Uncertainties of North Korea's Outlook

By He Qinglian on 

The most watched news these days should be the death of Kim Jong-il, the dictator of North Korea. Yet the attention the international community has on the matter is of mixed feelings.

Background analysis of the soft solution to Wukan Incident

By He Qinglian on Dec 22, 2011
(translated by kRiZcPEc)

This year is drawing to a close in China with colors brighter than the last: the tragic death of Qian Yunhui, chief of Zhaiqiao village, Leqing, Zhejiang in 2010 ended the year with sadness. This year, however, villagers at Wukan village, Shanwei, Guangdong marked the end of it with their persistent protests, an ending that made the Chinese people feel somewhat relieved. There are still something to worry about though. For example, retaliation from the government in future; and how the core issue that triggered this standoff—land sell would be solved remains to be seen.

Beijing as an Outcast

By He Qinglian on December 12, 2011

After a succession of diplomatic setbacks in the last two years, this year has been even worse for Beijing. In just the several weeks from G-20 Summit and APEC Summit in early November to East Asia Summit in the middle of that month, the United States has initiated frequent offensives that were seamlessly interrelated and ended with the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the East Asia Summit. The result: the United States got a complete victory, returning to the Pacific politically and militarily; and China suffered a total defeat, losing the dominant position of the Asia-Pacific region that the country thought was firmly within its grip.

U.S. capital reflux, the crucial bond between China and the United States began to loosen—a retrospective of changes in Sino-American relations (two)

By He Qinglian on November 29, 2011
(translated by kRiZcPEc)

As said in the previous article, one of the main reasons the Sino-American relations has changed was that one American multinational giant after another withdrew from the Chinese market. China only acknowledged that there had been instances of U.S. businesses withdrawal, but denied that it had become a trend. In its research report, Made in the USA, Again, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) pointed out that “the [gap of production costs] with China shrinks”, U.S. enterprises had left China and moved back to America. What were once made in China are now made in America. (Source in Chinese)

Why China-U.S. ties are falling apart: a retrospective of changes in Sino-American relations (one)

By He Qinglian on November 25, 2011 

There are signs that the Sino-American wedding bed is quickly falling apart, and no remedy is possible in the near future. Apart from U.S. President Barack Obama's tough talk that criticized China for not abiding by international rules and its “not being invited” to Trans-Pacific Partnership, there was an even more important directional indicator: the annual report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. In that report forty-three recommendations had been listed, the first of which was: the U.S. Congress should commission the National Security Council to carry out assessments of the current China policy.

Confucius Peace Prize a mirror for Putin

Confucius Peace Prize: A Mirror For Putin 
Written by He Qinglian on November 22, 2011
There is nothing more embarrassing in the world than when someone solemnly gives out an award, believing that it brings honor to a recipient who sees that as a disgrace and shows contempt by remaining silence. Such an incident has just occurred: China International Center for Peace Studies (CICPS) awarded in November this year Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the Second Confucius Peace Prize, to which both Putin himself and the Russian government have been unresponsive.

How to make China happy?

How to make China happy?
By He Qinglian on November 17, 2011

China has been very upset recently. The US-led APEC summit commenced with China not being invited to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement; at the same time, the ANZUS treaty was renewed, an incident that upset China all the more.

Emigration: the move to flee from the fatalistic spell of Socialism

By He Qinglian on November 8, 2011
Translated from: http://voachineseblog.com/heqinglian/2011/11/immigration/

While Russia has in formality completed a round of “democratization”, China still insists to stick with what the CCP refers to as the “Socialist path”. There is one thing these two countries have in common in the last two years: their citizens would try everything possible means to emigrate if they meet the necessary financial requirements.

Has China the Capacity to Save Europe?

Has China the Capacity to Save Europe?
Written by He Qinglian on November 3, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)
[Words in brackets are added by translator]

In this half a year or so, the expectation that China would invest and rescue the EU became the pillar of faith that hold up the Euro market. On October 28, after being lobbied by various EU members, China's Vice Foreign Minister, Fu Ying, officially announced that “the proposition of China rescuing Europe does not exist”. The topic that was being heatedly discussed for months has finally settled. Now that Beijing is determined not to assume the role of “White Knight” to save Europe, European leaders like Nicholas Sarkozy will have to discard their illusion and rely on themselves to weather this crisis.

The Downfall of Gaddafi overshadows Beijing

The Downfall of Gaddafi overshadows Beijing
By He Qinglian on Oct 24, 2011
[translated from http://voachineseblog.com/heqinglian/2011/10/gadhafis-death-and-beijing/]

Reading reports and commentaries about Muammar Gaddafi by Chinese media, I got the impression that somehow the death of this dictator gets on every nerve of China, the distant nation in the East. While the Chinese public cheer his downfall in all sorts of ways, the reaction from the government cannot be more different: by resorting to various expressions to stress the cost, and the cruelty of Libyan civil war, the officials deliberately portray this spontaneous resistance of the people as a Western plot to get oil.

