Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today, it's a manufacturing juggernaut and 40 per cent of the country's wealth comes from exports. But with the global economy tanking, many of China's best customers don't look like they'll be buying much in 2009. That suggests tough times ahead for China.
To listen to the audio clip, please click here, and on that webpage, turn on the build-in Adobe flash player "Listen to Part Two".
Friday, December 12, 2008
He noted that this new system would be a welcome step for travellers as it could reduce the stress associated with customs clearance. To read the story, click here.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Read the article here.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the initiation of China's reform and open-market policy, he noted that during the past three decades, China has been immersed fully with the international community and is playing an increasingly larger role in global political and economic affairs.
Read the aticle here.
For a similar report in Chinese, please click here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On November 11, 2008, Dr. Jiang was interviewed by CCTV on the recent cross-strait relationship amid Chen Yunlin's contraversial visit to Taiwan in November. Chen is the chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits. His visit sparked wide spread protests by pro-independent residents in Taiwan.
Watch the video here.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
To listen to this edition's podcast, please click here.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
There are more than 53,000 babies got sick, over 15,000 hospitalized and 4 have died in the wide-spread fraud and scandal that have caused outrage in China and sent alarms around the world. In Canada, the United States and many other countries, many products containing dairy elements from China have been so far recalled. In the show, Dr. Jiang discussed the current development and its implications.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
You can read the article here.
Dr. Jiang was also quoted for the same topic by CTV. Read a brief news report from CTV's website here.
You can watch the clip here.
Friday, August 08, 2008
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
August 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM EDT
By any measure, the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics yesterday were a spectacular show. But in the weeks before this highly anticipated and in many ways controversial event, there has been hardly any good news. And the narrative from most of the Western media has been something like this: Back in 2001, China promised to behave and improve its human-rights records, in exchange for hosting the Games, but has broken its promises; there is more repression of Tibetans and other minorities, more jailing of dissidents, more harassment of the foreign press, more pollution, more censorship; in short, China is not democratizing.
Some of these concerns are genuine and understandable. After all, the Olympics is a great occasion for people from around world to celebrate the human spirit, to have their national teams compete under fair rules, and to bring us all closer together, as a global family. The host nation is called upon to live up to high expectations. China must learn to live with international scrutiny and with protests both inside and outside its borders. But the heavy reporting of negative news is painting an incomplete picture.
Few people I have talked to during my frequent visits to China accept the story that their country is worse off in terms of human rights than in 2001.
We can put aside the government's self-promoting claims, but well-informed Chinese believe that China has made considerable strides in human rights in the past seven years. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations recognizes freedom from poverty as a major category of human rights. China has lifted some 100 million people out of poverty. Despite severe limitations, there are hundreds of new legislative enactments that protect property rights and workers' rights. China has abolished a system that restricted freedom of movement among regions, and citizens can hold on to their passports to travel abroad. The Supreme People's Court now reviews all death sentences. The children of migrant workers can go to school in the urban centres where their parents work. And China has joined more international human-rights treaties.
There are serious problems of implementation and of government interference, but these tangible steps are moving China toward the rule of law.
To enumerate these advances is not to endorse the Chinese government. They are mainly due to the Chinese people's continuous struggle, often against the mighty control apparatus of an authoritarian state.
Even in the political sphere, there is expanded leeway. China now leads the world in the number of Internet users – 250 million – and cellphone subscribers – more than 550 million people, who send tens of billions of short messages a day. Despite censorship, they use these new tools to push for more rights and openness, and to challenge the authorities with rising success.
The government still interferes, still rounds up severe critics, and has made life harder for foreign reporters since the Tibetan crisis in March. But China's progress since 2001 has been largely along the positive trajectory of the past three decades.
The Chinese enjoy more freedom than at any time in recent history. Ordinary Chinese people enthusiastically support the Beijing Olympics, contrary to many critics who label the Games as a government propaganda showcase.
The protests against the Olympic torch relays in London, Paris, and other cities in Western countries strengthened that feeling. Though not very fond of many aspects of the government, most of the Chinese people were outraged by those who spoke of the “genocide Olympics.” They want to have a good sports party, and they want to have a good time, like everybody else around the world. Their passion is for the basketball star Yao Ming and the Olympic gold hurdler Liu Xiang. They don't like to be lumped together with their government, and resent the exploitation of the occasion for political purposes.
