September 2014 – In Praise of China
A Determined War on Graft
China has made systematic strides in snuffing out corruption over the past decade. China will impose a new five-year plan to tackle corruption following the upcoming national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), senior official He Guoqiang said on August 21. The new work plan for 2013 to 2018 would be the second of its kind as the first one was released in 2008. He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, expressed readiness to improve anti-corruption efforts, describing the improvements as a “dynamic and long-term strategic project.” The 18th CPC National Congress will find new ways to prevent corruption both now and in the future, said He, who is also head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Party’s anti-graft watchdog. He said China has always paid great attention to fighting corruption and creating a clean government, adding that the country has created its own unique methods to combat corruption. The formation of the new five-year plan should be based on the results of the previous plan, as well as past experience, He said, urging discipline officials to prioritize solving problems that are widely faced by the public and find new ways to suppress and prevent corruption. According to the website of the Nandu Daily newspaper, the CPC’s new anti-graft plan could come out in the middle of next year at the earliest. Ren Jianming, an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, was quoted by Nandu Daily as saying that the drafting of the work plan started as early as May 2010 and scholars have been invited to carry out surveys and studies, whose results are used as references. Li Xueqin, head of the CCDI’s Research Division, told Xinhua News Agency that while the first five-year work plan was to establish an anti-corruption mechanism, the next five years would be spent in “perfecting that mechanism” with a focus on preventing abuses of power. Intensified Crackdown Li said that in the first 10 years after the Party declared a war on corruption in 1993, the strategy was to curb the rising trend of corruption, and the main tasks were upholding leaders’ integrity and investigating cases. In the past 10 years, however, the main focus has shifted to prevention, and to eradicating the roots of corruption, according to Li. Since the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, the Party has taken various measures to combat corruption through developing a set of systems, mechanisms and methods to restrict and monitor the exercise of power. Jiang Hui, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua that the country’s leadership has placed the fight against corruption high on its agenda over the past 10 years. In a speech last July, President Hu Jintao, also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, warned that corruption is one of the growing dangers that confront the Party and it has become more important and urgent for the Party to police itself and impose strict discipline on its members. In his speech at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee on July 23, Hu again listed fighting corruption unswervingly as one of the efforts that must be continued to promote Party building. =&0=&, according to the CCDI’s report to the 17th CPC National Congress. During those five years, the CPC also disciplined several senior officials including former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu, former Deputy Secretary of the CPC Shandong Provincial Committee Du Shicheng, and former Director of the State Food and Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu. =&1=&
China: Soft Power Rising?
Is the World Changing its Opinion of China?
Could it be that china’s foreign policy (study whatever the USA does, then do the opposite) is beginning to bear fruit? The 2012 Global Attitudes Survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts suggests that it is. Here’s a screenshot. For the real thing, go to this link.
=&0=& Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of China. =&1=& Favorable combines “very favorable” and “somewhat favorable” responses. Unfavorable combines “very unfavorable” and “somewhat unfavorable.”
China is implementing a new tax, a land tax. That’s highly significant because it’s the world’s first national scale implementation of the best tax, the fairest tax, the least bad tax. Once again, China is learning from out mistakes and re-writing the book; this time on how to tax fairly and sustainably. Here’s a good article that explains China’s land tax and gives some links to great sources of information on land taxes for further reading:
China Shifts to Land Tax
Censorship in America? China?
Of course. Censorship has always been an important tool of the Capitalist regime in America, just as it is for the Communist regime in China. The difference is that the Chinese trust their Government media 76% of the time (Edelman). The American Capitalist government (which has not explained their censorship policies to the people who live under Capitalism) receive a media a trust rating of 49%. Here’s one reason why:
Our American Pravda–by Ron Unz
The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken. Read more…
China Attacks the USA on All Fronts.
Try to see it from the hegemon’s point of view: While Russia confronts the USA head-on, China is attacking on almost every other front, simultaneously. China’s attacks look like neutral, ‘commonsense’ or ‘competitive’ moves. All nice and friendly:
- Like Shanghai’s new gold exchange. Shanghai forbids naked shorting; all sales are for physical delivery. Perfectly sensible, right? Well, it drives a wedge between the price of ‘paper’ (naked short) gold on US’ Comex and physical gold. This thwarts the world’s biggest paper gold shorter, the US Treasury, which has been using trillions in naked shorts to rig the market since the US failed to deliver gold that Germany had lodged with it for safe keeping.
- China’s offering Turkey financing and IP with their antimissile defense system. Turkey will be half out of NATO if it goes through with the deal – as it is threatening to do. Turkey is NATO’s Eastern wing.
- Then there’s the renminbi, which is internationalizing 10 times faster than anyone predicted. China’s controlling the world’s desire to diversify their reserves by bulking up on renminbi.
- If the past 50 years are a guide, the next financial crisis is due within 36 months.
You’ve got to feel sympathy for the hegemon, don’t you? I certainly do. My income is entirely tied to the $US. Maybe it’s time we thought of cooperating with the Chinese government, instead of treating it as an enemy. Maybe it’s too late.
Reflecting the Progressive Era’s reform agenda Simon Patten (1852–1922) argued that freeing markets from one source of economic rent (by taxing land rent) would merely leave the surplus to be taken by other monopolists and rent extractors (railroads, Wall Street trusts, and basic privatized utilities). To prevent unearned income (economic rent) from adding to the economy’s cost of living and doing business, potentially rent-yielding infrastructure should be kept in the public domain as a “fourth factor of production.” Instead of rentiers making a profit by charging access fees and user fees, the return to public investment should take the form of reducing the economy’s overall price structure. (Michael Hudson)