Posts tagged ‘farming’

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Siege of Wukan: If you can’t govern a village, how can you govern what is Under Heaven?

Wukan (乌坎) may best be translated as “Black Ridge”, and it is a fishing village in the vicinity and administrative area of Lufeng City (陆丰市), a county-level city in the Shanwei municipal region (汕尾), Guangdong Province. After months of tensions about land requisitions, protests starting in September this year led to the Communist cadres and administration fleeing Wukan.

The village was then stormed by riot police, according to the Daily Telegraph, after which the officials switched from stick to carrot, asking the villagers to appoint 13 representatives with whom they could negotiate – only to seize and arrest five of them on December 9. On December 12, news broke that Xue Jinbo (薛锦波), one of the five arrested, had died in police custody. His body reportedly showed signs of torture. Since December 11, the village has been under siege, without food, water, and electricity, after police had made an unsuccessful attempt early in the morning to recapture the village.

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) quotes from an Oriental Daily News (東方日報, Hong Kong) article of Friday (today) which gives an account of the events from September until now.  At the beginning, the “Wukan incident” had been just another matter of corruption, according to the article, where proper handling by the authorities could have won the villagers’ hearts and minds back. But nothing had been done about the corrupt officials, and instead, foreign hostile forces (境外敌对势力介入) were used as an excuse to explain why the situation deteriorated and finally went out of control. This had triggered the wrath of Heaven and the resentment of men (天怒人怨 – i. e. strong resentment). RTI quotes Oriental Daily as asking if the authorities, the current Wukan incident, are focusing on serving the people, or on serving corrupt officials – and with a question which would be damning even in a European country, but particularly in the celestial kingdom:

When it comes to Wang Yang (汪洋, Guangdong Province’s party secretary), “if it is difficult to rule a village, how can you rule over what’s under heaven?” (“一村尚且难治,又何以治天下?”)

RTI’s article is written in simplified characters, for the benefit of potential Chinese readers (if they can get over the firewall). In turn,‘s Taiwanese website informed its Taiwanese readers on Thursday that according to the BBC, China had started to block microblog information on Wu Kan, which had led to internet users writing “WK” instead of the Chinese characters for Wukan.

Update [September 6, 2012]: the Sina article linked above has since been removed. See the two screenshots below for the original article:

online article, 1

online article, 1

online article, part 2

online article, 2

The siege of Wukan includes the villages fleet of fishing boats, according to the BBC report quoted by (Taiwan). The BBC in turn is quoted as quoting a Daily Telegraph reporter [Malcom Moore, apparently – see Daily-Telegraph link in this post’s second paragraph] who had visited the village, and who had said that twenty-thousand people in Wukan were in open resistance, and that the authorities were completely out of control. (Taiwan) also quotes China News Service (中新社), China’s second-largest news agency. China News Service quotes Shanwei’s acting mayor, as saying that the legitimate demands of the people had already been resolved, or were in the process of being resolved.

It remains to be seen if this means that the people of Wukan will be starved into submission, and a crackdown will start right away, beginning with the surviving twelve village negotiators who once dared to stick their necks out, or if the authorities will choose to serve the people (as the Oriental Daily puts it), rather than avenging their official’s humiliation. (They may also choose to take the earlier approach first, and the second approach later, once national and international attention has abated.)



» Scalpel gives Way to Hatchet, Sinostand, Dec 16, 2011
» Blocked List, Things You Don’t Know, Dec 14, 2011


Updates / Related

» The Foreign-Devils Pact, Malcolm Moore, Dec 15, 2011


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

17th Central Committee’s “Culture Document” – 9: Arranging the Classical Records

This is the 5th chapter of the CCP central committee’s “cultural decision”.  The 4th chapter’s last paragraphs’ translations or explanations can be found here.

