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Shared Destiny

Shared Destiny OPEN ACCESS

Edited by Geremie R Barmé
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: ANU Press
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    Shared Destiny
    Book Description:

    Humanity as never before shares a common destiny, whether it be in terms of the resources of the planet, the global environment, economic integration, or the movement of peoples, ideas, cultures. For better or worse humankind is a Community of Shared Destiny 命运共同体. The People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its ‘Chairman of Everything’, Xi Jinping, has declared that it shares in the destiny of the countries of the Asia and Pacific region, as well as of nations that are part of an intertwined national self-interest. The Party, according to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory, is the vanguard of progressive social forces; it cleaves to the concept of shared destiny and its historical role in shaping that destiny. Since its early days nearly a century ago it has emphasised the collective over the individual, the end rather than the means. It addresses majority opinion while guiding and moulding the agenda both for today, and for the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-925022-94-0
    Subjects: Political Science, History
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  1. Geremie R Barmé

    In theChina Story Yearbook 2014: Shared Destiny, we take as our theme a concept emphasised by Xi Jinping 习近平, the leader of China’s party-state, in October 2013 when he spoke of the People’s Republic being part of a Community of Shared Destiny 命运共同体, officially translated as a Community of Common Destiny. The expression featured in Chinese pronouncements from as early as 2007 when it was declared that the Mainland and Taiwan formed a Community of Shared Destiny. Addressing the issue of China’s relations with the countries that surround it at the inaugural Periphery Diplomacy Work Forum held in Beijing...

    • Benjamin Penny

      In September 2013, Reuters reported ‘three independent sources’ as saying that Xi Jinping believes China is ‘losing its moral compass’ as a result of the country’s extraordinary economic growth and the national mania for making money. Xi believes that Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism can help to provide a moral bulwark against corruption. One of Reuters’ sources claimed that Xi realises his anti-corruption campaign can only ‘cure symptoms’ while ‘reform of the political system and faiths are needed to cure the disease of corruption’.

      Former president Hu Jintao had famously claimed that Confucianism would help construct a ‘harmonious society’. In diagnosing...

    • Zou Shu Cheng

      A drunken man surnamed Dong walked into a Chongqing police station one evening in late 2013, shouting, ‘I’m denouncing my son in the name of righteousness!’ 大义灭亲. His son’s ‘crime’ was to have invited his mother, who had abandoned the family ten years earlier, to his thirtieth birthday dinner. Mr Dong had stormed out of the dinner and gone straight to the police station. He felt entitled to denounce his son for neglect because the traditional supreme Confucian virtue of ‘filial piety’ 孝, the responsibility of sons and daughters to respect and look after their parents, is enshrined in the...

  3. Jane Golley

    On 12 November 2013, the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Central Committee passed a ‘Resolution Concerning some Major Issues in Comprehensively Deepening Reform’ (henceforth ‘the Resolution’). That the Resolution assigned a ‘decisive’ role for the market in China’s economy caused much excitement, with analysts scouring the lengthy document for evidence of how this would be achieved. Writing in theChina Leadership Monitorin March 2014, Barry Naughton, a specialist in the Chinese economy at the University of California, San Diego, declared that the Third Plenum had ‘basically fulfilled the expectations placed on it’, becoming ‘a milestone in a prolonged process...

    • Antony Dapiran

      TIME IN THE business world in China used to be marked by progress: each year seemed to bring more reforms, more opening up, new ventures, new possibilities. This was the case throughout the 1990s and especially in the years surrounding China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

      Recent years, however, have seen a different kind of progression. The last twelve months have featured crackdowns, high-profile government-instigated cases against foreign businesses and a sense that doing business in China is getting harder, not easier.

      Yet the year had begun with much promise. In November 2013, the first year of...

    • David Murphy

      HUAYUQUAN话语权 is the right to speak and be heard, or to speak with authority. It is also the power to lead and guide debate, or to set the parameters of acceptable discourse. In the past few years, prominent Chinese intellectuals have adopted this second understanding ofhuayuquanto explain, with mounting urgency, how the country’s lack of influence in international financial, trade, security and media institutions translates to unfair treatment in China’s interactions with the world.

      China’s lack ofhuayuquanin global commodities markets is a particular focus of anxiety. The People’s Republic has become the largest global consumer...

