Communes without Communism

The sharing economy: Communes without Communism

Canberra Times: China’s sharing economy takes a page from Mao’s little red book.
  • The “shared economy” philosophy in vogue in tech communities around the world has made its way to China, where it is juxtaposed with the country’s legacy of communal living under the not-so-distant Maoist era. So-called “co-living spaces,” where individuals are invited to share rent, working space, and a range of amenities (including the exchange of ideas), are rapidly rising in popularity in China’s big cities. So, too, is a decidedly anti-consumerist worldview.

Netizen innovation

China File: Smog and Imagination.

  • Chinese citizens attempt to defuse the gloom of the most recent string of high-pollution days with online gallows humor and performance art pieces.
The Daily Dot: Here’s the lip-sync video that convinced Google to buy YouTube.

The video that inspired now-CEO Susan Wojcicki that Google had to purchase YouTube.

China in Africa

New York Times: In Nigeria, Chinese Investment Comes With a Downside.
  • A close look at China’s economic engagement with Nigeria, and the downsides of the oft-touted partnership between developing African nations and the world’s second-largest economy.

New York Times: China Pledges $60 Billion to Aid Africa’s Development.

China, Xi Jinping said, “now has the technology, equipment, professional and skilled personnel and capital needed to help Africa realize sustainable self-development.” Mr. Xi pledged many of these things as part of the $60 billion package, which includes $5 billion in grants and interest-free loans and $35 billion in loans and export credits.

China Daily: US expert busts myths about Chinese investment in Africa.
  • The China Daily recaps a US-based expert’s take on the nature of Chinese investment in Africa, and why claims that China is extracting natural resources in a predatory fashion, or blindly supporting dictators, “should be taken with a grain of salt.”
Foreign Policy: 5 Myths About Chinese Investment in Africa.
  • The actual text of Xi Jinping’s USD $6 billion pledge to Africa, “and why he’s bound to be misunderstood.”

Chinese students abroad

Foreign Policy: Do Years Studying in America Change Chinese Hearts and Minds?
  • An online survey of 186 Chinese students studying abroad in the US showed that time abroad increased students’ regard for both the US and China. A desire for quality education, rather than strengthening of job prospects, was identified by the majority of students as the most important motivation for pursuing education abroad.

Changes in the residence permit system

People’s Daily: 持居住证可积分落户; 政策解读(Possession of permanent residence permit to be determined on the basis of accumulating points; A close reading of the new policy).
  • The new system for establishing permanent residence in an urban area for those holding a rural hukou were announced by the State Council. The new policies are based on a point system to assess whether rural residents will be given permits to resettle permanently in urban areas. Factors to be considered include educational background, career type, and others.

Constitution Day

China Change: China Marks First Anniversary of Constitution Day With Awkward Silence.
  • The second annual “Constitution Day,” a holiday created last year, was passed with ostentatiously little fanfare. Only three of the People’s Daily approximately 300 headlines featured any mention of the day, and a book on Constitutionalism is rumored to have been pulled from shelves in advance of the event.

Party discipline

Canberra Times: China’s Communist Party targets members in Xinjiang, Tibet.
  • Communist Party members in Xinjiang and Tibet have been the targets of recent internal Party crackdowns designed to “rein in” cadres views on religion and sovereignty are seen as dangerously unorthodox.

    “This does not mean the cadres participated in attacks,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International, “but rather is the equivalent of local officials saying: ‘The central authorities are sending leaders who are so ham-fisted they have driven people to the edge and understandably they have started blowing up things.’ “

Freedom of speech in the press

The Australian: China’s media values unlike West, says People’s Daily editor.
  • Li Baoshan, editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily and an adviser to Xi Jinping, was forthright in an interview with The Australian newspaper in the differences in attitudes towards freedom of speech and censorship in the West and in China.

South China Sea

Radio Free Asia: 台湾公布“十一段线”南海地图 台媒:彰显主权 (Taiwan releases “11 dotted line” map of the South China Sea; Taiwanese media: ‘This is manifest destiny.’)
  • In early December, the Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior released a map with 11 dotted lines demarcating Taiwan’s sovereignty over contested portions of the South China Sea. The map was deliberately designed to echo the mainland’s release of the “nine dotted line” map.
Xinhua Net: China to add civilian facilities on South China Sea islands.
  • China announced it will be adding civilian facilities on certain islands and reefs in the South China Sea. At the announcement, assurances were made that this construction – and the construction of other defense facilities – were not for the purposes of militarization and would not impede the rights of transport of other nations “in accordance with international law.”

China and the environment: Paris climate talks

Thinkprogress.org: China’s Coal Cuts Are Driving A Plateau In Global Carbon Emissions.
  • In a debate largely characterized by doom and gloom, at this year’s climate talks in Paris, a tentative sign of hope emerged: According to scientists, CO2 emissions growth has halted in the past two years, while economic growth has continued. China’s cutbacks on the use of coal was cited as the primary driver behind this stunning result. Time will tell if the trend is to be sustained.
People’s Daily: 《巴黎协定》是全球气候治理进程的里程碑 (The ‘Paris Accord’ is a milestone in the process of responding to climate change).
  • Chinese state media provides commentary to the historic Paris Accord, signed by over 200 nations. Full text provided below.

People’s Daily: 《巴黎协定》是全球气候治理进程的里程碑 (The ‘Paris Accord’ is a milestone in the process of responding to climate change).
  • 人民网巴黎12月12日电 (记者裴广江、李永群、邢雪、王远)当地时间12月12日19时26分,气候变化巴黎大会通过《巴黎协定》。中国气候变化事务特别代表解振华在协定通过后接受记者采访时表示,这是一个历史性的协定,在全球应对气候变化进程中具有里程碑意义,是与《联合国气候变化框架公约》、《京都议定书》同样重要的里程碑。解振华在协定通过后的大会闭幕全会上发言中说,中方热烈祝贺巴黎协定获得通过,虽然协议并不完美,还存在一些需要完善的内容,但这并不妨碍我们向前走出历史性一步。

    解振华表示,巴黎气候大会是全球气候治理进程的关键节点,其成果关乎全人类应对气候变化和可持续发展的未来。经过大家的不懈努力达成的巴黎协定是一个公平合理、全面平衡、富有雄心、持久有效、具有法律约束力的协定,传递出了全球将实现绿色低碳、气候适应型和可持续发展的强有力积极信号。

    解振华说,巴黎协定在联合国气候变化框架下,在京都议定书、巴厘路线图等一系列成果基础上,按照共同但有区别的责任原则、公平原则和各自能力原则,进一步加强联合国气候变化框架公约的全面、有效和持续实施。巴黎协定包含减缓、适应、资金、技术、能力建设、透明度等各要素,体现了减缓和适应相平衡、行动和支持相匹配、责任和义务相符合、力度雄心和发展空间相协调,2020年前提高力度与2020年后加强行动相衔接。巴黎协定凝聚着各方最广泛的共识,凝聚着各国领导人、各国部长和谈判代表的心血,体现了世界各国利益和全球利益的平衡,是全球气候治理进程的里程碑。各缔约方都在关键时刻,做出了对本国人民有益、对子孙后代负责、促进全世界可持续发展的正确抉择,这是属于我们这个时代、我们所有人的伟大壮举。

    解振华强调,一分纲领,九分落实。协定已经谈成,下一步的关键任务是落实。我们也希望各方积极落实巴黎会议成果,为巴黎协定的生效实施做好准备。希望各方积极采取措施加强2020年前行动落实,特别是发达国家要切实兑现向发展中国家提供资金、技术和能力建设支持的承诺,为2020年后加强行动奠定坚实互信基础。

    解振华表示,中国作为一个负责任的发展中国家,应对气候变化既是推动本国可持续发展的内在需要,也是打造人类命运共同体的责任担当。中方将主动承担与自身国情、发展阶段和实际能力相符的国际义务,继续兑现2020年前应对气候变化行动目标,积极落实自主贡献,努力争取尽早达峰,并与各方一道努力,按照公约的各项原则,推动巴黎协定的实施,推动建立合作共赢的全球气候治理体系。>

People’s Daily: 持居住证可积分落户; 政策解读(Possession of permanent residence permit to be determined on the basis of accumulating points; A close reading of the new policy).
  •  11月26日,李克强总理签署国务院令,公布《居住证暂行条例》(以下简称条例),该条例将于2016年1月1日起施行。日前,国务院法制办公室负责人就条例的有关问题接受了本报记者采访。  全国1.7亿人跨县居住半年以上,难以与当地户籍人口享受同等基本公共服务

    据介绍,随着我国城镇化的快速推进,大量农村劳动力向城市转移就业,同时,城市间的人口流动也不断加速。据第六次人口普查数据显示,全国跨县(市、区)居住半年以上的人口达到1.7056亿。这部分常住人口为当地经济社会发展作出了重大贡献,但在教育、医疗、养老、住房保障等方面仍难以与当地户籍人口享受同等的基本公共服务,工作和生活面临诸多问题。这些问题如果长期得不到有效解决,将会引发一系列的社会风险和矛盾。

    党中央、国务院高度重视上述问题,近年来作出一系列推进城镇化建设和户籍制度改革的重大决策部署,特别是2014年3月中共中央、国务院印发的《国家新型城镇化规划(2014—2020年)》和同年7月国务院印发的《国务院关于进一步推进户籍制度改革的意见》,都将建立居住证制度作为创新人口管理的一项重要举措提出了明确要求。

    因此,有必要制定条例,以落实党中央、国务院的决策部署,为流动人口享受居住地基本公共服务和便利提供制度框架、有序推进城镇化进程。

    居住半年以上可申领,按梯度赋权机制享公共服务

    该负责人介绍,条例从为流动人口享受居住地基本公共服务和便利提供制度框架出发,规定:居住证是持证人在居住地居住、作为常住人口享受基本公共服务和便利、申请登记常住户口的证明;公民离开常住户口所在地,到其他城市居住半年以上,符合有合法稳定就业、合法稳定住所、连续就读条件之一的,可以依照本条例的规定申领居住证。

    条例在不影响其他流动人口按照国家有关法律政策享受基本公共服务和便利的基础上,进一步规定了居住证持有人享受的各项基本公共服务和便利。具体包括:

    一是规定了居住证持有人享受的劳动就业,参加社会保险,缴存、提取和使用住房公积金,义务教育,基本公共就业服务,基本公共卫生服务和计划生育服务,公共文化体育服务,法律援助和其他法律服务等基本公共服务,以及按照国家有关规定办理出入境证件,换领、补领居民身份证,机动车登记,申领机动车驾驶证,报名参加职业资格考试、申请授予职业资格,办理生育服务登记和其他计划生育证明材料等便利。

    二是建立了梯度赋权的机制。条例要求国务院有关部门、地方各级人民政府及其有关部门逐步扩大向居住证持有人提供公共服务和便利的范围、提高服务标准,并定期向社会公布。

    三是建立了居住证持有人通过积分落户制度等方式申请登记常住户口的衔接通道,并明确了各类城市确定落户条件的标准。

    为居住证持有人提供公共服务要纳入财政预算

    该负责人表示,条例按照寓管理于服务之中的精神,突出了政府及其相关部门的服务职能。

    一是明确县级以上人民政府应当建立健全为居住证持有人提供基本公共服务的机制,有关部门应当根据各自职责,做好居住证持有人的权益保障、服务和管理工作。

    二是规定县级以上人民政府应当将为居住证持有人提供基本公共服务和便利的工作纳入国民经济和社会发展规划,完善财政转移支付制度,将提供基本公共服务和便利所需费用纳入财政预算。

    三是规定县级以上人民政府有关部门应当建立和完善人口信息库,分类完善各类信息系统及居住证持有人信息采集、登记工作,加强信息共享,为实现基本公共服务常住人口全覆盖提供信息支持。

    四是规范了国家机关及其工作人员的服务和管理行为,如限期制发居住证、对持证人个人信息予以保密、免费办理首次证件及签注手续等,并对无故拒绝受理、发放,违反规定收取费用,利用便利收受他人财物等违法行为,规定了相应的法律责任。