I’d like to hear everyone’s comments, and especially those from our bloggers living in China, about how they view the two primary economic factions and their strategies within the party. There are several links within the article that take you to further analyses of those particular subjects.
Well – it may be timely to also discuss who should own the Chinese imperial arts in the context of China vis-a-vis great collections of art in the West looted from China during her century of shame. Continue reading »
Can the two country build a strong and lasting relationship based on genuine trust? Are the two people willing to learn from each other and form a common destiny? Please share your insight on this intersting subject.
Below is my own take:
The future is still very cloudy, yet has a high possibility if the two can learn to overcome their significant difference. Here is one small place to start with: one is too talktive and the other is too hardworking.
A lot of chatter has surrounded China’s interests in Africa. Media have branded China’s role in Africa as an invasion or an era of neo-colonialism with ulterior motives of pillaging Africa’s raw materials. Rhetoric from Chinese and African leaders includes words like “friendship,” “partnership” and “brotherhood,” stressing a shared history and common experience.
This report was produced last summer when WorldFocus traveled to East Africa.
World Focus Radio Blog (Feb 18, 2009)
Continue reading »
The entry will say: “The governments at all levels should facilitate the reporting of journalists who hold this card and provide necessary assistance.”
“Without a proper reason, government officials must not refuse to be interviewed,” said Zhu Weifeng, a senior official with the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Many considered this a positive signal that the authorities welcomed supervision from the media.
The new press card statement followed a regulation on the disclosure of government information, effective last May, which was the first government rule safeguarding citizens’ right to be informed.
“Media and public supervision are among the arrangements the country is making to control the power of the state and protect civil rights,” said Li Yunlong, a human rights expert at the Institute for International Strategies of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
“How to prevent state power from infringing on civil rights is a very important issue in human rights protection,” Li said.
This week, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva conducted its first review of China’s human rights record, and it acknowledged the country’s efforts in human rights protection.
The country took a long and winding road to acceptance of the concept of “civil rights” but was headed in the right direction, Li said. “I have seen a trend toward increasing supervision of the authorities and more restrictions on their power.”
Mo Jihong, a research fellow with the Law Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, saw the same trend in legislation. “The changes in the Constitution were obvious,” said Mo.
China’s first three Constitutions, issued respectively in 1954,in 1975 and 1978, all had a chapter on the fundamental rights and duties of citizens. But none of those versions defined “citizen,” which affected the implementation of these items, he said.
The current Constitution, adopted in 1982, closed this loophole and put the chapter on citizens’ rights before that of the structure of the state, he said.
“It showed the country acknowledged that the state derived its legitimacy through protecting citizens’ rights, rather than by giving rights to citizens.”
In 2004, an amendment to the Constitution added an article stating that the state respects and preserves human rights.
“Through the amendments, the Constitution gave more responsibility to state organs to protect civil rights,” Mo said.
The country has also adopted laws to restrict the exercise of state power. In 1990, the law on litigation against the administration provided the first way for the common people to sue government departments.
Further, the law on legislation, adopted in 2000, included an article stating that only laws can limit personal freedom. This had the effect of barring any authority, except the legislature, from issuing regulations or rules to limit personal freedom.
“But the implementation of laws remained a problem,” Mo said. “The authorities who enforce the laws should be carefully watched.”
Li noted that China’s unique culture played a role. Traditionally, Chinese seldom talk about “rights” but instead stress the concept of people’s obedience to the society.
“Civil right is a concept borrowed from the West. That’s why it will take time to make everyone aware of it, especially those holding power,” he said.
“But we should not give up because we don’t have such a tradition,” he said. “China does not need to make itself a Western nation but can explore its own way based on its own culture and reality,” he said.
Last year, in the wake of an increasing number of protests nationwide, the government launched a campaign requiring officials to talk with citizens and consider their requests regularly. The move proved to be an effective way to ease public anger and reduce misunderstanding.
A trial program to invite independent inspectors to detention houses in northeast Jilin Province also received acclaim as an innovation in this field.
The two-year program ended late last year. The 20 independent inspectors, who were teachers, doctors, businessmen and community workers, examined conditions in these detention houses and examined their records so as to ensure that custody procedures were in line with the law and detainees were not treated inhumanely.
“The concept of ‘putting people first’ raised by the present CPC leadership can be regarded as an effort to respect and protect civil rights,” Li said.
“China does not export revolution, hunger, poverty, nor does China cause you any headaches,” Xi said indignantly. “Just what else do you want?” (Here is one of the few websites that still have video of Xi’s speech; other mainland sites have taken down the footage.)
Return to Lhasa (6): Drinking with the sky burial masters
North of Lhasa, in the Nyangri mountains, is a famed temple named “Pabongka.” Located on a turtle shaped stone, the temple surprisingly receives few outside tourists these days. According to legend, Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wen Cheng once lived there. The temple is also the birthplace of the Tibetan language. Stored in the temple are the earliest stone tablets of carved Tibetan alphabets known. Although the temple is small, it occupies a special place in Tibetan hearts for its historical importance both in the context of Tibetan language as well as Tibetan Buddhism. Continue reading »
The Chinese Valentine’s Day is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. So this year’s Chinese Valentine’s Day is still a while yet.
In the mean time – how does one celebrate the Western version of Valentine’s Day in China? Continue reading »
The author of this journal, Zhen Fu, then a college student, traveled alone to Tibet for the first time in 2003. It would be a life-changing experience. Not only did she fulfill her life-time dream of traveling to the mysterious land that is Tibet: to see its majestic beauty, to meet its remarkable people and to witness their remarkable culture, but Zhen also met her future husband, Mingji Mao, during her journey. Together they would write a book “Diaries from Tibet” based on their true love story. They made a promise to return to Tibet together. Five years later, Zhen and Mingji fulfilled this promise. This article is about what they saw on their return to Lhasa at the end of 2008.
There is a problem there. Geithner’s counterpart should be Finance Minister Xie Xuren.
From President Obama to Treasury Secretary Geithner, it’s only one level down.
From President Hu Jintao to Geithner’s real counterpart Xie, there are two more levels: Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier for Trade
I won’t want to cut out Premier Wen’s job because China is too big. But I’ll definitely cut Vice Premier Wang Qishan out of the equation.