2008年7月31日 星期四

China’s Industrial Ambition Soars to High-Tech

China’s Industrial Ambition Soars to High-Tech

Ryan Pyle for The New York Times

The assembly line at a BYD auto plant in Shenzhen, China. Cars are part of the company's shift toward higher-end products.

Published: August 1, 2008

SHENZHEN, China — Few people have heard of the BYD Corporation — BYD for Build Your Dream — but this little-known company has grown into the world’s second-largest battery producer in less than a decade of existence. Now it plans to make a great leap forward: “We’d like to make a green energy car, a plug-in,” said Paul Lin, a BYD marketing executive. “We think we can do that.”

Even in go-go China, such lofty aspirations may sound far-fetched. But BYD has built a 1.6-million-square-foot auto assembly plant here and hired a team of Italian-trained car designers; it plans to build a green hybrid by the end of the year.

No longer content to be the home of low-skilled, low-cost, low-margin manufacturing for toys, pens, clothes and other goods, Chinese companies are trying to move up the value chain, hoping eventually to challenge the world’s biggest corporations for business, customers, power and recognition.

The government is backing the drive with a two-pronged approach: using incentives to encourage companies to innovate, but also moving to discourage low-end manufacturers from operating in southern China. That step would reverse one of the crucial engines of this country’s spectacular economic rise.

But by introducing tougher labor and environmental standards and ending tax breaks for thousands of factories here, the government has sent a powerful signal about its global ambitions, and helped encourage an exodus of factories from an area long considered the world’s shop floor.

President Hu Jintao hinted at China’s vaulting ambitions during a meeting of China’s scientific elite last June at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he called on scientists to challenge other countries in high technology. “We are ready for a fight,” he said, “to control the scientific high ground and earn a seat on the world’s high technology board. We will make some serious efforts to strengthen our nation’s competence.”

Government policies now favor high-tech economic zones, research and development centers and companies that promise higher salaries and more skills. A computer chip plant being built by Intel in the northern city of Dalian is welcomed; a textile mill churning out $1 pairs of socks is not.

“When a country is in its early stages of development, as China was 20 years ago, having an export processing center is good for growth,” said Andy Rothman, a longtime China analyst at CLSA, the investment bank. “But there’s a point when that’s no longer appropriate. Now, China’s saying, ‘We don’t want to be the world’s sweatshop for junk any more.’ ”

Chinese firms are expanding into (or buying companies that work in) software and biotechnology, automobiles, medical devices and supercomputers. This year, a government-backed corporation even introduced its first commercial passenger jet, a move Beijing hopes will allow it to some day compete with Boeing and Airbus.

In some ways, the government is only riding the economic currents that come with development and high growth. For instance, many manufacturers in southern China — the country’s biggest export zone — are moving to the interior because land and labor costs are cheaper, or expanding operations to include in lower-cost countries, like India, Vietnam or Bangladesh.

World-class brands that have grown dependent on outsourcing labor-intensive production to China are now searching for alternatives. Even the retail behemoth Wal-Mart, which moved its global procurement center here to Shenzhen in 2002, is going to be forced to find new sourcing channels to fill its 5,000 stores worldwide.

For millions of consumers around the world, experts say the policy shift could also mean higher prices for a broad array of goods, from pens and hammers to Barbie dolls and running shoes.

“Basically the cost of things China produces for Home Depot and Wal-Mart are going up,” said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse. “But there is another side. In some areas that China’s going to grab, like telecom equipment, they’ll push prices lower.”

Economists say China’s development is following in the footsteps of Japan and South Korea, which successfully evolved from low-skilled manufacturing to high technology, services and the creation of global brands.

There are still plenty of obstacles here, including weak intellectual property rights enforcement and a culture of copying or stealing technology from foreign companies or joint venture partners. But experts point to positives like a rising aggressive entrepreneurial class, legions of newly minted science and engineering graduates and a fiercely competitive domestic marketplace.

Peter J. Williamson, a professor of management at Cambridge University, challenges the notion that China does not have technological know-how.

“They are some of the biggest in launching satellites. They have a lot of technology locked up in the military, and now the government is reducing budgets and pressing agencies to privatize,” he said. “So suddenly, a lot of technology people thought didn’t exist has come out from behind the curtain.”

This is what China is betting on.

At BYD, executives are ramping up research and development spending, and studying global marketing strategies. Founded in 1995 by a scientist who studied metallurgy, the company has made lithium batteries, cellphones, camera equipment, auto parts and other components for Nokia, Motorola and Sony, among others, gaining experience in producing high-quality goods.

“The technology for a car is not that sophisticated,” Mr. Lin said. “It’s big, but a lot of low technology.” Five years ago BYD bought a state-owned carmaker to help make the transition.

Another company hoping to make the leap is Hasee, a fast-growing computer maker also based in Shenzhen.

Founded just six years ago, Hasee is already selling 100,000 laptops a month and is the second biggest Chinese computer maker behind Lenovo, with revenue forecast to reach $800 million this year.

Hasee executives say the company is spending heavily on research and development, and that by focusing on innovative computers and laptops that now sell for just $370, it is on track to become the world’s biggest computer maker within a decade.

“Our strategy in China is to always focus on innovation,” said Zhang Xianyong, a Hasee vice president and sales manager for greater China. “We’re now in the domestic market, but we’ll spare no effort to grab overseas expansion.”

The government is pressing companies to move up the value chain for economic, but also political reasons, analysts say. Promoting innovation and brand-name companies would probably bolster the economy and create better jobs.

In April, Credit Suisse forecast that one-third of all export-oriented manufacturers could close within three years. And a study released in March by the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai and Booz & Company, the consulting firm, says foreign investors are growing bearish on China and that rising costs are driving American manufacturing out of the country.

For many Chinese economists, that is just fine. “The low-end industries used to make a great contribution to Guangdong,” said Liang Guiquan, an economist at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank. “But an enterprise is like a creation. They must get used to changes in the environment. If the environment changes, they must die out.”

2008年7月30日 星期三


中國經濟 | 2008.07.30

珠三角 香港愁雲慘澹中國似在刻意“轉型”



Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 在阿迪達斯的蘇州工廠裏


對著名運動服裝品牌阿迪達斯來說,在中國生產運動鞋的成本已經過於高昂。總裁海納在接受德國經濟週刊採訪時說,目前該公司50%的運動鞋都 在中國生產,今後這一比例將有所降低。今年中國開始實施新的勞動合同法後,工資成本的上升讓不少企業老闆吃不消了。阿迪達斯的供應商開始將生產線轉移到老 撾、越南、柬埔寨和印度等國。而這已成為一種趨勢。

香港的工商界彌漫著一片不安的氣氛。在中國大陸做生意的盈利情況大不如前。曾幾何時,香港企業以其密集的投資使鄰近的廣東省獲得了世界工廠的頭銜 。但如今輝煌不再,僅去年年底前後,珠江三角洲就有萬餘家港資企業被迫關門。據當地媒體報導,今年還將有2萬家企業面臨倒閉。而中國政府任其自生自滅。


受到這一波倒閉潮衝擊的主要是在中國南方利用廉價勞動力生產低價位商品的企業。中國政府不願意繼續通過稅收優惠政策吸引這樣的企業。蘇格蘭皇家銀行 香港分行的戰略經濟師辛普芬多弗指出: „中國不希望這樣的企業繼續增加。當然這樣的企業能帶來就業崗位,但這也同時意味著廉價生產,盈利空間小,環境 代價高。例如生產塑膠玩具的廠家把化學廢料直接排放到河流裏。而且這種產業的勞動條件也普遍比較差。"

正是這種廉價的生產方式使廣東成為中國最富裕的省份。但普通工人卻沒有從豐厚的盈利中獲得多少好處。即使工資略有提高,也立即被通貨膨脹抵消了。中 國政府現在要對這種部平衡的現象開刀。希望繼續利用廉價勞動力,享受稅收優惠的企業,現在被引向中西部的內陸地區投資。但那裏的工資水平遲早也會提高,況 且交通運輸能力有限。因此許多出口企業寧願向越南轉移。





Claudia Witte發自上海


兩張亞洲圖片 有點鄉愁

Turkey's Ruling Party Avoids Ban
Lynsey Addario for The New York Times
Turkey's Ruling Party Avoids Ban

A court ruled against a ban for the party, which faced charges that it threatened the secular regime. Above, news of the decision was broadcast in Istanbul.

