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Showing posts from August 22, 2018

China as a conflict mediator

Maintaining stability along the Belt and Road22/08/2018By Helena Legarda and Marie L. HoffmannRecent years have seen significant changes in China’s international mediation activities. In countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Syria and Israel, among others, diplomats from China increasingly engage in preventing, managing or resolving conflict. In 2017 Beijing was mediating in nine conflicts, a visible increase compared to only three in 2012, the year when Xi Jinping took power as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The increase in Chinese mediation activities began in 2013, the year that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched. Before that, Beijing was relatively reluctant to engage in conflict resolution abroad. As the MERICS mapping shows, the year 2008 is an outlier in that regard. China’s activities at the time – such as its efforts to mediate between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, or between Sudan and South Sudan – were probably part of …

An analysis of collective protests by workers in different industries

22/08/2018In this English-language extract from CLB’s new report on the workers’ movement in China (中国工人运动观察报告2015-2017) we look at the collective actions of workers in different industries, examine ownership patterns and the response of the local authorities to labour unrest. For the Chinese original please see page 3 of the report under the heading  对工人集体行动的分行业观察, which includes more detailed statistics.This analysis is based on the 6,694 cases of worker collective action recorded on CLB’s Strike Map from January 2015 to the end of December 2017. The Map broadly categorizes industries as construction, manufacturing, services, transportation, retail, education and mining. During this three-year period more than one third of all incidents involved construction workers, a quarter were in manufacturing, and transportation and services both accounted for 11 percent of the incidents. See chart below.ConstructionThere were 2,595 construction worker protests recorded during this period, wit…

Forced TV Confessions database

2018-08-06Following China’s continued use of Forced TV Confessions, most recently with journalist Chen Jieren and his brothers, and the increasingly political nature of those cases where these confessions are forced out of victims, and following Safeguard Defendersgroundbreaking report on the reality behind these TV appearancesRSDLmonitor is now making available its full database on Forced TV Confessions, going back to 2013 – the year these TV appearances started becoming institutionalized as part of the government’s attack on lawyers, journalists, and rights defenders.DOWNLOAD FULL DATABASE (EXCEL FILE): FC DATABASE 2018-08-17Any entry/case into this database marked with blue highlight indicates detailed information, either as a testimony or as part of extensive interview with the victim, can be found in ‘Scripted and Staged‘ or other material on RSDLmonitor website. This does not include many interviews done with people in this database conducted anonymously. Those marked in purpl…

Xinjiang, and a journalist expelled from China

SupChina.com

Yesterday, BuzzFeed’s Beijing bureau chief, Megha Rajagopalan, tweeted:It is bittersweet to leave Beijing after spending six wonderful and eye-opening years as a journalist there. In May, China's Foreign Ministry declined to issue me a new journalist visa. They say this is a process thing, we are not totally clear why.

She joins at least five other foreign correspondents who have been expelled from China or had unexplained visa denials since 2012. The last one was Ursula Gauthier, who was reporting from Beijing for French newspaper L'Obs. In November 2015, she wrote an article (in French) about the repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. In December 2015, her visa renewal application was refused.So there’s good reason to believe that the reason for Megha Rajagopalan’s visa difficulties is her Xinjiang reporting. She is the journalist who first made the world aware of the mass internment camps in Xinjiang with a piece published in October 2017 — This is what a 21st-centu…

Opinion: Why African countries need the Belt and Road Initiative

Wang YiweiEditor's note: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has achieved great success in Africa in the past five years, but some voices have accused China of attempting to colonize the continent. Jean Monnet Chair Professor at the Renmin University of China, Wang Yiwei explains why the BRI is important to Africa in a two-part series. Here is part one. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN."Discover the Old Continent and Develop the New Continent" is the title of a lecture I gave in Africa. "The Old Continent" is a Western saying, that encompasses the Eurasian continent. In the eyes of the English geographer Halford Mackinder, it is called the World Island, but this is a geopolitical perspective.Today, we are making the move from geopolitics to geo-economics because the Belt and Road Initiative, which is based on comprehensive connectivity of countries around the world, is basically an economic cooperation.Latin Am…

Malaysia leads “blowback” against China’s Belt and Road Initiative

ASIA / 22-08-18 /BY FINBARR BERMINGHAMRELATED NEWSCiti creates banking role for Belt and Road InitiativeHalf of Asia’s companies want to switch to non-banks for paymentsCommerzbank and ICBC to work together on Belt and RoadSoutheast Asian ride-hailing app Grab moves into lending spaceICC launches Belt and Road arbitration commissionAmid mounting debts and fears over China’s perceived expansionary intentions, more and more countries are becoming disgruntled with the much-vaunted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad this week used a state visit to Beijing to announce he was shelving plans for two major infrastructure projects that fall under the BRI umbrella.“I believe China itself does not want to see Malaysia become a bankrupt country,” Mahathir said, referring to Malaysia’s high level of sovereign debt, upon announcing his plans to scrap the projectsThe previous day, standing alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the recently returned veteran lead…

Give us the authority on our resources, and we will show how to give aid: Akhtar Mengal

August 21, 2018Balochistan has become a black hole for media, we invite media to visit it and find the truth: Akhtar MengalIn an interview to a private channel, Akhtar Mengal, the leader of his own faction of Balochistan National Party said that Balochistan has become a black hole for media, where news can come but never goes outside, he invited media to visit Balochistan and see the truth themselves.In reply to a question that Balochistan gets most of the aid and help from federal government and foreign countries but still Baloch people are unsatisfied, Akhtar Mengal said, “It would not be wrong if I call this ‘aid’ as ‘charity’, we do not need any charity, just give us the authority on our resources and we will show you how to give aid to others”.Talking about the six points, he insisted that the six points are the only way to solve Balochistan issue, he denied that the six points are the only problem in Balochistan but these are the way to solve other problems and build confidence…

TRIVIUM CHINA: THE TIP SHEET

TRIVIUM CHINAHEARD IN BEIJING"It’s all about borrowing too much money, which we cannot afford and cannot repay."
- Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian Prime Minister
Some context: That’s what the Malaysian prime minister said when cancelling two of China’s previously agreed projects in the country. He says the projects don’t make sense, but that Malaysia is still open to Chinese investment. More in the Tip Sheet below.

THE TIP SHEET
FINANCE & ECONOMICS1.  PBoC presser is a snoozefest
The State Council Information Office hosted a rare press conference with key central bank (PBoC) officials on Tuesday.We scoured the transcript, hoping to blow our readers’ minds with new insights about monetary policy.But as it turns out, the officials just re-iterated what we already knew (Reuters):“China’s central bank said on Tuesday that it will not resort to strong stimulus to support the slowing economy but will keep liquidity reasonably ample and offer more help to companies which are having trou…