Ahad, 18 Mei 2014

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Vietnam stifles new demonstrations as China fumes

Posted: 18 May 2014 05:13 AM PDT

HANOI: Vietnamese security forces stifled fresh protests Sunday over China's plans to drill for oil in contested waters, as Beijing sent five ships to help evacuate its nationals from Vietnam following deadly mass riots last week.

China's state media said more than 3,000 of its citizens had already returned home in recent days after the territorial tensions and riots sent relations between the frequently quarrelsome communist neighbours spiralling to their lowest point in decades.

Enraged mobs torched or otherwise damaged hundreds of foreign-owned businesses last week, killing two Chinese nationals and injuring about 140.

While China's deployment of the giant rig is seen in Vietnam as a grave provocation, the ferocious public reaction appeared to catch authorities by surprise.

Fearing an impact on vital foreign investment, Vietnamese authorities took no chances Sunday as activist groups tried to stage further demonstrations, though they insisted they would be peaceful.

Hundreds of security personnel swarmed over streets leading to the sprawling Chinese embassy in Hanoi, restricting access to the neighbourhood and other suspected protest sites.

Blogs by civil society groups involved in the protest call said activists were detained in several areas around the country or prevented from leaving their homes. 

Exchanges suspended

China's Xinhua news agency said the Chinese nationals brought home included 135 people hurt in the unrest last Tuesday and Wednesday including 16 who were "critically injured".

China also said it was dispatching five ships to bring home even more of its nationals and would suspend some bilateral exchanges with its southern neighbour.

The recent violence was "damaging the atmosphere and conditions for exchanges and cooperation", a foreign ministry statement said.

"The Chinese side as of today... suspended part of its bilateral exchange plans," it said, without giving specifics of the plans.

"China will see how the situation develops and look into taking further steps."

China had earlier warned its citizens against travel to Vietnam following what it called the "explosion of violence" and has urged its nationals still in the country to increase safety precautions.

The oil rig standoff has further poisoned relations between two countries that have fought territorial skirmishes in the past and are increasingly at odds over their South China Sea claims.

Workers demonstrated in 22 of Vietnam's 63 provinces last week, according to the government, with furious mobs torching foreign-owned factories and enterprises believed to be linked to China or which employed Chinese personnel.

Hundreds of businesses were hit, Vietnam's government has said.

China is widely accused in Vietnam of bullying behaviour stretching back more than 1,000 years, and Hanoi's communist government occasionally allows protesters to vent anger. 

Damage control
But the recent outbursts have sent the government scrambling to limit damage to a developing economy dependent on foreign investment.

"We will not allow any acts targeting foreign investors, businesses or individuals, to ensure that the regrettable incidents will not be repeated," Dang Minh Khoi, assistant to Vietnam's foreign minister, told reporters Saturday.

"We ask countries to continue to encourage their investors and citizens to rest assured on doing business in Vietnam."

Vietnamese officials say more than 300 suspected perpetrators were being prosecuted.

Vietnam's abundant, cheap labour market attracted $21.6 billion in foreign direct investment in 2013, up from $16.3 billion the year earlier, according to government figures.

The recent events could have a long-term impact on its image as a safe place for investment, said Edmund Malesky, an expert on Vietnam's investment-fuelled development at Duke University.

"The riots have called that safety into question. In the future, foreign investors will have to balance Vietnam's advantageous labour costs and quality against this potential instability," he said.

China, which has refused Hanoi's demands to remove the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig, has been roundly criticised for deploying it given increasing tensions in the South China Sea, with Washington expressing deep concern over the potential for the row to escalate.

Dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have engaged in repeated skirmishes near the rig, including reported rammings and the use of water cannon.

The violence in Vietnam has further inflamed the situation, with China accusing Hanoi of a role in the unrest.

The enterprises targeted in the violence included Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Singaporean businesses.

It was not clear why non-Chinese businesses were hit, but there is growing resentment in Vietnam over a perceived rise in Chinese workers taking jobs from locals, in addition to reported unhappiness over working conditions with some foreign employers.

