2008年6月30日 星期一

inconvenience store truth?

inconvenience store truth? Governments, merchants wrangle over restricted hours to reduce CO2



Amid the heated competition among local governments to prove they are environmentally friendly, a common plan has repeatedly surfaced: taking some of the convenience out of convenience stores.

At least 10 local governments said they were considering or preparing to discuss restrictions on the late-night operating hours of convenience stores to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a survey of the 47 prefectures and 17 major cities in Japan.

However, the convenience store industry, which thrives on 24/7 service, has vehemently opposed. Critics of the local governments' plans say the amount of CO2 reduced under such a policy would be negligible, considering the negative impact on business, employment and the public.

Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Nagano, Aichi prefectures and the city of Kyoto are already considering restrictions on the late night hours.

The prefectural governments of Gunma and Kyoto, and the municipal governments of Yokohama and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture, plan to discuss such restrictions.

If the policies are imposed, other 24-hour businesses, such as supermarkets, restaurant chains, gas stations and rental video stores, could eventually be affected.

Local governments are competing against each other to present original environmental policies as interest in global warming countermeasures grows ahead of the Group of Eight summit in Lake Toyako, Hokkaido, next week.

The city of Kyoto, which started the debate over restricting 24-hour services, said a review of late night operations at convenience stores and regulations for vending machines were needed in its plans to create an "environmental model community."

In July, the municipality will set up a panel, including operators of convenience stores, to further discuss the issue. The city plans to ask store operators to voluntary curb operations during late night hours as early as next fiscal year.

Saitama Prefecture's draft environmental plan, submitted to an experts' committee in June, included a clause calling on convenience stores to refrain from 24-hour operations.

Kanagawa Governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa told a recent news conference that restricting late night operations at convenience stores "can (also) contribute to preventing juvenile delinquency."

Advocates say such regulations would not only reduce greenhouse gases but could change people's carbon-emitting lifestyles.

But not all local governments share that opinion.

"For rural communities, the convenience store often serves a public role," Yamanashi Governor Shomei Yokouchi told a recent news conference. He added that the prefecture has no plans to restrict convenience store operations.

Currently, 12 convenience store chains belonging to the Japan Franchise Association operate about 42,000 outlets across the nation, of which about 40,000 are open 24 hours a day.

The combined amount of CO2 released from those stores in fiscal 2006 was an estimated 2.67 million tons, or about 0.2 percent of Japan's total emissions.

"It is unfair to restrict only convenience stores," an association official said.

The official said that even if all convenience stores were to reduce operations to 16 hours a day, the amount of CO2 reduction would "only amount to about 0.009 percent" of the country's total emissions.

The association also points out that reduced hours of operation would seriously affect the livelihoods of the 1.3 million people who work at the stores or in distribution networks and boxed lunch production lines.

"The first step should be to ask people who make a living working in convenience stores," said Takeshi Niinami, president of Lawson Inc.

Similar plans for such restrictions have not surfaced in the United States and Europe. In Germany, the government in 2006 even eased restrictions on merchants operating on Sundays, holidays and during late night hours.

And how would the restrictions affect consumers?

According to a Cabinet Office survey, about 27 percent of the respondents said they visited conveniences stores during the late night and early morning hours at least once or twice a month.(IHT/Asahi: June 30,2008)

2008年6月25日 星期三

More Japanese Factories in Emerging Markets

Nissan and Others Add Factories in Emerging Markets

Zackary Canepari for The New York Times

Caparo, a parts maker, uses Japanese equipment to supply the carmakers that are making Chennai an automaking hub.

Published: June 26, 2008

ORAGADAM, India — On a dusty sun-baked field, in a ceremony presided over by a chanting Brahmin priest tossing water and rice, the Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor made a bold step into the Indian auto market.

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Zackary Canepari for The New York Times

Under the guidance of Nissan and Honda, Caparo has built assembly lines in India to manufacture metal parts for carmakers.

Zackary Canepari for The New York Times

“The Japanese hold our hand, work with us on the shop floor, help us develop,” Caparo’s chief executive in India said.

The traditional Hindu ritual this month, attended by a half-dozen sweating Japanese and European executives, blessed the site where Nissan will build its first passenger vehicle factory in India, a sprawling $1.1 billion complex where rice paddies once stood. The plant, built jointly with its French partner Renault an hour outside the southern city of Chennai, will turn out 400,000 cars a year when completed in two years.

Japan’s Big Three — Toyota, Honda and Nissan — led the world in factory automation and eco-friendly technology, but until now they have been cautious about venturing far from the roads they know: the mature markets of North America and developing markets closest to home, particularly China and Thailand. Now, in a radical shift, Japan’s staid Big Three are plowing into exotic terrain, from Saharan Africa to the former Soviet Union to the scorching plains of southern India.

They are determined not to repeat the mistakes of a decade ago, when they were late to the party in China, and where they have since trailed rivals like Volkswagen and General Motors. They have been particularly quick to expand in India, a nation of 1.1 billion that is just beginning its automotive revolution, and that many call the world’s next megamarket after China.

The aggressive moves by traditionally cautious automakers are the latest signpost that the epicenter of the global auto industry is shifting increasingly from California to somewhere between Canton and Calcutta. The shift is also yet another sign of the waning centrality of the United States to the global economy.

Speaking at an annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday in Yokohama, Nissan’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, said that surging prices for raw materials would force car companies to raise prices — but that the economic malaise afflicting the United States and Japan would make it harder to increase sales in the face of higher prices.

So places with rapidly escalating demand — like India, Brazil, Russia and China — will be more important than ever. “We intend to take full advantage of growth in emerging markets,” Mr. Ghosn said.

“These developing markets used to be an afterthought” for Japanese automakers, said Hirofumi Yokoi, an analyst in Tokyo for CSM Worldwide, the auto market research company. “Now they are the industry’s future.”

According to CSM, vehicle sales in developing regions are expected to rise by about 10 million units over the next six years, contributing 76 percent of the industry’s entire global growth.

In the last seven years, Nissan’s vehicle sales in all developing nations have nearly tripled to 1 million units, out of the company’s 3.7 million vehicle sales last year.

“It used to be that Honda relied on its U.S. business, maybe too heavily,” said Honda’s president in India, Masahiro Takedagawa. “Nowadays, we are trying to spread the sources of profits more globally, beyond just one market.”

To be sure, the United States will remain the world’s biggest and richest market for the foreseeable future, contributing some 70 percent of the profits at most Japanese automakers. But Japan’s automakers need to offset what is shaping up to be one of the worst years for United States auto sales in more than a decade.

Breaking into far-flung emerging markets comes with its own hazards, especially when the Japanese carmakers’ most lethal competitive weapon is world-leading quality. This is especially true as they build factories in places where local parts suppliers are accustomed to lower standards — and where even electricity is unreliable.

In India, for instance, Nissan faces challenges from ensuring timely delivery of parts via half-finished roads clogged with trucks and bullock carts, to teaching its new workers and local suppliers exacting Japanese precepts like kaizen, or “constant improvement.” “The hardest part will be teaching the mindset and culture of kaizen,” said Shouhei Kimura, a former factory manager who now heads Nissan’s operations in India.

Still, in recent months, the big Japanese automakers have announced a slew of new factories in the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America.

Toyota, the biggest of the three — eyeing rapid deployment in less developed markets in its bid to unseat General Motors as the world’s largest carmaker — has opened a factory in Russia, is building a second Indian plant, and recently announced a new small car for India.

Honda is building a plant in Argentina and expanding production in Brazil and India. Honda, which has long sold motorcycles in India, has also expanded its automobile production capacity from 30,000 units a year three years ago to a planned 160,000 units by the end of next year.

Nissan is erecting factories in Russia, Morocco and China, as well as a second plant in Chennai to make commercial vehicles. It has teamed up in India with Bajaj Auto to build a $2,500 entry-level car, which will also compete with the Nano by Tata Motors.

