Chinese Political Scene

Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Tue May 25, 2010 1:38 pm

String of Suicides Continues at Electronics Supplier in China
By DAVID BARBOZA
Published: May 25, 2010
SHANGHAI — A 19-year-old employee was found dead Tuesday morning in what appears to have been the ninth suicide this year at a factory in southern China operated by Foxconn Technology, one of the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturers, according to China’s state-run news media.

Foxconn, which produces electronics and computer components for Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other global companies, has been struggling this year to explain a string of suicides among young workers at its huge complexes in the city of Shenzhen, where the company employs about 420,000 workers.

A spokesman for Foxconn, a unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry of Taiwan, could not be reached for comment Tuesday, and the Shenzhen police did not return phone calls. But Xinhua, China’s official news agency, said the Shenzhen police had reported that a young man they identified as Li Hai had apparently jumped to his death at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday at Foxconn.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/technology/26suicide.html?hpw

Singers and dancers won't lighten the mood if worker conditions and pay/benefits are not improved. Would you feel happier stuck for long days on the line and have to listen to sounds but could not talk? Socialization is prevented and it would trigger more unhappiness because of more stress. Yes, you cannot add "window dressing" to a factory with such problems without addressing the real issues first.

Since the export economy helps to drive production, maybe it is time for the big US names to start scaling back launch volumes of new products and become more green and less a monster of resources.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Mon May 31, 2010 9:37 pm

"The 80s and 90s generation workers need more care and respect and need to be motivated to work with enthusiasm," said Guangdong party chief Wang Yang, who has backed efforts to shift Guangdong up the industrial ladder away from reliance on exports of low tech, cheap products.

That transition is taking hold across China. Manufacturers, under pressure to deliver low prices in home markets, are struggling to attract and keep young workers who, brought up in an era of relative affluence, are proving less willing than earlier generations to "eat bitterness" by putting up with miserable working environments and poor wages.

Employers in Shanghai complain of difficulties in finding and keeping young workers, both skilled and unskilled. Contractors were obliged to pay heavy bonuses to keep workers on the job during the lunar new year as they rushed to finish construction for the Shanghai World Expo, which runs for six months until Oct. 31.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37436341/ns/business-world_business/

The Lunar New Year is one annual holiday almost every Chinese citizen looks forward to and can usually depend on for a visit home. To get paid bonuses to continue putting their lives to strain--was it worthwhile? Do the workers get a free pass to the Expo that required their sacrifice of holiday time?
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:35 pm

06/26/2010

US-China Currency Dispute
'No-One Is Going to Be Bought Off by a Tiny Revaluation'


In the runup to the G-20 summit, China has tried to placate the US with a revaluation of its currency. But the move is not a real change of course, explains the German Marshall Fund's Andrew Small in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview. He argues that the Chinese leadership is more concerned with deflecting external criticism than with the health of the global economy.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the run-up to the G-20 summit, the Chinese government has let its currency, the renminbi, appreciate slightly against the dollar. The US has long been calling on Beijing to do just that, to ensure that Chinese exports are no longer artificially cheap. Is the new development just a calculated move to make sure this question is not on the agenda in Toronto, or a real change of heart?


Andrew Small: It doesn't look like a genuine change of heart on China's part -- expectations remain very modest for the actual level of revaluation. But Beijing is practiced at making concessions that are just enough to cool external pressure without really amounting to substantive policy shifts.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What impact could this currency adjustment have on the US economy and the global recovery?

Small: It's hard to see it being enough to make a real difference -- estimates are still that the revaluation will be in the realm of 2-3 percent by the end of the year, which is hardly enough to make a major contribution towards rebalancing. Nevertheless, it could have been worse. After the euro crisis, few were expecting China to move before the G-20 meeting, so it's a welcome, if modest, step.http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,703062,00.html

Another take on the Chinese currency situation and even the Euro at the G20 summit:
http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/282121-why-eu-won-t-stand-g20
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby alohasand on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:01 pm

Even if the perks are improved, what about working hours and supervisors relaying the bosses' orders to hurry, hurry on the production line? In order to enjoy perks, workers need free time and some inclination to use said perks. But some moneymakers just want their products, the heck with workers on the lines. All that fluorescent lighting or dull gray interior of the factories inspire escape fantasies.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby smitty on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:44 pm

To me China is more confusing then Pakistan or India. China is sort of in another world & how it conducts business is one we try to stay clear of. So how they are to fellow humans is beyond common understanding to say the least.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:05 pm

07/28/2010

The Dragon's Embrace
China's Soft Power Is a Threat to the West
By Erich Follath http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,708645,00.html

'21st-Century Economic Weapon'

Beijing recently imposed strict export quotas on rare earths, resources that are indispensable in high technology, where they are essential to the operation of hybrid vehicles, high-performance magnets and computer hard drives. Some 95 percent of metals such as lanthanum and neodymium are mined in the People's Republic, giving Beijing a virtual monopoly on these resources. It clearly has no intention of exporting these metals without demanding substantially higher export tariffs. In fact, China apparently wants to prohibit exports of some rare earths completely, starting in 2015. Concerned observers in Japan have described the valuable resources are a "21st-century economic weapon." The Chinese have dismissed protests from Washington and Brussels with the audacious claim that World Trade Organization (WTO) rules allow a country to protect its own natural resources.


