Posts tagged ‘surveys’

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CASS Blue Book: Widening Gaps, Modern Metropolitan Agriculture Development

The Beijing Times (京华时报) covered the message from an “urban development blue book” by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on August 14. Enorth (Tianjin) republished the Beijing Times’ article on August 15:

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Urban Development and Environmental Research Institute published an Urban blue book, “China Urban Development Report (2012), yesterday. The blue book points out that within the coming twenty years, China will have nearly 500 million farmers who need to become urbanized, and that this will come at a cost of at least 40,000 billion to 50,000 billion Yuan.

昨天,中国社会科学院城市发展与环境研究所发布城市蓝皮书《中国城市发展报告(2012)》。蓝皮书指出,今后20年内,中国将有近5亿农民需要实现市民化,为此至少需要40万亿-50万亿元的成本。

The blue book points out that the transformation from rural to urban society spells singular and major social change.If future urbanization in China push on at a rate of 0.8 to one percentage point in the future, China’s urbanization rate will be at more than 60 percent by 2020. This also means that within the coming twenty years, China will have more than 200,000,000 farmers who will need jobs and places to live in cities and towns, in addition to farmers who came there during recent years and haven’t yet completed urbanization. In future, the country will see 400 million to 500 million farmers who need to achieve urbanization.

蓝皮书指出,从乡村型社会向城市型社会转型是一次重大的社会变革。如果未来中国的城镇化率以每年0.8-1.0个百分点的速度推进,到2020年前后中国的城镇化率将超过60%。这同时意味着,今后20年内,中国将有2亿多农民需要转移到城镇就业和居住,再加上近年来已经进入城镇但还没有完全市民化的农民,未来全国将有4亿-5亿农民需要实现市民化。

According to reliminary calculations, solving social insurance and public services issues alone will cost at least 100,000 Yuan per capita. Within the next twenty years, costs at at least 40,000 billion to 50,000 billion Yuan will arise.

据初步测算,仅解决社会保障和公共服务,农民市民化成本至少人均10万元。在未来20年内,至少需要支付40万亿-50万亿元的成本。

Researcher and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies’ deputy director Wei Houkai said that currently, needs in places far away from the cities were still very different. Seen from the ways of life and living standards, a great number of migrant workers, of farmers who lived in urban outskirts without permanent residence, and the large numbers of farmers who lost their land in the urbanization process, hadn’t really blended into the cities, their ways of life and consumption patterns remained retained the rural ways of life and characteristics, and their degree of urbanization was low.

中国社科院城环所副所长魏后凯研究员表示,目前中国离城市型社会的要求还具有较大的差距。从生活方式标准看,大量进城务工的农民工、郊区就地转化的农转非居民以及县改区中存在的大量农民,没有真正融入城市,其生活方式和消费方式仍然保留着农民的习惯和特征,市民化程度低。

The blue book also shows that in 2011, urban population in China was at 691 million, an urbanization rate of 51.27 percent, and that urban population therefore exceeded rural population. That urbanization exceeded 50 percent was a historic change in Chinese societal structure. It showed that China had moved past the era of rural-based society, and had started entering into an era of mainly urban-based society.

蓝皮书还显示,2011年,中国城镇人口达到6.91亿,城镇化率达到51.27%,城镇常住人口超过了农村常住人口。人口城镇化率超过50%,这是中国社会结构的一个历史性变化,表明中国已经结束了以乡村型社会为主体的时代,开始进入到以城市型社会为主体的新的城市时代。

Good luck, city: I'm on my way

Good luck, city: I’m on my way!

China Daily, a propaganda paper for foreign consumption, quotes the blue book as saying that the ratio of urbanites’ disposable income to rural residents’ net income reached 3.13 last year, but given that about 40 percent of farmers’ net income was used to purchase chemical fertilizer, pesticide, seeds and other means of production [and given that no similar costs arise for urban citizens, apparently], urban income in China was actually about 5.2 times that of the countryside. That income gap figure was about 26 percent higher than that of 1997, notes the report.

Basically in the context of these reports, Liaoning Daily (also republished by Enorth) reports on Dalian’s (Liaoning Province) official reaction to the challenges:

To adhere to a perfect urbanization, the building of new industries (新型工业化), urban wisdom and agricultural modernization, a civilized, modern international city will be built in an overall plan for these “four modernizations”1), for the improvement of our city’s comprehensive competitiveness. These are the Dalian Municipal Committee’s thoughts on the continuous strengthening of Dalian’s development stamina through an overall plan for coordinated interaction.

本报讯记者刘国华报道“坚持全域城市化、新型工业化、城市智慧化和农业现代化,在‘四化’统筹、协调推进中提升城市综合竞争力,努力建设富庶美丽文明的现代化国际城市。 ”这是近日大连市委提出的通过“四化”统筹、协调互动,进一步增强大连发展后劲的城市发展新思路。

In recent years, Dalian, with scientific development concepts as guidance, firmly grasped the revitalization of the old northeastern industrial bases, and the two-fold opportunities of developing and opening Liaoning’s coastal economy, economic development, opening up to the outside world, and other aspects of achieving comprehensive improvement, rather good effects in raising Liaoning’s leading role in the northeastern region. This year, Dalian, in accordance with the requirements and on the foundations of “seeking progress in stability, and pace within stability”, by means of the soft-environment-building year and other measures, maintained economic and stable and rather rapid growth. During the first half of this year, the entire city achieved a regional total output value of 340.1 billion Yuan [more precisely, 340,090 million] Yuan (a growth by 10.1 percent), public revenues of 37.47 billion yuan (19 percent growth), social consumption products retail sales2) at 104.64 billion Yuan (15.2 percent growth), average disposable incomes per capita of 13,934 Yuan (14.1 percent growth), farmers’ average cash income of 9,262 Yuan (14.8 percent growth), with the main economic indicators achieving a “double-surpassing” of the previous [year-on-year?] half-year.

近年来,大连市以科学发展观为统领,紧紧抓住东北老工业基地振兴和辽宁沿海经济带开发开放双重机遇,经济发展、对外开放等方面均实现了全面提升,较好地起到了辽宁乃至东北地区的龙头带动作用。今年以来,大连市按照“稳中求进、稳中求快”的总基调,通过深入开展软环境建设年活动等多种措施,保持了经济的平稳较快增长。上半年,全市实现地区生产总值3400.9亿元,增长10.1%;公共财政预算收入374.7亿元,增长19%;社会消费品零售总额1046.4亿元,增长15.2%;城市居民人均可支配收入13934元,增长14.1%;农民人均现金收入9262元,增长14.8%。主要经济指标实现“双过半”。

The Dalian Municipal Committee and the city government believe that by now, in competition between developed cities within China, raising their comprehensive competitiveness has become the main direction of impact. To cut new edges in the coming round of fierce competition, if it can solve difficulties, and always maintain a leading position, Dalian needs to cast its sight at the future and to clearly develop new ideas.

大连市委、市政府认为,目前,国内发达城市之间的竞争,都已开始将提升综合竞争力作为主攻方向。面对新一轮的激烈竞争,大连能否争创新优势,破解难题,始终保持相对领先地位,迫切需要着眼未来,明确发展新思路。

In July this year, Dalian city held the Perfect City Chemical Industry congress, and issued the “China Communist Dalian Municipal Committee and Dalian City Government Numerous Opinions concerning Acceleration and Promotion of Perfect Urbanization”, “Dalian City Implementation Plan for the Acceleration and Promotion of Perfect Urbanization, and “the “Dalian City Policies pertaining Acceleration and Promotion of Perfect Urbanization”. Perfection of urbanization and the city and countryside overall improvement plans are are important measures to solve the bottleneck problems. [...] The focus on agricultural modernization is on urban modern agriculture.

今年7月,大连市召开全域城市化工作会议,颁布了《中共大连市委、大连市人民政府关于加快推进全域城市化的若干意见》、《大连市加快推进全域城市化实施方案》、《大连市加快推进全域城市化的相关政策》。全域城市化,统筹城乡全面提升,是解决大连发展瓶颈的重要举措。[在这次会议上,大连市出台了具有突破性的一揽子鼓励政策,涵盖了基础设施、产业发展、土地保障、户籍管理、融资支持、公共服务、社会保障、城镇改革8个方面,力度之大,前所未有;大连市提出的新型工业化就是要建立起结构优化、技术先进、清洁安全、附加值高、吸纳就业能力强的现代产业体系,重点是推进传统产业升级和发展战略性新兴产业,全力以赴用5年左右时间,培育若干千亿级龙头企业和产业集群;城市智慧化系依托新一代信息技术,通过网络普及、智能化管理,构筑信息资源共享、城市运转高效、公共服务便捷、诚信体系完备的品质之城;]农业现代化重点是发展都市型现代农业。

The mutually supportive “four modernizations and coordinated promotion will surely promote Dalian’s economic and social development, and its leap to a new level.

“四化”相互支撑,协调推进,必将推动大连经济社会发展跃升新水平。

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Notes

1) a term based on the original concept of “Four Modernizations” first set out by Zhou Enlai, and again in 1978.

2) Social consumption is a term frequently connected with “ethical consumption” elsewhere – that’s not how it is meant here, and it most probably simply means household consumption. Your expertise is welcome; just use the commenting function for your definitions or explanations.

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Related

» Tianjin Municipal Committee, July 20, 2011

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sino-Russian Fishery Incident: An FMPRC Statement and its (apparent) Story

China News Service (CNS, 中新网) / Enorth, July 22, 2012, 07:04 Beijing time –

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Saturday evening that the incident of a Russian patrol boat that shelled Chinese trawlers was an isolated case, and expressed the belief that the case could be solved by the two sides in the spirit of Sino-Russian friendship. It was hoped that the people of the two countries would look at the incident objectively and with cool heads.

中国外交部发言人洪磊21日晚就俄罗斯边防巡逻艇炮击中国渔船事件表示,上述事件是突发的、孤立的事件,相信双方能本着中俄友好的精神加以解决。希望两国民众能客观、冷静地看待这一事件。

A reporter asked: A few days ago, a Russian patrol boat fired at Chinese trawlers which [had]  crossed the border into Russia’s exclusive maritime zone, and a collision with a Chinese trawler occured in the process, which resulted in the missing of one Chinese seaman. The Russian Northeastern Federal Security Service border patrol says that the Russian side the pursuit and capture of the Chinese trawlers in Russian maritime territory, that to open fire  was legal, and that a request for prosecution had been made to the Chinese Fishing Ministry. What is the Chinese side’s comment?

有记者问:日前,俄罗斯边防巡逻艇在俄专属经济区向越界捕捞的中国渔船开炮,并在追赶渔船过程中与中方渔船发生碰撞,造成中方1名船员失踪。俄联邦安全局东北边防局称,俄方在俄海域追缉中国渔船时对其开火属合法行为,并已就非法捕捞事对中国渔船船长提起刑事诉讼,中方对此有何评论?

Hong Lei said that China had made representations to the Russian side, concerning one Chinese fisherman going missing in Russian border security authorities’ arrest of Chinese fishermen fishing in the Russian exclusive maritime zone.

洪磊说,俄边防部门抓捕进入俄专属经济区作业的中国渔船造成1名中国船员失踪,中方已就俄边防巡逻艇执法失当向俄方提出交涉。

Hong Lei said that in the next steps, the Chinese side will continue to maintain close communication with the Russian side, and make effots to handle the issue as quickly as possible, and appropriately. The aforementioned incident was an isolated one, and it was believed that the two sides would be able to solve the issue in the spirit of Sino-Russian friendship. It was hoped that the people of the two countries would look at the incident objectively and with cool heads. China was now exploring consultations to establish an emergency and early-warning mechanism with Russia to avoid the occurrence of similar incidents in the future, to avoid [them] affecting the overall picture of friendly relations between the two countries.

洪磊表示,下一步,中方将继续同俄方保持密切沟通,力争尽快妥善处理此事。上述事件是突发的、孤立的事件,相信双方能本着中俄友好的精神加以解决。希望两国民众能客观、冷静地看待这一事件。中方正在研究同俄方协商建立应急预警和合作机制,防止类似事件再次发生,以免影响两国友好关系大局。

The foreign ministry published the same CNS article last night.

So did Huanqiu Shibao; without an opportunity for its readers to comment. On an emoticon board, at the time of writing this post, 58 votes express amazement or shock, 1,402 express anger, 74 express sadness, 21 express joy, and 229 feel that the news is ridiculous.

Two days earlier, on Friday, Huanqiu Shibao had reported that China was dissatisfied (不满) about the shelling, and demanded the release of the fishermen. Chinese vice foreign minister Cheng Guoping (程国平) had expressed this dissatisfaction in an emergency meeting with Russia’s chargé d’affaires in China [apparently Alexander Kozlov]. Russian violent law enforcement (粗暴执法) and use of military force had led to the Chinese crewman going missing.  Chen had demanded that the Russian side should investigate thoroughly, communicate the results to the Chinese side immediately, guarantee the safety of the arrested crews, and treat them in accordance with their legal rights and humanitarian standards. The crews should be released as quickly as possible, and every effort be made to find the missing crewman (合法权益和人道主义待遇,尽快放船放人,全力搜救失踪人员).

Under that article, the commenting function was enabled.

China’s foreign policies are too weak. Even small countries like Vietnam and the Philippines dare to challenge. Of course, Russia doesn’t need to care about China – 中国在对外政策上太过软弱,连越南 菲律宾 这等小国也敢挑衅,俄国当然不会把中国放在眼里,

wrote one commenter, and

Russians are like polar bears – they have no bit of humanity. When interacting with Russia, one shouldn’t regard them as people – 俄罗斯像北极熊,没有一点人性。与俄罗斯打交道,不能把它当作人看待,

suggested another.

But there were efforts to maintain the spirit of friendly relations with Russia, too. Apparently, there had been traitors among the crew who had been bought by America or Japan – [...] 很明显,那些越界捕捞的渔民有被美、日收买利用的嫌疑,或许是被美、日收买利用故意破坏中、朝关系,中、俄关系的特务、汉奸,同时敬请中国渔民自律、自爱,自觉以国家利益为上!不要贪图个人利益而损害国家利  explained a Hidden Star Dragon (伏星龙) who states his birthplace as “Hsinchu, Taiwan Province”.

Huanqiu Shibao is a state-owned paper with a readership which appears to be particularly quick to (nationalist) anger, but Beijing appears to searching for a middle way between the need to maintain friendly reations (or a strategic partnership) with Russia, and to satisfy a nationalist audience at the same time, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP, Hong Kong).

A rather soft statement from the Chinese consulate in Khabarovsk had been posted on the consulate’s website, which basically reflected the Russian side of the story. The consulate also initially stated that noone was reported injured. The Chinese foreign minister confirmed a day later that one fisherman was actually missing, according to the SCMP. This led to vice foreign minister Chen Guoping summoning “a senior Russian diplomat” (apparently Kozlov, see above) on Thursday. FMPRC spokesman Hong Lei’s statement on Saturday evening was only the latest step in the process, and once again a try to de-escalate the issue.

According to Xinhua, the two trawlers hail from Weihai, Shandong Province.

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Related

» Beijing criticizes FSB action, Ria Novosti, July 20, 2012
» China “strongly dissatisfied”, Maritime Connector, July 20, 2012
» Unacceptable, China Daily, July 18, 2012
» Greater Japanese Awareness (including a Huanqiu poll), July 15, 2012
» Hit and Tow, June 10, 2011
» FSB sinks Chinese freighter, Febr 19, 2009

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Huanqiu Online Survey: “Save Euro, but with Strings Attached”

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Merkel's China visit, Huanqiu topical page

Merkel's China visit, Huanqiu topical page

From a Huanqiu Shibao online survey (19:40 GMT):

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1. What is your Position about the Eurozone seeking Chinese Help? (欧元区因深陷债务危机向中国寻求救援,您对中国出资救助是何态度?)

Support Rescue without Conditions 1.0% 244 votes
Support Rescue with Strings Attached 72.7% 18,195 votes
Neutral 2.5% 615 votes
Against Rescue 23.3% 5,840 votes
Not sure 0.6% 145 vote

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2. If China is to help, for which reasons should it do so? – you can give more than one reason  (如果中国要救援欧洲,您觉得救援的理由是什么?- 可多选)

In an environment of global economic integration,
helping the Eurozone also helps China
36.7% 12,989 votes
For confidence in the Eurozone’s economy 5.6% 1,979 votes
It’s a good time for investing in the Eurozone 24.1% 8,521 votes
To show the world the power of China 19.4% 6,855 votes
Other reasons 7.8% 2,747 votes
Not sure 6.4% 2,278 votes

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3. If China helps Europe with strings attached, which conditions do you think should be made? – more than one choice is possible (如果中国有附加条件地救援欧洲,您觉得应附加哪些条件?- 可多选)

Immediately lift the arms embargo 19.2% 19,256 votes
Immediately recognize China’s status
as a market economy
20.1% 20,100 votes
Provide credit guarantees for China 15.2% 15,719 votes
Immediately stop interfering in China’s
internal affairs
15.7% 15,719 votes
Withdrawal of trade restrictions and anti-dumping
cases against China
13.3% 13,359 votes
No interference into China’s relationship with
neighboring countries
14.7% 14,757 votes
Others 1.5% 1,530 votes
Not sure 0.3% 253 votes % votes

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4. What would be your main reasons to oppose Chinese help for Europe? – more than one choice (你认为反对中国救援欧洲的原因是什么 -可多选?)

They should solve their domestic economic
problems; we don’t have the extra strength to
help other countries yet
25.7% 14,771 votes
Europe is able to solve the crisis
by itself
6.7% 3,869 votes
Help from a low-level welfare state for high-
level welfare states makes no sense
23.3% 13,422 votes
Economic help won’t solve the debt crisis 12.9% 7,448 votes
No confidence in Europe overcoming the crisis 6.6% 3,799 votes
Some European countries are no friends, or
against China
21.8% 12,540 votes
Others 1.7% 952 votes
Not sure 1.3% 740 votes

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[...]

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7. How old are you?

[Note: read one year less, as day of birth counts as first birthday in China - JR]

Younger than 18 25.7% 14,771 votes
18 – 29 6.7% 3,869 votes
20 – 29 23.3% 13,422 votes
30 – 39 12.9% 7,448 votes
40 – 49 6.6% 3,799 votes
50 – 59 21.8% 12,540 votes
60 – 69 1.7% 952 votes
70 and older 1.3% 740 votes

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8. Your gender is

male 96.0% 24,026
female 4.0% 1,005

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9. Your educational background is

junior middle school 5.0% 1,241
high school, vocational school 20.0% 4,998
college 25.5% 6,389
under-graduate 37.9% 9,489
master’s degree and above 9.0% 2,258
no reply 2.6% 663

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Related

» 中国网友提“有附加条件”援欧, 环球网, Febr 2, 2012
» Ehrlicher Meinungsaustausch, Bundesregierung, Febr 2, 2012

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Monday, January 2, 2012

UDN Editorial expects Tsai Victory

United Daily News (UDN, 【聯合報), a pan-blue Taiwanese paper, explained in an editorial earlier today why Tsai appears likely to win the presidential elections on January 14. Echo Taiwan translated several paragraphs, republished UDN’s original editorial in full, and added some analysis of his own.

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Related

» If King Ma never Returns, Oct 4, 2011

Related tags: Ma Ying-jeou; Tsai Ing-wen.

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Updates/Related

» Post-Election Prospects for Taiwan’s Short-Term Energy Security, Taihan, Jan 1, 2012

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Taiwan’s Presidential Election Trends, according to the Prediction Future Markets

I’m not sure if Taiwanese opinion polls benefit experienced Taiwanese readers – to someone like me, who is no close observer, most of them seem to be of little use.

Look at those included in the chart underneath, for example. They are all pan-blue sources: the China Times, United Daily News, and Apple Daily. The Apple Daily may not be very China-friendly, but according to Wikipedia Chinese (as of today), they are said to have close connections to president Ma Ying-jeou‘s staff, and Apple Daily’s numbers of December 3 would seem to confirm that.

Opinion Polls, all Pan-Blue Sources, Nov. 16 to Dec. 7, 2011

Opinion Polls, all Pan-Blue Sources, Nov. 16 to Dec. 7, 2011

Yes – 47.04 per cent of the interviewees would vote for Ma Ying-jeou, 36.9 per cent for Tsai Ing-wen, and 12.11 per cent for James Soong Chu-yu, according to Apple Daily, which published a poll completed on December 3 (see Ma’s best number ever in the chart above – if Wikipedia quoted them correctly).

For the numbers included in the chart, and beyond (back to July 1, and including sources other than pan-blue), see “Three-Way Race, Wikipedia”.

Polls seem to be much more part of the “spin-doctoring” in Taiwan, than they are in most European or North American countries. 47.04 per cent for Ma Ying-jeou – not even a distant watcher can take that forecast serious.

Evidence so far suggests that prediction markets are at least as accurate as other institutions predicting the same events with a similar pool of participants, Wikipedia (English) of today suggests.

So there might be alternative sources. And there are prediction markets forecasts for Taiwan’s presidential elections in January, too. Here, the picture is very different: there, Tsai has been more likely to win the elections of the time, ever since October 26, 2011 – the  market forecast is run by the National Chengchi University (國立政治大學). What looks particularly plausible there is that Ma’s chances fell, just as Soong Chu-yu’s were rising. This would seem plausible because Soong’s People-First Party is “bluer” and closer to China than Ma’s KMT, and unlikely to draw support from any other party than the KMT.

The Economist, not necessarily a fan of Tsai Ing-wen, quoted the Chengchi University numbers, too, on November 19:

A prediction market run by National Chengchi University, accurate in the past, says the probability of his winning the election dived from over 59% on October 16th to under 42% on November 14th; Ms Tsai stands at 49%. Opinion polls in the island’s media, which usually leans towards the KMT, also show slumping popularity, though Mr Ma still leads by a few percentage points.

[Update, Dec 13: XFuture and the National Chengchi University prediction markets are basically identical, according to Echo Taiwan]
Echo Taiwan has also turned to a future market for clues (there are links within his paragraph – see there:

Xfuture, the future market website, claimed to be more accurate than most opinion surveys conducted by media in Taiwan, is conducting surveys in the form of stock exchanges for the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. There are 3 contract groups for the president election. I am sharing the timeline of one of them, The Estimate of Vote Percentage (2012總統選舉投票率預測), for all three candidates: Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, DPP), Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九, KMT) and James Soong (宋楚瑜, PFP). The data covers the period from 9/1/2011 to 12/2/2011 for both Tsai and Ma. Soong was not included into this contract group until 11/4/11. At the time of preparing this post (12/2), the data show a profile of Tsai : Ma : Soong = 51.0% : 37.1% : 12.5%.

Here, too, Ma’s rate is falling, as Soong’s is rising.

Echo Taiwan’s post also contains guesses and clues as to which events of the past two months may have led to the shift in Tsai’s favor, plus links to further posts by other bloggers. Just as there, the Economist’s Nov 19 article attributes some cause for Ma’s troubles to events prior to Soong entering the race:

But Mr Ma’s popularity was falling even before Mr Soong’s formal candidacy. He dropped a bombshell on October 17th by saying that he favours signing a peace treaty with China within the next decade, provided the public and parliament supported it. It was the first time that Mr Ma had given a timetable for negotiating such a hugely sensitive issue, and it has whipped up alarm in the media and among a China-wary public. The DPP accuses Mr Ma of steering the island towards unification. Mr Ma later backtracked, suggesting, among other things, that a treaty would need a referendum.

Only to backtrack once again, shortly after that. Ma had apparently become dizzy.

Early in October, political commenter Wong Chong Xia warned the KMT that

Ma Ying-jeou’s support rate never exceeds a ten-percent lead over Tsai Ing-wen, and the pan-green camp’s voting rate has always been stronger than the pan-blue camp’s, and past experience shows that when it is a one-on-one race, and the pan-blue camp’s lead isn’t better than ten per cent, it is the loser when the ballots are counted on election night.

I don’t know if the future markets include reflections of the phenomenon observed by Wong, and I can’t tell Wong’s observation itself is correct – but at the moment, Tsai looks like the more likely winner of next year’s presidential elections.

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Related

» Closing in on the Presidency, Nov 25, 2011

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Updates/Related

» Election Campaign Coverage in China, Taipei Times, Dec 12, 2011
» Presidential Debate, PTS TV / Youtube, Dec 2, 2011

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If King Ma never Returns… it may not be James Soong’s Fault

Wong Chong Xia (黃創夏) isn’t exactly one of DPP presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen‘s biggest fans (at least, that isn’t what the following article , written by him and  published by the China Times on Tuesday, would suggest). The China Times (中國時報) itself is considered to be pan-blue-leaning, even if more moderately so than another pro-KMT paper, the United Daily News.

King Ma, the Confident Campaigner

King Ma, the Confident Campaigner

Given the China Times’ (supposedly) moderately pan-blue background, the following article seems to express a lot of frustration with the way incumbent Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou‘s re-election campaign is conducted – frustration felt by Wong Chong Xia – the author – himself, and possibly the paper’s frustration, too.

The article was apparently first published as a blogpost, and the headline reads Without Soong Chu-yu, Ma Ying-jeou may still Lose (沒有宋楚瑜,馬英九也會輸).

My translation isn’t doing justice to the original, and input to improve it will be welcome.

[Update - December 10, 2011: the China Times link seems to be broken, but the article is still available here.]

[Main Link: http://news.chinatimes.com/realtime/110101/112011100401672.html]

Preface: Can they only act the  “stooge”, can they only go on and on blaming Song Chu-yu (or James Soong), can they only keep comparing themyourselves to Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan’s worst and most corrupt president, to find that they are “not that rotten after all”, and, proud just like “creditors”, arrogantly believe that the voters should “reciprocate for Ma Ying-jeou’s fairness”, and, like useless little boys, complain – the way  Ma Ying-jeou did to his elder sister Ma Yi-nan after the Morakot disaster -, that “good people weren’t rewarded!” ?? These are the essential reasons for Ma Ying-jeou’s self-destruction.

