Archive for May, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CRI / Sichuan Online: Will Yang Rui become another Zhao Pu?

Main Link: China Radio International (originally published by Sichuan Online), May 25, 2012

The Weibo message by Wang Rui, a host at CCTV’s English channel, triggered huge controversy. Last Wednesday, he wrote under his real-name account at Weibo that the public security office should clean out the foreign trash, behead the foreign snakes1), identify foreign spies, expel foreign shrews [or the shrew – the article’s wording leaves this open – JR]2), to shut those who demonized China up and to get them out [of the country].  Following that, an American living in China also posted a message, demanding that CCTV should dismiss Yang Rui.  A small number of foreigners, the Wall Street Journal and other Western media supported this demand. (Quoted from Huanqiu Shibao, May 24, 2012.)
中央电视台英语频道主持人杨锐的一条微博引来巨大争议。他在上周三通过其在微博的实名账户写道,公安局要清扫洋垃圾,斩首洋蛇头,识别洋间谍,赶走洋泼妇,让妖魔化中国的闭嘴滚蛋。一名在华美国人随后也在微博发帖,要求央视开除杨锐。少数在华外国人及《华尔街日报》等西方媒体支持这一要求。(5月24日《环球时报》)

A public figure spoke his opinion on public affairs, on a microblog, and was then referred to as “talking a lot of nonsense”, or being “absolutely faceless” [or without qualities] – isn’t it strange that merely for being a CCTV host, he must not express his innermost feelings? A CCTV host, too, is just a mortal. He, too, may express his own views. This has nothing to do with facelessness. This author would rather think that someone who speaks the truth is showing real character. Try to imagine: some years ago, when microblogging didn’t exist, could Yang Rui’s expression of dissatisfaction have triggered so much attention? It is only now that those lines appeared on Weibo that it caught many peoples’ attention, and therefore, netizens “turned a mole hill into a mountain”, blindly expanding the issue’s impact. As Yang’s work unit, CCTV can’t be too harsh, and appropriate freedom of speech must be given. If CCTV “raised hell” every time after being heavily criticized, who among the hosts would still dare to speak the truth?
作为一名公众人物,在微博上表达自己的言论被有些人指为“大放厥词”、“很没素质”,难道就因为他是央视主持人就不能表达内心的想法吗?央视主持人也是凡人,他也能表达自己的观点,这跟素质没有关系。笔者倒觉得一个人敢于说真话才是真正有素质的体现。试想一下,若是几年之前,微博还没有出现之时,杨锐表达一下自己的不满还会有这么多人注意吗?只是现在这句话出现在了微博之上,被很多人关注了,所以网友们便“小题大做”,盲目的扩大了事情的影响。央视作为杨锐的就职单位,也不能对他要求太过“苛刻”,适当的言论自由还是应该给的。如果央视也被众多的批评言论“煽风点火”了,那以后 “主持人”们谁还敢说真话了?

If this needs to be investigated or not, and he is blamed for acting inappropriately in his capacity [as a CCTV host], that Weibo message could affect CCTV’s image negatively. If we, ordinary people, published such a micropost, it wouldn’t cause such a dispute. This author believes that microposts are individual expression, unrelated to “ethnic discrimination” as stated by foreign media. There is only very few “foreign garbage”, and polite and civilized foreigners should not see this shoe as fitting to them.
如果这事非要追究,怪就怪他“身份”不当,发那样的微博可能会对央视的形象造成负面影响,要是我们这些普通人发这样一条微博就不会引起这么多的口舌是非了。笔者认为,微博是个人表达,与央视,更与外媒所称的“民族歧视”无关。“洋垃圾”只是少部分,有礼貌,讲文明的外国人请不要对号入座。