Maybe that is why North Americans are keen to have recycling of old cellphones and computers under the umbrella of "green" waste processes--the rare metals can be recycled locally.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:06 pm

China exec gets 20 years for leaking secrets
Reuters September 27, 2010 10:01 PM


BEIJING - The disgraced president of a Chinese state-owned enterprise has been jailed for 20 years for leaking state secrets in connection with a bid for foreign-made nuclear reactors, two sources with knowledge of the scandal said.

The harsh sentence for Jiang Xinsheng came five months after a Shanghai court sentenced a China-born Australian national who headed Rio Tinto's iron ore operations in China and three Chinese colleagues to prison terms ranging from seven to 14 years for stealing commercial secrets and taking bribes.

The Rio case, along with Google's dispute with China over Internet censorship and hacking complaints, has stoked investors' worries about the risks of doing business in China, the world's second largest economy by some measures.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/China+exec+gets+years+leaking+secrets/3587581/story.html
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:20 pm

Is it coincidence that Hu Jintao's successor was announced around the same time that North Korea publicized that the Dear Leader's son was going to succeed him?

In The Party-The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers, one can read up a little bit about Xi Jinping, Hu's successor. Xi was the president of the Central Party School, where invited entrepreneurs got access to up and coming leaders, the use of comfortable living quarters, and the chances to hear speeches by Party officials. However, only officials were allowed to received copies of the speeches, while entrepreneurs had to sit still and listen, without notetaking (no-no per Party secrecy rules). Xu also had had the day-to-day running of party affairs and some diplomatic duties. Mention is made of Xu being ranked number six successor to Hu on the Politiburo's Standing Committee.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby burnt fare on Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:15 pm

Online, I read that China is not happy with the US policy on currency. Something about a pre G20 meeting this weekend.
10-23-2010 22:13

G20 agrees to avoid currency war, settles IMF reform
Officials thank China as deal paves way for successful summit
By Cho Jin-seo

GYEONGJU - The Group of 20 (G20) nations reached a dramatic deal on Saturday as China, the United States agree to avoid “currency war” and to refrain from having too much trade surplus or deficit.

They also settled on a 6-percent shift of voting quota at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by 2012 to emerging economies, with China emerging as the third largest voting power after the United States and Japan.

In a joint statement, finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 said that they will “move towards more market-determined exchange rate systems” and “refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies.” This phrase means that China has agreed to make its foreign exchange regime more flexible to the market, G20 officials said. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/10/302_75079.html

European nations agreed to hand over two seats in its executive board to emerging countries. They will also hand over about 3 percent of voting shares to emerging countries, while another 3 percent come from over-represented emerging countries such as Saudi Arabia, officials said.

As a result, China will climb six steps to become the third largest power in the IMF after the United States and Japan. Korea will gain two steps to 16th. The United States will lose some of its shares but it will still remain as the only country to have more than 15 percent of votes, a minimum required for a veto.

The shift will make the IMF look more legitimate. Its top 10 shareholders will be comprised of the United States, Japan, four European countries and the BRICs _ Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Who runs the IMF? They always seem to make big money decisions but who do they report to?

There's a French summit going on in Switzerland this weekend too.
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Re: Chinese Political Scene

Postby pretzels on Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:18 pm

Are you a son or daughter of someone with an official position in China? Don't copy this man's behavior, as it will get you surrounded and hounded.

The phenomenon of yanei seems to be re-emerging in China today. A recent incident has sparked public anger across the country over the arrogant and lawless behavior of some officials' children.

The incident happened on October 16 in Baoding city in northern province of Hebei. In the evening of that day, Li Qiming, a student at the Hebei Institute of Communication, drove a luxury car into the campus of Hebei University to pick up his girlfriend. Near the dormitory section, he hit two pedestrian female students. Instead of stopping, Li drove on as if nothing had happened, even though his windshield was cracked. The girls were rushed to hospital, where one of them died. The other is still being treated for a broken hand.

After picking up his girlfriend, Li drove back along the same road toward the school gate, but he was stopped by students and security guards and forced to get out of the car. He was unapologetic, and shouted, "Look how my car is scratched! Do you know who my father is? If you dare, go and sue me. My father is Li Gang!" Police were called to take Li Qiming away.

Someone quickly exposed the incident on the Internet. Outraged netizens started a "human flesh search" (a relay search for certain information) on the Internet to find out who and what Li Gang was.

What they found astonished them and further raised their ire. It turned out Li Gang is a deputy chief of a police station controlled by the Baoding Bureau of Public Security, the lowest-ranking official just above staffers. Baoding is a prefecture-level city on the border of the southern suburb of Beijing - about 140 kilometers from the center of the capital, rather than a remote backward place where "the mountains are high and the emperor far away". So how could a son of such a minor official in a place right under the nose of the "Emperor" dare to act so arrogantly and lawlessly? Mainstream media became interested and coverage sparked widespread debate.
http://atimes.com/atimes/China/LK03Ad01.html

The matter has many questions-about the person who struck the students, about his own supposed wealth, about the university president and the university's silence on the matter. Nothing like community outrage to get some action taken by the officials.
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