Posts tagged ‘surveys’

Friday, April 1, 2016

Media Coverage on Ministry of Education’s (MoE) “Blue Book” on Returning Overseas Students and the Labor Market

The Chinese ministry of education (MoE) published a “blue book”, or a government report, on March 25, concerning overseas Chinese students returning to China, and looking for a job there. If Chinese press and government agency coverage on the report is something to go by, this is what the average academic returnee to the motherland looks like:

he is actually mostly a she (59.16 percent of the returnees are female), aged 23 to 33 (absolute average 27.04 yrs old), a masters student (80.7 percent), a postgraduate (9,49 percent), or an undergraduate / a student with a specialized subject (9.81 percent combined). If a postgraduate, his main fields should mainly be chemistry, material science, economics, electronics and electrical engineering, while the masters fields of study are somewhat more into the direction of finance, accounting, business management, management studies, or international business studies.

Statistics seem to suggest that there have been more returnees recently, than the 1978 to 2015 average numbers. Either way, the MoE’s Overseas Students’ Support Center deputy director Xu Peixiang (徐培祥) is quoted as saying that some 70 to 80 percent of students, in recent years, have returned after their studies abroad.1)

97 percent of those who currently study abroad are doing so at their own expense, which appears plausible when looking at the total numbers. In 2015 alone, 523,700 students reportedly left for studies abroad, and 409,100 job-seeking overseas students returned to China that year. By comparison, 248 students left China for studies abroad in 1978, according to Xinhua newsagency.

Very rough calculations with many unknowns: given that 459,800 Chinese left China to study abroad in 2014, according to this government-agency news report, the average of students leaving in 2014 and 2015 combined would be (459,800 + 523,700)/2 = 491,750, and based on an average duration of 22 months (more precisely 21.47 months) of studies abroad among the 2015 returnees,  this would mean that about 901,542 Chinese students would currently be abroad.

Three percent of these would then not study at their own expense (or that of their parents, relatives, etc.). Some 27,000 of the 901,542 abroad would, based on my shoddy calculation, study with a government grant, a scholarship, etc.. And probably, very few, if any, among the 248 who went abroad in 1978, were self-paying students.

23.85 percent of the 2015 returnees have been looking for a job in state-owned companies, 19.4 percent prefer minban operations2), and foreign-invested enterprises, state institutions and financial institutions rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the returnees search settings. Only 3.32 percent want to establish businesses of their own (one percentage point up, compared to the 2014 returnees).

When it comes to location and company types, the returnees haven’t necessarily followed their ideas of perfect companies and locations, but looked at some hard facts (and regulations), and have therefore looked for jobs that appeared to be closer within their reach. Either way, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are still very popular destinations, with 49.34 percent indicating these goals, but this is said to be eight percentage points less than in 2013. This share is now basically focused on other provincial-capital-level cities.

Being in a position to pay for ones studies abroad doesn’t necessarily translate into perfect (or labour-market-oriented) choices, according to the news coverage. Qi Mo (齐默), head of the returnee office at the MoE, is quoted as stating “a certain blindness” in terms of how students (and their parents) are choosing fields of studies (or majors) and places (cities and universities) abroad. Hence, the MoE was trying to provide candidates for self-paid overseas studies, as well as their families, with information to support their choices, according to Qi.

It isn’t strongly highlighted in the news, but it becomes fairly evident that while Xu Peixiang points out how returning overseas students have become a group that receives great attention at our country’s market of talents, there may be particular challenges for returning overseas students, too. When a Xinhua article mentions measures like bases (or opportunities) for practical work as supportive measures for returnees to integrate into the labor market (this might also be translated as internship opportunities), you might suspect some frustration and trouble there. After all, such “opportunities” are hardly the financial return self-paying students (and their families and networks) would expect on their investment (or borrowings).

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Footnotes

1) According to statistics quoted in the Chinese press coverage on the MoE “blue book”, 4.04 million Chinese students have studied abroad from 1978 to 2015. 2.22 million of them have returned so far.

2) minban is a poorly defined term. There are, of course, many ways to find definitions anyway. Dorothy J Solinger, in “China’s Transition from Socialism”, first published in 1993, suggested that

there are three main types: those […] which are supposedly owned and managed by “people” (minyou-minban); those owned by the state but managed by “people” (guanyou-minban); and those jointly operated and owned by the state and the “people” (guanmingongyou).

