Posts tagged ‘subsidies’

Monday, March 27, 2017

Populism in China (1): The Downfall of Bo Xilai

There is no Weltinnenpolitik yet, but there are cross-civilizational trends.

The City of Red Songs

There would be no second chance. Gerhard Schröder, former chancellor of Germany, was in a hurry in June 2011, on the sidelines of a forum in southwestern China’s metropolis of Chongqing. He was therefore lacking the time to attend one of the red-song nights that were customary there. But he still pleased his interlocutors with a German proverb: Where people sing, you can settle down – wicked people sing no songs.

In full, the red-songs custom advocated by Chongqing’s party chief Bo Xilai was Singing revolutionary songs, Reading classic books, telling stories and spreading mottos. There would be nine more months of that before Bo Xilai was toppled by his CCP comrades.

A Hudong article explained the activity at the time. It was a mass concept, started in Chongqing in 2008, which was greeted with enthusiasm there, and elsewhere in China. The concept wasn’t outdated, because

if a country and a nation have no correct thought and advanced culture, it will lose its backbone. The current deep changes of the economic system, the structure of society, and the profound adjustment of interest patterns must be reflected in the ideological field. There is diversity in peoples’ minds, and although the mainstream is positive and healthy, while some peoples’ material life conditions have improved, spiritual life is somewhat empty. To change that condition, and to ensure a safe passing of the torch in the cause of the party and the country, the red flag must be righteously upheld, the ideology of Marxism must be consolidated in its guiding position within the ideological field, and the attractiveness and the cohesive power of socialist ideology must be strengthened.

一个国家和民族没有正确的思想、先进的文化,就会失掉主心骨。当前,经济体制深刻变革、社会结构深刻变动、利益格局深刻调整,必然反映到意识形态领域。人们的思想日趋多元多变多样,虽然主流积极健康向上,但一些人物质生活改善了,精神生活却有些空虚。为了彻底改变这种状况,保证党和国家的事业薪火相传,必须理直气壮地举红旗,不断巩固马克思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位,增强社会主义意识形态的吸引力和凝聚力。[Links within these lines omitted.]

According to the HuDong article, CCP politbureau member and Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来) had deplored the phenomenon of young people who sang decadent songs (唱 .. 靡靡之音, chàng mímí zhī yīn), who were reading “fast-food” kinds of literature (读 .. 快餐文化, dú kuàicān wénhuà), told “low and vulgar stories” (讲 .. 低俗故事, jiǎng dīsú gùshì), and “spread pornographic or dull scripts/pieces” (传 .. 黄段子、灰段子, chuán huáng duànzi, huī duànzi).

So, apparently, there were dirty songs, too. Maybe things weren’t as simple as Schröder had believed. At least one  reader and forum commenter of China’s Huanqiu Shibao didn’t trust Schröder’s expertise and wrote:

OK, listen [to the red songs], you won’t comprehend them anyway. It will be as if you were listening to folk songs.

听吧,反正听不懂,就当听民歌了

The “Chongqing Model” was controversial, at least in the perceivable medial public of China. The party elite wasn’t entirely in love with Bo’s pretentious neo-Maoism. A vice president of Law School at China University of Political Science and Law was quoted by the English-language party mouthpiece “Global Times”:

There have been 104,000 “Red Song Concerts” in Chongqing, with 80 million participants. It cost 1,500 yuan ($231) per person for onsite renting and costume expenses, 210 million yuan in total. Adding in the offwork compensation and transportation the final cost is 270 billion [sic – probably means million – JR] yuan. Why don’t they use the money for health insurance?

Bo Xilai’s “Populism”, 2007 – 2012

At the grassroots, however, Bo’s leadership style appears to have worked (maybe it still does). The Chongqing Model wasn’t just about folklore, red or otherwise.

Chongqing (Sichuan province) residents set off firecrackers today, celebrating the execution of the provincial-level city’s former chief justice Wen Qiang (文强), cqnews.net reported in July 2010. The Wall Street Journal explained:

Wen Qiang was put to death following the rejection in May by China’s Supreme Court of an appeal of his conviction on charges including bribery, shielding criminal gangs, rape and inability to account for millions of dollars in cash and assets, according to Xinhua news agency. Xinhua didn’t say how Mr. Wen was executed.

Punching black crime and uprooting vice (拳打黑除恶) was the name of the campaign that cost Wen his life – according to the historical records as Bo would have it, he and his police chief Wang Lijun not only battled against gangs, but infiltrated cadres, too.

The now defunct website Chinageeks published an English translation of Zhang Wen, a former chief editor of the Xinhua magazine Globe:

Bo Xilai and the “northeast tiger” Wang Lijun entered Chongqing and started a war and began a “battling corruption and evil” movement that has gradually begun to spread nationwide and worldwide. This action is in line with the people’s wishes, and at the same time, also in line with what central authorities wish.

At first, the public opinion was very one-sided; no one could find any fault with Bo. The controversy and difference of opinions came with the case of Li Zhuang. Proponents of the democratic rule of law questioned and criticized the legality of Chongqing [court] proceedings, but Bo Xilai’s supporters hold that punishing lawyers who defend “bad people” is appropriate.

Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai is a high-level lawyer who has been working for many years. The two have been together for many years and Bo himself was once the head of the Ministry of Commerce, and thus often negotiated international legal issues with foreign opponents. Because of this, Bo Xilai should have a solid conception and knowledge of the law.

But in the end, in the Li Zhuang case, the organs of justice in Chongqing left a bad impression that they might violate legal procedures. Precisely because of this, some people’s opinions on Bo Xilai changed dramatically. I myself once wrote an essay expressing pity that Bo Xilai hadn’t turned out to be the sort of high-quality modern politician [we had hoped].

Chongqing was a small pond for a big fish – Bo Xilai appeared to have hoped for a permanent seat in the CCP’s central politburo, but landed the job as party secretary of Chongqing instead. Chongqing wasn’t an insignificant city, but it was far from where central Chinese power was. Only an alernate politburo membership linked him to Beijing. From 2008, his Maoist song events raised nationwide attention, and even beyond China – Henry Kissinger apparently leapt at the chance Schröder had missed.

In 2011, Bo Xilai started his second campaign for a permanent seat at the CCP’s top table. While the Economist found Bo’s style refreshing, it noted nervously that

The region’s party chief, Bo Xilai, is campaigning for a place on the Politburo Standing Committee in next year’s leadership shuffle. He looks likely to succeed. Like every other Chinese politician since 1949, he avoids stating his ambitions openly, but his courting of the media and his attempts to woo the public leave no one in any doubt. Mr Bo’s upfront style is a radical departure from the backroom politicking that has long been the hallmark of Communist rule and would seem like a refreshing change, were it not that some  of his supporters see him as the Vladimir Putin of China. Mr Bo is a populist with an iron fist. He has waged the biggest crackdown on mafia-style gangs in his country in recent years. He has also been trying to foster a mini-cult of Mao, perhaps in an effort to appeal to those who are disillusioned with China’s cut-throat capitalism.