  5. Richard Rigby and Brendan Taylor

    China is hardly alone in embracing foreign policy concepts that lack precision. Think of then US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick’s call on China in 2005 to become a ‘responsible stakeholder’ and the call of then president Hu Jintao’s contemporaneous formulation for a ‘harmonious world’, for example, or Kevin Rudd’s 2008 vision of an ‘Asia-Pacific Community’ and ‘harmonious world’. At its heart, the concept of a ‘community of shared destiny’ is essentially about ensuring peace and stability in China’s external strategic environment through the development of good relations with neighbouring countries. Ironically, it is difficult to recall a period,...

    • Joanna (Yeejung) Yoon

      ACCORDING TO WESTERN media reports and official sources in the Philippines and Vietnam, China is building artificial islands on reefs and protruding rocks in the South China Sea to bolster its territorial claims. In response to questions at a Foreign Ministry press briefing on 6 June 2014, spokesman Hong Lei 洪磊 said, ‘Anything China does on any of the islands or atolls is within its sovereign rights’.

      The Chinese have also accelerated the construction of new buildings on already inhabited islands in the area. Other media reports claim that the Chinese government is paying fishermen subsidies to live on previously...

    • XI GOES TO MODI (pp. 82-85)

      SINCE THE ELECTORAL victory of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014, China has been cultivating an amicable relationship with Asia’s other giant. On a two-day state visit to India, 17–18 September 2014, Xi Jinping committed China to investing US$20 billion in India over the next five years. Early reports had the figure at US$100 billion, which would have dwarfed the US$35 billion deal secured by Modi in Japan at the end of August. Nonetheless, US$20 billion, a figure that includes both public and private investment, and will cover the construction of high-speed rail links and other infrastructure,...

    • LATIN AMERICA (pp. 86-89)
      Rebecca Fabrizi

      PRESIDENT XI JINPING’S tour of Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela in July 2014 confirmed the importance of China’s foreign policy to the region once thought of as America’s backyard. During the trip, Xi attended a meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of emerging powers at Fortaleza, Brazil, as well as the first summit between China and the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States (CELAC) in Brasilia, Brazil. Xi expanded China’s bilateral strategic partnerships and co-operative agreements with Latin American countries during the ten-day journey. But his most pressing task was to revitalise...

    • PUP BARKING (pp. 90-93)
      Linda Jaivin

      ON 18 AUGUST 2014, Clive Palmer, a maverick Australian businessman, Member of Parliament and leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), appeared on the popular and unscripted, live-to-air Australian Broadcasting Corporation showQ&A;, in which politicians and others answer audience questions. In response to a question regarding allegations of improper electoral funding, he launched into an off-piste attack on China that clearly shocked his fellow panellists and audience members: referring to ‘Chinese mongrels’, he explained: ‘I’m saying that because they’re Communist, they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country....

    • Rebecca Fabrizi

      ALTHOUGH BEIJING has a long history of falling in and out of alliances with Moscow, Xi Jinping is giving the relationship a high and positive profile. He appears to admire the Russian leader, who he has characterised as having a similar personality to his own: ‘我和您性格很相似’. He made Russia his first destination for a foreign trip after becoming president, and his first foreign visit of 2014. Additional bilateral meetings at international summits such as BRICS (the association of the major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 上海合作组织 and the G20, as well...

    • CHINA AND EUROPE (pp. 98-105)
      Rebecca Fabrizi

      IN APRIL 2014, Xi Jinping made the first ever visit by a Chinese head of state to the European Institutions in Brussels. In a speech cum Chinese history lesson at the Collège d’Europe in Bruges, Xi called on Europeans to ‘work together for all flowers of human civilization to blossom together’.

      That same month, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a policy paper on the European Union (EU) titled ‘Deepen the China–EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-Win Cooperation’. It said the partnership was important ‘in China’s efforts to pursue peaceful development and multi-polarity [in] the world’....

  7. Jeremy Goldkorn

    Let’s imagine that a man, call him Mr Jin, fell asleep in Beijing in 1994 — when only small numbers of people in China were first able to access the Internet — and awoke twenty years later. The year he fell asleep, the most common answer to any enquiry at a Chinese department store was a pre-emptive ‘meiyou’ 没有, literally ‘none’, or ‘whatever it is you want, we don’t have it’. If he had the right paperwork or connections and around 20,000 yuan in cash (a fortune at the time), Mr Jin might have had a mobile phone, then called...

