Martine Bulard

Rédactrice en chef adjointe au « Monde diplomatique »

  • Beijing’s ‘ventilation corridors’ for dispersing smog greeted with skepticism - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/975047.shtml

    he early morning sun shines on buildings around Beijing’s iconic China Central Television Tower on a smoggy March 1. Photo: CFP

    Always on the lookout for ways to clear out the smog that all too often blankets China’s cities, and hot on the heels of the introduction of giant mist cannons that wash the pollution out of the air, Chinese city governments are pondering a new way to freshen the air - building “urban wind passages.”

    In late February, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning announced that the capital is going to build five 500-meter-wide ventilation corridors and more than 10 80-meter-wide corridors to allow breezes that cool and clean the city, the Beijing News reported.

    On March 5, Yang Guanjun, head of the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Shaanxi Province in Northwest China, told reporters that his region also plans to introduce ventilation corridors.

    Before Beijing’s announcement, about 10 other cities, including Shanghai, Nanjing, Ji’nan, Hangzhou, Fuzhou and Zhengzhou, have proposed city ventilation research and building wind passages to dilute airborne pollutants and ease the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.

    The UHI effect is when temperatures in urban areas rise to become markedly higher than those in surrounding areas.

    The government of Guiyang, capital of Southwest China’s Guizhou Province, has started to build a ventilation network in September last year.

    Some forerunners like Stuttgart, Germany and Hong Kong have shown that these corridors can help deal with overheating and air quality problems, but some experts are still skeptical about their feasibility.

    “I don’t think they can play any part in introducing wind or treating air pollution. They can at most improve the landscape,” Wang Yuesi, researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) in Beijing, told the Global Times.

    But Professor Edward Ng from the Chinese University of Hong Kong who helped design ventilation corridors in Hong Kong said that they are worth trying in Beijing.

    “The efficiency of ventilation corridors depends a lot on geographic location and wind resources. Beijing is big, its buildings and population are very concentrated. But we will never know whether it works unless we try,” Ng told the Global Times.

    He pointed out that Tokyo has also created wind paths to improve its climate. “But ahead of the implementation, Beijing still needs to do adequate pre-project research and tests,” said Ng.

    Sick city


  • Quand la Chine s’inquiète de la présence US près de ses côtes, c’est de la mauvaise foi; quand c’est le contraire, c’est légitime
    U.S. Casts Wary Eye on Australian Port Leased by Chinese - The New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/21/world/australia/china-darwin-port-landbridge.html?emc=edit_tnt_20160321&nlid=35671898&tntem
    http://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/03/10/world/darwin-web1/darwin-web1-facebookJumbo.jpg

    DARWIN, Australia — The port in this remote northern Australian outpost is little more than a graying old wharf jutting into crocodile-infested waters. On a recent day, there was stifling heat but not a ship in sight. “Our pissy little port,” as John Robinson, a flamboyant local tycoon, calls it.The financially hurting government of the Northern Territory was happy to lease it to a Chinese company in October for the bargain price of $361 million, raising money for local infrastructure projects.

    “We are the last frontier; you take what you can get,” said Mr. Robinson, who is known as Foxy. “The Northern Territory doesn’t have the money for development. Australia doesn’t have it. We need the major players like China.”

    But the decision has catapulted the port of Darwin into a geopolitical tussle pulling in the United States, China and Australia.

    This month, the United States said it was concerned that China’s “port access could facilitate intelligence collection on U.S. and Australian military forces stationed nearby.”
    #Chine #Etats-unis #Australie


  • Le "parler jeune" debanlieues françaises vue par une chercheuse chinoise - Entretien avec Yuanyuan Wang - La France en Chine
    http://www.ambafrance-cn.org/Entretien-avec-Yuanyuan-Wang
    http://www.ambafrance-cn.org/IMG/arton31252.jpg?1456813062

    Entretien avec Yuanyuan Wang :
    La Lettre de Shanghai :
    Dans le cadre de vos études doctorales, vous avez séjourné en France et avez fait des recherches sur le parler des jeunes français et les variations linguistiques, qui se conçoivent par rapport à une langue française qui serait standard, une norme linguistique. Vous avez notamment porté votre attention sur le verlan, qui consiste à inverser les syllabes d’un mot. D’où est venu votre intérêt pour ce sujet ?
    Je m’intéresse au lien entre la langue et la société : « qui parle ? ». L’objectif n’était pas seulement d’enregistrer des faits linguistiques attestés mais de tenter de référer les formes relevées à la sociologie de leur énonciateur. Le verlan, le vocabulaire le plus représentatif de la façon de parler autrement – baptisé « parler jeune » –, est la manifestation d’une société vue et vécue à l’envers. Il est depuis longtemps utilisé par certains « jeunes » au sein des groupes de pairs dans les « quartiers sensibles ».
    La langue répond à un besoin communicatif et social. Elle traduit une réalité. Il en est de même pour le verlan. C’est la langue miroir dans laquelle se reflètent les multiples tensions de la société, la diversité des références des verlanisants. Le verlan est non seulement un phénomène linguistique, mais aussi un fait social et culturel, le reflet d’une réalité culturelle céfran (français), où l’on trouve mêlées des influences reubeu (arabe), noich (chinois), kebla et également manouche et « négropolitain », sources d’énergie et de diversité linguistiques et culturelles. Derrière le verlan, il y a tout un vécu qui est associé à un territoire et à des populations.
    Vocabulaire caractéristique et usage véhiculaire du français des jeunes des banlieues parisiennes, le verlan est peu mentionné par les linguistes chinois. Méprisé par les uns, applaudi par les autres, en tant qu’objet polémique, le verlan mérite pourtant notre attention.
    La langue ou les mots sont le compagnon de la personne qui parle, un autre Moi qu’on montre aux gens. On dit ce que l’on pense et on est ce que l’on dit. La langue reflète non seulement la société et la vie, mais aussi l’image de l’homme qui parle et qui pense. La langue est un code, un véhicule, avec ses lois, sa grammaire, et qui les ignore ou les malmène menace son lien avec autrui, c’est peut-être une des raisons pour laquelle nombre de débats, culturels, médiatiques, scolaires, linguistiques, voire politiques, ont été menés autour d’elle. Mon travail, à travers une étude socio-lexicographique, consiste à faire découvrir aux étudiants de français ainsi qu’aux amoureux de la langue française, les vraies images des jeunes des banlieues parisiennes, qui sont souvent stigmatisés et victimes de clichés, et ainsi permettre de mieux comprendre la France et ses banlieues.
    La Lettre de Shanghai :
    Vous avez conduit vos recherches sur le terrain, dans les banlieues parisiennes. Parlez-nous de cette expérience.
    Mes recherches sur le terrain se sont déroulées principalement dans les communes d’Aulnay-sous-Bois, de La Courneuve et de Clichy-sous-Bois du département de la Seine-Saint-Denis. Les trains du RER et les quais de métro sont aussi un endroit idéal et discret pour l’établissement du corpus. L’enregistrement des conversations et la prise de notes ne constituent que la première étape du travail. Le dépouillement et l’analyse statistique de données nécessitent un plus grand effort.
    En précisant mon métier et l’objectif des enquêtes (faire découvrir les banlieues parisiennes et le verlan aux jeunes étudiants chinois, aux amateurs de la langue française, des cultures de rue et du rap en Chine), j’étais plutôt bien accueillie et considérée comme porte-parole de la banlieue venant de loin.
    La Lettre de Shanghai :
    En Chine, les réseaux sociaux numériques sont un lieu privilégié de discussions qui favorisent l’émergence de nouveaux mots en lien avec l’actualité. En 2013, on a vu par exemple la réappropriation du mot 土豪 (tǔháo) qui initialement faisait référence à un riche propriétaire foncier. Ce terme péjoratif définit désormais un parvenu issu de la campagne, qui étale ses richesses avec mauvais goût. Pouvez-vous partager avec nos lecteurs quelques autres nouvelles expressions chinoises significatives d’une société qui évolue ?
    L’argot est un sociolecte, et non pas un simple registre de langue. L’existence d’un tel sociolecte s’explique par le besoin de ses initiés de se reconnaître et de s’affirmer dans ce parler propre à leur groupe social. Mais à la différence des jargons techniques liés à des professions spécifiques, l’argot Internet a pour fonctions essentielles la transmission efficace d’un message et l’affirmation identitaire des initiés.
    Aussi, l’argot Internet français vise à réduire la longueur des mots et des phrases, par le biais de l’abréviation lexicale, procédé abréviatif courant également dans l’argot Internet chinois.

