Wan Lik Hang

China News 8th February 2021

In our China news this week are two stories of interest everywhere.  The first is about tackling corruption in China that has been a major feature of Xi Xinping’s Presidency.  In an honest review, the journal, DWNews, and the President himself, are remarkably honest about the problem.  

In a recent speech, Xi Jinping affirmed the achievements of the Party’s anti-corruption work.  On the one hand, he was satisfied with the achievements of the ” clean government and anti-corruption struggle”; on the other hand, he also calmly faced the problem and admitted that “despite the historical achievements that have been made in the fight against corruption, the situation is still grim and complex.  Corruption is the biggest risk of the party’s governance.  It still exists.”  

 by Tima Miroshnichenko

Xi Jinping’s judgment is accurate.  Corruption is still the biggest risk facing the CCP.  If this problem is not solved fundamentally, it may be difficult for the CCP to break out of the historical cyclical pattern of the rise and fall of chaos, and it will repeat the mistakes of history. 

Anti-corruption efforts have been unprecedented.  From village heads to state leaders, hundreds of thousands of officials were investigated and dealt with.  According to China’s official media, in 2020 alone, “China’s national inspection and supervision agencies received 3.229 million letters and visits, handled 1.703 million problems, filed 618,000 cases, and sanctioned 604,000 people. Among them, provincial and ministerial officials were punished”. 

After more than eight years of anti-corruption and clean-up, China’s officialdom has indeed improved. The original phenomenon of officials ‘entertainment’ has basically disappeared; the situation of civil servants abusing public funds and abusing power for their own profit is rarely publicly revealed or becomes more secretive. At the same time, the attitude of civil servants to serve the common people has become civilized and friendly, and the problem of having to wait to eat and receive cards has been greatly reduced. This is a huge improvement that is visible and tangible. 

However, as Xi Jinping said, “traditional corruption and new corruption are intertwined, and corruption is now more concealed and complicated. Corruption and unhealthy practices are intertwined and have become a breeding ground for more corruption. With even a slight relaxation of our efforts, It is possible that all previous work will be lost.  We must face the difficulties and advance.” 

China’s corruption problem is still severe, and the CCP must make greater efforts to achieve the ultimate success in fighting corruption.  The CCP’s corruption problem is the result of decades of long-term neglect since the reform and opening up; it may take decades of persistent efforts to completely eliminate this corrupt practice. The reality is that corruption at the grass-roots level in China is still widespread. When dealing with grass-roots civil servants, the people inevitably must give money and gifts to get things done. This is because the grassroots level in China is still not very wealthy, and many civil servants must buy houses and cars by corruption and bribery to meet their own daily needs. 

On the other hand, the corrupt atmosphere of “giving gifts and doing things well” still persists, and the Commission for Discipline Inspection cannot fully supervise small corruption at the grassroots level. In fact, under normal circumstances, people will not report civil servants who have accepted bribes. Everyone just wants to get things done smoothly and get along well. Therefore, it is generally difficult for the Commission for Discipline Inspection to find a breakthrough. 

How to eliminate grassroots corruption? It is a very difficult problem, which tests the CCP’s ability to govern. The Communist Party of China has a clear understanding of this. If grassroots corruption can be eliminated in the next few years, the CCP’s anti-corruption goal will achieve another breakthrough. 

The inability of “top leaders” to supervise and the difficulty of supervising corruption at the grassroots level are the two major problems facing the CCP’s anti-corruption efforts. If these two problems are handled well, the CCP is expected to lead China to rejuvenation and stay in power for a long time. If these two problems are not handled well, it cannot be ruled out that once the anti-corruption efforts are relaxed in the future, the corruption problem will accelerate in China.

Spreading, and ultimately hollowing out China, the CCP will indeed face the risk of “destruction of the party” as its leaders said. The Kuomintang were defeated in the mainland because of corruption; and the rise and fall of China’s 2,000-year-old dynasty was also because of corruption. Corruption is a time bomb that defeats all regimes. If the CCP cannot solve the problem of corruption, it will eventually be dissolved by corruption.  It is worth learning that Hong Kong and Singapore, as the two Chinese regions, have solved the corruption problem very well, and their cleanliness is among the best in the world. They should provide the CCP with a lot of experience and system inspiration. 

Source: dwnews.com.