Main Link:

5) Exerting Great Efforts to Development of Non-Profit Cultural Causes, Safeguarding the People’s Fundamental Cultural Rights


To meet the people’s fundamental cultural needs is the fundamental task of socialist cultural construction. It is necessary to maintain governmental guidance, and to strengthen the building of a basic cultural infrastructure, to perfect a public cultural network, to let the broad masses enjoy basic public cultural services in accordance with the criteria of non-profitability, fundamentality, impartiality, and convenience, at no costs or or at favorable prices.


a) Build a public cultural service system. Strengthen the role of public cultural service as the materialization of the people’s fundamental cultural rights. It is necessary to perfect a functional, practical and highly efficient cultural service system which covers the cities and the countryside, with public finances as support, non-profitability as the backbone, the entire people as the object of this service, and by safeguarding that the people and the public watch television, listen to the radio, read books and newspapers, conduct appraisals of these, and have a share in public cultural activities and similar fundamental cultural rights. Process regular budgets for major cultural products and service projects and non-profit cultural activities. Take measures for government procurement, project subsidies, directional [or directed] sponsorship, loans, tax deduction and similar policies to encourage all kinds of cultural enterprises to participate in public cultural service. Encourage the gratuitous use of state-invested, subsidized or copyrighted cultural products within the public cultural system. Strengthen the construction of cultural centers, museums, libraries, art galleries, science museums, memorial halls, workers’ cultural palaces, youth palaces, and similar infrastructure and patriotic-educational model bases, and perfect cultural service open and free for society, encourage other state-owned cultural units educational institutions etc. to carry out non-profit cultural activites, and provide facilities for mass activities in public places. Comprehensively plan and build a cultural infrastructure on a basic level, equally emphasize project planning, construction and management, apply resource integration, and joint construction and use. Strengthen neighborhood and public cultural infrastructure, include neighborhood cultural centers’ construction in urban and rural planning and design, and broaden investment channels. Perfect cultural service infrastructure for women, minors, the elderly, and the handicapped. Guide and encourage forces within society to provide facilities and other forms of participation in public cultural service, by setting up entities, by project funding, and sponsorship. Promote the creation of national cultural service system model areas. Establish index systems for the public cultural service systems and methods to measure their achievements.


b) Developing a Modern Mass Media System. To improve the energy and influence of socialist advanced culture, it is necessary to accelerate the development a dissemination system with advanced technology, efficient transmission, and broad coverage. Party newspapers and journals, news agencies, radio and television stations, and important publishing houses must be strengthened; editorial, distribution, and dissemination systems continuously be perfected; and digitization and expansion of effective coverage be accelerated. The building of international dissemination must be strengthened, first-class international media be created, the rate of own news material, of news first published, and effective news1) must be increased. Create a unified, jointly active, safe and reliable national emergency broadcasting system. Perfect the building of a national digital library. Integrate cable television networks, and build a television network company on the national level. Promote the integration of communication networks, broadcasting networks, and the internet, the building of an integrated broadcasting control platform, a pattern of innovative business, bring all sorts of information network facilities into a function of cultural dissemination, and achieve connected, interflowing, orderly operations.


c) To establish a transmission system for superior traditional culture. Superior traditional culture condenses the Chinese nation’s restless strife and the spiritual richness of long-standing renewal is the solid foundation of developing the advanced socialist culture, and an important sustenance for the building of the Chinese nation’s common spiritual home. It is necessary to know the motherlands traditional culture, to remove what is useless, to make old things work in our times [or to put the past at the service of the present], to make it newly helpful in development, with equal emphasis on maintaining and protecting what is useful, and on its popularization. [It is necessary to] strengthen the excavation and elucidation of traditional cultural ideological values, to maintain the fundamental elements of national culture, and to let superior traditional culture become the people’s inspiration on their road forward to spiritual strength. Strengthen the arrangement and publication of cultural classics, and promote the digitization of the classical resources. Strengthen the country’s important cultural and natural heritage, the units in charge of protecting major cultural objects, the maintenance and restoration of famous historical cities, towns, and villages, and the transmission of immaterial cultural heritage. Unearth traditional popular festivals’ contents, and broaden the development of superior traditional education’s popularization. Bring into play the fundamental function of popular education in the innovation of cultural dissemination, improve the contents of lessons in superior traditional culture, and improve the establishment of teaching and training bases for superior traditional culture. Vigorously promote and regulate the use of a common state language and and written characters, scientifically protect every nationality’s lettering. Enable the prosperous development of the cause of national minorities’ culture, carry out the work of protecting the national minorities’ cultural peculiarities, strengthen party newspapers and party magazines in the language of the national minorities, radio and television programs, publications and translations. Strengthen cultural exchanges and cooperation with Hong Kong and Macau, and all kinds of cultural exchange with Taiwan, to unfold Chinese splendid2) culture together.


