Interview

Xiaomei Huáng is a Chinese origin journalist graduated in journalism and holder of a master’s degree in communication of organizations to which I decided to interview for this work because it cost me a lot to find someone appropriate.

+ Why did you decide to study in Spain?

  • At first I tried to access to a very good Chinese university but could not because of the vast amount of competition there. The problem there is that in a thousand requests are accepted twenty or less.
  • That’s the reason why I came here.

+ What helped with the paperwork in Spain?

  • I came with the help of anagency dedicated to helping Chinese students to come to Spain to study.
  • They solve problems as requesting an university and when you get to Spain they locates you a language center, a student’s residence and arrange your papers.

+ Why do you think there are so many Chinese people studying a master’s degree in Spain?

  • Because it is very easy to apply for the master here, they do not have manyneeds and if you come from a bad Chinese university you can do it likewise.

It is easier to access than in China.

+ Do you know other ways to come from to Spain from China to study?

  • For example bystudent exchange or for a doctorate.

+ Why did you choose to study journalism?

  • I chose it overcoat to improve the Spanish.
  • I did the communication of organizations master’s degree because when I was in the career I realized that this was the area that I liked the most.
  • I also think that today it is easier to get a job with a master’s degree than only with an university’s degree.

+ What do you do when you finish studying here?

  • I want to go back to China and work in a multinational company.

+ Does Studying in Spain increases your chances of finding work?

  • Honestly I’m not sure but I think at least I can work in a company with different

+ What would you advise a Chinese student coming to Spain?

  • Is a very a good experience and the only bad thing is that youhave to come back to China.

 

In conclusion I like to say this cost me a lot becouse I couldn’t find any appropiate person for the interview and the person I have found couldn’t answer me more questions. I would have liked to make a more interesting and a bigger interview but this is the best I could find.

 

Interview realized by Carlos Diez Fortes

An approach towards the diplomatic world

On 12th of November, I had the pleasure to get to know and interview a very important member of South Korea diplomatic system whose name is Sung Hee. She is well known for being the second diplomat of South Korea assigned in Madrid, Spain.

20140527182913277_S9EFJD7N

                                                                                    A talk with the Advinsory Council of National Unification and the Consular Assistance

One of the most important and unforgettable phrases that she claimed during the interview was “the greatest virtue of a diplomat is for the country’s sake”. She has been active in the world of  diplomacy for almost 10 years.

As we were starting our interview, she began answering me with an affable humour, she said that South Korea has emerged as one of the major middle powers in the world. Moreover,  our country is also in the process of entering the club of the most developed countries, wishing that South Korea will have a very active role in the international community as a medium-sized power to coordinate its interests.

Sung Hee: “The greatest virtue of a diplomat is the love for the country’s sake”

In addition, I would like to add that in the case of Spain, since we established a diplomatic relationship between these two States, both have expanded on the exchanges and cooperation as traditional allies in diverse areas such as policy, economy and culture.

“It is noteworthy that our countries [Spain and South Korea] are similar in terms of population, to its economic scale, to the experience of having suffered a fratricidal civil war and to have achieved economic growth and democratisation in very little time. For this reason, we can say that in the future there is a large potential for progress in the bilateral relations between Korea and Spain.”says Hee.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 17.29.48

Talking about climate change, she insisted that despite South Korea was not obligated to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, South Korea  under the approval of its government has voluntarily announced its plan for the reduction of these gases.

“It is a problem that we need to resolve all together” she said with a serious face.

Regarding this, she mentioned that they have a global institute of green growth, as well as, an Intergovernmental organisation called “Green Climate Fund” which is located in the new Songdo district of Incheon in which it accepts to contribute not only economically but also with its political will to reduce the greenhouse gases.

Having changed the subject with a bit of tension, she responded me that South Korea has gone through many difficult situations with huge tensions. Its aim is to seek, prolongate, maintain the peace, apart from trying the reunification Korea.

“ For example, we have separated families in the North and the South, one of the priorities of our government is to maintain regular meetings between these families from the humanitarian point of view. Furthermore, we want to maintain the homogeneity between the both sides. With that in mind, we can reunite the two states, as well as, we are trying to strengthen the unity among the citizens of north and south.” says Hee.

Suddenly, Sung Hee suggested to continue our interview walking through the Embassy. As we were walking, I was too thrilled to visit for the first time in an embassy, and she started showing us the main place that she used to work.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 18.26.41.png

South Korea´s embassy in Madrid, Spain

“This is the place where I work on expediting some documents, certificates or sending new passports or even accidental events” says Hee

“Apart from those jobs, I also contributed doing drafts on speeches that Park Hee-Kwon, better known as the ambassador of South Korea in Spain, uses for his special events and activities” says proudly.