    L’apparition d’un nouveau mot argotique (« wo huo dai ») sur la toile chinoise il y a à peine deux mois vient compléter ce procédé. Ce procédé abréviatif nouveau à la langue chinoise moderne consiste à découper une phrase et à n’en garder que 3 ou 4 caractères. « Wo huo dai » (我伙呆), abréviation phrastique à partir de « wo he wo de xiao huo ban dou jing dai le » (我和我的小伙伴们都惊呆了, « mes amis et moi sommes stupéfaits »), phrase postée pour la première par un bloggeur chinois en novembre 2011. À la fois court et imagé, ludique et intrigant, ce procédé est très vite apprécié par les internautes initiés chinois. Leur imagination et leur créativité contribuent à la vitalité de la langue chinoise et a donné un nouvel élan au néologisme argotique. Les internautes ont ensuite inventé d’autres abréviations selon le modèle : « he qi liao » (何弃疗) pour « wei he fang qi zhi liao » (为何放弃治疗, « pourquoi tu arrêtes de prendre tes médicaments ? ») pour exprimer ironiquement son désaccord ; « ren jian bu chai » (人艰不拆) pour « ren sheng yi jing ru ci jian nan, you xie shi qing jiu bu yao chai chuan » (人生已经如此艰难,有些事情就不要拆穿, « la vie est tellement dure, des fois il vaudrait mieux ne pas démasquer certaines choses »). D’autres locutions très tendance fin 2015 début 2016 étaient : « ran bing luan » (然并卵) pour « ran er bing mei you shen me luan yong » (然而并没有什么卵用, « ça ne sert à rien » ) ; « cheng hui wan » (城会玩) pour « cheng li ren zhen hui wan » (你们城里人真会玩). Très vite adopté par les internautes chinois, toujours à la recherche de nouvelles idées, ce procédé abréviatif phrastique existant déjà dans l’argot Internet français se voit fleurir sur la toile chinoise.


  • Breaking Japan’s aid policy taboo | East Asia Forum
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/03/10/breaking-japans-aid-policy-taboo
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/20160304001235390212-minihighres-400x303.jpg

    The usage of aid solely to support economic development and not for strategic reasons has been the bedrock principle of Japan’s aid policy since the country first began providing foreign aid to developing countries in 1954. Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Charter unequivocally declared a total prohibition of ‘any use of ODA for military purpose’. But the ODA’s replacement, the Development Cooperation Charter introduced in February 2015, emphasises balancing security and development. The new aid guidelines have broken a policy taboo under which Japan avoided providing ODA to foreign armed forces.

    These changes came at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has comprehensively reformulated Japan’s security policy. Japan’s new National Defence Strategy (NDS) was approved by the cabinet at the end of 2013. This marked a serious transformation of Japan’s security policy from its previous exclusively defence-oriented approach (senshu boei) to one that focuses on making a ‘proactive contribution to peace’ (sekkyoku teki heiwa shugi).

    Abe’s new mantra of proactive pacifism induced two major interrelated policy reforms.

    First, Abe’s new defence strategy paved a path for Japan to participate in the international joint development and production of defence equipment. On 1 April 2014, Abe overturned the country’s self-imposed ban on arms exports that had been introduced in 1967 by his great-uncle, former prime minister Eisaku Sato. Japanese arms makers like Mitsubishi and Kawasaki are cautiously but steadily re-entering the international military hardware market.

    Second, Abe has reinterpreted the Article 9 ‘peace clause’ proclaimed in the Japanese constitution by widening the meaning of ‘self-defence’. On 1 July 2014 the cabinet approved a new interpretation of the constitution that permitted the exercise of ‘the right of collective self-defence’ under certain limitations. Despite widespread protests, the Diet approved the new ‘Legislation for Peace and Security’ in September 2015. Japan’s pacifist party Komeito, a minority partner in the ruling coalition, failed to prevent the enactment of the new security laws.

    In this context Japan’s aid policy reform should be understood as a well-calculated political manoeuvre aimed to harmonise aid policy with the newly adopted national security strategy.

    #Japon #Abenomics


  • Enfin une loi contre les violences domestiques en Chine
    Seeking legal help brings shame on Chinese domestic violence victims despite law - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/972606.shtml

    On March 1, China’s first anti-domestic violence law came into effect. While many applaud this step, some believe that the law will not help victims of domestic violence unless they can be encouraged to break the taboo about discussing family problems with outsiders and reach out for help.

    A policewoman shows women how to protect themselves from attacks in Hefei, East China’s Anhui Province, March 7. Photo: IC

    When Li Dan (pseudonym) first hit his wife about four years ago, she told him she would go to the village’s women’s rights committee, but in reality she didn’t tell anybody, not even her own parents. She was afraid of what people might say.

    Li and his wife were living in a village at the time. When he laid his hands on her, she was six months pregnant with their son. But domestic violence was quite common in their community, which was why his wife was hesitant to speak out. It was not unusual in their community to see men slap their wives in public because of something they said.

    When she finally said something to her family, her parents, while angry at Li, also said to her, “It must’ve been something you said. Why would he hit you for no reason?”

    For many years, victims of domestic violence in China have had to endure such situations because there are few avenues open to those seeking help. The traditional idea that what happens inside the family should be kept secret has also kept many lips sealed.

    The new Anti-Domestic Violence Law which came into effect on March 1 has been seen as a broad step forward, defining domestic violence as physical or psychological harm and laying out punishments for assaulting, restraining, injuring or imprisoning one’s family members, and verbal threats or abuse. However, more resources and help are required to encourage women to come forward and to then help them when they do.

    #CHine #Femmes #Lois


  • Tout arrive... En Chine des “conseillers” officiels critiquent ouvertement le répression menée par Xi Jinping
    Advisers to China’s Communist Party are openly criticizing Xi Jinping’s crackdown on free speech - Quartz
    http://qz.com/633580/advisers-to-chinas-communist-party-are-openly-criticizing-xi-jinpings-crackdown-
    http://app.qz.com/img/qz_og_img.png

    China’s annual meetings of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are underway. Dubbed the “two sessions,” they’re usually staid, well-scripted affairs that generate little controversy, even though 5,000 officials, bureaucrats, and advisers are meeting to discuss China’s future.
    But this year’s proceedings are off to an atypical start. An unusual number of CPPCC members, who serve as advisers to the party from industry and academia, are openly advocating broader freedom in China—and domestic media are even reporting their statements.
    Their comments come as China is in the midst of a severe crackdown on free speech, online information, human rights, and media. Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, outspoken citizens have been silenced, human rights lawyers jailed, restrictions on online and broadcast television increased, and journalists who report on politically sensitive issues face jail time.
    That doesn’t appear to be stopping some Party advisers, though, or local media.


  • Why China needs defense budget raise - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/972271.shtml

    Among all the heated discussions over the Two Sessions, China’s defense budget has attracted the most attention. This is not unusual, because on the path of the nation’s peaceful rise, becoming powerful is consistent with a strengthened military. 

    Generally speaking, China’s national defense and armed forces have a weak foundation. For the moment, the country is trying to improve its defense power to match China’s prosperity, major power status, and to cope with current situation of international politics and military affairs more calmly via national defense and military reforms.

    All this demands that our defense budget should keep an appropriate pace of growth both now and in the future. This year, for example, the military budget in certain fields needs increasing.

    To start with, the current military reform is unprecedented. It requires not only reductions in troop numbers, but also major adjustments to military structures and innovation for combat forces involved in information warfare. Strong support for the military budget is needed for such huge reform and changes.

    In order to establish a new theater command system, the original C4ISR (command and control) system will need to be changed, which means a series of IT adjustments, command links and other changes in military technology in each command organization will take place.

    The retirement of 300,000 personnel also requires more funds. This time, mainly non-combatants will be cut, such as military officers and civilian personnel. Suppose there are around 200,000 military officers and sergeants in total among them, most of whom would choose their future career independently. If each was paid a subsidy of 300,000 yuan ($46,110), the country needs to pay 60 billion yuan altogether.

    Purchasing equipment is another part of the budget. The more advanced the equipment, the more expensive it is. A Chinese type 59 tank cost 600,000 yuan in 1985, but a current type 96 costs 6 million yuan, and a type 99 costs 18 million yuan. This is only one of the examples.

    The nature of China’s future warfare will be defensive. Given China’s strategic policies and operational plans, training exercises to strengthen operational capability are necessary in times of peace. The process will be long in general, yet in hot spots where military conflicts might break out, every minute counts.

    For instance, China can set up a radar warning network in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea and other regions that may have an ADIZ in the future. After China’s battle zones were unveiled, the next step is to integrate military resources, train operational capability in the main battle field, and strengthen battle field constructions on land, sea and air. And it needs a large sum of money.

    Moreover, education and training is also part of the expenditure. Some foreign media and military experts always argue that Chinese armed forces lack training. Why is that? This is mainly due to too small a military budget. 

    Take fight training, fighter pilots from the US and Japan normally spend 180 to 240 hours in the air per year, while ours fly only a bit more than 100 hours each year. This intensified and difficult training requires forceful support from the military budget.

    China’s defense budget in 2015 was 872 billion yuan or $141 billion, while the US allocated $598.5 billion, four times as much as that of China’s. Given its strong military power, the US is now squeezing China’s surrounding strategic environment, paving ways for its rebalance to the Asia-Pacific policy. It has severely influenced our national security.

    An appropriate, limited increase in China’s military budget in 2016 can be afforded by the national economy. In the next 10 years, sustained growth in the defense budget is also predictable, because that is the prerequisite and guarantee of the nation’s safety, dignity, and peaceful emergence.

    The author is a member of the National Committee of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and former deputy commander of the Nanjing military region. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

    #Chine #Dépenses_militaires


  • China’s FX reserves continue to fall but at slower pace | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/1921917/chinas-fx-reserves-continue-fall-slower-pace
    http://cdn3.scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/620x356/public/images/methode/2016/03/07/9734d480-e44a-11e5-9c87-1b0e9fb1e112_image_hires.jpg?itok=B-UVJXw5

    The mainland’s foreign exchange reserves, increasingly a baro­meter of confidence in the economy, continued to fall in February, albeit at a slower pace.

    The reserves fell US$28.6 billion last month to US$3.2 trillion, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China on Monday. That compared to a record drop of US$108 billion in December and a similarly deep fall of US$99 billion in January.

    The data may prompt Beijing to declare capital outflows and market sentiment about the yuan are stabilising, which in turn could help ease fears of a hard landing for the world’s second-largest economy.

    READ MORE: A trillion-dollar question on China’s forex dilemma: just how low should its reserves go?

    Tao Dong, chief economist for non-Japan Asia at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong, said the worst was over in terms of capital outflows.

    Tao said the sharp drops recorded in previous months were not necessarily a reflection of capital flight but were a result of companies shifting dollar debts into local currency ones.

    The yuan rose to a three-week high on Monday after the central bank fixed the reference rate at the strongest level in two months and the US dollar fell against other currencies after weak economic data suggested another interest rate rise may not be around the ­corner.

    Shanghai’s stock market index gained 0.8 per cent.

    #Chine, #Réserves


  • Philippines Will Impound Ship Linked to North Korea - The New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/07/world/asia/philippines-north-korea-sanctions-united-nations-cargo-ship-seizure.html?em
    http://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/03/07/world/07philippines/07philippines-facebookJumbo.jpg

    MANILA — The Philippines will become the first country to enforce tough new United Nations sanctions on North Korea when it begins formal procedures on Monday to impound a cargo vessel linked to the reclusive nation, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

    The Jin Teng, which is suspected of being a North Korean ship, arrived Thursday at Subic Bay, a commercial port about 50 miles northwest of Manila. It will be impounded, its crew will be deported, and it will most likely be inspected by a team from the United Nations, said Charles Jose, a spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

    The vessel is registered and flagged under multiple countries, but it is one of 31 listed as being owned by North Korea, Philippine officials said, and therefore subject to seizure under the new sanctions. The sanctions are a result of a United Nations Security Council resolution that was passed Wednesday after a North Korean nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a long-range rocket test on Feb. 7.

    Continue reading the main story
    RELATED COVERAGE

    U.N. Toughens Sanctions on North Korea in Response to Its Nuclear ProgramMARCH 2, 2016
    Q. and A.: How North Korea Poses a ThreatMARCH 1, 2016
    One component of the new sanctions requires countries to inspect all cargo passing through their territory en route to or from North Korea. Inspections previously had been required only if there was reasonable suspicion of contraband aboard.

    “The world is concerned over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and as a member of the U.N., the Philippines has to do its part to enforce the sanctions,” Manuel L. Quezon III, a member of the president’s communications team, said on a government-run radio station on Saturday.

    The 4,355-ton vessel had a crew of 21 North Korean citizens and was in the Philippines to unload a shipment of agricultural byproducts often used as livestock feed. The Philippine Coast Guard searched the vessel on Friday and found no prohibited items. Only minor safety violations, including missing fire hoses and exposed wiring, were discovered.

    #Corée_du_nord, #sanctions, #Philippines


  • Japon-Corée : les esclaves sexuelles (femmes de réconfort)
    | The Asia-Pacific Journal : Japan Focus
    http://apjjf.org/2016/05/Kitahara.html

    The Flawed Japan-ROK Attempt to Resolve the Controversy Over Wartime Sexual Slavery and the Case of Park Yuha
    Kim Puja , Kitahara Minori , Rumi Sakamoto

    March 1, 2016
    Volume 14 | Issue 5 | Number 3
    Introduction and translation by Rumi Sakamoto

    Kitahara Minori’s Facebook post, 26 January, 2016

    Kim Puja, “New Theory without a Basis? Should We be Lionising Park Yuha?”, Shukan Kinyobi 2015.12.11 (no. 1067)

    Introduction

    To many, the 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement to finally settle the Korean “comfort women” issue came as a surprise. For over two decades Japan’s wartime military sexual slavery remained the single most contentious issue dividing Japan and South Korea, severely affecting the bilateral relations and even becoming a concern for the US, which saw the tension between two of its allies in the Asia Pacific as troublesome. The 2015 comfort women agreement has promised that, with Japan’s one billion yen funding to assist the survivors together with a sincere apology, the “comfort women” issue will be “finally and irrevocably” resolved. While some media hailed this as a landmark resolution and an opening of a new, more positive era for Japan-Korea relations, it has also provoked a deep sense of dissatisfaction and anger among “comfort women” advocacy groups, feminists and the former Korean “comfort women” themselves. It seems clear that the state-state “agreement” (made without any consultation with the survivors) will not restore “dignity and honour” to the victims. After all, one of the origins of current antagonisms surrounding the “comfort women” issue is another state-state deal, the 1965 Japan-ROK Basic Relations Treaty, which failed to address the “comfort women” and closed the door on individual redress claims. The recent agreement is not the end of the “comfort women” issue – especially for the survivors.


  • Today’s Paper - The New York Times
    http://app.nytimes.com

    World Briefing | Asia; India: U.S. Proposes a Naval Coalition

    By ELLEN BARRY

    An Indian naval vessel near Visakhapatnam last month. India has not, to date, shown interest in carrying out joint patrols with the United States, even under the more neutral auspices of counterpiracy operations. Saurabh Das/Associated Press
    NEW DELHI — The chief of the United States Pacific Command, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., on Wednesday proposed reviving an informal strategic coalition made up of the navies of Japan, Australia, India and the United States, an experiment that collapsed a decade ago because of diplomatic protests from China.

    The proposal was the latest in a series of United States overtures to India, a country wary of forming strategic alliances, to become part of a network of naval powers that would balance China’s maritime expansion.

    The American ambassador to India, Richard R. Verma, expressed hope in a speech that “in the not-too-distant future,” joint patrols by navy vessels from India and the United States “will become a common and welcome sight throughout Indo-Pacific waters.”

    And officials have said that the United States is close, after 10 years of demurral from the Indian side, to concluding a logistics agreement that would allow the two countries’ militaries to easily use each other’s resources for refueling and repairs.

    Though he did not specifically mention China on Wednesday, Admiral Harris said powerful countries were seeking to “bully smaller nations through intimidation and coercion,” and made the case that a broad naval collaboration was the best way to avert it.

