Industrial sunsets, gardening sailors, children and pesticides, dogs and meat, poisoned water and tainted fasting: News round-up, June 24

Industrial sunsets, gardening sailors, children and pesticides, dogs and meat, poisoned water and tainted fasting: News round-up, June 24
Photo: Reuters

Sunset of China’s garment industry?as the industrial giant comes of age low surplus value and labor intensive industries like garments are being relocated to cheaper regions or technologically upgraded

Robotics revolution rocks Chinese textile workers – Al Jazeera, 16 June

‘Last year, the Chinese Communist Party, with the expectation to save billions of dollars in efficiency and labour costs, launched new subsidy schemes on a national scale for technology upgrades. Hundreds of thousands of unskilled workers toiling in factories in the southeast of the country will likely be adversely affected.’

US fashion companies are starting to look beyond China for sourcing apparel – Quartz, 19 June

‘China’s clothing manufacturing capabilities are so advanced, and still so relatively cheap for US fashion labels, that right now there are few good substitutes for producing there. But as Chinese production costs begin to creep up, American brands are scouting out other options, primarily in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and even the US itself.’

 

 

Business as usualfinancial market falls hard but stil looms high enough

China’s stock market fell hard this week—really hard – Quartz, 19 June

‘The Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen A Share stock markets had bad weeks. Really bad weeks. Both lost more than 10% of their market value, and each fell about 6% in Friday’s trading alone.’

China Beige Book Says Retail and Property Fueling China Recovery – Bloomberg, 22 June

‘China’s economy saw a broad-based recovery this quarter on a resurgence in retail and a rebound in property, a private survey found. Companies are doing better than the official data shows, and deflation risks may have peaked, according to the China Beige Book survey, published by New York-based CBB International. The economy is rebalancing as central and southwest regions outperform, the report said.’

China manufacturing remains mired in June – CNBC, 22 June

‘Manufacturing in China remained stuck in a rut in June, with HSBC flash PMI data showing some improvement from May, but still indicating contraction for a fourth straight month.’

 

 

De-steeling high prices of iron ore, overproduction and pollution spur China to relocate parts of it’s heavy industry abroad

China Pushes Production Abroad With ‘Capacity Cooperation’ Initiative – RFA, 8 June

‘China has hit upon a new way to cut its crippling domestic manufacturing overcapacity in industries like steel and building materials, where prices and profits have plunged. Instead of just closing plants at home, it would open up new ones in cooperating countries that don’t have enough.’

China Intensifies Steel Cuts as Iron Bull Market Drives Up Costs – Bloomberg, 19 June

‘Chinese steelmakers are deepening the first production cuts in a quarter century as the bull market in iron ore drives up costs and squeezes profits. Crude steel output will shrink as much as 2 percent this year, according to the China Iron & Steel Association.’

 

 

Fake milk and old meatauthorities intercept meat from the 1970s and recall tainted baby formula from Shannxi

China to recall Shaanxi baby milk powders – BBC, 24 June

‘China’s food safety watchdog has asked three milk producers in Shaanxi province to recall infant formula powder, Chinese state media report. Excessive nitrate levels were detected in some powdered milk samples and the products were branded as sub-standard, Xinhua news agency said.’

China arrests smugglers trying to sell frozen meat from the 1970s – Quartz, 24 June

‘In the latest food scandal to hit China, authorities have seized almost half a billion dollars worth of smuggled frozen meat, some of more than 40 years old. According to the state-run China Daily, customs officials have confiscated over 100,000 tonnes (110,000 tons) of chicken wings, beef, and pork, and arrested gangs across 14 Chinese provinces attempting to sell the contraband.’

 

 

Parallel democracy as the struggle for “real ellctions” is finally confined to the parliamentary sphere, pristine democracy may soon be added to the list of genuine commodities (like untainted baby formula and authentic Patek Philippe watches) that supposedly abound in Hong Kong but are very hard to obtain in mainland China

Hong Kong Gears Up For Tense Political Vote Amid ‘Bomb Plot’ Arrests – RFA, 16 June

‘Authorities in Hong Kong have arrested 10 people in connection with a suspected bomb plot as police officers took up residence in the city’s legislature ahead of a Beijing-backed political reform package for the former British colony.’

Political Tensions High as Hong Kong Lawmakers Debate Electoral Reforms – RFA, 17 June

‘Crowds of protesters on either side of a tense debate on Hong Kong’s political future faced off outside the city’s legislature amid tight security on Wednesday as lawmakers called a halt to the first day of debate ahead of a crucial vote. Protesters waving banners in support of Beijing’s plan for the 2017 elections for the former British colony’s next chief executive chanted “Vote out the pan-democrats in 2016, say yes to 2017!” Meanwhile, pro-democracy protesters held up the yellow and black banners of last year’s Umbrella Movement, which has-—together with the 27 pan-democratic lawmakers in the Legislative Council (LegCo)—dismissed Beijing’s electoral reform plan as “fake universal suffrage.”…’

Hong Kong parliament defies Beijing’s insistence and rejects ‘democracy’ plan -The Guardian, 18 june

‘Pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong have defeated attempts to bring “fake democracy” to the former British colony by voting down a controversial Beijing-backed plan that sparked mass demonstrations in 2014.’

An Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object – RFA, 19 June

‘[J]ust because this [CCP nomination of election candidates] is found acceptable in mainland China, it doesn’t mean there’s a market for it in Hong Kong.’

Chinese state media critical of Hong Kong vote – Al Jazeera, 19 June

‘Chinese state media have strongly criticised Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition politicians for being “destroyers” of democratic development, a day after they shot down Beijing’s election blueprint for the British former colony.’

Last Occupy Central Die-Hards Face Eviction From Hong Kong Street – RFA, 22 June

Authorities in Hong Kong handed an eviction notice to a group of die-hard Umbrella Movement protesters on Monday, following the defeat of a Beijing-backed political reform plan at the hands of pan-democratic lawmakers, who dismissed it as “fake universal suffrage.” Some of the protesters have been camped outside the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) on Tim Mei Avenue since the start of the 79-day Occupy Central mass civil disobedience movement last year…’

 

 

 

Gems and pearls form Radio Free Asia protest of gem polishers in Wuzhou over re-zoning & other shiny examples of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble”

Clashes in China’s Jiangxi After Teen’s Body is Found Near Factory – RFA, 9 June

‘Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi have detained and beaten more than 10 people following clashes with relatives of a teenage factory worker who died in mysterious circumstances earlier this month, relatives said on Tuesday.’

Police Hold 10 After Clashes With Gem Workers in China’s Guangxi – RFA, 10 June

‘Authorities in the southwestern Chinese region of Guangxi are holding at least 10 people following clashes with gemstone workers over re-zoning of the city’s industrial area, protesters said on Wednesday. Residents of Guangxi’s Wuzhou city have been up in arms in recent years over noise and pollution from the densely packed workshops and studios that make up the city’s world leading synthetic gemstone industry. On Tuesday, gem-workers fought back with a mass protest against government orders to move workshops to the outskirts of the city, sparking clashes with riot police that left at least two people in hospital and at least 10 in police custody.’

Workers in China’s Tesco-Linked Supermarket Chain Strike For ‘Fair Treatment’ – RFA, 12 June

‘Dozens of workers at a supermarket chain in southern China that was once owned by U.K. retail giant Tesco went on strike this week in protest at deteriorating pay and conditions since the chain was sold to a Chinese company. Workers at the LeGou chain of supermarkets, in which Tesco has held a 20 percent stake since signing a joint venture with China Resources in May 2014, gathered outside stores on Friday in Guangdong’s Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen cities on Friday, photos posted to social media sites showed.’

Beijing Police Detain Hundreds of PLA Veterans As Thousands Protest Lack of Pension – RFA, 23 June

‘Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained hundreds of former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after thousands of them staged a sit-in outside China’s central military command on Tuesday in protest over a lack of pension and other benefits, protesters said. The protesters, mostly veterans of China’s brief 1979 border war with Vietnam and the Sino-Soviet border conflict of March 1969, converged on the Central Military Commission (CMC) headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday morning.’

Shanghai Denies PX Plans as Thousands Protest Over Pollution Fears – RFA, 23 June

‘Authorities in Shanghai on Tuesday denied reports that they plan to relocate a paraxylene (PX) project to a chemical industrial park in the city’s Jinshan district following several days of protest by local residents. Hundreds of Jinshan residents marched on Tuesday to the district government offices, following a much larger protest involving thousands of people over the weekend. “The Gaoqiao petrochemical plant will close, not relocate,” a post on the Jinshan district government’s official account on the Twitter-like service Sina Weibo said.’

 

 

On hitting moving targets analysys of Lide shoe workers struggle

Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation – CLB, 22 June

‘Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta has long been known as the factory to the world. However, as production costs have increased over the last few years and economic growth has slowed, thousands of manufacturers have relocated, merged or simply closed down. In the vast majority of these cases, factory owners or management did not consult the workforce over their relocation plans and simply announced the move as a fait accompli, offering workers only minimal compensation or even nothing at all. In response, workers at many of these factories took collective action in an attempt to force their employer to give them a better deal.’

 

 

Enclosureherders protest enclosure of traditional grazing ground in Inner Mongolia

Chinese Police Detain 17 Ethnic Mongolians As Grasslands Protests Spread – RFA, 10 June

‘Protests have recurred in Tulee Gachaa, Mingren Som (or township) near the region’s Tongliao several times since early May over the loss of large tracts of grassland to a Chinese-run forestry company, the Southern Mongolian Human Rights and Information Center (SMHRIC) said in a statement on its website. Local herders have lost access to some 4,000 hectares of their traditional grazing lands to the Xinglonggao Forestry Co. since 2011, SMHRIC director Enhebatu Togochog told RFA on Wednesday.’

 

 

Yields of externalizationunsafe drinking water affects millions of people living in China

Fluoride, arsenic and iodine in China’s drinking water poisons 50 million people – South China Morning Post, 23 June

‘Tens of millions of mainland Chinese are being poisoned by unsafe levels of fluoride and arsenic in drinking water, despite decades of official efforts to improve supplies, state media say.’

Study shows frightening amount of antibiotic contamination in China’s waterways – Shanghaiist, 23 June

‘The excessive use of antibiotics in humans and animals has severely damaged China’s major rivers, with bodies of water near populated cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai showing some of the highest concentrations of contamination.’

 

 

Pesticides for the poorChinese leadership uses scapegoting and poorly constructed sophism in response to child suicides

Officials sacked over suicide of four abandoned children who drank pesticide – South China Morning Post, 12 June

‘A number of local officials have been punished in the case of four siblings who killed themselves by drinking pesticide in impoverished Guizhou province. Three officials, including the education bureau director of Bijie’s Qixingguan district, were suspended for investigation, while two village officials, including its party secretary, were removed from office, the district government said on Friday.’

China’s Xi Jinping says poverty is ‘nothing to fear’ after pesticide deaths – The Guardian, 19 June

‘China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told villagers in one of the most deprived areas of the country, where four children killed themselves last week by swallowing pesticide, that poverty is nothing to fear. He made the comments in Huamao, a village in the south-western province of Guizhou, according to China’s official news agency. The president was quoted as saying: “A good life is created with one’s own hands, so poverty is nothing to fear. If we have determination and confidence, we can overcome any difficulty.”…’

 

 

South China SeaVietnamese fishermen protest against harassment, Chinese sailors pose for pictures on reclaimed land, US, Japan and Philippines plan to hold an ad hoc military exercise near disputed island

Vietnamese fisherman accuse China of attacking them in South China Sea – The Guardian, 17 June

‘A Vietnamese official has accused China of attacking its fishermen three times in the past week in the disputed South China Sea. Nguyen Thanh Hung, head of the fisheries union in Binh Chau village in central Quang Ngai province where the fishermen came from, said a Vietnamese trawler with 12 crew had been intercepted by a Chinese military vessel while fishing near the Paracel Islands on Sunday. He said the Chinese had seized their catch and fishing equipment.’

sailor  Photo: sina.com.cn

Chinese website shows photos from disputed reef in South China Sea – The Guardian, 19 June

‘A Chinese website has published photographs from one of the reefs under China’s control in the disputed South China Sea showing female sailors posing on ocean breakwalls, vegetable gardens being watered and even pigs in a pen.’

Philippines to train with US, Japan – Taipei Times, 23 June

‘The Philippines is to hold separate naval exercises with US and Japanese forces this week on a Philippine island that is not far from the disputed Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), where China’s rapid creation of seven island outposts is stoking regional tensions.’

 

 

A drink before the war? with a low scale cyber war already in progress, China and US talk about smoothing out their relationship and keeping the region peaceful for a few years

U.S. and China to Seek Patch of Common Ground as Talks Begin – Bloomberg, 22 June

‘The U.S. and China will have no trouble filling the agenda as they meet this week for their seventh Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The challenge will be finding topics on which they can agree.’

U.S. Scolds China for Online Attacks – New York Times, 23 June

‘Top Obama administration officials admonished China in a bilateral meeting on Tuesday for sponsoring online attacks against businesses, but they remained silent — at least publicly — on the suspected role of Chinese hackers in the recently discovered theft from government computers of personal data on millions of federal employees and contractors.’

 

 

iAccuseChinese smart phones introduce an app against corruption that will allow citizens to denounce graft digitally

Chinese smartphone app adds new feature to dob in corrupt cadres – The Guardian, 19 June

 

 

They cannot represent themselves, they must be representedas the Chinese middle class grows in numbers the number of “animal” rights activists follows in suit

‘When the buying stops, the killing can too’ – Chinese dog meat festival faces internal pressure – The Guardian, 22 June

‘The Yulin dog meat festival is facing an increasing backlash from within China, after years of international criticism. About 10,000 dogs are likely to slaughtered during this year’s event, which got underway on Sunday and marks the summer solstice in the town in south-west China.’

China Dog Slaughter Continues in China’s Yulin Amid Growing Calls For Change – RFA, 22 June

‘Thousands of dogs, many of them stolen pets, were slaughtered during the weekend’s dog-meat eating festival in the southwestern Chinese region of Guangxi in spite of a global campaign to save them, activists said. The annual June 21 festival, which is largely commercial in origin, has been the focus of repeated petitions and social media campaigns from within China and around the world since last year calling on authorities in Guangxi’s Yulin city to ban it.’

Is it OK to eat dogs? – The Guardian, 22 June

‘[R]esponses to the dog meat festival in Yulin, China, which draws to a close today, merit more careful consideration. The double standards at play here are numerous, complicated, and not always obvious.’

 

 

Free trade in Eurasia?with China and Russia drawing closer there are speculations about future merger of EEU and Silk Road Economic Belt into a common free trade area

Eurasia is an idea whose time has come around again – The Guardian, 21 June

‘Chinese are the most historically minded of people. In his conquest of power, Mao Zedong used military tactics derived from Sun Tzu, who lived around 500 BC; Confucianism, dating from around the same time, remains at the heart of China’s social thinking, despite Mao’s ruthless attempts to suppress it.’

Russia’s importance to China is overblown – Quartz, 24 June

‘Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of oil in May, shipping a record 3.92 million metric tons, a 20% increase from April. This isn’t the first time that this has happened (although the last time was more than 10 years ago), and Russia isn’t the only country to ship more oil to China than the Saudis. Angola also sold more oil to China than Saudi Arabia in May. Still, it is the latest sign of the growing ties between Russia, suffering under sanctions and increasing international isolation, and China, which is investing heavily to bolster its slowing economy, namely by building a global infrastructure network.’

 

 

Disharmonytroubles during Ramadan

China bans Ramadan fasting in mainly Muslim region – Al Jazeera, 18 June

‘China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.’

China’s illusion of harmony – Al Jazeera, 23 June

‘For decades, much of China’s economic boom was concentrated in its south and eastern coastal regions, with mega-cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai experiencing stratospheric growth rates. It didn’t take long before Mao’s China was transformed from one of the world’s most egalitarian nations into a highly stratified capitalist society, with income inequality levels rivalling those in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.’

At Least 18 Dead in Ramadan Attack on Police Checkpoint in Xinjiang – RFA, 23 June

‘At least 18 people are dead following a knife and bomb attack by a group of ethnic Uyghurs on a police traffic checkpoint in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang region, sources said Tuesday, amid harsh restrictions on observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.’

China: Uighurs blamed as 18 die in Xinjiang attack, says report – The Guardian, 24 June

‘The attack occurred on Monday, the station said, in a district of the southern city of Kashgar where tensions between Muslim Uighurs who call the region home and the national majority Han Chinese have led to bloodshed in recent years.’

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