Trade Talks Broke Down Over Chinese Shift on Food
Trade Talks Broke Down Over Chinese Shift on Food
Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A farmer selling her produce at a market in Hefei, in eastern China's Anhui province, last week.

Once a strong defender of free trade, China insisted at trade talks in Geneva that developing countries be allowed to impose high tariffs on food imports from affluent countries.

2008年7月28日 星期一

Tourists Join Taiwan-China Thaw

英 | 大 | 中 | 小














Ting-I Tsai

Tourists Join Taiwan-China Thaw

漢 | 大 | 中 | 小
A wave of mainland Chinese tourists here this summer has China and Taiwan on their best behavior, as de facto ambassadors on both sides take pains to minimize awkward moments.

In one Taiwanese town, local officials took down an anti-Beijing billboard. Officials here are stepping carefully around the title of Taiwan's president to avoid reminding the tourists that the island considers itself independent of China.

For its part, China has told tourists to dress nicely and be civil. At the same time, it has asked that locations related to late anticommunist leader Chiang Kai-shek be kept off a list of tour sites.

At stake is a recent thaw in relations between China and the island it has long considered a breakaway province. Taiwan's elections this year swept in a new president keen to improve relations with Beijing, leading to the first formal talks in nine years between the two sides.

Easing tourist restrictions was one major result. The two governments in June agreed to allow as many as 3,000 tourists from China into Taiwan daily, a pace with the potential to lead to roughly one million mainland visitors a year -- though there is some disagreement about how many tourists are actually being allowed. Previously, Chinese tourists could come to the island only indirectly, via stops in places like Thailand or Hong Kong. Only about 293,000 have visited in the past six years, according to Taiwanese government figures. Taiwanese tourists have been visiting China in droves for many years.

China's move is partly an attempt to win points with Taiwanese by boosting the island's tourism industry. The change could create US$2.5 billion to US$3.2 billion in annual tourism revenue, the Taiwanese government estimates. President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in May, suggests 40,000 new jobs would be created.

The new system presents both China and Taiwan with a tricky task: Ensuring smooth visits.

The first group under the system, composed of 66 tourists from the mainland province of Guangdong, arrived on July 4 for a 10-day stay. The tourists were kept in a group on a tightly controlled itinerary for most of the day. Taiwanese officials made sure the brochures printed for the tourists were in the simplified Chinese script adopted by China in the past few decades but scorned by Taiwan, which continues to use traditional Chinese. Authorities also discouraged demonstrations.

Officials of one town took down a billboard erected by the Falun Gong, a spiritual group critical of and banned by Beijing. The billboard touted a Falun Gong book that criticized China's Communist Party for human-rights violations. Local officials said they removed the billboard because it was constructed illegally, not because of its content. A Falun Gong spokeswoman said, 'The move is about self-censorship, and it is a setback for democracy.'

The tourists still faced awkward moments. Taiwanese officials were careful to refer to the island's leader in front of the tourists as 'Mr. Ma' rather than 'President Ma' to avoid bringing up Taiwan's independence. But among the gifts presented to the tourists upon their arrival was a set of stamps bearing Mr. Ma's likeness. Local reporters asked a mainland tourist who received the set whether she knew his title. She declined to answer.

Other potentially red-faced moments passed smoothly. One stop on the first tour was the National Palace Museum, home to a number of Chinese artifacts the Nationalists brought with them when they fled China in 1949. Some in China have pushed for their return. Zhong Yuchin, a 40-year-old teacher from the mainland city of Suzhou, said the issue isn't an important one. 'This shouldn't be a problem. Here is part of the motherland, too,' she said.

Most Chinese tourists in the first group emphasized the island's familiarity, as they have heard of the customs, food, vistas and even politics of Taiwan for years. 'I feel so lucky to visit the island,' said Bai Chengruei, a 71-year-old retired researcher from Beijing. 'I have seen so many scenes I have learned from TV.'

Another big draw: Taiwanese television. The nation's broadcasters carry a number of shows that criticize Taiwan's president and senior officials. Some guests told others to stay in hotels to watch TV in the evenings, according to their Taiwanese tour guides.

2008年7月24日 星期四

From the Erotic Domain, an Aerobic Trend in China



From the Erotic Domain, an Aerobic Trend in China

Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Students taking a lesson at Lolan Pole Dancing School in Beijing. The school has five studios and plans to open six more this year.

Published: July 25, 2008

BEIJING — Clad in knee-high leather boots, spandex shorts and a sports bra, Xiao Yan struck a pose two feet off the ground, her head glistening with sweat and her arms straining as she suspended herself from a vertical pole.

“Keeping your grip is the hardest part,” she said. “It’s really easy to slide downward.”

Ms. Xiao, 26, who works as a supermarket manager, is one of a growing number of women experimenting with China’s newest, and most controversial, fitness activity: pole dancing.

“I used to take a normal aerobics class, but it was boring and monotonous,” Ms. Xiao said. “So I tried out pole dancing. It’s a really social activity. I’ve met a lot of girls here who I’m now close friends with. And I like that it makes me feel sexy.”

A nightclub activity mostly considered the domain of strippers in the United States, pole dancing — but with clothes kept on — is nudging its way into the mainstream Chinese exercise market, with increasing numbers of gyms and dance schools offering classes.

The woman who claims to have brought pole dancing to China, Luo Lan, 39, is from Yichun, a small town in Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. Her parents teach physics at the university level.

“I’m not good at science like my parents. I’m the black sheep of my family, in that sense,” she said.

Ms. Luo said she struggled in 20 different occupations — secretary, saleswoman, restaurateur and translator among them — before deciding to take a break. She traveled to Paris in 2006 for vacation. It was there that she first saw pole dancing.

“I wandered into a pub, and there was a woman dancing on the stage,” she said. “I thought it was beautiful.”

Ms. Luo, who quickly discovered that pole dancing for fitness was popular in America, realized that if she could take away the shadier aspects of the erotic dance and repackage it into an activity more acceptable to mainstream Chinese women, she might create a Chinese fitness revolution. Here was an exercise that would allow women to stay fit and express their sexuality with an unprecedented degree of openness and freedom.

But she remained keenly aware of the challenges in a society where traditional values dictate that women be loyal, faithful and modestly dressed.

Upon her return to Beijing, Ms. Luo invested a little under $3,000 of her savings to start the Lolan Pole Dancing School. She placed advertisements in a lifestyle newspaper and called friends to get the word out.

Slowly, young women trickled in to take a look.

“People here have never seen a pole dance, and for that reason they don’t associate it with stripping or women of ill repute,” Ms. Luo said. “I knew if I could give people a positive first impression of this as a clean, fun, social activity, people wouldn’t just accept it, they’d embrace it.”

Before long, Ms. Luo was contacted by several magazines. In March 2008, Hunan Television, a nationally broadcast network, invited her and a group of her students to perform on a talk show.

“Most of the people in the audience had no idea what this was,” said Hu Jing, 24, an instructor at the Lolan School. “They just thought it was fun and clapped afterward.”