Comparisons of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the Nazi regime's 1936 Games in Berlin are profoundly ignorant. Whereas Hitler's tyranny in Germany was intensifying through the 1930s, China has moved away from the personal dictatorship of Mao toward a more collective leadership. Whereas Germany went on to launch aggressive wars against other countries after the 1936 Games, leading to the disasters of the Second World War, China has in recent years pursued a good-neighbour policy and settled almost all its border disputes with the surrounding countries.
In addition to keeping a sense of balance in assessing where China is today, we also have to be realistic and patient about where China should be. Clearly, many human-rights advocates have strongly hoped and wished that the 2008 Beijing Olympics would follow the pattern of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea – that is, the Games would shortly lead to Western-style democratization. With a growing realization that this is unlikely to happen, some people have questioned the usefulness and even the legitimacy of having granted the Summer Games to Beijing in the first place.
Others, more moderately, have complained that neither human-rights groups nor the Western news media are doing a good job in highlighting China's human rights-problems, with the result that this Olympic year will be a sadly missed opportunity.
Such a perspective, well intentioned though it is, seems to have ignored the lessons from the Tibetan crisis and the Olympic torch relay protests earlier this year: A well-organized movement intended to raise awareness of the Chinese government's Tibetan policy overstepped into an attack on the Chinese people themselves, as if they were not worthy of hosting the Olympics. Scenes such as that of pro-Tibetan independence protesters violently seizing the Olympic torch from a wheelchair-bound female Paralympian in Paris were counterproductive; they angered the Chinese public and pushed them to rally around the government, strengthening the hand of the hardliners.
To have counted on the Beijing Olympics to deliver a fast political miracle inside China, or anything else that the outside world might have wanted, was both unrealistic and shortsighted. We need to ask: What happens to China, to all the problems and challenges it faces at the end of this month when the Games are over? What is the leverage then?
At the root of the “whatever China does, it is not good enough” attitude is a heavy dose of old colonial attitudes and racial prejudice, in the widely shared, although not always explicitly acknowledged assumption in both our elite and popular discourse that the West knows what is best for China, and must impose its values and guide the country in the direction the West wants.
Many critics do not understand that the real agent of change in China is neither foreigners nor the Chinese government. The Chinese people are the forces that move China forward. The media should refrain from portraying them as passive and ignorant followers of a Communist dictatorship or as a mass of nationalistic and xenophobic robots lacking in independent judgment.
With or without the Olympics, China's long march toward modernity and democracy will be driven primarily by internal dynamics, managed by the Chinese themselves and at their own pace. The Chinese people want human rights and democracy no less than we Canadians do. We certainly should not think that they demand less or deserve less. For most Chinese, the key questions are not about whether China will become a democracy, but rather how to get there, how long it will take and in what form.
Even the Chinese government is not a monolithic bloc. Internal debates on China's future go on all the time. Battles between reform-oriented leaders and the factions of repression and control are all part of the Chinese process of political reform.
The best the West can do is to support the progressive forces in China, as they transform that country as they have in the past 30 years. The speed of change may be not as fast as we wish, but we need to manage our expectations, just as the Chinese people have managed theirs.
In any case, the Olympics as an international event will have a beneficial impact on many aspects of China's development. China is a very open country now, more so than most people in the West realize. But the Games will push that openness further, and make the Chinese people more aware of the outside world. Let's look beyond what has happened in the past few months and what may come in the next few, and measure things with some historical depth. Decades later, many Chinese who are young now may well look back proudly and define the “patriot Games” of 2008 as the moment that transformed them into internationalists.
China is aiming at getting as many Olympic medals as the American contingent in the Summer Games. It has come a long way since the days when it was called the “Sick Man of Asia.” The Chinese have good reasons to be proud at their coming-out party. We should not hold back in pointing out China's problems, but we should also give credit to the Chinese people and wish the Beijing Olympics great success.Discussion, Monday: Is the West too hard on China?
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
You can watch the clip by clicking the link below the "VIDEO" header located at the center of the CTV webpage, or through its direct link.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
On July 29, 2008, Dr. Jiang gave a live interview to CTV Newsnet on July 29 on human rights and other issues in China prior to the Olympic games.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
28 May 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Europe this week in part to lobby the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy to pressure China on the issue of global warming. Even putting aside Canada's dismal record on controlling its own emission of CO2 for a moment, don't you wonder why Mr. Harper ventures into building a "coalition of the willing" before talking to the Chinese leaders?