And in 1999/2000, Guoqiang Tian, now a professor at Texas A & M University and in China, discussed in a paper on Property Rights and the Nature of Chinese Collective Enterprises why collective enterprises, especially township and village enterprises (TVEs) had – those sixteen years ago, anyway – developed more rapidly than privately owned enterprises, in China.

General note: I have no information about survey’s return rate among the former overseas students.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deutsche Welle: the Pendulum Swings back (and strikes again)

While a comparatively early report by Guanchazhe (Shanghai) came across as sort of neutral, a report by Huanqiu Shibao (the Chinese-language sister of the “Global Times”) on Monday used the Su Yutong vs Deutsche Welle story for a bit of domestic nation-building. Using purported netizen comments, Huanqiu criticizes Su for being “naive”:

“You are reporting negative news about China all day long and think Germans will like you for that? Naive! You are planning to sue Deutsche Welle for violating local labor laws? What a joke. You don’t understand Germany and German law. When you leak a company’s internal information, the company has every reason to discharge you”, some netizens said.

“你整天报道中国的负面新闻,德国人就喜欢你?幼稚! 还准备起诉德国之声违反当地劳动法?笑话。太不了解德国和德国的法律。光泄漏企业内部的信息,企业就完全有理由开除你。”有网友说。

The paper leaves much of the criticism to “netizens”, but adds some message of its own, too. According to a BBC survey [probably Globescan], China’s image in Germany had been deteriorating for a decade, and 76 percent of Germans currently held a negative view of China, writes Huanqiu. That journalists like Su Yutong, from important positions, were blackening China’s name had something to do with the country’s negative image. When Chinese people badmouthed other Chinese people, ordinary people abroad tended to believe them.

We, too, hate some dark phenomena in our country, but we also hope and believe our motherland will improve. Reasonable overseas Chinese people will be happy and proud about China’s economic construction and development during the past thirty years. China has its shortcomings and you can criticize them, but not with a maximum zoom, and opposition against everything.

我们痛恨自己国家的一些阴暗现象,但更希望并坚信,我们的祖国会越来越好。任何一个有良知的海外华人,都会对中国这30多年来的经济建设发展感到万分的庆幸与骄傲。中国有缺点可以批评,但不能无限放大,更不能逢中必反。

The article also describes the development of Sino-German trade and adds that during the sanctions on and from Russia, Germany’s economy had shrunk by 0.2 percent during the second quarter this year. And using comments on overseas-Chinese social media, Huanqiu suggests that “constant negative headlines at Deutsche Welle about China wouldn’t help bilateral cooperation”.

The Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) would probably agree. When German chancellor Angela Merkel visited China during summer, the APA had recommendations for the two heads of government, Merkel and Li Keqiang, concerning a better climate for Chinese investment in Germany. Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported:

It was “the common task of governments and companies on both sides to promote a good reputation of Chinese companies in Germany”, the recommendations, on hand at dpa newsagency in Beijing on Tuesday [July 8], say. This was about a “fair and accurate” presentation. Background [of these recommendations?] is Chinese criticism of German media which “irresponsibly and inaccurately report about Chinese human rights and political issues”, a position paper still in progress says.

APA chairman Hubert Lienhard, talking to journalists, resolutely denied the existence of this paragraph in the raft. However, only a week ago, a draft of the paper containing this criticism circulated in the German embassy in Beijing. Accusations like these were, however, not adopted in the recommendations to the two heads of government, recommendations the APA commission does not want to publish. […]

The APA doesn’t need to be “behind” the most recent events at Deutsche Welle, and if the links are as crude as suggested both by Huanqiu Shibao and some of Su Yutong’s supporters remains an open question. But there seems to be a trend towards cozying up to Beijing – and the pendulum that hit Zhang Danhong in 2008, and four more of her colleagues at the DW Chinese department in 2010 on its way to more “China-unfriendly” coverage, now seems to have hit Su Yutong, on its way back to more “China-friendly” coverage.

