The Magnificent 7 Chinese Leaders

The Magnificent 7 Chinese Leaders

The Magnificent 7 Chinese Leaders

The elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee XiJinping (center), Li Keqiang (third from right), Zhang Dejiang (third from left), Yu Zhengsheng (second from right), Liu Yunshan (second from left), Wang Qishan (right), and Zhang Gaoli (left) meet the press on Nov 15 in Beijing. Xie Huanchi / Xinhua

To discern China’s future, one should know China’s leaders, especially Xi Jinping, who was last Thursday elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the nation’s top leader.

I am not aware anywhere of better prepared state leaders. All members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee have run large geographic regions and/or ministries; six have led at least two provinces or major municipalities (as Party secretary or governor/mayor), many of which would be among the top 25 countries in the world in terms of population and among the top 35 in terms of GDP. Xi Jinping led three dynamic regions – Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, and Shanghai – that were by population, economic vitality and social challenges the equivalent of three European nations.

In this essay, I offer brief personal observations of China’s new leaders.

Xi Jinping

Xi differs from his colleagues by family background and the travails of his youth. His revolutionary hero father, Xi Zhongxun, was a leader in implementing Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in the early 1980s. Earlier, however, under leftist extremism, Xi’s father was humiliated and imprisoned several times, over a period spanning 16 years. When the ideological madness spawned the “cultural revolution” (1966-76), the teenage Xi Jinping was “sent down” to a poor, remote mountain village where, for six years, he chopped hay, reaped wheat, herded sheep, and lived in a cave house. Xi gained by the harsh experience. Although the offspring of a political leader, Xi is known for the common man’s touch. Xi said: “Many of my practical ideas stem from my life during that period, which has influenced me every minute, even today. To truly understand common folk and society is fundamental.”

When Adam Zhu (my business partner) and I met then Zhejiang Province Party Secretary Xi Jinping in 2006, he was characteristically cautious. “We should not overestimate our accomplishments or indulge ourselves in our achievements,” Xi told me, advising China to see “the gap between where we are and where we have to go” and to aspire to “our next higher goal,” which he described as “a persistent and unremitting process.”

“To understand our dedication to revitalize our country, one should appreciate the Chinese people’s pride in our ancient civilization,” Xi said. “We made great contributions to world civilization and enjoyed long-term prosperity, then suffered national weakness, oppression, humiliation. Our deep motivation is rooted in our patriotism and pride.” But, he continued, “compared with our long history, our speed of development is not so impressive. We should assess ourselves objectively.”

My impression of Xi Jinping is that he is friendly, courteous, open-minded and engaging. Radiating a strong physical presence, he carries himself with the ease of someone comfortable with authority and empathetic with guests, and he manifests none of the airs of a high official impressed with his own status. He believes in being “Proud, not complacent. Motivated, not pompous. Pragmatic, not erratic.”

Xi, certainly, upholds the primacy of the Party. Yet, recognizing China’s “earthshaking change,” he advises Party officials to embrace greater change – to “emancipate our minds and overcome the attitude of being satisfied with the status quo, the inertia of conservative and complacent thinking, the fear of difficulties, and timid thinking.” Though Xi is likely to quicken reform, political as well as economic, he will maintain stability as the touchstone.

China’s leaders “constantly draw theoretical lessons from our work, and use them to guide our practice,” Xi explained. “These are not long-winded theoretical exercises,” he added with a smile. “We don’t discuss theory all day long without making decisions. Leaders must be decisive and action-oriented.”

Li Keqiang

When I met Li in 2005, he had recently become Party secretary of Liaoning province in China’s northeast, the country’s old industrial heartland that had fallen behind when its massive State-owned enterprises (SOEs) were ill-suited for a consumer-driven market economy. Li began championing the national policy of “Revitalizing the Northeast.” The key, he told me, was to find market-sensitive ways to restructure large SOEs while at the same time to create a fertile environment so that private businesses could flourish.

Li has been described as low-key, clear-minded, smart, responsive, prudent, tactful. I was struck by his determination to try innovative ideas and his decisiveness to tackle seemingly intractable problems.

After arriving in late 2004, Li left his footprints across the province, visiting cites at a rapid rate. His plan was to build Liaoning’s economy on three pillars – the Jinzhou Bay region in the southwest; Shenyang, the capital, in the center; and Dalian, the modern city on the sea. In these two major urban clusters, Li targeted specific industries to develop world-class capabilities such as equipment manufacturing. A major initiative was to renovate Liaoning’s poor residential areas, the sprawling shantytowns, so that 1.2 million people could move into new homes.

A leader of Peking University’s student union and then secretary of the CPC Youth League, Li points out that senior officials “also need to study while we are working. Otherwise, our work will lack originality”. His focus on “originality” reflects China’s leaders push for the nation to become creative and innovative, to use new thinking to solve multi-faceted problems now manifest in virtually every area of national development.

Li earned his doctorate under the distinguished economist Li Yining (no relation), whom I know to be an intellectually demanding reformist, unimpressed with political status. Li Keqiang became governor of Henan province at 43, the youngest in China and the first with a PhD. Li’s administrative experience as Party secretary, as CEO, of two large provinces – Henan with 95 million people and a GDP now almost $500 billion, and Liaoning with 45 million people and a GDP now almost $400 billion – is unparalleled globally.

Zhang Dejiang

Zhang is a three-term member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee who has run four administrative regions – Jilin, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces, and the Chongqing municipality – a combined total of roughly 215 million people and a current GDP of over $1.7 trillion ($2.7 trillion based on purchasing power parity, PPP). This is a population larger than Brazil’s (fifth globally) and a GDP the size of India’s (ninth globally). Using PPP, the combined GDP is larger than Russia’s (sixth globally).

Zhang studied Korean and when he was Party secretary of Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture in Jilin, he delivered reports in Korean. In Party congresses, Zhang began and ended his speeches in Korean.

When Zhang was running Chongqing (having replaced Bo Xilai, the former Party secretary of the municipality, after the shocking scandal), he was concurrently vice-premier in charge of industry, where he supported indigenous innovation, particularly in large SOEs. Yet, appreciating the role of the private sector in China’s growth model, Zhang worked to repair the damage done to Chongqing’s business owners by his predecessor. He quietly restored their confidence, recognizing entrepreneurs’ vital contribution to China’s development.

Yu Zhengsheng

In 2010, then Shanghai Party Secretary Yu told me that to solve the financial crisis, “while consumption has to be stimulated, investment is also needed – but in low-carbon, environment-friendly industries so that we can live in harmony with nature”. He continued, “What way of life should we adopt? Life in the West, particularly in the US with its large number of vehicles, depends on huge consumption of energy”.

Can China afford this way of life, Yu asked? “China has achieved great economic success, but many severe problems have arisen, especially widening income gaps and strained human relations. So the issues awaiting solution are how to produce a harmonious environment.”

When working on Expo 2010 Shanghai, I saw Yu’s pragmatism and candor. Interviewing him for China Central Television before the Expo opened, I inquired about his happiest experience. “The happiest hasn’t come yet,” he responded. “Only when the closing ceremony confirms a safe Expo, will I have the greatest pleasure.”

Liu Yunshan

A three-term member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Liu served for 10 years as head of the CPC Publicity Department, where he led the transformation and development of China’s cultural industries, especially media and entertainment. Due to the sensitivity of ideology and limited financial investment, the dramatic achievements have been underestimated by outsiders.

While China maintained required regulation of the media to ensure social security, Liu effected the modernization and popularization of media communications. This restructuring, underreported abroad, unleashed creative competition and enabled greater diversity. The Internet, new media, television, press, publishing and film experienced great growth, even approaching world standards in technology and content. Significantly, media enhancement benefits all citizens irrespective of class or income – critical in a nation where social imbalances are its most divisive problem.

