for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicycle pump, the expression on a long−dead sister's face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago: but all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and written records were falsified when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.
At this moment his train of thought stopped abruptly. He halted and looked up. He was in a narrow street, with a few dark little shops, interspersed among dwelling−houses. Immediately above his head there hung three discoloured metal balls which looked as if they had once been gilded. He seemed to know the place. Of course! He was standing outside the junk−shop where he had bought the diary.
A twinge of fear went through him. It had been a sufficiently rash act to buy the book in the beginning, and he had sworn never to come near the place again. And yet the instant that he allowed his thoughts to wander, his feet had brought him back here of their own accord. It was precisely against suicidal impulses of this kind that he had hoped to guard himself by opening the diary. At the same time he noticed that although it was nearly twenty−one hours the shop was still open. With the feeling that he would be less conspicuous inside than hanging about on the pavement, he stepped through the doorway. If questioned, he could plausibly say that he was trying to buy razor blades.
The proprietor had just lighted a hanging oil lamp which gave off an unclean but friendly smell. He was a man of perhaps sixty, frail and bowed, with a long, benevolent nose, and mild eyes distorted by thick spectacles. His hair was almost white, but his eyebrows were bushy and still black. His spectacles, his gentle, fussy movements, and the fact that he was wearing an aged jacket of black velvet, gave him a vague air of intellectuality, as though he had been some kind of literary man, or perhaps a musician. His voice was soft, as though faded, and his accent less debased than that of the majority of proles.
'I recognized you on the pavement,' he said immediately. 'You're the gentleman that bought the young lady's keepsake album. That was a beautiful bit of paper, that was. Cream− laid, it used to be called. There's been no paper like that made for oh, I dare say fifty years.' He peered at Winston over the top of his spectacles. 'Is there anything special I can do for you? Or did you just want to look round?'
'I was passing,' said Winston vaguely. 'I just looked in. I don't want anything in particular.'
'It's just as well,' said the other, 'because I don't suppose I could have satisfied you.' He made an apologetic gesture with his softpalmed hand. 'You see how it is; an empty shop, you might say. Between you and me, the antique trade's just about finished. No demand any longer, and no stock either. Furniture, china, glass it's all been broken up by degrees. And of course the metal stuff's mostly been melted down. I haven't seen a brass candlestick in years.'
The tiny interior of the shop was in fact uncomfortably full, but there was almost nothing in it of the slightest value. The floorspace was very restricted, because all round the walls were stacked innumerable dusty picture−frames. In the window there were trays of nuts and bolts, worn−out chisels, penknives with broken blades, tarnished watches that did not even pretend to be in going order, and other miscellaneous rubbish. Only on a small table in the corner was there a litter of odds and ends lacquered snuffboxes, agate brooches, and the like which looked as though they might include something interesting. As Winston wandered towards the table his eye was caught by a round, smooth thing that gleamed softly in the lamplight, and he picked it up.
Bostadsbyggande - Är problemet dåliga subventioner eller inaktiva politiker?
Det heter ofta att problemet ligger i att det inte subventioneras nog mycket.
Men ibland undrar jag om det inte ligger mer än så bakom.
Min första tes är helt enkelt att bostadspriserna måste hållas uppe för att annars minskar tillväxten.
Få äger sin bostad idag, det är banken som lånat ut pengar och sålunda har en majorittsdel av din bostad under lång tid framåt.'
Beskattningen på bostäder gör också att du sällan kan ta en bostad till ett lägre pris utan att åka på en sjujävla skattesmäll på "vinsten".
Därför styrs du allt som oftast mot en dyrare lya för att kunna skjuta på skatten, vilket gör att mer pengar måste lånas ut, vilket gör att mer pengar har uppfunnits och därigenom ökar också tillväxten eftersom marknaden helt plötsligt har fått ett litet tillskott och bostadsägaren har förstärkt sin illusion av att ha gott om pengar.
Om bostäderna i Stockholm helt plötsligt skulle bli 10-15% fler skulle färre stå i kö och priserna skulle sjunka, vilket gör att illusionen av rikedom går ner, då din vara har sjunkit i värde.
Min andra tes handlar om rädda politiker.
I Stockholm får man inte bygga mer än ett visst antal våningar, vill man ha en våning xtra kostar det hutlöst med pengar.
Därför har tex kontorskomplexet "world trade center" i Stockholm en utformning av en avhuggen stubbe i glas.
med 20-25 våningar till hade det sett snyggt ut, nu är det mest en Rubiks glaskub som fastnat bakom centralen.
Detta för att Stockholmspolitiker har fått för sig att det skulle förstöra bilden av Stockholm om man byggde högre än så.
Jag anser detta vara monumentalt fånigt.
En stad är i ständig förändring, visst kan det vara romantiskt att ha en stadskärna bestående av enbart 5-våningshus.
Men när hundratusen människor är på jakt efter bostad i Stockholmsregionen, hundratusen potentiella skattebetalare, egenföretagare, familjer, studenter, forskare.
Då får man bita i det sura äpplet och bygga så dessa får plats.
Man behöver inte skövla grönområden, man behöver inte bygga nya miljonprogram.
Vad sägs om att öka antalet våningar från 5 till 7 i stadskärnan?
Som en början?
I Lund är det snart lika jävligt.
Här är det nu så illa att fastighetsägare vräker folk för skitsaker eftersom de vet att det finns gott om folk i kö.
För en simpel 2'a hos LKB är det över 1 års kö, även för de som redan bor och jobbar inne i Lund.
För de som råkar bo i en kranskommun men vill flytta in är det i det närmaste kört.
Malmö har de börjat bygga i igen, men senaste lägenheten jag sökte låg jag på plats 417 av 700 sökanden, efter nästan 1 år i kö.
Förstaplatsen innehölls av en person som stått i kö sedan 2005.
Sen som en pikant sak som avslutning.
En arbetskamrat har ca 6000kvm tomt i Kävlinge kommun som han vill stycka av och sälja till nån som känner för att bygga nytt.
Men kommunen sade nej senast han försökte få tillstånd.
Det ingår inte i stadsplanen att ha fler bostäder åt det hållet..
Vi behöver en aktiv bostadspolitik i det här landet.
Inte inaktiva politiker som bestämmer över bostadsbyggandet.
Fler som skriver om bostäder och bostadspolitik.
Norrbottenskuriren om Luleås bostadsbrist, I DN skriver bostadsministern om att hyresrättens ställning ska stärkas och på DI-debatt gör mäklarsamfundet tummen ner om höjda krav för lån.
SSCO, Lennart Gabrielsson, Peter Andersson, Cornucopia?.
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Liberaldemokraterna i Skåne - möte 13/12 - 2010
Kom ihåg att detta är bara anteckningar.
Diskutera gärna i kommentarsfältet
Vissa saker är editerade.
Men det är bara att anmäla sig till maillistan på yahoo-groups där debatterna är så levande att man nästan drunknar i dom :)
Möte Lund 13/12 - 2010
En bunt liberaler.
Växjö - Blekinge Möte?
(det finns behov av att hålla möte i småland/blekinge, diskussionen var om vem som kan hålla i det och om någon från Skåne kan åka upp och hjälpa till)
Rak moms, lika för alla?
låg moms för låg klimatpåverka, högre för hög klimatpåverkan.
lång och kort livscykel, bil har lång livscykel med mycket energiåtgång, men i slutänden ger det inte mycket tillbaka. Resurseffektivitet.
Uppmuntrandesystem - stöd till uppstart av företag inom området.
Landsting - län - regioner.
Projekt på kommunnivå har svårt att samarbeta med andra kommuner pga för stor byråkrati.
För många aktörer/kommuner.
t;Länsstyrelserna, kommunikationer, miljöarbete.
Länsstyrelserna tar över landstingets roll.
De som blir inröstade i kommunvalen väljer representanterna till länstyrelsen?
Låta kommunvalet vara representativt till länsstyrelsen?
Länsstyrelsens representation ska motsvara kommunernas mandat för att undvika ett enskilt parti's eller allians totala majoritet.
Liknande att riksdagens utskott har samma mandat som riksdagmandaten.
kraftigt reducerad byråkrati.
Personval, regionbaserade politiker ska kunna få röster från hela landet.
Ansvar för gammalt gift i markerna.
Lagar reduceras - Avtal på arbetarrättsområdet, Ramavtal till projektarbeten (ex Hallandsåstunneln)
Regleringar, uppmuntrande regleringar, hjälp i initialskedet då nya tekniker ofta är dyra i början.
Är miljön en infrastruktur?
Diskussion runt tågnätet och likheterna med bredbandsutbyggnaden.
Arbetsförmedlingen - det handlar inte om att privatisera verksamheten.
Lägg ner Arbetsförmedlingen.
Personalen kan få jobb på bemanningsfirmor och rekryteringsfirmor.
Utjämningspengarna mellan kommunerna.
Huvudkontor i storstäder, produktion ute i landet.
Bygga in en miljöpåverkansavgift?
Företag betalar skatt där produktionen sker?
Är det ens ett problem?