Monday, February 3, 2014

CCTV Chunwan Gala: Probably not Doing as Bad as Reported

Global Voices had an article a few days ago, on Chinese TV’s (CCTV) New Year’s Gala show, broadcast last Thursday night local time. It’s often been said that the show is losing its former luster. That may be true. But I seem to be getting some hunches that the decline of the show is often overstated.

For one, views expressed on the internet are overstated. The Global Voices article suggests that, according to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of the viewers were extremely disappointed in the program this year. True, but these sixty percent of viewers expressed their view on the internet, according to the source quoted there. 21,721 people apparently participated in the online survey, and they judged not the show itself, but rather the list of scheduled events during the show.

That said, the show, first broadcast on New Year’s Eve in 1983, is losing appeal, even according to a survey quoted by China Radio International (CRI). The poll in question is said to have been conducted by China Youth Daily on February 28 – i. e., also a vote on the schedule than on the show as aired. 55.4 percent found that the show was outdated. 102,791 people reportedly participated in the China-Youth-Daily survey.

I’m even suggesting that many of the young today who detest the show may get to like it as they grow older and become more conservative. From a demographic perspective, China isn’t a young country anymore, and it is greying rapidly.

All the same, Global Voices offers a summary of the gala which is worth reading. The intentions behind the production are probably interpreted fairly accurately, and two videos are included as samples.

The complete show will be somewhere on the internet.

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Related

» An estimated 700 mn, BBC blog, Jan 31, 2014
» How boring, “Global Times”, Jan 28, 2014
» No toothless Rocker, Jan 18, 2014

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

What the Heck are “National Conditions”?

From Qianjiang Evening Post (钱江晚报), Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, founded in 1987.  Although named “evening paper”, it is sent to subscribers in the morning. The following signed editorial was apparently published online on Friday.

Links added during translation.

If “national condition” is some kind of dough, National Food Safety Assessment Center deputy Wang Zhutian has put it into a mold.

“国情”是个面团,国家食品安全风险评估中心主任助理王竹天把它捏成了方的。

This official, assigned to watch over the food security of 1.3 billion Chinese people, said in reply to questions concerning the definition of our country’s food security issues that we are a developing country, and that we need to define our standards in accordance to our “national condition”. If we took European air-quality standards, we wouldn’t be up to the standards.

这位身居13亿中国人食品安全站岗放哨要职的官员,在回答我国食品安全标准制定的问题时说,我们是发展中国家,还要按照“国情”来制定我们自己的标准。如果我们都拿欧洲空气做标准,那么我们都不合格。

This national-condition stuff – China Civil Aviation Cadres Institute associate professor Zou Jianjun has shaped it.

“国情”这团面,中国民航干部学院副教授邹建军把它捏成了圆的。

He voiced disdain for a flight data statistic  – he believes that to put Beijing Capital Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport into a punctuality statistic with an overall of 35 airports worldwide, where they rank last and second-last, won’t perfectly reflect actual punctuality, and emphasizes that currently, our economic development doesn’t match Europe’s or America’s, and to put them all together [in the same statistic] was unreasonable.

这位专家对美国航空数据网站发布的一组数字表示不屑。他认为,北京首都机场、上海浦东机场双双包揽上个月全球35个国际机场准点率排名倒数第一第二名,这个数据不能完全准确反映实际准点率,并强调,目前我国经济发展水平并未与欧美相同,放在一起比较并不合理。

According to Wang Zhutian’s theory, the “national condition” of food safety standards – i. e. an acknowledged “national condition” – China, in its primary stage of socialism, should forget about wild hopes for eating with the same peace of mind as people in developed countries.

按照王竹天主任的理论,食品安全标准的“国情”,就是一个认命的“国情”,社会主义初级阶段的中国,别奢望吃上与发达国家一样放心的食品。

I don’t know how much of a natural connection there is between melamine in milkpowder and the incessant stream of poisonous rice and ginger, and the degree of  a country’s economic development. If there is a relation, is it that not enough tax money is spent on supervision? Or is it that the money spent by consumers on food doesn’t qualify for eating with their minds at ease?

我不知道奶粉中的三聚氰胺、层出不尽的毒大米毒生姜,与一个国家经济发达程度有多少必然的关系。如果有关系,是指纳税人提供给监管的钱不够花?还是消费者现有的食品购买支出,没资格吃上放心的食品?

From the common peoples’ dining tables to the state council’s meetings, the entire country is filled with fear about food safety issues, and this supervision official puts his “national-condition” dough into the mold. If “national conditions” become the food-safety supervision officials excuse for inaction, it will be a crudely-made protective umbrella for the inaction, and “national condition” will be a warning to compatriots to resign themselves to the destiny of accepting cheap standards.

吃的安全问题,从黎民百姓的餐桌上,摆到了国务院常务会议上,全中国都在为食品安全问题提心吊胆,偏偏这监管的官员,把它摆到了“国情”这个任他们拿捏的面团里。如果“国情”可以成为食品监管不作为的借口,可以成为放任食品粗制滥造的保护伞,那么,“国情”就是个告诫国人自认命贱的标准。

To grasp the theory of “national condition”, some of our experts and officials aren’t ahead of the rest of us with their standards, but the skin of their face is thicker than ours. The airports we built [in this country], in the words of our achievers, experts and officials, are of “international standards”.  Our high-speed trains, are testimony that there is “no match for them elsewhere in the world”. But when comparisons are about operation capabilities or quality of service, “national conditions” serve as shields. Our experts and officials don’t feel the least of shame that in many fields, China trails behind internationally.

在把握“国情”的理论上,我们现在的一些专家和官员,已经不是在与别人比水平有多高,而是在与别人比脸皮有多厚。建机场,夸成就,专家和官员嘴里,那是一个“国际一流”。修高铁,说功劳,那是一个“世上无双”。但是,比运营能力、比服务水平,“国情”就被扯出来做挡箭牌了。中国很多事情在国际上“垫底”,我们在这些专家和官员身上,感受不到丁点儿羞耻。

You don’t get on your plane or train? It’s “national condition”. Delays in arrival? “National conditions”. Rising prices? They have nothing to say. When spending money, they have nothing to say. Showing off their (small) achievements? Nothing to say. When earning high salaries and state remuneration from taxpayers’ money, when counting their money, have they ever mentioned “national conditions”?

坐不上飞机火车的时候,他们说“国情”。晚点的时候,他们说“国情”。涨价的时候,他们不说了。花钱的时候,他们不说了。表功的时候,他们不说了。拿着纳税人供奉的高薪与厚禄,在点钱的时候,他们说过一句“国情”了吗?

What kind of condition is a “national condition”? First of all, it should be the people’s conditon, the responsibility entrusted to officials and experts, the willingness to be worthy. Apart from the people’s feelings, it is this inaptness, this demand on compatriots to acknowledge their own worthlessness which is China’s most unfortunate “national condition”.

“国情”是个什么情?它首先应该是民情,是官员与专家寄托在百姓身上负责任、愿担当的感情。抛开民情,站在那个与自己的能力、品行不相匹配的位置上,以“国情”的名义让国人自认命贱,这才是中国最不幸的“国情”。

What’s the “national condition”? Above all, it should be the people’s sentiments, the responsibility for the common people, entrusted to officials and experts, the desire to be worthy.

“国情”是个什么情?它首先应该是民情,是官员与专家寄托在百姓身上负责任、愿担当的感情。

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Related

» One on One, Wang Zhutian, CCTV, May 12, 2013

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

German Press Review: Kim’s Sugarcubes, and the “Battle of Opinion”

The actions of the North Korean regime are not incalculable, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s (Munich) Reymer Klüver, the paper’s U.S. correspondent until summer last year, and now with the foreign-politics department at Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Kim clan’s provocations were actually quite calculable in its provocations which served only one goal: to show the world and its own people its power. The regime in North Korea doesn’t act incalculably. It acts irresponsibly.

The message is aimed at the Obama administration, believes Klüver, as the test was conducted on the day when the American president delivered the agenda for his second term in office, and at South Korean president-elect Park Geun Hye is about to take office. The reactions, too, were calculable: the US would demand stronger sanctions, China would agree after some hesitation, and basically, the response wouldn’t be different from the one to the previous nuclear test. Even if a bomb of the same explosive power as the previous one was indeed smaller than before, and therefore more suitable to be fitted to a nuclear missile, North Korea remained far from being a threat to America.

