Posts Tagged ‘china’

Beijing-London High-Speed Railway Planned

December 6, 2010

This is great news. China are planning a high-speed railway through India/Iran/Middle-East/Europe and through Russia to London.

There are 1500 million people in China. That’s twice as many as Europe+the U.S. And they have a dictatorship and the fastest growing economy. Therefore, they have no problems realizing such a project as this. It is quite likely they are mostly interested in the minerals of the -stan countries and sub-Saharan Africa, but a good thing about capitalism is that it only destroys the poor, it doesn’t care what colour or in which culture the poor are. It might lead to better communication between Europe and India, not just physical, but intellectual; and between Europe and Iran, which has been “needed” (not needed) since the student revolt; and between Eastern Europe and Russia and Russia and China since Stalin; and between India and China and between them and the Middle-East since Zoroaster/Buddha/Confucius/Adi Shankara/Mohammad and Plato/Constantine if you add Europe.

Of course, that’s more visionary and ultimately only symbolic than realistic, but still, the potential is enough to make your heart skip a beat. Read more about China and its relationship to Europe and Africa.

Arundhati Roy Support for Kashmiri Separatism

November 22, 2010

There’s a lot of conflicts and too little freedom in the world. Separatism is both a recognition of the wrongs of the nations and the rights of the individuals. I’m more of an anarchist than a separatist, but I would still join William Wallace in his cry for freedom (had I been an extra in the movie Braveheart). While Aung San Suu Kyi continues the uphill battle against censorship and stupidity in the East (Burma) and the Nobel Peace Prize Winner fights to the North (China), Arundhati Roy fights in India, the home of the Hindu Pantheon, the Indus civilization, the peaceful abolition of Anglo-Saxon Rule and the Lord of Snakes.

“In an interview with Times of India published in August 2008, Arundhati Roy expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir from India after massive demonstrations in favor of independence took place—some 500,000 separatists rallied in Srinagar (more…)

China Blocks Nobble Peaze Prise 2010 Reports [sic]

October 8, 2010

I’ve already mentioned some unmentionables on this blog that will surely filter most Chinese away from my writings, but maybe I can get Chinese readers to see this post by the simple use of misspelling.

The Pricce named after the guy who invented dynamite was given to a Chinese man currently in prison in China and only widely-known to outsiders because of the state deciding what to broadcast and what is politically “unfit”. He spent 21 months in jail after participating in the protests at the square mentioned in an earlier post. Then 3 years in a “re-education” camp for asking the government to release other participants in that square event of which Chinese and outsiders have two very different accounts. Now sentenced to a decade for a chatrtre named after the year it was written, which was 02 years before this year, 10.

That text is about freedom of speech, religion and assembly and allowing more than one political party. The committeeee said he got the award for his ‘non-violent struggle for human rights.’

The name of the winner is a riddle: The abbreviation for Linköping University + the Chinese dynasty from ca. 2070 bc to ca. 1600 bc + the capital of Haut-Mbomou.

Sources: japantoday.com, aljazeera.com, dn.se and “the free world”. Well, it’s not perfectly free outside China either, but maybe at least a few less lies.

September 22nd, 2009. Swedish News in short:

September 22, 2009

No entrance!

It’s forbidden for Swedes and other foreigners to enter Tibet. The unruly part of China will be closed for outsiders until October 8th. The official explanation is that China is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the communist regime on October 1st.

BFFs.

Sweden had invited Russia for talks with EU, which is customarily conducted twice a year. However, Russia, the old arch-enemy of 16th century Sweden, didn’t respond to the invitation and important people wrinkled their brows. Maybe the controversy with the Swedish foreign minister’s words on Russia’s actions in the Georgia-business a while ago was the reason for the missing reply. But, the president of Russia will attend the talks with EU under the Swedish chairmanship. Can you feel the love in the air? Or the mustard gas?

Economic crisis: Unemployment lowers in Norway

Norway projected 4 % unemployed Norwegians by 2010 but have now lowered it to 3 %, despite the financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Swedish government expects over 11 % unemployment the next few years. The Swedish government, Alliance for Sweden, say there is nothing they can do; the problems are caused by the economic crisis. They have also stated that the well-being and wealth of the nation is working – Work is welfare.

They’re probably confused because the young, the old, the handicapped, the unemployed, the students et cetera are also potentially beneficial to the nation, either they have been, will be or could already in the current situation contribute to the country, maybe even without being actual paid labour. Also, an unemployed person is a great potential resource and if they were only to be put in an internship they could be learning and producing at the same time. Given very dynamic and efficient  methods of retraining people the unemployment % would be irrelevant, it would merely be a sign of the current progress, an indication of the pace at which the nation as a whole is shifting industrial direction.

Nordic countries want to play with the big boys

This was yesterday’s news I think, but Norway, being the 23rd richest country in the world, wanted Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland perhaps, to join them as a single member at the G20 summits. If Tibet breaks free from China, and Scandinavia becomes a coalition, maybe we’re seen the deconstruction of Empire vs Nation, which is typically what the rhetoric on political groupings in the world mentions, with globalism and Unions joining the discussion, and being quite popular, at the end of the 20th century.

50 Dead in Mud Slide in Chongqing, China – and Chinese Views on Africa

June 5, 2009

Several million cubic meters of dirt and rubble flooded into a pit burying an iron mine. Last year 3,000 people were killed in mining accidents in China. When it comes to managing global resources and the artificial environment that sustains us, iron is a major player, partly because it’s such a useful metal, partly because the Earth’s core consists mainly of iron, which is the reason for our planet’s particular gravitational pull strength.