Sales of cars and trucks are expected to double in India to 3.92 million by 2012, according to a forecast by the market research group Global Insight. India’s burgeoning middle class has embraced the automobile with such fervor that cars now clog the nation’s crumbling roads and outdated infrastructure, vying for space with taxis, scooters, wandering cows and even an occasional elephant.

The Japanese are not alone. Just in Chennai, Ford, BMW and Hyundai Motors of South Korea have all built factories, leading some locals to call the city the “Detroit of India.”

General Motors sells Chevrolet-branded vehicles in India. It has just one plant with a capacity of 85,000 vehicles a year, and a second plant with capacity for an additional 140,000 vehicles is scheduled to start production at the end of this year. Ford recently announced plans for a $500 million investment to double production at its Indian plant to 200,000 vehicles annually by 2010.

The large Japanese automakers also find themselves in the unaccustomed position of trying to catch their much smaller Japanese rival Suzuki, which became the largest car company in India by being one of the first to arrive, a quarter-century ago.

Concerns of falling behind are felt keenly at Nissan, which last year sold only 500 vehicles at its five dealerships in India. By 2012, the company hopes to increase that to more than 200,000 at 55 dealerships. In April, Nissan created a six-person marketing team for India that is considering steps like hiring Bollywood actors to appear in ads.

To head its push into India, Nissan tapped Mr. Kimura, a 29-year veteran who had been running the company’s model factory in Oppama, two hours outside Tokyo.

A thin man with a quick smile and an engineer’s habit of speaking with careful precision, Mr. Kimura says his main mission is to bring the highly efficient and flexible manufacturing methods that Nissan has perfected in places like Oppama to Chennai.

He plans to send Indian workers to Oppama for training in everything from how to tighten a bolt to the principles of quality control.

With Indian wages only about a tenth of wages in Japan, the Chennai factory will rely more on human labor than Oppama, where robots staff many assembly lines.

Mr. Kimura, who worked five years at Nissan’s plants in Tennessee, said he expected personal adjustments as well in Chennai, where he will move in September. He noted that the city had only 2 Japanese restaurants, versus 10 near Nissan’s Tennessee plants.

“There’s a big difference between Tamil Nadu and Tennessee,” said Mr. Kimura, referring to Chennai’s state.

The other big challenge has been finding Indian parts suppliers the Japanese can raise to their quality standards. One is Caparo India, the Indian unit of a British auto parts maker that manufacturers steel body panels and other metal parts.

Under the guidance of teams of engineers from Honda and Nissan, Caparo has built new assembly lines near Chennai using the latest Japanese and Taiwanese factory equipment. Caparo has also adopted kaizen management, with its colorful bar charts posted on factory walls showing individual employees’ goals for raising production and reducing errors, and whether those goals were met — for all to see.

“We are not as good as Japan. Far from it,” said Caparo’s chief executive in India, Deb Mukherji. “But the Japanese hold our hand, work with us on the shop floor, help us develop.”

Many here see enormous potential for the Japanese brands among Indians, many of whom became used to driving Nissans and Hondas while living abroad, and became accustomed to their quality and reliability.

“Expectations are getting higher here when it comes to cars,” said Sudhir Natarajan, who runs Nissan’s sole dealership in Chennai. “This is a chance for the Japanese.”

Bill Vlasic contributed reporting from Detroit.

2008年6月24日 星期二




G450X是寶馬首度推出的越野機車產品,寶馬高層在米蘭國際機車大展中公開宣布該車款引擎,是由台灣光陽以符合寶馬品質要求規範下代工生產。昨(24) 日光陽副總經理柯俊斌首度證實此事,至於出貨量與單價,柯俊斌則拒絕透露,僅表示第一批由光陽代工的引擎,已在5月開始出貨。









2008年6月23日 星期一

World Poll Finds Global Leadership Vacuum

World Poll Finds Global Leadership Vacuum

2008/06/24 09:47

World Poll Finds Global Leadership Vacuum

June 16, 2008

Bush Widely Mistrusted, But No Other Leader Does Much Better

Only UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Gets Moderately Positive Ratings

Click here to view Newsweek International's Cover Story About the Poll

Country-by-Country Summaries (PDF)
Questionnaire/methodology (PDF)
Press Release (PDF)
Full PDF Version

以下德國 之音的中文摘要 標題跛頗為媚俗时事风云 | 2008.06.19


2008年6月18日 星期三

戴明修煉 III"--"choose the paradigm of service."

戴明修煉 III"--"choose the paradigm of service."

翁"院長"客隨主便 Oprah speaks to Class of 2008






Oprah speaks to Class of 2008

Oprah Winfrey, who called out "O-Eight" to a cheering Class of 2008, delivered Stanford's Commencement address June 15 at Stanford Stadium. She encouraged graduates to trust their feelings, learn lessons from failures, and, in their life and careers, "choose the paradigm of service." 此為"戴明修煉 III"

To see Oprah's address in its entirety, please visit youtube.com/stanford. --推薦此精彩演說

分配法:中共民航總局 vs 交通部民航局



民航總局稱,初期仍將以國際、東方、南方、海南、廈門、上海等六家航空公司作為承運公司,之後再視市場需求,進行班次、承載人數和航點數量的調整。民航總 局也規定,原則上國航、海航從北京起飛,東航、上航從上海浦東機場出發,南航從廣州起飛,廈航從廈門起飛。對於從南京出發的航空公司,則未限制。

【記者楊文琪/台北報導】交通部民航局昨(17)日邀集五家國籍航空公司,協調兩岸周末包機18班的飛航模式,因遠航遭停止營業處分不得加入營運,決定將 遠航的三個班次交由華信、復興、立榮、華航、長榮輪流使用,各業者每周輪流加飛一班,也就是每周有三家業者各飛四班、兩家各飛三班。



昨天在民航局召開的包機協調會議,因遠航無緣加入,18 班無法均分,民航局原本希望華航、長榮兩大集團各增加一班、復興增加一班,只要申請飛航上海航點的總班次不超過九班,完全開放給業者自由申請。





Shake It Up 求大幅變革


年1月﹐手機巨頭諾基亞公司(Nokia Corp.)把自己弄了個措手不及。


這一重組令諾基亞得以更多地關注在其業務中日漸重頭的軟件和服務。曾在諾基亞擔任策略主管、就新的公司結構向管理團隊提供建議的科索寧(Mikko Kosonen)說﹐這樣的安排也故意造就了一個不穩定的架構﹐鼓勵兩大團隊互相挑戰。


科索寧說﹐這種既有壓力又有合作的情況旨在“讓整個團隊保持清醒的頭腦。”他最近與法國楓丹白露的Insead商學院教授伊夫‧多茨(Yves Doz)合著了一本有關戰略靈活性的書。科索寧說﹕“善泳者溺--除非你提前預防、保持警覺。”


管 理思想家們也在考慮這個問題。南加州大學(University of Southern California)商學院教授愛德華‧勞勒(Edward Lawler)說﹐公司必須實現靈活性﹐以便迅速、經常地改變方向。勞勒說﹕“你不能指望能有風平浪靜的時候。”2006年﹐勞勒與南加州大學的研究員克 里斯多福‧渥利(Christopher Worley)合著了《促進變革》(Built to Change)一書。

渥利說 Capital One Financial Corp.就是一家擅長應變的公司。這家信用卡發行商曾經對自己的員工表示﹕職位描述是暫時的。許多其他公司就不是那麼擅長應變﹕據渥利和勞勒以及諮詢公 司Booz & Co.最近進行的一項調查﹐548位美國大公司的高管給公司的應變力打出的平均分為2.87分(滿分為5分)。

為 了完成“Fast Strategy”一書﹐多茲和科索寧花了三年時間採訪諾基亞、國際商業機器公司(IBM)和德國軟件製造商SAP AG.等公司的管理人員。他們得出的一個結論是﹐公司需要增加壓力並促進合作﹐才能應變求變。一個建議﹕給管理人員制定表面上互相矛盾的目標。法國汽車製 造商雷諾公司(Renault SA)就是這樣做的﹐它讓大獲成功的Twingo汽車的開發團隊降低其成本、同時提高質量。