    “Exercising together will lead to operating together,” he said, before meetings with his Indian counterpart. “By being ambitious, India, Japan, Australia and the United States and so many like-minded nations can aspire to operate anywhere in the high seas and the airspace above it.”

    Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, India has ramped up naval cooperation with the United States. It reacted angrily in 2014 when a Chinese People’s Liberation Army submarine docked in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo, and has warily watched the expansion of one of President Xi Jinping’s priority projects, a maritime “silk road” with major ports in Gwadar, Pakistan, and Chittagong, Bangladesh. When President Obama visited India last year, the two countries issued a joint statement on “the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region,” something India had refused to do in the past.

    Still, some of the American proposals smack of wishful thinking. India has not, to date, shown interest in carrying out joint patrols with the United States, even under the more neutral auspices of counterpiracy operations.


  • Course aux armements en Asie
    THAAD deployment may haunt Northeast Asia in long term - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/971558.shtml

    Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, has recently claimed that neither Seoul nor Washington has agreed to put a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, adding that “the decision to discuss it is not necessarily a decision to do it, not yet.” This is the second moderate remark from the US contrasting with the previous strong tones. Earlier last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry also made clear that the US is “not hungry or anxious to deploy THAAD,” the installment of which is not necessary if North Korea denuclearizes.

    The initial motivation for deploying THAAD on the Korean Peninsula stems from the US rebalancing to Asia-Pacific strategy, which aims at containing both China and Russia. But Washington needs a noble explanation to better implement and promote it. The growing nuclear and missile tests from Pyongyang have hence provided the White House a good excuse to do so.

    However, after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Kerry in Washington last month, the two sides have come to an agreement on a draft resolution to impose tough sanctions against North Korea. Once the UN Security Council gives a green light to the draft, which will force the North to give up nuclear tests and go back to the negotiation table, Washington can no longer use Pyongyang as an excuse for deploying THAAD in South Korea.

    The shift of the US attitude has put Seoul, which is hoping to increase its strategic advantages via THAAD, into a passive diplomatic situation.

    South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo claimed that Washington’s sudden turn of mood is putting Seoul in a tight spot and has awakened Seoul to the stark reality where China and the US are “capable of sidelining South Korea in addressing the issues on the Korean Peninsula.”

    Nevertheless, despite Seoul’s worrying, the US change of stance is not that convincing to China. The issue of THAAD, a vital part of the US international strategy and a significant step to complete Washington’s global missile defense system, has been discussed between the US and South Korea since the administration of former US president George W. Bush. The White House will not easily give it up. It is simply waiting and looking for the next opportunity.

    If there will be any fierce resistance from Pyongyang, or increasing contradictions between Beijing and Washington over the South China Sea or the Diaoyu Islands due to the expansion of the US rebalancing to Asia-Pacific policy, the discussion over THAAD will be hyped up once again.

    China is clearly aware of the impact of THAAD. Once deployed in South Korea, THAAD’s radar range will extend well beyond the Korean Peninsula and effectively cover a large area of both China and Russia. By then, it would pose a serious security threat to not only North Korea, but also a wider region in Northeast Asia.

    When China’s national interests are under serious threat at its doorstep, Beijing will be bound to strike back, and THAAD will hence become the root of long-term trouble that haunts the entirety of Northeast Asia.

    Washington is taking advantage of Seoul over this matter. The later should realize this, instead of constantly sounding China out over the issue of THAAD. It might wish that given its huge economic and trade volume with China, deploying the system would not severely jeopardize bilateral ties.

    If it believes so and deems that China will only protest against it for a limited period, it would be wrong. In light of this, Beijing should clearly warn relevant stakeholders over the consequences of crossing its bottom line.

    Both Washington and Seoul should learn to put themselves in China’s shoes, and try to understand Beijing’s concern over THAAD. If China deploys its own radar systems in Cuba or Canada, how will they respond?


  • It’s good to be German: The world’s most powerful passports - Quartz
    http://qz.com/626927/its-good-to-be-german-the-worlds-most-powerful-passports
    https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/lead_gettyimages-91932639.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=1600

    If you want to travel the world, it pays to be German. This comes courtesy of a new survey that ranks countries around the world on the amount of “travel freedom” accorded to their citizens. Travel freedom is defined as the number of countries where citizens can travel without needing a visa, or where they will receive a visa upon arrival.
    Germans have the most powerful passports in the world, offering visa-free access to 177 countries and territories out of a total of 218, according to the 2016 Visa Restrictions Index compiled by the London-based citizenship and immigration firm Henley & Partners. Germans have held this distinction since 2014. Swedes were close behind, with visa-free access to 176 countries.
    France, Finland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom all tied for third place, with access to 175 countries. United States citizens can drop in visa-free on 174 countries, along with citizens of Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.
    On the bottom of the list, with “the worst passports in the world,” are Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    #Visas


  • Transcript: Zhou Xiaochuan Interview
    http://english.caixin.com/2016-02-15/100909181.html

    aixin: The central bank convened its system-wide annual work conference in January. We learned that before the Spring Festival, the branch offices were studying the decisions adopted at the conference and discussing ways to implement them. Can you briefly describe the major agenda items of the annual work conference?
    Zhou Xiaochuan: In the PBOC’s annual work meetings, we usually discuss and analyze the economic situation and financial market developments in China and beyond, and follow up on our tasks to implement the decisions of the Central Economic Work Conference and to advance financial sector reform. This year, we also discussed at length subjects including the foreign exchange market, the exchange rate, macro-prudential assessment, the central bank’s digital money and Internet banking, etc.
    At present, market participants have different views on the outlook for China’s economic growth, which also affects their assessment of the yuan exchange rate. What is your view on this issue?
    There are indeed differences in the views of the economic situation and financial market developments. It is necessary to analyze the current state of China’s economy in a comprehensive and objective way. Overall, the performance of the economy remains within a reasonably strong range. Against the backdrop of a slowing world economy and global trade, and heightened fluctuations in the international financial markets, China maintained a growth rate of 6.9 percent in 2015, still relatively high compared with other countries.
    The change in China’s growth rate can be attributed in part to weak performance of the global economy. It also reflects the structural adjustment policies adopted by the Chinese government. Such a change is conducive to the ongoing efforts in China to pursue more sustainable and quality growth and is beneficial to the rebalancing of the global economy. Going forward, China will strengthen structural reform, especially supply-side reform, in order to strike a better balance among economic growth, structural adjustment and risk prevention, and to achieve sustainable and steady development.
    In your view, what will be the major driving forces for growth in China?
    China’s savings rate remains quite high and will continue to be translated into high investment. Though part of this investment will be outward investment, its proportion will be very small compared with domestic investment. This will not lead to a moderation of investment gains and a reduction of investment opportunities in China. There is a good basis to keep domestic investment at reasonably high levels.
    Despite the change of comparative advantages in trade, China’s manufacturing industry has enormous advantages in upgrading and transformation, by moving up to the middle and high-end of the value chain. The manufacturing industry is going through short-term adjustments, partly due to environmental requirements, to cut expansion into highly polluting industries that consume lots of energy and resources. In 2015, the service sector as a share of GDP increased from 43 percent to more than 50 percent. The space for further expansion is large. In addition, measures have been taken to ease market access for private capitals. Problems are being solved step by step. The scope for mass entrepreneurship is vast.
    There are widespread concerns about the fall of the GDP growth rate. After remaining in double digits for many years, the growth rate has declined consistently, and fell to 6.9 percent in 2015. This has given rise to pessimistic sentiments.
    Among the views expressed on China’s growth, two factors are worth mentioning. First, China contributed enormously to the global GDP growth in 2009 and 2010. With a population that was 20 percent of the world total and GDP less than 10 percent of the world total, China’s contribution of the global GDP growth was over 50 percent. We must recognize the special circumstances and the sharp contrast between China and other economies at that time. While the advanced economies in Europe and North America were responding to the shocks of the financial crisis, China adopted a stimulus package. This situation is not to be regarded as a norm. For China, 50 percent is not a sustainable level of contribution to global growth. At present, China contributes around 25 percent to the world GDP growth, and this is relatively close to normal. This is not a hand landing at all.
    Another factor is that in the past China put a lot of emphasis on GDP. In fact, looking at worldwide experience, there is not a direct correlation between GDP and the exchange rate, especially the growth of GDP and exchange rate movements. For example, overly rapid GDP growth sometimes causes overheating and high inflation, putting downward pressure on the currency. Some misguided views have been expressed in the debates around the world. In fact, the exchange rate of a currency is related to the international competitiveness and health of the economy of the issuing country.
    When we take a closer look at economic theory and international experience, we see that the current account balance, among all the economic fundamentals, is the most related to exchange rate. In 2015, China’s current account surplus remains massive. In particular, the surplus in the trade of goods reached a historic high of US$ 598.1 billion. There is another fundamental, i.e. movements of real effective exchange rate, or the relative movements of inflation, that affects exchange rate. The inflation target of the United States, Japan and Europe is 2 percent. At the end of 2015, China’s CPI was 1.4 percent, a relatively low level for China. Low inflation is conducive to the stable value of a currency.

    #Chine #Yuan #Banque_centrale


  • Employés japonais : des conditions de travail à la dérive - Asialyst
    https://asialyst.com/fr/2016/01/28/employes-japonais-des-conditions-de-travail-a-la-derive
    https://asialyst.com/fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/JAPON-TRAVAIL-EMPLOYES-SEVEN-ELEVEN.jpg

    Etre salarié au Japon n’est pas une sinécure – le cliché a la vie dure mais la réalité prouve les conditions de travail toujours difficiles des travailleurs. Certains acquis sociaux obtenus en matière de durée légale du travail et d’heures supplémentaires majorées, pourraient être remis en cause en 2016. Le gouvernement de Shinzo Abe souhaite faire passer une réforme de la réglementation du travail qui supprime le paiement des heures supplémentaires.
    Un homme moqué et harcelé au bureau parce qu’un de ses collègues colportait des rumeurs sur sa prétendue homosexualité. Une femme enceinte qui se voit forcée de porter de lourdes charges parce qu’elle a refusé de démissionner à l’annonce de sa grossesse à son patron. Des heures supplémentaires interminables pour des salariés qui finissent par passer leur nuit au bureau sans aucune compensation… La liste des plaintes recensées par des avocats spécialistes du droit du travail semble infinie.
    Si au Japon le droit du travail est bien conçu pour contrer ces dérives et que la durée hebdomadaire du travail est officiellement de 40 heures, « les heures supplémentaires non payées et le harcèlement au travail restent une vieille tradition bien ancrée dans le quotidien des employés », dénonce Makoto Iwade, avocat spécialiste du droit du travail à Tokyo. Malgré quelques évolutions du droit du travail et les efforts de certaines entreprises pour éviter les abus, les Japonais continuent d’effectuer un volume d’heures supplémentaires excessif, parfois non rémunérées, menant certains jusqu’au décès par surmenage (karôshi).

    Quant au harcèlement, il peut prendre des formes très variées selon la Confédération syndicale des travailleurs du Japon. Ainsi, par exemple, un quart des femmes enceintes déclaraient en 2013 avoir subi des pressions morales et physiques pour la simple raison qu’elles attendaient un enfant ou qu’elles venaient d’accoucher. Depuis à peine 4 ans, les autorités nippones commencent à s’intéresser à ces abus.

    Un cadre juridique existant mais qui risque de s’affaiblir

    C’est en 1987 qu’une politique de réduction du temps de travail a commencé à être engagée. Elle a permis un abaissement de la durée hebdomadaire de 48 à 46 heures au 1er avril 1988, puis de 46 à 40 heures au 1er avril 1993. S’en est suivie la réforme du droit du travail d’avril 2010, où il a été décidé que « si les heures accomplies au-delà de la durée légale du travail dépassent 60 heures par mois, elles doivent être rémunérées à un taux majoré d’au moins 50 % ». Si une convention collective a été signée, le taux précédent de 25 % est maintenu mais se cumule avec des repos compensatoires. Pour Makoto Iwade, « cette loi a constitué une véritable avancée au Japon, même si elle peut paraître normale dans les pays européens ».

    #Japon #Droit_du_travail


  • Baisse de la population en âge de travailler en Chine
    China’s working-age population dropped by record number in 2015 | CER
    http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/node/68248
    SSE Comp 2916.5624 1.25% SZSE Comp 10111.567 1.36% CSI 300 3113.463 1.04% Hang Seng 19080.510 2.90% USD-CNY 6.2096 0.039% Data courtesy of
    China’s working-age population dropped by record number in 2015
    Friday, January 22, 2016
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    China’s working age (16-59) population dropped by a record 4.87 million in 2015, bringing its workforce to 911 million, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics. The accelerating fall correlates with a fall in migrant workers, who decreased in 2015 by 5.68 million to 247 million people—the first drop in three decades. The country’s shrinking labor pool is helping up wages, with advocacy group China Labour Bulletin recording 2,774 labor incidents in 2015, double the previous year’s figure. The United Nations projects that the number of Chinese over the age of 65 will jump 85% to 243 million by 2030, up from 131 million this year.


  • Le TPP, un levier pour la restructuration agricole vu par le Vietnam

    Le Courrier du VietNam
    http://lecourrier.vn/le-tpp-un-levier-pour-la-restructuration-agricole/231291.html
    http://imagelecourrier.vnanet.vn/uploaded/2016/1/22/10251481630-3101a1.jpg

    Quand l’Accord de partenariat transpacifique (TPP) entrera en vigueur, les produits agricoles du Vietnam pourront être écoulés au sein d’un marché fort de 600 millions de consommateurs. Un chiffre qui explique la raison pour laquelle cet accord est considéré comme « l’un des leviers de la restructuration de l’agriculture et de l’aquaculture du pays », souligne Hà Công Tuân, vice-ministre de l’Agriculture et du Développement rural lors d’une récente réunion de son ministère.

    Avantages par rapport à l’Inde et à la Thaïlande

    Le vice-ministre Hà Công Tuân estime que le TPP, qui réunira 12 pays représentant 40% du PIB mondial et 20% du total des échanges commerciaux de la planète, permettra au Vietnam de réduire progressivement sa dépendance envers plusieurs de ses marchés traditionnels, qui sont d’ailleurs amenés à évoluer. La plupart de pays membres du TPP sont en effet de grands consommateurs de produits vietnamiens - notamment de produits agricoles et aquatiques. La majorité des produits agricoles seront exemptés de taxes. « Aussi seront-ils plus compétitifs, notamment les denrées aquacoles et les objets en bois », souligne Hà Công Tuân.

    Aujourd’hui, les objets en bois exportés vers les États-Unis et le Japon représentent respectivement 39% et 19% du total des exportations nationales. Les produits aquatiques destinés aux États-Unis 19%, et au Japon 16%. Le pays aura donc un avantage de taille par rapport à l’Inde et à la Thaïlande lors de l’expédition des produits de l’aquaculture sur ces deux marchés d’envergure.

    Changer les habitudes de production

    Grâce au TPP, le Vietnam sera aussi plus à même d’intégrer les avancées technologiques des pays membres. L’occasion d’entamer une restructuration dans le secteur agricole grâce à l’application de ses nouvelles technologies. Et Hà Công Tuân de préciser que le TPP aidera aussi le Vietnam à attirer davantage d’investisseurs étrangers.


  • Chinese President Xi Jinping pushes trade over politics in Middle East | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1903728/chinese-president-xi-jinping-pushes-trade-over-politics
    http://cdn1.scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/620x356/public/images/methode/2016/01/22/8de22a9a-c050-11e5-9503-d84cbca18933_image_hires.jpg?itok=ql1idclO

    President Xi Jinping (習近平) is due to arrive in Iran today after ­outlining China’s policy in the Arab world as Beijing pursues a bigger diplomatic presence in the region.

    Xi delivered a speech at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, which groups 22 Arabic nations, on Thursday after a stop in Saudi Arabia.

    He said China would set up a US$20 billion common investment fund with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and pledged 230 million yuan (HK$273.4 million) in humanitarian aid for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen. Beijing would also give US$300 million to boost China-Arab law enforcement cooperation, Xinhua reported.

    Xi said development was the solution to easing unrest in the Middle East, and China did not seek to foster proxies or build a sphere of influence in the region.

    During his stay in Cairo, Xi said China and the Arab world would together map their own path to development, defend peace in the region, promote mutually beneficial cooperation and advocate multiculturalism.