Since the broadcast, pole dancing for fitness has spread through China. The school now has five studios with plans to open six more this year. A rival pole dancing school, Hua Ling, opened half a year after the Lolan School.

Pole dancing’s move onto the fitness scene, however, has been a rocky one. Many Chinese, who disapprove of its sexual movements, consider it unruly and licentious.

“Five years ago, this wouldn’t have been permitted,” said Zhang Jian, 30, a manager in an interior design firm. “I think this is just a fad, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for women.”

Ms. Luo said she had received prank calls and plenty of criticism. “I’ve been contacted by many people who don’t like what we’re doing,” she said.

But those who embrace pole dancing for fitness are a snapshot of urban youths whose values are changing from those of their parents.

Although China has no state religion, study of Confucianism and Taoism, two conflicting philosophies that underlie much of modern Chinese thought, is mandatory in China’s education system. While Confucianism emphasizes achievement and propriety, Taoism stresses the unseen strengths in being humble and, in some cases, being perceived as average.

Although Jiang Li, 23, a pole dancing student, studied both philosophies in school, she said she could subscribe to neither.

“A lot of people expect Chinese women to be subdued and faithful, that we should marry and take care of kids at an early age,” she said. “But I don’t think that way — I want to be independent. I’ve been studying traditional Chinese dance for many years, but this is totally different. I feel in control when I do this. If I learn this well, I feel I can be a superstar. I want to be a superstar.”

Lucy Liang contributed research.


Please search "MYANMAR" in this blog.


28歲時,賴樹盛初抵泰緬邊境,從實習志工到專職工作者,近六年的經歷,寫下《邊境漂流──我們在泰緬邊境2000天》,記錄當地歷史背景、政治現狀、國 際服務、難民營沿革、男女老少的樣貌,以及「看到他人的貧困,體會朋友的苦難,想做的愈多,益發深覺自我的軟弱和傲慢,結果,瞭解最深刻的仍是自己。」

賴樹盛的工作基地美索,位於泰國領土極西,離曼谷六百多公里,隔著湄河,與緬甸接壞。美索地區,住有「泰族人、緬甸人、各式少數民族,以及從孟加拉移居緬 甸後又遷居到泰國的穆斯林,還有自中國福建或雲南移居而來的華人社群……許多國際組織皆在鎮上設置難民服務辦公室,來自歐洲與北美的長駐工作者,以及短暫 來去的外籍志工和背包族旅行者。」

Kyoto Prize,The Japan Prize (日本国際賞) , Praemium_Imperiale

Kyoto Prize,The Japan Prize (日本国際賞) , Praemium_Imperiale

我知道日本起碼有三大獎 國際馳名

2008年7月23日 星期三

中国人偏見 與“人心光靠投资买不来”


所有的中国人都爱吃大米饭,不会发R的卷舌音,长得都差不多。关于13亿中国人的偏见如果列个单子一定会很长。在西方,个子矮小,敏捷伶俐的中国人形象深 入人心。这也难怪,普通的欧洲人又能对中国有多少认识呢?顶多去中餐馆吃一顿已经西化的中餐,点一只油炸春卷,来一盘炸鸭,除了中国人不用刀叉吃饭以外, 又能了解多少关于中国的知识?德新社用调侃的笔调试图纠正几个关于中国的偏见:


特里尔大学的汉学教授卜松山(Prof. Karl-Heinz Pohl)说"在为人处事方面(中国人)有很明确的礼节规矩,但是到了火车站候车广场,规矩就不灵了。"在中国的大街上,到处还有人随地吐痰,拥挤时推推 搡搡,不太雅观地在大街上吃午餐。在正式的宴请时,中国人对外国客人十分热情有礼,但是啃干净的骨头还是吐在盘子边的桌布上。

艺术家眼中的中国人Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 艺术家眼中的中国人

中国人轻声细语?现实正好相反。柏林大学的汉学家达严思(Jens Damm)说,中国人的嗓门比西方人想像得大得多。中国人对说话的分贝值宽容度要大得多。奥运会前夕,人们不但要学"怎样规规矩矩地排队",还要学会"轻 声讲话"。龙的传人也不是总在微笑,到中国去的游客踏上中国的土地就基本能够体会地到。








在不染发的情况下,大多数中国人都是黑发,眼睛深色。中国人的个子并不小,看看中国的篮球运动员就知道了。北方人个子比南方人高。而且,卜松山教授 说,中国人的皮肤也不是那么黄,和欧洲的情况相似,北方人的皮肤比南方人白。不过,中国人自认为是黄色人种,并以黄帝的后代为骄傲。



中国 | 2008.07.23


314西藏骚乱爆发之后,中国政府先是采取了强硬的新闻封锁政策,虽然随后又邀请外国记者团进入拉萨等地实地报道。但由于报道行程在专人严格的组织和陪同 下进行,因此并未能由此而充分建立"新闻自由"的形象。近日,德国两名欧洲议会议员应中国官方之邀对西藏进行了2天的参观访问。德国之声电台驻华记者就西 藏为其留下的印象与感受采访了这两位议员。

中 国邀请方为前来走访西藏地区的德国欧洲议会议员埃尔玛-布罗克和卡尔斯腾-霍鹏施戴特安排了2天满满的日程:参观现代化的工厂基地,走访中小学校等,为的 是给来自欧洲的客人留下深刻的积极印象。布罗克是德国基民盟党的政治家,在欧洲议会主要负责外交事务。布罗克承认中国政府对西藏进行了巨大的经济投资,但 是表示:“中国政府显然还没有弄清楚一个事实,就是要想赢得人心,光靠投资是买不来的。一个人的身份与所属不是别人给的,而是受自己心灵的指点。出于这个 原因,即使出再多的钱,中国政府还没有能赢得西藏人的心。”


在 藏族学生每天苦学汉语的时候,汉族学生可以提前放学。欧洲议会议员布罗克认为,这就是中国政府通过普及汉语,从而使汉族文化以及汉人在西藏占据主导地位。 西藏人要想找到工作,或是处理日常的一些事务,都必须讲汉语。而藏文却逐渐成了西藏人在家里说的语言。这样的语言延续和发展的机会就很小。

布 罗克和霍鹏施戴特利用晚上的时间自己到街上去走走看看,他们发现,拉萨市中心到了晚上会被戒严。即使是白天,今天的拉萨也同一年前有很大变化,特别是布达 拉宫。欧洲议会议员,来自德国下萨克森州的霍鹏施戴特介绍说:“很令人遗憾的是,现在许多喇嘛都被赶出了寺院。代替喇嘛的却是大批中国警察,或是便衣。也 就是说,布达拉宫的佛教灵魂被完全破坏了。我希望,这些警察能尽快撤离,还布达拉宫昔日的平静。”

北 京政府始终坚持,314西藏骚乱是受"达赖集团"幕后指使,最终企图破坏08奥运会的顺利召开。欧洲议会议员布罗克和霍滕施戴特利用此次中国之行,希望能 说服北京政府同达赖喇嘛直接对话,然而布罗克明显感到北京方面的固执:“中国政府坚持认为,达赖喇嘛的最终目的是西藏独立,破坏中国领土完整。为达到此目 的,达赖喇嘛篡动一小部分激进分子进行破坏活动。”



7月24日は土用の丑の日。この日といえばうなぎを食べる習慣があるわけだが、土用の丑の日を前に18日には、東京・赤坂にて台湾産うなぎに関する 記者説明会が行われた。うなぎの産地偽装問題や原産地表示違反の影響で、うなぎに対する消費者の信頼感が揺らいでいる中での開催とあって、品質面や安全性 のPRに重点を置いた内容となっていた。




説明会では台湾のうなぎ業界関係者が次々と日本語で挨拶。中でも台湾鰻魚発展基金会・薫事長の郭瓊英さんは、「台湾産ウナギは40年以上もの間、日 本のみなさんに食されてきました。最盛期には、日本のうなぎ市場の70%を台湾産が占めていました」とその長い歴史をPR。さらに安全面の話では、「ト レーサビリティ制度の実施に向けて動いており、うなぎを1匹ずつ検査して、輸出許可が下りたものだけを日本に輸出しています」と話した。



台湾鰻蝦生産合作者聯合社・総経理の徐崇仁さんは、「うなぎが養殖されている台湾南部は、亜熱帯気候で陽光に恵まれた土地です。うなぎ養殖に適した 環境で、通常の10倍以上の水量の大きな露地池で、1年~1年半かけてゆっくりと育てているのが特徴です」と、放養密度が低いことなどを強調した。


一方、日本鰻輸入組合は、輸入した台湾産うなぎを日本でも再度検査し、合格したものだけを市場に出回らせるというルールを敷いており、そもそも台湾 産うなぎの違反率は非常に低いことを説明した。同組合副理事長の稲垣信起さんは、「台湾産のうなぎはハウスで養殖されるのではなく、露地の池で養殖されて います。エサも1日に何度も与えて早く成長させるのではなく、1日1回のみ。自然に近い環境で育てているのが特徴です」とコメントした。

最後には参加した記者に、試食用としてうな重が配られた。台湾産うなぎを都内のうなぎ料理店で焼き上げたのだという。試食してみると、ふんわりとや わらかな食感で、適度に脂が乗っている。「台湾産うなぎ」がブランドとして確立される日もそう遠くないかもしれない、と感じる説明会だった。

2008年7月21日 星期一








卡內基國際和平基金會(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)的中國項目高級研究員裴敏欣表示,從政治角度來說這是值得的,但從經濟角度來看並不是這樣。他指出,中國還有很多地方需要資金投入;我們都知道中國政府的支出原則是政治優先、經濟其次。


德國約翰內斯﹒古騰堡大學(Johannes Gutenberg University)體育經濟學教授霍格﹒普魯斯(Holger Preuss)表示,北京已經開創了倫敦等未來奧運東道主難以企及的先例。他說,許多國際奧委會(IOC)委員已經考慮,我們必須想辦法削減奧運規模,使得更多城市真正有能力舉辦奧運。普魯斯指出,如果這種為奧運大把燒錢的勢頭延續下去,就以500億美元為例,可能全球只有10個城市能負擔得起。

國際奧委會執行理事吉爾伯特﹒費利(Gilbert Felli)表示,他對北京的開支項目感到滿意。他說,北京奧運預算看起來很高,是因為其他舉辦城市私人部門運營的項目在中國需要政府負責,或者因為發達國家已有更為先進的基礎設施,因此根本不需要在這方面進行投入。



上述420億美元(約合人民幣2,900億元)的奧運總開支是由中國政府下屬的奧林匹克研究中心(Beijing Olympic Research Center)估算的。其中,奧運設施與運作開支僅佔人民幣318億元,另有人民幣713億元用於治理環境。奧運總支出的絕大部分(約人民幣1,800億元)用在了道路交通等基礎設施方面。

中國與國際奧委會也在致力消除有關奧運支出方面的憂慮。2001年北京獲得奧運舉辦權後,國際奧委會主席羅格(Jacques Rogge)就承諾要研究途徑削減奧運開支。羅格表示,我們認識到奧運會的規模顯得有些過於龐大,到了一個城市所能承受的極限。2004年奧運會期間,國際奧委會注意到雅典可能敲響的財力警鐘,再次提醒北京削減部門場館的投資規模。

Associated Press


文章批評了一些旨在拼湊“2008”這一數字或申報吉尼斯世界紀錄(Guinness World Records)的迎奧運活動,例如一場2008名古箏手合奏迎奧運挑戰吉尼斯紀錄的音樂會。

人權組織表示,他們擔心對奧運浪費與腐敗提出批評的人士遭到中國政府的封鎖或逮捕。總部位於紐約的中國人權(Human Rights in China)執行主任譚竟嫦(Sharon Hom)表示,除非中國政府對所有奧運支出進行全面、準確、透明的審計,而不只是公布估計與預算金額,否則你無法真正討論支出是否合理的問題。




Geoffrey A. Fowler / Stacy Meichtry

奧運會:運動鞋的競技場 2008-07-15
原聲視頻:北京的新面貌,美還是醜? 2008-07-14
人權機構害廣告商自打嘴巴? 2008-07-14
北京官員力証污染數據準確性 2008-07-11

2008年7月20日 星期日

Stirrings in the suburbs (China)

Stirrings in the suburbs

By Geoff Dyer

Published: July 20 2008 18:43 | Last updated: July 20 2008 18:43

Lu Guanfeng moved his family to the Shanghai suburbs five years ago for the peace and quiet. He bought an apartment in a gated community called Green Garden New World, which features a gazebo on the private lawns.

Since the start of the year, however, his little patch of suburbia has been anything but quiet. Instead, the residents have been developing a new taste – for political activism. In January, they organised large protests against plans to build a high-speed magnetic levitation train line near their flats. Four months later, when an earthquake devastated part of Sichuan province, the area was again energised with private charity campaigns and volunteer work.

China Beyond the Games

Audio slideshow: Suburban rebellion
This is the first part of an FT series on China in the lead up to the Olympics in August. For other parts of the series click here

Mr Lu, an internet entrepreneur in his 40s, was involved in the anti-maglev protests and later went to Sichuan to help after the earthquake. “We are trying to get the government to listen more to public opinion,” he says.

Welcome to suburban China, the new fault line in the country’s one-party rule. Places such as Green Garden New World will play an important role in determining which political direction China takes over the next couple of decades. The Communist party shows no sign of retreating from its dominant position in politics but it faces challenges on a series of fronts from a society that is becoming more complex, educated and assertive.

The biggest potential threat to the party comes from the educated urban middle class. Although there are daily protests by poor farmers who claim their land has been stolen or poisoned by a nearby factory, rural protests tend to be isolated and local police are often not afraid to crack heads, far away from probing eyes. A restive middle class in the country’s international cities is a different matter. If company executives, lawyers and university professors start challenging the political status quo, the party’s hold will become much less secure.

China’s leaders are well aware that during the transition to democracy in South Korea and Taiwan – or indeed more than a century earlier in western Europe and the US – the urban middle class played a pivotal role. There is a vigorous debate in elite circles in Beijing about transparency in government, media freedom and legal due process: just how quickly the party embraces such changes will depend to a large degree on how much pressure it faces from the new suburbs.

“The government is starting to be challenged by new social groups, which are growing rapidly and want to be heard,” says Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a China expert at the University of California, Irvine. “Even people who support a lot of things the government is doing can change their view if they do not feel they are being listened to.”

The one thing China throws up quicker than factories is new suburbs. Mr Lu lives in an unusually prosperous one called Xinzhuang at the end of the first metro line in Shanghai. In the decade or so since the metro opened, the area has experienced rapid social and economic change. With the metro line came some of the first apartment buildings constructed for private ownership.

Professional families from the inner city who had just bought their first car were attracted to the gated communities. Rising incomes also brought many of the other trappings of middle-class life. At the new Friendship Shopping, the first high-end mall in a Chinese suburb, residents of Xinzhuang can choose a shirt at Brooks Brothers, purchase a Rolex watch or sip lattes at Costa Coffee.

Xinzhuang’s political awakening began in January when the local government released plans on an obscure website to extend the city’s maglev train line through part of the neighbourhood. Shanghai has the world’s only commercial maglev line. Planners want to bring the line, which runs from the international airport to a distant suburb at a speed of 430km/h, across the city to the domestic airport. The scheme caused outrage among residents near the planned route, who feared noise and potential pollution. Internet petitions were circulated and large posters appeared on the side of buildings with slogans such as “No to Maglev Cancer Rail”.

On a Saturday afternoon in January, thousands thronged Shanghai’s People’s Square in front of city hall to protest against the plans. Given that demonstrations are in effect barred, the residents described it as a sanbu or “walk” – they had all just happened to turn up in the square at the same time. Another group went for a spontaneous “shop” on the city’s main retail streets, shouting anti-maglev slogans.

This polite but firm suburban rebellion – which was one of the largest urban protests in recent years and was caught on camera by international media – had the intended impact. A few weeks later, the mayor of Shanghai announced that the project had been delayed by at least a year while more discussions were held with locals.

It was not the first time that residents of suburban Shanghai had opposed the maglev plans: the original route was changed after a series of protests in spring last year outside government buildings. But this time their protests were more audacious, using text messaging and YouTube to spread word about new events. The sanbu strategy appeared to have been copied from a similar protest last year in the southern city of Xiamen, which halted construction of a chemicals plant.

Both the Shanghai maglev and Xiamen protests have come to be considered milestones in Chinese politics – powerful examples of pressure from the suburban middle class for a more transparent and accountable system of government. “The Communist party has guaranteed that citizens have the right to express ideas through legal means,” says Mr Lu, sitting in a living room that displays his daughters’ pictures of Minnie Mouse as well as a statue of Confucius. “We are not opponents of the government but we are exposing some problems of government behaviour.”

Anti-maglev activist Lu GuanfengIf the maglev protests showed a nascent political assertiveness among the Xinzhuang middle class, then the massive Sichuan earthquake in May brought out a different form of political participation. Mistrustful of official charities, Mr Lu raised money on the internet to buy water filters, which he took to Sichuan. Joe Liang, who works for a private equity company, jumped on a flight two days after the earthquake to go to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. “I have a happy family and a good job with a decent salary,” he explains. “But I also had this feeling that I would like to do something for others in our society. So when a friend in Chengdu asked me to help out after the earthquake, I did not hesitate.”

Without medical training or other skills to offer the relief effort, he remained in the city doing administrative work. “It was actually really tedious, but when I got back lots of friends and colleagues were very interested and wanted me to put them in touch with contacts in Sichuan for volunteer work,” he says.

According to the government, more than 200,000 people travelled to Sichuan to lend a hand with the relief effort. At Friendship Shopping, there were long lines of people queuing to give blood for injured people in Sichuan.

The response to the earthquake has prompted a vigorous debate both at home and abroad about whether it has opened new room for civil society in China. In the days immediately afterwards, there appeared to be unusual openness for journalists and charities to operate. In the weeks since, however, the government has clamped down and imposed its control on activities.

Yet whatever the impact, the tens of thousands of people who dropped everything to lend a hand were demonstrating a desire to be more involved in the life of the country. Along with the maglev protests, they indicate a growing desire among middle-class citizens to be heard in new ways. “Chinese society is becoming more robust, diverse, interested and capable,” wrote George Gilboy, a senior fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a recent paper.

The notion that the Chinese middle class is becoming more politically active is a deeply seductive one for western observers. It plays into one of the most powerful ideas of the age: that capitalism will inevitably bring democracy. It underscores a lot of western diplomatic and commercial engagement with China – why harp on about human rights, some diplomats ask, if the country is moving in that direction anyway? It also implies that, in an important way, China is becoming like the west.

Yet there are plenty of reasons to be wary. Even among China-watchers who think a confident middle class will eventually push for a more liberal political system, many argue that it will be only a slow and gradual process.

One important reason for this is that the middle class is still relatively small. Around 800m Chinese live in rural areas, where most struggle to make ends meet through farming. In the cities, a large percentage of people now own their homes but this is a deceptive indicator of wealth because many bought property at cut-rate prices during government privatisations. Car ownership, another indicator of middle-class status, is growing rapidly but from a very low base: the proportion of Chinese who own a vehicle is still only around 3 per cent.

The small size of the middle class also begets a political conservatism. To live in the wealthy suburbs of a city such as Shanghai is to enjoy social privileges in terms of education and healthcare; many middle-class Chinese lean towards the political status quo because they suspect that a democracy would have to spread those resources more thinly across the country.

According to David Goodman, a China expert at the University of Technology in Sydney, China’s middle class has much stronger ties to the state than was the case in most of western Europe or in most Asian countries that have become democracies. As a result, it is less likely to challenge the party-state.

Chinese GDP per capitaThis is particularly true, he argues, of the new generation of private entrepreneurs. Many private companies began as offshoots of local government departments or state-owned enterprises. Even today, business people who wish to build national operations need to cultivate strong political connections around the country. In one recent list of China’s richest people, one-third were members of the Communist party.

“A lot of the new wealth has come out of the party-state through semi-privatisations or it has been absorbed by the party-state,” says Prof Goodman. “Given a free hand, some of these people might go off and form political parties, but they will not do so while the party-state is in place.”

The party has gone to great lengths to win the loyalty of professionals. At the time of the Tiananmen protests in 1989, many members of the educated middle class were outraged at their low salaries. In the intervening years, people such as university teachers have been given regular and in some cases large pay increases.

Among ambitious students, party membership is an attractive asset because of the connections it brings. One professor at a leading Beijing university says that although his very best students turn up their nose at the idea, many others are eager to join the party because they believe it will boost their job prospects.

Such favourable attitudes to the Chinese party-state were present in the other episode of political activism that stirred Xinzhuang this year – when this time the protesters were defending the good name of the government. In the aftermath of the March unrest in Tibet and chaos surrounding the Olympics torch relay in London and Paris, many were outraged at what they saw as attempts to humiliate China in its Olympics year.

After internet users began to call for a boycott of French goods, large demonstrations were held at several Carrefour supermarkets. At the Carrefour next to Friendship Shopping in Xinzhuang, teenagers milled outside with T-shirts saying “Tibet WAS, IS and ALWAYS will be part of China”. A middle class insecure about its own status identified closely with the overseas prestige of China.

Protesting against the government also brings huge risks. Several of the anti-maglev campaigners say they were threatened with arrest or other punishments if they caused too much trouble. A suspicious Mr Lu has a camera in the corner of his living room to record all meetings, either with journalists or officials. He cites a Chinese saying to explain the reluctance of people to become campaign leaders: “The shot hits the bird that pokes its head out first.”

For all the symbolism of the anti-maglev campaign, therefore, some observers believe middle-class China is prepared to challenge the authorities only when its immediate interests are threatened – and that recent events fall short of a challenge to the system.

“The outpouring of human compassion after the earthquake is real but the Chinese middle class needs fires in its own backyard to get politically agitated – witness the protests in Shanghai and Xiamen,” says Chen Jie, an academic at the University of Western Australia. “Overall, the Chinese middle class is not very mature.”