On “Occupy Wall Street” and Its implications

On “Occupy Wall Street”and Its implications
By He Qinglian  
Translated from: http://biweekly.hrichina.org/article/1238

Before Oct 15, the world thought “Occupy Wall Street” was the problem of the United States alone. Beijing in particular saw it as the American people's opposition to American capitalism, and said explicitly, merrily that this time round it got even with U.S. media which had been reporting for years "negative news" of China. It was after the day the Occupy movement was held in seventy-one countries across the world that people began to realize things are not so simple. The theme of the Occupy movement is to oppose such economic and social problems as unfair financial order, and the wealth gap. Many protesters also called on their government to cut expenditure. To be fair, no country in the world is not troubled by these problems. It's only that the institutional causes of such problems and the measures governments have taken to deal with them varies significantly.

Why China Leads the World in Mental Illness

By He Qinglian

The Guangzhou-based weekly newspaper Southern Weekend recently published an article titled “Serious ‘Political Mental Illness’ Shows the Harsh Political Environment in China.” The main point of the article is that the huge mental pressure on Chinese government officials is leading to widespread mental illness among officials.

This problem is especially serious for officials in positions related to relocation and demolition, the petition office, and other supervisory agencies. These officials are widely exposed to the dark side of society, which leads to extremely bad mental health conditions.

On May 30, 2010, the state-run magazine Outlook Weekly published an article titled “Research Shows More Than 100 Million People Suffer From Mental Illness in China, With 16 Million Serious Cases.”

This article was published soon after Foxconn announced that those who committed suicide at Foxconn factories in China suffered from mental illness. The article talked about the types of mental illness suffered by people in China and the causes. Looking at the Southern Weekend and Outlook Weekly articles together, one can see the facts.

First, the number of people in China diagnosed with mental illness is at a record high judged by any measure. According to official statistics, there are 1.4 billion people in China. More than 100 million suffer from a mental illness, which is 1/14 or greater of the total population. No other country in the world has gotten close to this number in the past 100 years.

Second, members of all the social classes in China can suffer from mental illness. The Southern Weekend article shows that officials suffer from mental illness due to the problems with the political environment.

The Outlook Weekly article mainly concentrates on the lower class. The article said: “Due to high medical expenses, combined with years or decades of depletion, many families have no money left. Even those with coverage can’t pay for the cost to enter the hospital and the supplemental costs, but most don’t even have coverage.” This basically translates into a new trend in China: Being poor equates to having a mental illness.

The two articles pointed out a common problem: The huge pressure during a transition causes social pressure. The pressure on the poor comes from basic living needs, such as a job, living expenses, medical costs, education, and the costs of various forms of unfair treatment.

The pressure on officials comes from the abnormality within the political party. Officials bribe each other to get promoted; political success relies on connections instead of performance. The values of officials are distorted. They are not allowed to act out of conscience and morality but instead must protect the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and twist themselves to adapt to the corrupt system.

For example, officials involved in relocation and demolition must have hearts as cold as steel. They cannot feel sorrow for throwing people out of their homes and have to view people committing suicide as “obstructing official orders.”

The situations in other departments are about the same. The petition office must face the endless streams of petitioners suffering from injustice. Supervisory departments have to ignore the corrupt acts of officials daily. The members of the accounting department have to close their eyes to fake accounts.

In this world where everything is turned upside down, with the constant blending of right and wrong plus the loss of morality, it’s hard to imagine the lives of the common Chinese people.

When I was still in China, a prosecutor who was my friend told me he was disgusted and tired of his job because he dealt with cases for corrupt officials every day. Some people who look good from the outside are so dark on the inside. After a while, he started to doubt everyone.

I work in media, and I was very furious for not being able to expose the dark facts about society. However, the darkness of 10 years ago is so much less dark than that of today. Many people in the mainland tell me that society today is 10 times darker than what I wrote about in my book “China’s Pitfalls.”

Living in such a dark society is guaranteed to increase the number of people with mental illness.

When the majority of citizens in a country are under such huge pressure, with so many with mental illness, then the living conditions in the country must be seriously wrong.

The government should improve the environment to reduce the pressure on common citizens. The Chinese regime, however, doesn’t do anything to reduce the pressure. Instead, it follows the butcher Stalin, regards anyone with a different view as having mental illness, and then politically persecutes those said to have mental illness.

In May, Outlook Weekly wrote about this. It reported that due to the lack of mental hospitals, the law enforcement agencies would be in charge of young patients with mental illness. Dissidents and those with different views are to be treated as though they have mental disorders.

These cases are not decided by doctors but by CCP organizations. The local CCP organizations identify the cases and send them straight to law enforcement. These methods are very similar to those implemented by Stalin in Russia.

At this point, I think readers should understand who turned China into the world’s leader in mental illness. I also understand the reason so many Chinese people immigrate to other countries: to live a normal life.

He Qinglian is a prominent Chinese author and economist. Currently based in the United States, she authored “China’s Pitfalls,” which concerns corruption in China’s economic reform of the 1990s, and “The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China,” which addresses the manipulation and restriction of the press. She writes regularly on contemporary Chinese social and economic issues.

via Why China Leads the World in Mental Illness | Opinion | Epoch Times

Why has Chinese media’s coverage of the “Occupy Movement” turned cold?

Why has Chinese media’s coverage of the “Occupy Movement” turned cold?
By He Qinglian on Oct 17, 2011

Those who keep a close eye on information from Chinese media would find that after October 15, Chinese media’s coverage of “Occupy Wall Street” became much less enthusiastic all of a sudden. While before that date every media outlet had special reports of the movement that were placed at prominent spots of their websites; the massive global “Occupy Movement” received almost no attention.

Why is “Constitutional China” still an unfulfilled dream?

Why is “Constitutional China” still an unfulfilled dream?
Written on Oct 10, 2011 by He Qinglian
(translated by krizcpec, Slight modifications made on Oct 17, 2011)

Among the things being discussed in marking the centenary of Xinhai Revolution, an important topic is that despite having implemented constitutions over the course of a hundred years, China remains unsuccessful in its attempt to become a constitutional country. And the Chinese could probably set a world record for the effort they made in implementing constitutions: altogether fourteen constitutions had been enacted in over a hundred years, yet the country is still unable to bring about constitutionalism after having a constitution in place; and that the enactment of a constitution remains the easy task when compared to the implementation of constitutionalism, which remains an impasse.

Why Do Political Families tend to Appear in China

Written by He Qinglian on Sept 13, 2011
Translator could not be identified (yet)
Slightly modified on Oct 14, 2011

Breeding the Political Family (Original Title given by the anonymous translator)
Reproduced from http://www.sammyboy.com/showthread.php?102414-Breeding-the-Political-Family
Post Posted by "nin-nao-hiah"

A report, “Investigation of Political Families in Zhong County,” was published by Southern Weekend on Sept. 1. The author, Feng Junqi, is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Beijing University. He was once a vice mayor and assistant to the mayor in a county in central China. This experience gave him the opportunity to observe the county’s intertwined political relationships.

How deep is China's quagmire of local debts?

How deep is China's quagmire of local debts?

Written by He Qinglian on June 17, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

These days Beijing became really anxious, the heavy debts of local governments had worried them. After spending more than two years indulging itself in the imaginary title of the “Savior of the world's economy,” China has now to rescue its own banking system, which balance sheet revealed dire problems that had long been hidden. Just when the China Banking Regulatory Commission announced plans to strictly control the credit risk of local financing platform, people discovered that the debt-to-capital ratio of the Railways Ministry had reached the tolerance limits, posing huge potential risks.

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (II)

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (two)
Written by He Qinglian on September 29, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

On September 25 Euromoney named Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, as Euromoney's Central Bank Governor of the year 2011. The interesting thing was what Zhou Xiaochuan listed as the reasons for being awarded in his speech delivered at the award presentation ceremony.
The reasons he gave were:
First, in response to financial crisis, China's central bank has taken a moderately loose monetary policy and expanded the money supply, effectively supporting the real economy;
Second, since the beginning of this year China has adjusted timely its monetary policy and implemented a prudent monetary policy, namely monetary tightening.

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (I)

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (one)
Written by He Qinglian on September 22, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

In this past six months, I have almost completely stopped discussing China's economy. There's nothing more to say after I have done repeated analyzes of its various aspects. However, it's interesting that Premier Wen Jiabao, despite being responsible for managing the country's economy, has been talking enthusiastically about politics instead of economy for more than a year now.

The thousands of forgotten innocent victims—the massacre of Shaoyang County, Hunan 1968

I grew up in the cradle of revolution—the province of Hunan and received “red” education since I was little. Everything I saw, everything I heard, made me revere and long for “revolution”. When the Cultural Revolution began, I welcomed it with the pure passion of a child.

That passion lasted until 1968, the year two massacres occurred in succession in Daoxian and Shaoyang of Hunan province. From then on, I came to have my own understanding of the nature of the Cultural Revolution.

Mao Zedong: the Giant Shadow over the Contemporary Politics of China

Written by He Qinglian
(translated by krizcpec)

In recent years, the clouds over China's future is thickening. Whether as an alternative political model for future China or as a historic question that cannot be sidestepped, Mao Zedong and his governing approach is getting more frequently into the view of the public. 

On August 27 this year, over a hundred liberals inside the Communist Party of China and intellectuals attended a seminar marking the 30th anniversary of "The Resolution on certain historical problems of the Party since the founding of the People's Republic" (关于建国以来党的若干历史问题的决议), and again they stated that a correct understanding of the Cultural Revolution and Mao Zedong is crucial for present politics of  China. 

Perspectives to understanding the historic roles of Mao Zedong
Beijing's reluctance to face the history and its use of various propaganda machine to deliberately magnify the bright side of Mao Zedong's political carrier would result not only in the misunderstanding of Mao among the young generation, but also profound confusion in the political thinking of the Chinese people.

From Revolutionary to Dictator, who does Muammar Gaddafi resemble the most?

By He Qinglian on August 24, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

After the 2011 “Jasmine Revolutions” in MENA, the “Club of Tyranny” formed by the world's dictators has lost several of its members.