What makes the test dangerous all the same would be that Kim might gamble away, and that his provocations could spin out of control. A conflict on the South Korean border could lead to just that kind of scenario. Even worse, non-proliferation might be used to earn some badly needed foreign exchange. There was speculation about North Korean cooperation with Iran on its third test. What would keep a gambler like the dictator in Pyongyang to sell Iran or others his knowledge and even material?

China could influence North Korea, if it wanted to, writes Klüver, but it didn’t want to use it. 90 percent of North Korea’s oil imports depended on China. But China’s calculations could be shifting, Klüver adds: a Peking government paper had mentioned a “high price” that North Korea would have to pay in case of a nuclear test. The Chinese, Klüver recaps, needed to take responsibility for their irresponsible neighbor.

Der Spiegel (Hamburg) chooses the tabloid approach, as far as its choice  of stock photo material is concerned. Underneath a video link photo (from Reuters) that shows Kim Jong-un in flames, the headline is North Korean nuclear power messes with America (Atommacht Nordkorea legt sich mit Amerika an). Der Spiegel’s Andreas Lorenz points out that this could start an arms race, with the US, Japan and North Korea beefing up their missile defense. Xi Jinping acted hardly differently from his predecessor Hu Jintao, Lorenz notes, as he criticizes Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests, but also trying to soften international sanctions. North Korea is an important supplier of commodities to China. And the encapsulated country serves China’s military as a strategic buffer zone between China and the other East Asian states and the US.

Lorenz also quotes the English-language party mouthpiece “Global Times” as suggesting that there was no need for China to placate angry feelings about its role. And Lorenz quotes US expert Siegfried Hecker with concerns that North Korea could sell its atomic-bomb know-how, to Iran, for example.

Die Welt (Berlin) suggests that Kim had thrown the Chinese sugar cubes (i. e. sweetened the third test).

Namely, the third test was preceded by several sessions of North Korean security panels on which Kim ostensibly emphasized the leadership role of his Communist Party. For the first time in the regime’s history, these sessions were made public, writes die Welt’s Torsten Krauel. Kim thus signaled that the third test was controled by the civilian leadership and not, as it had been previously, as an – intransparent to the outside world – decision between an ailing dictator and an incalculable army. (Dem dritten Test gingen nämlich mehrere Sitzungen nordkoreanischer Sicherheitsgremien voraus, auf denen Kim demonstrativ die Führungsrolle seiner Kommunistischen Partei hervorhob. Diese Sitzungen wurden erstmals in der Geschichte des Regimes publik gemacht. Kim Jong-un signalisierte damit, dass der dritte Atomtest unter der Steuerung und Kontrolle der zivilen Führung stattfand und nicht, wie beide Male zuvor, in einer nach außen unklaren Entscheidung zwischen einem kränklichen Diktator und einer unberechenbaren Armee.)

Therefore, Xi Jinping and (theoretically) Barack Obama, too, now had a a definite contact person, believes Krauel.

Alleged North-Korean cooperation with Iran has long been a leitmotif in Die Welt’s coverage, but while more moderate papers like Süddeutsche Zeitung are discussing these allegations too, this week, Die Welt goes one step further and discusses how America could conduct a war on North Korea. However, Krauel concludes that different from Iraq during the years after the Kuwait war, the United Nations weren’t in a state of war with North Korea.

Therefore, it seems to be inevitable to talk with each other in East Asia again, even with a dictator like Kim Jong-un – as unpromising and depressing this prospect may currently look. (Wahrscheinlich führt deshalb tatsächlich kein Weg daran vorbei, in Ostasien wieder miteinander zu reden, sogar mit einem Diktator wie Kim Jong-un – so aussichtslos und bedrückend diese Aussicht derzeit auch erscheinen mag.)

The German mainstream press in general has become much more supportive of militarization of politics than in the past. That is my rough observation, and not backed by statistics. But apparently for the first time, research has been published about how leading German press people – mentioned by name – are interlinked with think tanks, national and international forums, foundations, policy planning groups, etc.. And a presentation of this research also clearly quotes leading press commentators with statements like

Politics must not shun the battle of opinion on the home front if they are convinced of what they purport. […] The battle for the “hearts and minds” must be conducted among at home, too. (Der Meinungskampf an der Heimatfront darf die Politik nicht scheuen, wenn sie von dem überzeugt ist, was sie vorgibt. […] Der Kampf um die “hearts and minds” muss auch bei uns geführt werden.)