    • Gerry Groot

      Ling Jihua 令计划 had been an aspirant to the Party’s top leadership before his son Ling Gu 令谷 crashed a Ferrari in Beijing in March 2012, killing himself and one of the two young women with him (see theChina Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China, Information Window ‘Black Ferrari, Red Ferrari’, p.166). In the wake of the tragedy, which raised a number of questions (including how Ling’s son had been able to afford the car), Ling Jihua was removed from his post as the chief of the General Office of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and appointed head of the...

    • OCCUPY TAIWAN (pp. 136-145)
      Mark Harrison

      For twenty-four days in March and April 2014, student activists occupied Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan 立法院. The Sunflower Student Movement 太陽花學運, which successfully combined traditional forms of protest like the sit-in with viral campaigns on social media, captured the world’s attention. Using technology such as the smartphone, the students created a politically savvy ‘multi-platform’ protest movement that has had a profound effect on Taiwan politics.

      In recent years, the Taiwanese have coined the phraseditouzu低頭族, ‘the tribe of the bowed heads’, to describe young people bent over their smartphones — texting, playing games, updating their Facebook accounts, oblivious...

  9. Gloria Davies

    In 2013, other articles in the state media tied the notion of the China Dream to the catchphrase of Shared Destiny, describing the China Dream itself as a Community of Shared Destiny (distinguishing itself from the American Dream of individual freedom). According to an earlier article published by the state news agency Xinhua, this is a community ‘in which the interests of nation and state and the interests of each and every person become intricately linked, such that when people are encouraged to establish their own ideals, they also create the conditions for everyone else to realise their ideals’.


    • Linda Jaivin

      On 19 October 2014, thePeople’s Dailypublished an article titled ‘Ten Insightful One-Liners by Big Daddy Xi on the Arts’ 习大大的10句文艺妙语, a guide to the great leader’s thinking on culture. They are translated below:

      Vulgar is not the same as popular, desire doesn’t represent hope and purely sensual entertainment is not equal to spiritual happiness.

      Art must not be a slave to the market; it mustn’t stink of money.

      Art is the clarion call to an age to advance; it is the most representative face of an age, and is most able to guide the manners of an age....

    • Linda Jaivin

      ‘I AM SO EXCITED THAT I can’t sleep … . The spring for art and literature has truly come!’ Zhao Benshan 赵本山 is a much-loved Chinese actor famous for his comedy. But when theGlobal Timesquoted his ecstatic response to Xi Jinping’s 15 October 2014 speech on the arts, there was no sign that he was joking. Who would dare? Xi’s speech has been promoted and likened to Mao Zedong’s ‘Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art’ of 1942, in which Mao demanded that art serve the Party, serve the People and vanquish the enemy. Xi has...

    • Qian Ying

      THE FILM MARKET in China is flourishing. Whereas in 2002, Chinese cinemas sold US$133 million worth of tickets, total box office revenues in 2013 amounted to US$3.6 billion. In 2014, China’s box office had reached US$1.6 billion by 21 May, just 141 days into the year. Both imported and Chinese films were doing well. Among the twenty-four films that had made over US$16 million, half were categorised as ‘domestic’ films, generating a total revenue of US$670 million. The other half were foreign, mainly Hollywood films, earning US$630 million. Protectionist policies might have contributed to the box office success of domestic...

    • Chen Shuxia

      THE EXHIBITION ‘Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China’, which opened in December 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York, reflected a basic theme of the contemporary Chinese art scene in 2014: nostalgia and continuity with the past. By juxtaposing contemporary ink works in various media (including painting, photography, sculpture, installation and video) with fifth-century Buddhist sculptures from its permanent collection as well as Han-dynasty ceramics and Ming furniture, The Met attempted to place Chinese art today within its historical context.

      In 2014, exhibition titles in China itself frequently featured terms such as ‘ancient’,...

    • Olivier Krischer

      SOTHEBY’S HAS A US$1.6 million dollar limit per credit card transaction. So it took the Shanghainese billionaire Liu Yiqian 刘益谦 twenty-four swipes of his Amex card to purchase one of the most sought-after pieces of Chinese porcelain in the world: a Ming-dynasty teacup decorated with a delicate painting of chickens. While the payment was going through at the auction house in Hong Kong in late July 2014, Liu picked up the US$36 million cup, poured some tea into it and took a sip. The photo of him drinking from the cup ignited a storm of criticism in China, where he...

