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  • Author: Artem Rabogoshvili
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The article provides a seminal analysis of the electronic resources in the Chinese cyberspace devoted to the labour migration of Chinese people to Russia. The author focuses on the online narratives and media stories published on three types of electronic resources – government websites of the northeast provinces of the PRC, online reports by the Chinese news agencies, and postings on bulletin board systems (BBSs) in order to find answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the role of Chinese migrants' narratives circulated via different electronic resources on the Internet in the reproduction of the state-regulated imagination of Russia? 2. To what extent have different types of electronic resources (government websites, news agency websites, BBSs) been used to renegotiate this imagination? The research has revealed that the websites of PRC government bodies tend to convey a rather consolidated understanding of Russia as a destination country, frequently publishing the narratives of successful migrants online. The mass media reports tend to provide regular coverage of a broader range of themes related to migration, including those related to the legal and economic vulnerability of Chinese labour migrants in Russia. The semi-anonymous and non-official character of the bulletin board system in turn has allowed its participants to make enquiries about or engage in the discussions of aspects of migration that would never be covered or described in detail by official sources such as government websites.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Hong Liu
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Based upon an empirical analysis of Singaporean Chinese's intriguing and changing linkages with China over the past half century, this paper suggests that multi-layered interactions between the Chinese diaspora and the homeland have led to the formulation of an emerging transnational Chinese social sphere, which has three main characteristics: First, it is a space for communication by ethnic Chinese abroad with their hometown/ homeland through steady and extensive flows of people, ideas, goods and capital that transcend the nation-state borders, although states also play an important role in shaping the nature and characteristics of these flows. Second, this transnational social sphere constitutes a dynamic interface between economy, politics and culture, which has contributed to creating a collective diasporic identity as well as social and business networks. Third, the key institutional mechanism of the transnational social sphere is various types of Chinese organizations – ranging from hometown associations to professional organizations – which serve as integral components of Chinese social and business networks.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Singapore
  • Author: Gordon Mathews, Yang Yang
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article looks at the livelihoods and lives of African traders coming to Hong Kong and Guangzhou. These traders are practising “low-end globalization”, involving small amounts of capital, and semi-legal or illegal transactions under the radar of the law. The article first considers who these traders are, portraying them as, typically, members of the upper crust of their home societies. It then considers these traders in Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, a building that is an entrepôt between China and the developing world. Finally, it looks at traders' livelihoods and lives in Guangzhou, South China, and traders' efforts to succeed in mainland China. The article argues that one essential economic role China plays today is in manufacturing the cheap, sometimes counterfeit goods that enable Africa and other developing-world regions to experience globalization; the African traders who come to China help make this possible.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Hong Kong, South China, Guangzhou
  • Author: Jonathan Sullivan, Eliyahu V. Sapir
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the substantial advances made in cross-Strait relations during Ma Ying-jeou's (Ma Yingjiu) first term, the ROC president's rhetoric varied considerably as he grappled with the difficult reality of implementing campaign and inauguration pledges to establish better relations with China while striving to maintain national respect and sovereignty. In this article, we put forward a framework for measuring, analysing and explaining this variation in President Ma's first-term discourse. Analysing a very large number of Ma's speeches, addresses, etc., we provide empirical assessments of how the content of Ma's public pronouncements has developed over time, how his rhetoric varies according to the strategic context and timing of a speech, and how his discourse compares to that of his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian (Chen Shuibian). In addressing these questions, the article contributes a quantitative perspective to existing work on political discourse in Taiwan and to the growing methodological and applied literature on how to systematically analyse Chinese political text.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Gunter Schubert
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Taiwan held its first combined national elections on 14 January 2012. Though the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the largest opposition party, fared much better in the Legislative Yuan elections than it did in 2008, DPP presidential contender Tsai Ying-wen's (Cai Yingwen) clear defeat at the hands of the Kuomintang (KMT, Guomindang) incumbent, Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu), in the presidential race came as a surprise. The article examines the election campaigns of both Tsai and Ma, summarizes the election results, and analyses the reasons why the DPP failed to retake the presidency. It then discusses the post-election debate within the DPP on the future of its China policy and ponders what can be expected from the second Ma administration.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Dieter Grunow, Thomas Heberer
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: “Implementation” has become an important element of research in political science at the latest since the publication of the first book on the topic by Pressman and Wildavsky in 1973. The subtitle of the book gives a precise indication as to why this topic has earned so much attention even to this day: How Great Expectations in Washington Are Dashed in Oak- land; Or, Why It's Amazing that Federal Programs Work at All, This Being a Saga of the Economic Development Administration as Told by Two Sympathetic Observers Who Seek to Build Morals on a Foundation of Ruined Hopes . In the process of extending public tasks in gr owing societies – in this time period especially the expansion of welfare functions in OECD countries – public policies were put under observation in order to determine whether policy aims were being followed and goals reached. Effectiveness in task fulfilment and/ or problem-solving in public affairs were the key issues. This did not, and does not, exclude the possibility of purely “symbolic” policy-making – where only making a good appearance in the public sphere is of interest to the protagonists.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Richard Louis Edmonds
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper outlines how the evolution of China's policy and study of the environment are reflected in the scholarly literature, paying special attention to the impact of the country's environmental developments on international relations. In particular, it examines accounts of how China has moved from an isolated national scientific and environmental control infrastructure into the centre of international environmental debates as its society has opened and the geographical scale of ecological problems has expanded. The paper also identifies the continuing inhibitors to China's ability to control environmental degradation – including lack of transparency, elite manipulation, and bureaucratic weaknesses – despite the opening of China's system to limited participation of civil society in its environmental debates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Dieter Grunow
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes empirical observations gathered during a research project on the implementation of environmental protection (EP) policies in China. The project focused on local EP in both urban and rural areas. Policy field analysis was used as a conceptual framework for structuring the observations. The paper develops in three main steps discussing the following topics: 1) Collective problems within the policy field of EP show that EP issues in general are unlike those of other policy fields. Official EP policies in China today resemble those of other countries – but they are separating issues and responsibilities, making local implementation very demanding. 2) China lags behind in its willingness and ability to implement these policies – leading to implementation gaps. To explore the causes and consequences, specific sites in China are described in an extended look at local implementation structures. It was found that although policies in China are basically the same everywhere, the structures for implementing them and the quality of their implementation vary widely with regard to resources, organization, coordination, staff qualifications, personnel placement, and other aspects. 3) Not all of the challenges hampering local implementation of environmental policies were China-specific; however, some of those which are can be described as the macro-context: an ineffective rule of law, insufficient involvement of civil society, and complicated macro-structures of public administration prevent a generally high level of successful EP implementation in China.
  • Topic: Civil Society
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Thomas Heberer, Anja Senz
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article describes how China uses evaluation ratings and monitoring as incentives in order to foster the implementation of environmental policies at the local level. It is argued that decentralisation in China leaves room for actors at the local levels to manoeuver and bargain with those on higher levels for flexible adjustment of implementation policies according to local conditions. However, decentralisation is accompanied by significant institutional changes in the structure of intergovernmental communication, incentives and control. Accordingly, decentralisation in China exhibits a specific design which leaves space for divergent local environmental policies while also engendering “grass-roots mechanisms”. On the whole, this new institutional setting benefits the implementation of environmental policies.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Qingzhi Huan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), has set up six regional Supervision Centres for Environmental Protection (SCEPs) in recent years. The creation of the SCEPs reflects the “green will” of Chinese government, to reverse the ever-worsening environmental situation throughout China by strengthening vertical supervision of the environmental laws and policies enforcement. A primary analysis focusing on the South China Supervision Centre (SCSC) has clearly shown, however, that the SCEPs today can only perform well in the concrete or “small” tasks – most of them designated or handed over by the MEP – rather than in the complicated or “big” issues. To make the SCEPs do more and better, the most desirable but radical policy choice is to reshape them into fully authorised regional “sub-bureaus” of the MEP.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: China