多茲和科索寧 說﹐無法適應變化的公司可能會發現﹐隨著時間的推移﹐管理層的最佳方法可能會變得有害。比如說﹐大多數公司都會為新項目選擇有很強經驗的領導人﹐但這份經 驗正好也可能讓他們不那麼願意接受新觀念﹐或是對自己的能力太過自信。為了避免這一點﹐兩位作者建議將經驗豐富的老手與擁有全新觀點的新手或外行搭配。


20 世紀60年代﹐諾基亞進入電信行業﹐隨後又在90年代轉向手機。1998年﹐諾基亞成為全球市場份額最大的手機製造商﹐但該公司卻把業務負責人進行了調換 ﹐將手機業務的負責人調任一個新風險投資團隊﹐並將網絡部門的負責人調到手機業務上來。時任諾基亞策略主管的科索寧說﹐這番調整打破了公司內部長久以來的 條塊分割﹐令管理人員的觀念一新。

一些革新付出了高昂代價。諾基亞2004年的重組創建了新的營銷和研究部門﹐令一部分習慣於掌控這些職 能的企業領導人受挫﹐4位頂級管理人員因此離開了諾基亞。分析師們表示﹐該公司錯過了一些重要的手機潮流﹐如翻蓋手機的興起令諾基亞在2004年丟掉了美 國市場龍頭老大的位置。

2006年年中﹐新任首席執行長康培凱(Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo)領導下的管理團隊向多茲和時任內部顧問的科索寧問及讓公司保持警覺的其他方法。除了將手機業務分成硬件和軟件兩大塊﹐諾基亞還創建了 一個負責營銷和物流的部門﹐另外還有一個指導策略和長期研究的部門。科索寧說﹐這令高層管理人員在成功的道路上進行更多的合作。


Phred DvorakIn

Experts Have a Message for Managers: Shake It Up

In January, cellphone giant Nokia Corp. threw itself off balance.

The Finnish company had previously divided its cellphone business into three groups based on market segments: consumer phones, feature-heavy smart phones and business phones. Instead, Nokia executives carved the cellphone unit into two functional groups: those developing the phones themselves and those creating its growing software-and-services offerings.

The reorganization allowed Nokia to focus more attention on software and services, an increasingly important part of its business. It also created an organization that is 'unstable by design,' because the two units are encouraged to challenge each other, says Mikko Kosonen, a former Nokia strategy chief who advised the executive team on the new corporate structure.

One potential friction point: whether Nokia's software should be reserved for the company's cellphones or marketed to other hardware makers, a question with the potential to affect the profits each unit can make. But units no longer set their own financial targets, one of many tactics that force executives to resolve their differences rather than fight.

That mix of tension and collaboration is designed to 'keep the organization awake,' says Mr. Kosonen, who recently authored a book on strategic agility with Yves Doz, a professor at the Insead business school in Fontainebleau, France. 'The very things that make you great will kill you -- unless you take medicine to stay agile,' says Mr. Kosonen.

Nokia's reorganization highlights a growing challenge for companies: how to continually prepare for change -- even when things seem to be working well.

Management thinkers are considering the issue as well. Edward Lawler, a business professor at the University of Southern California, says companies have to build in the ability to switch directions quickly and often. 'You can't look for periods of calm water,' says Mr. Lawler, who in 2006 co-authored 'Built to Change' with USC researcher Christopher Worley.

Mr. Worley points to Capital One Financial Corp. as a company that is good at change; for a time, the credit-card issuer told workers that job descriptions are temporary. Many other companies aren't so good at it: A group of 548 senior managers at big U.S. companies rated their firms' abilities to change an average of 2.87 on a scale of 5, according to a recent survey by Messrs. Worley and Lawler and consulting company Booz & Co.

For their book 'Fast Strategy,' Messrs. Doz and Kosonen spent three years interviewing managers at Nokia and other companies, such as International Business Machines Corp. and German software maker SAP AG. One conclusion is that companies need to promote tension as well as cooperation in order to keep themselves open and able to change. A suggestion: Give managers seemingly contradictory goals, as French car maker Renault SA did when it told developers of its successful Twingo car to both lower costs and boost quality.

Companies that don't adapt may find that management's best practices turn toxic with time, Messrs. Doz and Kosonen say. For instance, most companies choose leaders with strong track records for new projects, but that very experience can make them less open to new ideas or too confident of their abilities. To avoid that, the authors recommend teaming veterans with newcomers or outsiders with fresh perspectives.

Nokia, which started in the mid-1800s as a paper mill, has a history of reinventing itself, even when times are good.

It moved into telecommunications in the 1960s, then shifted to mobile phones in the 1990s. In 1998, the year Nokia became the world's biggest cellphone maker by market share, the company rotated its business heads into new posts, moving the mobile-phone chief to a new-ventures group, and the head of the networks unit into mobile phones. The rotation broke down longstanding corporate factions and freshened managers' views, says Mr. Kosonen, who was strategy chief at the time.

Some shake-ups were costly. Four top executives left Nokia after a 2004 reorganization that created new marketing and research divisions, frustrating some business leaders who used to control those functions. Analysts said the company had missed some key cellphone trends, like a move to clamshell phones that in 2004 cost Nokia its No. 1 spot in the U.S. market.

In mid-2006, the executive team under new CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo asked Messrs. Doz and Kosonen, then an internal adviser, for other ways to keep the company on its toes. Besides splitting its cellphone hardware and software businesses, Nokia created another unit to handle marketing and logistics and a fourth to direct strategy and long-term research. That made top managers even more dependent on one another for success, says Mr. Kosonen.

Mr. Kallasvuo also introduced some tension: He didn't tell other executives what role they'd play in the new organization until a few weeks before Nokia announced the changes.

Phred DvorakIn

2008年6月15日 星期日

Guidelines for Bloggers

The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs

freewheel, free-wheeling

Published: June 16, 2008

The Associated Press, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, said that it will, for the first time, attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright.

The A.P.’s effort to impose some guidelines on the free-wheeling blogosphere, where extensive quoting and even copying of entire news articles is common, may offer a prominent definition of the important but vague doctrine of “fair use,” which holds that copyright owners cannot ban others from using small bits of their works under some circumstances. For example, a book reviewer is allowed to quote passages from the work without permission from the publisher.

Fair use has become an essential concept to many bloggers, who often quote portions of articles before discussing them. The A.P., a cooperative owned by 1,500 daily newspapers, including The New York Times, provides written articles and broadcast material to thousands of news organizations and Web sites that pay to use them.

Last week, The A.P. took an unusually strict position against quotation of its work, sending a letter to the Drudge Retort asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.

On Saturday, The A.P. retreated. Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of The A.P., said in an interview that the news organization had decided that its letter to the Drudge Retort was “heavy-handed” and that The A.P. was going to rethink its policies toward bloggers.

The quick about-face came, he said, because a number of well-known bloggers started criticizing its policy, claiming it would undercut the active discussion of the news that rages on sites, big and small, across the Internet.

The Drudge Retort was initially started as a left-leaning parody of the much larger Drudge Report, run by the conservative muckraker Matt Drudge. In recent years, the Drudge Retort has become more of a social news site, similar to sites like Digg, in which members post links to news articles for others to comment on.

But Rogers Cadenhead, the owner of the Drudge Retort and several other Web sites, said the issue goes far beyond one site. “There are millions of people sharing links to news articles on blogs, message boards and sites like Digg. If The A.P. has concerns that go all the way down to one or two sentences of quoting, they need to tell people what they think is legal and where the boundaries are.”

On Friday, The A.P. issued a statement defending its action, saying it was going to challenge blog postings containing excerpts of A.P. articles “when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste.” An A.P. spokesman declined Friday to further explain the association’s position.

After that, however, the news association convened a meeting of its executives at which it decided to suspend its efforts to challenge blogs until it creates a more thoughtful standard.

“We don’t want to cast a pall over the blogosphere by being heavy-handed, so we have to figure out a better and more positive way to do this,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Kennedy said the company was going to meet with representatives of the Media Bloggers Association, a trade group, and others. He said he hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so that guidelines can be released soon.