前言:只會當「跟屁蟲」、只會怪宋楚瑜、只會天天拿自己和台灣史上最糟糕與最腐敗的陳水扁「比不爛」、只會天天像「債主」一樣,驕傲地認為選民應該要「還馬英九公道」、只會像個沒用的小男孩,如同莫拉克風災後,馬英九向馬以南大姐抱怨的「哼,好人沒好報!」???這些,才是馬英九「自毀」的基本原因。

Surprise! Tsai Ing-wen’s shadow is already emerging in Japan, but this time round, King Pu-tsung’s inseparable shadow hasn’t yet been spotted there?

奇怪!蔡英文的身影已經在日本出現了,這一回,怎麼沒有看到金溥聰如影隨形的身影?

That’s the way to do things! Six feet tall and stalwart, full of dignity, well-fed and nothing else to do, rushing in the wake of a woman, she turns east, so does he; the woman turns west, so does he, just like another Deng Tuzi, only a prig demonstrating what a strawbag he is.

這樣才對嘛!六尺昂藏、氣宇軒昂的男人,吃飽沒事幹,緊緊追在一個女子的後面,她往東,男子也往東;女子往西,男子也轉向西,這樣的男人,只像一個「登徒子」,只是一個虛有其表的草包。

Facing the 2012 elections, the two Ying camps [Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai (Y)ing-wen]  are without rhyme or reason, the ruling party with all the advantages on its side, should be in a position to remain calm and composed while handling their affairs. As the opposition is in difficulties in all respects, they [the ruling party, KMT] should be firing on all cylinders. But in Taiwan, the winner chooses the loser’s strategy, in hot pursuit on all fronts, as the loser applies the winner’s strategy, handling things with cool heads.

面對二○一二大選,雙英陣營打的莫名其妙,執政的一方掌握一切優勢,本該好整以暇;在野的一方處處艱困,應該全面出擊。偏偏在台灣,贏家用輸家的打法,處處緊追;輸家用贏家的戰法,時時「冷處理」。

This strategy will become a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. When the rulers self-fulfilling prophecy is a “loser’s pattern”, they won’t gain at the others’ [the opposition's] expense, but add to [the opposition's] momentum instead.

這樣的打法,將會變成是一種「自我預言」,當執政一方自我預言是「輸家格局」時,終究討不到便宜,反而拉抬了對手的氣勢。

[...]

Just as it was today! Tsai Ing-wen was the one who looked like the KMT’s “leader” – Tsai gave her opinion, and Ma Ying-jeou “followed right at her bottom”, aping her at every step, like a political Deng Tuzi without convictions of his own. Apart from real hardcore Ma fans, who would still dare to vote for such this a “stooge” without values, who would still vote for Ma Ying-jeou?

如今!蔡英文才比較像是國民黨的「領導者」,蔡英文的意見,馬英九「緊跟蔡英文的屁股後面」,亦步亦趨,只像個沒有信念的「政治登徒子」。除了鐵桿馬迷之外,誰還敢投給這樣一個沒有理念,只是「跟屁蟲」的馬英九?

[...]

More importantly, the pan-blue camp keeps believing that the Soong Chu-yu factor was causing them trouble. Look at the surveys more closely. Ma Ying-jeou’s support rate never exceeds a ten-percent lead over Tsai Ing-wen, and the pan-green camp’s voting rate has always been stronger than the pan-blue camp’s, and past experience shows that when it is a one-on-one race, and the pan-blue camp’s lead isn’t better than ten per cent, it is the loser when the ballots are counted on election night.

更重要的是,泛藍還一直以為是「宋楚瑜因素」在作祟。請詳看諸家民調,馬英九的支持度領先蔡英文都不超過十%,泛綠投票強度一向遠高於泛藍,過去的經驗值,如果一對一競選,泛藍的領先不超過十%,開票那一夜,九成以上是輸家。

Soong Chu-yu isn’t the problem, stupid! Soong is playing a “political werewolf’s” game of schemes and political tricks, acting as the defender of Taiwan’s fruits of democracy – everyone can beat the drum to go on the attack. But even without the Soong factor, Ma Ying-jeou may lose to Tsai Ing-wen, and this is what the “King-Ma command center” should seriously reflect upon.

笨蛋,問題根本不是宋楚瑜!宋楚瑜玩弄選舉,要當一個操弄政治搞權謀與權術的「政治狼人」,為捍衛台灣的民主果實,人人可鳴鼓而攻之。但是,就算沒有宋楚瑜因素,馬英九也可能會輸給蔡英文,才該是「金馬指揮部」該虛心反省之處。

Can the King-Ma command center only act the  “stooge”, can they only go on and on blaming Song Chu-yu (or James Soong), can they only keep comparing themselves to Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan’s worst and most corrupt president, to find that they are “not that rotten after all”, and, proud just like “creditors”, arrogantly believe that the voters should “reciprocate for Ma Ying-jeou’s fairness”, and, like useless little boys, complain – the way  Ma Ying-jeou did to his elder sister Ma Yi-nan after the Morakot disaster -, that “good people weren’t rewarded!” ?? These are the essential reasons for Ma Ying-jeou’s self-destruction.

金馬指揮部只會當「跟屁蟲」、只會怪宋楚瑜、只會天天拿自己和台灣史上最糟糕與最腐敗的陳水扁「比不爛」、只會天天像「債主」一樣,驕傲地認為選民應該要「還馬英九公道」、只會像個沒用的小男孩,如同莫拉克風災後,馬英九向馬以南大姐抱怨的「哼,好人沒好報!」???這些,才是馬英九「自毀」的基本原因。

You people there, smart folks like King Pu-tsung and Ma Ying-jeou, wake up! Let Taiwan see a future with a sense of direction and a sense of responsibility, and you won’t need to remain “Deng Tuzis” behind a woman’s rear, and above all, you won’t need to hide behind Bei-bei Soong’s back where you will only be pitied!

聰明如金溥聰與馬英九,醒醒吧!請讓台灣看到一個「有方向感」與「責任感」的未來,而不要仍是一個跟在婦女背後的「登徒子」,更不要以為躲在「宋杯杯」背後就會被同情!

____________

Related

» Tsai seeks Ally in Japan, VoA, Oct 4, 2011
» Ma no Persian Cat, August 23, 2011
» Wong Chong Xia’s blog, info

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

People’s Daily: “We Do not Blindly Worship GDP”

GDP growth in Beijing and Shanghai municipalities, and Zhejiang province, has slowed down considerably, People’s Daily online (人民日报网) reported on Wednesday. At comparable prices, Shanghai’s GDP grew by 8.4 per cent during the first half year, less than during the first half of 2010. Beijing’s GDP growth was at eight per cent, and therefore trailing all other provinces and municipalities. Zhejiang province was still at 9.9 per cent (and thus above the national average of 9.6 per cent), but compared to the 13 per cent of last year’s first half, that had also been a slowdown.

People's Daily Online Top Headline

People's Daily Online Top Headline

Beijing Bureau of Statistics director Su Hui (苏辉) is quoted as saying that control of the car market, property market adjustments, and  the relocation of Beijing Shougang Group’s plants to Hebei Province had come at the cost of 1.8 percentage points of growth, which was quite in line with similar numbers elsewhere in the country. That Beijing lagged behind was therefore the result of the choice of transformed development and readjustment of the three economic sectors (北京转变发展方式,调整产业结构的抉择). Given that Beijing was a big city, more demands had to be made to comprehensive, coordinated and sustained development. Beijing had resolutely abandoned the commanding role of GDP (北京坚决放弃GDP挂帅) in its policies.

Similar remarks are made (or quoted) by People’s Daily when it comes to Shanghai, and to Zhejiang province. In addition, People’s Daily quotes Zhejiang University Social Studies director Shi Jinchuan (史晋川) as citing resource shortages, tightened monetary policies, the pressures of rising labor costs – besides the transformation policies in place.

That, however, was only true for China’s eastern provinces and municipalities, writes People’s Daily.

These reporters learned from Chongqing Municipal Development and Reform Commission that quarter on quarter, the development of Chongqing’s economy has accelerated. During the first half of the year, it grew by 16.5 per cent, thus ranking second nationwide, and third according to other economic indicators. Notebook production and the cloud computing trade were among the top-three nationwide, and automotive, equipment, chemical and pharmaceutical industries both upgraded and developed rapidly.

Guizhou province and Inner Mongolia are cited as further examples where economic growth exceeded the national average. Given that more than five million people in Guizhou were still poor, accelerated development was a necessity, People’s Daily quotes Guizhou Provincial Development and Reform Commission’s director Zhang Meijun’s (张美钧) candid talk (坦言). All the same, Inner Mongolia was reporting successes in adjusting the industrial structures, according to People’s Daily. And while the poorer provinces and territories were focusing on growth, science and quality were picking up in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Tianjin, and Jiangsu province.

An author or editor of a related survey, the Chinese Academy of Sciences sustainable development research group‘s (中科院可持续发展战略研究组) Niu Wenyuan (牛文元) is quoted as saying that “we do not blindly worship GDP, but we are not blindly abandoning it either” (我们不盲目崇拜GDP,我们也不盲目抛弃GDP).

The growth numbers aren’t brandnew – Tianjin published its first-half-year statistics on July 20th, with a respectful time lag behind the National Bureau of Statistics, which explained the national first-half-year data on a press conference on July 13. The People’s Daily article should be read as a reaction to criticism that China’s development came at the cost of safety, after the Wenzhou bullet-train crash. Coverage on the latter issue, let alone investigative journalism, were reportedly banned by a propaganda department directive last Friday.

The article is People’s Daily’s top headline on Wednesday and reads How to View Beijing’s,Shanghai’s and Zhejiang’s Bottom-Three (or “reverse top-three”) First-Half Year GDP Growth Numbers (如何看待京沪浙上半年GDP增速全国倒数前三).

____________

Related

» People’s Daily on Politics in the Age of the Microblog, CMP, August 2, 2011

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Voice of America Mandarin Budget: “Keep Shortwave, for Now”

Cut spending, don’t raise taxes, America’s Republican Party keeps arguing. Not that history suggests that Republicans would act accordingly in practise, but it sounds so beautifully housewifely. Those folks understand how thinks work in real life, the classical Sarah Palin fan (usually herself a housewife, with a hard fiber hairdo and a squinched face underneath) will feel.

America's Space Shuttle Program, featured on a VoA QSL Card of 1986

America's Space Shuttle Program, featured on a VoA QSL Card of 1986

In past budget cut deals, Ronald Reagan preferred raising taxes over budget cuts, as Economist data is showing. George Bush senior on the other hand chose a mix where cuts exceeded tax increases, but by a modest ratio, compared with both Bill Clinton‘s in 1993/97, and Barack Obama‘s proposals this year. Both the past and present Democrat incumbents presided over budget reforms where spending cuts outweighed tax increases by far.

