Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Posts Tagged ‘Propaganda’

Behind The Scenes

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank you to China Digital Times for this excellent translation.

Internet Censor’s Latest “Working Instructions”

The following “working instructions” contain two lists of detailed censorship orders from a government propaganda authority. Their contents have been posted on some Chinese blogs, translated by CDT:

Work Instructions Jan. 2, 2008 As noted from the superiors:

1. Web sites should immediately delete posts about the central government planning to set up a Ministry of Energy and merging the securities, banking, and insurance regulation commissions, both of which are rumors.

2. Web sites should not report on and cook up the incident of a tiger being poached and skinned at Three Gorges Forest Wildlife World in Yichang City, Hubei Province. Relevant information should be deleted.

3. Web sites should only republish information from the Xinhua News Agency about the leadership reshuffle at the General Administration of Civil Aviation, and should not open forums, blogs and interactive columns to discuss this.

4. On the assassination of Bhutto, only report on the objective occurrences and reactions from various parties, do not associate the event with Pakistan’s internal struggles, or with Pakistani terrorist forces, thus avoiding attracting fire onto ourselves and getting involved in Pakistan’s internal problems.

5. On Dec. 29, the National People’s Congress made a decision on the future political development of Hong Kong. Here below are the guidelines and requirements for reporting on this:

A. Strictly follow reporting guidelines: Only use the dispatches from Xinhua News Agency and commentaries from People’s Daily, no articles from other sources.

B.Tighten the management of news comment posts, forums and blogs. Comments should be posted only after review. Don’t actively create news topics in forums, and blog monitoring should be tightened. Those posts that negate the spirit of the NPC decision and criticize our political system should be absolutely blocked or deleted.

C. Strengthen positive guidance. Web sites should proactively guide public opinion in a positive way, highlight positive voices and create a pro-NPC online environment.

D. Strengthen online situation monitoring. When problems arise, they shall be resolved immediately and major situations should be reported to our department quickly.

E. Keep a good schedule of shifts for the 24 hour period between Dec. 29 and 30. The New Year period should also be adequately monitored, ensuring a positive public opinion.

F. Web sites should pay great attention to the importance of online publicity management of Hong Kong’s political development. Managers of sites themselves should personally work on following the above guidelines and ensure a positive environment online.

6. Web sites should not cook up Hu Ziwei making a scene at the press conference announcing that CCTV’s sports channel will become the Olympics channel. Relevant video clips, photos and text information should be deleted.

7. Delete all articles about “the coming of an era for the second land reform.” If necessary, emergency actions should be taken, such as shutting down BBS at night and reopening the next morning, and stabilizing the BBS situation on campuses. If any such posts appear, get in touch with the web site management center. Titles of such articles include:“Terminator of China’s high housing prices – end of urbanization and subprime mortgage crisis”“China needs a second land reform – time to carve up the land and hand to farmers”“The era of the second land reform has arrived”“A second land reform started by Chinese farmers,” etc.

8.Web sites should delete the photos of Lu Yongxiang (路甬祥), President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, attending the democracy life meeting of the Institute of Mechanics. Clean up forms and blogs that have such relevant information.

9.Immediately clean up video clips about “Lust, Caution” and “Lost Beijing.”

Work Instructions Jan. 3, 2008 As noted from the superiors:

1. Web sites should delete posts about “PLA will soon beat ‘Taiwan’ a bit.” Our department will do a thorough examination, those who have not cleaned up will be punished.

A. All higher education institutions should strengthen BBs patrolling and delete anything relevant. Don’t bother closing down reply function.

B. Also pay attention to mutated character sets, or Martian scripts, that look similar to the original texts, such as “(方攵)” or “(氵弯)”.

C. Close down sites when necessary, and ensure a stable online environmenta on campuses.

D. When relevant posts appear, report timely. Those who do not report or neglect to report will be punished.

2. Please go to Touching China People of the Year voting page http://news.cctv.com/special/07gdzg/06/2007 and vote for a hero that moves you. Also please mobilize votes for Li Jianying, the navy pilot who died while making an emergency landing.

