Contemporary China: What do you know about this?

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China; Ten social categories (based on differences in resource ownership):

(1) state and social management class (with organizational

English: Caps according to social class 日本語: 琉...
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resources) is about 2.1% (1-5% in the cities, 0.5% in the urban and rural integrating administrative areas); refers to the party and government, business and social groups leading executives cadres exercising real authority and the management functions in the administrative unit including: central government ministries and municipalities practical administration of the division level and above executive-level cadres; cadres in provinces and regions practical administration of the township administrative section level and above, this category is currently account for the proportion of about 2.1% in the social class structure.

(2) managerial personnel (with cultural resources or organizational resources), 1.5% (up to 9% in some cities); refers to the senior and middle management staff in the state-owned, collectives, private and joint ventures, wholly foreign-owned large and medium enterprise, this category is accounting for the proportion of about 1.5% currently in the social class structure.

(3) private entrepreneurs (with economic resources), 0.6% (private sector takes up to 3% in developed regions, 0.3%in less developed areas); the persons making profit with a certain number of private ownership of capital or investment in fixed assets, in accordance with existing policies and regulations, those include private enterprises with more than 8 employees. This category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 0.6% in the social class structure.

(4) professional and technical staff levels (with cultural resources), 5.1% (10-20% in large cities, 1.5-3% in urban fringe areas); refers to the various economic agencies (including state organs, party and mass organizations, national enterprises, collective enterprises, and various non-state, or public ownership enterprises) specializes in a variety of professional works, scientific and technical staff, this category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 5.1% in the social class structure.

(5) the staff levels (with minor cultural resources and organizational resources), 4.8% (10-15% in urban area, 2-6% in urban fringe areas); refers to full-time office staff assisting the department in dealing with day to day administrative affairs, mainly the low-level clerical staff in party and government organs in the civil service, enterprises of various ownership and mainly of primary non-professional management. This category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 4.8% in the social class structure.

(6) individual businesses (with minor economic resources), 4.2% (the actual number is more than the registered number); the persons with private ownership of small amount of capital (including property) involving in production, circulation, services and other business activities or financial bond market to make a living. Such as individual business owners or micro business (owners have sufficient capital to hire labor but also directly involved in labor and production), self-employed business people or self-employed workers (with sufficient capital to open their own business but do not employ other workers), and small shareholders, minority shareholders, owner of small rental housing, etc., this category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 4.2% in the social class structure.

(7) business services staff levels (with a small amount of the three resources), 12%; refers to the non-professional, non-manual and manual staff in the commercial and service sectors, this category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 12% in the social class structure.

(8) industrial workers (with a small amount of three resources), 22.6% (of which 30% of migrant workers); refers to the physical, semi-manual production workers, construction workers and related personnel in the secondary industry, this category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 22.6%in the social class structure.

(9) the peasant (with a small amount of three resources), (44% in 1999); one of the largest category in China, refers to farmers with the collectively owned farmland contracted to agriculture (forestry, animal husbandry and fishery) industry as the sole or main occupation, and agriculture (forestry, animal husbandry and fishery) industry as the sole source of income or principal source of income, this category accounts for about 44% of China’s total working population now.

(10) Urban and rural jobless, unemployed, semi-unemployed category (with no resources), 3.1%. refers to the working age population with no-regular employment (excluding students), this category is currently accounting for the proportion of about 3.1% in the social class structure.

Five socio-economic classes

(Classified according to family income or monthly income per capita)

(1) The upper social strata: high-level leading cadres, big business executives, senior professionals and large private entrepreneurs;

(2) Upper-middle-level cadres, middle managers of large enterprises, SMEs managers, mid-level professional and technical personnel and medium business owners;

(3) Middle-middle class: junior professionals, small business owners, officers, individual businesses, senior technicians, large agricultural operations;

(4) Lower class: individual service providers, workers, peasants;

(5) Bottom class: workers living in poverty and lack of job security, peasants and jobless, unemployed, underemployed workers

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National Defense Authorization Act- signed into law Dec 31, 2011!

Click "see more" to read the full de...With opponents on Capitol Hill unable to keep President Obama from signing the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers in Washington State are proposing a bill that would block its dangerous provisions from themselves.

Five Republican lawmakers in the state of Washington have proposed a bill that would keep the provisions that permit the president from indefinitely detaining American citizens from applying to state residents. Despite widespread opposition, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA, into law on December 31, 2011. In authorizing the bill, President Obama added a signing statement insisting that he would not abide by the provisions that permit the unconstitutional actions guaranteed under the law. Even with this addendum, however, critics fear that this president — and any future ones — will use the bill to break down the civil liberties of Americans.