Liu also enabled increasing openness in China’s international communications. Regarding my commentaries about China, Liu advised me personally: “Let facts tell China’s story,” he said. “The truth is told best in an honest, matter-of-fact way. Painting rosy pictures doesn’t work; beautifying us isn’t helpful. Real-life stories count. Dig out life experiences; reveal innermost thoughts. That captures the real China.”

Influence of communications comes from capability of communications; impact of communications comes from power in discourse; and trust of communications comes from transparency in actions. This philosophy, consistent with many modern communications theories, comes from Liu.

When I met Liu five weeks after the devastating Sichuan earthquake in 2008, he said that the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee had held five meetings specifically on earthquake relief work, several late at night.

Only a dozen minutes after the earthquake took place, Liu himself called the president of CCTV and told the national broadcaster to start live broadcast 24 hours a day to let people know what was going on in the progress of the rescue and relief work.

“The West attacks us on human rights,” he said, “but these meetings, and the monumental relief work we’ve done, including our media reports, reflect our deep respect for human rights and transparency of our media.”

Liu said the Chinese people welcomed “constructive and good-intentioned criticism,” but “disagree with it when Western politicians and media make irresponsible accusations.”

“We will not accept criticism with ulterior motives,” he said. “Obviously China has many problems. We have 1.3 billion people. The trend is positive: our problems are ‘growing pains.’ We want more journalists to visit China, not fewer.”

Wang Qishan

In 1984, 200 young economists gathered for what would become an historic conference on pricing in China’s emerging market economy. The main organizer was a 36-year-old rural policy expert, Wang Qishan, who a quarter century later would become vice-premier in charge of finance with responsibility for China’s economy. In his remarkably diverse career, Wang was also chairman of China Construction Bank, vice-governor of Guangdong province, party secretary of Hainan province, and mayor of Beijing.

Wang is known for his capacity to solve problems and manage crises; his nickname is “fire-brigade captain.” Significantly, he co-led the rounds of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the highest-level continuing contact between the two superpowers.

Wang combines humor with sophistication. With the Olympics approaching, an American financier requested his business card. “You won’t need my card,” Wang, then Beijing mayor, said with a smile. “If the Olympics is successful, I’ll be too high to help you,” he joked. “If it’s not, I won’t have a phone!”
Zhang Gaoli
Zhang was Party secretary of Shenzhen, the city that pioneered reform, and of Shandong, a province with 95 million people and a GDP now approaching $800 billion (China’s second-largest). Zhang told me how, in 2007, late one night, he was suddenly asked to run Tianjin, the industrial hub in North China. In 2011, Tianjin led all administrative regions in China with a growth rate of 16.4 percent and a per capita GDP of about $13,000.
When I visited Zhang in Shandong in 2005, he asserted that any idea that is in line with international practice and conducive to innovation may be tried-and tried boldly. “Without development there’s no way out; without growth we’d have no material strength and no problem could be solved,” he said, yet adding, “our social development is lagging behind our economic development.”
“We must strive for coordinated, sustainable, and balanced development of society, economy, regions, human being and nature,” he said. Educated in planning and statistics, Zhang appraised each of Shandong’s 140 counties using dozens of indexes – economic, social, education, and healthcare.
“Results count more than words,” Zhang told me more than once. “Opportunities are everywhere. If you’re quicker in seizing the first opportunity, you’ll have advantages in seizing future opportunities.” To know what’s really happening, Zhang said, “you must go yourself”- and he is known to visit subordinates, unannounced, in their offices. “I’m not interested in reports,” he said, “only results.” Zhang promotes a down-to-earth work style of intense effort and low profile. His motto: “Do more. Speak less.”
When foreign protesters interrupted the pre-Olympic torch relay (2008), then Vice-President Xi Jinping said, “The world is like a huge birdcage where all kinds of birds coexist. If you drive away the noisy ones, you lose wonderful variety and color. The key is to mind our own business well.”
If relaxed self-assurance reflects how China’s new leaders think, this augurs well for China’s future.
China’s new leaders, led by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, face formidable challenges. They are ready – but one danger is high expectations. A senior aide confided, “Xi is ready, but it won’t be easy.”
The author is an international corporate strategist and investment banker who advises multinationals on doing business in China. A longtime counselor to China’s leaders, he is the author of How China’s Leaders Think. His biography of former president Jiang Zemin, The Man Who Changed China, was China’s best-selling book of 2005. Dr Kuhn is a frequent commentator in the international media.

 

China’s Foreign Policy: Strict Non-Interference!

China’s Foreign Policy: Strict Non-Interference!

China's Foreign PolicyThe foundation of China’s foreign policy is a pledge not to interfere with counties that don’t interfere with China. It’s wildly successful: China is now the most popular country on earth.

Not necessarily for anything they’ve done, but for what they haven’t done. As Xi Jinping pointed out in Mexico, First, China doesn’t export revolution; second, China doesn’t export hunger and poverty; third, China doesn’t come and cause you headaches, what more is there to be said?

But China’s non-interference goes much further than that! Here’s a typical complaint from a Chinese small businessman in Africa. But it’s typical of China’s extreme restraint:
China's Foreign Policy

In their eyes, government officials were no better, according to a trader from Zhejiang, who also decried his embassy’s inaction: the Angolan government depart- ments extort money from us, they threaten us to say that we will be arrested. Why are they so unfriendly to us? They say we will be arrested. It is because the Chinese govern- ment has never interfered. Africa in their words. p. 36.

Given that almost ALL Chinese business people living abroad make similar complaints, it looks as if China’s government is underlining its unwillingness to put even the mildest pressure on national governments for the most mundane matters.

As I said, it’s working.

Bribes in China

Do people say giving bribes in China gets you ahead in life?

Bribery Around the World

Whether it’s to cover up a scandal or score a business contract, acts of bribery are common throughout the world.

We recently asked people in 44 countries how important certain attributes are for getting ahead in life (with 0 meaning “not important at all” and 10 meaning “very important”). While “giving bribes” ranks at the bottom compared with other factors (“having a good education” tops the list), several countries stand out for their scores when it comes to greasing the palm.

The countries where people are most likely to say bribes are important are China (with a 5.5 average rating on the 10-point scale), Jordan (5.0) and Russia (4.5); and those least likely to do so are Brazil (0.8), El Salvador (1.4) and Colombia (1.5). (The U.S. is near the low end of the scale with a 2.5 rating.) 

In China, bribery is a recurring issue, so much so that Communist Party officials focused their 2014 plenum on anti-corruption efforts, among other rule-of-law topics. One of the most popular acts of bribery in China is gift-giving to secure government contracts, according to a 2012 World Bank survey of the Chinese business sector.

To gain more insights, we looked at the distributions of people’s responses on bribery on the 0-to-10 scale within each country’s population.

In our survey, the Chinese public tends to rate the importance of “giving bribes to get ahead in life” as somewhat important (half rated it between a 6 and a 9). Just 3% say bribery is very important (rating of 10), and 5% say it is not important at all (rating of 0). Whether young or old, male or female – the Chinese public views bribery similarly.

By contrast, people in Tunisia are more polarized on their views of bribery. While the average score is 4.1, more people choose either 0 or 10 than any other rating in between (41% choose 0, 24% choose 10). It’s worth noting, though, that a higher share of Tunisians choose 10 than people in any other country surveyed.

Younger Tunisians (ages 18 to 29) are also more likely than older Tunisians (ages 50 and older) to say giving bribes is very important, choosing a 10 by a 30% to 19% margin; whereas older Tunisians are more likely to say it is not important at all (50% vs. 32% select 0).