Om landstingen försvinner (som får utjämningspengar) så blir kostnaden rent skattemässigt mindre och blir då inte längre ett problem värt att åtgärda?
Eda kommun får ca 110 miljoner i utjämningspenning.
Eda Kommuns totala budget 2009 var 414 miljoner.
Regional skattetillägg för större projekt, låt befolkningen rösta om de större kommunala projekten.
Förankras hos befolkningen
Nödvändiga projekt kan stoppas.
Hur ska personernas väljas.
Vald av riksdagen, vald av domstolarna själva.
Lagrådet omvandlas till författningsdomstol?
Hur ska upplägget se upp?
Regional kultur, kulturella skillnader mellan de olika regionerna.
Vill du läsa vad andra Liberaldemokrater skriver om?
Här är ett urval:
Per Pettersson skriver om Beatrice Asks påståenden om att det ska krävas domstolsbeslut för att hämta information från Datalagringen.
HAX, Michael Gajditza, Torbjörn Jerlerup och Kent Filppu skriver om Assange.
Amanda Brihed har lagt upp 3 filmer om utbildningspolitik 1, 2, 3.
Jens Odsvall om dagens demonstration för det fria ordet.
Och Johanna Nylander reflekterar över en rapport om spelvåldet.
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Väldigt trevlig app till twitter. paper.li - "The Niklas Starow Daily".
Hursom är det en väldigt intressant grej.
Så läs "The Niklas Starow Daily" för dagsaktuella bloggnyheter från Sverige och överallt annars i världen :)
Nu på morgonen handlar det om #prataomdet.
Det är en av de första personerna jag lade till i min bloggrulle som berättar om våldtäkt på häktet och Lasse som berättar om mannen i tunneln.
I tidningsvärlden skriver Expressen om sin egen förträfflighet och Guardian har fått tag på fler detaljer i förundersökningen mot Julian Assange.
Och mitt favoritämne - Övervakningssamhället.
Gothbarbie hävdar att Datalagring är FRA 2.0 och Christian Engström frågar Cecilia Malmström om SWIFT.
Här är fler "tidningar" som ni kan hålla koll på.
Opassande skriver på The Opassande Daily och Anna Troberg på sin "The Anna Troberg Daily".
Det enda som är synd är att det inte är någon backtrack. man kan inte läsa gårdagens "tidning".
Men det kommer väl.
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Oväntat, synnerligen oväntat. (S) tappar även utan Mona Sahlin.
I undersökning efter undersökning har (S) tappat efter valet och den uppgång jag väntade mig efter Mona Sahlin annonserat sin avgång uteblev fullständigt.
Det kan inte vara avsaknad av politik, för då hade många partier i Riksdagen tappat.
Det kanske är de olika representanternas utspel som är skälet, men så länge moderaterna har Helene Riviérè så kan inte det vara huvudskälet heller.
Högervridningen inom (S) har pågått länge, kanske är ett av skälen eftersom folk redan ser att det finns 4 partier på "högerkanten" och varför rösta på låtsasmoderater när de riktiga fortfarande finns?
Det känns konstigt att se det och säga det.
Men sänket i (S) verkar inte ha varit Mona Sahlin.
Någon närmare analys har jag inte just nu.
Fler som skriver om socialdemokraterna:
Zac, Erik Laakso, Motvalls, Johan Westerholm, Lars Ohly på DN, Leine, MMN-o, Kent Persson, Birger Schlaug, SvD, Den hälsosamme ekonomisten.
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Sosse utan Ryggrad - Morgan Johansson.
Nu ska SÄPO tillåtas att ta del av alla svenskars provata kommunikation anser han, tvärt emot kongressbeslut och tvärt emot den linje man förde under valrörelsen.
Du är ett blötdjur Morgan Johansson, fullständigt ryggradslös.
Du spelar såväl extremisterna som Sverigedemokraterna helt i händerna genom ditt kappvändande.
Du är en feg ursäkt till sosse och en löpsedelspolitiker.
Tro fan att det går sämre och sämre för sossarna med representanter som du som skiter i gräsrötterna.
Fler om Morgan Johanssons svek.
Henry R, Johan Ingerö, HAX, Lars-Erick, Signerat Kjellberg, Martin Moberg, Jonas Morian, AB, AB2, SvD.
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Godtycklig avstängning av Calle Rehbinder från facebook.
Inte en förvarning, inte möjligheten att rätta det som blivit fel.
FB bemödar sig inte ens med att ge skälet till avstängningen.
Så skriv om det, gå med i protestgruppen.
Var i h-e är facebooks kontaktuppgifter?
Detta är också en bra förvarning till vad som kommer att ske om internet delas upp till det Kabel-TV-nät som upphovsrättsindustrin vill.
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Vilka regler gäller för en Landshövding egentligen?
Detta är ett meddelande jag vidarebefodrar från en person som inte vill gå ut med det själv, eftersom risken för repressalier (enligt uppgiftslämnaren själv) är stor.
Läs och häpna!
Landshövdingen som gillar jägare vill inte ha dialog på FB.
De rensar svar och hennes sekreterare sprider dessutom felaktigheter i media (dalademokraten).
Så det räcker inte att kontrollera medborgare, utan man ska också få härja oemotsagt i sociala medier, och läxa upp folk?
Dessutom gör hon som landshövding ogenerat reklam för privat företag:
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Random Wikileaks document - 07BEIJING1840 (WE ARE WIKILEAKS - WE WON'T SHUT UP!)
This is my contribution.
C O N F I D E N T I A L
SECTION 01 OF 07
STATE ALSO FOR INR/B TREASURY FOR OASIA/INA HAARSAGER, WINSHIP, CUSHMAN USDOC FOR ITA DAS KASOFF USDOC FOR 4420 ITA/MAC/OCEA MCQUEEN EO 12958 DECL: 03/19/2032 TAGS PGOV, ECON, EFIN, SCUL, ELAB, SOCI, CH SUBJECT: ZHEJIANG PARTY SECRETARY TOUTS ECONOMIC SUCCESSES AND WORK TOWARDS RULE OF LAW AT AMBASSADOR’S DINNER REF: A. BEIJING 1672
¶B. BEIJING 1760
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CLARK T. RANDT, JR., REASONS 1.4 B AND D.
¶1. (C) Summary. Zhejiang Province Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, a contender to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2012/2013, describes Zhejiang as a driving force behind national economic growth.
Zhejiang ranks high for income, low for income disparities, and makes substantial contributions to migrant worker employment and transfer payments of fiscal revenue to the Central Government. Xi dismissed concerns about overheating, noting that the faster his province grows, the greater the amount of revenues that the province will transfer to the Central Government. Those revenues also support economic development in comparatively poor regions in Central and Western China. Provincial party and government officials are regularly informed of citizens’ complaints and plan to address recurring concerns about education, affordable housing and healthcare.
The provincial Communist Party is committed to building the legal underpinnings of China’s socialist market economy. National People’s Congress passage of the Property Law will be beneficial to building China’s market economy and to Zhejiang. Unification of corporate tax rates will be a great benefit to Zhejiang companies while not deterring new foreign investment.
Xi expressed satisfaction with his May 2006 visit to the United States. He is a fan of Hollywood World War II movies and criticizes Chinese moviemakers for neglecting values they should promote. His frank and friendly dinner discussion with the Ambassador included several comparisons that Xi made to other provinces where other leading contenders now hold leadership roles, comparisons in which Zhejiang looks better. End Summary. Booming Zhejiang Is a National Economic Leader
- ¶2. (C) At a March 11 dinner hosted by the Ambassador at his residence, Zhejiang Party Secretary Xi Jinping responded to a series of questions about Zhejiang Provincial economic performance with an impressive array of data and interesting observations. Zhejiang Province’s exports surpassed USD 100 billion in 2006, an increase of 31 percent over 2005, Xi said. Sixty percent of those 2006 exports were from private enterprises, and the 2006 rate of increase of exports for those private enterprises amounted to 40 percent. While unable to provide an immediate savings rate figure for Zhejiang residents, Xi asserted that most Zhejiang residents have more than enough money to cover expenses for basic needs.
Prudential savings nonetheless remain high in recognition of the incomplete nature of China’s social security system and to prepare for possible future consumption items such as health care. While a small proportion of the province’s population remains near poverty and requires assistance from government, perhaps 20 percent of Zhejiang’s approximately 50 million residents are high income earners within the Chinese context. They don’t know how to spend all their money, Xi said.
China’s stock markets are not mature and thus hold risks unattractive to many Chinese, and the investment fund industry is likewise immature and unattractive. The Ambassador interjected that Treasury Secretary Paulson had discussed China’s capital markets and financial sector reform in a speech in Shanghai just three days earlier and presented a Chinese text of Secretary Paulson’s speech to Secretary Xi. SIPDIS
¶3. (C) In their search for money-making opportunities and wealth preservation strategies, Xi continued, many rich Chinese cannot find proper outlets for their cash. This helps feed illegal financial activities, such as deceptive claims on the Internet and private but illegal banks and investment funds that claim to pay higher interest rates than are generally available in China.
The Chinese Government and the Chinese people place high hopes that the bilateral dialogue mechanism established through the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) can help solve some practical problems in China’s financial sectors. Secretary Xi said he hopes that Secretary Paulson and the Ambassador will play important SIPDIS roles in the SED as it moves forward. Xi added that he hopes the United States Congress will show enough patience to allow Secretary Paulson sufficient time to solve some of these SIPDIS problems.
¶4. (C) Secretary Xi proudly and easily rolled off numerous BEIJING 00001840 002 OF 007 Zhejiang provincial economic data. Provincial GDP increased 13.6 percent in 2006, with per capita GDP now USD 4,000 -- well, USD 3,975 to be exact, he clarified. Only Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong have greater provincial GDPs, and on a per capita GDP basis, Zhejiang ranks first among all provinces and only lags the centrally administered cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin in this regard. Per capita GDP in the provincial capital of Hangzhou is now about USD 6000 and in the port city of Ningbo now about USD 6500. Zhejiang ranks first in the nation in fiscal revenue and per capita disposable income, too.
¶5. (C) Zhejiang gets to keep about half of the fiscal revenue collected in the province, with about half sent to the Central Government. In 2006, Zhejiang collected 256 billion renminbi in fiscal revenue (90 percent in taxes, 10 percent in items not clearly identified in Xi’s comments), of which 130 billion RMB was retained for local uses. Furthermore, fiscal revenue data do not include other funds available to the government, such as government investment funds, social security funds, or tariffs collected by Customs officials at Zhejiang ports of entry (the latter funds go directly to the Central Government, Xi added). Xi said that income for all levels of government generated from all sources in Zhejiang in 2006 was probably near 500 billion RMB. Dismissive of Overheating Concerns
¶6. (C) The Ambassador asked whether Central Government officials are concerned about possible economic overheating in Zhejiang. Secretary Xi replied that the faster Zhejiang grows, the more revenue the Central Government receives. It is Zhejiang’s hope that the Central Government will keep the share of provincial fiscal revenue that Zhejiang must send to the Central Government stable.
The Ministry of Finance is considering raising that share, a possibility which Xi opposes. Making the cake bigger (i.e., growing Zhejiang’s economy) will make their piece bigger, too (i.e., a fixed percentage of a larger whole will bring an increase in absolute value of funds transferred to the Central Government). Many cities in Eastern China are concerned about this issue. Xi hopes that Finance Minister Jin Renqing will not think about or act upon this possible increase in revenue sharing burden. Shouldering Burdens of Central and Western China
¶7. (C) Another issue about which Zhejiang officials are very concerned is the gap in income and economic development levels between the wealthier East Coast regions and China’s Central and Western regions. Some of the fiscal revenue generated in Zhejiang is allocated to assigned counties and communities elsewhere in China, including some of the highest altitude administrative units in Xizang (Tibet) and Xinjiang, the Fuling area of Chongqing Municipality, two impoverished areas in Sichuan Province (one of which is Nanchong) and certain Miao ethnic minority areas of Guizhou.
Some of these destinations in Western China can themselves only raise 10 - 30 percent of their annual local government expenditures, while in assigned areas in Central China that proportion may increase to 50 percent. Transfer payments to local governments in Central and Western China actually come in part from provincial contributions, Xi underscored, lessening the burden of the Central Government. While Zhejiang sends about 50 percent of its fiscal revenue to the Center, Shanghai must contribute an even higher share, about 65 percent. An Important Destination for Migrant Workers
¶8. (C) Zhejiang makes two other important contributions to the national economy. First, Zhejiang hosts China’s second largest population of migrant workers, 14 .5 million. Only Guangdong hosts more. The ratio of Zhejiang’s permanent residents (about 50 million) to migrants is a little over 3:1.
Zhejiang thus makes an important contribution to addressing China’s employment challenges. There is a cost with having so many migrant workers, since 65 percent of issues requiring Public Security attention (i.e., crimes) are caused by migrant workers. Xi clarified that migrant workers are defined as those who stay for work purposes for less than four months. Those who stay for more than four months in a BEIJING 00001840 003 OF 007 locale are counted as residents. Furthermore, in the large number of migrant workers seeking work in Zhejiang are a great many who come to this comparatively rich province from less affluent other provinces and cities. Xi contrasted his large number of provincial outsiders with the situation in Jiangsu Province, where, he said, many of the migrants are persons from north of the Yangtze who are seeking employment in locations south of the Yangtze, still in their own home province. An Important Contributor to Economic Development Elsewhere
¶9. (C) The other important economic contribution by Zhejiang is the role of 4.4 million businesspersons from Zhejiang are working outside the province elsewhere in China. Xi said Central Government data does not report the economic impact of these businesspersons. While there is little foreign direct investment in Central and Western China, including little from the United States, there is considerable investment and business activity in those regions by Zhejiang businesspersons. Those 4.4 million extra-provincial Zhejiang businesspersons generate another nearly one trillion RMB more in GDP nationwide - nearly as much as the province. Another 1 million Zhejiang businesspersons live overseas, often building international business links. So one must recognize that Zhejiang has been a driver of the whole nation’s economic growth.
¶10. (C) Nearly all other provinces have sent delegations to Zhejiang to study the province’s experience and success. In recent days, delegations from Xinjiang, Sichuan and Jiangxi had scheduled upcoming appointments to visit and study Zhejiang, bringing large delegations that will include county-level Communist Party secretaries. Secretary Xi quoted Jiangxi Provincial Party Secretary Meng Jianzhu as saying he and others have much to learn from Zhejiang’s development path. The experiences of coastal cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai that are destinations for high levels of foreign investment are not suitable development models. Income Gap and Urbanization Rate
¶11. (C) The Ambassador inquired about income disparities within Zhejiang Province. Zhejiang has the second lowest provincial urban/rural income ratio in the nation, at 2.45:1. Jiangsu is first, at 2.1:1, while the national average is 3.3:1. However, Zhejiang’s ratio may increase slightly, due to faster income growth for urban residents (10.9 percent in 2006) than for rural residents (9.3 percent in 2006). While the ratio may worsen slightly, Xi said, the important fact to recognize is that income levels are rising significantly in Zhejiang regardless of being a city dweller or rural resident. Zhejiang’s population is now about 56 percent urbanized. With respect to income of urban residents, Zhejiang has ranked first in China for the last six years. With respect to income of rural residents, Zhejiang has ranked first for the last 22 years. Xi again volunteered a comparison between Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Jiangsu’s total average income is less than that of Zhejiang, and the highest income level in Jiangsu, in the city of Suzhou, is only at the level of the average income level for the whole of Zhejiang Province. The average income level in Zhejiang’s capital of Hangzhou, however, is about the same as the average income level in Shanghai.
¶12. (C) Zhejiang has maintained these remarkable results because it is an economy of the grassroots -- the common people choose their own development paths, Xi continued. Zhejiang is an economy of counties and towns (implying not being a province with a heavy hand of central economic decision making). Of the top 100 most affluent counties in China (criteria for ranking not clearly explained by Xi), 30 of Zhejiang’s total 60 counties are among them. At the township level, 268 Zhejiang towns rank in the top 1000 towns in China. Of Zhejiang’s total nine provincial-level municipalities, seven rank in China’s top 100, and the other two are ranked between 101 and 110. Hearing from the Grassroots Level
¶13. (C) The Ambassador asked how provincial party and government officials hear from the citizenry and what are the BEIJING 00001840 004 OF 007 most frequent concerns or complaints directed to Zhejiang officials. Secretary Xi said provincial officials have many sources of information, many of them designed by Provincial Party Secretary General Li Qiang, to whom Xi turned for comment. Mr. Li explained that the major source of news on the views of the citizenry remains letters. About 150,000 letters were delivered to Zhejiang offices last year. The provincial government website provides a link for submission of e-mails from the public. Party Secretary Xi and provincial government leaders from the Governor on down often lead delegations to the counties to listen to the voices of the citizens. Provincial officials spend more than 100 days per year conducting research with specific industries or in different areas of the province to gather firsthand information. Government officials can also submit information to Xi at any time. Media reports on provincial developments are an additional source of news. The provincial Communist Party itself also gathers information from the public. So, the Provincial Party Secretary has uninterrupted access to the views of the general public, Li concluded. Concerns about Education, Housing and Health Care Common
¶14. (C) Zhejiang residents are most concerned about three basic issues: education, affordable housing, and health care, Secretary Xi said. The government must take a realistic attitude in addressing these concerns. While not all concerns can or should be addressed fully - for instance, not every child in the cities and in the countryside will matriculate to the highest ranked universities -- the government should act to ensure that all children receive an education, people have basic affordable housing, and all residents have access to at least basic medical care. Zhejiang is doing a good job in all these respects, Xi asserted, even leading the whole country. While China has a per capita GDP level of about USD 1000, Zhejiang is already at about USD 4000. This leads to higher expectations for the work of provincial officials and party leaders. So new proposals will be forthcoming on how to improve the lives of Zhejiang residents. Officials’ Work Styles Another Common Concern
¶15. (C) Another area in which dissatisfaction has been expressed regards the working style of government and party officials, Xi added. We will make energetic efforts to improve on this score. Surely the situation will improve in the long term but there is a long way to go. With 70 million persons holding membership in the Communist Party of China, it should not be surprising that several thousand may be problem cases. However, the complaint letters from the people show the people still have faith in the Party and hope the Party will solve such problems within the Party. For the present, the people will not take to the streets to complain about officials’ work styles. While there are many problem makers in the Party, the Party also counts among its members the elite of society. Crime and Wastefulness, Too
¶16. (C) Secretary Xi briefly mentioned crime and government waste as other topics of public complaint. He did not elaborate any further on crime, but noted that once basic needs for food and clothing have been met, some officials have become wasteful in their use of administrative resources, seeking extravagance in their lifestyles. More guidance from the government is needed in such cases, in Xi’s view. He closed his comments on this topic by recalling that China is a big country, with a population exceeding one billion persons. When you multiply something by more than one billion, you get a big number; but if you divide something, like GDP, by more than one billion, you get a small result. Deng Xiaoping was right in observing that China is still at a primary stage of development. Expectations for This National People’s Congress Session
¶17. (C) Shanghai Consul General Jarrett, noting the important role of the private sector in the Zhejiang economy, asked Secretary Xi about the current meeting of the National BEIJING 00001840 005 OF 007 People’s Congress and expected passage of a Property Law. Is there any dissent against the proposed law in Zhejiang? What will the law mean for Zhejiang? Xi expects that the NPC will enact the Property Law during the current session. Discussion of a Property Law began in the sixth NPC, about twenty years ago. Now is the right time to enact the law, passage is needed to support the legal regime of China’s socialist market economy. The Property Law will equally protect state-owned, collectively-owned assets and private properties. The law should also protect against stripping of assets from state-owned enterprises and protect the general public’s growing holdings of private property. In the past, China gave lip service to property protection, with the destruction of property in the Cultural Revolution being an example. Private property plays a leading role in Zhejiang’s economic development, so nearly everyone in Zhejiang agrees with passage of the Property Law. With property protection in place, Chinese can gain even more wealth.
¶18. (C) Another measure to be passed in this NPC session will unify corporate taxation rates for foreign-invested enterprises and domestic enterprises. Chinese companies will see their tax rates decline from 33 percent to 25 percent, while FIEs will have a five-year transitional period as their tax holidays are phased out and their tax rates climb to 25 percent. Tax unification is very good news for Zhejiang companies, Secretary Xi said. For example, the Ningbo manufacturer (heard as Ningbo Ya Ge Er) of the suit he wore to dinner has told Xi that the reduction of his corporate tax rate will save his company 40 million RMB per year. Because foreign investors who are newcomers to China consider more than just the corporate tax rate in selecting overseas investment destinations, the increased tax rate should not significantly hurt them, Xi asserted. Rule of Law in Zhejiang Province
¶19. (C) The Ambassador asked for Secretary Xi’s views on the development and implementation of rule of law in Zhejiang. Xi replied that the Party Provincial Committee has proposed in 2006 to build Zhejiang into a province ruled by law. Laws are a basis for the socialist market economy. Provincial officials will promote public awareness of laws and do their best to enhance enforcement of laws. The Provincial People’s Congress will cobine laws as passed at the national level by the NPC with Zhejiang’s local conditions. The government and the Party will promote rule of law. A provincial working group on rule of law has been established, and Li Qiang is Director General of that working group. Local laws should accord with central laws. Zhejiang can provide some pioneering efforts in rule of law for the whole country. Xi’s 2006 Visit to the United States
¶20. (C) The Ambassador asked Secretary Xi for details of his May 2006 visit to the United States and whether he had had opportunity to exchange views with members of Congress while in Washington. Xi indeed had met with members of Congress, and found those he met with quite friendly towards China. One member described himself or herself as formerly quite anti-China but his/her views had begun to shift. Xi and his delegation had been worried that Falun Gong practitioners might pose a threat during their visit, and accordingly had some security assistants accompany them on their visit. All had proceeded smoothly with no encounters with the Falun Gong. Xi said he and other Chinese officials are not worried or annoyed by noise or protests during visits but are worried about the legal consequences and burdens if served papers as part of stateside legal actions.
¶21. (C) The May 2006 trip had proven fruitful for Zhejiang, Secretary Xi continued, with several important contracts SIPDIS signed that only more recently or even in the near future will be implemented. Among those agreements is one involving Federal Express, which will have ceremonies at the Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province’s capital) airport for the construction or opening of a new distribution center. Citibank decided to accelerate plans to establish a branch in Hangzhou. Xi has written to China Banking Regulatory Chairman Liu Mingkang to urge accelerated processing of that application and, while expressing confidence the application will be approved soon, Xi commented to his colleagues that additional lobbying may BEIJING 00001840 006 OF 007 be in order. The Ambassador thanked Xi for his support to Motorola for that company’s production plans in Hangzhou. Motorola is doing well in Hangzhou, with Hangzhou’s sales revenue nearing 45 billion renminbi (over USD 5 billion) in 2006, just slightly less than Motorola sales revenue generated at its Tianjin facilities. Hangzhou sales revenue will surely eclipse Tianjin sales revenue in 2007. Finally, the 2006 visit to the United States had included commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of sister state relations between Zhejiang and New Jersey. A New Jersey university decided to set up a branch campus in Wenzhou in Zhejiang, a plan already approved by all relevant provincial authorities but still awaiting approval by the central Ministry of Education. A WWII Hollywood Movie Aficionado
¶22. (C) The Ambassador also asked Secretary Xi about his recent movie viewing, recalling that Xi had told him in their meeting one year ago that he had recently seen and tremendously enjoyed “Saving Private Ryan.” Had Secretary Xi seen other recent American movies that he had enjoyed? Xi replied that he already owns the “Flags of Our Fathers” DVD, but hopes to view it during the Lunar New Year holidays had gone unfulfilled. He had seen and enjoyed “The Departed.” Xi said he particularly likes Hollywood movies about World War II and hopes Hollywood will continue to make them. Hollywood makes those movies well, and such Hollywood movies are grand and truthful. Americans have a clear outlook on values and clearly demarcate between good and evil. In American movies, good usually prevails. In contrast, “Curse of the Golden Flower,” a recently popular Chinese movie directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li (she of “Miami Vice” movie stardom) had been confusing to Xi. Some Chinese moviemakers neglect values they should promote.
¶23. (C) America is a powerful nation in terms of culture because Americans say what they should say, Xi elaborated. Too many Chinese moviemakers cater to foreigners’ interests or preconceptions, sometimes vulgarly so. He criticized Zhang Yimou by name as well as the kungfu action movie genre. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Wu Ji” and imperial palace intrigues -- all are the same, talking about bad things in imperial palaces. Most are not nominated for Oscars or other awards, so to some extent it can be said that such movies are not worth very much. The Ambassador noted that a Chinese film about HIV/AIDS orphans had just garnered the Oscar for best short documentary. Xi expressed awareness of the movie, noting that the director is a female overseas Chinese (but Xi never said whether he had seen that documentary). Xi recalled that a low cost, very good Chinese movie by the director Jia Zhangke had recently won a Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. Returning to “Flags of Our Fathers,” Xi said he had come to understand that the flag raising on Iwo Jima did not mark the end of the battle. The Japanese were still in holes and caves and the battle continued. He expressed particular admiration for WWII movies set in the Pacific theater of operations and expressed a strong desire to visit Guadalcanal.
¶24. (C) Many Chinese had died in the Anti-Japanese War (as WWII is most often referred to in Mainland China). The last one to two decades have been a period of historical importance, with peace and rapid economic development. China should use this opportunity to focus on improving the living conditions of the people. Xi noted some earlier but brief periods of peace and economic development in China, referring to two emperors’ reigns in the Han Dynasty, the reign of the first emperor in the Tang Dynasty, and the consecutive reigns of Emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong in the Ming Dynasty. It was a crime that such periods did not last longer. The current period of peace and rapid economic development should be extended as long as possible. Comment
¶25. (C) Secretary Xi, regarded by many Embassy contacts to be one of the three leading contenders to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2012/2013 as Communist Party Chairman and President of China, certainly exhibited an easy and proficient familiarity with his relatively prosperous province’s economic data and development strengths. Comparisons to Jiangsu Province and reference to Henan were BEIJING 00001840 007 OF 007perhaps inevitable for an official with the strong ambitions he reportedly holds. The other two leading contenders to succeed President Hu are Li Yuanchao (Ambassador’s March 8 dinner reported ref A), current Party Secretary in Jiangsu, and Li Keqiang, past Party Secretary in Henan (Ambassador’s March 12 dinner reported ref B).
More random wikileaks documents:
Swedish media on wikileaks:
Svd, DN, Tokmoderaten, Zaramis, Falkvinge, AB, Svd, DN, HAX; Röda Berget, Beelzebjörn, Opassande, DN, DN, TRulpens, Anna Troberg, Anna, AB, DN, TC, blogg, cogito, blogg,
Pinged at Twingly, Intressant
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