A newsman’s words, to be clear.

This should not lead to overreaching conclusions. The research does not suggest that everyone is in the boat of an extended security concept (erweiterter Sicherheitsbegriff, including energy and financial-industry issues). But among four leading journalists of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit and Die Welt, definitions of security and threat catalogs had been uncritically adopted (unkritisch übernommen).

There are papers with editorial managers not known for relevant networks – the left leaning Tageszeitung (taz) and Frankfurter Rundschau (FR). Some of their articles correspond with views among the elite, some sharply criticize the extended security concept, according to the report.

Here is another observation that disturbs me: My choice of press-review sources – Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel, Die Welt further above in this blogpost was spontaneous. My information sources of choice when it comes to North Korea’s nuclear test were just these papers. No taz, no Frankfurter Rundschau. However, there’s an excuse:

I thought the Rundschau was no longer online, as they filed for bankruptcy on November 12, 2012.

But in fact, they are still here.

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Related

» Questions Raised, November 10, 2012

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Huanqiu on HK Survey: It’s not as Bad as you Think

The following is a translation of a Huanqiu Shibao article. It is therefore a mainland Chinese reflection of a Hong Kong survey. I haven’t read the survey itself, or coverage on the survey from elsewhere.

The Huanqiu article has been republished by many Chinese websites, including Sina‘s edition for Taiwan, Enorth (Tianjin), and many other regional or local websites in China.

Main Link: Only 2.4 percent of Hong Kong’s post-1980s…

In cases where the Cantonese pronounciation of Hong Kongers’ names within the Huanqiu article weren’t easily available online, I used putonghua pronounciation in this translation.

Be more Liu Dehua: 让世界知道我们都是中国人

Be more Andy Lau: 让世界知道我们都是中国人 (click picture for video)

Links within blockquote added during translation.

Exchanges between Hong Kong and the hinterland become more and more frequent, but a recent survey finds that Hong Kongers see their “Hong Kong identity” with growing clarity. Among them, young respondents born after 1980 feel most strongly about their “Hong Kong identity”. Some Hong Kong media explain that the findings reflect “resistance against Chinese identity” among part of Hong Kongers, and a “low national identity”. However, Anthony Y. H. Fung [Feng Yingqian], head of the Chinese University’s School of Journalism and Communication, and in charge of the survey, told a “Huanqiu Shibao” reporter on Monday that there was no contradiction between “Hong Kong identity” and “national identity”, that while the survey showed a Hong Kong “awareness of their native land”, it also showed that pride in the national flag, the national anthem or the People’s Liberation Army and other national symbols had also risen.

香港与内地的交流越来越频繁,但一项最新调查发现,香港人的“港人身份认同”越来越明显,其中“80后”的年轻受访者“港人身份认同感”最为强烈。有香港媒体在报道中解读称,调查结果反映部分港人“抗拒中国人的身份”、“国民身份认同感低”。不过,负责调查的香港中文大学新闻与传播学院院长冯应谦12日向《环球时报》记者澄清说,香港人对“港人身份认同”与“国民身份认同”并不存在矛盾,调查显示港人“本土意识”增加的同时,也显示过去十多年来香港人对于国旗、国歌或解放军等国家象征自豪感相对有上升。

According to a Hong Kong’s “Oriental Daily” report on Monday, the Chinese University’s SChool of Communication and a polling agency carried out a telephone survey last month, with 819 Hong Kongers as respondents. One question asked the respondents to tell to which category of people they belonged, with “Chinese people”, “Hong Kong people”, “Hong Kong people, but also Chinese people” and “Chinese people, but also Hong Kong people” to choose from. The survey found that 42 percent of the respondents chose that they were “Hong Kong people, but also Chinese people”, a small drop from two years ago, when the number was 44 percent. 23 percent chose the purely “Hong Kong people” identity. 22 percent said they were “Chinese, but also Hong Kong people”, and 12 percent felt that they were purely “Chinese people”, a new low after Hong Kong’s 1997 return. The survey divided respondents into those who were thirty years old or younger, the “post-1980s”, and those older than that. The results tell that the “post-1980s” don’t greatly identify with the “Chinese people identity”, with only 2.4 percent choosing “Chinese people”, while the share of older respondents identified with the “Chinese people” option by 15.9 percent.

据香港《东方日报》12日报道,香港中文大学传播与民意调查中心于上月中进行民意调查,以电话访问了819名港人,其中一个问题要求受访者回答自己属于哪一类人,四项选择为“中国人”、“香港人”、“香港人,但也是中国人”以及“中国人,但也是香港人”。调查发现,有42%的受访者选择自己是“香港人,但也是中国人”,较两年前进行同样调查时的44%的数据稍降。其次有23%的受访者选择纯粹“香港人”身份,是自2008年以来的新高。另外22%的受访者称自己是“中国人,但也是香港人”;觉得自己纯粹是“中国人”的受访者只有12%,是97回归以来的新低点。此次调查又特别将受访者分成两批,一批为30岁或以下的“80后”,另一批则是“非80后”,结果发现“80后”对“中国人身份”不太认同,选择是“中国人”的只有2.4%,但非“80后”的比例却有15.9%。

[…]

The findings triggered controversy in Hong Kong’s public opinion. Hong Kong SAR’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung [Liu Mengxiong] said this was related to the SAR government only caring about peoples-livelihood issues and not doing everything to refute “Hong Kong independence” talk. He believes that recently, many determined people repeatedly waved “Union-Jack” flags and seized the opportunity of hyping “Hong Kong independence” thoughts, and the SAR government hadn’t refuted them. This could only lead to further political difficulties. Xu Huajie, Hong Kong United Youth Association advisor and China Im- and Export Chamber of Commerce deputy director, said that if Hong Kong’s young people resisted the hinterland for political reasons, they would lose many opportunities to develop in their working lives. But Basic Law Committee member Liu Naiqiang describes public opinion “as a cloud”, and believfes that it is difficult to rely only on the polls to assess trends in public opinion. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology economic faculty director Francis Lui [雷鼎鸣] says that this survey by the Chinese University “has problems”, because they offered no “Hong Konger, but no Chinese” choice. This would have been necessary to really measure Hong Kongers’ “national identy” identification.

调查结果引发香港舆论的争议。香港特区全国政协委员刘梦熊表示,港人有如此意识,相信与特区政府只顾民生政策,没有全力驳斥“港独”言论有关。他认为,近期不少有心人士多次高举代表港英时期的“米字旗”,乘机炒作“港独”思潮,但特区政府未予以驳斥,这只会令施政进一步困难。兼任香港青联顾问的中华进出口商会副主席许华杰说,若香港青年因政治理由而抗拒内地,将失去很多工作发展机会。但《基本法》委员会委员刘乃强形容“民意如浮云”,他认为很难单靠民调去评估民意趋势。香港科技大学经济学系主任雷鼎鸣表示,此次中大的调查“有问题”,因为他们没有设一个“是香港人,但不是中国人”的选项供受访者选择,只有新增这个选项才能直接测试到港人对“国民身份”认同感的最终态度是什么。

Anthony Y. H. Fung, in charge of the survey, told “Huanqiu Shibao” that there was no contradiction between “Hong Kong identity” and “Chinese identity”. Although the survey had shown the “Hong Kong identity” ever more clearly, it also showed that during the past ten years, Hong Kongers’ feelings of pride for national symbols like the national flag, the national anthem, or the PLA had also risen. From only 30.6 percent of Hong Kongers feeling proud of the national flag in 1996, their share was now 37.6 percent, and while only ten percent felt good about the PLA in 1996, their share was now 21.5 percent.

负责此次调查的香港中文大学新闻与传播学院院长冯应谦12日接受《环球时报》记者采访时澄清说,香港人对“港人身份认同”与“国民身份认同”并不存在矛盾,虽然调查显示香港人的“港人身份认同”越来越明显,但调查同时也显示,过去十多年来香港人对国旗、国歌或解放军等国家象征自豪感上升,比如,在1996年,只有30.6%的受访者对国旗有自豪感,今年的调查则有37.6%;另外,在1996年,只有10%的受访者对解放军有好感,但今年已增至21.5%。

Fung believes that the stronger “Hong Kong identitification” had grown because of discussions in recent years, having everyone considering their identity issues. As for the “post-1980s” leaning towards “Hong Kong identity”, this was because of the Hong Kong government’s promotion of [unsafe translation: lessons in line with hinterland lessons, encouraging independent thinking, and the young generation wanting to participate in public matters and deliberations about identity issues]. He said: “if the survey was carried out during the Olympics or during National Day, I believe Hong Kongers’ identification with the nation would be stronger”.