In Brazil, the country least likely to say giving bribes is important, a solid majority (74%) says bribes are not important at all. In the U.S. – where money’s influence in politics also makes plenty of headlines – 47% say giving bribes is not important at all for getting ahead, and 6% say it is very important.

TOPICS: BUSINESS AND LABORECONOMICS AND PERSONAL FINANCESLIFESTYLE

  1.  is a Digital Editorial Assistant at the Pew Research Center.

Leave a Comment

Or

All comments must follow the Pew Research comment policy and will be moderated before posting.

1 Comment

  1. Rick • 3 hours ago

    This question is ambiguous. Does it mean to ask if people think it is ok to bribe to get ahead or does it ask how much people think it is actually being used to get ahead. The answers to these two versions of this question can be very different.

    Reply

BBC Censorship & Myths About the Chinese Internet

BBC Censorship & Myths About the Chinese Internet

Chinese Internet

Interesting angle in Foreign Policy:
Five Myths about the Chinese Internet

  1. Censorship means the Chinese are left in the dark.
  2. It’s the government that censors.
  3. No one is allowed to criticize the government.
  4. Internet censorship is carried out in a blanket fashion.
  5. The Internet will lead to democracy.

Just as interesting is this article in Truthout, by John Pilger on censorship in the BBC:
As Gaza Is Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role

In the Middle East, the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist is on no public agenda and it ought to be.

In Peter Watkins’ remarkable BBC film, The War Game, which foresaw the aftermath of an attack on London with a one-megaton nuclear bomb, the narrator says: “On almost the entire subject of thermo-clear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, official publications and on TV. Is there hope to be found in this silence?”

The truth of this statement was equal to its irony. On November 24, 1965, the BBC banned The War Game as “too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting. “This was false. The real reason was spelled out by the chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, Lord Normanbrook, in a secret letter to the secretary to the cabinet, Sir Burke Trend.

“[The War Game] is not designed as propaganda,” he wrote, “it is intended as a purely factual statement and is based on careful research into official material … But the showing of the film on television might have a significant effect on public attitudes towards the policy of the nuclear deterrent. “Following a screening attended by senior Whitehall officials, the film was banned because it told an intolerable truth.  Sixteen years later, the then BBC director-general, Sir Ian Trethowan, renewed the ban, saying that he feared for the film’s effect on people of “limited mental intelligence”. Watkins’ brilliant work was eventually shown in 1985 to a late-night minority audience. It was introduced by Ludovic Kennedy, who repeated the official lie.

What happened to The War Game is the function of the state broadcaster as a cornerstone of Britain’s ruling elite. With its outstanding production values, often fine popular drama, natural history and sporting coverage, the BBC enjoys wide appeal and, according to its managers and beneficiaries, “trust.” This “trust” may well apply to the series “Springwatch” and Sir David Attenborough, but there is no demonstrable basis for it in much of the news and so-called current affairs that claim to make sense of the world, especially the machinations of rampant power. There are honorable individual exceptions, but watch how these are tamed the longer they remain in the institution: a “defenestration,” as one senior BBC journalist describes it.

This is notably true in the Middle East where the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Standing in the rubble from an Israeli attack, one BBC journalist went further and referred to “Gaza’s strong culture of martyrdom.” So great is this distortion that young viewers of BBC news have told Glasgow University researchers they are left with the impression that Palestinians are the illegal colonizers of their own country. The current BBC “coverage” of Gaza’s genocidal misery reinforces this.

The BBC’s “Reithian values” of impartiality and independence are almost scriptural in their mythology. Soon after the corporation was founded in the 1920s by Lord John Reith, Britain was consumed by the General Strike. “Reith emerged as a kind of hero,” wrote the historian Patrick Renshaw, “who had acted responsibly and yet preserved the precious independence of the BBC. But though this myth persisted it has little basis in reality … the price of that independence was in fact doing what the government wanted done. [Prime Minister Stanley] Baldwin … saw that if they preserved the BBC’s independence, it would be much easier for them to get their way on important questions and use it to broadcast Government propaganda.”

Unknown to the public, Reith had been the prime minister’s speech writer.  Ambitious to become Viceroy of India, he ensured the BBC became an evangelist of imperial power, with “impartiality” duly suspended whenever that power was threatened. This “principle” has applied to the BBC’s coverage of every colonial war of the modern era: from the covered-up genocide in Indonesia and suppression of eyewitness film of the American bombing of North Vietnam to support for the illegal Blair/Bush invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the now familiar echo of Israeli propaganda whenever that lawless state abuses its captive, Palestine. This reached a nadir in 2009 when, terrified of Israeli reaction, the BBC refused to broadcast a combined charities appeal for the people of Gaza, half of whom are children, most of them malnourished and traumatized by Israeli attacks. The United Nations Rapporteur, Richard Falk, has likened Israel’s blockade of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto under siege by the Nazis. Yet, to the BBC, Gaza – like the 2010 humanitarian relief flotilla murderously attacked by Israeli commandos – largely presents a public relations problem for Israel and its US sponsor.

Mark Regev, Israel’s chief propagandist, seemingly has a place reserved for him near the top of BBC news bulletins. In 2010, when I pointed this out to Fran Unsworth, now elevated to director of news, she strongly objected to the description of Regev as a propagandist, adding, “It’s not our job to go out and appoint the Palestinian spokesperson”.

With similar logic, Unsworth’s predecessor, Helen Boaden, described the BBC’s  reporting of the criminal carnage in Iraq as based on the “fact that Bush has tried to export democracy and human rights to Iraq. “To prove her point, Boaden supplied six A4 pages of verifiable lies from Bush and Tony Blair. That ventriloquism is not journalism seemed not to occur to either woman.

What has changed at the BBC is the arrival of the cult of the corporate manager. George Entwistle, the briefly-appointed director general who said he knew nothing about false accusations of child abuse against a Tory grandee on the show “Newsnight,” is to receive 450,000 pounds of public money for agreeing to resign before he was sacked: the corporate way.  This and the preceding Jimmy Savile scandal might have been scripted for the Daily Mail and the Murdoch press, whose self-serving hatred of the BBC has long provided the corporation with its “embattled” facade as the guardian of  “public service broadcasting.” Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist and censor by omission – more often than not in tune with its right-wing enemies – is on no public agenda and it ought to be.

Even More:

The BBC’s Culture of Self-Censorship

Is the BBC in such a petrified or paralysed state, so badly decayed, that it is beyond repair? Are all hopes of inner movement or structural reform misplaced?

To read the national press this would appear to be the case. I’m not so sure. Hysteria has now reached absurd proportions, as has the level of public discussion on the issues at stake. George Entwistle, his predecessor Mark Thompson and Helen Boaden, director of news, are reminiscent more of middle-level bureaucrats in Honecker’s Germany than creative-minded managers. Entwistle has fallen on his sword. More might opt for hara-kiri, but on its own this will solve very little.

There is an underlying problem that has confronted the BBC since Sir John Birt was made director general in Thatcher’s time. His predecessor (bar one) had been sacked effectively on Thatcher’s orders in 1987 for not “being one of us”.

A reliable toady, Marmaduke Hussey, was catapulted on to the BBC board as chairman. His first task was to sack director general Alasdair Milne for “leftwing bias”. Thatcher was livid that the BBC had permitted her to be grilled on the Falklands war on a live programme by a woman viewer from Bristol who successfully demolished the prime minister’s arguments.

Thatcher disliked the BBC’s coverage of the Falklands war and the miners’ strike and highlighted a number of other documentaries that were considered “too leftwing”.

