small but growing business in $120,000 “designer” American babies for China’s elite.

surrogate.jpg

Surrogacy agencies in China and the United States are catering to wealthy Chinese who want a baby outside the country’s restrictive family planning policies, who are unable to conceive themselves, or who are seeking US citizenship for their children.

Emigration as a family is another draw – US citizens may apply for Green Cards for their parents when they turn 21.

While there is no data on the total number of Chinese who have sought or used US surrogates, agencies in both countries say demand has risen rapidly in the last two years.

Tony Jiang and his three children at his house in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

US fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies are creating Chinese-language websites and hiring Mandarin speakers.

Boston-based Circle Surrogacy has handled half a dozen Chinese surrogacy cases over the last five years, said president John Weltman.

“I would be surprised if you called me back in four months and that number hadn’t doubled,” he said. “That’s the level of interest we’ve seen this year from China and the very serious conversations we’ve had with people who I think will be joining us in the next three or four months.”

The agency, which handles about 140 surrogacy cases a year, 65 per cent of them for clients outside the United States, is opening an office in California to better serve clients from Asia which has easier flight connections with the West Coast. Weltman said he hopes to hire a representative in Shanghai next year.

The increased interest from Chinese parents has created some cultural tensions.

US agency staff who ask that surrogates and intended parents develop a personal relationship have been surprised by potential Chinese clients who treat surrogacy as a strictly commercial transaction.

In China, where surrogacy is illegal, some clients keep the fact that their baby was born to a surrogate a secret, going so far as to fake a pregnancy, agents say.

Chinese interest in obtaining US citizenship is not new. The 14th Amendment to the US constitution gives anyone born in the United States the right to citizenship.

You can basically make a designer baby nowadays JENNIFER GARCIA

A growing number of pregnant Chinese women travel to America to obtain US citizenship for their children by delivering there, often staying in special homes designed to cater to their needs.

While the numbers are unclear, giving birth in America is now so commonplace that it was the subject of a hit romantic comedy movie, Finding Mr Right, released in China in March.

Overall, the number of Chinese visitors to the United States nearly doubled in recent years, from 1 million in 2010 to 1.8 million last year, US immigration statistics show.

Weltman said that prospective Chinese clients almost always want to choose US citizenship for their babies, while other agencies pointed to a desire to have children educated in the United States.

Some wealthy Chinese say they want a bolt-hole overseas because they fear they will the targets of public or government anger if there were more social unrest in China. There is also a perception that their wealth will be better protected in countries with a stronger rule of law.

At least one Chinese agent promotes surrogacy as a cheaper alternative to America’s EB-5 visa, which requires a minimum investment in a job creating business of $500,000.

While the basic surrogacy package Chinese agencies offer costs between $120,000 and $200,000, “if you add in plane tickets and other expenses, for only $300,000, you get two children and the entire family can emigrate to the US,” said a Shanghai-based agent.

That cost still means the surrogacy alternative is available only to the wealthiest Chinese.”

via Wealthy Chinese seek US surrogates for second child or green card | South China Morning Post.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2012/11/28/china-considers-easing-family-planning-rules/

17/02/2012

* Death sentence for ex-tycoon fuels debate over private lending, and over capital punishment

China Daily: “Death sentence for ex-tycoon fuels debate over private lending, report Li Jing and He Na in Beijing, and Xu Junqian in Zhejiang.

Wu Ying used to be one of the richest women in China. Today the former billionaire is on death row.

In the eyes of many people, particularly the judge who threw out her appeal last month, Wu is a fraudster who swindled her friends and business partners out of 770 million yuan ($122 million).

Yet, others oppose the sentence and say her case highlights a major issue in China: the reliance among small- and medium-sized enterprises on high-interest loans from private lenders.

From loan sharks and underground banks to pawnshops and auction houses, the private lending chain is huge and diverse, according to economists, who blame the situation largely on the struggles experienced by entrepreneurs in getting startup funds through authorized channels.

After 30 years of ongoing reforms, experts are now adding their voices to calls for China’s financial sector to be opened up even further.”

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-02/14/content_14597676.htm

China has reduced the list of crimes for which capital punishment applies from 68 to 55. Even so, many of these are for economic crimes, reminescent of the times (18th century)when European countries would execute or deport these criminals (eg Jean Val Jean of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Mr Micawber of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield). Crime and punishment is cultural. Hence in some Muslin countries adulterers can be stoned to death (or at least the female partner can).

In my personal opinion it is also a facet of developing human consciousnes: the more ‘enlightened’ a society is the less likely will it favour capital punishment.

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