d) Speed up a united urban-rural cultural development. Add to the quantity of cultural services in the countryside, reduce the gap between urban and rural cultural development – to build a new pattern of united [or concerted] cultural development between the cities and the countryside is of major significance for the advancement of the new socialist countryside. With the countryside and the China’s western regions as key areas, the building of county-level cultural palaces and libraries, combined township cultural stations, rural cultural rooms must be strengthened, rural infrastructure must be deepened in terms of radio and television broadcasts, shared use of cultural information resources, rural film screenings, farming book rooms and other cultural projects which are beneficial for the people, with broadened coverage, and the elimination of blind spots, increased standards, perfected service, and improved management. Support and assistance for cultural services in old liberated areas [or early revolutionary base areas, 革命老区], national minority areas and poor areas must be intensified. The entire people’s reading, sports, and cultural scientific hygiene sanxiaxiang3) must be deepened and promoted, and scientific and educational writing styles, law and hygiene, the “Four Communities” (四进社区), giving pleasure to the grassroots and other activities must become regular.  Companies, communities [or neighborhoods] must be lead to carry out activities beneficial to migrant workers, and migrant workers be in the best possible ways be integrated into the urban cultural service systems. Joint mechanisms between the cities and their rural hinterlands must be established, cultural resources be allocated between cities and the countryside in a reasonable way, cities be encouraged to support the countryside, and helping the countryside must become a fundamental indicator of a city’s civilizational level. Cultural units must be encouraged to provide mobile services, network services, media be encouraged to arrange publication and frequency supply in the countryside, and the work of having party papers and magazines be subscribed and read for free at the rural grassroots levels. Cultural enterprise must be supported in building chains of cultural networks at the grassroots and in the countryside, cinema chains be promoted, and performing arts be extended into cities and counties, and performing artists be supported in going deep into the grassroots and the countryside to perform. Special funds are to be established at the central, provincial and municipal levels, and the allocation of certain amounts of centrally-provided funding to the building of culture in [rural] towns and villages be guaranteed.




1) This is about Chinese international media (such as China Radio International, CNTV, etc.) should begin to set the global news agenda, with news which a) hasn’t been published elsewhere before, and b) actually catches international interest. The intention probably is to make not only such media’s newscasts internationally relevant, but their editorials, too.

2) Just as in the previous lines, when translated as “superior”, the adjective used in the document is 优秀 (yōuxiù). However, I chose “splendid” as a translation here, because the intended meaning of “superior” isn’t necessarily “superior to other cultures”.  A discussion of what yōuxiù usually stands for might be useful here.

3) san xia xiang refers to the three activities mentioned above, and seem to involve stays by college students or graduates in the countryside to “spread science” there, especially in these three fields.



» Propaganda will Set You Free, Aug 9, 2009


Continued here »

Thursday, October 6, 2011

UDN / CNA: “Su Jia-chyuan Reminds us of Chen Shui-bian”

DPP’s vice presidential nominee Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is accused of having declared a mansion a farmhouse, so as to use agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.

United Daily News (聯合新聞網, UDN) and the China Times (中時電子報),  both KMT-leaning, carried the story on Thursday. Excerpts from the UDN article are available in English, on the official Central News Agency‘s (CNA) website. UDN comes across as more vocal than the China Times – “Su Jia-chyuan reminds us of Chen Shui-bian”, says UDN. This appears to be over-egged when considering that many of the charges against former DPP president Chen Shui-bian after his presidency were criminal charges, while those against Su Jia-chyuan may just amount to a regulatory offense, or maybe not even that. But then, only Su’s pattern of defending himself “reminds us”, i. e. UDN, of Chen Shui-bian, anyway.

The China Times, on the other hand, compares Su with Chen Shui-bian’s predecessor, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝, KMT chairman during his presidency, and a KMT member until some time after his last term as president). Lee is praised by the China Times for his steadfastness in defending farmland against legislators who wanted restrictions on land sales to be relaxed, back in 1998. Lee had backed government offices which opposed the motion, even if with limited or without success, the China Times seems to suggest.

“Limited farmland sales” became legal “under certain conditions”, in September 1998.

Defending the liberalization measures at the time, president Lee, himself an agricultural economist and former cabinet minister without portfolio, responsible for agriculture, called for reserving the remaining arable land for agricultural development which should follow the example of the Netherlands.

