Tag Archives: china

China Eyes Japan’s Big…Society

From the East Asia Forum, this is a translated article that originally appeared in IFeng, a Hong Kong based news organization aimed at Chinese readers.

Japan’s big nation and big society was laid down by the restructuring of constitutional government in the middle of last century, and the country has so far seen half a century of great results.

This looks to be a rather pointed rebuke to the CCP, and attempts to link China’s perceived (by the author and/or others) lack of social cohesion to the CCP’s limits on political rights, something Wen Jiabao would probably agree with, or at least somewhat.

According to its wiki page, IFeng is “one of the few privately owned broadcasting companies in mainland China able to broadcast information about events not covered by the government media, such as the coverage on the Rally Against Basic Law Article 23 on 1 July 2003.”

Maybe I’m reading too far into the constitutional argument in this article, but this does seem to be a pretty obvious rejection of the CCP. It’s no surprising to see this coming out of HK, what I’d like to know is what kind of exposure this piece is getting.


China Eyes Jasmine

Why so skittish? Apparently China’s leaky Great Firewall was unable to stop some vague microblog calls for demonstrations around China, termed the “Jasmine Revolution”, a copy of the Tunisian name.

This comes only a short time after Hu Jintao spoke about the coming challenges to “solve prominent problems which might harm the harmony and stability of the society” to a gathering of provincial and minsisterial level functionaries.

However,  it seems that things never really got off the ground, with police and journalists outnumbering protesters. China has historically been very wary of an kind of mass demonstrations, even ones against Japan, as they can cut both ways. They may assuage nationalist sentiment, but run the risk of becoming too xenophobic, as I wrote about in a paper for a class. They can also move away from nationalist sentiment and towards calls for reform, as the NYT reported was happening today.

The messages calling people to action urged protesters to shout “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness,” an ostensible effort to tap into popular discontent over inflation and soaring real estate prices.

There’s really no way that Beijing is going to allow a movement overtly calling for change (without a nationalist angle) to run its course naturally. In the past it has managed anti-Japanese protests very closely, even ordering organizers out of Beijing in 2003.  There’s no way it will treat a baldly reforming agenda with kid gloves.

If there are any demonstrations this spring they will occur without the slightest tolerance from the PRC.