Posts tagged ‘trade union’

Monday, November 28, 2022

Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet (3): Zhao Leji – two Upholds, never change Color

Much of the following table’s content is taken from the bio published by “People’s Daily” online, on October 25, 2017, when Zhao became a permanent politburo standing committee member for the first time (then ranking #6).

Short Bio

Politburo Standing Committeee — #3 — Zhao Leji (赵乐际)

1957-03-08 Born in Xining, Qinghai province, family background: parents from Xi’an.
1974-07-00 party membership
1974-09-00 Considered an “educated youth” (知识青年), Zhao is sent or “called” to Hedong Township, Qinghai, during the “Down to the Countryside” movement. Hedong is part of the “Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”.
1975-08-00 Returns to city life as a mail clerk and messenger at Qinghai Department of Trade.
1977-02-00 Studies at Beijing University’s philosophy faculty, as a worker-peasant-soldier student.
1980-01-00 graduation
about 1980 Returns to Qinghai Department of Trade.
1984-12-00 Party secretary at Qinghai Province Hardware Electric & Chemical Products (a Qinghai Department of Trade company), also picking up managerial duties.
1986-04-00 Chairman of financial and commercial workers’ trade union’s Qinghai Department of Trade branch.
1993-02-00 Assistant to Qinghai provincial governor, provincial department of finance director.
1994-07-00 Qinghai deputy provincial governor.
1997-03-00 Xining Municipal Party Committee Secretary.
1997-12-00 Deputy secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
1999-08-00 Acting governor.
2000-01-00 Officially appointed as Qinghai provincial governor.
2003-08-00 Secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
2004-01-00 Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2007-03-25 Deputy secretary of Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee.
2008-01-23 Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2012-11-15 Member of the CPC’s 18th Central Committee, and politburo member.
2012-11-19 Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party.
2012-11-19 Holding the office of CPC Central Organizational Department director at the same time.
2017-10-25 First plenary session of the 19th CPC National Congress, CPC politburo standing committee membership (ranking 6th) among seven standing-committee members).
Also Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary, replacing Wang Qishan.
Investigates Yang Jing (杨晶), Zhao Zhengyong (赵正永), Qin Guangrong (秦光荣), Fu Zhenghua (傅政华), Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖), Meng Hongwei (孟宏伟), Xiao Yaqing (肖亚庆), and others.
2022-10-23 First plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee,Zhao Leji ranks second in the new politburo’s standing committee.

Zhao Leji’s (r) research tour in Hebei, September 2019, “Hebei Xiong’an New Area”

What may strike a reader of this summarized biography is how often Zhao returned to previous posts in his career, how long he stayed within Qinghai networks, and how rapidly his career picked up in the 1990s (still in Qinghai, and then also in Shaanxi — see family background, accidental or not).
Deutsche Welle’s Chinese service suggested in an online article of October 23 that according to previous politburos’ practice, Zhao was likely to head the “National People’s Congress”, the CPC’s parliament simulation with Chinese characteristics. This would also match his previous experience as Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2004) and Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2008).

The following is my translation of a Xinhua article, published on November 12, 2021 (a bit more than a year ago). Zhao is quoted there in his capacity as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Main Link: “Zhao Leji emphasizes …”
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

At Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee session, Zhao Leji emphasizes the positive contributions to be made for self-revolution in the new era, by thorough study and implementation of the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit<
赵乐际在中央纪委常委会会议上强调 深入学习贯彻党的十九届六中全会精神 为新时代党的伟大自我革命作出积极贡献

November 12, 2021, 21:34, Xinhua Online
2021-11-12 21:34:39 来源: 新华网

Xinhua, Beijing, November 12 report.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee held a meeting on November 12, to convey and study the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit, and to look into ways to thoroughly implement decisons. Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Secretary Zhao Leji directed the meeting and emphasized the need for the disciplin inspection and supervision organs to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the [19th Central Committee´s Sixth] plenary session, to strengthen the “Four Awarenesses” [also known as the “Four Consciousnesses”], to strengthen the “Four Matters of Confidence”1), to achieve the “two upholds”, to link together and to put to use the historic experience from the party´s one-hundred years of struggle, to promote high-quality development of discipline inspection work in the new era, and, in advancing the party´s self-revolution, making positive contributions, leading the new practice of society´s revolution by self-revolution.
新华社北京11月12日电 中央纪委常委会12日召开会议,传达学习党的十九届六中全会精神,研究贯彻落实举措。中共中央政治局常委、中央纪委书记赵乐际主持会议,强调纪检监察机关要深入学习贯彻全会精神,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,贯通运用党的百年奋斗历史经验,推动新时代纪检监察工作高质量发展,在推进党的自我革命、以伟大自我革命引领伟大社会革命的新实践中作出积极贡献。

Zhao Leji pointed out that Xi Jinping, in a speech of profound and long-lasting deep thought and of a strong political, theoretical, strategic and guiding nature, clearly designated the way forward for the party to take bravely and resolutely, for the party so as not to forget the original intention at this new major historic juncture. The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on the Communist Party of China’s summarized political experience of why the party can, why Marxism works, and why socialism with Chinese characteristics works. [The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on] a grasp of the development and discipline of party building. It is the CPC’s political declaration and guide for action in the new era. Discipline inspection and supervision organs must make the study and implementation of the plenary session’s spirit a major political mission, study the plenary session’s documents in their entirety, learn the original documents, become aware of the principles, deeply understand the main points and essentials, correctly grasp the main theme and the main line of the party’s historic development and its main stream essence, and make use of the plenary spirit for common purpose, aggregated consensus, staunch confidence and strengthened fighting spirit.