“Some of our readers, who are very interesting in Korean music or dramas, better known as “Korean wave” want to ask to our pretty and friendly ambassador how far is going to reach this popularity.”

“Well, who knows what is going to happen in the future, however, we are sure that nowadays especially K-pop is increasingly becoming more popular among different nationalities” says cheerfully.

I would like to continue saying that this positively affects to our public image and it is easier to get them to know our culture. Nevertheless, some people might think that the government is involved in improving the public image but it is not true, the ones who are immersed on this, being well known as the biggest private companies in South Korea such as S.M. Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Woolim Entertainment or YG Entertainment.

 

Written by Anna Wu Yang

Student of International Relations at UEM

Leer más de esta entrada

It is strongly possible that the newly elected Democratic party will change the lives of Myanmar people?

It is doubtful whether the newly elected NLD party is as democratic as it claims.

The Myanmar’s national elections for almost two decades have been internationally criticized for being fraudulent and the lack of transparency. For example, in 2010 The National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s main opposition party, boycotted the elections. This allowed the regime-backed up party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to win almost 80% of the contested seats.

However, the election held in 2012 met a higher standard of credibility. The NLD participated that year and won 43 out of the 44 seats it contested. And among the victors was Aung San Suu Kyi, founder of the NLD and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

9320

Source: Gokunming

In the most recent election thought, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in Myanmar after the general elections on 8 November. This year’s election has been referred to as ‘’the first truly free general election” in 25 years. Meaning that this was the first time the votes were conducted without “manipulating” the votes. Nonetheless, such statement is controversial as no one has the actual information about how many votes exactly the NLD party received.

Observers said that the election was reasonably fair but when the voter lists started to be published there seemed to have some inadequacies. That is, names of already deceased people appeared in the list. Furthermore, and in some violent areas voting was not taken place at all. Meanwhile, people in some rural areas were not allowed to vote and also Muslim Rohingyas in a largely Buddhist country have been considered stateless, non-persons ineligible to vote.

_84315243_hi028073978.jpg

Source: BBC

Furthermore, not all the seats of the parliament of Myanmar are up for grabs. The military-drafted constitution guarantees that 25% of the seats will be taken up by unelected military representatives and will be given the veto power if any changes will be presented in the constitution.  This draft has been named as the “disciplined democracy” by the Senior General, Min Aung Hlaing.

The first immediate question that comes into mind: How much power do Myanmar’s armed forces yield?

Let’s not forget though that the military force has been in charge since the 1962 and makes it doubtful whether they are willing to cede. If this turns out to be the case, then the NLD seems to be holding much less power than it may look from the distance. The fact that the Government does not have a complete power over the selected ministers in the Defense and the Home Affairs and Boarder Affairs cabinets is a huge flaw.

And while the NLD has such objectives in mind as to create more equal financial distributions between citizens, to end the war the wars that sapped Myanmar since the independence with the United Kingdom and to improve the infrastructure within the country. It is still questionable whether all these goals will be met.

Such conclusion comes to mind for two apparent reasons that have been mentioned above; either because of the military-drafted constitution, or because the Democratic Party is not all they seem to be. Nonetheless, the judgement of the possible outcomes should be withheld for now. But one thing is for sure, the Myanmar citizen lives are about to change id the NLD is successful and turns out to be as democratic as they declare.

China’s one-child policy has come to an end but it is debatable whether it will reshape the demographics

During the last week China has made a big decision by abolishing one of the most controversial law in China called “One child policy”.

China has decided on 29 of October to end-up with the one child policy Xinhua news agencies reported. It is well known to everyone that China has had a one-child policy since the 1980’s. Such regulation was forced upon the citizens in order to control the growth of the population below 1.2 billion and in order to abolish famine.

tumblr_inline_mtlz974NV71s40bop

Source: Architect T@work China

Data from the United Nations shows that population growth, has gone from about 15 per 1,000 people in 1980 to below 5.5 per 1,000 people todayFurthermore, the one-child policy is that it has led to a substantial gender imbalance in China. UN data reveals that there are currently 106 males for every 100 females in China – above the world total for the same measure (102) and well above nearly every other country in the world

While, to some extent, the communist parties decision to enforce such laws did make sense at the time, it did not change the fact that it restricted their fundamental rights to make their own decision. Furthermore, there were few cases reported where the women, in the most obvious way were tortured. For example, a 23-year old woman was forced to make abortion while being 7 months pregnant. While the involved parties were punished for their crime, it did not make the actual issue to disappear. That is, that such policy is extremely outdated, goes beyond the human rights and generates issues regarding the demographics of China.

