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readings and links

China's Perspective on the Nation's Challenges, Future Direction and the Internet

Premier Wen Jiabao's "Report on the Work of the Government"
Premier Jiabao delivered this report to the National People's Congress on March 5, 2006. It reviews the work and achievements made in 2005 and lays out the guiding principles and major targets for economic and social development in the coming year. It also outlines why the Eleventh Five-Year Development Guidelines period "will be a crucial time in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects."

Chinese President Issues List of Virtues
As a tactic for getting rid of the excesses of China's quarter-century economic boom, President Hu Jintao issued eight do's and don't's for the Chinese people, unveiling them on a plain black poster during the Communist Party Congress in March 2006. The aphorisms include praise for plain, honest living and the admonishment to "love, not harm the motherland" and "uphold science; don't be ignorant and unenlightened."

Premier Jiabao Comments on the Internet
Interfax China's site here summarizes the Chinese Premier's March 14, 2006 comments on the responsibilities of China's citizens to guarantee Web sites transmit accurate information and "refrain from misleading the public or exerting an adverse impact on social and public order." His remarks were made during a carefully managed press conference held during the Communist Party Congress in March 2006.

Cyberspace Regulator Meets the Press
ChinaDaily's transcript of a Feb. 2006 press conference with Liu Zhengrong, a top official with China's Internet Affairs Bureau. He discusses with Western media the rules, regulations and thinking behind the regime's development and management of the Internet.

Rules on the Administration of the Internet News Information Services, promulgated by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry
The Chinese government's regulations on Internet-distributed news, released in September 2005. (English translation is by the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China)


China's Economy

How Rising Wages Are Changing The Game In China
A March 2006 Business Week article outlining how a shortage of skilled labor in China might lead to higher competition and wages for workers, and slower economic growth.

The Dark Side of China's Rise
Minxin Pei, director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes that the only thing surpassing China's high speed growth is the hype about it. He looks at the decay within China due to the flaws of its political system and the corruption this has spawned. (March/April 2006)

The Economist Country Briefings: China
This respected international news magazine maintains an archive of its more recent articles on China and offers a country fact sheet, history and useful links.


Reports on China's Internet and the Prospects for Democracy

Hu Tightens Party's Grip On Power - Chinese Leader Is Seen as Limiting Freedoms
This is an April 2005 Washington Post profile of President Hu Jintao who controls the military and the Communist Party. This article summarizes how, so far, China's top leader has presented himself as a hard-liner and appears determined to maintain the Communist Party's monopoly on power and to set new limits on speech and other civil liberties.

Washington Post Series on China and the Web
This three-part series by the Washington Post's Phillip Pan from February 2006 covers wikipedia, blogs and the controversy surrounding the temporary closure of the Communist Party newsletter Freezing Point. (Free registration required)

A FRONTLINE Roundtable: Democracy, Sooner or Later?
What are the prospects in China for meaningful democratic reform and a meaningful respect for human rights? A web-exclusive discussion with four leading experts, from FRONTLINE's 2003 report, "China in the Red."

Speak No Evil: Mass Media Control in Contemporary China
A February 2006 report on the laws and regulations governing print and television media in China, written by Ashley Esarey, an assistant professor of political science at Middlebury College and a fellow at Freedom House, a leading human rights organization.

U.S. House of Representatives Hearing: "The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?
Download here the Feb. 2006 written testimony of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco executives submitted to the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations. At the hearing, (scroll down to Februrary 15, 2006) these IT executives were accused of being accomplices to China's Internet censoring and human rights violations by giving China tools to tailor the country's information system to fit the government's political censorship needs. (You can also watch a Webcast of the entire hearing - Real Player required).

The Global Online Freedom Act of 2006
Official Web site for House Resolution 4780, drafted in response to the above Feb. 2006 Congressional Hearings on the Internet in China. The proposed legislation would seek to prevent U.S. companies from storing user data in countries like China and would censure companies that conduct censorship.


China Blogs

"In China, Blogs are a Revolutionary Tool of Opinion"
A March 2006 National Public Radio report on blogs in China, with links to other China Internet stories, including pieces on podcasting in China and a three-part February 2006 series on the subject.

China Digital Times
A project of the Berkeley China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley, China Digital Times is an excellent clearinghouse for news on China, maintained by Xiao Qiang and his graduate students at Berkeley.

Maintained by China-born, New York-based media researcher Roland Soong, EastSouthWestNorth Blog has become a reliable source of English-language news on China, with Soong often translating reports and documents himself.

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posted apr. 11, 2006

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