Additional reporting by Yang Jie

2008年7月18日 星期五



| | |

總 部位於馬里蘭州的企業反賄賂非盈利組織Trace International週二發表了一項調查的相關結果。該調查項目名為Business Registry for International Bribery and Extortion(簡稱Bribeline)。這項調查搜集了截至6月30日的一年時間里人們主動提交到項目網站上的數據。該組織將在接下來的幾個月陸 續公佈其他更多國家的數據。

Trace International的數據存在一定缺陷。接受調查者除了默認腐敗是個問題之外沒有其他選擇﹐因為調查沒有給參與者提供一個聲明他們不曾被要求行賄 的選項。為鼓勵人們參與﹐調查設計成匿名式﹐因此不能避免參與調查者重複參加的可能性。Trace表示﹐它第一年收到的148份網上調查有重要的統計意 義。

Trace總裁亞歷山德拉•瑞吉(Alexandra Wrage)說﹐有關中國的初步結果顯示﹐受訪者提到的行賄案54%都屬於應“不合理要求”﹐也就是行賄人為預防發生服務不能及時到位等有害後果而做出 的。調查顯示﹐只有20%是出於“互利”的考慮作出的安排﹐比如為獲得新合同被對方索要賄賂。


去年﹐在透明國際(Transparency International)的全球貪腐印象報告中﹐中國的廉潔程度在179個國家中排在第72位。

Trace 的調查結果有一個明顯的“空缺”﹐那就是與北京奧運會有關的賄賂。瑞吉說﹐她仔細察看了資料﹐以便看到有無受訪者認為是與奧運會有關的賄賂行為﹐因為在其 他主辦國﹐大規模建設活動往往會滋生腐敗。她說﹕我找了一下﹐沒看到這方面的內容。(不過﹐中國2006年免除了北京市一位參與奧運建設工程的副市長的職 務﹐此人被控有腐敗行為。)

出席Trace午餐會的通用電氣(General Electric Co.)駐香港律師凱利•奧斯汀(Kelly Austin)說﹐從反腐敗方面來說﹐地球是平的。也就是說﹐各個國家在反腐敗法規方面都是相似的。她舉例說﹐中國這方面的法規與美國的《海外反腐敗法》 沒有明顯的不同。


James T. Areddy

Tracing the Roots of Corruption

| | |
Who in China is most likely to request a bribe? A government official promising a trouble-free outcome, according to one unscientific survey.

Trace International, a Maryland-based non-profit anti-bribery business association, on Tuesday published data from a project it calls Business Registry for International Bribery and Extortion, or Bribeline. The data were collected over the year ended June 30 from voluntary submissions to its online Bribeline service, which operates in 21 languages. The organization will publish data on more countries in coming months.

The Trace data have shortcomings. Respondents have little choice but to say corruption is a problem since it offers no way for a participant to say they haven't been solicited for a bribe. The system is purposely anonymous in order to encourage entries, so it doesn't prevent respondents from posting their experiences multiple times. Trace says the findings of 148 entries it logged in the first year are statistically significant.

The early China findings show 54% of bribes described by respondents were 'extortionate demands,' or requests to avoid a harmful outcome such as untimely delivery of service, said Trace President Alexandra Wrage. Only 20% related to a 'mutually beneficial' arrangement, such as bribes solicited in exchange for gaining new business, according to the survey.

Also, she noted, 85% of bribes reported in the study were solicited by individuals associated with the government. The request was most often for cash, but amounts fell within a wide range. About one-fifth of respondents said they had been solicited for a bribe more than 100 times.

China's government doesn't shy away from accusations that corruption is an endemic problem, with repeated pledges through state media to clean up the business environment and multiple cases of officials being punished for corrupt acts. In April, the Communist Party unveiled a new five year anti-corruption plan and last year the government established a National Bureau of Corruption Prevention. It has also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

Last year, China ranked 72nd best of 179 countries on Transparency International's ranking of perceived corruption.

Notably absent from Trace's findings was bribery associated with the Summer Olympics. Ms. Wrage said she pored over data for any sign respondents had seen bribery associated with the Games, since sizable construction contracts have tended to breed corruption in other host countries. 'I looked for it, and it wasn't there,' she said. (In 2006, China fired a vice mayor of Beijing who was involved in Olympics construction on corruption charges).

Kelly Austin, a Hong Kong based attorney for General Electric Co. who participated in Trace launch, said 'the world is very flat these days from an anti-corruption perspective,' meaning the rules in particular countries are similar. For instance, she said, China's rules aren't markedly different from the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Ms. Austin said GE will use the new data tools. 'The data will help us more effectively tailor our compliance programs' for China and other countries, she said.


China Quells Parents' Protest

| | |
Riot police were called in to disperse a crowd of hundreds of parents in southwestern China whose children were killed in school collapses during May's massive earthquake.

Police wielding riot shields and batons dragged away more than a dozen of the parents, who had gathered in front of a local government office in the city of Mianzhu in Sichuan province Tuesday morning, witnesses said. The parents were hoping to hear the results of an investigation into the failure of area school buildings in the quake.

No report was forthcoming from officials there, parents said. At about 11 a.m., hundreds of police in riot gear arrived. A woman who refused to leave was kicked repeatedly and knocked to the ground, according to witnesses.

At least some of the people detained were released later Tuesday, parents said.

Police officials in Mianzhu declined to comment, except to say the case is being handled by their 'national security' unit.

Local authorities in China have been stepping up efforts to silence complaints and stifle protests by parents frustrated by the pace of inquiries into why schools weren't sturdy enough to survive the 7.9-magnitude quake -- apparently because they worry the issue will tarnish China's image.

One letter from authorities in Mianzhu last month warned parents to avoid 'doing things hurting the national dignity.' The letter said that 'malfeasant persons at home and abroad' were seeking to use the parents' sadness 'to sabotage the Olympics' and 'ruin China's image.'

Some of the parents in Tuesday's protest said local officials had visited them earlier in the day to offer financial assistance if they would sign a document promising that they would 'never participate in any activities that will affect overall rebuilding efforts.'

Families that agree will receive a one-time payment of about $8,500. Parents would also receive additional funds every month after they retire. Because of Chinese family-planning policies, many couples lost their only children in the disaster, which the government has said destroyed nearly 7,000 classrooms and dormitory rooms.

Parents interviewed by phone said they interpreted the offers as an effort by the government to force them to stop speaking out and pushing the government for an explanation of why so many schools were destroyed in the quake. Many blame shoddy construction and government corruption for the collapses.

'If we sign the letter, it means we will get the money, but the government won't be held responsible,' said one parent. 'We wouldn't be able to do anything or say anything anymore.'

Police have been deployed to break up several parent protests since the earthquake. Human-rights advocates say the government in June detained a local political activist, Huang Qi, who had met with bereaved parents. Local authorities have also sought to bar foreign reporters from areas where schools collapsed.

Xu Feidi, the vice mayor of Mianzhu, said the money was 'not compensation' for the children's deaths, but was 'a payment involving comprehensive considerations.' He said families that lost children had already received a range of other benefits, such as health-care funds, totaling more than $4,000.

In addition, Mr. Xu said, the local government had bought what are essentially annuities for the parents, which would provide them with monthly stipends to supplement their ordinary pensions after they retire. 'The government is doing its utmost to help,' Mr. Xu said.

Mr. Xu, who said he was unaware of Tuesday's confrontation, also said government investigators had basically concluded that the severity of the earthquake was the primary cause of the school collapses.

'It was a natural disaster unprecedented in thousands of years,' Mr. Xu said. 'To separate the quality problem from this cause is very difficult.'

Eight schools in Mianzhu partially or completely collapsed in the earthquake, killing hundreds of students, who were in afternoon classes when the quake struck on May 12.

In the case of the Dongqi Middle School, the classroom structures gave way when many surrounding buildings remained upright. At least 220 of the school's 900 students and 14 teachers were killed. Bereaved parents say they believe official negligence was partly to blame.

Some parents said they felt the government's financial assistance offers were inadequate. The weakness of China's government-sponsored social safety net means that most people need to rely heavily on their children to care for them when they stop working.

'We were so unhappy with' the government's assistance offer, said the mother of a teenage boy killed in the collapse of a high school. 'Our child died, and we raised him for 17 years,' she said.

Parents reached by phone in some other municipalities where schools collapsed said they hadn't received any similar compensation offers from local authorities.