3. A note on the online management about the hearing on mobile phone billing and pricing: The National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Information Industry will hold a hearing on reducing the cap of mobile phone domestic roaming fees. Web sites in the city should guide netizens to have a rational view on this event. Relevant news information should roll like usual, but no hype and topping of the topic on forums. Malicious attacks or curses on our social system should be deleted.

Posted in China | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

A Word About Tax

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, November 9, 2007

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms [sic] for different interpretation.

But don’t just take my word for it – that was an exact quote from Shanghai’s Government website. According to official statistics from the State Administration of Taxation (which I trust about as far as I trust the lowlife scum who run the Party), China took in 3.7636 trillion yuan (about 470.5 billion US dollars) in taxation alone during 2006. The figure does not include income from tariffs, tax on arable land use and that paid by real estate buyers, the administration said on its website. And it looks even better for 2007, with the aggregate tax revenue in the first nine months this year approaching the total generated in 2006, said Shu Qiming, Director of the State Administration of Taxation Department – that’s a whopping 3.72 trillion yuan (495.5 billion USD) in the first three quarters alone. Even stamp tax from securities trading sky-rocketed to 143.6 billion yuan (19.1 billion USD) for the same period. I’m not kidding – these figures were taken directly from the official website.

And yet, I’m constantly being told by the locals that “…China is a poor country, so other countries should help us”. And yes, it is true that there are, indeed, a great many very poor people living here. So, what on Earth do they spend it all on? Here are a couple of things they could reduce expenditure on:

Defence.
Let’s be reasonable, shall we? The Communist Party claim that they are spending a paltry USD$45 billion this year on the military (an 18% increase over 2006) – enough to buy a copy of Guns & Ammo for every soldier, but not much more than that. Yeah, sure. China’s published defence budget does not include large categories of expenditure, including expenses for strategic forces, foreign acquisitions, military-related research and development, and China’s paramilitary forces. And even with that in mind, a more credible figure is USD$85-130 billion. And why should this be surprising? After, the December 2006 Defence White Paper stated all-too-clearly that the goal was:

“…a three-step development strategy in modernizing its (China’s) national defence and armed forces, in accordance with the state’s overall plan to realize modernization. The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationized armed forces and being capable of winning informationized wars by the mid-21st century.”

And it isn’t all about Taiwan, either, although with almost 1000 ballistic missiles currently aimed at Taiwan, and with that number growing by 100+ each year, China probably proposes to resolve that issue in its favour through non-peaceful means. The Japanese are justifiably concerned, and have expressed fears that with a consistently expansive military budget, Japan could one day even become a Chinese province. Don’t laugh – Chinese schools have recently begun telling schoolchildren that this will happen by 2020.

In any event, a sizeable chunk of my tax yuan are being spent on armaments, with China now having the second largest military budget in the world, larger even than Russia.

Space Program.
The Chinese claim to have spent a grand total of less than 19 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) on the first five Shenzhou spacecraft, and that their lunar probe project (part of the three-stage Chang’e Program which aims to place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010) has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars).

Bullshit.

The real figure is hard to state with certainty, due to both the opacity of the budgetary system, and the fact that the Chinese space program is highly integrated with the military. Nevertheless, most reliable estimates put the annual expenditure at between USD$1.3 and USD$3 Billion, with several tens of billions more invested in military-space programs. This places China in third place, spending more than anyone else except NASA and the European Space Agency. Not bad for a ‘developing country’.

By comparison…

Social Spending.
According to UNICEF:

– Relative to the size of China’s economy and the overall government budget, expenditure on the social sectors remains low by international standards.
– The structure of government expenditure in these sectors is tilted towards higher level institutions (higher education and hospitals at county level and above) at the expense of the institutions providing essential services at county, township and village levels.
– Expenditure is inequitably distributed both regionally and between urban and rural areas, due to the high degree of decentralization in the financing of education, health and other social services and the large differences in local levels of economic development and tax revenue, which are insufficiently offset by inter-governmental transfer payments.
– Government resources account for a relatively low share of total social sector expenditure, leaving individual households to assume much of the responsibility for paying for services, through fees and user charges, which has placed a heavy burden on the poor, particularly in the rural areas and among migrants in the cities.