Bo didn’t appear to aim for the top job as secretary general, the Economist noted, as that position appeared to have been reserved for Xi Jinping. Indeed, Xi succeeded Hu Jintao as party secretary general in autumn 2012, and as state chairman in March 2013.

Bo Xilai’s plans didn’t work that smoothly. In November 2011, a British citizen, Neil Heywood, died in a hotel in Chongqing. Given that Chinese courts don’t work independently from the party, the circumstances of his death can’t be considered resolved. A Chinese court found Gu Kailai, Bo Xilai’s wife, guilty of killing Heywood, and after only one day in court, she got a suspended death sentence.

The BBC‘s China editor Carrie Gracie tried to shed light on the circumstances of Bo Xilai’s rise and fall, and the role Heywood’s death played in the latter, but didn’t find too many interlocutors. Instead, she presented a Rocky Horror Picture Show of elite power struggles with Chinese characteristics. Bo Xilai as the avenger of the common man, a crashing, media-savvy scourge of organized crime, who addressed the public directly, without party media filtering. That hadn’t happened since Mao’s days – “think Donald Trump”.

With support from local police chief Wang Lijun, who fancied leading roles in martial-arts television, too, Bo had exercised a regime that labeled opponents as mafiosi and not only jailed them, but expropriated them too, in favor of Chongqing’s budgets.

It isn’t contested that Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun prosecuted the real or supposed gangsters’ advocates, too, with questionable means. Gracie quotes one of these advocates, Li Zhuang (see above, Zhang Wen’s criticism of Bo Xilai), as Li describes how he was arrested by Wang Lijun personally:

The scene was so over-the-top, loads of police cars surrounding the plane, riot police in helmets and camouflage, armed with submachine guns. I asked, “Why the big show? Is it Obama’s state visit or are you capturing Osama Bin Laden?”

We were surrounded by a huge scrum of reporters. He wanted to show his authority on camera. He was in a trench coat, hands in his pockets. He said: “Li Zhuang, we meet again.”

There were admirers of Bo and Wang, there were critics and enemies, and there were people who detested the two. But at the grassroots, the fans appeared to be numerous. According to Gracie, there are still many.

Making inconvenient lawyers disappear was no unique feature of Bo Xilai, however. The party leadership with Xi Jinping at the core has been proving for years that to them, the rule of law is a theroretical nicety they may or may not care about.

Gracie reduces the causes of conflict between the noisy polit-soloist Bo Xilai and the basically “collectivist” leadership in Beijing on a personal rivalry between princeling Bo and princeling Xi.

Certainly, top politicians’ egos can hardly be overestimated, and when they are Chinese, ostentatious modesty shouldn’t fool anyone.

But Xi alone wouldn’t have gotten Bo under control. Neither with the sudden Neil-Heywood scandal – that became known as the Wang-Lijun incident in China after the police chief fled into the next US consulate and being passed on to the central authorities from there (but only after having spilled the beans). Nor otherwise.

The question suggests itself if Bo Xilai’s career wasn’t finished in summer 2011 anyway, given wide-spread disapproval among the party elite, of his egotistic leadership style in Chongqing.

“Unity is strength” was one of the “red songs” Bo Xilai had them sing in Chongqing (above: October 8, 2009). But it wasn’t only the Xi faction that saw a lack of just that on Bo’s part. Bo was putting himself forward, and that had been a taboo during all the post-Mao years.

He didn’t denigrate his leading comrades – appearances like that of Donald Trump as a campaigner, cursing fellow members of his political class, would have been inconceivable. But putting himself into the limelight (and casting it away from others) amounted to the same thing, by Chinese standards. Besides, given his anti-corruption renown, sanctimonious as it may have been, could have threatened his “comrades”. A tribun within their ranks – that couldn’t work.

Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao are said to be rivals. But within the Hu camp, Bo’s populism didn’t seem to resonate either. On the contrary: Wen Jiabao, chief state councillor (aka “prime minister”) during the Hu Jintao era, had been a tireless, even if unsuccessful, advocate of political reform, way beyond economics or technology.

At a press conference in March 2012, after the closing ceremony of the annual “parliament” plenary sessions, Wen warned that China wasn’t immune against another cultural revolution. That John Garnaut, an Australian correspondent in Beijing, got the opportunity to talk with Hu Dehua, one of Hu Yaobang’s sons, may also count as an indication that the comparatively liberal factions in the party leadership were at least as sick of Bo Xilai’s revolutionary operas, as were the Xi supporters.

Garnaut, two weeks after Wen’s press conference, in an indirect account of his conversation with Hu Dehua*):

Hu Dehua told his father how pessimistic he felt about his country’s future. Hu Yaobang agreed that the methods and ideologies of the 1987 anti-liberalization movement came straight from the Cultural Revolution. But he told his son to gain some historical perspective, and reminded him that Chinese people were not joining in the elite power games as they had 20 years before. He called the anti-liberalization campaign a “medium-sized cultural revolution” and warned that a small cultural revolution would no doubt follow, Hu Dehua told me. As society developed, Hu Yaobang told his son, the middle and little cultural revolutions would gradually fade from history’s stage.

From there, everything went fast. Still in March, Bo was dismissed as Chongqing’s party chief. He also lost his alternate membership in the politburo. In summer 2012, his wife Gu Kailai got her commuted death sentence, and in September 2013, Bo was sentenced to life in prison – based on the usual charges for unrigged politicians: corruption.

Is there a Chongqing Heritage?

At first glance, Bo Xilai’s “populism” or “Maoism” is finished. But Bo counted as a champion of many Chinese from the political left. A comment in German weekly Die Zeit, in September 2013, saw the verdict against Bo as a signal from the top that resistance against economic reform was futile.

To assess Bo Xilai’s political heritage objectively. The CCP may be beyond the era when beaten opponents were airbrushed from all photos and records. But the question about how publicly or privately-owned China’s economy should be might impose itself with any questions about Bo Xilai, and the now seven-member standing committee of the politburo can’t use such questions.

A political scientist of Beijing University, He Weifang (贺卫方), hinted at problems in assessing the Chongqing Model’s performance, from 2007 to 2012:

It is generally believed that the so-called “Chongqing Model” is mainly shaped by three aspects: “red culture” on the political level, “targeted actions against dark and evil forces in Chongqing“, and the reduction of the income gaps between the poor and the rich. The most criticized aspects are the former two, although there is support for the two of them in Chongqing and elsewhere. The third aspect isn’t that controversial. However, all data published concerning the efficiency of the measures taken to narrow the income gap are actually issued by the Chongqing authorities, and therefore lacking neutral assessment. Also, we can see that the whole process is strongly government-led, whose focus isn’t on creating a market logic of equal opportunities. If this approach will or will not lead to mistakes in financial policies, including the rural land policies‘ impartiality, is also questionable. And then there are concerns about life today being lead on future earnings, short-term inputs being made to curry favor with the public, which may come at high future costs.

