Mao must be spinning...
March 15, 2004 11:35 PM   Subscribe

Chinese Communism comes to a (seemingly) screeching halt. Lost in the brouha over Spain was the report that the Chinese National People's Congress voted yesterday to protect private property rights. Some regard this as more symbolic than actually guaranteeing any concrete rights while others believe it is indicative of the growing importance of private business currently fueling the Chinese economy. The words 'Human Rights' were also put into the constitution for the first time.
posted by PenDevil (9 comments total)
Meanwhile, all over Korea and Japan, economic pants were pooped.

Seriously, although Japan's currently semi-turgid economic recovery is attributed in large part to a follow-on effect from the surging Chinese economy, it is generally accepted that China's economy will be the second largest in the world (a position Japan currently enjoys) well before 2010. With Japan's structural problems, low productivity and high wages, there must be a fair bit of gnashing of teeth there about the medium term.

Korea is a whole 'nother story, and although people here are rightfully distracted at the moment by the sideshow politicking of the impeachment last week (which will be overturned, dollars to donuts, by the constitutional court, which must rule on it to make it stick), there has to be even more fear about the future. Unless the country can somehow keep ahead of the curve, transition more quickly out of manufacturing (even high value-add stuff that the Chinese can't match in terms of quality yet, which has in large part been the engine of growth for the past decade) into IT and services, being sandwiched between the twin colossi of Japan and China is not a promising place to be.

Although the Koreans never cease to amaze, one wonders what they're going to be able to pull out of their butts this time.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:37 AM on March 16, 2004

What should I learn first, Cantonese or Mandarin?
posted by spazzm at 3:33 AM on March 16, 2004

Mandarin, probably. Most of the economic activity is in the southern (non-Mandarin-speaking) zone, but the government is putting major pressure on the schools and companies there to move over to Mandarin. And this is to say nothing of the Taiwanese, who are all Mandarin speakers.
posted by MattD at 5:37 AM on March 16, 2004

Looks like it got overloooked (for the most part) in MeFi too...

On another note, the Chinese Congress has 2890 delagates. How about those roll calls?
posted by o2b at 6:42 AM on March 16, 2004

Comeon... China hasn't been communist for years...
posted by crank at 7:03 AM on March 16, 2004

Come on... China has never been communist.


(A phrase we stole from Chinese communists, meaning "All together!")
posted by linux at 9:56 AM on March 16, 2004

China has never been communist.

Except when Mao relocated millions to the country side to live in communes, and melt down their personal cookware to make machinery. Or the Great Leap Forward.. Or the Cultural Revolution..
posted by crank at 10:29 AM on March 16, 2004

And this is to say nothing of the Taiwanese, who are all Mandarin speakers.


CHINESE, MANDARIN [CHN] 4,323,000 in Taiwan (1993), 20.1% of the population.
CHINESE, MIN NAN [CFR] 15,000,000 in Taiwan (1997 A. Chang), 66.7% of the population (1993).

GUNG-HO! (A phrase we stole from Chinese communists, meaning "All together!")

Nix—it doesn't mean "All together!" but "Indusco."

As for the constitution, please—the Soviet Constitution of 1936 (Stalin's Constitution) was one of the most liberal of all times. I direct your attention particularly to:
ARTICLE 125. In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:
freedom of speech;
freedom of the press;
freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
freedom of street processions and demonstrations.
These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.

Life doesn't get much better than that, eh? I'm afraid it's all in the implementation.
posted by languagehat at 12:51 PM on March 16, 2004

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