China Perspectives 2008/2


Toward a New Public Policy for Rural China?

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China Perspectives 2008/2

China - Agriculture

Food Security and Consumption Patterns in China: The Grain Problem Page 5

Claude Aubert

Food consumption patterns remain a matter of debate in China, and different assumptions lead to very different scenarios as far as food security is concerned. In this paper we will try to clarify these patterns, mainly for grain and meat, with a view to achieving a better understanding of the significance of “food security

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Land Rights and Rural-Urban Migration in China Page 25

Li ShiDeng QuhengMaëlys De La RupelleThomas Vendryes

Collective ownership of agricultural land and the remains of the administrative management of rural economy have imposed considerable insecurity on the land use rights of Chinese farmers. This insecurity constrains the movement of rural people, who fear that migration will jeopardise what land use rights they do enjoy. In this paper we describe the idiosyncratic uncertainty of land use rights, and verify its influence on migration decisions, with a special focus on the duration of migration.

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Effects of Culture on Economic Performance and Grassland Degradation: The Case of Tibetans and Mongolians in the Qinghai Lake Area Page 37

Qu FutianNico HeerinkTan ShuhaoTu Qin

This study uses micro-level data gathered for Tibetans and Mongolians living in the same region (Qinghai Lake area in Northwest China) and having similar religion (Buddhism) and livelihoods (livestock raising) to examine how cultural differences between these two ethnic groups affect their integration into markets, their means of livestock production, and the extent of degradation of the grassland. We find significant cultural differences between the two ethnic groups, and conclude that the impact of religious attitudes on the market orientation of herder households is the dominating force explaining a relatively high degree of grassland degradation among Mongolian households.

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Water Stress, Agricultural water Transfer and Social Equity in the Chaobai Watershed Page 47

Yang HongZhou Yuan

Water stress has resulted in an increasing trend towards the reallocation of agricultural water to the industrial and municipal sectors. This study examines the impact of water reallocation on crop production and farmers’ incomes, and identifies the gap between current levels of financial compensation and the real loss of farmers’ incomes based on a survey of 349 farm households and their farm plots in the Chaobai watershed. The results show that the current compensation received by farmers is generally lower than the losses incurred due to reduced irrigation. A transparent, fair, and legally protected compensation mechanism is required to achieve a long-term water sharing relationship and sustainable water utilisation.

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Measuring and Explaining the Distributive Effects of Rural Tax and Fee Reform in Anhui Province Page 58

Christian Göbel

This paper focuses on the distributive effects of the Rural Tax and Fee Reform on county-level aggregate peasant burden, peasant income, and government finances in China’s Anhui Province. It seeks to answer the question of whether the reform has changed the structural determinants of peasant per capita income and government revenue. It further tackles the question of who actually benefited during the reform period, who did not, and if the changes in average county-level peasant per capita income (PPCI) and government receipts were indeed results of the reform, or if they were brought about by other, unrelated factors.

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The Impact and Effectivness of the World Bank’s Health VII Medical Financial Assistance Project Page 76

Wei Zhong


Online Discussions in China: The Collaborative Development of Specific Norms for Individual Expression Page 83

Séverine Arsène

The numerous conversations and debates that take place on the Chinese Web confirm the Internet as a legitimate platform for public expression. Through their participation, Internet users collectively elaborate a specific normative framework that partly differs from the theoretical model of deliberation. Some interviews with users clarify the role they attribute to online expression.

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Development and Environmental Conflicts in China Page 94

François G. SchmittLi Ma

China has paid little attention to environmental issues over the decades, preferring to give priority to economic development. In this article, we start off with an examination of the acute and catastrophic problems in the environmental domain. We then consider environmental social conflicts these problems have generated, and which have grown exponentially in recent years. We conclude by assessing the Chinese authorities’ approach to these problems.

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China Analysis

The “Chinese Miracle” Challenged by Tibet Page 104

Mathieu Duchâtel

This section, prepared by the Asia Centre (, draws mainly on the press in Chinese, aiming to reflect the point of view of the People’s Republic of China on international questions and issues related to Greater China.
Based on:
• Li Ping, Li Yajie, “Behind the orchestration by the Dalai Lama clique of the major insurrectionary movement in Tibet,” Xinhua News Agency, 1 April 2008.
• Cao Xin, “Alternative thinking on the question of Tibet,” Nanfang zhoumo, 2 April 2008.

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Reform of the NDRC or Mutations in Central Planning Page 106

Thibaud Voïta

Based on:
• Luo Changpin et al., “A silhouette begins to appear,” Caijing, 17 March 2008.
• Zuo Qinglin, “The return of the NDRC to its initial functions,” 21 Shiji jingji baodao, 18 March 2008.
• Wang Dongming, “Another step in the reform of administrative management and government institutions,” Qiu shi, 1 April 2008.

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Book Reviews

Wu Faxian, Suiyue jiannan. Huiyilu (The Hardships of the Times. Memoirs) Page 108

Ben Xu

Marie-Claire Bergère, Capitalismes et capitalistes en Chine des origines à nos jours Page 110

Lucien Bianco

Carolyn L. Hsu, Creating Market Socialism: How ordinary People Are Shaping Class and Status in China Page 112

Gilles Guiheux

Adam Yuet Chau, Miraculous Response: Doing Popular Religion in Contemporary China Page 114

Katiana Le Mentec

Isabelle Attané et C. Z. Guilmoto (éd.), Watering the Neighbours’ Garden. The Growing Demographic Deficit in Asia. Page 117

Cecilia Milwertz

Lucien Bianco, Les Origines de la révolution chinoise 1915-1949 Page 118

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