Land ownership, landuse rights and land seizures have remained a controversial issues in Taiwan. Only in July this year,

Hundreds of angry Taiwanese farmers staged a protest in Taipei overnight, demanding the government abandon proposals that would make it easier for their land to be forcibly turned over to developers,

reported AFP.

In that light, the allegations  against Su Jia-chyuan must be welcome news for the KMT headquarters. If they are going to evaporate or if they will pose a threat to his popularity remains to be seen. The China Times’ headline, too, is pregnant with election campaign issues – “Su Jia-chyuan doesn’t live up to Lee Teng-hui” (苏嘉全对不起李登辉), it reads.

Lee, no longer a KMT member, but now leader of a rather pan-green (i. e. opposition) party, was charged with embezzlement in summer this year, and his trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 21.

Meantime, Tsai Ing-wen, DPP chairwoman and her party’s presidential candidate, has returned from a visit to Japan where she was “slighted” by Taiwan’s representative in Tokyo, John Feng (馮寄台), who picked up his wife at the airport instead – reportedly thirty minutes before Tsai’s arrival there.



» If King Ma Loses…, October 4, 2011


Friday, August 5, 2011

Obituary: Luke Kanyomeka, 1960 – 2011

Professor Luke Kanyomeka, an agronomist, was a Zambian national, but taught and researched at the University of Namibia, where he was the deputy dean of the faculty agriculture and natural resources at Ogongo. He was best known for his leading role in a project to grow rice in in Kalimbeza, Caprivi, Namibia, a region which borders both on Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Production in Kalimbeza reached commercial stage in 2008/2009, and is hoped to make Namibia less dependent on, if not independent of, rice imports, from countries like South Africa. Much of the project was modeled after Indonesian rice production.

Kanyomeka was Zambia’s Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) National Assembly candidate in elections scheduled for September 20 this year, for Nangoma Constituency in Zambia’s Central Province.

He died on July 22, in a hospital in Windhoek.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Taiwan Survey: 50.5 Per Cent Expect Peace Agreement with China, if Ma is Reelected

32.3 per cent of respondents to a regular Global Views Research Center (GVRC) survey , published on July 20, approve of Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, while 55.1 per cent disapprove.
Public trust was at 40.2 per cent, while 43.5 per cent gave a negative evaluation.

Compared to the June 20 data, Ma’s approval rating has gone down by 2.0 per cent, and public trust by 0.6 per cent. In June, Ma’s approval rate had risen by o.4 per cent, and public trust in him had gone down by 1.2 per cent.

More worryingly for the Ma administration, the July numbers seem to suggest that more people than in June have made up their mind now, and mostly to Ma’s disadvantage. His support rate fell from 41.2 per cent (June) to 37.3 per cent (July), only 0.1 per cent ahead of DPP presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen, whose support rate rose from 36.3 (June) to 37.2 per cent (July). Both the ruling and opposition camps have been plagued by negative developments over the past several months, Focus Taiwan quotes the GVRC’s director Tai Li-An, with controversy surrounding the DPP’s legislators-at-large roster and factional strife [..] also posing challenges to Tsai’s presidential bid, and recent farmers’ protests over the Ma administration’s land expropriation policy and glut-driven slumps in some farm produce prices, as well as squabbles between the KMT and its allies such as the People First Party and the New Party affecting Ma’s support rate.

In terms of foreign policy, the most striking issue quoted by Focus Taiwan is that 50.5 per cent of respondents believe that Ma would sign a peace agreement with China, while only 35.6 per cent expected the two sides to move toward unification. Numbers like these, which seem to expect peace and a continuing status quo at the same time, would suggest that Ma is expected to deliver almost ideal results in cross-straits relations. But then, domestic issues are apparently the correspondents’ main concerns.

Tsai Ing-wen was campaigning in Taichung on Thursday.



Ma, Tsai neck and neck, Taipei Times, July 22, 2011
“No Agricultural Development”, Taipei Times, July 22, 2011


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pig Prices drive Inflation, despite Strategic Pork Reserve

Kungfu, Bremen-Hemelingen

Kungfu, Bremen-Hemelingen

On July 12, Wen Jiabao presided over a regular state council meeting which explored, decided and advanced political measures for sustained and healthy development of pork meat production. Wen had previously made inquiries about pork sales in Benxi (本溪), Liaoning province, on July 3; visited farms and supermarkets in Xianyang (咸阳市), Shaanxi province on July 9 for pork production research, and the July 12 state council meeting was therefore the third time within a fortnight that Wen had shown concern for the people’s livelihood in this regard, reports China National Radio (CNR).

