India Observations: What’s here that’s missing from China

It smacks you in the face as soon as you turn on the TV, especially with the trust vote (aka, vote of confidence, oops, I meant “no confidence” vote) looming over the Singh government.  Which is exactly the gaping void in China: substantive political debate that would lead to a change in government.  Individual pols may get in trouble, some political topics are debated, some appeals are heard and even answered.  However, there is never any questioning of the leading (and permanent) role of the Communist Party.

Funny how reassuring and familiar the chaos of high-stakes — if not exactly high-grade — parliamentary debate can be (plenty of coverage in the Times of India here, with a highly-annoying old school blizzard of pop-ups if your blocker isn’t on).

Another familar sight: jailed and hospitalized legislators shipped in for a knife’s edge vote (here and here).  And oddly reassuring too…I’m convinced that corrupt politicians are less dangerous than the so-called “incorruptible.” 

Put me down as a vote for old-fashioned human frailty over an inhuman devotion to ideology.

China Observations — One Child, Migrants, Rebellion, and The Children of Men

If you saw my earlier post (here), you might not be surprised that The Children of Men colored some of my perceptions of China.  My take is that modern China’s progress has brought it some social and political ills that resemble those of James’s year 2021 England. 

  • The one-child generation and princelings and the Omegas — Here’s a Shanghai Daily one-child article here, China Post and Washington Post on the old and young “Princelings” here and here.
  • Rural migrants and the Sojourners — A Shanghai Daily column on rural disintegration here.
  • Xinjiang/Tibet and the Isle of Man prison — While this isn’t exact, there’s a dread of imminent violent rebellion and turmoil in both places, though (see these Washington Post articles on Xinjiang and Tibet).

I felt at ease in Shanghai — China seems nowhere near as menacing as Park Chung Hee’s South Korea or East Germany did — but order and comfort clearly comes first.  Freedom is clearly, if gently, attenuated in the rich eastern part of the country.  The yoke in the book is also subtle, which is a contrast with the movie, apparently.

All that said, modern China and dystopian England may parallel each other, but that’s because they’re going in opposite directions on separate tracks.  I felt little foreboding or despair; in fact, my Chinese colleagues seemed very confident (if incredibly busy).  No end times in Shanghai…

Status of women in China…observations

This is a follow up on a conversation I had with someone about the improving status and respect for women in China.  I made a note to myself to pay more attention while I was here, so here goes…

I’m attending the Asia-Pacific + Japan PMO summit here in Shanghai — BTW, I can get to WP for the moment — and my Chinese counterpart is a woman.  FWIW, a few observations about her and women in the SAP China organization:

  1. She’s the only woman in the room — at least five other countries or market units are represented.
  2. She is the highest-ranking person from APJ attending the meeting (the leader of the China organization introduced the meeting).  Her role is more like mine — a broader span of control than strictly “PMO.”  She owns delivery operations activities as well (e.g., resource management, financial reporting); luckily for her she doesn’t have the . 
  3. The China organization has several other prominent women — on my last visit I met with an equal number of men and women. 

Doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype, eh?

Housing boom ending in China?

From today’s Shanghai Daily, the English-language daily, it appears that even China’s housing boom is slowing down (story here).  Of course, that doesn’t mean that prices are falling…

THE average property price in 70 major Chinese mainland cities failed to post a month-on-month gain in June…, although the price was 8.2 percent higher than a year earlier.  (emphasis mine)

Per the article, apparently the Chinese government has tightened lending requirements and bank reserve requirements to take some air out of the bubble.

Heading to Shanghai…posts may be sparse for a few days

I’ve been able to leverage the miracle of scheduling posts, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to stack up enough interesting material before I head to Shanghai.  wordpress.com blogs are blocked in China so I’ll likely only have intermittent access to my blog.

I hope it doesn’t get too dark in here while I’m gone :-)

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