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Xi and “root socialism”
At a meeting on national financial goals, Chinese leader Xi Jinping this week called for efforts to promote “moderate wealth for all,” the so-called “common prosperity” that has entered the lexicon of the media and Chinese business.
The statement came after Xi returned from the resort town of Beidaihe in Henan Province. It is common for Chinese leaders to spend the first two weeks of August in secret political discussions at the resort, located about 300 km from the capital.
Xi said it was necessary “to adjust excessively high incomes and rectify the distribution of income.”
The commentary said China needs to slow down the privatization of public services such as care for the elderly, access to doctors, the cost of accessibility for people with disabilities, and education.
Regarding the education sector, the first measures have already started, with the publication of strict rules to contain the market of “crams” and private tutors.
In response to Xi’s speech, Tencent, owner of the WeChat messaging app and one of the country’s most profitable tech companies, announced a donation of 50 billion yen (over 41.5 billion reais) to a special project “dedicated to common prosperity”. To gain the good graces of the government, other companies would have to follow suit.
Why it matters: When China opened up to capitalist rule, former leader Deng Xiaoping admitted that “some get richer first”, but the 10% that makes up that portion is now over 40% of all national income. In China, the Gini index, which measures inequalities, is 0.47, a situation worse than that of countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia or Sudan. The outlook is viewed with concern by the government, which fears instability if inequalities continue to increase.
what also matters
If you want to travel to Hong Kong in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there are certainly a number of rules that you will need to follow. Proof that travel is essential, a letter of invitation, several PCR tests for the detection of Covid and strict quarantine at designated hotels on arrival are required.
But for Australian actress Nicole Kidman, all it took was a private jet and the production of an Amazon series.
In Chinese territory for the recording of “The Expats” series, Kidman apologized for taking the exams and took a jet from Australia straight to Hong Kong. The case might have gone unnoticed if the actress hadn’t been seen shopping with bodyguards at Queen’s Road Central, the city’s shopping district.
Residents reacted angrily and demanded an explanation from the government. After the pressure, the Hong Kong Ministry of Commerce and Economic Development declared that Kidman was authorized to perform “designated professional work conducive to the maintenance of necessary operations and the development of the Hong Kong economy.”
Anyone who has been to China knows that in any public square or park there will certainly be old people dancing and singing at the start or end of the day. The tradition has stood the test of time and dates back to imperial China, when the gathering of men and women in the center of hutongs (kinds of ancient alleys) to socialize was common.
But if it depends on the Chinese government, this practice must change. The state news agency said on Tuesday that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress was discussing an amendment to the 1997 Noise Pollution Act to regulate the use of public spaces for collective dances.
If passed, the law will require participants to limit themselves to designated spaces and adhere to a time limit. The delegates also intend to create a night noise control. Anyone who breaks the rule will be fined between 200 and 500 (R $ 166 to R $ 416).
This is not the first time that the Chinese authorities have tried to control the dancing of the elderly, considered too loud by the general population. Four years ago, the General Administration of Sports of China issued a warning that “noise from dancing and exercising in the squares should not affect students attending classes and residential livelihoods. “.
In most parts of the world, those who buy Apple products directly from the company’s website can personalize the new device with phrases and emojis. In China, however, this is not the case. The Citizen Lab, linked to the University of Toronto, reported this week that thousands of words are banned from being used for personalization in the Asian country.
Censored terms include, for example, the combination of numbers 8964 (referring to the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989), 達賴 (Dá lài, referring to the Dalai Lama), 新聞自由 (Xīnwén zìyóu, or freedom of the press), 法輪功 (Fǎlún Gōng, religion prohibited in China) and 艾 未 未 (Ài Wèiwèi, dissident artist, critic of the Communist Party).
Apple responded to the group by saying that the recording service “is guided by our values” and excludes terms “vulgar or culturally sensitive, which could be interpreted as incitement to violence or be considered illegal under local regulations. “.
keep an eye
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday that “the world’s judgment on the Taliban lacks objectivity” and that the extremist group’s current version “is calmer and more rational than last time. that he was in power “.
The statement follows a statement released by China earlier this week when the US-backed government of Ashraf Ghani collapsed and fundamentalists took control of the country. As a result, Beijing said it was ready to maintain “friendly relations” with the group and was one of the few countries not to close the embassy in Kabul.
Why it matters: Make no mistake, China has no short-term economic pretensions and certainly shares the fear expressed by other countries about regional security instabilities, as it shares a border with China. Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the country must partially fill the power vacuum left by the withdrawal of American troops and will try to moderate the Taliban, preventing them from associating with Islamist separatists in the troubled province of Xinjiang.
With the United States’ exit from Afghanistan, China will play a key role in the stability and recognition of the Taliban regime. On the blog, I explain how Beijing reacted to the fall and what to expect from the Chinese to contain the crisis from now on. (porous paywall, in portuguese)
The Sixth Tone portal provides a detailed profile on Chao Xiaomi, a transgender activist who fights to end gender binarism in China. The text also provides a very in-depth analysis of the life of minorities in the country. (free, in English)
China has taken measures to slow the rapid aging of the population and encourage the birth of more children. Radii China explains why this policy is failing and how the push for more children is driving Chinese millennials to adopt pets.