But then, it all depends on where you cut.

Obama cuts off VoA funding for China; gives it to NPR,

Ed Lasky wrote in a post for the American Thinker, in February. The VoA’s (Voice of America) shift from shortwave radio to digital media

is wrongheaded on many levels. The internet is quite easy to filter or just cut off.  Plus, many people in remote areas lack access to the internet,

Lasky wrote. Which might be as true as it reads, if the Chinese Communist Party’s approach in pursuing their agenda was about as fiery as Ed Lasky’s in pursuing his. Internet filtering in China is effective in many cases indeed, and besides, by far not every Chinese internet user even knows the basics about “surfing”. Try and open a browser in an “illegal”, i. e. unregistered internet café, and in about every second case, the address bar’s history is going to display quite a number of rather unimaginative porn searchwords which were entered by a previous user, rather than actual urls.

But you can be pretty sure that things would need to become very serious before the Chinese government would just cut off the internet – VoA wouldn’t be “good” enough for that much trouble. China is no banana economy, and cutting off the internet would come at a cost even the CCP needs to avoid.

Either way – the VoA’s Mandarin service’s radio broadcasts may not be exactly as dead as first reported. A bill by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Republican) reserves US$13.76 million from the total budget for government-sponsored broadcasting next year to be strictly used for Mandarin and Cantonese radio and TV broadcasts, the Taipei Times reported on Sunday. It’s only a small step into preserving the radio and tv broadcasts, the Taipei Times’ article points out. And obviously, the VoA’s Madarin service’s future will remain part of the general budget struggles between the administration on the one hand, and the House of Representatives, and the Senate, on the other.

But this is a situation where I feel that Rohrabacher – quite a reactionary in my view – has  a point.

The Chinese people are our greatest allies, and the free flow of information is our greatest weapon,

he was quoted by the Washington Times in February. And matters of taste, style, and the (implicit, but blanket, I believe) allegation against the Obama administration aside, he also has a point in saying that

This is another alarming sign that America is cowering before China’s gangster regime.

America isn’t cowering to Beijing, but the sign was still understood that way by the Global Times at the time – there was apparently no difference in how Beijing and Rohrabacher perceived the cuts. The Global Times, an English-language CCP mouthpiece, wrote in February that cuts at the BBC‘s and VoA’s Mandarin services demonstrated

a blow to the ideological campaign that certain countries have waged for over half a century. In addition to competition from other media, they were being marginalized due to their biased and unprofessional reporting [original Global Times link apparently no longer valid - http://en.huanqiu.com/opinion/observer/2011-02/623814.html%5D.*)

Every China expert is prepared to give you lessons in how to get your message across in China, when it comes to business. But in the VoA’s case, you’d better turn to Rohrabacher for advice. The VoA has been a tradition in Chinese since 1942, and cuts in a field where China is only beginning its own efforts seem to suggest that efforts to offer the Chinese public a foreign perspective have been abandoned.

That said, Rohrabacher’s and many other stakeholders’ or observers’ advocacy would come across as more credible if they sounded somewhat less sectarian. It is true that the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) decision to turn the Voice digital sent the wrong signal. It is also true that it would signal weakness, given the views of the target audience. But to suggest that America  was therefore indeed cowering before China’s gangster regime doesn’t hold water.

The Taipei Times also makes a good point, but shreds some of it again, right away, with a hyperbolic assertion. The New-York based media research organization which conducted the VoA audience research in China, prior to the BGG’s decision to shut shortwave down, then relied on contractors in Beijing to conduct the survey, the paper points out. Doubts about the accuracy of research under these conditions  therefore seem to be in order – but not because of

the prospect of punishment facing anyone in China who admits to listening to VOA broadcasts.

People may get punished for a lot of things in China, even if their behavior would usually be considered completely legal, and even by Chinese authorities. But punishment for listening to the Voice of America is one of the less likely breaches of China’s own law.

In an article for the Public Diplomacy Council (PDC), Kim Andrew Elliott, an expert, if you like, recommends:

Keep shortwave, for now. The BBG is correct that shortwave radio ownership and listening rates are very small in China. Even domestic FM and AM radio has been much less popular than television in the country. Nevertheless, because of the high cost of shortwave transmission, and the unpopularity of shortwave in China, there is incentive for a premature declaration of victory in internet censorship circumvention efforts. Shortwave arguably remains the medium most resistant to interdiction. It is the only medium with a physical resistance to jamming, because radio waves at shortwave frequencies often propagate better over long than short distances. When an objective, independent assessment determines that average internet users in China can conveniently work around government censorship, the shortwave transmitters can be turned off.

I don’t agree that shortwave radio ownership and listening rates would be small in China, and I’m getting the feeling that all the assessments to this direction are based on surveying a rather well-off and well-connected Chinese middle class only. But on all other points he makes, Elliott is most probably right. And he argues in a rational, rather than in an ideology-driven way. He actually thinks about the listeners.

There is a list of twelve recommendations in his article, and each of them is in itself a recommendable read.

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Update / Related

» China Radio International: Confucius’ Pavilion of Acid Pleasure, Comment, July 24, 2011

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Update / Note

*) New link: Global Times now, rather than Huanqiu English: http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/observer/2011-02/623814.html

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