- Year of publication: 2004
- Source: Show
- Pages: 3-6
- DOI Address: -
ASIAN VALUES AS A POLITICAL PLATFORM AND SUBJECT OF SOCIAL ANALYSES
The extraordinary economic growth experienced within East Asian countries - often achieved under different modalities than that of the neo-liberal orthodoxy - has put the political and social arrangements of these countries under the spotlight. The success of these countries, in relation to the downturn of Western economies, and the friction which has arisen over trade protectionism, economic conditionality, democracy and human rights have made the “Asian values” debate more than just an intellectual exercise. In fact it is highly, perhaps irredeemably, politicized.
The authors try to explain the crucial difference between the ideologically defined „Asian values” and the „Asian values” which are really present in the Asian minds, and as such may be the subject of the scientific interest. Further they present the short report of the results of their comparative values researches conducted on the population of Polish and Vietnamese students in the year 2003.
TWO CIVILIZATIONS – TWO SYSTEMS OF VALUES – TWO VISIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Two distinctive civilizations along with their specific systems of values may prove complementary in the process of funding a new global ethics, which will set basis for the universal human rights system. These ethics are constituted by supernational synthesis of the most precious values from the heritage of Renaissance and Enlightenment as well as the Confucian phlilosophy. According to the theory of professor Tu Wenming, “Confucian ideal of an individual may be attained more completely in a liberal democratic society than in a traditional imperial dictatorship or a contemporary autocratic regime”, whereas “Confucian tradition may provide us with spiritual resources necessary to develop new vision of society, deriving them from the very core of the theories of Enlightenment”. Professor Jan Rowiński admits that Tu’s proposal “gains a new meaning on international and regional level, not only in the light of the repercussions of the September 11th, but also as a dire need to fill the void resulting from the deep crisis of ideology and professed values, moral oblivion and consecration of money. These are the social and ethical costs of transformation, not only in People’s Republic of China.” Tu’s theory raises an alternative for the “clearly utilitarian attempts, being subjected to political needs, to establish specific, Asian or Chinese, moral identity as a counterbalance (…) to the universal values which human rights are directly derived from.”
MYTHS AND CONTEMPORARY TIBET. SOME SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES
After many years of partisan exchange of arguments over the condition of Tibetan polity and society a more balanced examination should be introduced for the convenience of an advanced understanding. The Western view has been too often burdened by an Orientalist sentiment in Edward Said’s term, that is of romantic patronage against a despotic domination. There have been indeed too many cases of extreme violation of human rights there, both individual and collective, but the situation is changing and calls for an adjusted estimation. The subject of Tibet sovereignty is discussed from the Eastern and Western points of view that appear contradictory and inconclusive. Historical evidence proves similarity with the position of Outer Mongolia but the present status of Tibet originates in the Western notion of protectorate as acknowledged in the early 20th century. In consequence, the take-over of 1950 is not considered in terms of an aggression in legal aspect and in execution. The concept of aggression seems more applicable to the events of 1958-59 when agreements on self-government had been cancelled. The consecutive years were a continuous offence against cultural, social and civil rights of an ethnic people within the Chinese state. Starting with the 80s, however, those rights become to be gradually restored to the point that most accusations by the Dharmasala executive turn false or inapplicable to a developing and modernising country. Such are the cases of demographic Hanisation by an influx of the Chinese, of population control or of exploitation of agricultural and pastoral resources to the avail of the Chinese, etc. In fact, there remain some limitations in religious freedom, in education, mostly higher, or in the ethnic parity of the administrative staff both in numbers and responsibility. Nevertheless, they are progressively reduced to the point that the life in Tibet gets close to normal. At the same time there remains a mutual mistrust that has to be dissolved principally by the Chinese themselves in order to reach practical interaction and the participation of the Tibetans in their affairs.
WORLD ACCORDING TO RGYUD BZHI: THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF TIBETAN MEDICINE
This paper presents principles of traditional Tibetan medicine contained in rGyud bzhi, a renowned medical treatise of the 12th century. These principles refer to the structure and functions of human body, situations conducive to diseases, and methods of treatment. They are embedded in the larger system of Tibetan knowledge formed in the process of mixing local elements with Indian and Chinese influences.
CHINA’S RURAL COMPULSORY EDUCATION: CURRENT SITUATION, PROBLEMS AND POLICY ALTERNATIVES
Since China made its transition from a planned economy to a market-oriented economy, rural education system has changed fundamentally and great progress has been achieved. However, the availability and affordability of rural compulsory education still face huge challenges. On top of the list are issues such as difficulties in schooling, high dropout rates, inadequate investments and poor education quality. Public investments in education have long-term impacts on rural human capital accumulation and rural development. Therefore, efforts in three aspects need to be made to develop of rural compulsory education. Firstly, enhance the fiscal decentralization reform and strengthen legal system construction, ensuring public investments in rural compulsory education. Secondly, deepen education reform and improve the quality of rural compulsory education. Thirdly, further develop rural economy, making education more affordable to rural population.
Tłumaczenie z języka angielskiego: Iwona Madej
NORTHEAST ASIA TODAY: AN OVERVIEW
Northeast Asia is one of the most important among the world’s diverse sectors, whether the measure be economic, political, or strategic. Despite the attention directed toward the Middle East currently, it is in Northeast Asia that the four major global powers interact most closely, with their domestic and foreign policies having a world-wide impact. China, Japan, and Russia are each a part of the region, and the United States, while not geographically present, is deeply involved in every respect.
Author – the outstanding expert of this region – analyses some crucial problems to the contemporary Northeast Asia. He points on the relations among the three forces – internationalism, nationalism and communalism as the determinative to stability and capacity for development of the region. In this context he researches the cases of “success stories” of the main actors – China, Republic of Korea and Japan – comparing them with some elements of uncertainty, in domestic as well as in the international scene, which are still present.
MODERNIZATION OF THE VIETNAMESE SOCIAL-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
In 1986, during the 6th congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Party`s new secretary general Nguyen Van Lieu, announced the introduction of economic reforms program known as “doi moi”. The Vietnamese reforms resembled the Chinese transformation. The rules were simple – agricultural farms were to attain a higher level of independence, the land was to remain state property but was to be the subject of hereditary laws, and the tenancy agreements were to be signed for a period of 50 years. Vietnamese towns and cities were provided with foreign investments. Rejection of a closed and autarchic economy, introduction of market economy and joining the world financial system were to be the basic methods of economic development. The VCP remained in the key position. The 1992 constitution ensured the market economy, but also included Party`s leadership principle.
The implementation and realization of the “doi moi” program has a positive influence on Vietnam`s social and economic development, especially those of its features like the support for multi sectoral economy and diversification of property forms, a bigger openness of the economy and its inclusion in the economic integration processes, diversification of economic partners and improvement of public services` quality. The change of secretary general of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam which took place after the Party congress in March 2001 (former secretary Le Kha Phieu was replaced by Nong Duc Manh, advocate of the economic reforms` acceleration) indicates that the reforming process is irreversible. Nevertheless one must remember, that this process is a subject to various whirls and is characterized by lack of consistency. The problems which were defined at the beginning of the transformation remain unresolved. Political changes are still far behind the economic ones, unprofitable state-owned enterprises remain under state protection for fear of unemployment, the growth of disproportion between regions and social groups (especially between urban and rural populations), the high poverty ratio, the implementation of complicated tariffs, high export duties, licences and quantitative limitations without transparent rules.
Vietnam became a member of South East Asia`s most important organizations: ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and normalized relations with its neighbours. At present joining the WTO has the highest priority in Vietnamese foreign policy, with the end of 2005 the most probable tim.
DEVELOPMENT POLICY OF WESTERN CHINA AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORING STATES OF CENTRAL ASIA
It has been 25 years since China embarked on the path of economic modernization and openness. Although China continues its spectacular economic growth and the fast pace of GDP reached 9,1 percent in 2003 the internal economic situation is very complex. The widening prosperity gap between urban and rural areas and geographically between East and West China is a crucial for the government in Beijing. The growing disparities between different regions forced the central government to start special western development strategy four years ago to help the relatively backward west catch up with the more well-off east. The main purpose of so called “Go West” strategy is to guarantee the sustainable development of overall China’s economy. As admitted by Premier Wen Jiabao the strategy as far has been steady but remains a long-term and difficult task for at least next few decades.
The success of reforms in the Western China means also the necessity of its opening to the outside world. Chinese authorities consider the development of western regions in terms of China economic policy towards the region of Central Asian. Although the most immediate and pressing China’s interests in the region revolve around issues of national security its still growing energy demand and searching for the new markets make the region very attractive to Beijing. China’s export routes and a potential role as an economic engine for greater Central Asia offer China a potentially role in the region; development and a strong position from which to fulfill its own development needs.
China plays an active and crucial role in Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Its eagerness to emphasize the growing need of economic cooperation among all the members show the direction of the Chinese foreign economic policy in the region. China’s economic interest and presence in Central Asia are expanding quickly and have considerable potential. Interests of the other players, particularly USA and Russia in the region and the growing competition have to be considered as an important challenge to the China’s continuing emergence in Central Asia.
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