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Daily Archives: August 26, 2022

Chuckles of the Day

Funny Resume Quotes

“Let’s meet so you can ooh and aah over my experience.”

“I was working for my mom until she decided to move.”

“I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.”

“Personal interests: Donating blood. Fourteen dollars so far!”

“My last 3 bosses all said I possess “very unique talents”, and said their workplaces could not provide enough incentive for my special gifts.”

* * * * * * *

Funny Resume One Liners

“I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.”

“Martial status: Often.”

“Children: Various.”

“References: None. I’ve left a path of destruction behind me.”

“Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 previous jobs as job-hopping. I have never quit a job.”

Chart: GDP Annual Growth Rate – China vs India

Source : Trading Economics

U.N. Expert Concludes ‘Forced Labour’ Has Taken Place in Xinjiang

Martin Quin Pollard wrote . . . . . . . . .

It is “reasonable to conclude” that forced labour of members of minority groups has taken place in China’s western Xinjiang region, the UN’s top expert on slavery said in a report released this week, prompting a fierce response from Beijing.

The findings were “based on an independent assessment of available information”, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Tomoya Obokata, said in a report that he shared on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“The Special Rapporteur regards it as reasonable to conclude that forced labour among Uighur, Kazakh and other ethnic minorities in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing has been occurring in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China,” it said.

China rejects all accusations of abuse of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang.

The report, dated July 19, is publicly available in a UN documents library.

Two distinct “state-mandated” systems exist in Xinjiang, it said: a vocational skills education and training centre system, where minorities are “detained and subjected” to work placements, and a poverty alleviation through labour transfer system involving rural workers.

“While these programmes may create employment opportunities for minorities and enhance their incomes, as claimed by the Government, the Special Rapporteur considers that indicators of forced labour pointing to the involuntary nature of work rendered by affected communities have been present in many cases,” said the 20-page report, which also covered contemporary slavery-related issues and concerns in other countries.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday reiterated Beijing’s denial that there had ever been forced labour in Xinjiang, defended China’s record on protecting workers’ rights and heavily criticised the report’s findings.

“A certain special rapporteur chooses to believe in lies and disinformation about Xinjiang spread by the U.S. and some other Western countries and anti-China forces,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing.

Obokata’s report is separate from a highly anticipated report on human rights in Xinjiang being prepared by United Nations High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, who has pledged to publish it before leaving office at the end of this month.

Reuters reported last month that China has sought to stop Bachelet from releasing her report, citing a Chinese letter reviewed by Reuters and diplomats who received it.

Source : Reuters

Chart: Hong Kong Has the Largest Debt Service Ratio Among Main EM Economies

Source : Bloomberg

Why Young Chinese Are Learning to Live in the Now

Huang Wan wrote . . . . . . . . .

Last month, a popular Chinese blogger shared the story behind his recent weight gain. After years as a disciplined diner, avoiding oily, salty foods in favor of more nutritious fare, he had started eating what he wanted, when he wanted it.

In his post, he described his earlier eating habits as a product of the values that were instilled in him and millions of other Chinese from childhood. It wasn’t just about thrift, but also about keeping in good shape and being ready for whatever the future had in store. More recently, however, he had come to view this outlook as untenable. After a series of unexpected incidents had occurred in his life and in the lives of his friends — everything from injuries to bankruptcy and unemployment — he began to wonder what the point of preparing for the future was when even the present could be so unpredictable.

He’s far from the only person to feel this way. Youth unemployment is nearing 20%. The tech giants that drove so much of China’s private sector growth over the last decade are considering layoffs. And real estate, once a reliable asset, is teetering on the edge. Trapped between COVID-19 lockdowns and a slowing economy, many Chinese are questioning the purpose of preparing for a future that — for potentially the first time in their lives — feels less bright than the present.
Not everyone is ready to throw caution to the wind, of course. If anything, the desire for safety and stability is stronger than ever. Uncertainty has fueled a rise in the number of people taking the civil service exam. After decades of chasing the high salaries and relative freedom of the private sector, Chinese once again crave the stability of the “iron rice bowl”: a lifetime job at a government-affiliated institution.

But civil service jobs are few and far between. In 2021, one post drew over 1,000 applicants. For the vast majority, a stable future feels out of reach.

What’s left is a vague sense of disillusionment, one that has driven a dramatic shift away from preparing for the future and toward living in the present.

This shift did not begin with the pandemic. Even prior to COVID-19, China’s economy was struggling to find a new growth engine capable of maintaining the staggering growth of the 1990s and 2000s. And there were signs that young Chinese were increasingly unwilling to make the kind of total commitment to work that private companies had grown accustomed to. A 2018 LinkedIn survey, for example, found that the average respondent born after 1995 quit their first job after just seven months.

This shift is also reflected in people’s apathy toward marriage and childbirth. Family formation has always been the most significant long-term promise — and investment — in an individual’s life. In a survey of Chinese families conducted by the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics last year, nearly 80% of respondents expressed no interest in having children.

I’ve found similar attitudes in my own research on Chinese fertility intentions. As one married but childless interviewee told me, “Taking care of myself is difficult enough.” A growing number of Chinese people now see the nuclear family, once a symbol of stability, as a source of risk that they would rather avoid.

In a 2014 interview with Chinese outlet Jiemian, anthropologist Xiang Biao famously described the Chinese people’s striving attitudes over the past decades of rapid economic growth as a kind of “suspension.” “Philosophically, we do not conduct in-depth reflection about the present,” he explained. “Everything we do now is aimed at transcending the present and achieving a specific future goal. The present has no meaning in and of itself. Instead, it is solely a means.”

Ironically, the embrace of short-term thinking underway among young Chinese could be read as a kind of liberation from this suspended state — a return to the present. With nothing solid to look forward to, people want to enjoy themselves while they can.

Will this short-termism become a long-term belief? I doubt it. As with so many of other recent trends — from “naked resignations” to “lying flat” — short-term thinking is itself a kind of a privilege, one limited to those people still have ample time and resources to enjoy their life. Ultimately, the majority will continue to be subject to the gravitational pull of economic necessity. Only 29% of the 10.76 million students who graduated from university this year had found jobs by the end of May. For all the complaints about corporate work hours, a recent survey found that 90% of respondents born in the 2000s were willing to work overtime.

Almost every living generation of Chinese can claim its share of turmoil and trauma. In a sense, this makes today’s twenty-somethings even more unique. As perhaps the first generation in the past two centuries with no firsthand experience of war, hunger, or economic contraction in their childhood and adolescence, they are largely unprepared for the current malaise. After a lifetime of continuous development and annual GDP growth rates of 6% or higher, what do you do when growth drops to 0.4%, as it did in the second quarter of 2022?

In a recent interview with Chinese media, Richard Koo, an influential economist known for his research on both Japan’s “lost decade” and the 2008 global financial crisis, warned that China needed to prepare for a slow-growth future. “During periods of rapid economic growth, everything should be devoted to ensuring development is quick and high-quality,” he said. “Because that growth will undoubtedly slow down in five or 10 years.”

What happens when suspension becomes free fall? The 19th century French sociologist Emile Durkheim called the phenomenon of once-unifying beliefs being questioned and abandoned, but not yet replaced with a new consensus, “anomie.” Its consequence, according to Durkheim, is that people become disoriented, frustrated, and lack a sense of purpose and direction. China’s not at that point yet. But as time passes and the risk of recession grows, more and more people may start to wonder: What, if anything, comes next?

Source : Sixth Tone

Chart: China’s Services Trade Deficit Shrinks on Decline in Overseas Travel

China’s services trade deficit has narrowed at a rapid pace since 2020 amid a sharp decline in overseas travel, official data show.

The country ran a widening trade deficit in services for years, with tourism being the primary driver. But the gap shrank in 2019 and at an accelerated rate after the outbreak of Covid-19 as countries around the world tightened travel restrictions, Wang Dongtang, an official at the Ministry of Commerce, said Tuesday in a press briefing.

Source : Caixin