Reps. Jason Overstreet, Matt Shea, Vincent Buys, Cary Condotta and David Taylor, all Republicans, have introduced HB 2759, or the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act. With the bill, the lawmakers aim to tackle the NDAA provisions that make American citizens on par with al-Qaeda terrorists in terms of making anyone in the US eligible for stay at the Guantanamo Bay military prison.

The bill calls for, among other items, “To condemn in no uncertain terms,” the sections of the NDAA that authorize the president to used the armed forces to indefinitely detain Americans without charge, subject them to military tribunals and transfer citizens to a foreign country or foreign entity.

“Winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of eviscerating the unalienable rights recognized by and protected in the United States Constitution,” add the lawmakers.

Outside of Washington, others have agreed since before the law went into effect. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero responded to the news of the bill’s authorization last month by saying, President Obama’s action … is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”

In Congress, Texas Representative Ron Paul has actually proposed a bill that will repeal those dangerous provisions from coast-to-coast. Following Monday’s GOP primary in the state of Florida, Congressman Paul used an address to supporters to voice his opposition to the NDAA.

“The purpose of all governments should be the protection of individual liberty for each and every one of us!” said Paul. “We need to reverse the trend of the attack on our civil liberties, we need to repeal the Patriot Act . . . We need to reverse the trend of the attack on our civil liberties, we need to repeal the Patriot Act . . . We need to repeal the provision that says the president can use the military to arrest any American citizen and deny them a trial!”

He brought that argument to the Washington DC last month, asking, “Is this really the kind of United States we want to create in the name of fighting terrorism?”

“I recognize how critical it is that we identify and apprehend those who are suspected of plotting attacks against Americans. But why do we have so little faith in our justice system?” asked the congressman. He proposed a bill that would repeal the detention provisions, although Congress has yet to act on it.

In the other Washington, however, lawmakers may soon vote on a localized bill that would keep The Evergreen State safe from the NDAA. If passed, the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act will bar the U.S. military from conducting an investigation or detainment of a citizen within the state of Washington.

Last month, the US Supreme Court already evoked the NDAA by using its detention provisions to justify the continued imprisonment of an alleged terrorist, Musa’ab al-Madhwani.

Latin American Leaders Demand Action on Illicit Arms Trafficking!

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At the close of the summit, the member countries issued a separate and special declaration (available in pdf format here) defining public security as a precondition for economic and social progress and calling for international cooperation, technical assistance and legislation to combat the illicit trafficking of weapons.

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon also called on the international community to provide financial and technical assistance to the region and urged his counterparts in Latin America to strengthen legislative controls on the possession and use of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

These calls for a more regional approach to curbing arms trafficking were overshadowed by a controversial outburst from Ecuador’s president, the absence of 11 heads-of-state and the summit’s macro-economic themes.

But inside the summit walls, public security emerged as a top concern and representatives of a region struggling with high rates of violence and criminality used the platform to call for agreement on regulating the international arms trade. The surge in violent crime in Latin America has been particularly devastating to countries that have resources important to drug trafficking networks and relatively weak state institutions. Honduras, for example, is a transit country for the majority of cocaine smuggled out of South America and is on track to have the highest murder rate in the world.

A recent United Nations report (pdf available here) says that 31 percent of the estimated 468,000 intentional homicides committed around the world in 2010 occurred in the Americas. And firearms, which were used in 42 percent of violent deaths, “undoubtedly drive homicide increases in certain regions and, where they do, members of organized criminal groups are often those who pull the trigger,” according to the UN.

The ability of Latin American countries to control firearm availability certainly depends on international cooperation. Unfortunately, weapons transfers can take place on a relatively small scale without triggering attention from federal authorities. A variety of obstacles prevent stricter control over domestic guns sales in the U.S., such as powerful lobbying groups like the National Rifle Association and their congressional allies who block legislation that would tighten federal control over gun sales.

The availability of powerful assault weapons in the U.S. has likely had an effect on violence in the region. An analysis by blogger Diego de Valle illustrates how the expiration of the ban on assault weapons in the U.S. is correlated with rising homicide rates in the war against (and amongst) the drug cartels. Access to U.S. assault weapons may also be related to the rise in incidents of multiple homicides in Mexico.

The U.S. is an important player in controlling the circulation of illegal weapons in Mexico, but it is only one of many. According to arms expert Keith Krause, substantial quantities of weapons seized from Mexico’s criminals originate in Mexico or Central America. Honduras, for example, recently admitted that it cannot account for thousands of guns that disappeared from government warehouses. Many weapons that were funnelled to Central America to fight 20th century conflicts are still circulating today, fueling narcotics-related conflict in Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.

But controlling this market is a tall order for any country or region. The illicit global market for small arms and light weapons (SALW) is estimated to be worth approximately $1 billion dollars annually. Trade flourishes in part because of a large gray market of legal guns that become illegal when they are lost or stolen from government stockpiles. Government weapons and ammunition stockpiles that are poorly monitored can be diverted to this gray market with little risk because, in the absence of a universal marking and tracking system, it is difficult to trace to a “legitimate” owner and hold that person accountable.

The long career of international arms dealer Victor Bout, and his eventual capture in a DEA sting explicitly demonstrates of the need for a global treaty on the weapons trade, according to Oxfam International. Despite significant evidence of Bout’s participation in illegal weapons sales, he was able to continue to sell guns and fuel conflict in the world’s worst war zones for two decades.

Currently, only 73 (out of 154) countries regulate trade in light weapons and, of those, only 56 have laws criminalizing their illicit transfer. The lack of a global treaty addressing the trade in SALW allows gun traffickers to avoid both arrest in countries that lack penalties and extradition to countries with comprehensive, enforceable laws.

Currently, commodities like bananas and electronics are highly regulated under international law, but there are no substantial agreements requiring states to monitor and restrict transfers of arms and ammunition around the globe.

This may change. A proposed global Arms Trade Agreement will be debated in the UN next year. And while it will not eliminate the illicit trade in guns, it can reduce the availability of military-grade weapons on the shadowy gray market and clarify the fuzzy boundaries between licit and illict trade in weapons responsible for hundreds of thousands violent deaths. It may also give Latin American and Caribbean governments a template for further regional and domestic action on this issue.

 

Drug-related homicides in Mexico could conceivably hit another record high 2011?

 

Stats Murder in Mexico

Stats Murder in Mexico

Drug-related homicides in Mexico could conceivably hit another record high this year but the murder count has likely leveled off and is expected to start declining, the University of San Diego said in a report, which also cited an increase in the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States.

“The figures for this year are still quite bad, with more than 10,000 people killed, but not significantly worse than in 2010, when there were at least 20 percent more homicides than in 2009,” David Shirk, director of USD’s Trans-Border Institute, told Efe.

 The report was presented Wednesday at a conference in San Diego titled “The Effects of Violence in Mexico on Migration and Immigration Policy.”

Shirk said there had been a sharp slowdown in the “spiral of violence” due to a decrease in homicides in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, which in 2009 accounted for as many as a third of all murders and kidnappings in Mexico, and to new dynamics in cities such as Tijuana.

“Violence in Tijuana peaked in 2008 and 2009. Now presumably, after drug traffickers realized that violence was bad for business, there’s a pact between the Sinaloa cartel and the remnants of the Tijuana (mob), with the former gaining influence, and that’s pushed the violence to the east of the city,” Shirk said.

According to the expert, the “Tijuana model” of not interfering with the traffickers’ operations could be adopted in other Mexican cities, a move that would mean returning to the policy that existed before President Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide crackdown on the cartels upon taking office in December 2006.

The strategy has led to headline-grabbing captures of cartel kingpins, but drug war-related violence has claimed nearly 50,000 lives nationwide over the five-year period.

“That would mean all the death and violence has served no purpose, which is an unfortunate and cynical vision and a great tragedy if they’re unable to interrupt the way the cartels conduct their business,” Shirk said.

A total of 10,933 drug-related deaths were registered through Nov. 4, 2011, the expert said, citing figures compiled by the Mexican media. That compares with 15,273 homicides for all of 2010.

Most of these slayings are concentrated in four states while at least 230,000 Mexicans were internally displaced last year as a result of the war on drugs, which also has led to an increase in the number of asylum requests in the United States.

Those asylum seekers, however, have a difficult time winning their cases in part due to political reasons, immigration attorney and conference participant Ginger Jacobs said, noting that in granting their requests the U.S. government would be acknowledging that Mexico cannot protect its own citizens.

According to the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, 3,231 Mexicans requested asylum last year but only 49 of those petitions were granted. That amounts to a 1.5 percent success rate, compared to 35.6 percent and 41.6 percent for Chinese and Colombian applicants, respectively.

Shirk said Mexico’s plight is due in part to high drug consumption in the United States and the north-to-south flow of weapons and therefore a change in Washington’s current supply-side oriented anti-drug strategy is essential.

Mexico must transform its justice system to give prosecutors autonomy at the local level, but in the United States marijuana must be legalized because most prosecution and policing expenditures there are focused on that drug even though it represents only between 15-20 percent of cartels’ revenues, he said.

Legalization would free up scarce resources that would be better spent tackling much more profitable drugs like cocaine and heroin, which together with expenditures on witness-protection programs and judicial reforms in Mexico could make a difference, the expert said.