According to the Financial Times, pork prices rose by 57 per cent in the past year.

Given the prominent role pork meat plays in the Chinese diet, the Chinese government established a strategic frozen pork reserve after Chinese farmers had to slaughter millions of pigs in 2008, after an outbreak of “blue-ear pig” disease which drove China’s inflation rate to its highest level in a decade, according to an NPR report in April.


» You name the Problem, the CCP solves it, February 15, 2011


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Press Review: National Bureau of Statistics Press Conference

On a national bureau of statistics press conference on Wednesday morning, bureau spokesman and national economy statistics division director Sheng Laiyun (盛来运) described the economy’s development of the first half year of 2011, and answered reporters’ questions. During the first half year, facing a complicated and volatile situation internationally, and new situations and new problems domestically, the party center and state council actively implemented financial policies and moderating (稳健) monetary policies, and continuously strengthened macro-economic control. The general economic situation was fine, and generally moving into the desired direction.

According to preliminary estimates, GDP grew by 20,446 bn Yuan RMB, which would be 9.6 per cent at comparable prices, with growth at 9.7 per cent during the first quarter, and 9.5 per cent during the second quarter. By sectors, the primary sector grew by 1,570 bn Yuan RMB or 3.2 per cent; the secondary sector grew by 10,217 bn Yuan or 11 per cent; the service sector grew by  8,658 bn Yuan or 2.2 per cent.

People’s Daily, July 13, 2011, 2.08 GMT

On Wednesday morning, bureau spokesman and national economy statistics division director Sheng Laiyun (盛来运) described the economy’s development of the first half year of 2011, and answered reporters’ questions. He said that during the first half year, the consumer price index (CPI, 居民消费价格总水平) rose by 5.4 per cent; and the producer price index (PPP, 工业生产出厂价格) rose by 7.0 per cent.

According to national bureau of statistics numbers, food prices rose by 11.8 per cent during the first half of the year, while non-food prices rose by 2.7 per cent. The consumer price index rose by 5.2 per cent in the urban, and by 5.9 per cent in rural areas.

By categories, housing prices rose by 6.3 per cent; healthcare costs and convenience goods by 3.2 per cent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products by 2.3 per cent, household appliances and products and repair services costs by 2.0 per cent, clothing by 1 per cent, pasttime and educational products and services by 0.6 per cent, and transport and communication costs by 0.3 per cent.

People’s Daily, July 13, 3.16 GMT

[…] The growth figures underlined the resilience of the world’s second-largest economy, thanks to the country’s rapid urbanization, and could soothe investor concerns about an abrupt slowdown that would dent demand for global commodities. […]

Reuters, July 13, 2011, 4.37 GMT

[…] Sheng Laiyun said that during the first half of this year, real estate investment grew rather fast, with investment at  2,625 bn Yuan RMB, or an increase by 32,9 per cent. […]

People’s Daily, July 13, 2.08 GMT

[…] Raising the interest rates is conducive to correcting the state of negative interest rates. China’s economy entered a sustained state of negative interest rates along with the rising CPI since February 2010. Household savings have withdrawn from the banking system because it is difficult for household savings to keep value and rise in value. This has further increased inflationary pressures. […]

People’s Daily (English), July 9, 2011 (referring to interest rates raised by the central bank, earlier that week)


» Land Use Supervision, July 12, 2011
» Quarterly GDP Growth Rates (Explanation), ECB


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Observations

bluebottles et al

bluebottles et al

Days are growing shorter, and it’s mostly dry again. An old neighboring couple with a lot of patience is bringing up a young swallow which fell from the nest, with lots of flies (we’ve contributed some, too), and some meat, cut into small pieces. Just like many other birds, swallows ornery take a few steps back, before shitting on the table, or on someone’s neck.

It’s going to be full moon, soon.

German television can’t be put on par with the internet. The internet can’t be put on par with nature. Just a bottle of beer and one schnapps can make you dizzy if you haven’t had any for weeks.

Womens’ soccer can’t be put on par with mens’ soccer. The combine harvesters have taken to the fields, to get started with winter barley.

Once in a while, I won’t know the day of the week right away. The summer vacations are here.

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