Still, Mr. Kennedy said that the organization has not withdrawn its request that Drudge Retort remove the seven items. And he said that he still believes that it is more appropriate for blogs to use short summaries of A.P. articles rather than direct quotations, even short ones.

“Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see,” he said. “It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context.”

Even if The A.P. sets standards, bloggers could choose to use more content than its standards permit, and then The A.P. would have to decide whether to take legal action against them. One important legal test of whether an excerpt exceeds fair use is if it causes financial harm to the copyright owner.

“The principal question is whether the excerpt is a substitute for the story, or some established adaptation of the story,” said Timothy Wu, a professor at the Columbia Law School. Mr. Wu said that the case is not clear-cut, but he believes that The A.P. is likely to lose a court case to assert a claim on that issue.

“It’s hard to see how the Drudge Retort ‘first few lines’ is a substitute for the story,” Mr. Wu said.

Mr. Kennedy argued, however, that The Associated Press believes that in some cases, the essence of an article can be encapsulated in very few words.

“As content creators, we firmly believe that everything we create, from video footage all the way down to a structured headline, is creative content that has value,” he said.

But he also said that the association hopes that it will not have to test this theory in court.

“We are not trying to sue bloggers,” Mr. Kennedy said. “That would be the rough equivalent of suing grandma and the kids for stealing music. That is not what we are trying to do.”

bottom-up creative systems?

Mr. Ambani’s vision is to turn India’s weakness on its head. If manufacturing remains small-scale and fragmented, let it stay that way, he says. “The next big thing is how do you create manufacturing with decentralized employment,” he says. “The Chinese have got very disciplined top-down systems. We have our bottom-up creative systems.”

He mentions products like handmade leather sandals from the Sugar Belt a few hours south of Mumbai, tie-dyed Bandhani saris from Gujarat, artisanal pottery, clothes, jewelry and the like. These wares would be produced in rural areas, sometimes in a villager’s own home. Reliance would forgo manufacturing them and instead teach residents what to make, gather the wares from disparate villages, oversee quality and market and distribute the products.

This is yet another sense in which Mr. Ambani, the most unlikely of Gandhians, is vaguely Gandhian. Mr. Gandhi was famous for his passion for small-scale rural production, symbolized by the spinning wheel. (It is, of course, unlikely that Mr. Gandhi would have endorsed Mr. Ambani’s plan to profit on such goods.)

“How do you really bring about, in a country of a billion people, the individuality of every single individual?” Mr. Ambani asks. “How do you make sure that you create systems that empower everybody and bring them to their true potential? This is what actually Gandhi taught us.”

“The optimistic part to me,” he adds, “is that now these goals look achievable.”

Given such passions, why not enter the political arena?

“I think I can do much, much more in my particular job,” he replies.

Mukesh Ambani,Reliance Industries

Indian to the Core, and an Oligarch

2008年6月13日 星期五

Safety Starts at the Top

Op-Ed Contributor

Safety Starts at the Top

Published: June 12, 2008

Brookline, Mass.

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Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

IT’S still not clear what caused the two recent crane accidents in New York City, which killed nine people. Across the country, dozens die each year in similar accidents: 72 workers in 2006 alone, the most recent year for which federal figures are available. Yet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been sitting on crane-safety regulations that could prevent more deaths.

sit on sth (DELAY) phrasal verb INFORMAL
to delay taking action about something:
The company has been sitting on my letter for weeks without dealing with my complaint.

As I watched the news coverage of the second of the crane accidents last month, I felt sick to my stomach.

In 2003, OSHA hired me to bring together union and industry representatives to update federal crane and derrick regulations. The existing regulations on crane safety were created in 1971 and have not been significantly revised since then. Everyone agreed that the current regulations are archaic and fail to address the daily hazards faced by construction workers.

From July 2003 to July 2004, representatives of labor unions, crane manufacturers, crane operators, contractors, crane rental companies, builders, crane owners, billboard installers, insurance companies, electrical power line owners and safety experts met to discuss virtually all hazards associated with cranes — and how to prevent them. The deliberations were governed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which meant that the public could attend the sessions and address the representatives.

The group reached consensus on a set of revised crane standards. OSHA officials participated in the negotiations and contributed their expertise in writing enforceable regulations. According to OSHA’s analysis, these standards would prevent 37 to 48 worker deaths per year. The draft regulations are about 120 pages long, and include important new requirements like the testing and certification of crane operators and the oversight of crane assembly and disassembly.

From the first day of deliberations — in accordance with the process, called negotiated rulemaking — the parties operated under this assumption: If this balanced group of stakeholders and the government could agree on a standard, then OSHA would publish it in the Federal Register as its proposed rule. After OSHA publishes a draft rule, the public has 60 days to comment before the final rule is published and becomes law.

Having conducted 15 negotiated rulemakings for five federal agencies, I expected OSHA to publish the rule in 2006. Since the conclusion of the negotiations in 2004, two OSHA administrators have said that the revised crane standard is a priority.

For nearly four years, those of us involved in the negotiations have hoped that the power of an industry-union consensus and plain good sense would prevail, perhaps with some prodding. Just days before the March crane accident in New York, representatives of the group that developed these safety regulations wrote to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and strongly urged her to “ensure this standard and its publication receive the immediate attention it requires.”

Later that month, OSHA said the proposed standard was expected to be published in August. But in May, Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, informed administrative agencies that after June 1 no proposed rules were to be published except under “extraordinary” circumstances. Mr. Bolten also said that no draft rules could be made final after Nov. 1.

This means the nation will not have more protective crane standards for years unless the administrator of OSHA, Edwin G. Foulke Jr., requests, and the White House approves, an “extraordinary” exception for publication of the proposed cranes and derricks standard. When a new president takes office in January, his new appointees in the Labor Department would want to review these standards before taking any action. If they made changes to the draft regulations, the negotiations may have to be reopened.

In a speech to the American Society of Safety Engineers in June 2006, Mr. Foulke told the audience that his appointment to OSHA by President Bush was his destiny. Destiny now calls. Mr. Foulke must request, and if necessary demand, an exception to the June 1 deadline for publishing the proposed cranes and derricks standard and the Nov. 1 deadline for making it final.

Susan Podziba is a public policy mediator.

2008年6月9日 星期一

CEO 與治國

當時 剛出版H. A. Simon的管理行為學-- 原書名 Administrative Behavior
原探討行政管理之行為....Simon晚年談經濟學 也說過它可以從政治學學習
另一方面 Deming, W. Edwards 的著作之副標題為 "產官學界一體適用" (2000). The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education - 2nd Edition.


http://www.cdnews.com.tw 2008-06-10 07:49:48

 台灣新生報10日社論指出,去年底當選南韓新總統的李明博,是公司CEO出身,在高票當選南韓總統後成為亞洲政治新偶像,他喊出「CEO治國」 的口號成為國際政治話題;就職時民意支持度有六成的李明博,執政百日,聲望跌到只賸二成,先是內閣考慮總辭,接著李明博高階幕僚準備掛冠,以扛起政治責 任,CEO是否能治國面臨考驗。




 九萬兆???上台二十天,考驗嚴峻,油價調整、肥料漲價、百物蠢動,再加上閣員言行也出了點紕漏,立即遭到在野黨以放大鏡檢視,以南韓李明博在競選時 提出「七四七」口號為例,由於馬英九也曾開出「六三三」的支票,如今兩國預定目標達成都出現困擾,而有南韓CEO治國方式,套在馬劉體制上的現象,造成新 政府治國能力受到懷疑。

 CEO治理公司姿態不能軟,且看最近國內頭號企業鴻海開股東會的場景:一位股東多次發言,董事長郭台銘就按捺不住脾氣,大聲怒斥「Shutup (閉嘴)!」表示不歡迎「沒有內容、沒有建設性的意見。」更說:「如果沒信心,可以賣股票。」還說:「我選產業、選人才、選技術、選策略伙伴,也要選股 東。」甚至嗆聲:「這樣的股東我不要!」



 李明博明知美國是狂牛病疫區,仍同意美國牛肉進口,正如他所說:「擔心美國牛肉安全,不要買就好了嘛!」;以CEO觀點,只要同意美國牛肉就可 以完成簽約達成目標,至於美國牛肉賣不賣得出去或是民眾吃不吃並不重要,而且如果民眾夠聰明,就不要吃;這個觀點談生意可以,治國就有問題。

 CEO治國,視人民為股東或員工,認為只要國家獲利,沒什麼不可以做,可是卻忘了,公司可以選股東,國家卻不可以選人民,李明博治理公司或許是 稱職的CEO,但是他成為總統後,忽視民意就是不稱職的總統;我國劉內閣初上任,就被譏諷道歉已多達七次,若將之視為政府對人民聲音的回應,相對於CEO 的傲慢與強勢,我們寧願聽到政府的歉意。

2008年6月6日 星期五

Lecture 1: Confucian Ways

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Confucian Ways: Transcript


SUE LAWLEY: Hello and welcome to the British Library in London. Sometimes called the "nation's memory", it houses millions of valuable items, including Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook, and the National Sound Archive. It also houses the oldest book in the world, which was printed in 868 AD in China. This Chinese connection makes it an appropriate place in which to start this year's Reith Lectures. Our subject on this, their 60th anniversary, is China; and our lecturer, a man steeped in knowledge of this vast country, which of course in two months time plays host to the Olympic Games and is currently struggling to overcome the aftermath of a terrifying earthquake.

The title of the lectures is 'Chinese Vistas'. China's breathtaking economic growth over the last twenty-five years has transformed it into a great power. At the same time, for many people in the West its extraordinary past makes it an object of suspicion and mistrust. But there can be no doubt that it's a country which will have a significant influence over all of our lives in the years to come. In these lectures, we'll be exploring how it works and what makes it tick. Our guide is a man who knows China very well indeed. He's Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and is recognised as one of the foremost scholars of Chinese civilisation from the 16th century to the present day. "To understand China today", he says, "you have to understand its past."

In his first lecture, he's going back two and a half thousand years to Confucius, a man whose thoughts and ideas permeate the fabric of his country and make him still relevant to the China of today. The first lecture is called Confucian Ways. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 60th anniversary BBC Reith lecturer: Jonathan Spence.


JONATHAN SPENCE: Well thank you for that warm welcome. It's a very special honour to be invited to give the Reith Lectures for me, especially in this year of 2008 when the series is celebrating its 60th birthday. To complete a cycle of sixty years is considered especially joyful in China. Only one emperor is officially acknowledged in Chinese histories as having lived to see his reign enter a second cycle of sixty years. That was the ruler of China called K'ang-hsi (Kangxi) who reigned from 1661 to 1722, a sixty-one year span. So awesome was this achievement of K'ang-hsi (Kangxi) that his long-lived grandson decided to abdicate the throne in the sixtieth year of his reign so that he would not tarnish his grandfather's record. This act of abnegation was seen at the time as an admirable manifestation of the virtue of filial piety. It was of course noted at the time, though not publicly criticised, that the grandson who so nobly gave up his throne refused to give up any power (LAUGHTER) and reigned several years more - nameless, as it might be said. I can only hope that it is auspicious to entitle these 60th birthday Reith Lectures 'Chinese Vistas'. By using this phrase, I hope to direct our thoughts to the long view that China represents rather than focusing exclusively on the various problems and opportunities that China confronts at the present time. And where better to start such a venture than in the British Library with its immense holdings of Asian books and manuscripts?

In these four lectures, I will explore different aspects of China's long history, each of which has a different kind of tale to tell. The first lecture, today, we will be looking at Confucius in three guises: Confucius the man; and Confucius as the eternal teacher; and Confucius as an occasional villain. In the second lecture, we will focus on the intersections between China and Britain through trade and language across a span of three hundred years. In the third lecture, we will explore the many ways that the American Dream, as it is sometimes termed, was both boosted and undercut by different forces in China. And in the fourth and final lecture, we will prepare for the upcoming Olympics by exploring the Chinese changing perceptions of the body, from earliest times to the present.

As I was reflecting recently on the sixty years that have passed since the first Reith lecture in 1948, I was struck by the thought that it was especially apposite that the first Reith lecture was given by Bertrand Russell. Russell had lived for six months in China, from late 1920 into 1921, and he had the good fortune to be there at a time of cosmopolitan intellectual ferment that has rarely been replicated in China before or since.

In terms of Chinese time, the sixty year span of the Reith Lectures' existence has encompassed the entire life of Maoist China. In 1948, the future of China's fate was still in doubt and only in 1949 were the last Nationalist troops of Chiang Kai-shek's armies routed and forced to retire to Taiwan as Mao, from a rostrum atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing, declared the founding of the People's Republic. Whereas now, in 2008, at the very end of this cycle, Maoist doctrine seems a fragmented and largely antiquated relic, still invoked to some extent by China's Communist leaders but in the public gaze almost eclipsed by visions from a distant past. While the Little Red Book of Mao's sayings was in every Chinese hand in the years of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the mass bestseller in China of the last few years has been a contemporary rendering and commentary on the Analects of Confucius with sales at the present time which exceed six million copies. But in the sphere of outreach education, the trumpeted news is not Mao's Revolution, but rather the wave of Confucian institutes for teaching Chinese language and culture that China is now setting up in many foreign lands. A recent Chinese government handout has cited the establishment of one hundred and twenty Confucius institutes in fifty different countries. In the UK, there are currently ten. And in just the last few months in the United States, I visited Confucius institutes in states of the union as different as North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas and Rhode Island. Many, many more are on the way.

The question that arises is an obvious one: why Confucius? Is Confucius in some sense a replacement for Mao? If so, what on earth does that mean? Just in the space of this sixty year cycle, has China leapfrogged back into its own past? What are the Confucian ways the Chinese now seem to be seeking? A historical reprise here, it seems to me, can offer us the first of our four vistas.

Confucius was a historically verifiable person, born in 551 BC, who died in 479 BC at the age of 72. He lived most of his life in the state of Lu in what today is known as Shandong Province. He was not an aristocrat, but rather a member of the scholar or professional class who managed to become a mid-level bureaucrat. He loved music and poetry, loved history and the practice of the rites, and he sought to define and practice the art of ruling. He spent fourteen of his years in wondering and only had a few fleeting years in which to practice what he preached. By most conventional standards, he might be considered a failure. Those who would have most vehemently denied that charge were a handful of young men with political aspirations who chose to study with him for varying lengths of time anywhere from a few months to several years. At various times and places, these student disciples - if we may call them that - recalled different conversations with Confucius, and either they or their own later students entered a mixture of his sayings into the fragmentary text, which is known as the Analects. These discussions on politics, morality, duty, deportment, ritual propriety and social and family responsibility are as close to Confucius's own words as we can come. Though he did not write them down himself, the words that comprise the Analects constitute a coherent view of the world as seen by especially acute eyes; and some two thousand four hundred years later, the Analects remain at the core of what we might call a Confucian canon.

Even from this brief discussion, we can see that Confucius is a most unlikely figure to be made the centre of veneration. He did not have conventional leadership qualities, and his resonance - to me at least - comes from his lack of grandstanding; his constant awareness of his own shortcomings; his rejection of dogmatism; and his flashes of dry wit. These qualities, mixed with an ongoing patience with the hasty questions of the young, and his determination to help them think rather than force their adherence to a particular point of view. Few other world figures, I think, could have phrased their life goals in the disarming yet proud way that Confucius did, as recorded in the Analects. And this celebrated passage, known widely in China, just goes as follows:

At fifteen, I set my heart on learning. At thirty, I found my balance through the rites. At forty, I was free from doubts about myself. At fifty, I understood what heaven intended me to do. At sixty, I was attuned to what I heard. At seventy, I followed with my heart what my heart desired without overstepping the line.

These six stages of life for Confucius were clearly moral stages in which the need to strive at different levels was confronted and conquered. And of course his six stages are worlds away from Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man where growth and the path to age and death are seen in terms of physical fluorescence and decay. Confucius is concerned with intellectual motion in his charting of our life's course. At fifteen, he tells us, he sets his heart on learning because he has already learned and absorbed so much of the history and poetry from the past. At thirty, he finds his balance through the rites that bring order and meaning to people's relations with each other and with their rulers rather than the rights - R.I.G.H.T.S - as we now view them in terms of our freedom to act according to our own inclinations. At forty, Confucius felt free from doubts because he was beginning to understand the purpose of his enquiries into the moral world and the wellsprings of purposive social action. He was fifty when he came to sense what heaven intended him to do. This was not a judgement about religion for this was heaven as a compelling force beyond interpretation, a silent pointer to the past and the future. At sixty, Confucius felt attuned to what he heard, as striving diminished; and at seventy to achieve one's innermost goal without further pressures or insecurities. How rich that seemed. How good an end to a long life.

The period in which Confucius lived was called the Spring and Autumn Period, and it was alive with intellectual ferment. At the same time, it was a harsh world in which a shrinking number of states competed viciously among themselves for hegemony. Most of his life, Confucius had been what we might now call a student of politics and he had few illusions about being able to curb humans of their obsessions. Indeed, many passages in the Analects show him struggling with the question of when to put one's own lifetime of hard won experience in the service of a ruler whom you know to be immoral or a ruler who is too lazy or stupid to think through the consequences of his actions. In the centuries after Confucius's death, many other schools of thought grew and flourished for varying periods of time. Some directly disagreed with him while others created arguments from completely different perspectives. The protracted period of warfare came to a temporary end in 221 BC with the unification of China under the harsh rule of the Qin (Ch'in)Dynasty. The Qin (Ch'in) founder believed in the equalising power of coercion and of legal codification, and under his severe rule the moral arguments of the Confucian thinkers seemed thin and irrelevant. Yet after the Qin (Ch'in) Emperor's death, the Analects of Confucius, along with other works by Confucius' intellectual precursors and descendents, now gradually came to constitute a kind of canon, constantly expanded by learned commentary. And with the increasing standardisation of China's written language and the growth of a class of trained bureaucrats, these works were constantly copied and circulated and gave a kind of undergirding to the shape of China's governance across time. From this sprang the practice of using the accumulated texts from the past as the basis for a standard examination curriculum that could be used as a filtering device for checking the intellectual skills of candidates for bureaucratic or military appointment.

By the 12th century AD, something approximating a state Confucianism was in place and over time this came to encapsulate certain general truths that had not figured prominently in the original Analects. For example, now included under this broad definition of Confucian thought were hostility to or the demeaning of women, a rigid and inflexible system of family hierarchies, contempt for trade and capital accumulation, support of extraordinarily harsh punishments, a slavish dedication to outmoded rituals of obedience and deference, and a pattern of sycophantic response to the demands of central imperial power.

It was not until the late 16th century that a concept of a Confucian mode of thought began to percolate into the West. The initial source of this information were the Jesuit Catholic missionaries who first entered China in the 1580s and managed to learn the Chinese language and to make both friends and converts among the Chinese intellectual elite. They soon discovered the complexity of the Chinese admiration for Confucius and were forced to confront the knotty problem of whether the so-called worship of Confucius conducted in the state schools that prepared students for the advanced examinations constituted worship in a theological sense or were merely an expression of homage to an outstanding individual from China's remote past. They faced parallel problems in determining the nature of the ancestor worship that was conducted in shrines to be found even in modest Chinese homes and in redefining the exact nature of sacrifices to heaven and earth that were conducted at the correct ritual moments by China's rulers.

It was in the 1680s that a new kind of Chinese appeared on the intellectual scene in Europe. That was young Chinese who were very often well trained in Latin by Jesuit teachers and brought their knowledge of Latin and their native language back to Europe, usually in conjunction with the visit of one of the Jesuit fathers. One of these I'm most interested in is called Shen Fo-Tsung. And Shen arrived in fact in London in 1687, bringing with him a copy of a very precious document at that time: a copy of Confucius' Analects translated completely (this time) into Latin. And once that book circulated and the Latin edition was reviewed in various learned journals of the time, we in Europe had a chance to really now get a kind of fix on what this belief was all about.

This version of the Analects, read and digested by many, included among the readers Leibniz and, later, Voltaire; and, thus, the importance of this on later Western philosophical thinking was immense. And some of this burden of translation and scattering of the word came from the 19th century onwards through Protestant missionaries who then began a major translation exercise, the largest ever attempted, into the whole Confucian canon as it was included in the first four major books and then the five longer commentarial books from the Confucian era. And these themselves tumbled over into the state ideology of China and were finally rejected in China itself by 1911 when the last dynasty came to an end. Though not, I should mention, until there had been a fairly strong attempt to incorporate Confucianism as China's state religion. And it was in the turmoil of events that took place following the collapse of the last dynasty - the foundation of a republic, the attack on the Confucian belief system and the search for new Western meaning to curb onto China's own structure - it was that world that Russell moved into in the 1920s. It was an extraordinary time and was the inheritance, if you like, of a vast period of history. And it is to these stories that I'll be returning in the future lectures, including some discussion of the way that the state persecution of Confucius was carried over into the People's Republic of China after 1949; was sharpened intensely in the period of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 76; and then, in this strange transmigration as it were, has re-entered the discourse in China as these Confucius institutes and the resurrection of classical studies of difficult Confucian texts have once more taken a stronghold in the People's Republic in the period after the death of Deng Xiaoping as Mao's successor. Thank you very much.


SUE LAWLEY: Professor Spence, thank you very much indeed. I'd now like to bring in the audience for questions and comments. And I'd ask you to keep them pretty concise, if you would, and resist giving lectures of your own in the interest of reflecting as many different views as possible. I'm going to start by calling in Zhang Lifen who's a Chinese journalist based in London and is Editor of the Financial Times Chinese language website. Zhang Lifen?

ZHANG LIFEN: In the past three decades, China has been embarking upon perhaps the greatest wealth creation movement in human history. What does Confucius say about making money and wealth (LAUGHTER) and what might he say today about the growing wealth gap and the social disparities in China today? Thank you.

JONATHAN SPENCE: Thank you. Well that's the first time I've been asked to speak for the sage. (LAUGHTER) So let's try. I think the central answer would be that Confucius was not against the making of money. He was interested in the rules that should go with the making of money and he felt that the pursuit of profit itself could never be ultimately as important morally and internally as the pursuit of virtue and integrity. And we also know that one of Confucius' favourite - I call them student disciples - one of his favourites, Zi Gong was from a commercial family and was himself a merchant trader. And Confucius praised this young disciple as saying that the making of money and the commercial world was a good way of sharpening the wits and getting you to understand other points of view.

SUE LAWLEY: But I thought, Jonathan, you mentioned during the course of your lecture that there was... Confucians anyway had a contempt for trade and the accumulation...

JONATHAN SPENCE: (over) Yes. I said that when they slowly began to be revised, as our thinking about Confucius got simplified and speeded up - which was in fact after really the 12th century, the period of Zhou Xi for the Chinese here - then these new aspects of Confucianism took on these traits. But in fact Confucius himself, to answer the question, going back to those original documents, we do not find a contempt of trade.

SUE LAWLEY: Quite convenient that Confucians today don't frown on conspicuous wealth, I think. Let me call in Rana Mitter. He's a lecturer in modern Chinese history and politics at Oxford and the author of several books on 20th century China. Dr Mitter?

RANA MITTER: It seems to those of us who look at China today that it's fuelled by two or three systems of thought that seem at first glance mutually contradictory. I mean the reappearance of Confucianism reminds us that Confucianism looks back to a golden age in the past; whereas also modern China is fuelled by both the remnants of Communism, a progressive looking system of thought, and of course this new marketised, privatised economy, which also derives very much from modern assumptions. What's the compatibility of these seemingly contradictory systems of thought that underpin China today?

JONATHAN SPENCE: I'm not sure that they can be reconciled. It seems to me a highly complicated mix. Of the three, the Confucian side is more on the aesthetic and the intellectual side, and this learning is really something that I think many people thought would have vanished in the People's Republic. What does the leadership really think of this, who are the Confucian experts in the leadership itself is opaque to me. I don't know who knows these texts.

SUE LAWLEY: (over) And why are they encouraging … why are they encouraging I think is really the point...

JONATHAN SPENCE: Well why are they encouraging?

SUE LAWLEY: ...a belief in Confucianism?

JONATHAN SPENCE: Yes. It seems to me that there has been now a realisation in China of how much of China's precious past the Chinese destroyed themselves. I think Confucius means pride in your own past, an attempt to reassess past burdens and promise of the country. And the Chinese Communist government gets credit now for re-establishing these particular values.

SUE LAWLEY: Let me call back in Rana Mitter because I think what I sense behind your question was a suggestion that maybe the Chinese government, we cynics or sceptics might say, are using it as a means of control because you know Communism has failed, they don't want capitalism. Perhaps Confucianism fills a gap.

RANA MITTER: I mean certainly the fact that the current leadership under President Hu Jintao talks about "a harmonious society" brings to mind a Confucian rhetoric. I guess the direct question I'd want to put back though is is it meaningful for us in the West to say China is a Confucian society?

JONATHAN SPENCE: I would not say this was a Confucian society. I would say it's a society where many more people are reading difficult Confucian texts than were a few years ago. What is the government doing about this? Is it sort of hypocritical or artificial in some way? Maybe it is, maybe it has some connections with a harmonious society. But Confucius lived in a really riven society with extraordinary levels of violence and difficulty in everyday life, so to read the Analects and have them … you know read them aloud at a Cabinet meeting or something would have an extraordinary effect. (LAUGHTER) I don't know how they would be ultimately handled. I think it's a grand question and I think it hasn't been solved yet.

SUE LAWLEY: But if Confucianism weren't there for the encouraging on the part of the Chinese government, then the need for the Chinese people to have something to fill that moral vacuum...


SUE LAWLEY: … might be filled by perhaps less desirable ideologies like Western ideologies. Not least Christianity, for example. And we have on the front row here Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. Your question, Cardinal?

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Professor Spence, when Pope Benedict wrote last year to Catholics in China, he called on the state to respect authentic religious freedom. I'd like to know how you would describe a Confucian understanding of authentic religious freedom and, in the context of your lecture, what interpretation might be placed on that by the current leadership in China?

JONATHAN SPENCE: That's difficult. (LAUGHTER) I think the government finds this an opportunity. It wants to reach out, I think, to those who are practising Catholics in China, but it still wants to keep a strong bureaucratic hold. And it might from that build a kind of institutional control that's even stronger than in the present, so I think the Pope is going to have a hard time convincing the Chinese to change their attitude about this kind of religious belief.

SUE LAWLEY: The Pope is rather intent on doing that, isn't he, Cardinal?


SUE LAWLEY: But how many millions of unofficial Catholics do you think there are worshipping in China?

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Oh well, I think there are a huge number and I think they're going to increase in years to come.

JONATHAN SPENCE: There are meant to be many millions, many millions.

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: But I think what Pope Benedict is trying to encourage is a sense where there is a space within the great China for religious liberty, especially for Christians, who have an authority. I think the trouble is that there's an authority outside China which they don't really like.

JONATHAN SPENCE: They don't like at all. (CARDINAL LAUGHS)

SUE LAWLEY: Called the Vatican?

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Well you've said it. You're right. (LAUGHTER) So I think we'll just have to wait and see. But I do think that in a way Christianity and Christians in China, whether Catholic or other Christian denominations, there's an opportunity for them now which they didn't have before.

JONATHAN SPENCE: Yes, practice of different forms of worship is much more widely spread. But at the same time, there are maybe tens of millions of Catholics who are practising in so to speak an unofficial way, an underground way. But your point is absolutely well taken that this government in China, as all the previous ones, have been extraordinarily alert to the problem of underground religious groupings and their dangers to the state.

SUE LAWLEY: Can I just take time out to ask the Cardinal. The Pope did say back in 2006 that he might go to the Beijing Olympics. Do you think he will?

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Well I think he very much wants to go to China, just as his predecessor Pope John Paul. It was one of his great ambitions.

SUE LAWLEY: But is he going to?

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Is he going to? Well, again, that depends on the government in China. They have to say you will be welcome. If he is welcome, I think Pope Benedict will go.

JONATHAN SPENCE: I think it could be said by the government, as it was said to President Nixon in a difficult period of time, (LAUGHTER) and it opened up things quite remarkably. It's possible sometimes to say something fresh and invigorating and there could be an extraordinary effect. There could also be a complicated backlash from elements of the church that the party's not sure how to control.

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR: Well I shall encourage Pope Benedict to go. (LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN SPENCE: Yes, I would certainly, absolutely.

SUE LAWLEY: Let me... I see Lord Ashdown, Paddy Ashdown, a fluent Mandarin speaker, as we know, sitting on the front row there.

LORD ASHDOWN: (greeting in Mandarin)

SUE LAWLEY: A quick point?

LORD ASHDOWN: Professor Spence, I wonder if I could tempt you into contemporary comment and even a little bit of prediction. As China now faces the challenge - and it was referred to earlier - of how do they socially democratise after having economically liberalised, what is it that will fill that unifying space, that culture (and later I suppose Maoism as a form of that culture) fill to unify the nation?

JONATHAN SPENCE: The debate is so focused now on how on earth can this generation of leaders pass on peacefully to the next succession of leaders the power they hold at the moment in China without gaining some other source of legitimacy. They've got to do this. But the vacuum has mainly been a move away from rigorous Maoist tenets to much looser kind of free market tenets and a more overt reliance on the law as generated from the Communist Party centre and a very weak constitution. How can this endure?

LORD ASHDOWN: If I may, I mean you accept there is then a vacuum...


LORD ASHDOWN: … which previously things like Confucianism might have filled and yet we don't have it... ??

JONATHAN SPENCE: (over) It might have done. And for some Chinese, for some Chinese I think it probably is not a vacuum in a Communist sense. I mean people still have some elements of faith or belief and hold onto some of the things that might have been too simply dismissed as just Maoisms.

SUE LAWLEY: I can take a quick comment here.

CORINNA-BARBARA FRANCIS: Corinna-Barbara Francis. I'm from Amnesty International. I research on China. If we can talk about an international, global system, one of the bases of that is the idea of universality - of universality of rights, of universality of obligations as well.


CORINNA-BARBARA FRANCIS: Do you have any sense whether this revival of Confucianism in China will have any impact on China's acceptance of this international idea of universality of human rights, for instance?

JONATHAN SPENCE: I would assume that some of this is going to come through market structures and credit structures and shared economic growth goals. It might even be shared like they were talking about the earthquake: shared humanitarian values and China's willingness not only to receive but to give as well.

SUE LAWLEY: But implicit in the question, I think, was that you know it's an autocracy; there is a top down way of governing going on. I think that's probably the question, isn't it: how far should we compromise what we believe should happen in terms of religious freedom or human rights and social freedoms in order to accommodate China as it moves into taking its place in the modern world?

JONATHAN SPENCE: This is such an incredibly … (LAUGHTER) No, it's an unbelievably difficult … difficult problem.

SUE LAWLEY: No, I know...

JONATHAN SPENCE: And I'm trying to think about you know problems of shared or mutuality among human rights, deciding what rights we have to interfere with other countries. I mean I find this a hard problem. And it's not just that individual Western countries do have you know a complete monopoly over certain forms of virtue. (LAUGHTER) It depends how you … it depends how you assess the courage. I mean there's unbelievable courage among many young Chinese … well Chinese of all ages, trying to use the law in China and use the constitution that there is in China to stop these particularistic abuses, but certainly to use the law at present to redress wrongs against the local party structure is very definitely to risk imprisonment and worse. But there is a kind of battle being joined, I think, here - a legal battle about rights, human rights and possibilities at least of acting as a sort of ratified defender of people when you truly believe they've been wronged very, very seriously.

SUE LAWLEY: I see a few more questions here, but I would...

