An enormous number of studies have already been undertaken on the Tiananmen Square incident (e.g. Zhang Liang and Andrew J. Nathan, The Tiananmen Papers, 2001). However, there has not yet been a full analysis into the major role played by independent workers’ organizations, such as the Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation, in the process of political democratization during the late 1980s. This paper attempts to clarify the social and political roles that trade unions played in the political process before and after the Tiananmen Square incident in June 1989. At the 13th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October 1987, Zhao Ziyang proposed, under the new policy of “Separation of Power between Party and Government”, abolition of the Party organ in administrative organizations and the adoption of the “Plant Manager Responsibility System”, which had been implemented previously in the early 1950s to promote the independence of management and workers. These two new policies apparently served as an impetus to activate the trade union movement at both central (i.e. All China Federation of Trade Unions [ACFTU]) and grass-roots level, and contributed to the formation of “consultative systems” between workers and management (Party or government) as well as democratic management systems at the enterprise level. As a result of adopting these new policies, the relationship between trade unions (workers), Party (state) and employers (enterprise chief or plant manager) became highly active compared with that of early 1980s during the early stages of the newly adopted Open Door Policies. While it is true that the freedom of trade unions had been greatly restricted by Deng Xiaoping’s “Four Cardinal Principles” (i.e. the socialist road, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the leadership of the Communist Party, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought), there is no doubt that the unions successfully achieved for the first time in the history of the Chinese socialist system a certain level of relative freedom under the framework of “institutional pluralism.” However, the Tiananmen Square incident pushed back all the democratic systems established for the interests of workers to the old system before the reform process of the early 1980s. A new challenge for the ACFTU at this stage was to adjust the balance between the two extremes of state and society under a new political consultative system. The author therefore concludes that the late 1980s should be understood as a period during which there was “full enforcement of a political consultative system,” while the post-Tiananmen Square incident period saw “the restoration of the Party-state system and a weakened political consultative system.”
The purpose of this article is to consider the particular aspects of US-Sino trade disputes by analyzing trade frictions in the iron and steel trade between these two countries. In the past 20 years, especially since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), antidumping (AD) has been a major issue and is still a matter of concern for China’s government and exporters. Moreover, as China is a non-market economy according to US trade law, the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission have used the substitute country rule, possibly as a way of raising AD taxation unfairly when deciding the dumping margin in cases related to China. However, the US-Sino AD dispute is certainly a big issue, not only for these two WTO members, but also for other countries. By means of a case study on the iron and steel trade, we found that the US government took advantage of the numbers of trade relief measures to protect its declining iron and steel industry, such as AD measures, safeguarding measures, and so on. It is obvious that China’s booming iron and steel industry resulted in an expansion of iron and steel exports, and this served to increase trade disputes between the United States and China. China’s government is actively attempting to solve these issues by a variety of methods. For example, in order to control merchandise exports and avoid more disputes with other trade partners, the government reduced the value-added tax (VAT) refund rate of various export merchandise twice in 2007; VAT rates are often involved in trade disputes. China’s government also encourages and promotes the mergers and acquisitions between local corporations and foreign companies, in order to promote product quality and enhance the production capacity of local corporations. Overall, the US government and US iron and steel corporations often request some trade relief measures to protect the industry from violent competition with imported merchandise. As China is regarded as a non-market economy, the issues related to China will be more complex and will be to China’s detriment. Moreover, seeing the active attitude of US steel and iron corporations, which are strongly supported by the US government, Congress and congressional lobbyists, China’s corporations often request that their own government take part in the negotiation and many outcomes will certainly depend on their government’s decision. However, thanks to the US and Chinese governments’ participation in these trade disputes, solutions will be easier to find and promote in the future.
East Asian countries have accomplished economic development via a process of catching up to the developed countries in the global market. Spearheading that catch-up process are the newly industrialized economies (NIEs). Although NIEs have been able to catch-up to the developed countries, they are now faced with the task of how to overcome the pattern of catch-up development. The purpose of this paper is to consider how NIEs survive in the global market. In this paper I would like to highlight the exemplary success of the semiconductor business of Samsung Electronics as a pioneer in overcoming the catch-up phase. In particular, I would like to describe how Samsung established an advantage over Japanese firms in the development of high-speed DRAM in the 1990s, with emphasis on the standardization of DRAM that Samsung brought about. Many argue that Samsung succeeded in its catch-up in the high-density DRAM market by expanding its production capability and achieving economies of scale. The strategy was effective because the development target was fixed and foreseeable. However, after Samsung’s catch-up, it has come to hold the key to its growth, thereby gaining dominance in the high-speed DRAM market. That development target is unforeseeable. In other words, the factors that enabled Samsung to achieve catch-up were no longer sufficient to sustain and strengthen its position in the DRAM market. This paper will examine that a major factor in Samsung’s growth in the 2000s is its success in swiftly seizing the next-generation mainstream market of high-speed DRAM, i.e. DDR SDRAM. Samsung’s leap ahead of other firms is closely related to Samsung’s technology becoming the DDR standard specification. Samsung’s DDR development was targeted at different application products from Japanese firms, and had a decisive effect on its technology being chosen as the standard.
A community-based industrial system creates better working opportunities by concentrating several separate types of production within a single area. This study looks at the silk industry as a raw material-based industry that involves sericulture farmers in such a system, the aim of which is to create new working opportunities in each particular area where it operates. The new sources of income created by the silk industry are especially important for low-income farmers. On the basis of a survey of 60 sericulture farmers that I carried out from February to March 2005, I analyze in this paper the extent of the contribution that, within the system of community-based industries, the silk industry makes towards increasing the income of sericulture farmers in Tasikmalaya Prefecture, West Java. In Tasikmalaya Prefecture, the Sericulture Cooperative takes the lead in the silk industry: it buys cocoons from farmers, produces silk and sells the silk products; the sericulture farmers play the role of suppliers of raw material. This survey of farmers reveals that they earn their living income by working at a variety of jobs. While farmers make money from agriculture, most of what they earn comes from other jobs. Farmers above the poverty line work mainly in salaried jobs, such as teaching and the civil service, or in jobs other than agriculture. Farmers below the poverty line mainly rely on agriculture: their rice crops are only for their own consumption and their livestock are also for their own consumption only. They earn additional income from sericulture. In contrast to other crops, the production of silk can be performed four or more times a year, since the production cycle takes only 20 days; consequently, sericulture has spread amongst farmers in this area. When farmers introduced sericulture into their farming practice, they made use of credit for the purpose offered by the government; thanks to this credit, even farmers below the poverty line were able to begin cultivating silk. For the farmers below the poverty line, the income from sericulture accounts for 20% of their total income and has become a valuable source of money. For the farmers above the poverty line, sericulture is accepted as one of a range of jobs in the rural area. Since the silk industry is the provider of raw materials within the community, it creates employment opportunities for many farmers. Although the income-generating effect of sericulture is not large, it is a vital resource for low-income farmers.
This paper intends to analyze how political leaders in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have viewed and emphasized the importance of the nation’s forests over the last half century and more. Judith Shapiro, the author of Mao’s War against Nature, has claimed that severe damage to the natural environment in contemporary China, such as the indiscriminate construction of large dams, deforestation, and the extermination of species during the Great Leap Forward, were strongly related to Maoism, which overestimated human power and disregarded the system of nature. However, the political leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, continuously appealed for the extension and conservation of forests, even during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The primary reason why the CCP leaders persisted in this approach was that the severe shortage of forests caused by long-term human impact had already created immense pressure by 1949. To prevent the increasing occurrence of natural disasters such as floods, soil erosion, and desertification, and to avoid the future deprivation of forest products for economic development, it was necessary to increase and conserve forests and maintain their multiple uses. This necessity was actually related to the validity of the claim of the CCP leaders over the area. As long as they maintained a one-party domination, they had to recognize themselves (and were in fact so recognized by the people) as the only entity responsible for the various problems caused by the decline in forests. From this point of view, the political leaders of the PRC have for over five decades commonly emphasized the importance of forests and appealed for their multiple uses to be increased. This view toward forests does not appear to be explained or distorted by specific ideologies such as Maoism or Marxism. Rather, it appears to be based on the pragmatism of the political leaders in the face of the deteriorating forest environment in contemporary China. In addition, as the leaders value forests not only as a resource for producing materials but also as a bulwark against natural disasters, they have not focussed only on a “simplified” forest service—at least at the consciousness level.