Are We There Already, or Not Quite Yet?

Zooming-in on an “Unfinished” Country Exporting “Development”
11:00 am – 12:45 pm
Room 3

  • Organised by Marina Rudyak
  • Marina Rudyak, “Mind the Gap: Deconstructing the Narrative of China’s Strategic and Monolithic Foreign Aid System”
  • Marius Meinhof, “‘Not Yet Rich but Already Old’—The Promotion of Filial Piety and the Idea of Backwardness/Modernisation”
  • Nicholas Loubere, “Unequal Extractions: Reconceptualising the Chinese Miner in Ghana”

China has become a major development cooperation actor in the countries of the Global South. A growing body of work deals with the potential impact of Chinese actions, often portraying China as a monolithic actor. This panel seeks to challenge these monolithic narratives by zooming-in on different manifestations of “development” in relation to Chinese conceptions of being part of the Global South.
This panel covers two key aspects of China and development in the Global South. The first two papers examine official development narratives: Meinhof discusses how different state and non-state actors discuss China’s “backwardness”, which as a world-view has to be understood as deeply inscribed into Chinese discourses of modernity that rather than simply state ideology. Rudyak uses the case of Chinese aid to illustrate, how this world-view has been externalised to the Global South, with China seeking to share its development experience as the “most developed” among developing countries.
The second two papers turn to Chinese implementation practices of “development” on the ground: Baldakova zooms-in on Chinese investment flows in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan under the Belt and Road Initiative, showing how local structural factors play an important role in project implementation. Loubere focuses on the informal economic migration of small-scale gold miners from a poverty-stricken county in China to Ghana, examining how marginal Chinese actors operating outside state planning nevertheless take part in China’s developmental push in the Global South.
Together, the panellists argue that there are major gaps between the official state narratives and policies of development, and highlight the differentiated “development” manifestations and experiences of Chinese actors.

Marina Rudyak, “Mind the Gap: Deconstructing the Narrative of China’s Strategic and Monolithic Foreign Aid System”

China has risen to the top ten of the world’s donors of development finance. In 2013, China’s President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); in 2018, China created a dedicated agency to manage its foreign aid—China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA). Numerous external observers assume that China’s development cooperation incl. BRI follows a clear cut strategy (or even a debt trap diplomacy) of challenging establishes international standards. The Chinese discourse, on the other hand, maintains that China’s development cooperation system is not yet “mature” and attribute the gaps between policies and practices to the learning process.
This paper, first, elaborates how Chinese development cooperation policy must be understood as an externalisation of China’s domestic discourse about the need to “develop”. While the Chinese government argues for the right to an independent development path for every country, it clearly tries to share China’s “unique” development lessons in the proposed Community of Shared Future. Second, it zooms-in on the policies and practices of development cooperation using the case of development lending. By highlighting the gaps between the official discourse, policies, and regulations, and their implementation, the paper elaborates on the process by which the system is trying to become more “mature.” Hereby it shows, that neither the Chinese aid policy nor the aid system is the monolithic entities as which they are often perceived from outside, but an assemblage of different—and often competing—actors, with differentiated interests and practices.

Marius Meinhof, “‘Not Yet Rich but Already Old’—The Promotion of Filial Piety and the Idea of Backwardness/Modernisation

My presentation will discuss the relation between filial piety (孝) and modernisation in China, especially the question how the idea of China as a not yet fully developed country corresponds with the promotion of the traditional virtue of filial piety. Since the semi-colonial era Chinese thinkers have produced descriptions of China as a country in need of modernisation. This modernisation narrative has been able to mobilise great collective agency but has often come at a price of constructing a hyperreal West as point of “external reference” for talking about the future. In the 21st century, state discourse as well as many popular discourses have sometimes tried to avoid these external references by invoking visions of future based on “traditional Chinese virtues” such as filial piety (孝) in order to root their identity in a sense of old historic culture, and to promote an idea of Chineseness that goes beyond the distinction of modern/backward. This, however, has not replaced the modernisation narrative but has been merged with it, so that notions of modernisation and traditional virtues are frequently related to one another and negotiated in respect to each other. My presentation will follow some of these negotiations by asking how the notion of a thousand of years old traditional virtue of filial piety corresponds to the idea of a China that is still under development and in need of a moral construction of its citizens.

Nicholas Loubere, “Unequal Extractions: Reconceptualising the Chinese Miner in Ghana”

Over the past decade, Chinese migration to Africa has increased rapidly alongside the expansion of Chinese economic engagement with the continent. The entrance of new forms of Chinese industry, aid, commerce, and resource exploration has been transformative, prompting debates over whether China in Africa is better described as neo-colonialism or a new form of beneficial developmentalism. One of the most dramatic examples of Chinese migration to—and economic engagement with—an African nation is the recent Chinese gold rush in Ghana, which started in the mid-2000s with the rapid influx of tens of thousands of small-scale gold miners from a single poor rural county in China, and continues to this day. This paper presents a critical examination of how the Chinese miners have been depicted in governmental, media, and academic discourse as a homogenous group, both benefiting from Ghanaian gold extraction and impacting their surroundings in generally uniform ways. Drawing on fieldwork in both Ghana and China, we argue that this portrayal neglects to highlight the differentiated experiences of the miners and the segmentation that exists within the miner group, which consists of both winners and losers. It also flattens out the complex ways in which the Chinese miners’ activities impact on local areas and populations in Ghana, as well as on households and left-behind populations in China.

Papers on Economics

11:00 am – 12:45 pm

  • Chaired by Sherry Tao Kong
  • Sherry Tao Kong, “Digitally Down to the Countryside: Fintech, E-Commerce, and Rural Development in China”
  • Raisa Epikhina, Maria Svirina, “China’s Art Market: Challenges and Opportunities for the Chinese Investors”
  • Ketong Zhang, “What is the Role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for Chinese Foreign Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Influential Factors of the AIIB Loan Allocation”

Sherry Tao Kong, “Digitally Down to the Countryside: Fintech, E-Commerce, and Rural Development in China”

Digital finance and e-commerce have changed the landscape of businesses and financial service provision worldwide. China in particular, with a rapidly growing e-commerce market, a booming fintech sector and the largest number of users in the word, is at the forefront of the expansion of e-commerce and digital financial services. As such, the country has become an important case for better understanding as to how e-commerce and fintech operate and what their wide application entails for socioeconomic development in rural areas.This paper focuses on two particular aspects: first, using a unique household dataset collected in 80 Taobao villages in collaboration with the largest e-commerce platform in China, we investigate the characteristics of the rural e-commerce participants and discuss the developmental implications of e-commerce activities; second, we examine the main rural fintech models that are associated with e-commerce in China and demonstrate their potentials and limitations as a means of inclusive finance. Against the backdrop of the heightened enthusiasm of using e-commerce and fintech to promote development in China and the rest of the global South, our paper offers new insights on the potential benefits and risks that e-commerce and fintech pose for rural development and rural livelihoods in China and elsewhere.

Raisa Epikhina, Maria Svirina, “China’s Art Market: Challenges and Opportunities for the Chinese Investors”

Investing in fine arts is considered risky and often seems to be devoid of any logic. However, it allows investors to reduce the level of correlation between the returns from various assets in their portfolios and diversify risks related to the price and exchange rate volatility. According to Artprice, the “returns on art over the last few years have outperformed many other investments.” China’s art market has been rapidly developing in the XXI century and is one of the top 3 largest art markets in the world. Drawing on the analysis of statistical data, industry reports and case studies, this paper identifies key cultural, economic, political, and technological drivers that have affected its development. It argues that investing in fine arts appears to be one of the popular types of alternative investments in China given relatively low-interest rates in banks, overheated real estate market and limitations of the stock market. Nevertheless, China’s art market is a challenging environment for investors. It is characterised by heterogeneity, low transparency and liquidity. It is difficult to predict the effectiveness of investments. Investors also have to bear costs associated with the expert examination of art pieces in order to ensure their authenticity, as well as the storage of works of art. Finally, despite the digitalisation of art trade entry barriers remain relatively high.

Ketong Zhang, “What is the Role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for Chinese Foreign Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Influential Factors of the AIIB Loan Allocation”

Created in late 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is considered a symbolic move for the Chinese government’s involvement in the regional financial governance and often be seen as a challenge to the current multilateral development institutions. Many studied the significance of the foundation of the bank for China and its membership, yet it was not clear about the character of the bank and its role for China after its foundation. This paper uses quantitative research method to analyse the influential factors in the AIIB loan allocation and tries to explore the intention of Chinese government behind the AIIB operations and links it with Chinese foreign policies. Based on past literature on similar financial institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, this research put the loan data in a larger context by comparing the AIIB loans against all potential influential factors for all countries and all member countries of the AIIB and finds that loans allocation is determined by a complex of factors yet to some degree it serves the interest of China. Moreover, the fairness of loan allocation and the international characters of the bank also promote the soft power of China and try to justify China as a responsible regional leader.

Papers on Domestic Politics II

9:00 am – 10:45 am
Room 4

  • Chaired by Olga Adams
  • Konstantinas Andrijauskas, “Physical Infrastructure and (Re-)Making of ‘Chinese Tibet’ after 2008”
  • Mugur Zlotea, “Street Propaganda Posters and Traditional Depictions of the China Dream”
  • Olivia Cheung, “When Chinese Communist Party Elites Disagree: Factional Model-Making in Chinese Politics”
  • Albert Trofimov, “Trends in the Development of Modern Budget Legislation in China and Russia”

Konstantinas Andrijauskas, “Physical Infrastructure and (Re-)Making of ‘Chinese Tibet’ after 2008”

Ever since the famous legend that ascribed the rise of Buddhism in Tibet to a series of monasteries built on the plateau’s crucial sites in order to subdue its omnipresent demoness, control of this exceptionally forbidding region has been associated with man-made structures, including peculiar architecture (e.g. dzong fortresses) and increasingly physical (esp. transportation) infrastructure. This important lesson was not lost on various China-based regimes that have increasingly developed lasting supremacy there since the mid-Qing dynasty. It was only the People’s Republic, however, that managed to establish comprehensive territorial sovereignty over the plateau by using decidedly modern means of overcoming major geographical and political obstacles through technology-based and social engineering tools respectively. Based on an inter-disciplinary theoretical approach about space as a social construct, mirroring power relations, most famously represented in the works of Michel Foucault and David Harvey, this paper analyses the complex processes of using physical infrastructure in order to claim, control, and “attach” to itself one of the People’s Republic’s most important and contentious regions since the 2008 Tibetan unrest. The comparative qualitative analysis of the most representative case studies of physical transportation, communications, and energy infrastructure built throughout this period (Golmud–Lhasa–Shigatse Railway, Zangmu dam, road network in disputed border areas, and the “grid management system” in Tibet’s urban areas) shows that Beijing’s decades-old “attachment” strategies on the plateau have indeed entered a new phase characterised by the introduction of high-tech tools and their “internationalisation” beyond the internationally agreed-upon borders, thus mirroring the developments in neighbouring Xinjiang.

Mugur Zlotea, “Street Propaganda Posters and Traditional Depictions of the China Dream”

The China Dream concept, although central to the current political discourse, has been defined in a rather vague manner as national rejuvenation, a strong country, and a prosperous people. However, in order to make it come true, become a common and unified dream of the whole nation and have the people understand and assume it, the concept needs to be explained in a more detailed manner, by fusing the party ideology with elements familiar to the target audience. Since Chinese tradition has also been identified as one of the key elements of the Chinese Dream, the present paper focusses on the use of tradition in street propaganda posters as an attempt to successfully convey the message to the masses. Based on photos taken by the author during his visits to various places in China, from 2013 up to the present, it will analyse the themes, the symbols, and the selection of the traditional elements employed in the street posters, to better understand the role of tradition in the contemporary political context and its expected contributions to the fulfilment the China Dream.

Olivia Cheung, “When Chinese Communist Party Elites Disagree: Factional Model-Making in Chinese Politics”

This paper introduces “factional model-making” as a theoretical framework to analyse the public expression of critique against the Party line by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres. It is posited that cadres aligned to factions cutting across the Party-state hierarchy cultivate local areas into “models” in order to promote contentious political ideas marginalised by the Party line. This paper consists of four sections. The first section contextualises the research agenda in the ongoing “institutions versus factions” debate in the scholarship of post-Mao elite politics. The second section introduces the theoretical framework of factional model-making. It also offers a comprehensive overview of the practice of factional model-making under CCP rule. The third section applies factional model-making to analyse how the Party’s Left––an eclectic combination of hardliners, military leaders, princelings, and Maoists––joined forces in making the Nanjie Model, in order to promote agricultural recollectivisation, question the legitimacy of the market reforms, urge the CCP to be faithful to communism and to put Mao front and centre in the policy process from the early 1990s to 2010s. Based on the findings of the case study, it is concluded in the final section that factional model-making ensures a competitive policymaking process. The dynamism of political contention under factional model-making far exceeds the Party’s prescribed norms of democratic centralism and intra-Party democracy. Although factional model-making has been suppressed under Xi Jinping, it is predicted that it will recur in the future, possibly in a disruptive form, when the political climate loosens.

Albert Trofimov, “Trends in the Development of Modern Budget Legislation in China and Russia

The Russian and Chinese legal systems have a special historical and legal connection, that’s why it’s interesting enough to study public finance law of these states nowadays.
1. The budget legislation of Russia and China is the legal basis for creating multi-level and complex budget systems. Chinese system (unitary state) is a multi-stage system, consistent with its territorial division. The budget system of Russia is also filled with budgets of various levels: federal, regional, local. In this regard, a certain similarity is found. However, it is important to mention that in Russia and China the concept of “local budget” has a different content, which is predetermined by the difference in their legal nature.
2. The complex organisation of two budget systems is evidenced by the number of different structural elements, each of which has its own publicly significant task (function). At the central level, China’s budget system includes major state budgets and various extra-budgetary funds. The Russian counterpart, along with the federal, regional, and local budgets, also includes the budgets of state extra-budgetary funds. Both budget systems have social insurance funds as an integral part of the systems. This indicates a special attitude of the legislators to the issue of financial provision of social insurance.
3. The budget legislation of Russia and China is aimed at ensuring the unity of each of the budget systems.
4. At the present stage, the budget systems of both Russia and China do not include in their structure funds related to private finance.

Papers on Modern Literature VIII

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Room D

  • Chaired by Aleksei Rodionov
  • Joscha Chung, “Soong Tsung-faung’s Translation of Hermann Sudermann’s Teja
  • Tianyun Hua, “Contemporary Intercultural Theatre between Orientalism and Occidentalism: An Example of Grzegorz Jarzyna’s Theatrical Adaptation of Lu Xun’s Forging the Swords
  • Marco Lovisetto, “Exploring the Attachment to Tradition through Intertextuality: The Translation of Su Xuelin’s Autobiographical Jixin
  • Aleksei Rodionov, “Changing Priorities and Emerging Factors: On Recent Translation of Contemporary Chinese Prose into Russian Language”

Joscha Chung, “Soong Tsung-faung’s Translation of Hermann Sudermann’s Teja

This paper focuses on the introduction and translation of the German playwright Hermann Sudermann’s dramatic works in the May Fourth period. Although some efforts were paid earlier to translate Sudermann’s novel, it was not until 1918 and 1919 when his name received serious attention in China through Soong Tsung-faung (or Song Chunfang in today’s spelling), who was probably the most important promoters of modern Western drama during that time.
Prof. Soong of the Government University of Peking has been well known for his compiling of a list of one hundred modern plays for interested Chinese translators to consider. It is a much less discussed matter that he managed to translate a few of the listed plays, including Teja, Sudermann’s three one-act plays in the collection called Morituri (1896).
The absence of Teja in Soong’s three volumes of On Theatre (1923, 1936, and 1937) lead to little scholarship on this early Chinese translation of Sudermann’s drama. The fact that Soong’s translation was published in The Renaissance (or Xinchao), a leading journal edited by members of the Government University of Peking, enabled its wide circulation among participants and followers of the New Culture Movement. On the other hand, Soong’s choice to translate the play’s realistic dialogues into classical Chinese clearly contradicted the journal’s cultural standpoint. By presenting both circumstantial and textual evidence, this paper demonstrates that Soong’s choice of language was in fact influenced by Sudermann’s English translator.

Tianyun Hua, “Contemporary Intercultural Theatre between Orientalism and Occidentalism: An Example of Grzegorz Jarzyna’s Theatrical Adaptation of Lu Xun’s Forging the Swords

With the deepened mutual cultural communication, it is no more the case of one-way Orientalism or Occidentalism. This paper will demonstrate a more interwoven relationship using the example of Polish director Grzegorz Jarzyna’s theatrical adaptation of Chinese writer Lu Xun’s Forging the Swords: the director combines the Chinese story and western philosophy to reinterpret and fit the story into a contemporary social context, while the play is performed by an international team, and is accepted and commented by the Chinese audience. Through a detailed analysis of the stage language used by Jarzyna compared with Lu Xun’s story, including the representation of “man and superman” and “eternal recurrence”, and the futuristic visual style applied, the paper wants to contend the harsh critiques received by the play and argues that it is a meaningful adaptation which not only provides a brand-new angle to reinterpret the story but also uses both the western and eastern recourses of thoughts to reflect critically on the contemporary situation. Through this example, this paper intends to show the potential of the contemporary intercultural theatre to be a platform beyond one-way Orientalism or Occidentalism but contains both sides, where world literary canons can get reinterpreted and responded to in a relevant context, and also wants to advocate a more open attitude instead of cultural nationalism to allow and accept such sharing.

Marco Lovisetto, “Exploring the Attachment to Tradition through Intertextuality: The Translation of Su Xuelin’s Autobiographical Jixin

This paper introduces the peculiar features of the translation process of Su Xuelin’s 苏雪林 Jixin 棘心, a co-translation project that aims to newly introduce one of Su’s masterpieces to English-speaking readers. A prominent intellectual figure of the May Fourth Movement, Su was initially considered one of five major female writers in China but was put aside due to her criticism of Lu Xun and departure from the Mainland. Along with her recent rehabilitation in the Mainland and her undeniable academic, didactic, and literary influence on Taiwan, Su’s literary heritage is worth studying and disseminating. In this paper, I will argue that the translation process of the novel reveals to the target reader the depiction of a pseudo-autobiographical character, Du Xingqiu, with distinctive features expressing some of the historical and social changes of modern China.
My analysis of the translation process will take into consideration three textual aspects: intertextuality, register, and narrative point of view. By focusing on significant examples of intertextuality encountered during the process of translating the novel, this paper demonstrates elements that characterise Su’s attachment to both Catholic and Confucian traditions. Additionally, a textual analysis of the changes between different registers and narrative points of view throughout the novel illustrates the variations of the author’s tone between narration, introspection, and evaluation. Throughout the paper, I will present an in-depth textual analysis of these passages and the translatological strategies that my co-translator and I have adopted in order to thoroughly understand and convey the implicit messages emitted by the source text.

Aleksei Rodionov, “Changing Priorities and Emerging Factors: On Recent Translation of Contemporary Chinese Prose into Russian Language”

Looking back to the history of Russian-Chinese literary communication we can see that translation of contemporary Chinese literature into the Russian language for a long time has been highly dependent on historical, political, and academic circumstances. The latest period of translations, which commenced in 2009, is driven by Chinese and Russian government support, as well as the influence of international literary prizes and the changing image of China, but at the same time is balanced by the book market and deacademisation of the translation process. By 2015 after several decades of domination of classical Chinese literature in Russian translations, the publication of contemporary Chinese literature caught up and in 2016 surpassed the number of classical literature editions.
In 2009–2018 there were 291 pieces of contemporary Chinese prose translated into Russian, which included 46 novels, 70 повестей, 137 short stories, and 38 essays. These were the works of 174 contemporary Chinese writers, among them those translated most often were Mo Yan, Liu Cixin, Bi Feiyu, Cao Wenxuan, Yu Hua, and Liu Zhenyun. This selection of writers shows a considerable shift from the previous period of 1992–2008, where the most popular authors were Wang Meng, Feng Jicai, Jia Pingwa, Zhang Jie, and Can Xue.
The paper is based on extensive statistics and discusses the tendencies of the recent translation of contemporary Chinese literature into the Russian language in wide context as well as its driving forces and key actors.

Papers on the History of Law

9:00 am – 10:45 am
Room 3

  • Chaired by Roger Greatrex
  • Roger Greatrex, “Trafficking in the Fifteenth Century—The Case of Mancang’er”
  • Lara Colangelo, “The Law of the Twelve Tables in China: From the Earliest Descriptions in Late 19th Century Sources to the First Studies on This Legal Code”
  • Ruiping Ye, “A Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics: Legacies from History”

Roger Greatrex, “Trafficking in the Fifteenth Century—The Case of Mancang’er”

The latter half of the fifteenth century saw simultaneously a judicial system in worsening disarray as a result of unclear and often conflicting legislation, and a steady rise in criminality in the capital and the provinces. At the same time, there occurred with ever-increasing frequency and intensity abuses of the judicial system carried out by the officials from the Eastern Depot (Dongchang 東廠), among others. The trafficking of young women to the capital to serve as prostitutes in the city’s brothels was endemic and was repeatedly condemned in memorials. This paper concerns the case of a young woman named Mancang’er 滿倉兒 whose ordeal reached its conclusion in 1496. The case is remarkable for the twists and turns that occurred in it, including the abduction of Mancang’er from a brothel by her mother and brother, the death of the brothel owner as a result of judicial torture, and the intervention of the Eunuch Director of the Eastern Depot in the case, among other unexpected events. What is perhaps the most remarkable feature of the case is that a clerical employee in the Ministry of Justice acted in the way that we today should call being a ‘whistle-blower,’ by revealing the illegal irregularities being perpetrated by officials. The case of Mancang’er raises a number of important legal questions that the paper addresses, foremost of which is the trafficked victim’s right to decide her own future once freed from sexual slavery.

Lara Colangelo, “The Law of the Twelve Tables in China: From the Earliest Descriptions in Late 19th Century Sources to the First Studies on This Legal Code”

Promulgated in the 5th century B.C. and destroyed when the Gauls sacked Rome (387 B.C.), the Law of the Twelve Tables has been for centuries the primary source of Roman Law and since the Humanistic era, Western jurists have constantly attempted to reconstruct the original text. In recent years Chinese academia began to show increasing interest toward this code, which during the 20th century has undergone several translations into Chinese. Although few, yet significant, studies on the history of the reception of the Twelve Tables in China have already been carried out, many aspects of this process still need to be further investigated, especially with regard to how and when information about the Twelve Tables started to circulate in China. In order to shed some light on the initial phase of the introduction of the Romanist legal tradition in China, this paper aims at providing a specific illustration of how written mentions of the Twelve Tables appeared already at the end of the 19th century, decades earlier than what it is generally stated in the studies on this topic. Special attention will be given to some of the earliest descriptions of the Twelve Tables which can be found in late Qing Chinese sources and which seem to be still unknown or too little studied. Moreover, by comparing these documents with more recent ones, this paper is also intended to analyse the evolution of the studies on this legal code in China during the first half of the 20th century.

Ruiping Ye, “A Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics: Legacies from History”

In 1949, the Communist Party of China founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and swiftly abolished all laws of the previous regimes. The Constitution Act 1982 of the PRC declares the PRC to be a “socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship,” and the ruling party resolved to “build a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics” in 2014.
This paper looks to history to find out what “Chinese characteristics” may mean. The paper examines the guiding principles of law, the constitutional arrangements and some aspects of the law of the PRC in comparison with historical arrangements in the same areas. Many principles and practices have roots in tradition: the principles of yifa zhiguo (ruling the country according to the law) and yide zhiguo (ruling the country by virtue), the internal checks and balances of different branches of the government and the local governments, the insistence on centralised control, the functions of law enforcement bodies, the regulation of public servants, the system of household registration and restriction on freedom of movement, and the intervention in family affairs for the purpose of the state economy.
This paper argues that the socialist legal system with “Chinese characteristics” is a continuation of the traditional Chinese legal system and culture, with modifications according to contemporary circumstances.

Papers on Taiwan

4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Room 3

  • Chaired by André Laliberté
  • Ruiping Ye, “The Mudan Incident: An Incident of Significance”
  • Wei-Che Fu, “Aged Houses and Skyrocketing Prices: The Effect of Cross-Strait Trade on the Development of Taiwan’s Real Estate Market”
  • Tao Wang, “Guanxi Matters: How Confucian Culture Shapes Representation in Taiwan”
  • Tabea Mühlbach, “’The Return of the ‘Savage’—A Look at Indigenous Policy and the ‘Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee’ in Tsai Ing-wen’s Taiwan”
  • Vladimir Stolojan-Filipesco, “Coming to Terms with the Postwar Single-Party Regime, or Misuse of Transitional Justice? An Assessment of Two Transitional Justice Initiatives Enacted by the Tsai Administration”

Ruiping Ye, “The Mudan Incident: An Incident of Significance”

In 1874, Japan sent an expedition to southern Taiwan. At that time Taiwan was governed by Manchu Qing China and the southern territory was occupied and controlled by Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Qing China and Japan entered a lengthy negotiation over the expedition and the withdrawal of Japanese force from southern Taiwan. The expedition and the subsequent negotiations are both known as the Mudan Incident.
While Japan’s expedition has been well researched, the negotiations between the Qing and Japan are less studied by scholars. This paper examines official communications and records of the negotiation and reveals the different attitudes by the Qing and Japan towards expansion and colonisation, supported by different legal traditions and theories.
The Mudan Incident was not only a catalyst for the Qing’s abrupt change of policy in Taiwan and a precursor of Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan. This paper argues that the Mudan Incident was a reflection of the Qing’s governance philosophy in its 200 years’ administration of Taiwan, and provided a footnote to Japan’s style of colonisation in Taiwan. The Incident manifested as a clash between the legal philosophies of a traditional Chinese imperial regime and a modern and European-style state in the early modern world. The Mudan Incident was one of the most significant events in the history of Taiwan.

Wei-Che Fu, “Aged Houses and Skyrocketing Prices: The Effect of Cross-Strait Trade on the Development of Taiwan’s Real Estate Market”

This study examines Taiwan’s increasing high housing prices since the 1990s. The housing price-to-income ratio of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, accounted for the highest among East Asian’ democratic countries (Numbeo Database 2019). While the population in Taiwan has been grown slowly, the housing prices around main cities has grown steadily. The study uses mixed methodologies to identify the factors to explain growing housing prices and finds that, even the net foreign direct investment inflows (inflows-outflows) has become negative since the 1990s, and the real estate investment from China has been severely controlled, the degree of Taiwan’s trade dependency on China still influenced the development of real estate market in Taiwan.
The study pointed out three reasons. First, the close manufactures division between Taiwan and China which was formed since mid-1990 affected not only Taiwan’s export performance but also domestic economics. Second, Taiwanese businessperson 台商, who can move cross-strait easily, became the main customers to invest in luxury real estate market in Taiwan. Third, governments of Taiwan, in order to response the economic recessions during 2000-2015, cut the property taxes and implement the huge urban and land development policies, building a real-estate-market-friendly environment. With three findings, the study concluded that the transformation of the economic structure of Taiwan, which was highly dependent on China’s economy since the mid-1990s explained the development of the real-estate market and skyrocketing housing prices in Taiwan.

Tao Wang, “Guanxi Matters: How Confucian Culture Shapes Representation in Taiwan”

Back in the 1990s when the Asian values debate broke out, politicians and scholars disagreed about whether the Confucian culture in East Asia is compatible with democracy. Huntington (1996), among others, famously asserted that “Confucian heritage, with its emphasis on authority, order, hierarchy, and supremacy of the collectivity over the individual, creates obstacles to democratisation.” The debate continues in the field of philosophy, but an important empirical question remains unanswered: how do Confucian legacies today influence the way people behave in a democracy? In this paper, I explore the way Confucian culture shapes representation in Taiwan’s democracy, with a focus on the role of guanxi. I conducted a survey experiment in Taiwan, simulating the 2020 parliamentary election. The experiment manipulates the candidates’ profiles across conditions varying from a consistency-focused record to a national policy-focused one. It finds that stronger guanxi orientation motivates voters to favour legislators who serve local interests, such as bring projects to his or her constituency and handle casework on behalf of individual voters. The study also demonstrates that when guanxi orientation is weaker, voters prefer broader, national policy to local, particularistic interests. The paper aims at offering empirical insights to the decades-long debate on Confucianism and democracy.

Tabea Mühlbach, “’The Return of the ‘Savage’’—A Look at Indigenous Policy and the ‘Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee’ in Tsai Ing-wen’s Taiwan”

The implementation of “transitional justice” has been a central concern of the Tsai government. Most conventional definitions of transitional justice—coming to terms with a country’s authoritarian past—appeal to a rather restricted scope for action and, in the case of Taiwan, have usually been applied to deal with the decades of Kuomintang rule. While most countries have been hesitant to address indigenous affairs from the perspective of transitional justice, Tsai Ing-wen established the “Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee” in 2016, targeting injustices stemming from the past 400 years of exploitation and political suppression of Taiwan’s indigenous populace.
Four years after the “Committee’s” establishment, this paper will offer a review of its work as presented in recent policy and public discourse. By application of critical transitional justice theory, it will address two questions: 1) How is Taiwan’s indigenous transitional justice reconciled with its other (more orthodox) approaches to transitional justice? 2) (How) has the work of the “Committee” advanced the state of Taiwanese indigenous affairs and what can this tell us about the future of indigenous policy in Taiwan?
This paper will argue that labelling indigenous issues as “transitional justice” has contributed to framing them in a cohesive way and as a matter requiring prompt and comprehensive action. However, the “Committee’s” work has produced dissent and has fallen short of expectations. While new developments have been initiated, the setbacks encountered may also prove to be a temporary obstruction for the indigenous policy after the ending presidential term.

Vladimir Stolojan-Filipesco, “Coming to Terms with the Postwar Single-Party Regime, or Misuse of Transitional Justice? An Assessment of Two Transitional Justice Initiatives Enacted by the Tsai Administration”

The 2016 general election in Taiwan was a triumph for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led pan-green coalition which, for the first time in history, gained the control of the Presidency and the Legislative Yuan. The DPP had, therefore, the opportunity to enact laws without reaching an agreement with the Kuomintang led pan-blue coalition and therefore to quickly push forward its own agenda. The Act Governing the Handling of Ill-Gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organisations and the Act for the Promotion of Transitional Justice, enacted in 2016 and in 2017, fulfil requests addressed by members of the pan-green coalition since the early 2000s. The former allows inquiries on the origin as well as the legitimacy of the wealth of organisations formerly affiliated to the party-state regime (if belonging is deemed ill-gotten, it should be nationalised), whereas the latter deals with several issues (such as the handling of the remaining public artefacts of the personality cult) which were not included in the 1990s transitional justice laws. Two commissions are in charge of their implementation. Up until 2016, the Kuomintang systemically refused to debate these issues at the Legislative Yuan. The pan-blue opposition remains constant as today, for the Kuomintang and its allies, these laws are merely excuses for a political witch-hunt. For the DPP administration, however, they contribute to Taiwan’s democratic consolidation.
Drawing on fieldwork conducted between March 2018 and August 2019, this contribution will recall the elaboration of the above-mentioned laws, the work of each commission in charge of their implementation and the critics they face.

Negotiating a Position in Global Politics

The Decades of Chinese Cooperation with International Organisations
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Room 3

  • Organised by Yun Huang
  • Chaired by Iris Borowy
  • Yun Huang, “’With a Mill-Stone about Her Neck’: China’s Participation in the 1924–1925 Geneva Opium Conferences and Its Impacts”
  • Kai-yi Li, “The League of Nations and Chinese Cultural Diplomacy during the Interwar Period”
  • Lu Chen, “Between Science and Politics: China and the WHO, 1946–1953”
  • Iris Borowy, “The 1946 Garbage Removal Project Peipine—UNRAA Working through Proxy”
  • Rainer Lanselle, Discussant

During the tumultuous period of Chinese history in half of the twentieth century, as China went through profound socio-economic transformations, revolution, and warfare, several Chinese governments embraced active participation in international organisations. Cooperation served several purposes: to seek international recognition, receive tangible support for real problems, claim a position in the international arena. This panel explores four examples spanning three decades, ranging from negotiations with the League of Nations, UNESCO, and the World Health Organisation, discussing issues with regard to narcotic drug policies, intellectual cooperation, education, and public health. All cases involve a complicated interaction of the impact of these organisations on Chinese politics and Chinese impact on international policies, as well as of work on the technical issues at hand and their political underpinnings. Repeatedly, international organisations provided a forum in which domestic conflicts played out, be it internal conflicts between rival warlords or competing parties. In the process, the connection between Chinese governments and international organisations also reflected and helped forge evolving concepts of modernisation and development through ideas of acceptable drug consumption, education, and health policies. At the same time, the degree of cooperation also served as a yardstick by which the opening of China to the world—and of the world to China—could be measured.

Yun Huang, “’With a Mill-Stone about Her Neck’: China’s Participation in the 1924–1925 Geneva Opium Conferences and Its Impacts”

During the period of Republican China, while the international drugs regulatory system progressed, China actively participated and also adopted an increasingly harsh domestic drug policy. It is necessary to illuminate the relationship between the process of the international drugs regulatory system and the changing Chinese drug policy, a dimension which has not been adequately addressed. This case study will explore China’s participation in the 1924-1925 Geneva Opium Conferences and its impact on Chinese domestic drug policy as well as the history of modern China on the basis of both League of Nations documents and Chinese archives. For this purpose, it will analyse both the Chinese participation in five sessions of the Advisory Committee of Opium of the League of Nations and the endeavours of Chinese representatives at the Geneva Opium Conferences, its discourse, as well as the impacts of those activities. In conclusion, this article argues that China’s participation was not as passive as phrased by existing research, but contributed to the conferences, especially on the matter of refined drugs regulation. However, its active participation was hampered not only by the political situation in China which mainly resulted from the fragmenting of warlords but also its worry of the increase of the power of civil groups which consisted of missionary associations, intellectuals, elites etc. The anticipation of Chinese government to take advantage of both international influence and domestic civil groups and its worry of the interference of international and the increase of civil group led to its dilemma on the drug’s regulation.

Kai-yi Li, “The League of Nations and Chinese Cultural Diplomacy during the Interwar Period”

In 1931, the Nanjing government commenced technical cooperation with the League of Nations. As a part of the program, the Chinese government and intellectual groups participated in several activities organised by or under the auspices of the League of Nations’ intellectual organisations. In addition to providing international assistance, those activities also offered platforms for the Chinese government and intellectuals to construct the international image of China and were the initial attempts of the cultural diplomacy of the Nanjing government. This paper analyses what cultural image the Chinese government and intellectuals tried to construct through the educational activities of the League of Nations. To answer this question, the analysis will probe two intellectual organisations in China, The Chinese National Committee of International Intellectual Cooperation (CNIIC) and the Chinese National Educational Cinematographic Institute (CNECI), which joined the International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation and the International Educational Cinematographic Institute of the League of Nations, respectively. The focus of this part will be on the political background of the two organisations in China and on the intellectuals involved in the educational activities. The article then will move on to two educational activities. The first is the participating of educational films competitions of the CNECI. The research will analyse the intention of CNECI to participate in the competitions and the contents of two educational films, The Farmers’ Spring and Chinese Sports. The second is the visiting programs of the educational mission appointed by the League of Nations to China in 1931. In this part, travelling letters of the mission members and archive documents will be studied. The paper concludes that the cultural image the Chinese government and intellectuals tried to construct emphasised modernisation and tradition, and the international intellectual order.

Lu Chen, “Between Science and Politics: China and the WHO, 1946–1953”
With an ambitious goal—“the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was founded in 1948. Since its establishment, the WHO has defined 22 primary functions, of which the first was “to act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work”. However, the changing politics after World War II and the Cold War challenged WHO’s role as a directing and coordinating authority of global health. Coinciding with the hostilities between China’s ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in their competition for power, the newly built international organisation’s officials in Geneva and its representatives in the Far East were forced to navigate a strategy to deal with the membership of China after 1949, when the CCP replaced the KMT as the ruling party, and both regimes on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan claimed to be the legal representative of China at the United Nations (UN). With support from the United States (US), the KMT-led Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) continued to claim membership at the UN and its specialist agencies, including the WHO. In 1952, the CCP decided to withdraw from the UN and its specialist agencies in protest against the US’s promotion of Taiwan within the international arena. In the coming two decades, the legal representation of China was constantly being argued at the UN, until the CCP won major support in 1971. This paper explores the Chinese representation in WHO since the organisation’s establishment until China’s withdrawal from it in 1952. Based on primary sources from Foreign Ministry of China, the WHO archive, and the National Archive of the UK, the paper examines domestic and international factors shaped the trajectory of Chinese relations with the WHO during this period.

Iris Borowy, “The 1946 Garbage Removal Project Peipine—UNRAA Working through Proxy”

Towards the end of World War II, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, UNRRA, organised health work in countries that came under allied control. Unlike in Europe, where UNRRA retained control over its activities, in China, the Republican Government insisted on keeping full control over these activities and, in 1945, it established the Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, CNRRA, designed to organise relief in cooperation with UNRRA. The work of CNRRA soon gained a reputation of mismanagement and a lot of aid was said to disappear in murky channels. In total, UNRRA supplied approximately 500 million dollars worth of goods and services. Since Chinese authorities demanded the right to sell some relief goods to raise money needed to finance the distribution of products, the cooperation involved some ambiguity between being a charitable or commercial activity.
A case in point was an agreement in early 1946 between the Bureau of Health of the Municipal Government of Beijing and CNRRA Regional Office which stipulated that the Bureau of Health would hire refugees to remove 1,200 tons of accumulated garbage from the streets per day, paid not with money but with flour provided by CNRRA. Workers were free to sell again if they wished. This arrangement was specifically termed “in lieu of relief” and effectively transformed food aid into a trade arrangement. For a while, it promised an effective combination of several goals (garbage removal and food assistance), but in practice, it got bogged down in accusations of corruption in which all parties blamed each other.
On the basis of UN primary sources, this paper analyses how the mixture of goals interacted with a mixture of responsibilities while eventually neither appears to have mattered, as petty crime and efforts for everyday survival took over.

Papers on Domestic Politics I

9:00 am – 10:45 am
Room 3

  • Chaired by Tingjian Cai
  • Chi Shing Lee, “The Undercurrent in the Cold War Asia: The Dissident Left Wing, the Chinese Trotskyism, and Hong Kong as the Revolutionary Hub”
  • Xingxing Wang, “Impact of Media Exposure on National Identity of Hong Kong Youth”
  • Olga Adams, “‘Corruption Close to People’: Fighting Malfeasance at the Grassroots Level”

Chi Shing Lee, “The Undercurrent in the Cold War Asia: The Dissident Left Wing, the Chinese Trotskyism, and Hong Kong as the Revolutionary Hub”

Taking the political thoughts of Chinese Trotskyists in Hong Kong from 1946 to 1969 as the case, this chapter aims to introduce the role of the dissident leftwing in constructing the Asian experiences of Cold War. Existing literature on the Cold War in Asia only devotes to scratching its surface: the Asia experiences of the ideological-political antagonism between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Trotskyism as an ideological force functioning along the Cold War has often been dismissed. Using both primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English, including historiographies of Trotskyism in China, biographies of Chinese Trotskyists, and the publications of Chinese Trotskyist parties, this article argues that the Chinese Trotskyism in Hong Kong was subject but not submitted to the binary setting in the Cold War. After its arrival in Hong Kong, the Chinese Trotskyism faced a wave of repression imposed by the Chinese Communist Party and the British colonial government, being labelled as both leftist and rightist. Under the duress, the Chinese Trotskyists still took this colonial place as a revolutionary hub to realise its prospect of establishing a new China which counters with both capitalist and communist bureaucracies in the Cold War setting. The Chinese Trotskyists, through their nationalist but also internationalist discourses, left the leftwing legacy that changed the political culture of the Cold War Hong Kong in the following decades. By arguing so, this article offers, firstly, a corrective to the over-determination of the Asian experiences of the Cold War in terms of the oppositional forces, that is, capitalism and communism, and secondly, a new perspective from which the relations between China and Hong Kong are reinterpreted.

Xingxing Wang, “Impact of Media Exposure on National Identity of Hong Kong Youth”

Since mid-2019, the most serious and continuing anti-government social movement has broken out in Hong Kong since its return to China, in which the young people have once again been the main force. Then the national identity of Hong Kong youth has been more concerned. This study, given the diverse media environment in Hong Kong and its important role in social movements, focuses on the impact of the media on the national identity of young people.
This study is based on a questionnaire survey of senior high school students in Hong Kong in 2018. Through the analysis of 1279 valid questionnaires, and from the news, entertainment, shopping and other aspects of media information exposure, to analyse the relationship between them and teenagers’ national identity. Through correlation and regression analysis, this study analyses the relationship between Hong Kong youth national identity and different types of media exposure, including (1) news media with different political positions; (2) mainland entertainment media; (3) mainland online shopping media. In addition, this study also examines teenagers’ understanding of the elements in the identity of “Hongkonger.”
In addition to the news, this study explores the influence of more types of media, which is expected to further reveal the impact of Hong Kong media on the national identity of young people and provide some inspiration for the media strategy to promote the integration of China and Hong Kong. Besides that, it will also provide more support and enlightenment to the related theories of the impact of youth media contact.

Olga Adams, “‘Corruption Close to People’: Fighting Malfeasance at the Grassroots Level

Fighting corruption among lower-level party and state officials constitutes an integral part of Xi Jinping’s all-encompassing anti-corruption campaign (notorious ‘flies’), however, this side usually receives fewer media and scholarly attention as compared to ensnaring high-positioned ‘tigers.’
Analysing PRC control organs’ grassroots level work demonstrates that visits by ‘central inspection teams’ (they may be dispatched by authorities starting at the provincial level) remain tried-and-true tactics—inspectors use a variety of ways to assess a situation: interviewing officials and private citizens (also reviewing their written petitions), access documents, etc. Depending on preliminary results, higher-level control organs may send another group for a ‘target strike’ or ‘surprise revisit’. Inspections are carried out in geographic locales all over the country. They also may be industry-specific or aimed at local judiciaries, administrative personnel of various government departments, etc. One important area is land management bureaus whose work is often subject to complaints.
The goal for preventative work is to eliminate officials’ behaviour that cannot be legally defined as corruption but precipitates it, also causing ‘grievances among people’ and bringing ‘backward practices back to life.’ Suzhi (character) education is key—in line with ‘being faithful to the original goal and always remembering the mission,’ party members and civil servants must resist ‘the eight grave moral conditions’ that bring down officials and are detrimental to the country. Local experience in that area varies and is being closely monitored.

Papers on International Relations II

4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Room 3

  • Chaired by Franziska Plümmer
  • Nihal Kutlu, “The Hybrid Power: Explaining China’s Distinctive Participation in UN Peacekeeping”
  • Un Hye Joe, “The People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s Role toward an East Asian Economic Community (EAEC)”
  • Reinhard Biedermann, “A Diamond Decade, But for Whom? China’s Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN”
  • Josie-Marie Perkuhn, “Alternative Peace—with Chinese Characteristics?”

Nihal Kutlu, “The Hybrid Power: Explaining China’s Distinctive Participation in UN Peacekeeping”

If we take a look at countries’ participation behaviours in UN peacekeeping, we see a significant divergence between top financial contributors and troop contributors. While the top ten financial contributors are developed countries, the top ten troop contributors consist of lower-middle-income and low-income countries. However, China is an exceptional case since it is the second major contributor to UN peacekeeping budget and is the only UN Security Council permanent member among the top ten troop-contributing countries.
This research, rather than relying on outsider labels to define and explain China’s behaviour, uses the concept of “responsible major developing country” (RMDC) -China’s self-referential description of itself- as a framework of analysis. The RMDC concept perfectly captures China’s purpose(s), behaviours, and dilemmas in the international system since the late 1990s.
I argue that the RMDC concept characterises China’s hybrid identity -being a developing country and a great power at the same time- and China’s effort to reconcile the different expectations arising from two identities under the term of being responsible while attempting to fulfil the goals of its national interests. The process turns China into a hybrid power.
After discussing the sources of China’s hybrid identity, I explore the expectations from its two reference groups, i.e., the Global South and P5 countries. Then, I explain how China’s troop contribution serves its national interests by contributing to the modernisation of its military, while China meets the expectations of two reference groups by sticking to its non-intervention principle and abiding by the UN system.

Un Hye Joe, “The People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s Role toward an East Asian Economic Community (EAEC)”

In the wake of the 1997/98 financial crisis, East Asian states have looked to strengthen regional integration inter-governmentally at the macro-level. In November 2019, 13 ASEAN Plus Three (APT) participating countries, Australia and New Zealand, finally concluded text-based the world’s largest trade bloc negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). According to the models of regional integration, RCEP will be the first step of regional community-building, as an economic and primarily trade-focused proposal, which lays the most important foundation stone for the next customs union integration-step, like the European Economic Community (ECC), i.e. EAEC. However, East Asia’s endeavour is strictly restricted by the principle of non-interference in national sovereignty, possesses no EU-style legal institutions with supranational governance power and lacks regional public goods that an EAEC will produce for the regional community. This is due to the collision between the sovereignty game and the modern international political game in the East Asian region.
While ASEAN has been placed in a position of operational centrality regarding EAEC proposals, its success depends on the relationships between the large economic powers; ultimately on the role of PRC. The Treaty establishing the ECC (1957) showed that the participating countries were under rule of law and European integration continues with trust between countries and public institutions. East Asian Integration is blocked by the sovereignty game and can’t proceed to legal space, to EAEC. Strengthening legal institutionalisation based on mutual trustworthiness is key to unlocking and expanding new sectors of cooperation. And that will require PRC’s leadership.

Reinhard Biedermann, “A Diamond Decade, But for Whom? China’s Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN”

China has replaced the European Union as the biggest trading partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) resulting from the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), in force since 2008. In 2013, China proposed the ten year-plan “diamond decade” under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to further develop economic relations
However, central to China’s ASEAN strategy is the BRI, a large Eurasian infrastructure connectivity project that has attracted much attention in recent years. China’s President Xi Jinping initiated the BRI in 2013, which, since then, has provided significant investments of all kinds of infrastructure to improve connectivity and economic development. While China promotes this program as a Chinese public good for the world, based on the principle of win-win, scholarly experts and Western political actors are more cautious about the BRI: It would support unsustainable development and political collusion, and mainly serving the interests of China’s political leaders and overcapacities in the domestic economy. Also, China’s BRI would mainly strengthen bilateral relations with individual ASEAN countries, and in addition to that weaken the integrative forces of ASEAN.
Thus, has China become a stumbling block for the ASEAN single market? This article explores the development of trade and investment of China in ASEAN, compared to the development of domestic ASEAN trade. Furthermore, it elaborates conditions and rules that come with the BRI. This research also takes a look at ASEAN adaptation and responses to China’s BRI and ASEAN’s current single market dynamics.

Josie-Marie Perkuhn, “Alternative Peace—with Chinese Characteristics?”

What is alternative about peace norms with Chinese Characteristics? The concept of Harmonious World clearly envisions a normative concept with Chinese characteristics for peace. With it, China proposes an alternative understanding that is based on the Confucian ideal of a Harmonious Society and the concept of Tianxia. While Chinese thought already spread with Chinese money along revived silk roads, scholars widely discuss implications of Chinese alternative thinking (Acharya & Buzan 2010; Zhang & Chang 2016). Assuming that insights from the vivid Chinese IR debate contribute to the international research of how to define peace in terms of Galtung’s distinction of positive and negative peace definitions, evaluating China’s alternative peace concept seems promising. Hence, this paper questions to what extent contributes China’s peace understanding to the normative debate of positive/negative peace research? By tracing this proclaimed alternative thinking in Chinese foreign politics this paper explores China’s peace understanding in terms of defining peace alternatively. Based on governmental statements this paper conducts a qualitative discourse analysis and evaluates the conceptual idea, the establishment and maintenance of China’s peace norm by analysing Chinese understanding of peace concept, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping.

Social Welfare and Public Services in Transforming China

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Room 3

  • Organised by Hua Wang
  • Hua Wang, “Elderly Care Provision in Urban Communities of China: Institutions, Actors, and Local Constraints”
  • Pia Eskelinen, “Hukou, Rural Women and Land Rights”
  • Diwen Xiao, Liao Liao, Yulin Wang, “Cross-Border Health Service Provision under ‘One Country, Two Systems’: The Evidence from University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital”
  • Jingyan Zhu, “The Perceptions of Marketisation in Health Care in China: Evidence from Chinese Local Health Facilities”

China’s welfare regime is undergoing tremendous transformation. With decades of reform and opening-up, China’s economic performance has achieved great success, yet issues like public services supply, social welfare provision and social inequalities have become more significant challenges facing Chinese government and society. This panel, consisting of four papers by authors from both European countries and China, seeks to inquire the existing problems of citizens’ welfare rights, eldercare provision, and cross-border public services supply in the transforming period of China. All papers on this panel are based upon solid empirical evidence collected from contemporary China. Pia Eskelinen’s paper focuses on rural women’s land rights and how the change of Hukou locations has generated gender inequalities in land contracts. Diwen Xiao’s paper argues that the political party (CCP) has played a significant role in influencing the cross-border supply of public services through its interaction with professional groups. Hua Wang’s paper looks into how the central initiatives on elderly care have been implemented in the local context and how the elderly care provision structure in urban communities has been shaped by various factors. Anthea Cain’s paper takes the specific populations who directly provide eldercare to the growing aged in China as a lens to understand the care chains among rural-to-urban migrant women and non-migrant urban women, thus to investigate the gender inequality in old age.

Hua Wang, “Elderly Care Provision in Urban Communities of China: Institutions, Actors, and Local Constraints”

As one of the most indispensable civil welfare schemes, elderly care in China has become a significant social issue. The Chinese government has recognised the need to strengthen formal elderly care provisions and expand access to services. Since 2013, Chinese central government has issued several policy documents to promote “Integrated Elderly Care” and “Long-term Care Insurance”. However, the local practice in implementing these initiatives has demonstrated distinct local characteristics and great variation. The policy deviation is partly due to the conflicting interests of local bureaucratic institutions. In the meantime, the interaction of public-private sectors, and the influence of the third sectors are also relevant. This article takes the implementation of “Integrated Elderly care” and “Long-term Care Insurance” as case studies, to illustrate the process of how the central initiative being implemented in the local context and most importantly, how the elderly care provision structure has been constructed in the urban communities. Based on case studies and interviews from 2019 to 2020 in several Chinese cities, this study tries to provide a clear picture of elderly care provision structure in the Chinese urban communities, and analyse how the structure has been shaped by central policy design and local policy implementation, the interaction of public-private actors and families, and other local constraints.

Pia Eskelinen, “Hukou, Rural Women and Land Rights”

The household registration system, hukou, was introduced by the People’s Republic of China in the 1950’s, even though hukou’s history in imperial China is thousands of years long. The hukou system does not only designate residents’ status as being either rural or urban based on their registered birthplace but it also controls (domestic) migration. In today’s China, the problem of the hukou system is not simply controlling migration, but the great inequality the hukou has created between the urban and rural population. However, there are inequalities and inconsistencies within the rural hukou holders as well. Most striking problem involves the land contracting in rural areas after hukou location has been changed. Particularly rural women suffer from the unequal policies surrounding the changing of hukou location and status compared with rural men. According to my interviews, there are different rules for men and women although the law is very clear: land should be redistributed if new residents move in the area and if they no longer have land at their old location. China cannot be analysed from a Western perspective but rather within the Marxist, Confucianist and Chinese feministic framework. This research is mainly based on formal interviews and informal discussions that will be analysed within the framework of the theories and philosophies grounding Chinese ideology.

Diwen Xiao, Liao Liao, Yulin Wang “Cross-border Health Service Provision under ‘One Country, Two Systems’: The Evidence from University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital”

It has become a universal public governance issue to achieve effective cross-border public service supply and ensure citizens’ social rights in the age of globalisation. Existing studies focus on the cross-border public service provisions between developed countries, emphasising the importance of coordination and supranational institutions to ensure the effective supply of public services. There are few studies on cross-regional practice within sovereign countries and little attention has been paid to the political parties. This study takes the development of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital as an example to show how the CCP influences the cross-border supply of public services in the context of “one country, two systems.” The study presents that the interactions between CCP and professional groups promote the settlement of cross-border medical and health services. On the one hand, CCP of Hospital plays a linking role in the communication between hospitals and local governments to ensure mutual trust. On the other hand, CCP also ensures that professional organisations can adapt to the new institutional environment and provide high-quality medical services under its consultation and supervision. Meanwhile, important plans of the hospital are formulated jointly by CCP, the board of directors, and experts or decided in a collaborative way. This study would shed light on both the cross-border public services provision under the “one country, two systems” regime, and the role of political power and the professionals in trans-system health cooperation.

Jingyan Zhu, “The Perceptions of Marketisation in Health Care in China: Evidence from Chinese Local Health Facilities”

Since the 2009 healthcare reform, the Chinese health system has undergone the transition with a series of government-funded programs ensuring the safety net and public health provision for the Chinese population. However, it is largely relying on the market in the delivery of hospital-centred services. The long-term marketisation for over three decades has significantly affected people’s understanding and behaviours of health care. The existing scholarship pays scant attention to how stakeholders view marketisation and how the marketisation impacts on the utilisation of health care. This study focuses on the perceptions of marketisation at the service delivery level through the various lens of stakeholders, including patients and their lay carers, health professionals, health board managers and local administrators.
This is qualitative research with a multiple case design. Four local health facilities are selected as case sites in Shandong Province, including two city hospitals, a county hospital and a long-term care facility between 2017 and 2019. Semi-structure interviews are conducted for data collection. Framework analysis is used for data analysis. Drawing upon the empirical evidence in selected Chinese local hospitals, I argue that the marketisation in health care leads to a variety of demands, expectations, and beliefs in health care. It also stimulates service users as consumers to exercise rights of choices in the market of health care. This study contributes to our understanding of marketisation and the impact on the utilisation of health services empirically and theoretically.