In reality, the fertility rate has gone so low that the government of China has decided to abandon the one-child policy because it has affected the China’s economic growth to the point it has become immobile.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-03 a las 10.41.39

However, even if the couples now are allowed to have two children, it seems unlikely there will be ‘’baby-boom’’ simply because it is expensive to raise a child in China. The reasoning behind this is that the cost of the maintenance of one child is more expensive than 35 years ago, as well as, the currency. If the currency is compared with the one 5 years ago, it can be seen that  the yuan currency is worth less in euros. For example, 100 yuan was worth 10 euros but now it is worth only 6.5€.

Another reason is the fact that nowadays families don’t have enough time to raise children. As Mrs Xia who works for US firm GE Healthcare stated :

 “We would need to spend a lot of time on another baby, and I don’t think I have this kind of patience anymore“.

The society in general is more fixed on their quality of life and the fact that the cities are overcrowded and polluted does have an impact on making the decision.

Will this “new” friendship improve China´s economic situation?

The China’s president Xi Jinping arrived on 19th of October at Heathrow Airport in London for a four day visit to uphold their economic situation and to establish bilateral relations between China and the United Kingdom.
Source en.people. com

Source: en.people.com

It is the first time the president of China is visiting Britain since 2005 when Hu Jintao, the previous Chinese head of state, attended the Britain. However, Hu Jintao visit was met with such strident strikes, that it seems he swore off from the UK. Nevertheless, the Xi Jinping seems to have broken the silence between both nations and is trying to affirm a friendship with the UK in order to benefit the China’s economy and growth.

As we all are aware China hold great power when it comes to economy and trading business. This being said, it does not mean that China has not met its’ own downfall. According to BBC news, China’s economic growth has slowed down to 6.9 %. This evidently explains why on the 21st of October China signed multi-billion pound business deal with Britain.

Indicating the China’s need for establishing new connections because through such action their own population will uphold its’ power and even enhance it. And, of course, improve their statistics and lead them on reaching their own announced target.
It goes without the saying that the Britain’s representatives are not aware of this. Even the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond stated that ‘’ it’s very much in our national interest to engage with China but we do so with our eyes wide open,” and that they are planning on‘’ developing a mature relationship with the Chinese and that they know that we are looking not just to China but to many other countries for infrastructure investment in the UK.’

Furthermore, others experts from Chinese government said that China will grow 6.9 %this year even if it will have it´s own ´´ups and downs´´. The reason why is this happening is that some companies and individuals have failed investing in China´s economy, the Shanghai Securities News reported.

To achieve these aims, China and Britain is following a specific schedule:

Source The guardian

Source: The guardian

Tuesday 20 October

During the morning, The Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall have planned to greet them, after they will proceed to go to Buckingham Palace and at the same time, it will hold a protest because of the violation of human rights. Formerly, he will meet Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader to discuss about it. At late night, it will host by The Queen a banquet with some others illustrious people.

Wednesday 21 October

During the morning, Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the Imperial College of London with the chancellor of UK and the Prince Andrew.

Afterwards, Xi will meet William and Kate to celebrate the partnership of this two nations, and at the afternoon, The President of China will be attending at the UK-China business summit that it will be focus on investment, infrastructure and innovation.

Finally, at the end of the day, Xi will visit Huawei Technologies followed by a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor.

Thursday 22 October

During the following day, Xi will received a formal farewell from The Queen and Philip at Buckingham Palace. Later, he will visit a British satellite telecommunications company called Inmarsat following with a conference of the Confucius Institute done by University College London’s Institute of Education. Conclusively, they will attend a formal dinner with David Cameron and his wife before flying to Manchester City.

Friday 23 October

On his final day of state visit, Xi is scheduled to visit the Manchester City’s stadium with the company of the prime minister, this visit is going to be followed by a lunch at the Manchester town hall hosted by prestigious business representatives and the Mayor of Manchester. Afterwards, both leaders will attend an event at Manchester airport before the departure of the first Lady and president of China.

A SECOND LIFE FOR MEI LING LI

By TIMEA ESCOBAR OLLIVIER  JUNE 23, 2015

Mei Ling Li and her familly in front of the buffet of her restaurant

Mei Ling Li and her familly in front of the buffet of her restaurant

“I realize how lucky I’ve had in my life”

Mei Ling is a 25 year old immigrant originally from a modest village in southern China. Today she works in her restaurant, an Asian buffet in Madrid.