  11. Carolyn Cartier

    In November 2013, the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Party Central Committee approved what are formally known as ‘Party and Government Regulations for Strict Economic Practices to Combat Waste’ 党政机关厉行节约反对浪费条例. The regulations, divided into twelve chapters and covering sixty-five items, outlined in great detail the management of government funds for everything from official travel, receptions and meetings to the use of vehicles and the renovation or construction of public buildings. This was the fourth tranche of bans and regulations issued since 2012 aimed at reforming and remoulding official conduct. They complemented and extended the ‘Twenty-six Item Directive’ or ‘Rules...

    • Luigi Tomba

      EARLY JUNE EACH year in China isgaokao高考 season, when millions of hopeful pupils enrol in the university entrance examinations. In 2014, 9.4 million students competed for almost seven million places, a high number indeed, although not all places are equal. China’s leading universities only admit the highest scoring candidates. Lower marks leave many with the choice between a mediocre higher education in China and, if they can afford it, an expensive degree in an overseas university.

      With the family’s fortunes at stake, parents of students crowd the temples dedicated to Confucius at this time of the year. China’s...

    • BUYING UP THE BLOCK (pp. 240-243)
      Jeremy Goldkorn

      IN 2014, FOR THE first time the Chinese outnumbered all other foreign buyers of real estate in the United States, including Arabs and Russians. They tripled their investment in European property, snapped up several billion dollar projects in the UK and were reported to be driving Australia’s overheated property market, where house prices grew ten percent across the country in the year to 30 June and fifteen percent in Sydney.

      According to CLSA, a Hong Kong-based brokerage and investment services firm, the wave of Chinese money flowing into the Australian property market is ‘phenomenal’. Claiming that roughly ten million Chinese...

    • FOLLOWING THE END of the Cultural Revolution (1964–1978), when the first large groups of immigrants from China began to settle in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere, TV shows and films have documented and reflected on the motivations and challenges of emigration, a politically loaded subject.

      The first to make a real splash was the highly popular 1993 twenty-one part television seriesA Beijing Man in New York北京人在纽约, which told the story of a Beijing musician, Wang Qiming 王起明 (played by Jiang Wen 姜文), who moves to New York to pursue his dreams of fame. In one scene,...

    • ONE OF CHINA’S best-known celebrities, retired basketball superstar Yao Ming 姚明, has teamed up with domestic animal activists, as well as with international organisations such as WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants to campaign against the illegal wildlife trade.

      Yao’s environmental activism began in 2006 when he joined a WildAid campaign targeting the massive Chinese consumption of shark fin soup 鱼翅羹, a traditional delicacy in southern Chinese cuisine but that involves great cruelty to sharks and endangers their population. Coupled with an official State Council ban on the consumption of shark fin and other expensive delicacies at lavish...

    • Wuqiriletu

      On 25 February 2014, the concentration of fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, reached 400 micrograms per cubic metre of air in Beijing, hazardous by the standards of both the American Environmental Protection Agency and China’s own air quality index system. That same smoggy day, President Xi Jinping made an unannounced visit to a lane off the popular tourist street of Nanluoguxiang in the captial, talking with the people who lived there. The news report on his visit was subtitled ‘breathing the same air and sharing the common fate’ 同呼吸,共命运.

      A slightly different slogan, ‘breathing the same air and sharing...

  13. Susan Trevaskes and Elisa Nesossi

    At the height of its use in the mid- to late 2000s, and as discussed in previousChina Story Yearbooks, theweiwenprogram gave local courts considerable flexibility in resolving civil and administrative disputes, encouraging judicial mediation over litigation. Mediation arguably favours the interests of local government and local developers more than it does those of the complainants. This trend, often referred to as the ‘localisation of justice’, fostered judicial corruption and errors of justice, further fuelling the very discontent and instability thatweiwenwas meant to quell (see theChina Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China, Chapter 4 ‘Under Rule...

    • Jeremy Goldkorn

      DURING 2013–2014, the authorities increasingly used the criminal charge of ‘picking quarrels and provoking troubles’ 寻衅滋事 to detain activists, writers and dissidents, including all those listed below. Another criminal charge authorities have used against political dissidents or critics is that of ‘gathering a crowd to disrupt public order’ 聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪, for which the noted lawyer Xu Zhiyong is currently serving a four-year prison sentence (see Forum ‘Xu Zhiyong and the New Citizens’ Movement’, p.292).