    Mainland diplomatic observers said China was positioning itself as a key player in the Middle East using its economic muscle.

    China’s Foreign Ministry last week issued the nation’s first policy paper on developing ties with the Arab region, stressing that Beijing would place energy cooperation at the core, push forward infrastructure construction and facilitate trade and investment. It would also pursue breakthroughs in technologies in nuclear energy, space-based communications and new energy.

    Li Guofu, a Middle East affairs expert said China was attempting to show it would be a “practical” player in the region through ­infrastructure projects. Wang Wen, a researcher from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University, said “assisting local economic growth through infrastructure development and trade is what China is good at” and also something that locals “would not ­reject”.

    After massive economic deals signed in Saudi Arabia, Xi told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that China was willing to participate in Egypt’s key projects like the development of the Suez Canal Corridor and the construction of a new administrative ­capital.

    These two projects were central to Sisi’s plans to stimulate Egypt’s economy, in which Chinese investment and participation would be crucial, Li said.

    The Suez Canal project, which adds a 35km second shipping lane to the existing 164km passageway, was completed last year to ease ship traffic between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

    Li said the largest challenge facing Sisi’s administration was improving his people’s livelihood.

    “It is where China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ development plan comes in,” Li said.

    In Saudi Arabia, Xi vowed to speed up free-trade talks with the region, and signalled support for Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, which is fighting the Iran-allied Houthi militia.

    Beijing will be closely watched on how it strikes a balance between Riyadh and Tehran, which recently severed diplomatic ties after Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric. Wang said China was expected to sign lucrative deals with Iran as well, and would refrain from getting deeply involved in the disputes between Riyadh and Tehran.
    #Chine, #Iran,#Arabie_Saoudite


  • Ontée de l’intolérance en Inde nterview : William Dalrymple | The Diplomat
    http://thediplomat.com/2016/01/william-dalrymple-speaks-on-the-jaipur-literature-festival
    http://thediplomat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/thediplomat_2016-01-19_04-30-25-553x360.jpg

    The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is entering its ninth iteration this month. Known as the world’s largest free literary festival and “the greatest literary show on earth,” the has JLF in a short period of time surpassed all other literary festivals in the world in terms of sheer size. Last year, approximately 245,000 people visited the festival over the course of its five days. For many, the JLF has become an annual fixture and an important pilgrimage in their yearly calendar.

    The importance of the festival can be gauged from the fact that almost all contemporary great international writers have descended on Jaipur to be part of the annual literary jamboree. William Dalrymple is not only a prominent face at the event, but also a founding member of the JLF. He plays a crucial role in bringing renowned guests from across the world. Himself a celebrated author and historian, Dalrymple, along with Namita Gokhale and Sanjoy K. Roy have given the medieval city of Jaipur a new identity. The India-based British author believes that such a literary festival not only acts as a chronicler of democracy, but also catalyzes and abets a modern society.

    The Diplomat’s Sanjay Kumar spoke with Dalrymple a week before the JLF, which begins on January 21.

    What’s new for JLF 2016?

    Each year, my list is four-fifths international authors who have never been to the festival before. Out of 70 writers coming the to JLF this year, sixty are here for the first time. All of them are major literary figures from different parts of the world. For example, in fiction, we have Margaret Atwood, a major international star, David Grossman from Israel, and the Booker prize winner, Marlon James. In non fiction, Niall Ferguson and Thomas Piketty are coming. We have an amazing line up.

    How different is the JLF from other literary festivals?

    I am surprised how different we are from other literary festivals, considering that most of the festivals in India are copies of our model. But there are three which are serious: the Hindu Literary Festival, and the Chennai Times Literary Fest in Delhi and Mumbai. Even they have only three or four international writers but we have seventy. We have twenty times more international writers than any other literary festival in India. They are not only international writers, but they are the greatest names in their fields. We have Oxford and Cambridge alumni, Nobel prize winners, a Pulitzer winner and a whole list of Booker Prize winners. We are also the only festival in India where you have proper place for regional, or bhasha writing. We give a huge space to authors writing in Indian languages other than English. The credit for organizing this goes to my colleague, Namita Gokhale. No literary festival in the country encompasses as wide a range of world literature as well as the linguistic diversity of Indian writing.

    How far has the ongoing intolerance debate in India shaped your preparations for the JLF this time?

    We have always been very clear on the need for the freedom of speech. A few years ago, when Salman Rushdie was invited, it sparked such a huge controversy that he had to cancel his appearance. But we fought bitterly for his right to come to the JLF. In a situation where three writers have been assassinated in India in recent times, there is an enormous need for solidarity among writers. This is a crucial element of what we do in Jaipur. That said, this is not a new problem. “The Satanic Verses” was banned by a Congress government. Writers have to fight against the government across the globe in a variety of political contexts. This is a very complicated issue; in fact, this is a war that has been ongoing for a long time. Writers versus the state is an old battle. We have sessions where we invite discussion regarding the issue of intolerance and freedom of speech in the festival.

    #Inde #Dalrymple


  • Pékin plutôt modéré après les élections d’une présidente indépendantiste à Taiwan

    Compared with previous Taiwan elections, both the central government in Beijing and the mainland public reacted differently to the victory of Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, who has long been seen as a pro-separatist figure.Chinese mainlanders’ interest in Taiwan democracy fades - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/964249.shtml

    As campaigning came to an end and Taiwan chose its new leader in a democratic election, across the Taiwan Straits, the election’s result has left many anxious about the future and mainlanders’ skepticism of the island’s democratic system is continuing to grow.

    The mainland authorities exhibited a reserved attitude following the announcement of the election results. A statement issued by the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in response to Tsai Ing-wen’s victory did not even mention the name of Taiwan’s new “president” or her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). It only says that the mainland’s policies towards Taiwan are “consistent and clear, and will not change with the results of Taiwan elections.”

    This is in stark contrast to Beijing’s attitude in 2004, when then DPP Chairman Chen Shui-bian was re-elected the “president” of Taiwan. Back then, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, angry about his pro-independence stance, held press conferences to criticize his apparent intention to declare Taiwan’s independence.

    Commentators say one reason is that China’s economic influence, which grew rapidly in the past decade, makes it more confident about its relationship with Taiwan and that the Chinese mainland now has more say in the cross-Straits relationship. “Since Taiwan relies heavily on its economic ties with the mainland, the initiative in the cross-Straits relationship is in the hands of the Chinese mainland,” Hu Benliang, a research fellow with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

    Some rightist commentators, however, praised Tsai’s rationality and persistence during her electorial campaign, and said the successful election is a victory for Taiwan’s system. Feminists in the Chinese mainland also welcomed Tsai’s victory, saying the election of Taiwan’s first female “president” is a victory for feminism.

    In sharp contrast, some leftist bloggers, or those whose opinions side with the central government took a hard line toward Taiwan’s new leadership.

    Zhou Xiaoping, a popular nationalist blogger, wrote a “public letter” to Taiwan on his Weibo after the election. “In the past, the Chinese mainland was relatively poor compared with the wealth of Taiwan. But now, the Chinese mainland is much richer, while the economy of Taiwan has remained stagnant for over a decade … if you [Taiwan] continue to be obstinate, you will be the one to lose the opportunity to future development,” he wrote.

    Some even suggested enforcing an economic embargo on the region if the new Taiwan leadership challenges the one-China policy. Sima Nan, a leftist scholar, wrote a commentary after Tsai’s victory, arguing that China should study how to turn its economic advantage into a political advantage over Taiwan. In a patronizing article, he described the over $100 billion trade surplus that Taiwan enjoyed over the mainland each year as “a favor” that the mainland does to Taiwan, and said Taiwan is not returning the favor or showing any sense of gratitude. “As [the DPP] steps into power, and refuses to agree to the one-China policy, is it still necessary for us to continue this support?” he said in the article.

    While mainstream opinion does not embrace the idea of using force to capture Taiwan, voices advocating that the mainland should force Taiwan to reunite with the mainland through military intervention have revived since Tsai’s election. Many brought up the Anti-Succession Law, which offers legal support to using non-peaceful means against Taiwan’s independence movement in the event of a declaration of independence.

    Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of the Nanjing regional military command, said in an article prior to the election that if Taiwan people elect a separatist as their “president,” they are choosing war."I suggest Taiwan military compare their forces with Nanjing’s military region … and gauge their chances of winning [the war] … Don’t mislead Taiwan people and let them become the sacrifices of Taiwan separatists," he wrote.

    Mixed feelings toward elections

    Taiwan previously enjoyed a golden era of economic development and was once admired by many mainlanders as a role model. In the 1980s and 90s, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea were known as the “Four Asian Tigers” for their rapid development and for successfully navigating the 1998 financial crisis.

    However, the attitude of mainlanders toward Taiwan’s democratic political system has changed over the years.

    As the only region in the Chinese-speaking world to adopt universal suffrage to choose its leaders, the development of the democratic system of Taiwan has been closely watched across the Taiwan Straits.

    In 2012, mainland focus on the elections snowballed in the weeks beforehand. Some even decided to fly to Taiwan and observe it firsthand, including Wang Shi, chairman of China’s largest residential real estate developer Vanke, who live-blogged the election on Weibo. Some media speculators believed that election showed mainlanders how democracy could work in a Chinese society. After the election in 2012, there was a lot of discussion on the matter.

    But since then, the mainland public’s attitude towards Taiwan’s system has changed. After this election, even though many still expressed their envy of Taiwan’s democracy, on the Internet people mocked the results of the election as well as the Taiwan public.

    This echoes mainlanders’ rising skepticism of Taiwan, as seen in netizens’ reaction to controversies over the Taiwan-mainland relationship.

    In the past couple of years, an influential factor in ties has been the demonstrations in Taiwan against the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA), which is a major cooperation system to secure economic ties with the mainland. On March 18, 2014 hundreds of people, mostly university students, occupied the main assembly hall of the legislature in Taipei to protest the Kuomintang’s push for the pact.

    Most mainlanders supported the CSSTA which would bring Taiwan closer to the mainland, and when some Taiwan celebrities openly supported the demonstrations, netizens reacted by commenting on their social media that these stars should “get out of the mainland.” While this event marked many Taiwan young people’s first foray into democratic politics, across the Straits many mainlanders saw the events as proof that democratic systems bring chaos, with some starting to relish the consistency of the CPC system rather than the quarreling of a democratic system.

    Hu said an uncontrollable element that may hinder the development of a closer relationship between Taiwan and the mainland is the opposition of Taiwan public opinion.

    In 1987, then Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo abolished martial law and ended the era of the Kuomintang’s authoritarian rule over the island. That ushered in the island’s democracy, and over the decades, the system developed itself as people on the mainland watched carefully.

    Hu said at first people in the mainland might have been proud that democracy was realized in a non-Western region. Besides, the mainland has many social issues and democracy seemed like it might a be good way to solve them.

    But after 20 years of practice, people are beginning to see that democracy cannot solve everything, especially given that Taiwan’s economy has been slipping despite its democratic development.

    This is echoed by mainland students who are studying in Taiwan. After the recent election, Han Xin, an exchange student from the mainland studying journalism at Taiwan University, wrote a column for guancha.cn in which he argued that people like him have become disappointed in Taiwan’s politics after seeing how the elections were carried out.

    One classmate told him that elections have become a finger-pointing war between the parties. “The point of the election was not to bring forward policies on improving Taiwan’s society, but to win over the public’s votes,” he wrote.

    Another classmate told Han that the public in Taiwan doesn’t care much about issues during elections and focuses on candidates’ morals and values. For example, in all the debates, the issue of nuclear power was never really discussed fully, but people simply voted for the individual they prefer, Han wrote.

    #Taiwan #Chine


  • China income inequality among world’s worst — FT.com
    https://next.ft.com/content/3c521faa-baa6-11e5-a7cc-280dfe875e28?ftcamp=crm/email/2016115/nbe/ChinaBusiness/product
    http://com.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonaws.com/d22a394c-bab3-11e5-bf7e-8a339b6f2164

    Communist China has one of the world’s highest levels of income inequality, with the richest 1 per cent of households owning a third of the country’s wealth, a report from Peking University has found.

    The poorest 25 per cent of Chinese households own just 1 per cent of the country’s total wealth, the study found.

    China’s Gini coefficient for income, a widely used measure of inequality, was 0.49 in 2012, according to the report. The World Bank considers a coefficient above 0.40 to represent severe income inequality.

    Among the world’s 25 largest countries by population for which the World Bank tracks Gini data, only South Africa and Brazil are higher at 0.63 and 0.53, respectively. The figure for the US is 0.41, while Germany is 0.3.

    #Chine #inégalités


  • The US the big winner in ‘comfort women’ agreement | East Asia Forum
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/01/07/the-us-is-the-big-winner-in-comfort-women-agreement
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/20160103001215862700-minihighres-400x248.jpg

    South Korea had few incentives to resolve an issue that allowed it to exercise the moral authority of victimhood. And Japan was not shy about expressing its frustration with its neighbour’s criticism of Tokyo’s handling of past wrongs.

    So how was the agreement reached, and what does it mean?

    The Japan–South Korea deal over ‘comfort women’ was the work of the trilateral relationship between Japan, the United States and South Korea, out of which the United States emerged as the biggest winner and South Korea the loser.

    The primary pusher of the agreement was the Obama administration. With a rising China, the United States could no longer afford for its two major allies in East Asia to be divided. Washington has been pressuring both Japan and South Korea to make mutual concessions over lingering history problems. Obama’s message was loud and clear: shake it off and move forward.

    Washington has also been increasingly wary of the rising number of petitions relating to Northeast Asian politics lodged on the White House website. The Obama administration had to respond to petitions signed by over 100,000 people on territorial disputes, the establishment of statues commemorating the ‘comfort women’ on US soil and history textbooks. The ‘comfort women’ issue is increasingly becoming a domestic as well as a diplomatic issue for the United States.

    In this context, President Obama emphasised the need for Japan and South Korea to mend ties and increase cooperation during his visit to Tokyo and Seoul in 2014. Obama reiterated this message by convening a tripartite meeting in The Hague later the same year.

    Japan responded quickly and decisively. During his Capital Hill speech in April 2015, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made it very clear that Japan will support the United States in seeking to contain China. Abe made two big pledges to the American government. Japan would become a more active partner in the US–Japan bilateral security relationship by enacting new national security legislation. And it would continue its conciliatory policy vis-à-vis its former victim countries in Asia. Abe assured the United States that his policy towards Japan’s war history would remain unchanged from previous administrations.

    Abe lived up to his pledges. The new security law was passed in early September 2015. This revolutionary measure will reshape the scope and content of Japan’s military manoeuvrings in the global theatre. The Japanese leader also kept his promise to uphold the stance adopted in the Kono and Murayama statements. Abe extended apologies and expressed remorse over Japan’s past wrongs during his 70th anniversary statement of Japan’s defeat in 1945. Abe proved himself to be capable of not only ‘talking the talk’, but also ‘walking the walk’.

    The ball was then in South Korea’s court. The current Park Geun-hye administration has been swinging between Beijing and Washington since her term began in 2013. Park, who was initially known for her anti-Japanese orientation, decided to cut a deal with Tokyo on ‘comfort women’ before the 50th anniversary year of the South Korea–Japan Normalization Treaty ended. The day the agreement was announced, 28 December, was the last working day in 2015 for both South Korea and Japan.

    While Abe is enjoying rosy reviews of the agreement, the Park administration is drawing fire from various domestic corners of opposition. The surviving ‘comfort women’, a total of 46 women with an average age of 89, have not contained their anger about being excluded from the negotiation process. The compensation offered by Japan, roughly US$180,000 per person, is regarded as insufficient given the nature and duration of the victim’s suffering.

    But the real hot potato is the South Korean government’s pledge to ‘strive to solve’ the issue of relocating the ‘comfort women’ statue built by activists in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul ‘in an appropriate manner’. This is not going to be an easy task. South Korean NGOs have voiced their dissatisfaction with the bilateral agreement and are planning to continue to hold their weekly Wednesday rally in front of the statue, as they have done since 1992. The Seoul government’s efforts are bound to fall short in persuading civilian activists.

    The domestic backlash will come at a hefty price for the Park administration. Domestic critics will question her government’s decision to support what is seen as a last-minute trade-off between national honour and mediocre financial gains. Park’s party is expected to suffer repercussions in the upcoming general elections this April. Competing against Abe to respond to US pressure to come to an agreement was certainly politically costly.