Zhao Leji emphasized that for the iscipline inspection and supervision organs to study and implement the plenary session’s spirit, it is necessary to link closely to reality, to stick closely to one’s duties, to deeply understand the demands of the new ideology, new conclusions and new demands put forward by the plenary session, particularly the important discourse and requirements concerning comprehensive and strict governance over the party, the party’s work style and building clean government, and fight against corruption [must be implemented at work and embodied in action]. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity and maintaining the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics – continue to learn and to put in real efforts, strive to grasp the marxist position, viewpoint and methods contained in it, and always guarantee the correct political course of discipline inspection and supervision work. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity – promote the strengthening of the entire party’s “four consciousnesses”, maintain the “four matters of confidence”, achieve the “two upholds”, conscientously carry out the responsibility and mission of political supervision, earnestly guarantee the party’s unity, guarantee centralized and unified leadership, unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity implement the guidelines of comprehensive and strict governance over the party, strengthen the will and ability to fight, promote [a state of affairs / a status when] nobody dares to nor is able or wishing to be corrupt, resolutely carry the anti-corruption work out to the end, and play a positive role in making sure that the party will never degenerate, never change color, never change smell, nor its level of achievement2).

Yang Xiaodu, member of the politburo of the CPC and deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, attended the meeting.


Previously: Li Qiang #2



1) “Confident in our chosen path, confident in our guiding theories, confident in our political system, and confident in our culture”
2) Beijing’s “zero-covid” policy may raise questions about what <em>achievement</em> means in the CPC’s dictionary – I have no idea how they define achievement.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tsai Ing-wen: in a State of Overall Mobilization

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) held a press conference – or a “tea reception” for reporters – at → Taipei Guest House on Saturday afternoon local time.

The following are excerpts from her introductory statement, translated into English. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main link: → Presidential website

I’m very glad to meet with all the friends from the press here today. Apart from being happy to speak to the reporters ahead of schedule, I would also like to take the opportunity of this tea reception to report to all our compatriots about the efforts we have made for this country since the new government came into office.
I believe that all reporters present here, and many compatriots too, will know that a few days ago, the dispute concerning the national highway toll station dispute has been resolved.


Although some different views and opinions remain, concerning the solution to this dispute, I believe that, when watching on television how everyone smiled while the curtain fell on the dispute, many people, just like me, felt happy for them and their families.


To some people, this solution only means to give in to a group of people protesting in the streets. However, I want to look at the entire issue from a different perspective. As far as we are concerned, the point is that now that the curtain has fallen on this struggle, this society and above all some families can get back to their daily lives.


This is what governments are for. Some people →say that this [approach] is called giving out sweets to those who quarrel. But as far as this government is concerned, the real issue here isn’t the noise. The issue is if the noise is justified, and if the government listens. My expectation to myself and to my team, during the past three months, has been that we are prepared to listen, to communicate, and to find a solution.


I know that the friends from the press are curious about what I have done since May 20 [inauguration day], on a daily basis. In fact, after becoming president, my life and work have seen changes, and although the issues now are different, they have changed in a rather simple way, as mentioned in my inaugural speech: they are about solving problems.


Many problems have accumulated for a long time, and the previous government wanted to solve some of them, but wasn’t successful. There have also been some problems the past government neither wanted to solve, nor had the strength to solve.


The people who elected us want the new government to address and solve issues in a pragmatic and courageous way. The people do not want the new government to shift responsibilities altogether to the past. Therefore, I tell myself every day, and my governing team, too, that the people expects to see a different government.


In the decisionmaking process, I have to admit that we haven’t considered things sufficiently, and that we haven’t dealt with them sufficiently. When that happens, we will adapt, honestly face this, and that we will change. We won’t harden, we won’t weaken. During the Democratic Progressive Party government, and no half-minute incident.


For the past three months, the new government’s main four areas of attention have been as follows.

(1): Aborigines, Industrial Relations

The first one has been about solving longstanding problems in Taiwanese society. On August 1, I apologized to the aborigine nation on behalf of the government. For several hundred years, the aborigine people have suffered unfair treatment, that can’t be changed by a simple apology. But this society needs a starting point. I want to make the first step. Although the form of my apology sparked some controversy, we can take a successive approach and honestly face the problems that have accumulated during the past few hundred years.


Industrial relations disputes have long existed in Taiwanese society. In the wake of global economic change as well as economic slowdowns, weak labor rights and protection, have become more and more important issues. As for enterprises, and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, there have been transformational problems, which has also led to more and more tense industrial relations.


The new government has not tried to avoid the issue. We have chosen to handle the problem directly. Of course, we admit that to solve years-old disputes in a short time and to achieve social consensus in a short time is difficult. We want to communicate with society again, especially with labour organizations’ and small and medium-sized enterprises’ views, and we want to listen more carefully. This will be reflected in my future arrangements.


We also need to understand that if the Taiwanese economy doesn’t speed up transformation, labor disputes, even if solved for a while, will continue to trouble labour and industry.


(2): “Ill-Gotten Party Assets”, Judicial Yuan Nominations, Pension Reform

The second field of work discussed by President Tsai is recently-passed legislation on “ill-gotten party assets”, as described →here by the English-language Taipei Times in July. Tsai, in her address to the press on Saturday, referred to the process as a first step in the handling of rightening the authoritarian period in Taiwan (i. e. the decades of martial law under KMT rule). Tsai Ing-wen conjured a duty on the part of the KMT to share responsibility in the process:

I want to emphasize in particular that this is done to remind all politicians that many things that were considered natural within the authoritarian system, will not be allowed to happen again in today’s democratic society. What matters more is that, to create a more fair political environment in Taiwan, is our common responsibility.


In that “second field of work”, Tsai also mentioned a controversy concerning judicial yuan nominations – both nominees chosen by Tsai Ing-wen herself – which resulted with the nominees →bowing out:

I admit that the previous judicial yuan nomination sparked controversy in society. In the end, both nominees decided to decline with thanks, and I want to thank the two nominees for granting me a chance to think again. Of course, this was my responsibility. I will remember this experience carefully. The new government will communicate more carefully with the masses in future.


