台商大驚！中國 漲完工資漲保險 2008年中國《勞動合同法》
The Guangdong model
One Chinese province adopts a beguilingly open approach—up to a point
Nov 26th 2011 | FOSHAN AND GUANGZHOU | from the print edition
UNLIKE attention-seeking politicians elsewhere, senior Communist cadres in China like to keep their ambitions hidden. If anything, they signal grey conservatism, stressing how little they wish to change things. But as the country awaits a change of its leadership late next year, some high officials are up for a bit of self-promotion. In Guangdong province in the south the Communist Party chief, Wang Yang, is dropping hints that his more liberal style of governing might offer a better way for running the country.
Guangdong has long been the most vibrant and economically liberal province in China. Now the idea that economic liberalism might be matched by greater political openness has come to be called the “Guangdong model”. A prominent supporter is Xiao Bin of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, the provincial capital. On the blackboard, he draws a picture of an egg. He makes chalk marks on the white to show how changes can be made in the way the party rules, while leaving the yolk—for which read a Communist Party monopoly on power—unmarked.
Mr Wang, who is 56, has been a member of the ruling Politburo since 2007. He knows well how to keep within the party’s bounds. He rarely talks of the Guangdong model, which would sound like a slap at others. But among academics and online commentators, the term has blossomed. Guangdong newspapers occasionally talk about it.
Fans of the model fiercely defend it against advocates of its rival promoted by the party chief of Chongqing deep inland, Bo Xilai, who has a flair for publicity. Both Mr Wang and Mr Bo may join the Politburo’s standing committee next year, when seven of nine members, including President Hu Jintao and the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, will step down. Mr Bo trumpets the importance of state-owned enterprises, traditional socialist values and the inspirational power of Mao-era songs—while getting tough on organised crime. Maoist websites lionise Mr Bo; the Chongqing model is held up in shining contrast to that of Guangdong and its “capitalist roaders”.
Six decades of Communist rule have been punctuated by battles between the left (as Mr Bo’s supporters are proud to call themselves) and the right (a label that carries a stigma to this day). This battle is exceptional, however. It is being fought out not in arcane commentaries in party newspapers but in open debate. Both camps hold symposiums about their respective models. A book is out about the Chongqing model. In literary terms, Mr Xiao admits that the Guangdong camp is lagging somewhat.
Perhaps the debate generates more heat in public than it does in the Communist Party itself. A researcher at Guangdong’s party school says Guangdong and Chongqing are not in opposition. Both regions, he says, are learning from each other. For example, Chongqing is building the development zones to attract investors that Guangdong pioneered in the 1980s. Guangdong, he says, could learn from Chongqing’s efforts to absorb migrants from the countryside into city life. Guangdong academics have studied Chongqing’s experiments in creating markets for rural land, where powerful restrictions apply even in “liberal” Guangdong.
In the political realm, however, Mr Wang’s supporters point to changes which, they say, are distinctive. One concerns the role of trade unions, a rather sensitive area for a party that is still unnerved by the role that Solidarity played in Poland in the 1980s to bring down Communist power.
Mr Wang’s rethink was triggered by a spate of 200-odd strikes last year in the Pearl River delta that began in May with workers downing tools at a Honda car-parts factory in Foshan, near Guangzhou. Mr Wang, says an academic, chose not to see the strikes as a threat to political stability. Indeed he expressed sympathy with the workers’ demands (which is perhaps easier to do at companies owned by foreigners). Elsewhere in China ringleaders are commonly rounded up once strikes have been settled, but those in Guangdong were not. All the incidents, the academic says, had “happy endings”, with pay increases of 30-40%.
Buying off strikers is common enough in China. But Mr Wang went further, encouraging state-affiliated trade unions (there are no independent ones) to be more active in representing workers’ interests. Trade unions in China are normally little more than creatures of management, run by party cadres. Prodded by Mr Wang, Guangdong’s unions began encouraging collective bargaining, a practice officially authorised but widely disliked by local officials who fear worker activism and upward wage pressures. Mr Wang’s views did not strike an instant chord with his subordinates. Most participants at one meeting on how to handle the strikes “didn’t get it” when he called for a hands-off approach, says someone with knowledge of the proceedings.
By contrast, during a large-scale taxi strike in Chongqing in 2008, Mr Bo was more interventionist. He held an unusual televised meeting with drivers, but later launched a sweeping anti-mafia campaign that resulted in a wealthy businessman accused of organising the strike being sentenced to 20 years in prison for gangsterism and disrupting transport.
Supporters of the Guangdong model also point to the greater leeway Mr Wang has given NGOs, which are heavily circumscribed in China. Their registration in Guangdong, and especially in Shenzhen, a trailblazing economic zone bordering Hong Kong, involves fewer hoops. Mr Wang has been credited with promoting more open access to information about government spending. In 2009 Guangzhou became the first Chinese city to publish all its budgets.
It is never entirely clear how much of these initiatives have been taken by Mr Wang himself. Guangdong in general and Shenzhen in particular have long enjoyed unusual freedom to experiment. This year Mr Wang has been promoting the goal of a “happy Guangdong” (the pursuit of which is enshrined in the province’s new five-year plan). Public happiness, assessed by opinion polls, is being introduced as a new criterion for judging local leaders’ suitability for promotion.
Yet unhappiness remains rife, and in this Guangdong is no exception. Dissatisfaction is widespread among the more than 36m migrants in Guangdong, one-third of the provincial population, many of whom work in harsh conditions.
Protests, sometimes violent, are common. In Dadun village, on the edge of one of Guangzhou’s satellite towns, a notice outside the government headquarters promises rewards of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,600) for turning in “criminals” involved in large riots in June triggered by security guards roughing up a street hawker. The rioters were migrants who work in countless small jeans factories, one even in a temple courtyard, trimming threads and stamping on studs.
Nor does the Guangdong model extend to free and fair elections. In September Dadun held a ballot for seats in the local legislature. But only its fewer than 7,000 Cantonese inhabitants were allowed to vote, and not the 60,000-odd sweatshop labourers from other provinces. In a village near Foshan, residents elected an independent candidate, ie one who did not have party backing. Plainclothes goons now keep watch on his home. A villager confides her support for the new legislator only in a hushed tone. Mr Wang’s egg-yolk remains inviolate.
主要是2000年時諾貝爾文學獎獲得者Czesław Miłosz 等人聲援之 (攻心記/被禁錮的心靈
Hu Zhicheng 這位技術豐富的美籍胡工程師回中國報効
Engineer’s Return to China Leads to Jail and Limbo
Published: November 26, 2011
BEIJING — After two decades of working as a successful engineer in the United States, Hu Zhicheng decided to return to China in 2004 and apply his rich experience to designing catalytic converters for the nation’s booming automotive industry.
“I saw how polluted the air was here, and thought I could make a difference,” said Mr. Hu, a naturalized American citizen who has a doctorate in engineering.
Now it seems he cannot leave.
The last three times he tried to board an airplane and return to his family in Los Angeles, Mr. Hu, 49, was turned away by Chinese border agents who claimed that he was a wanted man.
The problem is, he cannot find out exactly who wants him and why.
Mr. Hu, an inventor trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 48 patents and a number of prestigious science awards to his name, was jailed for a year and a half starting in 2008 after a former business associate accused him of commercial theft. The charges were so spurious that prosecutors withdrew the case — a rare gesture in China’s top-down legal system.
But since his release 19 months ago, Mr. Hu’s life has been in limbo and his family has grown increasingly frantic. He writes to powerful Communist Party officials who he imagines might control his fate. A coterie of influential friends and colleagues has been lobbying on his behalf. And this month, his daughter, a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, began a petition campaign that has garnered more than 50,000 signatures.
Richard Buangan, a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Beijing, said that American diplomats had had little success in pressing his case with Chinese officials. “No authority has been cooperative with our request for information on the restrictions that block his departure from China,” he said.
Mr. Hu’s predicament highlights the potential perils of doing business in China, where commercial disputes can easily become criminal matters, especially when the politically well-connected use the country’s malleable legal system to bludgeon rivals. Most worrisome, legal experts say, are the country’s vague commercial secrets laws that state-owned enterprises — the companies that dominate China’s economy — sometimes wield to protect information related to production, procurement, mergers and strategic planning.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that overseas Chinese are more vulnerable to such abuses than their non-Chinese compatriots. Last year, Stern Hu, a Chinese-Australian mining executive, was detained shortly after a deal between his company, Rio Tinto, and the state-owned Aluminum Corporation of China fell through. Convicted of stealing trade secrets and bribery, Mr. Hu was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a largely closed trial.
Xue Feng, a Chinese-American geologist who is serving eight years in prison on similar charges, said he was tortured during his interrogation. His supporters, including American diplomats, insist that the oil and gas industry data he sold was publicly available. In 2008, the authorities executed Wo Weihan, a Chinese biomedical researcher who had returned from Europe to start a medical supply company in Beijing. Tried in secret, Mr. Wo was accused of espionage, although the details of his crimes were never disclosed.
Even as official policies seek to lure Chinese-born inventors, academics and entrepreneurs with housing perks and financial incentives, lingering anti-Western xenophobia nurtured during the Mao years sometimes taints them as unpatriotic for having left. “It’s kind of reverse racism,” said John Kamm, executive director of Dui Hua, an American human rights group that frequently advocates on behalf of detained foreign nationals in China. “If you’re ethnic Chinese with a foreign passport, you’re really not considered a foreigner.”
Mr. Hu, whose long résumé includes stints as a researcher in Japan and more than a decade working for an American designer of catalytic converters, the Engelhard Corporation, would seem to be the ideal returnee.
In 2006, when he took a job as chief scientist for Wuxi Weifu Environmental Catalysts, a company in eastern Jiangsu Province, he also brought his wife and their two American-born children, in part, he says, because he wanted them to become steeped in Chinese language and culture.
His return coincided with a surge in domestic car production and government-led efforts to reduce tailpipe emissions. The company prospered, and so did Mr. Hu, who eventually became Wuxi Weifu’s president. It now provides catalytic converters for half of all Chinese-made cars.
Mr. Hu’s troubles began after his company refused to buy components from the Hysci Specialty Materials Company, which is based in Tianjin and once supplied Engelhard.
According to Mr. Hu and his lawyers, Hysci would not take no for an answer. They say Hysci’s well-connected chief executive, Dou Shihua, sent Tianjin public security agents to Wuxi Weifu to pressure Mr. Hu to change his mind.
The police raised allegations of stolen trade secrets but also suggested that the accusations would evaporate if the two companies did business together. Mr. Hu would not budge. “We have a system of quality control, and even one word from me could not change that,” he said.
In the end, the veiled threats gave way to an arrest, and Mr. Hu was put in a jail in Tianjin.
The patent infringement case that prosecutors eventually built against him cited technology that has been publicly available in the United States for decades, according to several scientists who rallied to his defense.
But even after prosecutors withdrew the case and Mr. Hu was freed, he found his return home blocked by immigration officials who claimed that he was still wanted by the Tianjin police. Each time he or his lawyer contacted the authorities there, however, they were told there were no such restrictions.
One of his lawyers, Wang Shou, said he believed that Mr. Dou, Hysci’s chief executive, was continuing to use his influence to exact revenge or get a deal yet.
Reached by telephone, a sales executive at Hysci refused to comment on the case. The Tianjin Public Security Bureau hung up before answering questions about Mr. Hu.
His family does not know what else to do. Although his daughter visited last summer, Mr. Hu’s wife and 16-year-old son are reluctant to come here, saying they fear they, too, could be prevented from leaving.
“I worry about my husband every hour of every day,” his wife, Hong Li, who is also an engineer, said by telephone from Los Angeles. “I don’t want my son to grow up without a father.”
The emotional anguish suffered by Mr. Hu has been compounded by pain from a herniated disc that worsened during the 17 months he slept on the floor of his jail cell.
Earlier this month, at a chemical engineering conference on the outskirts of Beijing, he lectured about ways to reduce emissions from heavy trucks in China.
As the conference wound down and his American colleagues headed to the airport, he made a joke about escaping across the border.
“If I could only invent something that would make me invisible,” he said.