Education got just 2.8% of GDP in 2004, Health spending accounted for 0.8% of GDP for the same period (although that said, Education is apparently getting 4% of GDP now. Big whoops). According to State Media, rural schools owe their teachers more than 10 billion yuan in back pay and failure to pay teachers’ salaries has contributed to the severe shortage of qualified teachers in the countryside. Annual revenue in one county in the poor, north-western province of Gansu was enough to cover only one month’s salary for its permanent teachers and public servants.

I guess it makes sense, though. After all, why help your poor, when you can simply buy a lot of weapons and high-prestige items. It worked for the National Socialists back in the 1930’s and it’s showing every sign of working just fine now for the Chinese Communists. Hell, they got their Olympics, too…

Anyway…

Back to the Government website. I’m going to leave you with some useful information, helpfully provided by the CCP. Just in case you wanted to live here, or anything.

Tax
Under some circumstances, foreigners in the city must pay taxes. Income tax is probably the most important and also the most unavoidable.

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms for different interpretation. Sometimes, even overseas tax consultants feel puzzled when they deal businesses relate to China for clients.

If you worked in a local company (domestic or foreign invested) or the local office of a foreign company, you may have your income tax handled by your company, otherwise, you’d better ask for help from experts, such as consultants from accounting firms (local or international) or officials who work for local taxation, finance administrations. Normally, you won’t have a direct contact with local tax officials, unless you do business for your own.

Contact the local tax and finance administrations: Click here to access there official Website. English version is not available.

Pets
Import.
Bringing your pets (only cats or dogs are allowed) to the city is possible, but the quarantine procedure is as complicated as you can imagine. With a whole set of original certificates, including a health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate, your pet will go through a 30-day compulsory quarantine by the entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities.

With one passport, you can bring only one pet. The quarantine service will cost you at least 2,000 yuan (US$250) and, after your pet has passed quarantine, you should register it at the local police department under the name of a local Chinese resident. You may need to seek help from a local Chinese you trust to accomplish the mission.

Buy or adopt.
You may also buy or adopt animals here. If you want to buy one, many are available at local pet markets. You should choose only licensed and vaccinated animals. Otherwise you may see the one you picked up die in a few days, because it has been kept alive by injected drugs.

Phone Numbers
Police: 110
Telephone Repair: 112

Money Transfer
To transfer money gained here to your home country is a technical job. You should seek help from law firms or accounting firms. First of all, you should obey Chinese laws. In some conditions, a foreigner needs to pay tax and some service charges. It’s better for you to make a plan with help from a lawyer or accountant on your money transfer project.

Internet
Don’t be frightened by its crude facade. Most Internet cafes in Shanghai don’t have pleasant conditions, but they charge very low. Remember the Chinese characters for Internet cafe.

Posted in Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why Smoking Won’t Kill Me

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, October 27, 2007

Further to a previous blogpost, here’s a quick comparison between various places, using the Air Pollution Index as a yardstick:

Beijing, China – 184
Riverside County Metro, California, USA (which is on fire) – 173
Los Angeles, California, USA – 41

Note also that the Chinese data is based on, well, Chinese data. Which means that the reality is almost certainly far worse. This is only what they admit to. Anyone who actually believes what they are told here is a naive fool.

In other news, the Olympics is coming up. Xinhua, the Party mouthpiece, has this story:

Beijing going all out to achieve ‘Green Olympics’

The blue bright sky Beijing enjoyed over the past days had been mistaken by some foreign journalists as “a result of government intervention” to polish the city’s image while a significant congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was going on.

Beijing Vice Major Liu Jingmin, a delegate to the five-yearly Party congress, said at a news conference on Friday it actually was the wind coming down from the north that cleaned the air in the host city of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “Frankly speaking, we didn’t take any measures. It’s the weather that played the role, ” he said.

But with a longer view of the city’s environment and air quality, the improvement is explicit. In 2006, Beijing registered 240 “blue sky” days, or days with fairly good air quality, a rise of 64 days from the previous year.