“Dictators” typically mean those leaders who obtain the highest power in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. Looking back at the way they rose to power, one would find something interesting: although some became leaders of their countries through democratic elections first and realized dictatorship after their cabinets were formed; even more of them, however, headed for dictatorship through the revolutionary road. From revolution leaders to dictators, these people didn't seem to need any change in the way they thought and acted. The only difference was whether or not they had powers in their hands.

How would clashes of civilizations take place from now on?

Written by He Qinglian on September 8, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

The year 2011 will be an important one in world history. Because in this year, the outbreak of “Jasmine Revolutions” in MENA make it clear that—
One) The main impetus of these revolutions is the awakening rights consciousness of the people. Given that rights consciousness is something unique to Western civilization, thus the so-called “clash of civilizations” has changed from wars between countries as well as the war on terror into confrontations between the people requesting their rights and the leader holding onto their powers inside totalitarian states;
Two) The clash between Western and Muslim civilizations has relegated to secondary status while the clash between the pseudo-Chinese civilization—a combination of Oriental despotism and Communism—and the Western civilization will become increasingly sharpened in the form of internal confrontations. 

Why would the wealth of dictators end up evaporated? (Two)

Written by He Qinglian on August 29, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

In “Why would the wealth of dictators end up evaporated? (One)” I went through the background of the Swiss Dictator Assets Law. In this article I would write about the legal basis for Britain, the United States and other countries to freeze assets of MENA dictators.

This round of actions by Western countries like Britain and the United States to freeze assets of dictators based on UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, which drew their legitimacy from Article 41 of the UN Charter: “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force...” so that international peace and security can be maintained. The freezing of assets belonging to the dictator is of course a measure that does not involve the use of armed force.

Why would the wealth of dictators end up evaporated? (one)

Written by He Qinglian on August 26, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

After revolutions broke out in MENA, a striking phenomenon appeared. Britain, U.S. and Switzerland, one after another, announced a freeze on the huge wealth that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak, and Muammar Gaddafi have accumulated and deposited in Western Democracies.

These democracies unanimously pledged that once the new governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have completed relevant legal procedures, the assets of the above mentioned dictators will be returned to the countries concerned.

The “Double-faced characteristic” of Global Times and Huanqiu Shibao

Written on August 20, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

The two papers mentioned in the title are actually two versions of the same paper, a key media stronghold that Beijing has given the crucial external propaganda missions of “shaping the national image and competing for the right to speak” abroad, and promoting the idea that “the whole world is jealous of how good we are” at home. It is because of something happened recently that I wrote an article specifically on this paper, something that Chinese media practitioners refer to as a reflection of the split in the character of that paper.

On August 9, 2011, the English version of the paper ran an exclusive: Ai Weiwei breaks his silence (authored by Liang Chen). That story did not appear in its Chinese version.

Traps made by Chinese Media

Written in April 2007
(translated by krizcpec)

For those foreign media that aspire to enter China, it surely is good to know that their reports have been reproduced on Chinese media and attracted comments from readers. Losers and Winners, an article about a documentary of the same title, published on November 13, 2006 on Deustche Welle. That article was first reproduced on Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao/环球时报), a subsidiary of Xinhua News Agency and widely circulated in China after it appeared on Xinhua Net, attracting much discussion among netizens. However, Deutsche Wellewould definitely feel startled if it realize its article has been reproduced with the title altered, key content removed and became a report promoting the spirit of the Chinese workers – work hard in arduous conditions, triggering sentiment of national pride in some Chinese netizens. 

The Power of Weibo: Bringing Transparency to Concealed Truth

Written on July 29, 2011
(Translated by krizcpec)

Those who want to have full understanding of the Wenzhou train collision that happened on July 23, 2011 may find the most comprehensive source of information to be microblogging (Weibo), instead of print media. I believe it is the unique function of information dissemination that made everything more transparent, and thereby revealing, to the extreme embarrassment of the Chinese government, the opacity of the country's social management.

Differences and Similarities in the influence “External Forces” has on two waves of democratization

Written on July 22, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

By “Two waves of democratization” I mean the Third Wave of Democratization (Third Wave) that started in the 1980s and the MENA revolutions that began in 2011.

What made me wrote this post was my experience from calling programs at some radio stations. Audience from China often asked me that given the poor conditions of Chinese human rights, why aren't the international community offering any help? Judging from what they said, I felt they didn't seem to realize that the international community is formed by entities which have different interests; to them, the international community has shared values and would act unanimously whenever international disputes arise. Just to make clear to my compatriots that I didn't mean to be sarcastic, not in the slightest sense. I do feel like to analyze the international environment during the Third Wave and MENA revolutions, so that my readers would have a rough understanding of the international community.

Please Keep Tibet

While attending the Sino-Tibetan Dialogue in D.C. on July 9 and 10, I saw an article by Tibetan female writer Tsering Woeser, “Please Stop the ‘Development’ of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar for Profit (请制止用神山圣湖牟利的开发”)". The article stated that the Tibetan Tourism Company, a subsidiary of the Beijing-based Guofeng Company, have been “contracted” to take over the holy Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, and undertaken the “Tibetan Kailash Manasarovar Tourism Development Project”, exploiting the Holy Mountain and the Sacred Lake of Tibetans as a way to boost shares selling in the company’s public listing.

Woeser opposes commercialization of the sacred land, citing two reasons that the area is not suitable for development: first, Mount Kailash is the holy mountain for the Tibetans, it must not be desecrated; second, environment protection. I completely agreed with her on these two reasons for objection. Yet I am aware that, for the Chinese people who would pray to deities for blessing but have no religious tradition, the first reason would not stop the interested parties. Visiting Mount Kailash has great appeal to Chinese living in inland China. 

After spending a long time in jungles of cement and steel with no scents of flowers, no forests, but grey skies, people are fascinated by the idea of polar adventure. And I have serious doubt how big the binding force the reason of environment protection has on the Chinese people. Because the people growing up in the 1960s, and the two or three generations before them, could only watch the country trampled in the name of economic development by the rich and powerful and their stakeholders in the last thirty years: they witness one river after another ends up seriously polluted; one lake vanishes after another; and one plot of land after another being turned into apartments which lifespan is only thirty years. How would these people care and cherish the soil of others when they wouldn’t even protect the land on which they are born and bred, which has a tie of flesh and blood, and is called as the home of their spirit?

Dignity of Female Political Prisoners in China

Written on June 7, 2011
Translated by Kriz cpec
Proofread by Michelle Adams and edited by Michelle Buchanan

Note: This article is written not only for female political prisoners, but also for all political prisoners, and every incarcerated compatriot in China.

For years I have not dared to speak to this subject despite my deep concern for the dignity of political prisoners. Because this, for the political prisoners, especially the female political prisoners, is a giant wound that bleeds forever, It has been something I really could not bear to face. But I am writing about it now because of something I witnessed on twitter.

The first tweet I saw after some days of being away from twitter was a sex-related one from Li Tiantian, a female lawyer in Shanghai who was made to disappear for more than three months during the “Jasmine revolution” in China. Shocked, I went through all of her tweets since the day of her release. Those tweets, unrestrained and wild, were completely different from how she used to speak and act before her disappearance. It made me think of my twitter friends who had written me to say that they were forced to surrender their twitter accounts, and that tweets from their account were not their own writings. So I assumed that Li Tiantian’s account was stolen from her, that those tweets were posted by the State Security officers with the intention of destroying her reputation. I made this thought public in a tweet.

The Daydream of Xinhua News Agency

(Translated by krizcpec, copyedited by Michelle BUCHANAN)

The Chinese government has been feeling quite satisfied with its “great external propaganda plan” lately, for a few reasons: Earlier this year, the BBC had to end its Mandarin broadcast because of insufficient funds; the question of whether the Voice of America Chinese broadcast can continue remains uncertain; and only [Xinhua News Agency], with the full support of the Chinese government, is spending a considerable amount of money attempting to take over the [Chinese] media market, just at the time when Western media is being forced to leave.

The Localization Strategy of China’s Great External Propaganda

The latest overseas developments of China’s propaganda media machine.

Translated by Paul Mooney
The Chinese government has long believed that the “right to have one’s say” is not fairly distributed around the world, with 80 percent of news and information reporting monopolized by Western media.1 Under the government’s “Great External Propaganda Plan,” which aims at promoting and vying for China’s right to have its say [in the international community], China has spared no expense to continuously nurture various external propaganda media. Since the American economic crisis began in 2008, The Christian Science Monitor and several other mainstream Western media outlets have shut down newspapers and magazines one after the other in order to cut costs. The Chinese government feels that this is the perfect opportunity to expand the presence of Chinese media around the world. If the Southern Media Group’s huge bid to purchase Newsweek had not made Americans feel the threat, then the plan by the state-run Xinhua News Agency to set up its North American headquarters in Times Square, next door to such world famous news organizations as Reuters, The New York Times, News Corp., and others, surely succeeded in making the American media feel that “the Chinese are coming.”2 “While our media empires are melting away like the Himalayan glaciers, China’s are expanding,” said Orville Schell, director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York and a former dean of the journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley. “They want to get every hallmark of the world of credible journalism they can, and being in New York City, in an iconic location, is part of that.”3

China's Listing Social Structure


    He Qinglian was born in Shaoyang in the province of Hunan in 1956. Sent as a teenager to work in the countryside on a railway construction site, she studied history at Hunan Normal University and economics at Fudan University in Shanghai, passing out in 1985. After teaching jobs in Changsha and Guangzhou, she moved to the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, working first in the publicity department of the municipal Party Committee, and then on the Shenzhen Legal Daily. In August 1996 she completed a book on the social and economic ills of China after two decades of reform policies, declined as too explosive by eight or nine publishers. But after it appeared in Hong Kong in 1997 under the title China’s Pitfall, an expurgated version was published in Beijing as Modernization’s Pitfall in January 1998, with a preface by Liu Ji, Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, then an adviser to Jiang Zemin. The book was an immediate sensation, as a blistering indictment of far-reaching inequality and corruption in the PRC, selling 200,000 legal copies and vastly more pirated ones. 