Mei Ling was born and raised in China with her four sisters and two parents in a house without running water or electricity. His father was a laborer and his mother a seamstress, allowing them to keep the family earning about $ 200 a month working 14 hours a day. He also had the good fortune to go to school and was among the best in class, she leaved school at 15. On leaving school Mei Ling helped at home, took care of her sisters and sometimes helped her mother in the sewing workshop when she was too tired. Despite the quiet life they had, Mei Ling wanted a better life, “I want to have my own room and not have to go to a well to drink.”

One day, his father suffered an accident at work and was fired. The situation of her familly was aggravating. Beeing 18 years, Mei Ling decided to leave home and go to look for work in Europe, as it was common thing in his province, and knew a family that was living in Madrid. Her parents had never left the village and were against, until the economic situation worsened, the family saw that  they didn’t have no choice. “I promised I would send them money every month and save for them to come.” They asked for some money to all residents and used their savings to pay for the trip, that was very long and tiring in bus as it came in. Upon arrival, he settled on the floor that had the family she knew in the outskirts of Madrid, and began working as a waitress in the restaurant where they working aswell. Quickly, the restaurant boss noticed that Mei Ling had potential. When the boss opened another restaurant, he appointed her as manager, earning enough to save money in addition to monthly send money to their parents. “Every month when I called my parents were very grateful for the efforts they made and they were very proud.”

After three years, Mei Ling could pay bus tickets to his parents and sisters and rent a small apartment on the outskirts. All family members except the youngest started working in the restaurant. They were happy to be finally reunited after three years of separation. “Being together maked us stronger.” And saving money, the family was able to open his own restaurant buffet with the family that helped Mei Ling. Today, the restaurant works well, and the youngest of the family goes to school. Mei Ling has her own room and bathroom “I am now happy with my family,” she smiles. I ask if she intends to return to China with the money she earned to make her business there, but she’s formal, not return, her life is here now, she has found a boyfriend, and friends. His parents think to return for their retirement,  because they have not been able to adapt just as well as their daughters.

This model of social promotion is common in Europe, most immigrants arrive young and save to send money to their parents or let them come, because they know that even if it’s hard and dangerous, the second life that offers immigration is not rejectable. Asians are the most who follow this familiar pattern, and you can check by the amount of Asian restaurants that are in all the cities of rich countries.

We All Can Do It!

The role of women in politics is something that has been disputed for many years and in the region of Asia-Pacific we have seen throughout the years some examples of the power that women have in politics. The first female ever to be head of government in the world was Sirinavo Barandike, president of Sri Lanka in 1960. Other women such as Corazon Aquino, mother of the current president of Philippines, and Prathiba Patil, were a fresh air for their countries, as being the first female president.

Margaret Chan - WHO Director General

Margaret Chan – WHO Director General

Sri Mulyani Indrawati - World Bank Manager Director

Sri Mulyani Indrawati – World Bank Manager Director

Nowadays we don’t see many women taking important roles in Asian policy, at the moment only one is head of an Asian state, Park Geun-hye of South Korea. Other countries, as Japan, are trying to improve and the current president wants to have 30% of women in the government by 2020. We can see protests similar to the Suffrage movement due to the lack of female representation in Asian governments.

On the other hand, since 1894 in New Zealand and 1919 in Australia, women have played an active role within their political systems. In New Zealand the movement started with Elizabeth Yates, Mayor of Onehunga a province of Auckland. She became the first female mayor of the British Empire. Respectively in Australia it started in 1919 with Grace Benny, however in 1921 Australia made a huge statement when Edith Cowen was elected as a member of parliament. Australia and New Zealand have since then paved the way for women in Asia to stand for parliamentary positions with key figures such as Julia Gillard, first female leader of the Australian labour party and the first female Prime Minister of Australia (2010 – 2013). Now in Australia we have seen Julia Bishop become the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a leading member of the Australian liberal party.

Although New Zealand has not been as active as Australia, Margaret Wilson, former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, is one of their key representatives of women in politics as well as a key figure for the New Zealand Labour Party.

We can see that the majority of female representation in Oceania comes for the left to central wings, showing a trend of the modernisation of the liberal politics, yet that the right is still somewhat male dominated. However the change that has taken place in these countries is a prime example of how Asia can change and educate women to become key members of parliament, changing their perspective.

Asia is perceived as a male dominated and chauvinistic continent where women are under represented. A region where we would never imagine women would have such important roles, both on a regional and an international level, since they have always been oppressed and their voice was never strong enough to make a change. Nowadays, women are “climbing the ranks”, making their way to the top. We find women not only in all sorts of high professional positions, such as diplomats, but also in the most influential humanitarian organizations in the world and in politics as we can see in South Korea or the Philippines. Now women will not be ignored, they now have a strong voice and due to the power many of them have they can finally make a difference and be “more influential than ever”.

We ALL can do it!

We ALL can do it!