After all, other heads of major industrialized countries visit China or receive their Chinese counterparts in their own capitals on a regular basis, and some of them do multiple mutual visits a year. U.S. President George W. Bush claims that he can just pick up the phone and talk to Chinese President Hu Jintao. French President Nicolas Sarkozy went to China only months after assuming his post, openly challenged the Chinese on global warming responsibilities, and then with a stroke of a pen, signed $30 billion worth of contracts selling Airbus planes and nuclear reactors.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown travelled to China in January, also within months of taking over from Tony Blair. Joined by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brown engaged the Chinese people in a Q and A "town hall" meeting on a range of issues, offered to host 100 Chinese firms in Britain and promised to boost bilateral trade by 50 per cent, all in the next two years.
Australia's new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a China expert in his early training, headed to Beijing during the recent Tibet crisis. He delivered a speech in fluent Mandarin at Peking University. It was friendly, but frank, bringing up the Tibet issue. Instead of being booted, he was praised as being honest. His predecessor, the Conservative John Howard, actively engaged China, securing some $40 billion in long-term trade deals that have boosted the Australian economy.
So Mr. Harper's counterparts in Europe are likely to look him in the eye and ask two questions: Do you have strong environmental policy credentials at home? What do you have to offer from your own interactions with the Chinese leadership on the subject of global warming? Mr. Harper has neither.
While the world is busy engaging China for easily identifiable reasons, Mr. Harper has been missing in action. Two and half years after President Hu last visited Canada (fall of 2005) and more than two years after the Conservatives came to power, Mr. Harper has yet to find Beijing on the map, not to mention take a trip there anytime soon.
Foreign-policy and China-watching communities have both speculated and heard many reasons for Mr. Harper's lack of initiatives on China. First, there was the talk of an inexperienced young team that may take time to get the China file moving. Then, there was the all-consuming foreign policy challenge of Afghanistan that had to take priority over other things. Then there was the ever-looming domestic election that might come at any time, so a minority government must take care of that first ...
They all bear some truth. But they also sound more like bad excuses now that the Conservatives have been in office for 27 months. Mr. Harper's handling of Canada's China policy has been, by design or default, exactly opposite to that of other world leaders.
While others are emphasizing China's growing importance and forming a comprehensive China strategy, Canada has removed Beijing from its foreign policy priority list; while new leaders from Germany to Japan put summit diplomacy with the Chinese leaders as an indispensable part of their travel itinerary, Mr. Harper has stopped such a practice in Canada; while others are promoting investment and trade with China as a part of increasing jobs and competitiveness at home, the Harper government has let our proportion of trade and investment with China slip; and while others are in constant consultation on some of the most pressing global issues such as the environment and climate change, Mr. Harper is not even on talking terms with the Chinese.
So it is clear that Mr. Harper's China policy is anything but to have one. And contrary to the prevailing but misleading perception that somehow this government has emphasized human rights in its China policy, the Conservatives don't even deserve a passing grade on this subject.
They have suspended Canada's annual human rights dialogue and replaced it with nothing; they have been making grand, but largely self-congratulatory, moral statements regarding China's human rights record but have not implemented a single tangible project to advance human rights and democracy in that country; and Mr. Harper confuses trade with rights by stating that Canada would not sacrifice human rights for the mighty dollar, as if they are mutually exclusive objectives.
Instead of taking fresh China policy initiatives, various House and Senate committees have settled for endless hearings. What they have been told, including testimonies from this author, is very straightforward: we are losing our influence in China, we need a China strategy. Put national interests over and above narrow party politics, and engage China on a range of issues that are absolutely relevant to the long-term wellbeing of Canadians.
Yes, International Trade Minister David Emerson, the only cabinet member who has China expertise, has been going to China since last year and so have a few other ministers. But unless Mr. Harper is willing to engage the Chinese directly by making the long-overdue trip to Beijing, his China agenda on this European trip may yield very little success.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
The original was written for Project Syndicate which has distributed the piece to more than 370 newspapers in 143 countries and in seven languages. Read it here.