Another major issue addressed as part of the second field of work is pension reform.

(3): Taiwan’s New Economic Development Model

The third field of work for the new government is the new model for Taiwan’s economic development. During the past three months, our ministries and commissions in charge have actively worked on this matter. National construction programs made by think-tanks during our time in opposition have been turned into policies by the government offices. From here, the budgets of the offices in charge will be devised.


Concerning involvement in economic construction, and the promotional economic development plan concerning the five big innovative industries and the acceleration of technological innovation etc., our budgets for the coming year will grow correspondingly. This stands for our goal to build the new economic model round innovation.


As for a safe internet, for our social housing policies, and for the expansion of community care, raising the quality of long-term care, treatment and prevention, etc., we are also increasing the budgets.



Involvement in overall economic development will not limit itself to government budgeting. We will also encourage publicly-owned institutions to invest in new kinds of industries, lending impetus to non-governmental enterprises, especially the upgrading transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises.


The budgeting is only the beginning, and the real test is to do things well. In fact, the cabinet is in a state of overall mobilization. During the past three months, under the → executive yuan president‘s leadership and the coordination of the government affairs committee as well as the efforts of the heads of ministries and commissions, the new government hasn’t been lax. I have lists from every governmental commission concerning their issues and their progress, and can explain each of them. I believe that these lists can also be found on the executive yuan’s website.


I do not hope that people will use the first one-hundred days to judge my successes and failures, and I’m not going to judge the cabinet members’ performances based on the first one-hundred days.


Reform takes time. I’m not going to shrink back in the light of lacking short-term results or because of difficulties in promoting reform. When something goes wrong, it will be corrected, and what goes well, will be advanced boldly. I believe that this is what the Taiwanese people expect from government at this stage.


(4): Cross Strait Relations, Remembering Wang Tuoh

Fourthly, we will maintain the necessary communication with the relevant countries to maintain regional peace and stability, and to handle external relations. In particular, after the outcome of the arbitrational →decision concerning the South China Sea has been issued, we will, together with all countries, maintain the stability of the South China Sea situation. The people want the government to do more regarding sovereignty in the South China Sea, and we understand and acknowledge that.


As for the cross-strait relations [with China], I re-emphasize the importance of “maintaining the status quo”. Our goal is to build consistent, calculable and sustainable cross-strait relations under the current constitutional systems.


We will soon announce the staffing issues at the Strait Exchange Foundation. At the current stage, we have a choice among several candidates, and are at the final stage of consultations and assessments. Apart form the Strait Exchange Foundation, we will fill the remaining vacancies in government staff as soon as possible.


Some move quickly on the road of reform, and some move slowly, but as long as there is a common direction, we should support and encourage each other. There may be bumps on the government’s path in the coming days, but we will continue to make efforts forward.


Some say that solving the highway toll station staff issue is something “the previous government didn’t succeed to do”. As far as I am concerned, this is the greatest encouragement for our new government. To do what the previous government didn’t succeed at is what change of government is about.


There is one more thing. I want to mention a very particular man. When I took the office of Democratic Progressive Party chairpersonship in 2008, the party’s secretary general was → Mr. Wang Tuoh. Not long ago, he also left us. On his sickbed, he still showed concern for me. I will always remember how, when I wasn’t viewed favorably by the outside world, when the Democratic Progressive Party’s morale was at its lowest point, he bravely stepped forward, and together with me, he helped the Democratic Progressive Party to climb out from that lowest point.


In those difficult days, he often encouraged me, and he reminded me that when the thing you are doing is right, you must stick to it. I’m really sad that he can’t be in this world to see, with us, the changes of Taiwan.


But I will always remember what he said during his last days, he said “our way of governing must be different from the past, it must be successful.” I want to use these words to wind up my address. Everyone in the government team, put up the ante.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Xi Jinping’s May 1 Address to the Party, the Labor Unions, and the Model Workers

On Tuesday, Xinhua Newsagency (in Chinese) published party and state leader Xi Jinping‘s Labor Day address, celebrating national model workers and advanced workers, expressing the party’s and the people’s gratitude to them, and emphasizing the need for the whole society to learn from them (党和人民感谢你们!全社会都要向你们学习). The traditional ceremony awarded national model workers.

However, Xinhua Newsagency’s claim (in English) that the award ceremony had championed worker protection, higher working standards and stronger unions was hardly telling its foreign audience the entire truth. In fact, stronger unions in English spells party-led unions in CCP-Chinese (see last paragraphs of this post).

Labor Day ceremony in Urumqi

While the speech quoted in this post was held in Beijing, a similar ceremony went on tour in April last year, to Urumqi (click picture to get there)

On “Youth Day” in 2013, almost two years ago, Xi had tried to blend individual ambitions with party and state goals. And just as in last week’s Labor-Day ceremony, outstanding workforce (or outstanding youth representatives, as it was about youth day back then) were at the center of the event in 2013. This is a pattern that repeats itself on all kinds of occasions.

The following are excerpts from Xi Jinping’s speech during the Labor Day ceremony last week.

After the foundation of New China, our country’s working class became the leading class, and our country’s workers class and broad working masses became the masters of the country, thus giving our commemoration of May 1 international labor day a new, epoch-making meaning.


The times we live in are a great, inspiring era, and the cause we are undertaking is unprecedented. What we are engaging in right now, the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, is the common cause of the entire people. The comprehensive building of a moderately prosperous society, the building of a prosperous and strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious, socialist and modernized country depends completely on work, on creation by the workers.Therefore, no matter where the epochal conditions may change, we will always value work, respect the workers, always attach importance to bringing the role of the main force – the working class and the broad working masses – into play. This is what makes our commemoration of May 1 international labor day so significant.



To promote the strategic design of the four comprehensives,  we must amply mobilize the broad people’s and masses’ enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity.