Read more on Counterpunch

hong kong

Hong Kong and China: Another View

Here’s Another View of Hong Kong and China

by Philip Fang brother of Anson Chan 陈方安生的弟弟的文章. Date: Tue, Oct 21, 2014

Subject: Patriotism: Criterion In Selection Of Next Chief Executive Of Hong Kong

Mr. Wang Guangya, Head of the Hong Kong and Macau Liaison Office, has let it be known that in the selection of the next Chief Executive forHong Kong , the number one criterion would be patriotism and it is this issue I want to address.
首先,我應該介紹一下我的背景。我來自一個愛國的家庭。我祖父方振武將軍曾經是抗日同盟軍總司令,他的左路軍總指揮吉鴻昌,同樣也是以愛國著名。這兩個人公開反對蔣介石的不抵抗政策,從而使他們變成了蔣介石的死敵。兩人最終為他們的國家和人民獻出了自己的生命。
First, a brief introduction of my background is in order. I was born
in Hong Kong of a family with a proud tradition of patriotism. My
Grandfather, General Fang Zhenwu was once the Commander-in-chief of the North-East Coalition Forces Against the Japanese, his
vice-Commander was General Ji Hongchang, also known as a great
patriot. The two men openly opposed Jiang Jieshi’’s non-resistance
policy thus making themselves his arch enemies. Both paid the ultimate price, their lives in the service of their country and people.
我的祖父和吉將軍在共產黨當中,特別是在老一代長征後倖存的久經百戰的共產黨員中,享有極高的聲譽。作為他的後裔的我們也因此被列為革命烈士之後。
My Grandfather, like General Ji, commanded great esteem amongst the Chinese Communist Party, especially the older generation of battle-hardened communists who survived the Long March. We are listed as descendants of revolutionary martyrs.