A Volcanic "Stability"

Qinglian He, former senior editor of Shenzhen Legal Daily in China, is currently a visiting scholar in the department of political science, economics, and philosophy at CUNY’s College of Staten Island. She is also the author of the Chinese-language bestseller, Pitfall in China, an updated version of which was published in Japan in 2002.

    How much longer can the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) last? Could China collapse into disunity or even civil war? These are challenging questions with no easy answers, and I have been asked both many times over the last few years, in China itself as well as overseas. While it is hard to predict the future with any precision, some provisional forecasting of structural changes is possible.

    China is a one-party state in which the interests of the government and the CCP are indivisible. Over recent years, the only answer the Party has had in its quest to uphold civil order has been to “pull up by the roots all factors with the potential to cause instability.” The Party has worked hard to create a reality in which no organizational force can replace Communist rule. In the CCP’s view, the death of the Party would mean nothing less than the death of China itself. 

The Historical Orientation of China's Reform

Modern China Studies
No. 1, 1999 (Volume 64)

Since 1978, China’s economic reforms have proceeded under difficult circumstances of all sorts. At present, it is experiencing yet another painful period known as the "reduction of marginal effect." On the surface, the main reason for this "reduction of marginal effect" is that a variety of economic problems are hampering further reform efforts. If we choose to go below the surface, we are likely to find that these economic problems are rooted in non-economic areas, and consequently, it is impossible to remove the obstacles with pure and simple economic reform. Based on this reality, the author believes that the following issues will have to be addressed in order for China's reforms move forward. First, is it necessary to review and examine critically reform efforts to date—and to review and examine free of ideological constraints? Second, is it wise and feasible for a country to limit its reform efforts to the economic area? Third, shall social justice be taken into consideration while formulating reform policies and is it necessary to pass value judgment on the results of reform? This article will first answer these three questions and then take a step further to analyze the historical choices with which China's reform is faced today.

    1. Reform Must Be Reviewed and Examined with A Critical Eye

    Every major reform effort in human history has encountered various problems and side effects, which, however, should not be justified simply in the name of reform. To overcome these problems and side effects in a timely fashion, it is necessary to review and examine critically the reform efforts. Moreover, any reform turns the old social order upside down and redistributes social benefits, and therefore is bound to meet resistance and opposition from various directions. We should not purposefully avoid a critical review and examination of reforms because of such resistance and opposition. 

The Boat and the Water

Translated by Paul Frank

    This article is drawn from two series of articles originally published in Chinese in Taiwan News Weekly: “Huaijie chengzhi: waizi zai zhongguode ruxiangsuisu,” August 5-13, 2004, and “Zhongguo xiyin waizi mianlin zhuangzhedian,” June 16-24, 2005. 

* * *

China remains one of the world’s most popular foreign investment destinations. Yet the evidence suggests that some of the commonly accepted assumptions of mutual benefit are false.

    During his address to the Fortune Global Forum in Beijing on May 18, Bo Xilai, the Chinese Minister of Commerce, claimed that China has been very profitable for foreign businesses. He said that of more than 280,000 foreign invested enterprises in operation between 1990 and 2004, two-thirds were profitable.[1] According to the 2004 survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, three-fourths of surveyed U.S. companies in China were making a profit, and for 42 percent of them, their profit ratio in China exceeded their global average. A "2005 Foreign Investment Survey" published by the Chinese edition of Fortune magazine emphasizes that doing business in China is by no means as unprofitable as is often suggested outside of China. More than 90 percent of foreign companies think that they can make a profit within five years.[2]

Rural Economy at a Dead End: A Dialogue on Rural China, Peasants and Agriculture

By He, Qinglian*, Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago,
    and Cheng, Xiaonong, Editor-in-Chief, Contemporary China Studies
    Modern China Studies
    No.3, 2001 

China and India: Latecomers to the Road of Modernization

    He Qinglian: The human race experienced a number of social changes in the last century. Among them, only two great changes produced a lasting impact. First, the political system of democracy has emerged as the generally accepted model for political governance around the world. Second, the class of small peasants has decline and perhaps even begun to disappear. The latter change has permanently severed the historical umbilical cord that for generations has linked humankind with its past. What cannot be ignored is that a certain relationship exists between these two drastic social changes. Ultimately, politics is nothing but the sum total of all the social relationships of humankind. The characteristics of the people will determine the nature of their government, and the nature of the government will determine the characteristics of its people. 

A Different Type of Social Power: Underground Criminal Organizations

In an effort to fight underground criminal organizations, China’s Ministry of Public Security launched a ten-month long nationwide campaign at the end of 2000 using the operation code-names Fox Hunting, Raging Tide, Nill, Hurricane, and others. 

It is a known fact that a considerably large number of underground criminal organizations have emerged in our country, and these are mainly territory-based entities. China is divided into seven administrative levels: state, province, municipality, county (or larger districts and smaller cities), township, village (or sub-district), neighborhood. These criminal organizations have generally been formed along these lines, that is, within a province, a city, a county, a township, or a village. Some of the notorious criminal organizations that were outlawed several years ago and subsequently banned are Xinjiang Gang in Shanghai, Beijing Gang and White Shark Gang in Guangdong, Ganzhou Gang in Jiangxi Province, and the Wolf Gang in Shanxi Province. The membership of these organizations consists mainly of employees of business enterprises, "waiting for work" youths, and/or peasants. The fact that most of these gang members are friends characterizes their inter-member relationship. Some of the criminal organizations have a comparatively tight, linear-like structure reinforced by harsh disciplinary measures. Members are differentiated by ranks while the organizational structure models that of an extended family. There are also criminal organizations that are kinship-based (genealogical) or occupation-based (linked by the same type of crimes committed). Of the three types, most organizations are either territory-based or kinship-based.

On Systemic Corruption in China and its Influence

The international community is fully cognizant of the seriousness of government corruption in China. China remains one of the few countries that continue to employ strict control of media and the Internet, and the organization Transparency International has still not been able to obtain permission to open an office in the country. As a consequence, it should not surprise us that the international community lacks a clear picture of the actual extent and nature of corruption and its negative influence on the country’s future development.

    This paper will attempt to clarify and address the following problems:

    1.The relationship between political corruption and the social system;
    2.The areas where there is a high occurrence of corruption and its forms;
    3.The  unfavorable influence of corruption on social development;
    4.The methods employed by the Chinese government to strengthen social control.

    The paper concludes that, under the current social system, the government is incapable of finding a solution to a problem that it has itself created. As a Chinese saying puts it, even the sharpest blade cannot be used on itself! The government's measures against corruption in China are comparable to a surgeon performing an operation on himself. Serious corruption has devastated the very foundations of Chinese society and enveloped the country in a state of crisis—a volcanic landscape dotted with underground fires—and on the brink of erupting.

China's Latent Economic Crisis and Potential Risks

Modern China Studies
    No. 2, 1999 (Volume 65)

    Since the beginning of broad ranging economic reform [in 1978], China's economy has been growing at a pace that commands the world's admiration. Entering the 1990s, however, the high-speed growth of the virtual economy has produced a large number of bubbles. Arguably, the major factor contributing to the dramatic growth of our country's economy in the past twenty years has been rapid investment. However, the quality of economic growth produced by this "investment, investment and more investment" model has been relatively mediocre. In recent years, the bubbles accumulated through sustained, ineffective supply have become a cause for concern that further development might be accompanied by potential risks.

The Hanyuan Incident: A Signal of China's Social Crisis

Translated by Paul Frank

    Since October, several popular riots in China have caught the world's attention. These incidents indicate that China has entered a period of serious social conflict.

    The Hanyuan Incident: The people are deprived of their right to make a living while the government "drains the pond to catch the fish"

    The protest staged by people living in the Hanyuan Reservoir area in Sichuan Province deserves the widest attention. Here is the background. First, the Hanyuan protest was staged to protect the livelihoods of 150,000 people and was one of a large number of similar popular protests that have recently been organized all over China in response to the Chinese government's plunder of the nation's natural resources. As the popular saying goes, the government is "draining the pond to catch the fish."   In accordance with China's new energy strategy, at least 50 million people will be forced to relocate in the future. Second, the Chinese government has to strike a balance between an energy crisis that is becoming more severe with each passing day and riots at the bottom rung of society. The choice is between developing energy resources to sustain economic development and protecting the basic livelihood of tens of millions of people at the bottom rung of society. Put in plain language, by sacrificing a minority's right to make a living, the Communist regime can buy itself a few more years or even decades in power. But if the speed of economic development is reduced, the government will inevitably have to cope with all sorts of socio-economic problems.

Who is Responsible for China’s Environment?

Translated by Nancy Li

   At a recent celebrity-studded Fortune Forum, where all the participants were either European business leaders or high-profile politicians, the vice-minister of China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), Pan Yue, gave a talk on the Chinese environment that cast a shadow over the glittering assemblage, pointing out that China’s "global factory" might be fast becoming a "global garbage dump."[1]

    While the fact itself was hardly a revelation, more surprising was Pan’s use of this special occasion to point it out. China's environment is not a professional issue but a political issue — politics is the very root of the problem, which stems from an entire society's unilateral pursuit of rapid economic development. The government is finally admitting its mistake ten long years after academics pointed out the perverse nature of its development principles.

Beijings Inept Diplomacy Toward Japan and Taiwan

The Chinese government has virtually eliminated its citizens' right to publicly assemble, protest or express any kind of political aspirations. Yet last weekend saw mass demonstrations in several major Chinese cities. These protests marked the climax to an anti-Japanese movement among Chinese inside China and abroad in response to the possibility that Japan might be granted a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Rampant Crime Belies China’s Claim of a ‘Harmonious Society’

He Qinglian, Chinese author and economist, Via The Epochtimes -

On April 28, Zheng Mingsheng was sentenced to death for randomly stabbing a group of primary school students waiting to enter their school in southern China’s city of Nanping in Fujian Province. Nine children lost their lives in the incident.

Within three days of Zheng Mingsheng’s execution, three more attacks targeting school children took place in China.

Venting anger against society

The prosecutor investigating the Fujian case concluded the assailant was venting his “anger against society.” The topic of the criminal’s “anti-social tendency” received extensive coverage in Chinese media.

What Are the Benefits of China's Entry into WTO?

On March 7, 2000, when a Swedish TV journalist interviewed me, the first question they asked was: why was China so eager to enter WTO?

My answer at the time sounded rather diplomatic: “It's not a one-sided request by China, but a desire by all parties, because we all have our own respective needs in--the so-called 'win-win' formula is not just empty talk.” Personally I believe that the Chinese authorities wanted to join WTO more out of political, rather than economic, considerations. The world economic order and the developed countries' share of their main products on the world market are not going to be directly impacted by whether or not China is accepted into WTO. Let us think about the world economy in the form of a pyramid--at the very top is the IT industry where the United States is in an unchallenged number one position. The second tier is the finance industry where the United Kingdom is the main player (the finance industry alone contributes 10,000 pounds to UK’s GDP per capita). The third tier is the manufacturing product industry (machinery for making machines), of which Germany is the main power, followed by countries such as Sweden with their considerable share of the market. The fourth tier is the market of high-quality, high technical intensity, end-user consumer products, which are predominantly Japanese. This four-tier market has been well carved out between developed countries and is relatively stable. The fifth tier of the world economy is that of labor-intensive, end-user consumer products, and it is for this high-risk market all developing countries are fiercely competing.

Why Does Beijing Strongly Support the Myanmar Government?

Why Does Beijing Strongly Support the Myanmar Government?
By He Qinglian
Reproduced from Epoch Times

Beijing's silent support for the Myanmar government and its brutal suppression against its people angers the international society. Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Price laureate and a South African cleric, a religious leader who is seldom involved in international politics, came out and urged China to intervene in the confrontations in Myanmar or he (the Archbishop) would "join a campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics". Some Internet users in China continue to show their misplaced loyalties based on their ignorance and applaud Beijing's action.

Disease Engulfs China

Feb 24, 2007

While China's economy has been rapidly expanding, the country's social welfare is declining fast. Two important factors contributing to this downfall are the noticeable spread of disease among Chinese people, combined with a neglect of public health concerns.

The latest issue of the British medical journal The Lancet features a report focusing on the spread of syphilis throughout China. A joint effort between Professor Myron Cohen, director of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Center for Infectious Diseases, and the China National AIDS/STD Prevention and Control Center, the report explored the epidemic situation of sexually transmitted diseases among Chinese people from 1989 to 2005. Results revealed that in 1993 the reported total rate of cases of syphilis in China was 0.2 cases per 100,000 people, but by 2005 this number jumped to 5.7 cases. Chinese virology experts suggest that these figures may even be considerably underestimated.

CCP’s Illusory and Absurd Official Performance Measure: Making People Happy

Mar 17, 2011

China’s two parliamentary sessions [the National People's Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, held annually in Beijing] opened under heavy military presence because of echoes of the Jasmine Revolution reverberating in China since Feb. 20. Still, Party and state leaders felt no restraint in leading the choir of state representatives to bellow People’s Daily’s slogan: “Happiness is Taking Off this Spring .”

A Chinese Story for Our Time, Li Wei

Mar 1, 2011
Editor’s Note: “Public Nepotism,” Caijing magazine’s Feb. 14 issue cover story, chronicled the rise to fame of Li Wei, a French-Vietnamese woman who entered China’s Yunan Province as a refugee in the late 1970’s. She later amassed a billion-dollar fortune by exploiting her sexual relationships with senior Communist Party officials and influential business people. Unlike typical mistresses who only receive money from their patrons, Li developed her own multi-billion dollar business empire. At its peak, it consisted of almost 20 companies in the most lucrative industries: tobacco, real estate, advertising, oil and securities. Li’s long list of influential lovers (surmised to be at least 15) included the former Shangdong Province Party head, a former provincial governor, and the former president of Sinopec. Many of these men have been sentenced on corruption charges. While Li was investigated, she managed to walk away with minimal loss to her fortune.

Why Is Nuclear Safety in China a Public Concern?

Mar 27, 2011 

Ever since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis over two weeks ago, it has become evident that Chinese officials are divided on nuclear safety. Zhang Lijun, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection, stated on March 12 that China’s resolve to develop nuclear power would not change. Yet on March 16, in an executive meeting of the State Council, a comprehensive security check on nuclear facilities was ordered posthaste throughout the country, and approval of nuclear power projects was suspended.

Relying on the Law is Not Enough
Government departments at various levels with differing attitudes and responsibilities reflect that the country has been taken hostage by interest groups. The country’s Environmental Impact Assessment group (EIA) is the first hurdle for the establishment of a nuclear power plant, which is exactly where corruption has hit the hardest.

Google's China Problem is Far From Over

February 17, 2010

As this article was being finished, the question of whether Google will leave China for good is still unresolved. But Google’s voice of opposition has already softened, and it could either stay in China, or go. Suspicions have been circulating that agents inside Google may have been connected to the recent attacks, and shortly after the announcement Chinese and American officials held meeting after meeting to air their views on the question of Internet freedom. Leaving aside the ostensible reason for this incident—cyber attacks—this article explores the particular challenges that Google and other Internet companies face in China.