Another buzzword in Xi’s address was consociationalism (协商民主).

We must promote grassroot democratic building, establish work units with worker’s congresses as the base, and with a democratic management system, implement the employed masses’ right to know, right to participate, right to expression, and oversight.


Also mentioned was the “Chinese Dream”, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people (最广大人民根本利益).

Job creation, skills training, income distribution, social security as well as migrant workers got short nods, too, and so does mass work (做好群众工作).

Labor relations are among the most basic relations. To the greatest measure, harmonious factors must be increased, and unharmonious factors must be reduced to the lowest measure, to build and develop harmonious work relations, and to promote social harmony [harmony in society]. The legal rights of employees must be protected, a system for comprehensive coordination of work relations be built, and contradictions and disputes in work relations be timely and correctly be handled.


Xi mentioned the 90th anniversary of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions‘ foundation, and expressed the

hope that all organizations and the vast cadreship at the unions will unswervingly walk the development road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhere to main battlefield of union work, pay close attention to the central responsibilities of union work, to fulfill the organization of the unions’ political responsibilities in an exemplary way, and to bring the unions’ organizational role into play better and better. Keep to the fine tradition of free-willed acceptance of party leadership, the firm grasp of the correct political direction, the firm grasp of our country’s labor movement’s theme of the times, and to guide hundreds of millions of working masses to unswervingly go with the party.




» Falling Growth, Rising Vigilance, Jan 20, 2014
» The Railroader’s Dream, June 21, 2013


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

China News Service: “Hong Kong Citizens rise in a Chorus of Condemnation of Occupy Central”

Main link: “Rising Wave of Voices opposing Occupy Central”, CNS/Enorth, Oct 10

Enorth (Tianjin), Sohu (nationwide), Hua Shang Net (from Xi’An, main focus on trade and apparently ), and possibly some more websites with readers who are less interested in politics than People’s Daily or Huanqiu Shibao readers carried an article from China News Service (CNS, 中国新闻) on Monday, describing the “Occupy Central” movement as seriously damaging the territory’s  social order and as damaging the good international image of Hong Kong.

CNS is China’s second-largest newsagency, after Xinhua.

No warranty that the CNS comprehensive report quotes the papers from Hong Kong accurately and in a balanced way. Some of the CNS article comes across as manipulative or wrong, but the anger of Hong Kongers whose incomes are affected (maybe not the tram drivers as said in the CNS article, but certainly many cab drivers, shop owners etc.) appears likely to put Occupy Central at odds with many.

The Alliance for the Protection of Universal Suffrage and against Occupy Central and their ballot (which topped Occupy Hong Kong’s) got some coverage in European media in summer, but appears to have been mostly forgotten since.

Not only reports from a totalitarian country like China can be misleading – self-deception is a universal weakness.

Links within blockquotes added during translation. Corrctions, and advice on how to fill the gaps I couldn’t translate (see last paragraph), will be welcome.

Wave of Voices from all Walks of Life in Hong Kong opposing “Occupy Central” keeps rising


Comprehensive report — A few people who started a so-called “Occupy Central”, an illegal gathering, in the early hours of September 28, has kept going on for eight days so far. They have caused traffic jams, created conflicts, hampered all professions, seriously damaged Hong Kong’s social order, affected the peaceful lives and safety of the masses, and also damaged Hong Kong’s good international image, thus arousing strong dissatisfaction and a continuously rising wave of opposing voices against “Occupy Central”.


42 members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council published a joint statement on October 3, expressing concern about the endless illegal occupation, calling for reasonable dialog among the citizens, urging the “occupiers” to stop and to reflect and to end their behavior that was destructive for society as possible, to let society get back to normal.


36 Hong Kong SAR delegates to the National People’s Congress have also published a joint statement supportive of the police’s legal maintenance of social stability, calling on the “occupiers” to stop harming the general public’s development interests. The delegates called for cherishing and protecting Hong Kong’s long-term stability and prosperity, for mutual respect, and for not harming the general public’s devlopment interest.


Hong Kong Civil Servants General Union also called on the “Occupy Central” demonstrators not to hamper public servants on their way to their workplaces, because civil servants were serving the city, and if their access to work was blocked, citizens would be the ultimate victims.


Hong Kong’s tourism industry was a “disaster zone” affected by “Occupy Central”. On a press conference on October 3, Hong Kong tourism trade union(s) expressed dissatisfaction about how “Occupy Central” affected many touristical, consumption and business districts, even leading to travel warnings in some countries by which tourism was taking a serious hit.


Hong Kong railworker union(s) also published a statement, strongly condemning “Occupy Central” as a collective and as individuals. The statement points out that traffic on the streets of Central were affected, leading to a sharply increasing workload for the railworkers, excessive work and physical wear and tear. Also, tram drivers, because of the suspension of some road sections, had been compelled to take unpaid days off. Incomes were declining every day.


As the harm done to the economy by “Occupy Central” intensifies, Hong Kong citizens rise in a chorus of condemnation. On October 2, many private associations held activities opposing “Occupy Central” actions. Mr. So, a citizen, said that “demonstrators have blocked all kinds of traffic and important roads, bringing chaos into our lives”.

“占领中环”非法集会对经济社会造成的危害愈演愈烈,香港市民齐声谴责。10月2日,香港多个民间团体举行活动,启动反对“占领中环”行动。市民苏先生表示, “示威人士堵塞了多处交通要道,把我们的生活全搞乱了。”

On October 3 and 4, citizens opposing “Occupy Central” came to “Occupy Central” strongholds in Causeway Bay and in Mong Kok, asking police to restore social order as soon as possible. Some of the citizens who had spontaneously come to the scene chided the “occupiers” for keeping others from “making a living”and demanded the “occupiers” to open the roads for the citizens’ use.


The jamming of many roads by “Occupy Central’s” illegal activities has caused the trade of taxi drivers in Hong Kong great losses. On October 5, the cab drivers at Central Piers strongly condemned “Occupy Central’s” activities, demanding an immediate end to “Occupy Central’s” illegal forcible occupation of roads, supporting police law enforcement, and announcing collective civil claims against “Occupy Central’s” initiators.

Ever since the beginning of “Occupy Central’s” illegal gatherings, Hong Kong media have called on the “occupiers” to immediately abandon the occupation activities and to restore social order, as well as Hong Kong’s peaceful life and harmony.


A “Ta Kung Pao” editorial pointed out that if an offense is allowed to succeed once, “Occupy Central” could defeat society and put it in opposition to the central government [Beijing], creating areas of anarchy – would this still justify the pride of seven million citizens in their international center of finance and “One Country, two Systems”? The editorial called on the “occupiers” to immediately clear the roads. An article by Hong Kong’s “Wen Wei Po” titled “The initiators of ‘Occupy Central’ have a responsibility to end it” said that “Occupy Central” had paralysed traffic, damaged social order, and displayed signs of getting out of control. “It is the responsibility of the initiators to immediately put the occupation activities to a halt. The paper, on October 4, wrote that “Occupy Hong Kong” had caught widespread indignation and discontent, that public opinion was rebounding, citizens were beginning to oppose “Occupy Central”, not only demanding harmony and stability, but wanting to live and work in Hong Kong in accordance with their own wishes. “Occupy Central” was not reaching the hearts of the citizens. “Ming Pao’s” editorial points out that looking at the general situation, “Occupy Hong Kong” should end its activities if they wished Hong Kong well. [Didn’t get the meaning of the following sentence: 如果“占中”的始作俑者戴耀廷等人发出呼吁,叫停“占中”,将是对历史负责的一步.] “Oriental Daily’s” editorial [title: 独有英雄驱虎豹,更无豪杰怕熊罴] believes that “Occupy Central” is simply a political fraud, and from head to tail unable to separate from the shadows of foreign forces wanting to bring chaos to Hong Kong and aiming for subversion in mainland China.




» Bao Tong: Take a Break, Sinosphere, Oct 5, 2014


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Huanqiu Shibao: is South-East Asia replacing “Made in China”?

The following are loosely translated extracts from an article by Huanqiu Shibao, published on Friday, and authored by several Huanqiu reporters.

It refers to an UNCTAD 2012 Investment Report, apparently this one, officially published on July 5, 2012.

There is a rising trend at Huanqiu Shibao to provide emoticon votes, rather than opening a commenter thread. This article doesn’t appear to allow online readers’ comments either (there is a button, but it leads nowhere, and there are indeed no comments), although it is hard to see how its topic should be particularly sensitive.

Links within the following paragraphs were added during translation — JR

Main Link: Is South-East Asia replacing “Made in China”? (Huanqiu Shibao, August 10, 2012)


From Adidas to Oclaro [currently Shenzhen, scheduled to leave for Malaysia within three years], foreign manufacturing investors announce relocations from China to South-East Asia, write the Huanqiu reporters. And a recent UNCTAD report said that in 2011, foreign direct investment (FDI) to South-East Asian nations had reached 117 billion US dollars, an increase by 26 per cent, far more than a rise by less than eight per cent in FDI to China. And Vietnam’s state news agency excitedly announced that the scale of NIKE trainers made in Vietnam now exceeded that of those made in China, making Vietnam the world’s biggest NIKE trainers producer. Currently, Vietnam’s share in NIKE trainers global production was at 41 per cent, with China’s only at 32 per cent. Previously, Adidas had announced it would move its only wholly-foreign-owned factory in China to [correction – 20130729] Cambodia Laos. This causes worries to people at home that international investors could be moving from China to South-East Asia, in terms of manufacturing, writes Huanqiu.


Souvenir from Turkey, made in China

Souvenir from Turkey, made in China

The article then quotes a Chinese garment manufacturer who is sympathetic towards European and American buyers’ demands that he relocate his production to South-East Asia. “I find that understandable – who wouldn’t want to buy at low prices?” (我很理解,谁不希望以更低价格拿到进货呢?) The European Union had allowed duty-free imports from Cambodia from January 2011.

However, a Standard Chartered Bank analyst is also quoted, with more encouraging news for the readers: It was difficult to determine if this was a real shift from China to South-East Asia, as foreign investment in China was rising, too.
A major reason for the slowdown in foreign investment in China was that the global economy had slowed down, and China’s economy along with it, but that didn’t mean that South-East Asia would replace China. Some international companies were seeking diversification, especially because of rising costs in China, and to avoid risks of protectionism against China in some [importing] countries.


After a discussion of Japanese investment in South-East Asia, the article addresses the challenges it sees for South-East Asia.

Vietnam’s 41 per cent share in Nike’s trainers’ production didn’t spell great practical benefits for the people. A Nike trainer on the Vietnamese market costs about as much as one anywhere else, according to Huanqiu Shibao’s research, and would therefore be out of reach for normal Vietnamese buyers.Besides, Huanqiu’s Hanoi correspondent quotes a 28-year-old worker from the 10th Garment Factory in Hanoi’s suburbs, the monthly income is at 2,500,000 Vietnamese Dongs (1 USD about 21,000 Dongs). That is above the state-defined minimum wage standard, and a free lunch is included as another benefit, but that is mostly spent on her motorcycle rides to and from work (500,000 Dongs monthly spent on gasoline), a monthly flat rental (1,200,000 Dongs), water, energy etc. at 300,000, etc.. Even her and her husband’s incomes combined didn’t pay the bills, when they both worked at the garment factory, and extra jobs needed to make ends meet.


Companies like Nike had moved to South-East Asia mainly for lower labor costs and to achieve a maximum profit, writes Huanqiu. Adidas, one of the biggest London Olympic Games sponsor, was facing investigations by the London Organizing Committee not long ago, for allegations that factory workers only earned ten British Pounds a week, and their factory therefore being called a “sweat shop”.