    In Japan, the general atmosphere is one of relief. An irreversible deal has finally been struck, and it exempts Japan’s future generations from being held accountable for the sins committed by their forefathers. The only remaining chore is the government’s funding of the agreed 1 billion yen (about US$8.3 million) in compensation.

    More than anything, the agreement has proven that US leadership is alive and well in East Asia. The agreement is a powerful reminder to China that the US pivot to Asia is a viable strategy. China’s ability to use the history card against Japan will lose its steam with South Korea’s concession. And collaborative efforts by China and South Korea, such as the joint application to include records relating to ‘comfort women’ in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, will be put on hold. The Obama administration has managed to send a clear message to President Xi Jinping that East Asia is still under US headship.

    Mikyoung Kim is an associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, Hiroshima City University.

    #Femmes_de_confort #Corée_du_Sud #Japon #Etats-Unis


  • Economics will determine Taiwan election | East Asia Forum
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/01/09/economic-policy-will-determine-taiwan-election
    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/20160106001216847518-minihighres-400x263.jpg

    The campaign for Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election on 16 January 2016 is one of the most surprising in the island’s political history. In past presidential elections, candidates mainly campaigned on divisive ideological issues such as Taiwanese self-identification and whether Taiwan should become independent or unify with mainland China. Yet this time candidates have not framed their campaigns according to those traditional cleavages.

    Instead they are all trying to persuade voters that they can maintain — to use Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s phrasing — a ‘consistent, predictable and sustainable’ relationship with China. The focus now is on policies to boost Taiwan’s economy, rather than the question of independence. This means that the ability to maintain cross-Strait economic and trade relations will likely be essential to Taiwan’s next president.

    Economic voting theory predicts that voters will elect the ruling party when the economy is prosperous but vote for the opposition when the economy is in recession. In line with this theory the key to winning the Taiwanese election seems to be to persuade voters that candidates are capable and experienced in handling economic issues.

    From this perspective, the Kuomintang (KMT) losing this election is likely, if not inevitable. Current President Ma Ying-jeou won two elections in 2008 and 2012 because voters put faith in his economic performance. His manifesto claimed that in order to improve Taiwan’s economy, Taiwan must improve its relationship with mainland China.

    But Ma’s economic policies have failed over the past eight years and he has broken many campaign promises. Ordinary people in Taiwan have not seen significant economic benefits from improved cross-Strait relations. The so-called ‘cross-Strait peace dividends’ have not spilled over to the general public but have primarily benefited the upper socio-economic class.

    The general public has consequently become increasingly sceptical about the value of deeper integration with mainland China. Debates over integration have become dominated by concerns about Taiwan’s national security with little attention given to the potential boost greater economic ties could give Taiwan’s troubled economy. These accumulated concerns were reflected in the Sunflower Movement in March 2014, which saw students occupy Taiwan’s legislative assembly to protest, among other things, the KMT’s handling of a new trade deal with China.

    Polls suggest that disappointed economic voters will likely replace the KMT with the opposition DPP. The DPP is considered a driving force of Taiwanese independence. The biggest challenge for a DPP government in the future would therefore be to gain Beijing’s trust — without it, instability associated with poor cross-Strait relations may lead to an economic downturn.

    Beijing’s mistrust of the DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen stems from the fact that her vision for Taiwan does not match China’s expectations for future reunification. Tsai participated in creating the ‘two state’ theory in the Lee Teng-hui era. She also publicly rejected both the ‘one China’ principle and the so-called ‘1992 Consensus’ in her last presidential campaign in 2012.

    And while Tsai has pledged that she will maintain the status quo, she has failed to clearly define how she would do so. Nor did she explain how she would keep cross-Strait relations peaceful and progressive while denying the 1992 Consensus. These factors fuel Chinese suspicion of her as a prospective president.
    #Taiwan #Elections_2016


  • The Great Malaise Continues by Joseph E. Stiglitz - Project Syndicate
    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/great-malaise-global-economic-stagnation-by-joseph-e--stiglitz-20

    The only cure for the world’s malaise is an increase in aggregate demand. Far-reaching redistribution of income would help, as would deep reform of our financial system – not just to prevent it from imposing harm on the rest of us, but also to get banks and other financial institutions to do what they are supposed to do: match long-term savings to long-term investment needs.
    But some of the world’s most important problems will require government investment. Such outlays are needed in infrastructure, education, technology, the environment, and facilitating the structural transformations that are needed in every corner of the earth.
    The obstacles the global economy faces are not rooted in economics, but in politics and ideology. The private sector created the inequality and environmental degradation with which we must now reckon. Markets won’t be able to solve these and other critical problems that they have created, or restore prosperity, on their own. Active government policies are needed.

    #Crise #banque #Gouvernements #J.Stiglitz


  • Nuclear test to dampen ties with China, escalate tensions - Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/962280.shtml

    China on Wednesday said it was not notified of and “firmly” opposes North Korea’s latest nuclear test, with analysts believing the test will severely affect relations between the two countries and escalate geopolitical tensions.

    “China is steadfast in its position that the Korean Peninsula should be denuclearized and nuclear proliferation should be prevented to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced at a press briefing on Wednesday.

    China will make solemn representations with North Korea, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

    China knew nothing about the test before North Korea announced that it had done so, Hua said when asked if China had been informed ahead of time.

    “We strongly urge North Korea to honor its commitment to denuclearize, and to cease any action that may deteriorate the situation,” Hua said.

    North Korea on Wednesday said it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device.

    The test, the fourth time the isolated state has detonated a nuclear device, was ordered by its leader Kim Jong-un, and was successfully conducted at 10 am local time.

    “The statement shows China’s consistent attitude toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as its discontent over North Korea’s failure to provide China with advance notice,” a Beijing-based professor, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

    “Bilateral relations between China and North Korea are experiencing an abnormal phase. The lack of high-level visits and incidents, such as the cancelation of the Moranbong Band’s performance in China, have already cooled relations. Launching the nuclear test without informing China would make things even worse,” he said.

    His views were echoed by Cui Zhiying, director of the Korean Peninsula Research Center at Tongji University, who said China may join other countries in discussing the situation soon, as the nuclear test goes against the country’s regional strategy.

    North Korea’s nuclear test is expected to have a significant global impact. 

    “Currently, ties between the Koreas show no signs of recovering. The US is still applying its ’Strategic Patience’ policy, declining North Korea’s demands. That is why North Korea wanted to announce a successful test of a hydrogen bomb at this time,” Jin Qiangyi, director of Asia Research Center, China’s Yanbian University, told the Global Times.

    Ren Weidong, an associate research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the frequent military drills conducted by the US, Japan and South Korea around the Korean peninsula have placed great pressure on North Korea.

    Since conventional weapons did not adequately deal with the threat, North Korea naturally turned to nuclear weapons, which are the most efficient and effective security guarantee for them, Ren said.

    The North Korean nuclear issue has always been at the center of clashes with world powers. It provides the US an excuse to deploy its military power in the Far East, while Japan seizes on it to militarize, Gao Fei, a political scientist at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

    Global reaction

    The US said Wednesday it could not confirm North Korea’s claims, but added that the US would respond appropriately to provocations and defend its allies.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Tokyo will make a “firm response” to North Korea at the UN Security Council.

    South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with the US ambassador and the commander of the US military in South Korea to discuss North Korea’s nuclear test, while the South Korean military was placed on alert as it vowed to forge a united stance with the international community to punish North Korea for the test, Yonhap News reported.

    The nuclear test may lead to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea, which may provoke China and Russia, experts said.

    “It offers the US and its allies an excuse to counterbalance China’s and Russia’s influence in the region,” Gao said.

    Russia slammed the test as a “flagrant violation” of international law, while the EU said the test was a “grave violation” of UN resolutions.

    India Wednesday also condemned the test and urged North Korea to refrain from actions that affect peace. The UN Security Council is planning to hold an emergency meeting to discuss North Korea’s latest action.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon Wednesday demanded North Korea to cease any nuclear activities and meet its obligations for verifiable denuclearization. He called the test “profoundly destabilizing for regional security.”

    Wang Haifeng, Fan Lingzhi, Liu Xin contributed to this story

    #CoréeDuNord #Chine