China's Southeast Asian neighbours have voiced growing alarm over Beijing's increasingly assertive claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, a stance buttressed by a rapid build-up of the Chinese military. -AFP

How Chinese officials 'like' banned Facebook

Posted: 17 May 2014 10:06 PM PDT

Beijing (AFP) - China's Communist authorities ban their own people from accessing major global social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. But when it comes to self-promotion they are increasingly keen users themselves.

The official news agency Xinhua, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece the People's Daily, and state broadcaster CCTV all have Twitter accounts, as do a host of city and provincial authorities.

When the city of Hangzhou, renowned for its lakes and canals, looked to raise its international profile it turned to Facebook, the world's most-popular social network.

China's Internet users, who now number 618 million, have been blocked from using it since 2009.

But the city's "Modern Marco Polo" competition -- akin to Australia's "best job in the world" contests -- involves no fewer than six Facebook apps.

The winner, to be announced Tuesday, will receive 40,000 euros ($55,000) and a two-week trip to Hangzhou, in exchange for promoting the city on Facebook and Twitter for a year.

Michael Cavanaugh, a consultant for British-based PR Agency One, which has been promoting the contest, told AFP increasing official use of such sites was "inevitable". But he declined to say how the winner was expected to post to them from within China.

- Great Firewall of China -

China's Communist authorities maintain a tight grip on expression -- both on- and off-line -- fearful of any dissent that could spiral into a challenge to one-party rule.

Some Chinese Internet users and businesses use VPNs, or virtual private networks, to bypass the vast censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall, and state-run media often use foreign bureaux to accomplish the same goal.

Hangzhou itself used a digital agency in Hong Kong, where Facebook is not blocked, to administer its contest -- an increasing trend by cities and provinces within China's borders.

The social media giant is actively seeking business in the country.

"We want to help tourism agencies in China tell the rest of the world about the fabulous things in China that are really not that well-understood," Vaughan Smith, Facebook's vice president of corporate development, told a Beijing audience last month.

Facebook is reportedly in talks to open a sales office in the Chinese capital, and in recent weeks the company has quietly posted Beijing-based job openings on its website, including one for a client solutions manager to "focus on planning, implementing, and optimising advertising campaign spending for the world's top-tier advertisers".

Its executives are making increasingly frequent appearances at high-profile events in China, and the company's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg drew international headlines last September when she met the head of China's State Council Information Office, which oversees propaganda efforts.

Google also seeks advertisers in China and has three offices on the mainland, but pulled out its servers in 2010 in a row about censorship.

Twitter, which is a prominent advocate for free speech online, has shown few signs of interest in setting up in China, although the company's CEO Dick Costolo met Shanghai government officials during his first China visit in March.

Facebook representatives declined interview requests about the company's China business.

Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA, said Chinese local authorities had huge budgets and their tourism advertisements were probably lucrative for the multi-billion-dollar firm.

However, Facebook was unlikely to see them as a way of gaining access to Chinese users, Clark said.

"There's kind of a common-sense, logical middle ground where Facebook and China will agree to trade with each other," he told AFP. "This is business sense. I wouldn't expect that to change."

- Netizens: 'discriminatory' -

Other promotions include the "Rebirth of the Terracotta Warrior" Facebook contest launched last month by Shaanxi province, home to the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shihuang.

A "Chengdu Pambassador" campaign gave contestants a chance to become a "guest panda keeper" at the southwestern city's giant panda base through a series of Facebook activities.

But critics of Chinese censorship say such schemes give Beijing a soft-power boost through sleight-of-hand.

A co-founder of anti-censorship website GreatFire.org who uses the pseudonym Charlie Smith told AFP: "I think the average Western netizen doesn't put two and two together and realise actually, these websites are blocked in China.

"That helps China, for sure, because it gives this impression that Facebook is actually open and free for the people who don't know that it isn't," he added.

The double standards have not escaped the notice of Chinese web users.

The Shaanxi provincial government announced the opening of its tourist board's Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts in a posting on Weibo -- a Chinese version of Twitter -- in February.

Several users angrily responded that they were unable to open the links, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

"We're not advocating that domestic tourists visit these pages," a provincial government representative told the paper, drawing even greater fury.

"This way of thinking is discriminatory against Chinese people," wrote one online commentator. "It shows a lack of understanding of the basic rules of tourism promotion. It's very stupid and quite laughable." - AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved