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All posts by LKY - 152. page

There’s a Workers Strike Every Day in Guangdong Province

Han Dongfang, a China workers activist told Radio Free Asia that in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province there is at least one workers’ strike a day that consists of a minimum of one thousand workers. That is in addition to the number of smaller scale strikes that take place. These workers are mainly from inland provinces such as Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei and Hunan. He said currently the government only intervenes when the situation is out of control. As a result, workers are inadvertently encouraged to resort to strong measures such as strikes. Han said that the international community holds a fantasy that economic development will help China. However, the reason it is a fantasy is that people don’t know what lies behind the economic development: the sacrifice of many people’s health and rights.

Source: BBC, January 16, 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7190000/newsid_7191000/7191018.stm

Lower Domestic Product Standards Result in No Recalls inside China

VOA published an article that explored the reasons why there are no product recalls in China, while there have been constant recalls of China made products in other countries. According to Wang Hai from the Consumer Rights Group, one reason is that there is no recall system in China. Another reason is that the product safety standard, which is set by the manufacturers themselves, with little input from consumers, is lower than that in other countries. Moreover, the Consumer Rights Association is set up by the government and has only a limited ability to represent consumers. China is also lacking a 3rd party inspection agency that is independent from the existing ones run by the government. However, implementing the product safety policy may prove costly and the increased costs may result in many manufacturers not being able to survive.

Source: Voice of America, January 9, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-09-voa39.cfm

China’s National Defense Adopts a New Policy

In its January issue, the Mirror Monthly (Hong Kong) published an article titled, “China’s National Defense Adopts an All New Policy Of ‘Empower the Nation and Build Up the Military.’” The article reports the speculation about the “China threat theory.” It states that the Chinese military has ended its era of “endurance,” in which it let economic growth take the precedence. Thus military growth is naturally the next step. It is in line with the direction given by Hu Jintao in his report delivered at the Seventeenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to “grow the nation and military together.” The article used the GDP growth rate as the benchmark to justify the increase in military spending. It claimed that the military spending increase is far from meeting the existing demand and the western world ought to expect a larger increase in the future and shouldn’t be alarmed.

Source: Military China, January 8, 2008
http://www.milchina.com/Get/ping/010812165.htm

Hu Jintao: The Cultural Revolution was Ten Years of Internal Upheaval

“The Cultural Revolution was a ten-year-upheaval that brought tremendous defeat and loss to the party, the country and the people. China has lagged behind because of it. Only through the open door policy can China catch up and be equal with the rest of the world.” Hu spoke at a meeting held on December 17 in the Central Party School. Hu’s speech aimed at weakening the growing force that has been criticizing the open door policy due to the various social issues brought about since its inception 30 years ago. His speech further emphasized the direction of "following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics." Among the four generations of party top leaders, Hu is the only one who has openly shown his intolerance of the Cultural Revolution. His position is unlike that of his predecessors.

Source: The Dong-a Ilbo, Korea, January 2, 3008
http://china.donga.com/gb/srv/service.php3?bicode=060000&biid=2008010241398

China’s Toy Exports Grew In 2007

China’s toy exports totaled US$ 7 billion from January to October of 2007, a 20.1 percent increase from the year before. The official statistics showed that following the large scale of toy recall, toy exports were down 6.2 percent in September. The number then rebounded back to 21 percent, consistent with the growth in the first ten months. The European Union and the US are two of the largest markets and account for 67.6 percent of toy exports. It has been predicted that the increasing cost, operation model and reduced export taxes may affect future toy exports. China remains the world’s largest toy export country.

Source: BBC Chinese.com January 6, 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7170000/newsid_7173600/7173685.stm

Consumer Price Increase Burdens Low Income Families

On January 3, Social Sciences Academic published the “Blue book of Chinese Society.” It stated that with China’s GDP growing over 10 percent in 2007, mid to low income families are facing increasing financial pressure. The consumer price increase will continue to be a serious factor in 2008. The Blue Book disclosed that 10 percent of the low income group spent close to 50 percent of their income on food consumption, in addition to the rising cost of living and medical expenses. This group is thus the least capable of surviving. The report also warned that the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor continues to be a threat to social stability.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 4, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/01/04/income/

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