A group of German Union activists (about 15 persons) finished a two weeks visit in China (14-28 October 2006). They had participated in two workshops: "Experiences of 'social partnership' in industrial relations in German and Chinese factories in a capitalist mode of production" in Beijing and "Helping workers of factories - what can NGOs do from outside?" in Hong Kong (originally designed in Shenzhen, but later moved to Hong Kong).
The notion of "social partnership" in the German context was put in parallel with the concept of "harmonious society" in the China context. The participants from German trade unions are mostly from the left and hold critical viewpoints towards neo-liberal globalization.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress would go over the revised draft Labor Law in October. The 1st draft was released in March 2006 and went through a series of consultation. By July, the committee received 191,849 feedbacks. Although 65% comes from the workers, words from the commercial sectors seem to carry more weight. In the second draft of the Labor Law (in July), the article concerning the 1 year time limit of the dispatched workers have been removed. There are also some adjustments on the caculation of various compensations.
In the past seven days, Chinese fellow citizens in Mainland China have emptied their banks with an amount of 300 billion yuan or US$38 billion, a year-on-year rise of 14.5 percent and each contributed a per capita holiday spending of 250 yuan to celebrate the country's 57th anniversary.
The 7-day May and October holiday initiative triggered by then Premier Zhu about 10 years ago has proven a simple principle right - the total is much bigger than its arithmetic sum. The central rulers must now be happy as a bird. Curding bank loans to discourage such capital investment projects as real estate and infrastructure has to be compensated by an expansion of domestic consumption. Otherwise Premier Wen might not be able to deliver a soft touchdown report of the economy next year.