Nice.

Posted in ChinaDaily, Environment, Olympics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Latest: Typhoon Krosa

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, October 7, 2007

From that shining beacon of truth, Xinhua (faithfully reported by AP):

Powerful Typhoon Krosa made landfall in east China on Sunday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of more than one million people…

Krosa, the 16th typhoon this year, landed at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday near the borders of Zhejiang’s Cangnan County and Fujian’s Fuding City, packing winds of up to 126 km per hour, the Zhejiang Provincial Flood Prevention and Drought Relief Headquarters said…

Krosa is expected to trigger gale force winds, torrential rains and even landslides in some areas…

More than one million people have been evacuated […] while schools, airports, expressways and shipping services in some areas have been shut down. Meanwhile, vessels have been recalled to harbor.

The tourism authorities in Zhejiang have closed almost all scenic spots along the coast, and evacuated more than 500,000 holiday-makers who had flocked to the seaside resorts for the week-long National Day holiday ending on Sunday.

MyLaowai says: Utter Bollocks. Play a new record, Mister DeeJay, this one’s crap.

For the record, Mrs MyLaowai was in one of those scenic spots. In fact, at the time of writing she is on her way back from there. She says it was “a bit rainy”. No one was ‘evacuated’, schools have not been ‘shut down’ (because they were not open anyway – National Holiday, remember?), airports and expressways are all open for business as usual, and the ferries are still running. And I’ve just about had it with the Associated Press for having the audacity to repeat these lies over and over.

News in China? Give me a break.

UPDATE (late Sunday night): Ferries in the area have now been stopped by Government order, but although there is quite a lot of rain, there is nothing resembling a major storm or typhoon. Shanghai has just a light drizzle. Thank you for your attention, you may now return to your regular programming…

Posted in Environment, Lies & Damned Lies, Media | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Missing Persons Alert! Where Is Wipha?

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, September 20, 2007

Typhoon Wipha, easily the most devastating storm to hit China in more than a decade, slammed into Shanghai in the early hours of Wednesday morning, bringing with it 200Kph winds and torrential rain, and leaving death and devastation in it’s wake. More than two million people were evacuated, the largest evacuation in sixty years, all flights were cancelled, and more than 700 homes destroyed.

At least, that’s what the State-run media would have us believe. Oh yes, and also those lazy bastards who claim to be journalists / reporters, and who work for the Western media, who seemed content to parrot every word of it verbatim, without once ever thinking of actually checking to see if any of it was actually true.

I, on the other hand, as a mere person who was actually there, saw nothing untoward. There was a slight drizzle, tending towards light rain at times, but clearing. There was a bit of a breeze, but although one of my outside pot plants got knocked over, it wasn’t enough to prevent me lighting a cigarette outside. Then again, perhaps I just spent my entire day in the eye of the storm (an eye which, conveniently, followed me around the city as I went about my business).

So, Where Was Wipha? And where now is the credibility of the fuckwit journo’s who were completely happy – yet again – to parrot something they’d been told by the Chinese Communist Party? It isn’t like this is the first time, indeed there would be very few days I don’t see the same stock copy reprinted for the benefit of readers of the New York Times, Washington Post, most of the English papers, and the worst of the worst – CNN and AP. Even the BBC does it at times (sorry Auntie, but you do). And the day that Fox ‘News’ ever reports a fact, factually, will be the day that I eat my cardboard baozi.

From typhoons to exports, Taiwan to Government statements, there are so many falsehoods, cover-ups, and outright blatant lies told by the people and Government of China, that one hardly knows where to start – and it is all reported faithfully by the lazy arse journo’s whom we entrust with our own information supply. Sure, there’re a few out there who know their trade, ask questions, actually listen to the answers, and then report it in a meaningful way, but when it comes to China I could count them all on the fingers of one hand. It’s worse still when those same reporters actually start to invent their own stories to support what they’ve been told to write coughCNNcough. There’s an easy test, of course – when Chinese are speaking, look closely at their mouths. If the lips move, then they are telling a lie.

Anyway, having got that off my chest, I’m just going to sit back and wait for the next terrible flood in which the same village is again washed away with tragic loss of life, the same 650,000 people lose their same homes, and the same soldiers race against time to build the same makeshift sandbag dike. Not that I’ve ever even heard of anyone who has ever actually seen any of it, but hey it’s a good story all the same, right AP?

Or you could simply get your news from people who are actually there. If it isn’t too much trouble.

Posted in Environment, Lies & Damned Lies, Media | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quotations From Bastards

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, September 3, 2007

From the Land That Time Forgot, these quotations…

“China is highly transparent in terms of military policies and security strategy, as reflected in its commitment to no-first-use of nuclear weapons… [but] Transparency will always be relative. The key point is mutual trust.”
– Peng Guangqian

Yeah, except that China has a stated first-use policy and is internationally known for having the least transparent set of military policies and budgets on earth.
.

The number of cases involving foreign institutions and individuals conducting illegal surveying and mapping in China has been on the rise in recent years, according to the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM).

In the first six months of this year, local authorities have handled five cases and investigating five others in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Shanghai Municipality, and Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces.

SBSM said most of these foreigners came into the country under the disguise of scientists, tourists, expeditionists, and archaeologists.

The results of these foreigners’ surveying and mapping belong to China, and must not be brought and transmitted abroad without official permission by Chinese authorities, according to the law.

Foreigners who have illegally surveyed, collected and published geographical information on China will be severely punished according to law.
– ChinaDaily

These cases involve innocent people entering positional data into their GPS handsets. Hell, it includes me, since I’ve entered waypoints into my GPS-enabled cellphone. Come and get me. .

“Organic farming is not a new thing in Chinese agriculture. We did it thousands of years ago and now we are just going back to the traditions with some modern technologies.”
– Guo Changjun

Yeah. Modern Technology. Like not shitting in the rice paddy and calling it ‘Organic Farming’.
.

“China consistently spares no efforts to enforce its IPR legislation with great success acknowledged by the international community… It is regrettable for China to see the United States has chosen to request the establishment of a panel in spite of China’s efforts to settle this dispute through consultations.”
– Chinese WTO Delegation

Except that China rejected consultations under “relevant WTO regulations”.
.

一人超生,全村结扎!
If one person has too many babies, the whole village will have their tubes tied!
“一胎环,二胎扎,三胎四胎杀杀杀!”
One pregnancy gets the ring. Two pregnancies gets your tubes tied. The third and fourth, kill kill kill!
– Family Planning Slogans

.

“The reality of this country’s economic reforms is that the country, the race, is prospering. This must be extolled. It can only be extolled. There can’t be anyone who makes fun of it. People who do either have ulterior motives or they’re mentally challenged… As a Chinese director … as a Chinese actor, this point of view must be firmly entrenched.”
– Han Sanping, China Film Group Chairman

.

An unidentified official with the [Zhejiang] provincial industry and commerce bureau said that a thorough inspection shall be carried out for imported food products.

He also warned people to be cautious of taking foreign nourishment and avoid blind faith in expansive [sic] products.
-ChinaDaily

Yeah. Better to stick to cardboard-filled buns, right?
.

If we are serious about protecting Chinese culture, maybe we should begin by preventing our language from being Europeanized.
– Zou Hanru, ChinaDaily ‘opinion’ writer

.

Foreign acquisitions of Chinese companies will be subject to stringent new checks intended to protect national economic security under a new law passed Thursday.

“As well as anti-monopoly checks stipulated by this law, foreign mergers with, or acquisitions of, domestic companies or foreign capital investing in domestic companies’ operations in other forms should go through national security checks according to relevant laws and regulations”
– From the new Anti-Monopoly Law

.

Foreign investors are urged to pay more attention to environmental protection and energy conservation.

“China will strengthen restrictions on foreign investment in energy-intensive high polluting and low efficiency industries.”
– Vice-Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo

Yeah, because that’s the exclusive traditional domain of Chinese companies.

Posted in Censorship, ChinaDaily, Environment, Food, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies, Propaganda, Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »