Archive for December 31st, 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: More Martyrs, more Permanent Residents

China’s laws and regulations can often be confusing, writes China Daily. There are several small changes to laws regulating security guards. If one dies on duty, they will be honored with the official title of martyr, usually reserved for those the government says have died for justice. Second, security guards are banned from performing body searches or using violence.

A regulation that may change more peoples’ lives and status is Guangdong’s Provincial Service Management Regulation on Migrant Population (广东省流动人口服务管理条例), which comes into effect all over the province on January 1, after it had been tested in Shenzhen for a year. Tens of millions may bid their current transitional status in Guangdong goodbye and become permanent residents, writes Southern Metropolis Daily (南方都市报). The kind act (善举) doesn’t yet amount to a household registration reform (户籍改革), but is a step into the ideal direction, believes the paper, as it indicated the provincial government’s changing concept.

51 years ago, New China stipulated the policy that citizens who temporarily live in a city outside their regular city or district for more than three days had to carry out temporary residence registration. In 1985, given a strong current of work migration into Guangdong in the wake of the reform policies, the public security office (公安部) issued the Interim Provisions on the Management of Temporary Urban Residency (关于城镇暂住人口管理的暂行规定). The status of migrant workers was that of temporary residence. They weren’t included in the province’s GDP statistics, and they had no entitlement to governmental services. Outsiders also criticized the temporary residence permit (暂住证) as a money machine (敛财的工具) for some departments, as some cities charged several hundred Yuan RMB per temporary residence permit, and another Defense of Law and Order fee of 158 Yuan RMB was charged in Guangzhou in 2001.

The Southern Metropolis Daily suggests that the case of Sun Zhigang (孫志剛) in 2003 helped to speed up the reform of temporary residence in Guangdong. The Southern Metropolis Daily doesn’t go into details, and doesn’t mention its own role in investigating Sun Zhigang’s case (which apparently led to massive revenge by the local authorities against its editors Cheng Yizhong and Yu Huafeng).

During the new regulations’ test period in Shenzhen, Professor Zheng Xinzhen (郑梓桢), head of the Guangdong Provincial Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Sociology and Demographic Studies, said that permanent residence was a rational reform, but only a beginning, and its bonus could be applied more broadly.

Southern Metropolis Daily also addresses the question if Guangdong Province has the financial resources to live up to the new regulation’s promises. The article believes that as the first ground for the reform policies, with the highest incomes in China, Guangdong should be able to afford education to the migrants children, and make them a force in building the province. Besides, without proper education, the new generation after the initial migrants could become destabilizing factors.

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Related:
Household Registration System – a Personal Opinion, September 11, 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

JR´s Little (German) Press Review

The European Union and the United States must do more to support those countries which suffer most from climate change and added least to it, writes Dorothea Steiner in the Green Party´s gazette Schrägstrich of December 2009. Globally, the need for combatting global warming is estimated to be 100 billion Euros from 2020, she writes.

It is absurd to build walls and fences against “boat people” who have lost their livelihood to climate change, rather than supporting their countries in coping with the consequences of climate change for their societies. […] More than “two degrees plus” hurt us all. Latest scientific calculations show that from now to 2050, we can only emit 750 billion tons more of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if we want to keep global warming at less than an additional two degrees. Any further rise is said to be neither technically nor financially controllable.

It’s not too late to build a dyke

To learn from the Netherlands means to learn victory

In the long run, our carbon dioxide emissions needed to be reduced by 80 per cent, according to Steiner. The surprising bit: what Steiner, herself one of the two chairwomen of Lower Saxony´s Green Party, doesn´t demand much more than the older political parties, or the EU, or – in terms of money needed to be pledged to poor countries to cope with global warming – not all that far from Hilary Clinton´s qualified offer in Copenhagen. Ms Steiner does however remind her readers that the German government must tell the citizens in detail how they will need to help to achieve the stated goals.

Giesbert Wiltfang, a dykemaster in Krummhörn, Ostfriesland, is not so worried, reports the Ostfriesen-Zeitung (East Frisian Times) of Tuesday. Wiltfang refers to the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defence and Nature Conservation Agency´s data: the  agency´s tide gauge on Norderney has recorded no tidal rise in addition to the 25 centimeters per century which had long been known. Therefore, the sea level was certainly rising, but its rise wasn´t accelerating. Wiltfang doesn´t want to play the issue down, but carbon dioxide wasn´t simply poisonous: “After all, the flora needs carbon dioxide. One shouldn´t vilify it.” East Frisians had little to fear from rising temperatures: “After all, we are profiting from it – tourism, farming, lower heating costs. When lowlands (like the Netherlands or Ostfriesland) are threatened, “they must build dykes”.

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