Our second story features a long-standing debate in many countries about the use of mobile phones in schools.  Are they indispensable in life – or are they a distraction and source of abuse?  Is legislation the right way to tackle the problems?  We have quotes from two articles and some diverse feedback to the media.

To protect students’ eyesight, allow students to concentrate on their studies at school, prevent indulging in internet games, and promote the physical and mental development of students, the General Office of the Ministry of Education requires that, in principle, elementary and middle school students are not allowed to bring personal mobile phones into campus. If there is a real need, the parent’s consent and a written application must be submitted. After entering the school, mobile phone should be kept by the school and it is forbidden to bring them into the classroom.  

by Julia M Cameron

The need for communication between students and their parents should be solved through the establishment of public telephones on campus and the communication hotline for class teachers.  Do not use mobile phones to assign homework or require students to use mobile phones to complete homework. 

Source: news.ifeng.com.

This article reviews experience in other parts of the world.

Many elementary and middle school students own smartphones, and if they use them uncontrollably, they are prone to over-reliance and even addiction. France passed legislation in 2018 to prohibit students under the age of 15 from using mobile phones on campus.   

A few days ago, Government proposed to prohibit the use of mobile phones in schools by Chinese primary and middle school students by law and suggested that parents restrict their children’s use of technology products.  Mobile phones are indispensable in daily life, but they can also lead to addiction. More than 19% of elementary school students in grades 4 to 6 are addicted to smartphones.  Among middle school students and high school students, 30% overindulged in mobile phones. 

All over the world, elementary and middle school students have a mobile phone addiction. A French investigation found that more than 90% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have mobile phones.  French President Macron has actively promoted legislation to prevent the spread of bullying, violence and pornography on campus, and a total ban has been implemented since September 2018.  

Students under the age of 15 use mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, and other electronic products on campus to return to school. To curb Internet bullying, the Ministry of Education of Japan has banned public elementary and middle school students from carrying mobile phones to school.  Public high schools have restrictions on their use, but they are not prohibited from carrying them. 

New York City originally banned elementary and middle school students from bringing mobile phones into the campus.  However, to allow parents to contact their children immediately in an emergency, the ban was finally lifted, and each school makes its own rules instead. 

The Ministry of Education in various countries also encourages small and medium-sized schools to invite teachers, parents, and student representatives to discuss the principles in accordance with the needs and uses of different ages. 

Chen Zhenqi, a tutor at Ziqiang Junior High School in Hsinchu County, said that “even if the school has established rules for using mobile phones and confiscates mobile phones during class, most students do not obey and will sneak online when they can. 

Peng Shuyan, chairman of the National Alliance of Parents’ Groups, said that “French legislation prohibits it, but other countries do not necessarily have to learn from it because of different national conditions. Problems in education should be solved by education, not by legislation. Instead of prohibiting students from using mobile phones, it is better to teach them to use mobile phones as tools and learn proper use of the Internet.” 

One student says:

I think the use of mobile phones in schools should be legislated I strongly agree not to bring a mobile phone to school. In class, it’s not easy to concentrate on studying. If you have a mobile phone, it’s harder to concentrate on doing things. I hope that the government legislation will help me, so that I can go to junior high school to concentrate on studying and increase my future competitiveness.

Another student disagrees:

I think it should not be prohibited by legislation. The mobile phone is an indispensable tool in life. If its functions can be used appropriately, it will not only be convenient, but can even improve learning efficiency. Instead of passively restricting students’ use of mobile phones, it is better to teach them the correct timing and methods to train their self-control.

 by Min An

Yet another student:

If students can bring their mobile phones to school, they will be distracted by indulging in internet and games. I have heard from classmates that they often go to class thinking about how to play their mobile games after class, which makes it impossible to concentrate on studying. Moreover, bringing high-end mobile phones to school can easily cause envy and even bullying.

Source: internetmatters.org.

Finally, an editorial in a leading Beijing journal.

In a nutshell, to eradicate the problem of students bringing mobile phones into campus and classrooms, schools need to have a systematic management thinking, and they cannot adopt simple, crude, or even contradictory methods. From the perspective of educating people and based on listening to the opinions of parents and students, schools should formulate regulations for the management of student mobile phones that are both rigid and flexible. At the same time, some misunderstandings of teaching concepts must be eliminated. Education modernization should not be simply regarded as the use of electronics. Product teaching should pay more attention to the quality of education and pay attention to the physical and mental health of students. 

Source: bjnews.com.cn.

 

wanlikhang

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