Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > China

China

Yearbook 1998

China. The summer floods in southern, eastern and central China became the worst since 1954. The torrential downpour caused the Chang Jiang River to flood. the city of Wuhan. According to Countryaah, millions of Chinese abandoned their houses, and soldiers and villagers struggled with failing dams. In the northeast, the country's largest oil field Daqing was partially submerged. In the autumn it had over 230 million. people were affected in a dozen provinces, more than 3,600 had died and more than 20 million. lose their homes. The regime admitted that the floods were aggravated by neglect and soil erosion following unrestrained logging. However, the dam construction at San Xia in Chang Jiang continued; the government believes that the giant dam will reduce the problems, the opponents that it can aggravate them.

1998 ChinaDespite major material losses in various natural disasters, the government maintained its target of an annual economic growth of 8%. New Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, who succeeded Li Peng at the National People's Congress session in March, said the goal must be reached if unemployment does not get worse. The People's Congress appointed Li Peng as its new chairman and re-elected Jiang Zemin as president.

In April, 29-year-old regime critic Wang Dan was released from prison for health reasons and sent into exile in the United States. Wang, the student leader of the 1989 Beijing uprising, had been sentenced in 1996 to eleven years in prison for "overthrowing activities".

The Western world's criticism of China's view of human rights was repeated during official visits by US President Bill Clinton in June, UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson in September and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in October. President Jiang Zemin told Robinson that the regime must provide food and housing to the country's population, but also promised a development towards more of the rule of law and democracy. Shortly thereafter, China wrote on the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

Oppositionists in six provinces challenged the Communist Party's power monopoly from June by trying to form an independent party: China's Democratic Party (KDP). Several activists were arrested, and Li Peng ruled that no party operating for multi-party systems will be allowed. The leading dissidents Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai - all active for KDP - were arrested and sentenced in December to 13, 12 and 11 years in prison respectively. The judges were condemned by the western world.

The country's most talked about corruption target ended July 31, when 67-year-old Chen Xitong, Beijing's deputy party chief and mayor, received 16 years in prison for embezzling billions out of the city's cash register. His punishment was seen as mild in light of the fact that the death penalty is often punished for significantly lesser crimes.

Former President Yang Shangkun died in September, 91 years old. The war veteran Yang became president in 1988 and in June 1989 supported the army's attack on the democracy revolution in Beijing. After a failed attempt to challenge Deng Xiaoping to the utmost power, he was allowed to leave all his posts in 1993.

1998 China

1800 The English invade. The old culture breaks down

The stability of Chinese society and China's dominant position in its part of the world reinforced the agricultural bureaucracy's belief that Chinese civilization was superior to all others. The clash with Western civilization in the mid-19th century led to a dramatic change in Japan. Japan managed in the 1860s to adapt, which through fascism and imperialism developed Japan into a modern industrial power. In China, contact with Western imperialism led to collapse and chaos. There were no strong groups that could force modernization and industrialization, and at the same time China was not able to completely shut itself down. Some trade dominated by foreign businessmen was developed; Initially, the foreign traders were referred to a single port - Canton. The regime tried to prevent contact with foreigners, and there was a death penalty for traveling to overseas countries.

The opium war of 1839-1842 became a pivotal turning point in China's history. At the beginning of the century, England had already begun to buy silk, tea and porcelain from the Chinese, and wanted to sell opium produced in India to achieve a more favorable trade balance with China. But opium imports were banned. China tried to enforce the ban, and this triggered the opium war in which China suffered defeat. It is characteristic that Chinese leaders expected that they could easily win over "the foreign barbarians." But gradually China was forced to grant ever greater rights to the Western powers - the so-called treaties that gave China a semi-colonial status.

China had to open more ports for trade. Foreigners in China were not subject to Chinese laws but their own. Foreigners gained control of customs and it was forbidden for China to charge foreign goods with more than 5% duty. During the latter half of the 19th century, China went from one defeat to another in its conflicts with foreign countries.

The empire was shaken and suffered another defeat with the Taiping uprising in 1853-64. The rebels managed to bring large parts of southern China under their control before being crushed with the support of Western troops.

The huge import of opium was paid for with Chinese silver, which reduced the state's revenues, while increasing numbers of the population became drug addicts and thus weakened society in general. A new war in 1856-60 against Franco-British forces ended with Beijing falling. The emperor had to give new concessions and allow missionaries to penetrate the country. France occupied Indochina, which had been a Chinese-sounding one, and in 1895 Japan conquered Korea and Taiwan and Russia secured two port cities.

In 1898, a riot erupted against the foreign influence - the so-called boxer revolt. It was knocked down by an expeditionary group of Englishmen, Russians, Germans, Frenchmen, Japanese and North Americans. The victors divided the occupied territory into "zones of influence" and demanded that China pay a huge compensation. In Shanghai, the building of a trading port was linked to the extensive foreign investment, which in hundreds of factories exploited the cheap Chinese labor.

The foreign exchange also opened up new ideas. The government allowed small groups of students to study abroad. At the same time, nationalist groups emerged who were vehemently opposed to foreign progress.

In 1911, the empire almost collapsed from the inside, under pressure from officers who had received a modern education and from intellectuals who were influenced by Western ideas and who were aware of China's decay. The leader of this intellectual group was Sun Yat-sen.

 

Other Countries in Asia

Construct Countries Copyright 1998 - 2020 All Rights Reserved