Posts tagged China

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore ‘Scares the Hell Out of Everybody’

Bloomberg, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Johor, Bahru, cities, SEZ, megacities, economics

The landscaped lawns and flowering shrubs of Country Garden Holdings Co.’s huge property showroom in southern Malaysia end abruptly at a small wire fence. Beyond, a desert of dirt stretches into the distance, filled with cranes and piling towers that the Chinese developer is using to build a $100 billion city in the sea. While Chinese home buyers have sent prices soaring from Vancouver to Sydney, in this corner of Southeast Asia it’s China’s developers that are swamping the market, pushing prices lower with a glut of hundreds of thousands of new homes. They’re betting that the city of Johor Bahru, bordering Singapore, will eventually become the next Shenzhen. “These Chinese players build by the thousands at one go, and they scare the hell out of everybody,” said Siva Shanker, head of investments at Axis-REIT Managers Bhd. and a former president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents. “God only knows who is going to buy all these units, and when it’s completed, the bigger question is, who is going to stay in them?” The Chinese companies have come to Malaysia as growth in many of their home cities is slowing, forcing some of the world’s biggest builders to look abroad to keep erecting the giant residential complexes that sprouted across China during the boom years. They found a prime spot in this special economic zone, three times the size of Singapore, on the southern tip of the Asian mainland.

via http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016–11–21/–100-billion-chinese-made-city-near-singapore-scares-the-hell-out-of-everybody

What Chinese corner-cutting reveals about modernity

Chabuduo, China, modernity, improvisation, craft, production, politics, culture

In the West, unions (for manual labourers) and professional associations (for groups such as doctors and lawyers) played a critical role in setting national standards. They gave people an identity that depended, in part, on both mastery and morality, a group of peers to compete against, and to be held to account by. But, as Adam Smith argued in The Wealth of Nations (1776), every profession ‘ends in a conspiracy against the public’ and the Chinese Communist Party tolerates no conspiracies except its own. Especially since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, any group that might represent a cross-national basis of resistance to the Party has been cut down. Unionisation, outside of the toothless and corrupt All-China Trade Union Federation, is a threat to the Party, which no more wants hod-carriers or rail workers across the nation to come together than it does Christians, democrats or feminists. In the end, what perpetuates China’s carelessness most might be sheer ubiquity. Craft inspires. A writer can be stirred to the page by hearing a song or watching a car being repaired, a carpenter revved up by a poem or a motorbike. But the opposite also holds true; when you’re surrounded by the cheaply done, the half-assed and the ugly, when failure is unpunished and dedication unrewarded all around, it’s hard not to think that close enough is good enough. Chabuduo.

via https://aeon.co/essays/what-chinese-corner-cutting-reveals-about-modernity

On Social Sadism - China Miéville

China, Miéville, culture, history, politics, sadism, power, Capitalism

this is about social sadism – deliberate, invested, public or at least semi-public cruelty. The potentiality for sadism is one of countless capacities emergent from our reflexive, symbolising selves. Trying to derive any social phenomenon from any supposed ‘fact’ of ‘human nature’ is useless, except to diagnose the politics of the deriver. Of course it’s vulgar Hobbesianism, the supposed ineluctability of human cruelty, that cuts with the grain of ruling ideology. The right often, if incoherently, acts as if this (untrue) truth-claim of our fundamental nastiness justifies an ethics of power. The position that Might Makes Right is elided from an Is, which it isn’t, to an Ought, which it oughtn’t be, even were the Is an is. If strength and ‘success’ are coterminous with good, what can their lack be but bad – deserving of punishment?

via http://salvage.zone/in-print/on-social-sadism/

What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea

NYT, China, South China Sea, Asia, islands, island building, pirate utopias, infrastructure, marine

The speed and scale of China’s island-building spree have alarmed other countries with interests in the region. China announced in June that the creation of islands — moving sediment from the seafloor to a reef — would soon be completed. “The announcement marks a change in diplomatic tone, and indicates that China has reached its scheduled completion on several land reclamation projects and is now moving into the construction phase,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research group. So far China has built port facilities, military buildings and an airstrip on the islands. The installations bolster China’s foothold in the Spratly Islands, a disputed scattering of reefs and islands in the South China Sea more than 500 miles from the Chinese mainland.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/world/asia/what-china-has-been-building-in-the-south-china-sea.html?_r=0

Reincarnation | The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama, Reincarnation, China, religion, communism, power, corruption, decentralisation, diaspora

Reincarnation is a phenomenon which should take place either through the voluntary choice of the concerned person or at least on the strength of his or her karma, merit and prayers. Therefore, the person who reincarnates has sole legitimate authority over where and how he or she takes rebirth and how that reincarnation is to be recognized. It is a reality that no one else can force the person concerned, or manipulate him or her. It is particularly inappropriate for Chinese communists, who explicitly reject even the idea of past and future lives, let alone the concept of reincarnate Tulkus, to meddle in the system of reincarnation and especially the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas […] Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/statement-of-his-holiness-the-fourteenth-dalai-lama-tenzin-gyatso-on-the-issue-of-his-reincarnation

Maker Faire Shenzhen highlights the global politics of the “maker movement”

gvoss, maker, DIY, corporatism, supply chains, hacking, making, manufacturing, China, R&D, absorbti

In ‘Maker to Market’ spaces, things can get even messier. Several of the companies on this path depend on ‘open innovation’ models that allow them to engage with keen communities, providing ongoing feedback and mass customisation. This also allows customers to be used as a cheap form of R&D; a practice common in the creative and culture industries, described by Miya Tokumitsu as ‘Do what you love’ where a volunteer workforce works for passion and social capital rather than actual hard cash.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2014/apr/24/making-in-china-maker-faire-shenzhen-global-politics-maker-movement