JONATHAN SPENCE: Yes. If they're going to stay this difficult, we can take... (LAUGHTER) ... we can maybe have an extension.

SUE LAWLEY: I'd love to hear if there are any Chinese voices out there anywhere. If you'd like to put up your hand just to make a quick comment. But in the meantime, I'd like to go to the Archbishop of Canterbury no less who's sitting on the front row, Dr Rowan Williams, who went on an official visit to China a couple of years ago, didn't you?

DR ROWAN WILLIAMS: That's right and the contacts I've kept up since then. But one of the things which struck me there was that we were not talking just about a moral vacuum in general, but a vacuum in what was once before the Cultural Revolution essentially something which guaranteed everyone's welfare. In the absence of that is quite a development of small local NGO's, a volunteer ethos beginning to grow, civil society beginning to spring up. But my question really is how all of that volunteer ethos with its inevitably pluralist assumptions, how that sits with a Confucian approach to society?

JONATHAN SPENCE: We find traces of it very early in China, strong traces of most people being left free to do entirely you know their own work on their own land. This is a rural vision in the early Chinese text. But there is an important caveat; that a certain amount of the shared productive capacity among farmers, for instance, has to go to the state in order to make this freedom possible. The NGO's, to leap forward some twenty-five hundred years - I know for instance those who've been active in AIDS research and prevention, of those who've given all kinds of pro bono legal assistance, and these are really among the heroes I think of contemporary China. The courage you need to do this is considerable and the damage to your family can be remediable. That's a powerful vision. The key fact that in China the extraordinary disequilibrium of income goes with enormous freedom in terms of startup companies and so on, but again - as the headlines keep reminding us - the conditions in such sort of startup environments can be much worse for workers than they would be in an old-fashioned state run Maoist steel plant. So from this might come a kind of vision of economic activity that would let more room you know for individual conscience, change in curriculum in the schools. All of these would be part. They make me more positive, I must say, when I think about the range of things being attempted.

SUE LAWLEY: Jonathan, we're getting a little pressed for time, so I've got a couple of questioners who have been having their hands up for some time. Jo Glanville back there. Jo Glanville is Editor of Index on Censorship. That's the magazine, as we know, which champions the cause of free expression across the world.

GLANVILLE: Thank you. Professor Spence, I'd just like to bring the subject back to human rights and to ask whether there's likely to be any more space for free expression in a Confucian China or whether it would just be exchanging one form of authoritarianism for another?

JONATHAN SPENCE: My point I think I was trying to make is that there is no absolutely clear sort of practical, structured way that Confucian belief need or indeed can be used you know to completely control a state and control all expression. But Confucius was very, very conscious of the dangers of speaking out and that to me is very interesting and is maybe a kind of presentist echo. There's a huge backlog, if history's any use to us here, there is a very strong potential backlog in China of deeply intelligent questioners and very courageous questioners and we needn't worry that that's going to stop.

SUE LAWLEY: I'm going to call in for a last question now. I see him sitting out there. John Simpson, the BBC's World Affairs Editor.

JOHN SIMPSON: I've noticed in talking to some quite senior Chinese officials that people are increasingly now talking about the state as the servant of the people instead of the people as the servant of the state. And yet in the last couple of months, we've seen things which for a Western country would be pretty minor actually - demonstrations about Tibet, for instance - yet we've seen how nervous the Chinese authorities have become in the last couple of months as the Olympics get closer. How do we relate these kind of things - the idea that people should be looked after properly and the state should serve them, and at the same time the state should get really upset if the system is shaken?

JONATHAN SPENCE: Well I think again this is as hard as all the other questions have been. (LAUGHTER) How do we deal with this? How do we think this through? I think for the current leadership at least, this is kind of one thing at a time. Our moods change rapidly, so that for instance the Tibetan mood that we were in, many of us, you know the outrageous behaviour and so on, was softened in a sense by the earthquake and human compassion.

SUE LAWLEY: You mentioned to me in a conversation we had earlier that the earthquake could be interpreted as a kind of nature being out of kilter and somehow a judgement on the Chinese government itself. How deep would that...

JONATHAN SPENCE: Well that takes us back to the worries long ago at the Tangshan earthquake where we do know that the government did try and stop a spreading of the news of the Tangshan earthquake in 76. I haven't checked the government's use of other earthquakes since, but I...

SUE LAWLEY: (over) But do you genuinely believe that that would be a feeling that's running...??

JONATHAN SPENCE: (over) Well the kind of thing that could lead to turmoil … If a great many things are going wrong in conjunction with a really serious natural catastrophe, that is a dangerous moment in any society. I do think that it's strongly dangerous in China and I was very, very struck at the New Year's holidays in China with over a hundred million people on the move when these huge blizzards brought a standstill to the train service and people were in a kind of desperation with their children, they were freezing, they had no food, there was no trace of a toilet, people were sick, had no trace of a hospital. The government seemed to be totally incompetent. And I as a historian, my mind was racing back to moments in 1813, 1797, 1642, 1585 and so on when some kind of conjunction of extraordinary incompetence by an autocratic regime linked to manifestation of nature as a force being really angry and out of kilter. These had been catastrophic for tens of thousands of people and in at least three cases had nearly brought down the government. This earthquake didn't happen to do that and it seems to me the authorities have tried to respond swiftly to a nightmarish situation. But the only truth I think to my remark there might be that given the scale of both the natural phenomenon and the governmental incompetence and the human suffering, that would be now, as in the past, an extraordinarily volatile and difficult moment for the Chinese to handle. Thank you.

SUE LAWLEY: And there we must leave it. Thank you all. Thank you very much to our hosts here in the British Library. Next week we'll be in Liverpool, home of Europe's oldest Chinese settlement, and there Professor Spence will be outlining the history of the relationships between Britain and China in his second lecture which he's called 'English Lessons'. But that's it for this week. For now, I'd like to thank Jonathan Spence very much for the Confucian way, dare I say, in which he dealt - here's your quote from your lecture - with great patience with our hasty questions. Jonathan Spence, thank you very much indeed. (APPLAUSE)


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Chinese Vistas

Professor Jonathan Spence

The 60th anniversary Reith Lectures take China as their subject, and are given by the eminent historian Professor Jonathan Spence.

Each of the lectures will be available after broadcast to listen again or download.

Lecture 1: Confucian Ways

Recorded at the British Library, London, broadcast on 03 June 2008.



臺 大前校長陳維昭教授、臺大教務總務學務三長及主任秘書、臺大醫學院、醫


















宏觀而開擴、因智慧而具創意。而領導人應具有如奇異公司總裁Jack Welch所









The city’s chief crane inspector was arrested on Friday and charged with taking bribes to allow cranes to pass inspection, the authorities said. He was also accused of taking money from a crane company that sought to ensure that its employees would pass the required licensing exam.


【黃敬平、蔡文英╱綜合報導】美國空軍陸續傳出核武烏龍事件,今年3月爆發2006年誤將核彈引信當直升機電池寄 到台灣、去年8月一架B-52轟炸機組員在不知情下,攜帶6枚裝有核彈頭的巡弋飛彈飛越美國等,美國防部長蓋茲前天表示,這兩大錯誤,動搖了美國控制核武 的信心,罕見地開除空軍文職和軍職兩首長──部長韋恩和參謀長莫斯利。

蓋茲(Robert Gates)表示,據國防部調查結果,誤將核彈頭引信寄到台灣一事,將有「為數可觀」將、校級人員面臨紀律懲處。他要求空軍部長韋恩(Michael Wynne)和空軍參謀長莫斯利(T. Michael Moseley)辭職,並已收到職呈。
蓋茲指,這兩起失誤是空軍對核子任務的標準和專注已敗壞的象徵,尤其4箱義勇兵洲際飛彈彈頭零件誤寄台灣事件讓他忍無可忍,因此決定「開鍘」辦人。他會向布希總統(George W.Bush)建議繼任人選。
蓋茲還要求國防部前部長斯勒辛格(James Schlesinger)率領特別小組,就整頓空軍組織和改善核武管控所需改革提出建議。