Dissatisfaction with wages had led to protests among workers in many South-East Asian countries, and after the “Adidas sweat shop” incident, the Cambodian minstry of labor had stipulated that from September 1, factories in the Cambodian textile and shoe industry had to provide an extra amount of five US dollars, a non-leave pay (or attendance bonus) of ten US dollars, seven dollars for transport and living costs etc., which would then amount to 83 US dollars a month as a minimum wage. The Vietnamese government had also adjusted the minimum wages several times in recent years, most recently in October 2011, stipulating that foreign-invested companies needed to pay 2,000,000 Dongs as a monthly minimum, instead of only 1,550,000. But this still didn’t meet the demands of Vietnamese workers. According to statistics by the Vietnamese garment-industry “labor union”, fluctuation within the workforce at state-owned companies was at 15 to 20 per cent, it was at 20 to 30 per cent in some small and medium-sized companies, but at 40 per cent in foreign-invested companies.


Also, Huanqiu quotes Jiang Jianhua, the Cambodia Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce’s deputy managing director, as saying that while labor costs in some South-East Asian countries were relatively low, Vietnam’s garment industry’s management costs were close to those in China, and that they didn’t provide a great advantage. Besides [it isn’t quite clear from the article if the following should still be attributed to Jiang], Vietnam’s legal system was rather backward, its taxation system not transparent, and these, too, were hampering factors. In Thailand, garment manufacturing costs were too high, frequently higher than even in China, and while Cambodia’s political environment was rather stable and labor costs cheap, investors in Cambodia needed to be mindful about backward infrastructure and a usually low quality among the workforce.


It was quite true that the textile industry was gradually shifting to the entire Asia-Pacific region, the article quotes a KPMG report. Rising labor costs in China had compelled multinational companies to look to other parts of Asia, and a number of South-East Asian countries were going to profit from regional integration and preferential terms of trade. But from consumer electronics to furniture and other hardware products, China remained the country of origin. Besides, a Chinese consultant is quoted, most of the South-East Asian countries were rather small, and none of them provided the entire industrial chain. In that regard, there were complementary relations between China and South-East Asia.



Unctad’s latest report also believed that while there was stagnation in foreign direct investment to China in the short term, China remained the place with the highest attractiveness for foreign investment. Some people in the market had also said that the absolute majority of the Made-in-China industry was looking for its own road, i. e. upgrading production or moving to hinterland provinces in China, seeking development there. There were close customer and supplier links between China and other regions, and some manufacturers would continue to rely on China even after relocation, in that they needed to import production equipment from China, or in that they needed China as an export market, for example.


And a Standard Chartered Bank analyst is quoted as saying that if the manufacturing industry was actually moving to South East Asia still remained unclear. China was more competitive than many South-East Asian nations in terms of logistics infrastructure, and Chinese manufacturers no longer produced for export markets only, but for growing domestic demand, too. Rather than reductions in foreign investment in China, there might rather be more rapid investment in other east Asian markets. Some European and American market participants also said that it was too early to talk about a large-scale manufacturing relocation to South East Asia. However, they also suggested that China should address improvement issues among its suppliers, as timely adjustment from passive to active patterns would be helpful for China’s development.


In the words of the report – apparently this one,

FDI flows to China also reached a record level of $124 billion, and flows to the services sector surpassed
those to manufacturing for the first time. China continued to be in the top spot as investors’ preferred
destination for FDI, according to UNCTAD’s WIPS, but the rankings of South-East Asian economies such
as Indonesia and Thailand have risen markedly. Overall, as China continues to experience rising wages and production costs, the relative ompetitiveness of ASEAN countries in manufacturing is increasing.

FDI outflows from East Asia dropped by 9 per cent to $180 billion, while those from South-East Asia rose
36 per cent to $60 billion. Outflows from China dropped by 5 per cent, while those from Hong Kong, China, declined by 15 per cent. By contrast, outflows from Singapore registered a 19 per cent increase and
outflows from Indonesia and Thailand surged. [page xvi – xvii]


FDI inflows to developing Asia continued to grow, while South-East Asia and South Asia
experienced faster FDI growth than East Asia.
The two large emerging economies, China and India, saw inflows rise by nearly 8 per cent and by 31 per cent, respectively. Major recipient
economies in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) subregion, including
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, also experienced a rise in inflows. [pages 3 – 4]

As indirectly quoted by Huanqiu Shibao, the report states that

Among the economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), four – Brunei
Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – saw a considerable rise in their FDI inflows. The
performance of the relatively low-income countries, namely Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic
Republic and Myanmar was generally good as well, though Viet Nam declined slightly. Although natural
disaster in Thailand disrupted production by foreign affiliates in the country, particularly in the automobile
and electronic industries, and exposed a weakness of the current supply-chain management systems,
FDI inflows to the country remained at a high level of nearly $10 billion, only marginally lower than that of
2010. Overall, as East Asian countries, particularly China, have continued to experience rising wages
and production costs, the relative competitiveness of ASEAN in manufacturing has been enhanced.
Accordingly, some foreign affiliates in China’s coastal regions are relocating to South-East Asia,2
while others are moving their production facilities to inland China. [page 43]

Addressing FDI into Chinese manufacturing in particular, the report states slowing growth as a short-term prospect:

FDI growth in the region has slowed since late 2011 because of growing uncertainties in the global economy. FDI to manufacturing stagnated in China, but the country is increasingly attracting market-seeking FDI, especially in services. According to the annual World Investment Prospects Survey (WIPS) undertaken by UNCTAD this year, China continues to be the most favoured destination of FDI inflows. FDI prospects in South-East Asia remain promising,
as the rankings of ASEAN economies, such as Indonesia and Thailand, have risen markedly in the survey. [page 44]

The report doesn’t only discuss China’s (and other developing countries) as recipients, but also as sources of foreign direct investment.

