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 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。





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