      Cao Shunli, a lawyer and rights activist, is detained at Beijing Capital Airport on her way to a human rights conference in Geneva. A month later...

    • Susan Trevaskes

      XU ZHIYONG WAS until recently a lecturer at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications and is among China’s best-known human rights lawyers. He was awarded a PhD in law in 2002 from Peking University under the supervision of the famous legal scholar Zhu Suli 朱苏力. In the aftermath of the Sun Zhigang 孙志刚 incident (in which Sun, a young man, was beaten to death while in police custody in Guangzhou) in 2003 he was one of the three legal scholars who wrote to the National People’s Congress advocating the abolition of the system of Custody and Repatriation 收 容遣送....

    • Susan Trevaskes

      IN THE VIEW OF the party-state’s continuing sensitivity to social unrest, collective public protests remain a perceived threat to political stability. In May 2014, fearing that a proposed waste incinerator plant for Hangzhou’s Yahang district would contaminate their water supply, over 20,000 residents took part in a public protest, blocking a major highway. The following day, the local police, the procuratorate, courts and justice bureau jointly issued an ‘Important Notice’ accusing ‘criminals’ 犯罪者 and public order ‘offenders’ 违法者 of inciting others to beat up police, damage property and disturb the public order.

      The notice posted photographs of the wanted trouble-makers...

    • Linda Jaivin

      XIA JUNFENG WAS a laid-off factory worker who sold grilled meat kebabs with his wife, Zhang Jing 张晶, in the city of Shenyang. On 16 May 2009, around tenchengguan, urban law enforcement officers, confronted the couple.

      Chengguan, who have a reputation for brutality, have the thankless task of clearing city streets of stalls operating without a business licence, and are deeply unpopular with the public. Xia claimed it was in selfdefence that he killed two and injured one with a fruit knife. But, on 11 November 2009, the Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Xia to death for manslaughter.


    • Aiden Xia

      AT AROUND 9:00PM, on 28 May 2014, five people attacked and killed a woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in Zhaoyuan 招远, Shandong province. A bystander filmed the murder on a mobile phone and the footage spread rapidly on the Internet. Within days, the police announced that the suspected killers were all members of the Church of Almighty God (also known as Eastern Lightning 东方闪电 or The Real God 实际神), an organisation founded in 1990 by a physics teacher named Zhao Weishan 赵维山 and banned as a cult in 1995.

      On 31 May, CCTV aired footage from an interview with the...

    • Jay Wang

      The last year has seen an unprecedented number of violent attacks in or linked to Xinjiang. These include attacks on civilians in railway stations and markets that were recorded on mobile phones and have been recognised by the international community (or at least US Secretary of State John Kerry) as terrorist attacks. The Chinese government sees these attacks as linked both to the Xinjiang independence and global jihadist movements. Below is a timeline of attacks and government responses.

      A man later identified as Usmen Hasan 乌斯曼·艾山 crashes an SUV into a crowd of tourists and passersby at Jinshui Bridge in...

    • Joanna (Yeejung) Yoon

      Since 15 July 2013, CCTV has aired a number of confessions made by people accused but not yet convicted of a wide variety of crimes. Many appeared in orange prison uniforms (either waistcoats or jumpsuits), with others in yellow and green.

      Vice-President of Operations in China for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Liang Hong 梁鸿, appeared on the primetime CCTV News 新闻联播 to confess that GSK had used bribes to expand its business in China. In September 2014, the Changsha City Intermediate People’s Court (Hunan province) fined GSK three billion yuan, the highest penalty given to a foreign company to date....

  15. Geremie R Barmé

    Xi Jinping’s formulation of the Community of Shared Destiny was a key rhetorical device used in China’s regional and international policy during 2013–2014. It promised to ‘operationalise’ resuscitated, and long-debated ideas related to All-Under-Heaventianxia, discussed in the Introduction to this volume. Non-mainland analysts and commentators generally have scant interest in Chinese party-state attempts to articulate new international relations or strategic concepts in a language that weds statist Confucian concepts with those of Marxist-Leninist modernity. Perhaps it is an affront that a derivative Marxist state lays claim to some unique approach to world affairs, even though its economic and...