All in all, the Huanqiu Shibao article appears to be basically assuasive, but still somewhat more “alarming” than the UNCTAD report would seem to warrant. It’s conventional wisdom that China is moving up the value-adding chain, and rising wages are a logical phenomenon in this process. The main goal in terms of propaganda appears to be that the laobaixing, the common people, should continue to push ahead in terms of personal education and qualification, in a competitive global economy. In this context, it also makes sense that websites like “Utopia” remain closed down – a measure which was reportedly criticized, among others, by some 1,600 cadres and scholars who accused chief state councillor Wen Jiabao in particular for closing these sources down, and of subverting the socialist market economy. That Huanqiu Shibao may distrust the outside world appears to be an intended goal (no cohesion within China, without such distrust) – but another intended goal is that the readers accept the challenges posed by global competition, rather than rejecting them in favor of, for example, Maoism.

I hadn’t been a regular reader of Utopia, one of the websites that have been closed since spring this year, but came across an article there some six months before the closures. The article’s author was Gu Genliang, a People’s University (aka Renmin University) professor, and it wasn’t exactly globalization-friendly:

We are mired in heavy dependence on foreign resources and on on our own cheap exports. Large-scale low-end exports consume a lot of energy and natural resources, which led to our country’s dependence on foreign energy and resources which not only made the prices for these sources explode, which transferred the fruits of our people’s hard work into the hands of energy-exporting countries, but also has the potential of making us suffer from foreign countries’ embargos, thus carrying a huge security risk. At the same time, while our country is so reliant on foreign resources, it is ridiculous that we are exporting large quantities of rare earths and minerals coal, etc. at low prices.

The topic of Huanqiu Shibao’s article on ASEAN as a competitor for efficiency-seeking FDI doesn’t look exactly sensitive, but a current anti-“Maoist”, anti-“utopian”, or simply anti-“nostalgia” struggle might help to explain why there is no room for readers’ comments underneath. Such comments could spoil the article’s intended pro-competition message.



» UNCTAD World Investment Report 2012


Friday, February 24, 2012

The “Four Ten-Thousands” for Labor Conflict Management: Grassroot Cadres, Collective-Bargaining Guides, Mediators, and Internet-Opinion Guides*)

Translated from Caijing, February 21, 2012

According to Guangzhou Daily, Guangdong Province is to organize ten-thousand public-opinion guides*) to increase the influence of the trade union’s leadership, educational and service workers, ten-thousand trainers for collective bargaining procedures, ten-thousand mediators for wage-related conflicts, and ten-thousand labor-union cadres who are to work within the companies, at the grassroots.


On  the fifth session of the 12th congress of the Guangdong Provincial Federation of Trade Unions Committee, on February 20, Guangdong province deputy secretary Zhu Mingguo demanded that unions on all levels should, on their own initiative, protect workers’ legal interests, and that offices needed to be established within the workshops, in every field. and the “Four Ten-Thousands” project be implemented.


Zhu Mingguo emphasized that this year, the trade union cadres must go to the key points, and face-to-face, heart-to-heart, and honestly do their work for the working masses. “The cadres must do their work in the workshops, in the field, they must protect the working peoples’ legal rights and interests at the front line, not from inside tall buildings.” It was essential to adhere to the implementation of the “four ten-thousands” project, to conscientiously take a clear stance, with a resounding voice, forceful measures, and effective help to solve the workers’ practical problems. The “four ten-thousands” project refers to the organization of ten-thousand union cadres at the grassroots, i. e. at the companies, to strengthen guidance and services; the formation of ten-thousand collective-bargaining guides, to guide the companies to conduct wage negotiations in accordance with the law; to organize ten-thousand mediators for wage-related conflicts to reconcile conflicts and to provide legal support to workers; and to establish ten-thousand internet opinion guides to play a role in guiding, educating and serving the workforce.


Zhu Mingguo particularly pointed out that in the era of the internet and microblogs, “everyone is a news spokesperson, everyone can turn into a journalist, the young generation of workers understands the internet, and the trade union cadres must understand the internet, too. When problems occur, they must not lose their voice, and silence or confused talk will only mess things up further”.




*) Public-sentiments guide may be a better translation for 舆情引导, as public-opinion guidance is usually referred to as 舆论引导, but I haven’t made up my mind yet and chose to stay with the more familiar “public-opinion guidance”. Readers’ advice is welcome.



» Rebel turns Party Secretary, Jan 17, 2012
» Wukan, Zhu Mingguo “sets new standard”, Asia Times, Jan 7, 2012
» How Real and Effective is the 50-Cent Party, Dec 20, 2008

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Deutsche Welle, Open Letter: Huanqiu wades into the Details

Following the People’s Daily‘s English edition (with an article published on May 21), Huanqiu Shibao today reprints much, or all of the open letter “published on the internet” (前不久通过互联网发表 [的] 公开信) [i. e. particularly by German online paper Neue Rheinische Zeitung (NRhZ, see previous post), plus some less established websites – JR].

Huanqiu Shibao:

Summary – Four ethnic Chinese who formerly worked for the “Voice of Germany” have recently published an open letter on the internet, and based on their personal experiences, condemned the “Voice of Germany’s” defiance of ethical journalistic standards, its review and ousting of Chinese staff, its conducting thought examinations and political examinations, installing a secret internal “supervisor”, purging staff “with different views”, and using standards of ideology and the question if they did or didn’t criticize China in interviews and news coverage as a standard. The open letter believes that the “Voice of Germany’s” Chinese department has become some kind of political tool. As it is a rather long letter, we are publishing it in two parts.