我的母親方召麟是國畫大師和書法家,方召麟後印象學派的創始人。她是 50
年代香港大學的畢業生,其後赴牛津大學研究楚辭。在那裡,她認識了一批享有極高聲譽的學者,像後來擔任劍橋凱厄斯學院校長的漢學家李約瑟博士,以及他的夫人著名生化學家魯桂珍,著名紅學家大衛霍克斯,錢鐘書學者,以及其後結識的韓素英醫生。
My Mother, Dr Fang Zhaolin, was a Chinese Grand Master artist and calligraphist and founder of the post-modernist Fang Zhaolin School . She was a graduate of Hong Kong University in the 50s when she set a record by getting her BA degree in Chinese history in just under two years. Later she went to Oxford University to study the Songs of Chu. There she made the acquaintance of high-minded scholars like Dr Joseph Needem, Sinologist and later Dean of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and his wife, the celebrated Biochemist, Lu Guizhen, Dr David Hox, an authority on the immortal Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber, Dr Qian Zhongshu, scholar and writer, and later Dr Han Suying. 
這些人最後都成為了我母親的終身至交。他們對中國源遠流長的歷史和燦爛悠久的文明有著共同的見解和認同,並且都十分尊重中國人民的創造力和自力更生的精神。
They formed a life-long friendship with my mother and shared a common understanding of Chinese history and China ’s ancient culture and a deep respect for the creativity and self-reliant spirit of the Chinese people.
早在 60 年代到大陸去旅行還沒有成為時髦的時候,母親已經經常到中國去開畫展並與大陸的畫家交流。她親眼目睹了中國在困難時期老百姓所遭受的窮困艱苦和饑餓。我清晰地記得母親曾經與我們說過,中國老百姓在過去一百年的命運是充滿辛酸苦難的,只有當你親身經歷過他們的苦難,你才會明白作為一個中國人是什麼滋味。
Back in the 60s long before it became fashionable to travel to China , my Mother was making regular visits to the Mainland where she held exhibitions and exchanges with Mainland artists. She also saw the poverty, hardship and privations during the difficult years. My Mother used to say to us “The lot of the Chinese people for the past 100 years had been one of tears and sorrow, you don’t know what it is like to be a Chinese until you have tasted their sufferings!”
我的四叔方心讓教授對香港人來說不需要介紹 ,
在八零年代他的名字是家喻戶曉的。他是聯合國任命的國際康復總會的主席,在殘疾人士康復事業方面的先驅努力是有目共睹的。但鮮為人知的是,他曾在
80 年初期作出一個今後將效忠於自己的國家和人民的無悔決定。
My Uncle Professor Harry S.Y. Fang needs no introduction to Hong Kong. His name was a household word in Hong Kong in the 80s. He was the former United Nation appointed President of Rehabilitation International. His pioneering efforts in the cause of the physically handicapped around the world is on record. Little known however is the fact that sometime in the 80’s, he made an irrevocable decision to switch allegiance to his own country and people.
早在中國沒有成為今天的經濟強國之前,他作為一個骨科專家,第一個向中國領導人建議要重視被遺忘的少數殘疾人士的康復事業。而當時,中國的有限資源還不能夠滿足十億人口的供給需要,但是中國領導人卻採納了他的建議,從而建立了中國殘疾人聯合會。
Long before China became the economic juggernaut it is today, he
became the first Orthopaedic Specialist to propose to the Chinese
leadership, at a time when China was still very poor and its limited resources stretched thin over a burgeoning population of over one billion, that the rehabilitation of the physically handicapped, left-out and all but forgotten minority of the population, is a cause worth striving for in the long-run, and they believed him and China Disabled Person’s Federation was established.
在今天的中國,人們都尊稱我四叔為中國殘疾人士 “ 康復之父 ” ,以此紀念他對國家和人民所做出的不朽貢獻。
Today my uncle is honored in China as the founding father of China rehab in memory of the everlasting contribution he made to his country and people.
我詳細地介紹了我們家庭的愛國背景,是為了讓大家對我愛國的熱忱情懷感同身受 : “ 愛國應該成為選舉下一任香港特首的第一標準。 ”
I made a detailed introduction of my family’s patriotic background in order to lend credence to the theme under discussion : “Patriotism should be the number one criterion in the selection of the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong”.
愛國意味著效忠,而效忠意味著信任,信任就是人與人關係的水泥和凝固體。那麼香港人是否愛國呢?答案卻是否定的。
Patriotism presupposes loyalty and loyalty trust — the bricks and
mortar of all lasting human relations. Are Hong Kong people patriotic? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’.
一般來說香港的中國人既沒有民族意識 ,
也沒有繼承中華民族優良的傳統。他們也不會對大陸的同胞有認同感,他們寧願與臺灣,新加坡,澳洲,美國的中國人認同。他們認為自己更優越。
Generally Hong Kong Chinese have no idea of their national identity and heritage and loath to identify themselves with their brethren on the Mainland. They would rather identify themselves with the Taiwanese Chinese, Singaporean Chinese, Australian Chinese and American Chinese. They think they are superior.
但當我們知道香港人看重的是金錢,權利,名譽的時候,這種優越感就不難理解了。香港人不生產新的財富,而搞著錢滾錢的把戲。
The mindset that fosters this superiority complex is no mystery because Hong Kong people worship money, power and celebrity. Hong Kong creates no true wealth. It indulges in the culture of money making money.
早在 80 年代,香港的工資爆漲,生產轉移內陸。其後,香港的經濟變為一個勞務供應經濟,而它有限的土地變成它的財富衍生源。
Back in the 80s, Hong Kong wages sky-rocketed and production moved inland. Hong Kong has since been reduced to a service-based economy. Its limited terrain became its new wealth generator.
今天香港 70% 以上的融資來自房地產和有關的活動,近乎瘋狂的土地和房地產投機活動使今天的香港成為全世界居住最昂貴的城市。這種社會兩極化使香港已經接近聯合國測量由於收入不平衡而引起的社會動盪指標的紅燈警告。
Today over 70% of Hong Kong ’s market capitalization comes from
real-estate and related activities. The near frenzied speculation of
land and real estate has made Hong Kong the most expensive place to live in the world today. This social polarization has moved Hong Kong dangerously close to the red light signal on the United Nation’s index measuring social upheaval in the wake of income disparity.
中央政府對特首在香港能夠控制大局有足夠的信心。通常 13 億的中國人的利益應該有絕對優先權 ,
但在香港來說卻是相反。中央政府設定香港行政特區,授予香港人“carte blanche ”
(無限額的信用卡)來管理港人自己的事情。此外香港不需要向中央政府納稅,而負責香港安全的解放軍也是由中央政府來支付費用 ,
香港的課稅水準在世界同等區域中處於低位元,而中國大陸在 2010 年福布斯 “ 納稅痛苦 ” 指數排行榜上卻高居第二位。
The Chief Executive must have the confidence of the Central Government that he can keep things under control in Hong Kong . Normally, the interest of the overwhelming majority of 1.3b Chinese should have absolutely priority, but in the case of Hong Kong the reverse is true. The Central Government has designated Hong Kong a SEZ and given Hong Kong people a carte blanche to run their own affairs. Hong Kong pays no taxes to the Central Government who also picks up the bill for the People’s Liberation Army which defends Hong Kong ’s security. Hong Kong ’s level of taxation is very low compared to other areas in the world of equal level of development. However, Mainland Chinese “Tax
Pain” ranks second in the world last year according to Fortunes Index for 2010.
香港澳門居民由中央頒發通行證,從而得到無限制的進出及無限期居住於中國大陸的權利。大陸的同胞看了不由得眼紅,因為他們不僅要憑簽證進出港澳,而且要在關口排很長的隊。
Hong Kong and Macau citizens have been issued Special Passes which enable them to go in and out of China without restrictions and to stay for as long as they want. Their Mainland compatriots must be green with envy because they not only have to get visas for Hong Kong and Macau but have to wait in long queues for hours at the checkpoint.
最近中國副總理李克強在香港訪問期間帶來一喜訊,北京選擇香港作為今後中國人民幣海外交易的中心,香港將因此成為中國的蘇黎世和日內瓦 – 世界上獨一無二的金融中心。
Vice Premier Li Keqiang on his recent visit brought the good news that Beijing has picked Hong Kong to be China ’s future centre for overseas RMB trading. Hong Kong will be China ’s future Zurich and Geneva, both unique financial centres of the world.
根據聯合國的報告,去年香港在接受外國直接投資 (DFI)
方面居世界第三位,對香港這個彈丸之地來說這是難以置信的。所有香港及港人得到的這些好處都只因為一個原因 ― 中國。
According to the United Nations report, Hong Kong last year ranked third in the world as recipient of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), a mesmerizing performance considering the size of Hong Kong . All these good things have happened to Hong Kong and its people for one reason — China .
香港人應該捫心自問,祖國為我做了如此之多,我該何以為報?香港人是時候該自我反省了,他們應該認真思考一下他們有沒有達到中央政府對他們的期望。
Hong Kong should ask itself this question, “My country has done so much for me, what have I done for her in return?” It’s time that the people of Hong Kong take to introspection and ask themselves have they lived up to the expectation of the Central Government?
照現在的情況來看,他們是大大的令中央失望了。香港像一個被寵壞了的孩子,不但不感恩報德,反而背叛了自己的國家,走向另一個極端。
The way things stand they have let the Central Government down badly! Hong Kong people have behaved like spoiled brats cosseted with gifts, perquisites and privileges. Instead of showing their gratitude and appreciation they have turned on their own country. They have gone to the other extreme!
以《爭鳴》為代表的一些抹黑的雜誌點名道姓的污蔑和攻擊中國領導人,這份自命為代表民意的雜誌,與街上的流氓結成一條戰線,由像 “ 與眾不同 ”
梁國雄這種拿著高工資議員帶頭去硬闖和平的集會和正在正式開會的立法委員會。
Take the mud-raking tabloid Zheng Ming( 争鸣 ) the self-styled people’s voice which vilify and attack Chinese leadership by names, and forms a united front with the flamboyant Leung Kwok hung(梁国雄, the highly paid Legislation Council Member who crashed peaceful rally and disrupted official meetings of the Legislation Council.
特首曾蔭權曾嚴正譴責這些打著言論集會自由幌子的流氓行徑。自古以來中國以王權為貴,天子從首都統治天下,他的權力是絕對的。任何侮辱或謀反王權的言行可以召來公開誅三族的嚴厲處罰,而天下不會有任何異議。
Donald Tsang, the Chief Executive was right in condemning his acts of hooliganism under the guise of free speech and assembly. It must be remembered that for millennium, the Emperor, the Son of Heaven, ruled from the capital and all bowed to his benevolence and absolute authority. Sedition or any pejorative mention of his name could bring public decapitation of three generations of the offender, and there  would not be a whisper of dissent across the land!
今天這種日子雖然已經一去不返了,但這並不意味著香港可以走向另外一個極端。今天的香港好像已經習慣了這些無法無天的行徑。自古以來鐵法無情,違法者必須受到制裁。
These days are gone forever, but this does not mean Hong Kong should go to the other extreme. Hong Kong today seems to be used to lawlessness and anarchy. No! The law must be upheld and the Authority must not go soft on people who took the law into their own hands!
香港政府與香港立法委員會通過二十三條迫在眉睫的時刻 , 以陳方安生,李柱銘,黎智英,陳日君主教為首的香港 “ 四人幫 ”
與余若薇領導的公民黨公開的向政府挑戰 ,
而二十三條內容旨在防止危害國家安全的言行。這些人應該知道他們是中國的公民,受中國法律的約束和制裁。而且所有人和國家都應該尊重中國對香港的主權,避免干涉中國的內政。
The open defiance of the “Gang of Four” Anson Chan, Martin Li, Jimmy Lai, Cardinal Joseph Zen and the Civic Party headed by Audry Yu, only points to the urgency for the government and the Legislative Council to push through Article 23 under which all these activities would fall as activities endangering state security i.e. Sedition. These people must be made to understand that they are Chinese citizens and subject to Chinese laws and sanctions. All people and countries should respect China ’s sovereignty over Hong Kong and refrain from interfering in China ’s internal affairs.
香港的法院和法官似乎在解釋基本法授予他們的任務方面也給了自己太多的空間,他們好像忘了他們的首要任務是維護港人的切身利益。如果他們失職,基本法最終的解釋權是在人大。
Hong Kong ’s Courts and Magistrates seem to have allowed themselves a lot of latitude in interpreting their mandate under the Basic Law. They seem to have memory lapse and forgotten that their first and foremost duty is to defend Hong Kong’s indigenous interest and should they falter the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing has the final say in the interpretation of the Basic Law.
西方的民主和人權概念不能夠直接用於一個像中國這樣幾千年來都是圍繞著儒家倫理思想治國的大國,否則一定會引起不可預見的後果。
Western precepts of democracy and human rights cannot be applied directly to a country the size of China which for millennium has evolved around Confucius Ethics. It is bound to lead to unintended consequences.
美國的李.雅科卡,曾經是克萊斯勒汽車公司的總裁,他拯救了瀕臨破產的公司,並使之重新盈利。他曾經說過這樣的話,要把一個四方模型放進一個圓模型中是行不通的。同樣的道理,用西方的辦法去解決中國的問題也是行不通的。
Lee Lacocca, the flamboyant CEO of the Chrysler Corporation who
singlehandedly brought his company from the brink of bankruptcy, and turned it into profitability again had this to say, “Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole simply won’t work—it don’t belong”. Western ideas and western ways to solve Chinese problems is a mismatch from the start.
今天中國的 GDP 僅次於美國,居世界第二位。在選擇國民經濟發展的模式和優先次序等重大問題上 ,
中國一向是與西方保持一定的距離,從來沒有接受過西方在這方面的唆使和壓力。
Today, China ’s GDP ranks only second to the US . In the selection of National Development Models and priority-setting, China has always maintained an aloofness from the West and has never accepted western tutelage, prodding and pressure.
泰然處之和自力更生一向是中國的品牌,在理財方面,央行一向採取謹慎保守的政策,使中國沒有被捲入 2008-2009 年的西方經濟大崩潰與大蕭條。
Equanimity and self-reliance had been China ’s hallmark. In money management, China Central Bank favored a conservative and cautious policy. This has enabled China to stay clear of the economic melt-down which hit the Western economies in 2008 – 2009.
最近美國和幾個歐元區的國家的評級從 AAA 下降到 AA,
更粉碎了美國的聯邦儲備局和華爾街在理財方面勝人一籌的神話。當前美國和歐元區國家正陷入主權債務的危機 ,
人人自危。根據國際貨幣基金組織最新的預測,西方經濟全部告急,但中國在未來的 10 年內將維持每年 8%-9% 的增長率。
The recent downgrading of the ratings of US and countries of Euro area from AAA to AA shattered the myth that the US Federal Reserves and Wall Street knew better when it came to how to manage money. Currently, the US and Euro countries are battling the sovereign debt crisis. It’s everyone for himself. According to the latest IMF forecast, the prospects are grim for the Western economies, whereas China’s economy will continue to grow at 7%-8% per annum for decades.
全世界現在都寄希望於中國今後的經濟增長將可以帶動世界經濟的復蘇,下一輪的全球競賽即將在經濟領域展開。中國人民將滿懷信心加入這場競賽,屆時中國將必然成為國際社會的一個舉足輕重的卓越成員(
Premier Member )。
The next round of competition will be in the economy field and the Chinese people are ready and confident. China will be recognised as a Premier Member and make its presence felt!
寫這篇文章我既沒有預料到也是機緣巧合。這次來雪梨旅行突然遭遇一場腎病,使我不得不推遲返港的日期在雪梨尋醫治療。在從香港來雪梨時,我不經意地在香港機場買了一本基辛格最近出版的名為《論中國》
(ON CHINA) 的書,並且一口氣在八個小時的旅途中把它讀完。基辛格博士的分析以及他在書中所透漏的他與毛澤東、周恩來、鄧小平等對話的全文紀錄,使我感到無比的震撼。
The timing of this article is both propitious and uncanny. Here in
Sydney on a visit I was suddenly hit by a kidney disorder forcing me to postpone my departure and seek treatment. On the way over from Hong Kong to Sydney I picked up a recent book at the airport by Dr. Kissinger ‘On China’, and read it in the 8-hour flight to Sydney . Dr Kissinger’s analysis and his revelation of his dialogue with Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, which were recorded verbatim left me awe-struck!
這次腎病的突發,我需要長時間臥床休息,借這段時間我把基辛格的書又讀了一遍,並且做了筆記。
My recovery requires long period of bed rest, and I used the time to re-read Dr. Kissinger’s book and took notes.
另外通過閱讀澳洲的華人報刊 ,
我知道了港澳辦主任王光亞對香港人愛國的要求以及最近前中國總理朱鎔基責成香港人要以國法為重,穩定為要,鞏固業績,保持和諧,團結一致,更好地配合祖國即將實現的宏圖大業。中國前總理朱鎔基說:
“ 那些破壞香港團結穩定莫名其妙的行徑,大家應予以口誅筆伐! ”
From reading the local Chinese newspaper, I learned of Mr. Wang
Guangya’s patriotic call to the people of Hong Kong and the recent admonition of former Premier Zhu Rongji, who said “We should condemn both in speech and writing those who undermine, on a quirk, Hong Kong’s unity and stability.” The former Premier called on the Hong Kong people to abide by the law, strengthen stability, built on success, maintain harmony and unity so as to better coordinate themselves with the Motherland’s ambitious plan for the future.
香港是我出生成長的故鄉,中國是我的祖國。兩者都與我有切身的關係。我應該做出自己的貢獻,這篇文章就是我的貢獻。
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and China is my motherland. The relationship with both is of my concern. I should make my own contribution to them and this article is my contribution.
最後是我對香港學生的一點忠告,香港高校學生無論在中文或英文方面都嚴重不足。大陸的學生早就過了他們的頭 , 我能這樣說因為我是語言方面的權威。
Finally, a word of advice to Hong Kong students. The level of both
Chinese and English among students in Hong Kong today is inadequate. Their Mainland peers have long since overtaken them. I can say this with authority because language is my specialty.
我來自一個舊式的大家庭,祖母是一家之尊,所有人都要聽她的。我從祖母那裡學到了如何尊重權威以及我在方氏大家庭內應有的地位。學生就是應該在課室內聽課學習,而不是在操場上示威或在校長的辦公室內抗議校長所做的給予國家副總理李克強最尊席位的決定。我是贊成重用體罰來應付一些行為特別惡劣的又頑固不改的學生,所謂棒頭出孝子。
I come from an old-fashioned large Chinese family where my Grandmother who had bound feet was the Matriarch. From her I learned two things: how to respect authority and to know my place in the family hierarchy. Students’ place is in the classroom where they learn and listen to teachers’ lectures, not in the open ground to demonstrate or in the Dean’s Office to protest his decision to give the visiting Vice Premier Li Keqiang the seat of honour. I am all in favour of bringing back corporal punishment as a deterrence against recalcitrant and unrepentant students. The ancient adage “Spare the rod and spoil the
child” still holds.
我建議將基辛格的《論中國》 (ON CHINA)
定為大學生必讀書目,文采飛揚的基辛格博士會給當代大學生帶來新的思想和啟發。這本書會讓同學們對中國和中國的領導人有一個全新的更深刻的認識
I strongly propose that Dr. Kissinger’s book ‘On China’ be made
mandatory reading for university students of Hong Kong . Dr.
Kissinger’s prose is superb, and students should use a good
dictionary. Through this book they will gain an insight into their own country and its leaders that they don’t even know about it.
此文基於我對香港社會現狀的觀察和我深深的愛國情懷。我衷心希望香港人能以大局為重,以民族為重,認真思考香港的未來,共同實現中華民族的偉大復興。
This article is based on my observation and analysis of the current
social situation in Hong Kong and my sentiments and affection for the
Motherland. I sincerely hope that the people of Hong Kong will take to
heart the overall interest of their country China and the Chinese
people and ponder on Hong Kong ’s own future.
方順生
Philip Fang
二零一一年九月二十日
雪梨

讀後深感: 方振武和方召麟如仍健在,會如何看陳方安生?!

US’s Cyber Spying Vs. China’s

US’s Cyber Spying Vs. China’s

Cyber Spying

Our media like to criticize China for unspecified and, apparently, non-existent cyber crimes. Yet experts agree that the largest share of international cyber attacks belongs to the USA. Apparently even the US Government is part of hacking Team Ammerica…

French officials accuse US of hacking Sarkozy’s computers

The United States used U.S.-Israeli spy software to hack into the French presidential office earlier this year, the French cyberwarfare agency has concluded, according to the newsmagazine l’Express.

The magazine reported late Tuesday that the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy – including Chief of Staff Xavier Musca – were compromised in May by a computer virus that bears the hallmarks of Flame, which was allegedly created by a U.S.-Israeli team to target Iran’s nuclear program. Anonymous French officials pointed the finger at the United States.

“You can be on very good terms with a ‘friendly’ country and still want to guarantee their unwavering support – especially during a transition period,” an official told the magazine. The alleged spying attack took place a few days before the second round of the French presidential elections, which Sarkozy lost to Francois Hollande, a socialist.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano reportedly did not deny the allegations when asked point-blank about them.

“We have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France,” Napolitano reportedly answered, at the opening of an interview with l’Express. “We cooperate in many security-related areas. I am here to further reinforce those ties and create new ones.”

In the interview, Napolitano also said that the Flame and Stuxnet viruses had “never been linked to the U.S. government.”

The White House did not return a request for comment from The Hill.

Parts of this article have been translated from the French.

http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/europe/268995-us-accused-of-hacking-into-french-presidential-computers?utm_source=Sinocism+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9c3b726571-The_Sinocism_China_Newsletter_For_11_21_2012&utm_medium=email

China Spends the World Bank Money!

China Spends the World Bank Money!

A
In Search of Solutions

New World Bank president Jim Yong Kim says he wants to see the institution focus on results, and is keen to increase cooperation with China

(Beijing) — Unlike his eleven predecessors, new World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has little experience as a high-level official in either government or financial institutions.
However, as a doctor and anthropologist, his 20 years of dedication to international development and poverty alleviation qualified him to head the institution.

In late November, Kim paid his first visit to China since taking office in March. One of the key issues during his visit was to launch a joint research project with the government to study urbanization and provide solutions for reducing poverty.

The research on China’s urbanization process will be the next major report released by the World Bank, following its China 2030 Report in February, which outlined strategic directions for China’s development and offered advice for future reforms.
The cooperation between China and the World Bank has seen many changes during the past three decades. China has evolved from a major aid recipient to a donor, while the bank has switched its offers from technology transfer to reform ideas, management methods and new technologies. Now, the World Bank is sharing China’s experiences with other developing countries.
During his visit to Beijing, Kim gave an exclusive interview to Caixin. He spoke about the bank’s relationship with China and his expectations for its future involvement in global development. The following is an excerpt from that interview.
Caixin: How would you describe the cooperation between the World Bank and China in the past thirty years?
Jim Yong Kim: I think the cooperation between the World Bank and China has really been a model for how a multilateral institution can work with a particular country. It’s been more than 30 years now, and I think both the depth of the collaboration has gotten better and better every year, and also the results have been just stunning. We were just talking about the record in water treatment and transportation, and it’s been over US$ 9 billion that we’ve done over the years. The outcomes are really very impressive. I was just in Sichuan looking at the roads and health clinics, and the results have really been very impressive.

You met Vice Premier Li Keqiang and talked about urbanization. What’s your expectation for the new government in this area?
The meeting with the vice premier was very inspiring. He, of course, knew the China 2030 report very well and he challenged us to take the next step and write the next flagship report, which in this case will be focused on urbanization. The vice premier was very clear with us. He expects us to get working right away on this next report, and this next report will not only provide a vision for China, but we hope that by collecting and analyzing the Chinese experience, we’ll also be able to provide a strategic document that will be helpful to countries all over the world. The relationship is deepening ever further, the vice premier is asking us to do something very bold and aspirational.

Can you talk a little about the China 2030 report? It is very inspiring but also caused some controversy.
If you look at the six major points, these are very important points and the most impressive part of it was that this was a full collaboration between the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council. I think that China was willing to look at itself in a very critical way and say we’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s further to go, there’s more to do in the area of reform. This document was very explicit about the commitment to a green economy future. I think that there was a very strong commitment to inclusion and opening up opportunities for more of the Chinese people. And so I think, overall, the collaboration was really important, but it wasn’t just another document that we might call window dressing. It was hard hitting, it was very honest and it was self-critical in a way that I think is extremely encouraging.

The report mentioned six strategic directions facing China. What, in your view, are the major challenges?
Every single country is facing some of these issues. Further structural reforms, these are not just issues for China or even just the developing world. As we know, the question of structural reform is very much alive in Europe, for example, very much alive in the United States. The challenge of actually delivering on truly aspirational goals is an issue for every single country in the world. My own sense is that China was explicit in writing them down and looking at itself in terms of what more it needs to do, and also looking at its great accomplishments.

The new Country Partnership Strategy points out three areas of engagement between the World Bank and China, which are green growth, inclusive development and a beneficial relationship with the world. Why are these three issues priorities?
They are all priorities, but let me talk about one of them. One of the topics that we talked about was China’s relationship with the rest of the world, and we’re now looking at ways where we can investigate together. We’re trying to find the exact mechanism to do it, but we would like to work with China, for example, collaboratively on development projects in Africa. It’s one of the topics we discussed and China’s making major investments in Africa. We have a tremendous amount of experience in Africa. We have had success working there, and we think the combination of Chinese expertise and resources and World Bank expertise and resources could be much more than the sum of its parts if we brought them together for the sake of development in Africa. So that’s one of the areas that we’re working on.
You know, the situation for climate change and the environment is difficult and we know that 70 percent of China’s electrical output comes from coal. But what I, and this is an issue about the emission of carbon dioxide, I have to say that hearing the aspirations of the Chinese people to get to 15 percent of all the energy produced by renewable resources, there is a very clear commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of China. The goals are really quite aspirational and if China is successful in reaching its targets, I think it will have enormous impact on sustainability in the future.

How will the World Bank share China’s experience reducing poverty and some other aspects of its development with other parts of the world?
Well we already do. There are already projects focused on irrigation in Africa that draw from experiences that we’ve had in China. I think that there are many, many experiences in China that are relevant to the rest of the world. This is what we mean by a solutions bank. This is what we mean by moving towards a science of delivery.
What we want to do with the Chinese people and the Chinese government and Chinese citizens is to really capture the successes and also the failures that China has experienced. Catalogue those successes and failures, curate them, analyze them, try to understand them, look for fundamental principles that emerge from China’s experience and then share that with the rest of the world.
Now again, what was very encouraging to me was the Chinese authorities consistently told me that it’s not just us sharing our experience with others. We want to understand the experience of other countries as well. One of the great things about being here is I know that if we bring the experiences of other countries to China, China will do something with them. They’ll think about them, they’ll either try them or reject them. We know that they’ll do something with them, and as a hub for the development of what we’re calling the science of delivery there’s so many resources here and the commitment of Chinese academics and Chinese government to work with us on building this science was very impressive.

You have mentioned changing the World Bank from a knowledge bank to a solutions bank. How will this be achieved? And what role can China play?
What I meant in moving from a knowledge bank to a solutions bank is that there’s a misunderstanding, and one of the misunderstandings is all you have to do is produce data or do a study and produce knowledge, and if you send the reports to the country then they’ll know what to do with them. What we know is that the production of data, the production of information is just the beginning. The critical piece is helping countries understand the implications of particular data sets or studies, and then making that kind of knowledge work in that particular country’s context.
The good news is that the World Bank is filled with people who have been doing that for most of their professional life. People who have not just created knowledge or done research, but taken the knowledge that exists and help countries produce results on the ground.
In China, what I’ve found is there are also many, many people who have been focused on execution, implementation, delivery and who have accumulated a lot of important experience in making things work on the ground. That’s how we want to work together. It’s not just the production of knowledge – it’s producing knowledge and making sure that that knowledge works in a particular context and produces the kind of results that we want for citizens.
China has adopted various policies to support industrial development. Does this model also fit other developing countries?
Historically, we’ve seen countries evolve from having very strong industrial policies to focusing more on market-oriented growth. The country that I know best is South Korea. There are different interpretations of the history of South Korean economic growth, but I think the one that is most dominant is that Korea did have an industrial policy, but really for a relatively short period of its economic growth, and it turned to a more market-oriented approach really quite early. The other thing that we understand is that while they had an industrial policy, it really encouraged internal competition, so the big business groups had to fight with each other and the fact that there was this intense internal competition inside Korea actually prepared them for competing with the outside world.
Every story is complicated, and I don’t think anyone in development economics is looking simplistically and saying: “Industrial policy is important. No market mechanisms are important.”
Every country goes forward with its own mix of those two approaches. Our view of course is that market competition, and market competition early, is a good thing. Industries get better, and competitiveness gets better. And if you look back at some of the success stories, and Korea is the one I know best, they focused on creating internal competition very early, and that helped their industries become competitive globally.
You have a very unique background compared with previous bank heads, who usually had government, financial or legal backgrounds. How will you bring your special experience to the World Bank?
Let me talk about two aspects of my background. First, I’m the first development specialist to lead the World Bank. I’m the first president to have spent his life working on development coming into the most important development institution in the world. The fact that I’ve been in the field, the fact that I’ve had experience trying to turn knowledge into results, I think that’s helped me a lot. And it’s also helped me to understand our professionals, and maybe even more importantly, it’s helped our staff to understand me. They know where I’m coming from.
I’ve been working in global health all of my life, all of my adult life, and my first trip to China was as the director of the AIDS department at the World Health Organization. So that’s been part of my work, but throughout my professional career, my organizations have never just worked on health. We’ve worked on health, education, social protection programs, even housing, so I’ve been a development practitioner in addition to being a global health practitioner. Health is a small part of the World Bank portfolio, but that’s not the important piece of it. I have worked in development and that’s the biggest part of the portfolio.
And the anthropological piece of it is also very important. There are 188 member countries, and so understanding the particular social, political and economic context of each of these countries is critical, and that’s what we do in anthropology.
But the other part that I think is important is that I’ve been trained in science. I’m the first World Bank president trained in science and some of the biggest problems today – climate change, health care, even approaches to scientific education for example – require some understanding of science, and so I hope that helps me in tackling really complicated issues like, for example, climate change.

What direction do you think the World Bank should head?
What I’m hearing, both from clients and inside the bank, is we need to reduce the number of bureaucratic procedures that we need to go through just to operate. So we need to streamline our procedures.
We need to focus less on project approval at the board and more on getting results on the ground. Those are some of the reforms we’re going to make. But also, I think we have to modify the incentives inside the World Bank so the employees who are rewarded the most, the employees who are appreciated the most, are the best at taking the knowledge that we create at the bank and that’s created outside of the bank and making it work for countries to produce results on the ground. That’s what we want to do. We want to be known as the institution you go to if you want help in achieving your highest aspirations for economic growth and for the well-being of your people.—Read more in Caixin

:

President Hu’s Legacy

President Hu’s Legacy

President HuPresident Hu leaves China a far, far better place than he found it. Here’s a list of some of China’s recent accomplishments, most of which came to fruition during his 10 year tenure, and manyof which went from proposal to finished project entirely within his term. Here are thirty of Hu’s accomplishments:

  1. An historic rapprochement with Taiwan.
  2. Modernised the armed forces beyond recognition
  3. Quit all his powerful positions, setting a good example
  4. Put men into space
  5. Designed and started construction of a space station
  6. Is completing China’s GPS Satellite System
  7. Has the world’s fastest trains and the largest HSR track network
  8. Built the world’s largest dam
  9. Built the world’s longest bridges
  10. Built the most undersea tunnels on earth
  11. Built two series of commercial aircraft
  12. Designed and built two fully electric aircraft now on sale in the US
  13. Designed and built a series of 4-passenger flying boats
  14. Designed and built the world’s second-deepest submersible
  15. Designed and built the world’s fastest computer – due to a Chinese-designed O/S
  16. Had an increase in GNP of 10% p.a. for 30 years
  17. Brought 400 million people out of poverty in only 30 years
  18. Created what is already the world’s largest middle class
  19. Created the largest (and best-funded) banks in the world
  20. Become the second-largest economy in the world (soon to be first)
  21. Surpassed the USA for the largest number of patents issued annually
  22. Leading the world in CAT scan technology
  23. Leading the world in DNA mapping and synthesising
  24. Leads the world in green energy technology – all home-grown
  25. Leads the world in electric car and battery technology
  26. Become the biggest market in the world for luxury goods
  27. Become the largest auto market in the world
  28. Leads the world in laser eye surgery and cornea transplants
  29. Has the highest number of English-speaking people in the world
  30. Built two nuclear-powered nuclear submarines

According to PEW Research, 86% of the population of China is happy with their government and economic system, compared to 23% for the US.

According to the Edelmann Institute, 88% of Chinese trust their government, compared to less than 40% for the US.

Wouldn’t you trust a government that pulled that off in 10 years?

You may enjoy reading about China’s high-speed train system. Here is a link to an article with plenty of information and photos: Click Here:.

Duel in the South China Sea?

Duel in the South China Sea?

Duel in the South China Sea?

There’s a recent, oft-repeated myth in the Western media: China is opposed to and fears a “multi-lateral negotiation scheme”, where the many competing nations in the South China Sea claims would negotiate in a group forum, instead of 1 on 1.

This Western media theory is that China is afraid of this forum because it would be negotiating against several smaller nations, who would naturally form some kind of “united front” against China. Consider the illogic of this latest “know nothing” campaign about nothing:

China has no power to forbid any nation from negotiating with others.  If Vietnam and Philippines want to form a “united front” against China, they can easily form an alliance and then negotiate with China.

It is thus obvious that Vietnam, Philippines, etc.cannot form a united front with each other.

Given the record of ASEAN, why create yet another multi-lateral forum that resolves nothing?

Given the record of ASEAN, isn’t it clear that the smaller nations are simply busy leveraging advantages for themselves — which is really why they don’t have much leverage against China. So why all the fuss about creating another multi-lateral forum?

The reason is  evident from US’s own statements:  the USA, began to simultaneously express support for Vietnam, Philippines, and Japan and to talk about its “pivot” to Asia, and about its own “rights” in the South China Sea because it wants to be in on the new “multi-lateral” negotiations with China in the South China Sea.

The reason for this kind of silly behavior is that US foreign policy has been run — not by the State Department — but by the Department of Defense for the past 15 years. That’s why the US is currently attacking 6 countries and threatening 6 more.

Censorship? In Britain? Surely Not!

Censorship? In Britain? Surely Not!

Censorship? In Britain? Surely Not!

The BBC’s Culture of Self-Censorship

Is the BBC in such a petrified or paralysed state, so badly decayed, that it is beyond repair? Are all hopes of inner movement or structural reform misplaced?

To read the national press this would appear to be the case. I’m not so sure. Hysteria has now reached absurd proportions, as has the level of public discussion on the issues at stake. George Entwistle, his predecessor Mark Thompson and Helen Boaden, director of news, are reminiscent more of middle-level bureaucrats in Honecker’s Germany than creative-minded managers. Entwistle has fallen on his sword. More might opt for hara-kiri, but on its own this will solve very little.

There is an underlying problem that has confronted the BBC since Sir John Birt was made director general in Thatcher’s time. His predecessor (bar one) had been sacked effectively on Thatcher’s orders in 1987 for not “being one of us”.

A reliable toady, Marmaduke Hussey, was catapulted on to the BBC board as chairman. His first task was to sack director general Alasdair Milne for “leftwing bias”. Thatcher was livid that the BBC had permitted her to be grilled on the Falklands war on a live programme by a woman viewer from Bristol who successfully demolished the prime minister’s arguments.

Thatcher disliked the BBC’s coverage of the Falklands war and the miners’ strike and highlighted a number of other documentaries that were considered “too leftwing”. A faceless bureaucrat replaced Milne till the appointment of John Birt, a dalek without instincts or qualities, who transformed the BBC into the top-heavy managerial monster that it has become. Read more.