Gordon Fairclough


| | |

















Junho Kim for The Wall Street Jounal




Gordon Fairclough

affirmative action in Malaysia

Malaysian police investigating sodomy allegations against Anwar Ibrahim released the opposition leader on bail, but police warned they might detain him again and force him to give a DNA sample.


affirmative action, sodomy

2008年7月14日 星期一

規避網絡審查 中國網民高招迭出


規避網絡審查 網民高招迭出

| | |


Associated Press

中 國名為“金盾工程”(Great Firewall)的複雜審查機制能夠自動跟蹤違禁語句。但天涯社區的一位編輯稱﹐中國也有最富經驗、最有才能的網民群體﹐他們總能找到對策。他一直負責 刪除有關此次騷亂的內容。天涯社區為海南天涯在線網絡科技有限公司(Hainan Tianya Online Networking Technology Co.)所有。

距離北京奧運會開幕還有一個多月的時間﹐中國政府對網絡上下表達出來的異見已幾乎失去了耐心。6月 27日﹐南京有關部門判處孫林4年有期徒刑﹐罪名包括聚眾擾亂社會秩序等。孫林曾在海外不同政見網站博訊網(Boxun.com)上發表文章。媒體自由組 織記者無國界(Reporters Without Borders)稱﹐自2008年初以來﹐記者、網絡異見人士或言論自由維權活動者被逮捕或判刑的案件共有24起。






貴 州當地報紙一位網名叫作三笑的記者稱﹐他決定在網上貼出審查機關不允許在報紙上發表的報導。週一﹐他發表了一篇名為“網絡刪貼如割草,看看傳的快還是殺的 快”的博客文章﹐其中搜集了來自不同渠道的有關騷亂的一些細節。週二前﹐他在騰訊網(qq.com)上發表的博客內容以及其它網站的大量轉貼都被刪除了。






Juliet Ye / Geoffrey A. Fowler

Evading China's Censors

| | |
To slip past Internet censors squashing reports of a weekend riot in China's Guizhou province, some bloggers have started writing backward.

Some 30,000 rioters set fire to government buildings over the weekend to protest the way authorities handled the death of a teenager in the province's Weng'an County. While state-controlled media provided immediate coverage, government censors moved fast to delete online posts providing unofficial accounts and deactivate the accounts of those users.

So bloggers on forums such as Tianya.cn have taken to posting in formats that China's Internet censors, often employees of commercial Internet service providers, have a hard time automatically detecting. One recent strategy involves online software that flips sentences to read right to left and vertically instead of horizontally, in the style of traditional Chinese.

China's sophisticated censorship regime -- known as the Great Firewall -- can automatically track objectionable phrases. But 'the country also has the most experienced and talented group of netizens who always know ways around it,' said an editor at Tianya, owned by Hainan Tianya Online Networking Technology Co., who has been responsible for deleting posts about the riot.

With the Beijing Olympics slightly more than a month away, the Chinese government has shown little patience toward dissent, online or offline. On June 27, authorities in Nanjing imposed a four-year prison sentence on Sun Lin, who had written posts on the overseas dissident Web site Boxun.com, after convicting him of 'gathering crowds to cause social unrest' and other offenses. Media-freedom group Reporters Without Borders says that since the beginning of 2008, there have been 24 cases of journalists, cyberdissidents or free-expression activists being arrested or sentenced to jail terms.

Guizhou officials on Tuesday reopened the investigation into the death of the 17-year-old student that led to the riots. Police had originally labeled her death a suicide, but outraged local residents believed she had been raped and killed by people who had connections with local officials.

Public-security officials Tuesday defended the police actions, saying they showed 'great restraint,' Xinhua reported. It said about 100 police were among the 150 injured during the rioting, but that most injuries were slight.

In comments to the state-run Xinhua news agency, provincial Communist Party chief Shi Zongyuan emphasized social stability, underscoring the government's heightened anxiety ahead of the Olympics. The incident 'was used and incited by very few people with ulterior motives' Xinhua reported.

Nonetheless, some Chinese journalists and Internet writers have been emboldened by the Guizhou incident. Some are using a tried-and-true method of burying coding inside search phrases, such as 'Weng'an,' that hide the words from online censors.

Citizen journalist Zhou Shuguang, who goes by the online name of Zola, has been using different kinds of technology. After arriving in Guizhou on Monday, he began sharing snippets of information via Twitter, a kind of public instant-messaging feed that delivers information more quickly than censors can block it.

Mr. Zhou also has posted recordings of interviews with rioters and local residents on his blog, which is hosted on a server outside China. He also hosts alternative links to his site that use technical loopholes to get around blocks placed on accessing his site inside China.

San Xiao, the online name of a reporter for a local newspaper in Guizhou, said he decided to post reports online that censors wouldn't allow in the newspaper. On Monday, he wrote a blog post titled, 'Let's see how far the post can go before it gets censored and deleted,' which collected details about the riot from several different sources. By Tuesday, his original post on the Chinese Internet destination qq.com -- plus many copies on other sites -- had been removed.

'It is everyone's responsibility to get this information out, and I will try all means,' he wrote in an email.

The government has lately shown some signs it is trying to be responsive to the country's thriving Internet culture, home to 221 million users, according to official statistics.

On June 20, Chinese President Hu Jintao participated in his first online chat, during a visit to the official People's Daily newspaper. He told the paper's staff that the Internet had made it more convenient and faster for people to obtain and spread information -- increasing the role of public opinion in China.

During his chat, Mr. Hu avoided the keyboard and spoke answers into a microphone to three questions: Do you use the Internet, what do you do on the Internet and do you read suggestions submitted online? The answers were yes, collect information, and yes.

Even though the chat lasted just four minutes, interest was high. Many found the site inaccessible because of heavy traffic. Afterward, the reactions from online were mostly positive. 'We are in tears. You are loved by the people,' said a poster on Sina.com.

Juliet Ye / Geoffrey A. Fowler

2008年7月10日 星期四


德国外长施泰因迈尔访问中国时曾经指出,"西方不能用旧的思维模式应对新的挑战。全球经济和政治的重心正在发生着转移。因此必须重新测量世界"。毫无疑 问,在这一过程中,中国扮演着关键的角色。在德国波恩日前举行的题为"中国和平崛起?--21世纪中国大战略"研讨会上,两位权威的中国问题专家为与会者 重新测量了中国参与下的世界新格局。

中国实行着怎样的大战略?波鸿大学教授辜学武开篇明义-- 没有人知道这个问题的答案。但他认为,中国正在进行三个大试验。一是,如何在不破坏现有国际秩序稳定性的前提下,实现和平崛起的目标。二是,如何确保市场 经济体制下、私有经济不会占据主导地位。而第三点,则关乎政治体制。"一种政治制度,能否不向公众开放政治决策过程,而仅仅依靠持续的现代化、人民生活的 改善和社会的长期稳定,来保障制度的存在。过去三十年里,尽管可能导致社会动乱的因素始终存在,但中国仍旧成功维护了国家秩序和稳定。今后这种新的模式是 否能长期维持下去?"

辜学武指出,为了补偿这种模式的缺陷,中国政府采取了不同方面的措施,包括:聘请高级专家为政治决策过程把脉、实行农村基层民主、以及国家领导人任 期不超过10年的硬性规定。然而,中国是否会实现和平崛起,辜学武指出,最核心的问题在于,现有的国际秩序是否能容忍和承受中国这样一个陌生的、庞大的实 体所带来的挑战?

中国崛起与现有国际秩序之间的互动十分吸引眼球。参加讨论的另一位专家、德国科学与政治基金会瓦克尔女士列举了中国军费开支备受国际关注的例子。" 印度从俄罗斯购买最新的武器和技术,印度拥有航空母舰,而中国没有。但没有人讨论这一点。这又是一个双重标准的例子。中国的军队现代化令人恐慌,但印度就 没关系,因为印度是民主国家。"

瓦克尔女士表示,人们必须看到,90年代初中国军费开支增加的起点非常之低。与国民生产总值相比,她并不认为中国目前的军费开支过高。但是,如果要 讨论军费开支究竟多少才合适,关键的问题在于,中国必须增加透明度。"中国的军费开支不够透明,对于周边国家来说这是关键的一点。必须增进地区的互信、提 高透明度,才能避免发生不必要的冲突。"



2008年7月8日 星期二

The G8 summit 2008

The G8 summit

A world of troubles to tackle

Jul 7th 2008 | TOYAKO
From Economist.com

The G8 leaders, meeting in Japan, have many challenges but few tools


THE leaders of the G8 group of rich countries kicked off three days of annual summitry hosted by Japan in Toyako on the northern island of Hokkaido on Monday July 7th. The remoteness of the venue—a bubble-era resort hotel overlooking Lake Toya—and an overwhelming police presence around the summit and Japan’s main cities appear to have prevented the scale of anti-globalisation protests and street violence that have disrupted recent gatherings of the world’s self-appointed steering group, including last year’s summit at Heiligendamm in Germany. But even without the protests, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, Japan and Russia, half of them new to their job, will be aware of how much the world has changed since Heiligendamm.

At last year’s summit the price of oil was at less than half today’s $140 a barrel. The world price of rice and other grains gave few signs of doubling, threatening political stability in Africa and Asia and mocking earlier G8 commitments to reducing global poverty. Meanwhile, mention then of structured investment vehicles or Northern Rock to a G8 leader would have been met with a blank stare.

Pricey oil, the food crisis and the credit crunch: the new challenges either have their roots beyond the G8, or have quickly raced across borders. Either way, they highlight how the G8’s supposed goals work increasingly at cross-purposes. The call for lower fuel prices stands at odds with energy efficiency, cutting carbon dependence and tackling climate change—as does the drive against nuclear proliferation. Emphasising biofuels means less land for food production, leading to higher prices and hungry bellies. The desire of rich countries to avoid recession raises questions about their resolve to nip inflation. The rich-country club (plus Russia), representing a minority of the world’s population, appears ill-equipped for the challenges.

As host, Japan’s prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, is determined to make the best of the contradictions. The summit’s opening day addresses poverty and higher food prices in Africa, with seven African national leaders invited. Japanese officials, among others, have floated the idea of a grain stockpile that might act as a buffer against volatile prices. Britain’s prime minister, Gordon Brown, proposes a doubling of food production in Africa. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, says that high food prices are "turning back the clock on development gains". But talk is cheap: non-government organisations give warning that even development goals agreed by the G8 just three years ago at Gleneagles in Scotland appear to be slipping. The head of the Asian Development Bank points out that food is not solely an African challenge: over 1 billion Asians spend some three-fifths of their income on food.

On the summit’s second day, the G8 leaders huddle informally, but on the third the “outreach” championed by Japan continues with China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia South Africa and South Korea all invited to discuss carbon emissions and global warming. That brings together the world’s biggest emitters, but few concrete decisions are likely: after all, a deal to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012, is not due until a UN conference in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. Still, China and India might agree to make bigger verbal commitments to cutting emissions—provided the West makes money and technology available.

Until now, these two giants have argued that big cuts were an inequitable way to deal with a carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere that was not of their making, but because of earlier industrialisation. Yet the United States is reluctant to adopt emissions targets without commitments from the newest industrialisers. Ahead of the summit George Bush promised to be “constructive” on climate change. If there is any sign of progress on this matter, some G8 leaders may push for something firmer than the Heiligendamm promise to “consider seriously” cutting emissions by half by 2050.

These, then, are the global challenges that the G8’s leaders will attempt to address (while also finding time to condemn Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and gauge progress on North Korea’s denuclearisation). If only electorates were behind them. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has yet to regain the popularity and authority that propelled him to office. Mr Bush, unpopular at home, is nearing the end of his term. Mr Fukuda will possibly not be around in a year’s time, with Mr Brown’s future only a little less assured. Popular restiveness against national leaders, even if it is not allowed to show itself in Toyako, puts the G8’s goals in even greater question.

温室ガス 2050年に半減、世界目標化


記 念撮影のため、サミットテラスに上がる(左から)ブッシュ米大統領、ベルルスコーニ伊首相、メルケル独首相、ブラウン英首相、福田首相、ハーパー・カナダ 首相、サルコジ仏大統領、メドベージェフ・ロシア大統領、バローゾEU欧州委員長=8日午後0時23分、北海道洞爺湖町、代表撮影 表2日目(8日)のポイント

  北海道洞爺湖サミット(主要国首脳会議)2日目の8日、主要8カ国(G8)は温室効果ガスの「2050年までの排出量半減」という長期目標について、G8 だけでなく、すべての国での共有を目指すことで一致した。こうした方針や食糧価格高騰への対応などを盛り込んだ首脳宣言を採択した。(村山祐介)

 G8は「50年半減」を新興国を巻き込んで実現する姿勢を見せ、9日には主要排出国会議(MEM)の首脳会合を中国やインドなど8カ国と開く。焦 点は新興国側の同意取り付けに移るが、中印など新興5カ国首脳は8日声明を出し、「世界の国々の平等な発展が保証されなければならない」と早くもクギをさ した。

 8日の首脳宣言では、温暖化対策で最大の焦点となった世界全体の長期目標について「2050年までに少なくとも50%の削減を達成する目標という ビジョンを、国連気候変動枠組み条約の全締約国と共有し、同条約にもとづく交渉でその目標を検討、採択を求める」と明記。この目標について「世界全体、特 にすべての主要経済国の貢献によってのみ対応できることを認識する」と強調した。枠組み条約には国連のほぼすべての加盟国が参加している。


 2020~30年ごろをめどとする中期目標についても、「排出量の絶対的削減を達成するため、野心的な中期の国別総量目標を実施する」と明記。京 都議定書に続く13年以降の国際枠組みで、「拘束される形で、すべての主要経済国が意味ある(気候変動の)緩和の行動をコミットする必要がある」とした。



 昨年のサミットでは日本やEUなどが提案した「50年半減」を「真剣に検討する」ことで一致。日本は洞爺湖での合意を目指してきたが、米国はG8だけの 合意には強い難色を示し、中印を含めるよう主張していた。結局、合意は明記しない形で、G8としてすべての国に目標の共有を呼びかけることでまとまった。

 一方、日本が提案した産業部門別のガス削減手法「セクター別アプローチ」については、「各国の排出削減目標を達成する上で、とりわけ有効な手法」と評 価。ガスの大幅削減を実現する革新的技術について、開発に向けた行程表を定める「国際的イニシアチブ」を立ち上げることなども盛り込まれた。


 G8の首脳宣言について、国連の潘基文(パン・ギムン)事務総長は8日、朝日新聞記者との単独会見で「もっと強い言葉が望ましかった」と不満を示 した。一方で、「米国が2050年に半減という目標に加わったことは勇気づけられる」と一定の評価を示し、「始まりとしてはいいのではないか。問題意識は 高まった。私も明日、拡大会合の場でさらに協力を訴える」と語った。(松下佳世)

2008年7月7日 星期一

India news

Decades Later, Toxic Sludge Torments Bhopal
Hundreds of tons of waste languish on the grounds of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, the site of a notorious disaster that killed thousands.

06.07. - Curse of the Green Revolution Threatens Indian Farmers

In the 1960s, the “Green Revolution” in India was hailed as the golden
age of agricultural production. But increased productivity also led to
increased pressure on small farmers.

The DW-WORLD Article


06.07. - Indian Newspaper Gives a Voice to Prostitutes

An estimated 15 million women work as prostitutes in India, shunned by
society. But some have found their voice with a new paper.

The DW-WORLD Article