冯应谦认为,香港人对“港人身份认同”增强,只因近年相关讨论多了,让大家思考自己的身份问题。至于“80后”较倾向认同“香港人的身份”,是因为近年香港教育推行通识课(相当于内地的社会课),鼓励独立思考,令年轻一代较愿意参与社会事务及思考身份的问题。他说,“如果调查是在奥运或者国庆期间进行,我相信港人的国民身份认同比例会大大增加。”

As for the talk about “Hong Kong independence”, Fung said that the share of respondents who said they were “Hong Kongers, but also Chinese” showed that support for “Hong Kong independence” was very small. In fact, almost sixty percent of respondents had said that they travelled to mainland China every two months or even more frequently, which reflected that Hong Kongers believed that contact with the hinterland had become an unstoppable trend.

对于近日香港出现“港独”争论,冯应谦表示,调查结果显示,受访港人大多数选择“香港人、但也是中国人”一项,可见支持“港独”只是很少数。事实上,近六成受访者表示“两个月一次或更多地”往返大陆,这反映大部分香港人都认为,与内地接触已是不可阻挡的潮流。

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Related

» Patriotic Classes only Optional, BBC, Sep 8, 2012
» A Sense of Affection, July 30, 2012
» If you can’t govern a village, Dec 16, 2011

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One (Belated) Question, Mr President: just what would You do with another Four Years?

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is said to be a technocrat – he has never been into “inspiring” speeches. But even if he had been: with popularity (or support) rates at less than ten percent (according to the BBC’s Mandarin website), all he can do is to focus on what pains the public most: the economy, and sagging earned incomes.

Ma Ying-jeou, Double-Ten speech.

We are (going to be) the champions.

Ma’s Double-Ten speech wants to suggest that he knows what needs to be done:

Taiwan should become a supplier of key components and precision equipment, as well as a developer of innovative services. In addition to fostering new growth-driver industries, we must also support the efforts of our businesses to develop critical technologies, produce key components, and carry out research and development efforts aimed at creating precision equipment with intelligent functions and unique competitive advantages. This multi-track approach will ensure that our industrial firms will not be easily replaced by, nor be dependent upon, those of other nations. Aside from manufacturing, we must also keep track of market trends and develop innovative business models, so that the service sector will enjoy a greater share in our industry’s output value and exports. In this way, we can transform our service industry into another engine that can drive economic growth and help to raise pay levels. These efforts to adjust our industrial structure that I have just now discussed are underway already.

“Already” could be used to make fun of a president who, after all, took office almost four years and a half ago. However, “already” should probably be blamed on poor translation into English – in Chinese, “already” or 已經 stands for some kind of present perfect, rather than for a triumphantly “early” accomplishment, or – at least – insight.

Ma’s second term hasn’t seen a honeymoon. The public appeared to be nervous even before May this year, with support and satisfaction rates at between 15 and 22 percent respectively. Ma addressed some of the criticism of this year in today’s speech, such as the issue of communication.

But above all, Nanfang Shuo, a political commentator, suggested earlier this year, much of the public’s unease stemmed from an awareness that Ma was now free from pressure as he faced no further elections. Reforms and decisions could therefore be taken arbitrarily.

Apparently, those fears haven’t gone away.

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Related

» One Question, Mr President, Economist, Sep 1, 2012

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Friday, September 21, 2012

You Be the Judge…

… what’s nicer:

a) That parrot shitting from a pole, or …
b)
this cute family?

Those who know a thing or two about KT will also know that he doesn’t like cats. He does like fawning animals that do as he says (i. e. dogs), and he has a parrot whom he taught to caw stuff like

KT ten-thousand years! KT knows better! KT is a sex symbol!

To each his own.

To keep this strictly scientific, I’ll try to include one of those WordPress polling functions here:

No, I won’t. Too much of a hassle. Just leave your comments, and I’ll count them,  two years on or so.

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