This is not about iron, though; this is about China.

Today, police caught a Chinese man suspected of espionage. “Details of the case were sealed, the police said in a statement, citing legislation aimed at shielding Sweden’s relations with foreign countries.” (Sorry for disregarding the aim of our legislation. Also, China is not the only country suspected of espionage in Sweden.)

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the protests on Tiananmen square in Beijing. At one point 1 million Chinese were protesting against the new regime and 2 600 were killed according to the Red Cross. However, the state has tried to keep a lid on this and most Chinese have no idea what really happened. China also censor information about events like this and a lot of other things on the Internetz. They call it ; the June 4th Incident.

In Europe, nationalism was a means for the kings to find popular support in the country so he could wage war against other countries. In China, there is only one party. It’s an idea that has the potential to work, but not surprisingly, the Communist party feels the need to control the media to be able to hold on to the popular support. If popular support was important to the kings of Europe and so many other places, imagine how important it is to the leaders of the billion and a half people colossus of China.

“There’s plenty of porn to keep the masses happy”:

Google agreed to censor Google.cn, so if you search for pictures on google.cn with the text Tiananmen you’re gonna get 0 pictures of the “Tank Man”. And in the West, we worry about China. In China they call this worrying “The Chinese Threat Theory”. Now, that’s an interesting concept to consider. And it specifically applies to things like China’s involvement in Africa. To understand, we need some perspective.

In Europe, we see the world as a map with 6 major parts. Europe is the white light in the top-middle, Africa is black counter-continent below us. The Americas are to the left and Austral-Asia to the right. From a Chinese perspective it’s a bit different. The Eurasian continent has three parts, Christian Europe to the left, the Muslim Middle-East and the Confucian China to the right. China has 3 times the population of Europe and in most respects balancing out Europe as an equal counterforce on the seesaw, except for the colonization period when Europe did whatever they pleased with the globe and it’s people.

All of a sudden, China is taking over Africa, the forgotten continent. From a Chinese perspective, Africa is an old friend and China, like most African nations, is a developing country only there to support the African nations in their strive towards democracy, liberation and human rights. However, democracy to a one-party state means “reform with moderation”, and it is even suggested that democracy and the chaos of multi-party elections are detrimentally counterproductive to advances in human rights.

This is not all of a sudden, Europe does not think of China as a threat, China is not a threat and Africa is not an old friend of China. These are all rhetorical exaggerations from both sides (and we’re still ignoring the opinions of the forgotten continent). The Chinese have experienced rapid growth lately, economic growth of 10% yearly, and a lot of foreign investments in the growing Chinese market has put a lot of money in the banks; money that now should be spent. And where better to spend the money than in Africa, the incredibly resource-rich continent still available for vulturing.

The only really problematic thing I find when learning about Chinese views on Africa is that there is a lot of talk about human rights and progress, but when progress is defined, there is no mention of human rights being considered, progress, to the Chinese, is economic growth. “The Chinese” is of course quite the horrendous generalization. Xia Jisheng writes:

“Currently, the overall situation in African politics follows a stabilizing trend, and there has also been an improvement in economic development. All these conditions are favorable for the development of the human rights cause. The structural problems of the economies in African countries have not been resolved, however. Economic globalization brings serious challenges with it: political instability, like tribal contradictions, corruption, factional struggles, religious conflict, and land disputes, are all factors that can erupt into new conflicts at any time… In short, development of the [cause of] human rights in Africa will be an arduous, long-term endeavor; it can only go forward with difficulties.”

Liu Hongwu explains how Africa has always defined itself in comparison with Europe or the West, either in terms of similarity or disparity and that Africans are now given the chance to compare themselves to something else, China. “Even if some people now easily see China becoming the savior that will reduce Africa’s poverty – which is perhaps as ridiculous as in the past regarding the West as Africa’s savior – it is undeniable that today there are indeed many areas and spaces of mutual benefit and need between China and Africa.”

Li Zhibiao writes:

“Currently, when foregin scholars discuss china, the topics often focus on China’s rapid economic growth, the huge trade surplus, the notable success in poverty reduction, and so forth. These are all undeniable facts. [Gloating a bit here, “the Chinese success story” of the past 28 years of the latest regime…] On the other hand, in the transformation of Chinese  society there are also several apparent and conspicuous contradictions and problems, some of which are left behind by history, but many of them have been borne out during and accompanied by the more than twenty years of reform and opening up. These are seriously impacting and constraining the sustainable development of china’s economy and society”

The listed problems include that 20 % “of the population lives in ‘severely polluted cities,'” and in 70 percent of rivers and lakes, the situation is critical.

China is responsible for 5% of the global production but consumes a LOT of aluminium, copper, iron, minerals, coal and cement. (Psst, Africa)

“The income of the majority of peasants still does not exceed US$500.”

“China is still one of the countries with the biggest gap between rich and poor regions in the world,” and although peasants “pursuing a dream” roam to and live and work “in cities, they still do not enjoy the same political, economic, or social guarantees, or other such rights.”

“China has up until now not established a relatively comprehensive social security system, which is a constraining factor for deepening the reforms.”

Lastly, Li Zhibiao mentions the craving for foreign investments by local goverments leading to lowered standards of quality, environemental protection and lack of supervision and legal reprecussions for foreign companies breaking the law.

“The most crucial tasks are to see that the general direction of the reforms and opening up is correct and to examine how the implementers and decision makers of these reforms confront new and emerging contradictions and problems… it is something that would be valuable for African countries to draw lessons from.”

And here we are again, Africa being the receiver, the West (me) and China being the spokespersons.