答:一般认为,所谓的重庆模式主要由三方面内容构成:政治层面上的红色文化,执法层面上的“打黑除恶”以及民生方面的缩小贫富差距。最受诟病的是前两者,虽然在重庆和其他地方,似乎也有一些人人对于“唱红”和“打黑”表达支持。第三方面内容相对较少争议。不过,那些举措究竟对于缩小贫富差距产生了怎样的效果,目前得到的信息都是由重庆当局发布的,缺少中立的评估。另外,我们可以看到整个过程是在政府强势主导下进行的,其重点并非创造机会均等的市场逻辑。这种做法是否会带来财政决策中的失误,包括重庆所推行的农村土地政策的公正性,都是大可怀疑的。还有寅吃卯粮的隐忧,短期内的高投入讨好了民众,但是却需要未来付出巨大的代价。

If Bo Xilai was a populist, one of Donald Trump’s kind, or Putin’s, or Neil Farage’s, or whoever, one has to ask oneself how much influence he has maintained over Chinese politics to this day. After all, populists like Geert Wilders aren’t ineffective, merely because they can’t lay their hands on the imperial regalia.

When looking at European populism – that’s only a snapshot, of course -, one can get the impression that populists may not be elected, but they do leave marks on politics, from Merkel’s Willkommenskultur back to the traditional Christian Democrats’ policies, and Britain’s Brexit, implemented not by its original proponents, but by Theresa May, who had used to be a lukewarm supporter of Britain’s EU membership.

Populism is hardly ever the common peoples’ business, but that of the elites. The battles are fought within the political class, as observed by Hu Yaobang in the late 1980s. That is about as true in Europe. However, these battles within the superstructure may create or intensify certain trends in the public mood – and once policies have moved sufficiently into the “populist” direction, the support for these parties wanes, and the electorate turns back to the long-established parties. After all, Joe Blow doesn’t want to look like an extremist.

When Xi Jinping announced China’s new role as a guardian of free trade at the Davos forum in January, German Handelsblatt China correspondent Stephan Scheuer hailed the party and state leader’s “dressing-down for populists”. In Davos, Xi had become “a pioneer of fair-minded globalization”.

What could be beginning to show in China is a comparatively strong Maoist component in propaganda, as long as this doesn’t come at the cost of China’s privileged, and as long as this doesn’t require substantial reallocation of means or wealth to poor classes of population, or laggard regions. But whenever the name “Bo Xilai” should appear in any token event, the exorcists will be just around the corner.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

International Press Review: Senkakus, India’s Economic Reforms

1) Senkaku Islands

The Economist discusses what could be done to avoid a war about the Senkakus. One of their editorials suggest that China needs reassuring that, rather than seeking to contain it as Britain did 19th-century Germany, America wants a responsible China to realise its potential as a world power – but that would amount to shutting up completely, if this is the Economist’s point in case for reassuring China.

The Economist recommends three immediate safeguards.

Meantime, Hundreds of Japanese marched through downtown Tokyo on Saturday in a loud but tightly controlled protest against China’s claim to disputed islands in the East China Sea,

reports Associated Press (AP).

Organizers of Saturday’s march said more than 1,400 people participated. That figure appeared high, but a rough count found at least 800 protesters.

China News Service (中新社) on the same topic:

Tokyo, Sept 22 (Sun Ran reporting) – An anti-Chinese demonstration with several hundred participants, organized by (a) right-wing organization(s) erupted on Saturday. During this demonstration, no injuries or property losses occured.

中新社东京9月22日电 (记者 孙冉)日本东京22日爆发了由右翼团体组织发起的数百人规模的反华游行。当天游行中并未发生人员受伤及财产损失的情况。

The right-wing organization is the “Hang-In-There-Japan National Action Committee” [Ganbare Nippon], and its leader is former Japanese self-defense airforce chief of staff, Toshio Tamogami. The organizers said that 1200 common Japanese people had taken part in the demonstration, but according to China News Service’s reporter’s estimate, there were about six- to seventhousand people, far from a thousand.

该右翼团体为“加油日本全国行动委员会”,其领导人物是日本前航空自卫队幕僚长田母神俊雄。组织方称当天有1200名普通民众参加游行,但据中新社记者现场目测,人数约六七百人,远没有达到千人规模。

The embassy apparently felt that no sufficient number of police had been deployed to protect the embassy, and the Chinese ambassador told China News Service that representations had been made to Japan to increase police presence and to protect [the embassy] and consulates on Japanese ground as well as Chinese-funded organizations (要求其采取切实措施并加强警力,保护好在日使领馆和中资机构的安全).

The “Go-Japan National Action Committee” is a Japanese extreme-right organization. In 2010, after a Chinese captain had been arrested, the organization also organized several anti-China demonstrations. On June 10 this year, the organization organized a fishing contest of more than 120 people in the Diaoyus adjacent waters.

“加油日本全国行动委员会”是日本极右翼民间团体,2010年中国船长被捕事件发生后也曾组织过数起反华游行。今年6月10日,该团体还组织了120余人前往钓鱼岛附近海域进行垂钓大赛。

Huanqiu Shibao republished the China News Service article. On the now customary emoticon board, 54 readers expressed anger, and twelve found the news ridiculous.

2) Global Economy

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh made a televised speech on Friday, trying to explain recent economic reforms to the public – cutting diesel subsidies, limiting subsidies on cooking gas, and allowing foreign supermarket giants to buy large stakes in India’s retail sector.

Singh warned the public that

The world is not kind to those who do not tackle their own problems. Many European countries are in this position today. They cannot pay their bills and are looking to others for help. They are having to cut wages or pensions to satisfy potential lenders.

I am determined to see that India will not be pushed into that situation. But I can succeed only if I can persuade you to understand why we had to act.

People’s Daily Online reports on Singh’s speech, too, but mostly restates the opinions from the international papers and other media:

On September 20, 50 million Indians are said to have taken part in an unprecedented national strike. On September 21, the “wave of explosions” reached the world of politics. Six members of Singh’s cabinet resigned, the ruling coalition split, and the Indian government was nearly “on the ropes”. Will the reforms be groundbreaking, or the beginning of a fierce struggle? In the view of German media, Singh, who is almost eighty years old, has been pushed with his back nearly to the wall: it’s either reform, or the end of his rule.

20日,据说5000万印度人参加了史无前例的全国性罢工。21日,“大爆炸冲击波”延至政坛,辛格内阁中有6人退出,执政联盟分裂,印度政府踏上“摇摆 的绳索”。这次改革是开天辟地,还是开启一场恶斗?在德国媒体看来,年近80的辛格似乎已被逼到墙角:要么改革,要么执政结束。

[…]

“Now, Singh needs to sell the concept of freedom to the Indians”, a Bloomberg analysis says, and these reforms meant that in the current economic crisis, only shock therapy could be an effective cure. The “Voice of Germany” [Deutsche Welle] commented on Friday that Singh had made more changes in his economic policies within a few days, than in all the eight past years. […] The “Chicago Tribune” says that as India’s credit ratings faced the threat of falling to “junk status”, Singh has no time to demonstrate preparedness to consolidate the troubled economy, and rather has to run reforms at high speed, hoping to survive the “difficult time”. On Friday, Singh said in a nation-wide televised speech that “money doesn’t grow from trees”, and called on the people to “support the reforms against economic difficulties”.

“现在辛格需要向印度人兜售自由理念”。彭博新闻社分析称,这些改革措施意味着印度在经济危机的情况下只能通过“休克疗法”来治疗。“德国之声”21日评论称,辛格在几天之内对经济政策作出的改动,比过去8年总和还要多。[…..] 《芝加哥论坛报》称,信用评级面临降为“垃圾”级的威胁,辛格已经没时间展示整顿经济的严肃态度,从而强调改革速度,期望挺过“艰难时刻”。21日,辛格对全国发表演讲,称“钱不能从树上长出来”,他呼吁民众“支持应对经济困境的改革”。

[…]

But even if you only quote non-Chinese media and experts, you’ll find someone who provides the correct conclusions. People’s Daily Online quotes an “Open Europe” researcher, from a Huanqiu Shibao interview:

Britain’s “Open Europe” think tank’s researcher 保罗·罗宾逊*) told Huanqiu Shibao in an interview on September 21 that India’s most outstanding achievement in the past twenty years of reforms had been the privatization of state-owned companies. Those measures had provided Indian economic development with a more relaxed environment. However, 罗宾逊 believes that the instability of a democratic political system had led to indecisive government which kept sticking to conventions. China’s reforms had been clearly stronger than India’s, and deeper, too. Therefore, the effects [in China] had also been greater.

英国“开放欧洲”智库研究员保罗·罗宾逊21日在接受《环球时报》采访时表示,印度过去20多年的改革中最可圈可点的是对国有企业的“私有化”改革。政府 的改革举措为印度经济发展赢得了更为宽松的环境。不过罗宾逊认为,印度民主政治制度的不稳定导致政府优柔寡断和墨守成规,中国改革的力度明显比印度大,而 且中国的改革比印度更深入,因此效果也更大。

____________

Note

*) This isn’t a Chinese name, but I didn’t find its English equivalent.

____________

Related

» Singh’s Team, Times of India, Sep 22, 2012
» Too Complex to keep the Peace, Sep 18, 2012
» Nationalist Movement Strengthens, WSJ, Aug 14, 2012

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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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Friday, May 25, 2012

Victoria Nuland: Let’s Put it That Way

Daily news briefing, State Department, May 24

QUESTION: On China, you must have heard the new State Department directive to the Confucius Institute in the U.S. Could you explain to us, what is the purpose of this new directive?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, let me say that, as you know, the U.S. greatly values its people-to-people exchange with China. This was one of the centerpieces of the Secretary’s participation in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. She had a separate people-to-people exchange with State Councilor Liu and they got a chance to meet some American students and some Chinese students, and it was a great event.

This is also not about the Confucius Institutes themselves. It is simply about whether the right visa status was applied in these cases. When you have a J-1 education visa, there are two categories. There are J-1 visas if you are in kindergarten through high school, and there is a different category of J-1 visas if you are at university.

And there was some muddling and messing up, so – in these cases – so we’re going to sort these out. Nobody’s going to have to leave the country. It’s all going to get cleared up. But there was some confusion on the front end, so we’re going to fix it.

QUESTION: But in the directive, it said on all the current affected exchange visitors, they have to leave before June 30 this year. Is that the case?

MS. NULAND: My understanding is that we’re going to do our best to fix this without having anybody have to leave.

QUESTION: And finally —

MS. NULAND: That is my understanding.

QUESTION: — are you concerned about the Confucius Institute’s expansion in the U.S. as the —

MS. NULAND: Are we concerned about?

QUESTION: The Confucius Institute’s expansion in the U.S. as the strongest Chinese soft power?

MS. NULAND: No. This is something that we support. It’s part of the people-to-people understanding. We just want to make sure that the visa categories are correct.

Okay.

QUESTION: Can you speak to the timing of why now? Was it – was that in conjunction to this problem being across all of the Confucius Institutes, the J-1 confusion?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to why this came up now. I think that we – as I understood it this morning, we became aware that this wasn’t just one case or two cases, that there was a – sort of a mess-up in the processing in general. So we need to fix that.

QUESTION: What was the mess-up?

QUESTION: Can you characterize the mess-up? Yeah.

MS. NULAND: That in fact, folks who are participating and teaching in programs that were K-12 were given university-style J-1s, and the other way around.

QUESTION: So —

QUESTION: And whose problem with that?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to how the mess-up occurred, but we’re going to fix it.

QUESTION: Well, who issues the visas? I mean, it’s – the State Department issues visas, right?

MS. NULAND: Right. So whether there was some confusion on the front end with the sponsors as to which programs individual teachers were being brought for, or whether there was some changing after they arrived, I really can’t speak to that. But we’re going to clean it up so that everybody’s in the right visa category.

QUESTION: So you —

QUESTION: You don’t expect anyone to have to leave the country?

MS. NULAND: My understanding was we’re going to do our best to fix this so that nobody has to leave.

QUESTION: And just so we’re clear, you don’t think, then, that the mistake was on the State Department’s end? Do you think it’s possible that it was on the end of the people who applied or the intermediaries?

MS. NULAND: I just can’t speak to that, and I can’t speak to whether this was uniform in any way or whether there were various problems.

QUESTION: And you can’t speak to it because you don’t know —

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: — or because you know and you don’t want to say?

MS. NULAND: Because we have to investigate it and figure it out.

Okay.

QUESTION: Can you talk about how many visas were impacted by the problem?

MS. NULAND: I don’t have that either.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: May I ask you for what kind of meetings, when you say that you are working on this issue? I heard that some of the Confucius Institutions have come and had meetings with the assistant secretary already talking about this. So could you tell us more about what kind of works has been doing to avoid – make sure people don’t have to leave the country by the end of June?

MS. NULAND: Yeah. My understanding is that at the current moment, we’re trying to size the problem, we’re trying to figure out how many people are affected, and then we’re going to – and we’re in the process of reissuing instructions that are a little bit clearer and a little bit more easy to manage. Let’s put it that way.

QUESTION: Okay. And may I also say that we know that in the past couple of months, a few members in the Congress expressed their dissatisfaction and question about the operation of Confucius Institutes in the U.S. So I wonder, when you were doing this – before you released this direction about the J-1 visa, did you have any contact with those members in the Congress?

MS. NULAND: Well, I’m sure that, as we always do on all matters, we’re in dialogue with Congress. But this is a matter not about any of that; it’s a matter about whether people are in the right visa category for where they are teaching.

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Related

» State Department directive, May 24, 2012

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Confucius Institute: State Department Directive “an Untimely End to Chinese Classes”

Main Link: Huanqiu Shibao, May 24, 2012, 03:29.

Translated off the reel, and posted right away. A link to the State-Department directive can be found under footnote 2. Links within blockquote added during translation.
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A notice issued by U.S. State Department officials on May 17, to all Confucius Institutes in America, has caused great controversy. The new notice requires existing Confucius Institutes to apply for American “certification”, to become part of regular courses, and bans Chinese teachers and volunteers to teach in middle and elementary schools. A Hanban responsible, on May 23, expressed “shock” to a Huanqiu Shibao reporter, as no consultations had preceded this notice. Insiders told this reporter that to date, American officials hadn’t explained to whom the Confucius Institutes should turn for certification. U.S. “Higher Education News”1) wrote on May 21 that the notice would disrupt Confucius Institute teaching activities. “People don’t undersstand the State Department’s sudden notice. Actually, Confucius Institutes have been on American campuses for almost ten years.” An insider told the Global Times reporter on May 23 that currently, Confucius Institutes were highly successful and influential in America, that many Americans learned Chinese, and that America was somewhat worried about this. In addition, it was election year in America, and political consideration could be behind the measures taken.
美国国务院官员签发的一项公告5月17日发往全美孔子学院,引起巨大争议。新公告规定现有孔子学院必须申请美国“认证”,成为正式课程的一部分,且禁止中方教师和志愿者在美国中小学的孔子学堂教学。国家汉办负责人23日向《环球时报》记者表示,对美方在事先没有任何协商的情况下发出这样的公告感到“震惊”。有知情者告诉《环球时报》记者,孔子学院不计学分,不授学位,不具认证的前提,美国官方迄今也从未说明孔子学院应该向谁认证。美国“高等教育新闻”网站21日载文称,国务院这一公告将打乱孔子学院的教学活动。“人们不明白美国国务院为何突然出台此项公告,毕竟,孔子学院在美国校园内已有近十年时间”。一名了解内幕的人士23日向《环球时报》记者介绍,目前孔子学院在美国搞得很成功,影响很大,美国学习汉语的人很多,美方对此有所担心。再加上今年又是美国的大选年,美国出台这些措施可能有政治方面的考量。

The notice was reportedly issued by Robin Lerner, the State Department Deputy Secretary in charge of Educatonal and Cultural Matters and private-sector exchange. The notice says that while Confucius Institutes may be beneficial to promoting cultural exchange, its activities “need to be in accordance with the standards of exchange, and respect the relevant law and regulations”. “Professors, researchers, short-term visiting scholars or institutes, as well as students, were not allowed to teach in primary schools2). […] The notice also says that “to ensure that the Confucius Institute education corresponds with and maintains suitable regulations and standards, the Institutes must apply for American certification”, “on initial examination, it isn’t clear if the Confucius Institutes will get American certification”. The State Department allows currently teaching Confucius Institute teachers with J-1 visa to continue teaching until the end of the school year in June, but won’t renew their visas. If they wish, they can return to China to apply for appropriate exchange project visas.
据悉,签发这一公告的是美国国务院负责教育和文化事务局私营部门交流的副助理秘书长罗宾•勒纳。公告称,尽管孔子学院可能有益于促进文化交流,但其所从事的活动“必须符合正确的交流规范,遵循相关法规”。“教授、研究学者、短期访问学者或学院、大学学生不允许在公立和私立小、中学教学,否则便与有关交流访问项目法规相违。 […..] ”公告还称,“为确保孔子学院的教育符合和保持适合的规定标准,孔子学院必须申请美国认证”,“美国国务院的初步审视并不清楚这些孔子学院是否得到美国认证”。美国务院允许目前持有J-1签证的孔子学院教师继续留至2012年6月本学年结束,但不会为他们续签签证。如果他们愿意,可回中国再申办一种合适的交流项目签证。

There are Confucius Institutes at 81 American universities. The notice has caused wide-spread shock, confusion, and incomprehension. Confucius Institutes in all places said that the notice was “surprising” or “unusual”, and there were discussions everywhere as to how to deal [with the situation]. Huanqiu Shibao has learned that J-1 visas are a kind of non-immigration visas, issued to foreigners who participate in “exchange and visitor programs approved by the State Department”. An official survey concerning J-1 visa holders was carried out early this year.
81所美国大学内设有孔子学院。这一公告已引起广泛的震惊、困惑和不解,各地孔子学院均表示此项公告“令人吃惊”、“很不寻常”,都在讨论如何应对。《环球时报》记者了解到,J-1签证是一种非移民签证,签发给来美国参加美国国务院批准的“交流访问者计划”的各类外籍人士。今年年初,美国官方曾对持有J-1签证人员情况进行过调查。

A lady who had taught for Confucius Institutes in America told Huanqiu Shibao on May 23 that teachers sent by China to teach abroad were mainly government-sponsored, or volunteers. They all held visitor J-1 visas. She had been a volunteer, and a visa had been rather easy to obtain.
一名曾在美国孔子学院授课的女士23日向《环球时报》记者介绍,中方派驻国外孔子学院的授课老师主要有公派教师和志愿者两种,他们所持的都是访问学者J-1签证。她当时就是作为志愿者授课的,获得签证比较容易。

What people find most incomprehensible is that American officialdom requires Confucius Institutes to carry out so-called “certification”. Huanqiu Shibao has learned that to date, the State Department has not said where Confucius Institutes should turn for certification. By comparison, nothing has been heard of German Goethe Institutes, French Institutes or other cultural exchange bodies in America having received American certification. People in charge at the first Confucius Institutes established in the U.S., University of Maryland Confucius Institute and George Mason University Confucius Institute, express confusion, and say that the “certification” issue is currently being discussed. The person in charge at the George Mason University Confucius Institute hopes that the notification came without political considerations. After all, Obama’s initiative to have 100,000 students study in China was about encouraging American students to study Chinese.
令人最为不解的是美国官方要求对孔子学院进行所谓“认证”。据《环球时报》记者了解,美国官方迄今从未说明孔子学院应该向谁认证。横向比较一下,从未听说德国的歌德学院、法国的法语联盟等在美文化交流机构须得到美国认证。在接受本报记者采访时,美国第一家孔子学院———马里兰大学孔子学院及乔治•梅森大学孔子学院负责人均表示,对这一公告感到困惑,校方均在就“认证”一事进行讨论与沟通。乔治•梅森大学孔子学院负责人说,希望国务院出台的公告没有政治方面的考虑,毕竟奥巴马推动美国10万学生赴华留学项目也是鼓励美国学生学习中文。

According to explanations by a Hanban person in charge, made to Huanqiu Shibao, Hanban has sent a letter to university presidents, to carry out negotiations. The letter says that Confucius Institutes in America were established at American requests, and run in cooperation with Hanban and Chinese institutions of higher education. The Chinese side fully respected the esteemed universities’ powers to make their own decisions (自主权)3), and there had never been special instructions concerning the teaching and cultural-exchange activities carried out by the Institutes. The central office provided help, such as support in that it sent volunteers, as requested by the American side. The letter also says that the Chinese side respects American governmental law and regulations, but that in this process, we do not wish to see that volunteer projects get disrupted, as this would lead to many quickly-developing Chinese-language classes coming to an untimely end, resulting in losses for the schools and students.
据国家汉办负责人23日向《环球时报》记者介绍,该机构已致信下设孔子课堂的美国大学校长,就此事进行交涉。信中表示,美国孔子学院是由美方自愿申请,并与汉办和中方高校合作举办的。中方充分尊重贵校的办学自主权,对孔子学院开设课程和开展文化交流活动及下设孔子课堂,从未有过专门指令。总部向孔子学院提供的包括派遣志愿者在内的所有帮助,均系美方所要求。信中还表示,中方尊重美国政府的法律和规定,但在此过程中,我们不愿意看到因此而造成中断志愿者项目的后果,否则将会导致很多学校蒸蒸日上的中文课程由于教师缺失而被迫夭折,致使这些学校和学生蒙受损失。

The person in charge also said that before volunteers head for America, they get an invitation from the American schools, in accordance with the Sino-American school agreements, and apply for and obtain a visa. From 2005 on, China had developed Chinese language education to help America, and had sent more than 2,100 teachers. The project had always worked smoothly. It had been believed that once teachers received an American invitation, the application would lead to a visa, and that there would be no problems. No consultations had preceded the State Department’s May-17 notice, and this was felt to be very sudden and surprising by those in charge at the Confucius Institutes.
这位负责人还表示,志愿者赴美前,是按照中美双方学校的协议,接受美方学校的邀请,申请并获准签证的。从2005年起,中方为帮助美国发展汉语教学,已派出2100多名教师,项目执行一直很顺利。原以为教师接受美方邀请,申请并获准了赴美签证,就不会产生问题。在事先没有任何协商的情况下,美国国务院5月17日发布公告,作为主管孔子学院的负责人,他感到很突然、很吃惊。

Many presidents [of universities with Confucius Institutes] were disgusted by the State Department notice, and had many objections, as they believed it interfered with their universities’ autonomy3). They currently contacted the State Department and negotiated. Huanqiu Shibao also learned that to address the doubts, a State-Department official was to be sent to Maryland University to have direct talks with people in charge at the university and the Confucius Institute.
美国多所设有孔子学院的大学校长对美国这一公告非常反感,很有意见,认为它干涉了学校的办学自主权,目前正与美国国务院进行联系和交涉。《环球时报》记者还了解到,面对质疑,美国国务院官员23日将赴马里兰大学,与马里兰大学校方、孔子学院负责人一起进行面对面的沟通与交流。

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Notes

1) This is my translation of 美国“高等教育新闻”网站 – the website’s real name may be different.

2) Quote:

Teaching positions in primary and secondary schools (K-12) are only authorized under the “Teacher” category set forth at 22 CFR 62.24. Teaching primary and secondary school students in public school systems or private schools is not permitted by professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or college/university students.

(Guidance Directive 2012-06 Exchange Visitor Program – Confucius Institutes)

3) 自主权, which may be translated either as the right to make decisions of one’s own, or autonomy. The term for provincial or territorial autonomy in China, for places like Tibet, would be 自治区 (autonomous regions), and is therefore not exactly the same term.

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Related

» Three Eight-Hundreds, April 19, 2009

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Class Struggle from Above: How Well-To-Do is the German Commuter?

A Guest Post by Tai De

car dashboardThomas Straubhaar heads the Hamburgisches Weltwirtschaftsinstitut, or Hamburg Institute of International Economics, a not-for-profit research institute, an enthusiastic buyer of local goods, he says. Clearly, he doesn’t like long-distance rides – and he doesn’t like the commuter tax allowance. It only helped well-to-do sole earners. Families weren’t the real beneficiaries, and society had to bear costs from traffic jams, greater risks of accidents, and urban sprawl. Rather, commuters should pay an additional tax, to compensate the urban population for the harm commuters inflicted on them (“damit könnten Städter für das Leid entschädigt werden, das ihnen Auto fahrende Pendler antun”).

I don’t believe that Straubhaar is really targeting the commuter tax allowance – if any political party supports it his move, it would be the Greens, but the allowance won’t go away. The Free Democrats (FDP) rather favors an increased allowance, to compensate commuters for rising petrol prices. And the two big parties, the Christian Democrats  (CDU/CSU) and the social democrats (SPD) won’t dare to alienate their classical voters – even if Straubhaar doesn’t believe it:

“Wouldn’t a commuter tax go down well with the millions of urban people? Why don’t politicians seize the opportunity?” (Wäre nicht die Pendlersteuer eine Forderung, mit der sich bei Millionen von Stadtmenschen politisch punkten ließe? Wieso nutzen Politiker(innen) diese Chance nicht?)

Who is well-to-do may be a matter of definition – but those targeted may not feel that they were well-to-do (with or without reason). However, it is easy to label your target well-to-do before making unpopular suggestions, and Mr. Straubhaar’s suggestion isn’t popular. Maybe it is because people don’t buy the allegation that the beneficiaries of the allowance are generally well-to-do. Maybe Mr. Straubhaar himself is way too well-to-do to be believed. At any rate, it seems to me that in Mr. Straubhaar’s view, the Hamburg city is too chique to tolerate all those country bumpkins there. After all, the German word for “harm” is “Leid” – and Leid is something a perpetrator inflicts on a victim.

The comments underneath the Welt article with quotes from Straubhaar seem to confirm my impression that politicians who would “seize the opportunity” and scrap the allowance wouldn’t do themselves a favour. There is no real discussion. Straubhaar seems to hate his audience, and his audience hates him back.

Straubhaar may not like it – and the Free Democrats, at odds with him concerning the commuter tax allowance, but not in general – may not like it either, but West Germany’s post-war consensus was built on exactly the allowances and financial transfers (welfare state) which he calls into question.

This comment by “Systemkritiker” (system critic) is indicative of the general mood on the “Die Welt” thread:

Great. New taxes. Then we will get even more big cities because everyone needs to go there, and even more welfare recipients, because people are jobless. That guy is deranged. Just like all politicians. Said it and boarded his fat [Audi ] A8. Blithering idiots give us counsel. (Richtig so. Neue Steuern. Dann haben wir endlich noch mehr Großstädte weil alle hinziehen müssen und noch mehr Hilfsempfänger weil sie keinen Job mehr haben. Der Typ ist doch gestört. Wie alle Politiker auch.
Sprachs und setzte sich in den fetten A8.
Dummschwätzer regieren und beraten uns.)

And that’s still sort of an optimistic interpretation, because Straubhaar is hardly giving “Systemkritiker” advice. He  doesn’t even notice “Systemkritiker”.

It’s a general mood. People everywhere may be chronically angry at those who rule their countries. But Germans don’t occupy Wall Street, or the Frankfurt city. They vote – and as every leftist or rightist member of parliament seems to cause the moderate democrats huge pain, they’d better take the anger seriously.

If property on the Elbchaussee or in Bremen-Schwachhausen should need big fences and alarm equipment in future, this won’t do their value any good.

P.S.: I don’t agree with “Systemkritiker”. I’m almost sure that Mr. Straubhaar goes t work by bike. But the bike needs to be locked away at his working place, because it’s too good to get stolen.

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Previously by Tai De:

» No Communists at Deutsche Welle, but… March 11, 2012

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

17th Central Committee’s “Culture Document” – 11: Go Global, and no Porn!

« Previous leg of this translation: part 10, Linking the Cultural Industries to the National Economy

The following is a translation of the fifth chapter of the CCP Central Committee’s “cultural document”. For more background concerning the document, see that previous post.

Main Link: http://gb.cri.cn/27824/2011/10/26/2625s3413678_3.htm

7) Deepen Reform and Opening Further, Accelerate and Establish Systems which are Conducive to the Prosperous Development of Culture

七、进一步深化改革开放,加快构建有利于文化繁荣发展的体制机制

Culture guides the mood of our times, and is the area most in need of innovation. We must firmly grasp the correct direction, accelerate the promotion of cultural mechanisms, built sound leadership by party committees, administrative management, industrial self-regulation, social supervision, enterprises, institutions and units (danwei) which operate in accordance with the law, based on cultural management systems and vigorous cultural production systems, bring positive market factors in to play in the process of cultural resource allocation, make culture get past [old] patterns, and add strong dynamic force to prosperous cultural development.

文化引领时代风气之先,是最需要创新的领域。必须牢牢把握正确方向,加快推进文化体制改革,建立健全党委领导、政府管理、行业自律、社会监督、企事业单位依法运营的文化管理体制和富有活力的文化产品生产经营机制,发挥市场在文化资源配置中的积极作用,创新文化走出去模式,为文化繁荣发展提供强大动力。

a) Deepen reform of state-owned cultural units. By focusing on establishing a system of modern enterprise, accelerate and promote the reform of operational cultural units, and foster mainframes in conformity with the market. Specify the cultural units’ characters and functions scientifically, distinguish between them, classify them, take a progressive approach, open them gradually, promote normal state-owned cultural ensembles and troupes, press products which are not about current affairs or politics, [ownership transformation of news websites (?) – 新闻网站转企改制], expand the fruits of publication, distribution, and the film industry’s reform, accelerate their transformation into companies and public limited companies, perfect corporate governance structures in line with modern enterprise system requirements, and reflecting the cultural enterprises’ characteristic assets and operations and management organization. Innovate the investment and financial systems, support state-owned cultural companies’ as they face the capital markets, and support them in attracting social capital, and in carrying out joint-stock transformation. Keep the attributes of public benefit in mind, strengthen the service functions, increase vital development, comprehensively promote cultural units’ human resources and income allocation, social insurance systems’ reform, clear service specifications and the strengthening of performance evaluation in mind. Innovate public cultural service facilities’ operational mechanisms, attract personalities who represent society, professionals, and apply grassroots participation and management. Promote the progressive perfection of party publications’, radio, and television management and operational mechanisms. Promote the application of entrepreneurial management at the units, such as normal current-affairs publishing houses, non-profit publishing houses, ensembles and troupes who represent national characteristics and the country’s artistic level, enhance exposure to the markets, and the ability to serve the masses.

(一)深化国有文化单位改革。以建立现代企业制度为重点,加快推进经营性文化单位改革,培育合格市场主体。科学界定文化单位性质和功能,区别对待、分类指导,循序渐进、逐步推开,推进一般国有文艺院团、非时政类报刊社、新闻网站转企改制,拓展出版、发行、影视企业改革成果,加快公司制股份制改造,完善法人治理结构,形成符合现代企业制度要求、体现文化企业特点的资产组织形式和经营管理模式。创新投融资体制,支持国有文化企业面向资本市场融资,支持其吸引社会资本进行股份制改造。着眼于突出公益属性、强化服务功能、增强发展活力,全面推进文化事业单位人事、收入分配、社会保障制度改革,明确服务规范,加强绩效评估考核。创新公共文化服务设施运行机制,吸纳有代表性的社会人士、专业人士、基层群众参与管理。推动党报党刊、电台电视台进一步完善管理和运行机制。推动一般时政类报刊社、公益性出版社、代表民族特色和国家水准的文艺院团等事业单位实行企业化管理,增强面向市场、面向群众提供服务能力。

b) A sound, modern culture market system. To promote cultural products and key elements floating reasonably all over the country, an orderly, modern market system for unified and open competition must be built. The focus must be on the development of books and other publications, digital audio and video products, performing arts and entertainment, television series, cartoons, animation, and [computer] games, and similar markets, for the further perfection of a comprehensive international Chinese platform on fairs and exhibitions, etc. Develop chain operation, commodity circulation and distribution, e-commerce and other modern organizations and forms, accelerate the building of large-scale distribution enterprises and logistical bases for cultural products, build distributional networks for cultural products that understand urban and rural needs, with the big cities as the centers, with small- and medium-sized cities complementing them. Accelerate the development of property rights [or ownership rights], copyright, and key markets like those for technology and information, carefully manage major exchange [markets] for cultural property rights, norms, and transactions of cultural assets and artistic works. Strengthen the trade’s organizational building, and build sound intermediary structures.

(二)健全现代文化市场体系。促进文化产品和要素在全国范围内合理流动,必须构建统一开放竞争有序的现代文化市场体系。要重点发展图书报刊、电子音像制品、演出娱乐、影视剧、动漫游戏等产品市场,进一步完善中国国际文化产业博览交易会等综合交易平台。发展连锁经营、物流配送、电子商务等现代流通组织和流通形式,加快建设大型文化流通企业和文化产品物流基地,构建以大城市为中心、中小城市相配套、贯通城乡的文化产品流通网络。加快培育产权、版权、技术、信息等要素市场,办好重点文化产权交易所,规范文化资产和艺术品交易。加强行业组织建设,健全中介机构。

c) Innovate the cultural management system. Deepen reform of administrative and management systems, accelerate the transformation of government functions, strengthen the functions of policy adjustment, market supervision, social management, and public service, promote the separation of politics and enterprise, separation of politics and business, and provide a reasonable order to the relationship between government and cultural enterprises and units, through control and adjustment. Perfect personnel management, operational management, asset management and lead it into the direction of a combined management system of state-owned cultural assets [or – not sure about the correct translation here – a state-owned management system]. Build a sound and comprehensive administrative and law-enforcement structure for the culture market, and promote a sub-provincial and sub-city administration and responsibility mainstay. Accelerate cultural legislation, define and perfect the laws and regulations concerning the protection of public cultural services, the rejuvenation of the cultural industries, cultural market management, and increase the legal level of cultural construction. Adhere to the management and organizational system, implement principles of who is responsible, and who is in charge, strictly apply policies of cultural capital, cultural enterprise, access and non-access to the cultural product markets, comprehensively apply legal, administrative, economic and technological means to increase management efficiency. Deepen the implementation of “Brush pornography away, and crack down on illegal publications”, perfect cultural market management, firmly remove decadent cultural garbage which poisons the peoples’ minds, conscientiously build a market order which ensures national cultural safety.

(三)创新文化管理体制。深化文化行政管理体制改革,加快政府职能转变,强化政策调节、市场监管、社会管理、公共服务职能,推动政企分开、政事分开,理顺政府和文化企事业单位关系。完善管人管事管资产管导向相结合的国有文化资产管理体制。健全文化市场综合行政执法机构,推动副省级以下城市完善综合文化行政责任主体。加快文化立法,制定和完善公共文化服务保障、文化产业振兴、文化市场管理等方面法律法规,提高文化建设法制化水平。坚持主管主办制度,落实谁主管谁负责和属地管理原则,严格执行文化资本、文化企业、文化产品市场准入和退出政策,综合运用法律、行政、经济、科技等手段提高管理效能。深入开展“扫黄打非”,完善文化市场管理,坚决扫除毒害人们心灵的腐朽文化垃圾,切实营造确保国家文化安全的市场秩序。

d) Perfect security system policies policy guarantee mechanisms. Ensure that growth in public financing of cultural construction exceeds normal growth in public finance revenues, increase the share of cultural expenses in public spending. Expand the range of public financing, perfect financial input methods, strengthen fund management, increase the efficiency of funding used, and ensure cultural service systems’ construction and operation. Implement and improve cultural economic policies, support societal organizations, organizations, donations to and start-ups of non-profit cultural activities, guide non-profit organizations to provide public cultural products and services. [] Establish a national cultural development fund, expand the scale of related cultural funds and special funds, increase the share of all kinds of lottery-generated means for the funding of non-profit undertakings. Continue the use of coherent policies on the reform of the cultural system, and support the transformation of state-owned cultural units for another five years.

(四)完善政策保障机制。保证公共财政对文化建设投入的增长幅度高于财政经常性收入增长幅度,提高文化支出占财政支出比例。扩大公共财政覆盖范围,完善投入方式,加强资金管理,提高资金使用效益,保障公共文化服务体系建设和运行。落实和完善文化经济政策,支持社会组织、机构、个人捐赠和兴办公益性文化事业,引导文化非营利机构提供公共文化产品和服务。加大财政、税收、金融、用地等方面对文化产业的政策扶持力度,鼓励文化企业和社会资本对接,对文化内容创意生产、非物质文化遗产项目经营实行税收优惠。设立国家文化发展基金,扩大有关文化基金和专项资金规模,提高各级彩票公益金用于文化事业比重。继续执行文化体制改革配套政策,对转企改制国有文化单位扶持政策执行期限再延长五年。

e) Promote the Chinese culture’s process of going global. Carry out foreign cultural exchange on multiple channels, in multiple forms, and on multiple levels, broaden participation in the global dialog of civilizations, promote learning from each other, strengthen the inspiration that comes from Chinese culture, and Chinese culture’s influence, for the joint safeguarding of cultural diversity. Innovate ways and means of propaganda abroad, strengthen [the right to speak ones opinion – or the right to dominate others through words: 增强国际话语权], react appropriately to foreign concerns, enhance the international community’s basic understanding of our country, its values, its path of development, understanding for and knowledge of its domestic and foreign policies, and let them discover the our country’s civilizational, democratic, open, and progressive image. Implement the project of our culture going global, improve and support the policies and implementation of cultural products and services going global, support major media organizations in setting up overseas branches, foster a number of external cultural enterprises and intermediary organizations which are globally competitive, improve dubbing, recommendation and introduction, advisory and similar support mechanisms, and gain access to international cultural markets. Strengthen Chinese overseas cultural centers and Confucius Institutes, encourage academia and artistic organization which reflect our country’s level to play a constructive role within relevant international organizations, and organize the translation of outstanding artistic works and cultural quality products. Build mechanisms for cultural exchange, combine governmental exchanges and non-governmental exchanges, bring into play the role of non-governmental cultural enterprise, cultural non-profit organizations in international cultural exchanges, and support overseas Chinese in actively launching sino-foreign cultural exchanges. Establish cultural exchange mechanisms for young foreigners, and establish an award for contributions to the international dissemination of Chinese culture.

(五)推动中华文化走向世界。开展多渠道多形式多层次对外文化交流,广泛参与世界文明对话,促进文化相互借鉴,增强中华文化在世界上的感召力和影响力,共同维护文化多样性。创新对外宣传方式方法,增强国际话语权,妥善回应外部关切,增进国际社会对我国基本国情、价值观念、发展道路、内外政策的了解和认识,展现我国文明、民主、开放、进步的形象。实施文化走出去工程,完善支持文化产品和服务走出去政策措施,支持重点主流媒体在海外设立分支机构,培育一批具有国际竞争力的外向型文化企业和中介机构,完善译制、推介、咨询等方面扶持机制,开拓国际文化市场。加强海外中国文化中心和孔子学院建设,鼓励代表国家水平的各类学术团体、艺术机构在相应国际组织中发挥建设性作用,组织对外翻译优秀学术成果和文化精品。构建人文交流机制,把政府交流和民间交流结合起来,发挥非公有制文化企业、文化非营利机构在对外文化交流中的作用,支持海外侨胞积极开展中外人文交流。建立面向外国青年的文化交流机制,设立中华文化国际传播贡献奖和国际性文化奖项。

f) Actively absorb and learn from outstanding foreign cultural achievements. Adhere to the principles of self-dependance, self-regardness, to learning from every experience that helps to strengthen the building of our country’s socialist construction, from all positive achievements that can enrich our people’s cultural life, from everything that is conducive to our country’s cultural activities, and to its cultural management concepts and mechanisms. Strengthen our country’s intellectual fields, its talents, and its acquisition of technology. Attract foreign investment into fields and enterprises that are designed for this by rules and regulations, and guarantee the investors’ lawful rights and interests.Encourage cultural units to enter cooperation projects with powerful foreign cultural institutions, learn from advanced production technolgies, and from advanced management experience. Encourage foreign-invested enterprises to carry out cultural-technological research and development, and develop outsourcing. Develop international cooperation in the protection of intellectual property rights.

(六)积极吸收借鉴国外优秀文化成果。坚持以我为主、为我所用,学习借鉴一切有利于加强我国社会主义文化建设的有益经验、一切有利于丰富我国人民文化生活的积极成果、一切有利于发展我国文化事业和文化产业的经营管理理念和机制。加强文化领域智力、人才、技术引进工作。吸收外资进入法律法规许可的文化产业领域,保障投资者合法权益。鼓励文化单位同国外有实力的文化机构进行项目合作,学习先进制作技术和管理经验。鼓励外资企业在华进行文化科技研发,发展服务外包。开展知识产权保护国际合作。

To be continued.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

17th Central Committee’s “Culture Document” – 11: Go Global, and no Porn!

[This was posted on Sunday, but appears as a Saturday post. This mess, and that mess, are somehow linked to each other, mefeels – JR]

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