The open letter’s main points, according to Huanqiu Shibao  [all links within the account added by JR]:

  1. The non-renewal of existing contracts and dismissals had initially been explained with budget cuts, but several other explanations had been added once the ones about the budget had been proven false. In fact, the measures taken by the Welle had been belated consequences of a previous brawl, about Zhang Danhong, in 2008. It is also pointed out that what Zhang had said had basically been similar to statements by Die Zeit China correspondent [Georg Blume]
  2. Critics of the DW’s Chinese department had demanded examinations of the staff’s backgrounds, including family people / parents, re party membership etc., and reviews of how the DW advocated human rights. As seen from outside, the Welle had turned such demands down, but actually, the station hadn’t only satisfied the demands. Zhang had been defended only half-heartedly, and the Wickert report (compiled by former television anchor Ulrich Wickert), asked for by DW director Erik Bettermann, had never been made public.
  3. Pressure had been exerted on staff, unsubstantiated criticism of their work had been expressed by a temporary head of the Chinese department (Golte-Schröder, in charge from December 2008 to December 2009, and chiefly head of the DW Asia department). She is also criticized in the open letter for not speaking Chinese) and for not being able to judge the staff’s work, having relied on a Chinese national (戴英, Dai Ying), instead.
  4. While People’s Daily’s English edition, in an article of May 21, doesn’t mention the name of a secret supervisor, Huanqiu Shibao now quotes the open letter’s paragraph in question in full, including the name of Jörg Rudolph (约尔格.鲁道夫), who was controversial (umstritten in German, 很有争议 in Huanqiu’s Chinese translation) in academic circles. Rudolph had been – or was still – in charge of rating articles, making sure that nothing that could be pro-China in dissidents’ views would appear again (seine Tätigkeit soll vielmehr sicherstellen, dass in den Beiträgen der Redaktion schon der Anschein einer chinafreundlichen Berichterstattung in den Augen der Dissidenten vermieden wird / 鲁道夫的工作并不是要避免文章语法或格式错误,而仅仅是要保证中文部不再出现任何在异见人士看来“亲华”的文章). It was also in a discussion between Rudolph and the Chinese department staff, according to the open letter, that Rudolph expressed the expectation that Taiwan would, in the future, be referred to as an independent state. The open letter points out that this was not in accordance with the policy of Germany’s foreign office.
  5. The staff had been told, or asked,  to commit themselves to certain goals or standards (neither the goals nor the order or request seem to be described  clearly in the open letter, but the impression is stated that the aim of the measure had been to create or add pressure). In the end, the personnel department and the employee committee had decided that the commitment to be given was legally dubious, and was retracted (Nach der gemeinsamen Überprüfung von Personalrat und Personalabteilung wurde die Unterschriftsaktion als rechtlich bedenklich bewertet und zurückgezogen). Three of the five who hadn’t signed were among those who had been dismissed by Deutsche Welle.
  6. Outsiders could get the impression that in the case of Zhang Danhong, political issues and human rights had been the heart of the matter, write the open letter’s authors. However, there had never been differences between the Chinese department’s editorial staff and the leadership of the Voice of Germany (or Deutsche Welle, DW), concerning the importance of human rights which, the staff, too, had always believed, should be the basis for China’s future. Rather, matters of professionalism were been at the center of the dispute. (作为“中国论战”和“张丹红事件”的旁观者,大家可能都很自然地认为事件跟政治取向、人权理念的差异有关。但事实并非如此,因为所有相关记者都认为,中国 的未来应立足于自由民主的基本秩序,以人权、民主为准则。在诸如对人权影响的看法,以及“批评中国存在破坏人权的行为”等问题上,被解雇的员工与编辑部的 新领导层的看法是一致的。)

This is no rendition of the open letter in full, but might give you an idea about its central issues – until China Daily or the People’s Daily’s English edition provide a full English translation. Addenda or corrections (via comments) are welcome. The German original can be found here.

For more Deutsche Welle-related information from this blog, click this tag, and brace for dozens of posts. Not all of them (but most of them, I guess) are related to the Welle’s Chinese department.

Update: search results, May 26, 2011 ("Voice of Germany" "open letter")

Update: search results, May 26, 2011 ("Voice of Germany" "open letter")


Ai Weiwei and Sino-German Relations, Adam Cathcart, May 25, 2011
Letter to H. E. (2008), Dorks on Duty, April 9, 2010

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DW: JR’s Searchword Service

Are THEY the secret plotters against free speech at Deutsche Welle?

Are THEY the secret plotters against free speech at Deutsche Welle?

[Deutsche Welle] hired a disputed Sinologist based in Germany, whose job is to sniff out all reports with even the slightest hint of friendliness toward China.

After two and a half years on his throne of censorship he has amassed venomous remarks on not only China-friendly reports but also the editors working at the China-Redaktion der Deutsche Welle and he even clamors for recognizing Taiwan as an “independent country”.

The name of the man People’s Daily‘s English Edition apparently doesn’t wish to name would be Jörg-Meinhard Rudolph. His name is mentioned in the open letter to German Federal Parliament, and the Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) broadcasting commission, written by four Deutsche Welle staff members whose contracts had reportedly not been renewed.

According to the open letter, Rudolph’s work and the standards allegedly applied would be secret, or secretive. The letter goes far more into detail than the People’s Daily article, which quotes four paragraphs of  it.

As to why the letter’s authors haven’t taken to court yet (where the described practise, if existing, would most probably be declared illegal), or to one of the trade unions in charge of journalists’ interests (such as ver.di) is a matter which hasn’t been addressed in the open letter (inasfar as it is available online).

The Neue Rheinische Zeitung (NRhZ) published the open letter on April 1 this year (see bottom of article there). I’m not aware of reactions from the Bundestag or the broadcasting commission.


» Discussion about Deutsche Welle Chinese dept (comments to a post with an originally different topic),
» Deutsche Welle reshuffles, April 1, 2011
» Unharmonious Days, November 14, 2008

%d bloggers like this: