A Note on City Size and Political Economy

Among the China superlatives that we have heard for the last two decades is the fantastic growth in city size - Pudong in Shanghai from fishing and farming villages to the world's most recognizable skyline; similarly for Shenzhen, Guangdong, and literally dozens of places most of us have never heard of. 

 

 

Source: Lujiazui 2016.jpg

No Way Out, 2

Understanding the Chinese Constitution, the New Citizens Movement, and Document No. 9

 

The New Citizens Movement should not have been a big deal – a loosely organized group of activists campaigning against corruption and for “constitutionally protected rights” in China.  Xu Zhiyong, a PhD from the Peking University Law School, was one of the leaders.

Xu Zhiyong, shortly before arrest   Xu Zhiyong speaking at a meeting in Beijing in March, 2013, shortly before his arrest

Enyce and guanxi and ... chen dongfan               Fall, 2009

 

Note – this was a couple of months after I began teaching full time in Hangzhou, so I was being sensitive to … everything.  Food, clothes, manners.

 

Ju la, or as it is sometimes written, Ru la, is an American-sixties style restaurant in the hills of Hangzhou. Chinese food, Chinese patrons, but the design is all exposed and rough-cut wood, with American nineteen-fifties advertising posters on the walls and tables that are enormous rough hewn blocks.  It is very popular, especially on Sundays.  It is a custom to go to a restaurant on Sunday, take a table, and spend two or three hours or more eating and drinking and talking.  No waiters hustling you out as you take your first bite of dessert.  It is Sunday, the one day of rest.

Ju ra       Trip Advisor - Restaurants Hangzhou

 

The Mysterious Parking Garage Market   

 

Tea party activists and Randians and market fundamentalist miss some things about the real world.   One is the distinction between free markets and competitive markets.  Free markets are for one-off deals with buyers and sellers who don’t know each other, have equal power in the market, will not see each other again, and don’t convey any information about the transaction to the rest of the market.  One-off deals are the métier for people like our current dear leader.  Except for the equal power in the marketplace bit.

Party’s Over                                               October 9, 2018

The crackdown on expression hardens for CCP and anyone in government, even if not CCP

 

Jiayun Feng, reporting in SupChina  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -

 New Party rules to govern members’ online behavior

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is set to implement some new regulations for its members to monitor how they behave on the internet.

The new set of revised discipline rules was released by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on September 26, and is set to take effect on October 1. Party members are required to be hyperconscious about what they post on digital platforms, such as the popular messaging app WeChat.

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts.  Independent, May 28, 2015

Source: The Independent - Chinese Artist Detained

School's Out        What Chinese are talking about … (2)

The cult of Xi – from the Little Red Book on Mao Zedong thought to the nightly quiz show on Xi Jinping thought

 

extolling Mao with the little red book; and

extolling Xi with the tv quiz show

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-45728131   A nightly tv show features students vying to be the one who knows most about the life, speeches, and travels of the current dear leader and Marxism.  This is a game show,  but there are no prizes for winners.  That must be why tv ratings are so low. 

 

News Comments

  • When Internet Blocking Fails

    When Internet Blocking Fails

     An internet not coming to a computer near you …

    CCP gets more paranoid than usual around June 4 of every year, particularly those years a multiple of five from 1989.   This year is 30 years since the Tian’anmen massacre.

    I was in Chicago around June 4 of 2009, but I made the 2014 anniversary.  Internet blocking began early in May.  Every foreigner in China gets accustomed to internet and social media blocking, but in 2014 the online ban was nearly total.  It was a lesson in how particular the censorship could be.   You know, it’s China – it’s complicated.

    Read more ...  
  • How to End June 4, et al.

    How to End June 4, et al.

     

    A Country That Controls the Internet Should be Able to Control the Calendar

    A few years ago, it was reported in the Australian Financial Review that senior party members in the Chinese Communist Party were reading deTocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution.  This was at the suggestion of Xi Jinping, who apparently wanted to call attention to the fate of leaders who ignore the people in favor of corruption and the easy life.  The end times of the French monarchy is a good model for what rulers should not do.

    Read more ...  
  • What Chinese cannot not talk about …

    What Chinese cannot not talk about …

    In a previous post, I mentioned the heavy hand of CCP coming down on internet access each year in the weeks leading up to date of the Tian'anmen Massacre in 1989.

    What CCP sincerely wants is for Chinese netizens to model the three monkeys – see, hear, speak no evil – evil, of course, being in the eye of the CCP beholder and specifically any sight, sound, voice or thought related to the events leading up to and during June 4, 1989. 

    Read more ...  

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