Maybe our “expecations” about public personalities are too high, that they should always be able to show us a positive, uplifting  face, and report “good” rather than “bad news”.  But outside the workplace, they live their own lives, too, and to blindly turn them into opinion leaders and to turn their opinions into mainstream opinion is wrong.
也许我们对公众关心的人物“期望”太高了,希望他们总能给我们传达积极向上的一面,“报喜不报忧”。但在工作之外,他们也是以个人的方式生活的,盲目的把他们作为意见领袖,把他们的观点作为主流观点,是错误的。

Language, however excited, should not startle compatriots. Yang Rui only referred to “foreign garbage”, not to all foreigners. One has to see the essence of the matter, and not dwell on the appearances. The case of a British man assaulting a Chinese woman in the street in Beijing, and the “resting-feet” passenger who spat dirty language  at a passenger in the row in front of him are those who Yang Rui attacked as “foreign garbage”. Yang also clarified his Weibo post in a media statement in that “after seeing those incidents, I called those foreigners ‘foreign garbage’, and I believe that when they violate Chinese law, they should be sanctioned by the law. I want to distinguish between them and the quiet majority in the foreign community who observe and respect the rules of Chinese culture and society. To identify those few garbage [people] helps to protect the reputation of decent Westerners.” His Weibo message of May 15 only had a function in reminding people that no matter if Western or Chinese people, neither were above the law.
语言不过激,不足以惊醒国人。何况杨锐只是针对“洋垃圾”,不是指所有外国人。要看到本质,不能只停留在表象。最近发生的北京街头欲对中国女子实施性侵害的英国籍男子以及不顾前排乘客感受口吐脏话的老外“翘脚哥”,才是杨锐抨击的“洋垃圾”。在周一他发给媒体的声明中,也明确地就其微博内容引发的争议进行了解释,“在看过这些事件后,我将这些外籍人士称作‘洋垃圾’,我认为如果他们违反了中国的法律,就应该受到法律的制裁。我想把他们与外国社区中那些遵守和尊重中国文化和社会规则的安静的大多数区别开来。找出这些洋垃圾可以有助于保护正派的西方人的名誉。” 他5月16日发布的微博只是想起提醒作用,表明无论是西方人还是中国人,都不能凌驾于法律之上。

Obviously, Yang Rui didn’t mean to attack foreigners. He only hoped that people would respect the law, that no special rights would be given to “foreign garbage”, that people would act as equals, and that immoral foreigners would be punished in accordance with the law. He also affirmed that “the majority of foreigners” were good people who “observe and respect the rules of Chinese culture and society”, and that with the expulsion of bad people, prejudices against all foreigners would be avoided.
显然杨锐没有攻击外国人的意思,只希望人们尊重法律,不要给“洋垃圾”特权,真正做到人人平等,给予不道德的外国人以法律的惩罚。而且他也肯定了外国人中的“大多数”是“遵守和尊重中国文化和社会规则的”好人,把坏人单独拎出来,也避免了人们对所有外国人产生偏见。

[The following paragraph may not be correctly translated – just a try – JR]

China [needs?]  more people with Yang Rui’s integrity. If he didn’t say the truth,  maybe there would be more radical compatriots, but we just don’t encourage extremists’ methods  to wake the common people with vain self-sacrifices. Up to now, the power of speech should be believed in.
中国应该多几个像杨锐这样正直的人。他不过是说了几句真话,可能还有更过激的国人,但是我们就不提倡那种极端的妄图以独自牺牲自己生命的方式来惊醒世人的做法了。要相信言论的力量,点到为止。

On April 11, 2012, well-known CCTV host Zhao Pu was the first to publish the inside gelatin story, and advised people not to eat yoghurt and jelly, which, for the moment, was a great stir. The micropost triggered concern about poisoned capsules and everyone could see that the “gelatin inside story” did exist. He spoke the facts, but with the result that he “disappeared” from the microblog and from television. Many netizens guess that he was “blacklisted”, but he only says that he won’t comment. Hard to believe that the mistake [in his case], too, was that he was a “CCTV host”? Maybe because of [something] somewhere within the “regulations”, words like these shouldn’t have come from his mouth.
2012年4月11日,央视著名主持人赵普率先在微博爆出明胶内幕,劝告人们不要再吃老酸奶和果冻,一时激起千层浪。此微博引发了各界对明胶乃至毒胶囊的关注,大家也可以看到,“明胶内幕”确有此事,他是实话实说,结果却从此从电视和微博中”消失”,不少网友猜测赵普被”封杀”,他自己却只表示“无可奉告”。难道这又错在了他是一名“央视主持人”?也许在“规定”中,这样的话不该从他嘴中出来。

The people wants to hear the truth. If Yang Rui becomes a second Zhao Pu, the people may become even more disappointed.
人民更想听到的是实话,如果杨锐成为第二个赵普,恐怕人民会很失望。

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Notes

1) “Snakeheads” would be the literal translation, but that is probably not what it meant in this context.
2) The “foreign shrew” (洋泼妇) is said to refer to Melissa Chan, until recently al-Jazeera‘s China correspondent, and 洋泼妇 has frequently been translated as “foreign bitch”. The translated article doesn’t refer to her specifically. What Yang really meant probably depends on his word power.
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Related

» Zhao Pu warns…, “Global Times”, April 9, 2012

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chinese Press Review: Independent Innovation Capacity, Selfless Help, and New Forms of International Security Culture

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Main Link 1: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 1)

The top headline at Enorth (Tianjin) is a Xinhua report on a politbureau meeting chaired by party and state chairman Hu Jintao on Monday.

Independent technological innovation capacity was at the meeting’s focus.

The meeting emphasized that to deepen the reform of the science and technology system, the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics needed to be held high, and under the ideological guidance of the Deng Xiaoping theory and the “Three Represents”, the concept of scientific development be thoroughly carried out and implemented. Great efforts needed to be made in the implementation of the national scientific and educational rejuvenation strategy, and a nation which is strong in terms of talents [...]
会议强调,深化科技体制改革,要高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,以邓小平理论和“三个代表”重要思想为指导,深入贯彻落实科学发展观,大力实施科教兴国战略和人才强国战略 [.....]

A solid foundation should be laid for China to enter the ranks of innovative countries by 2020, to achieve a society of comprehensive modest prosperity by then, and for China to become a global technological force by the 100th anniversary of New China.
[.....] 为2020年进入创新型国家行列、全面建成小康社会和新中国成立100年时成为世界科技强国奠定坚实基础。

Also emphasized was the strengthening of open sharing of scientific and technological achievements (强化科技资源开放共享) between all stakeholders in the process (research institutions and enterprises), and support for talents who had studied overseas, to start businesses and to innovate in China.

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Main Link 2: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 2)

Enorth’s second headline – also from Xinhua – is about the foreign ministry’s reaction to attempts by America and Japan to draw Pacific islands in to “block China”. Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin (刘为民) is quoted as saying that China was developing friendly and cooperative relations with the Pacific island nations to make active contributions in the promotion of regional stability, development and prosperity. China was happy about other countries developing friendly and cooperative relations with Pacific island countries, Liu said during a regular press conference on Monday. The Enorth/Xinhua article refers to a two-day summit held in Japan over the weekend, by Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda and Pacific leaders. (In an interview on Radio Australia, Derek Brien, Pacific Institute of Public Policy chief executive, was also asked if Japan was openly, overtly now is enlisting help to garner its support in the region in opposition to China’s. Brien referred to Japan’s role as that of a quiet player in the region, but suggested that whilst not named directly in the outcomes declaration it is evident that this renewed political and development cooperation measures are aimed at China’s growing influence, and particularly interesting coming out of this is the defence cooperation on the maritime security issues.)

Liu Weimin had been asked if he (or they, the foreign ministry) was worried that the relationship between China and the Pacific island nations could be affected.

A journalist asked: the 6th Japan-Pacific-island-Nations summit closed on May 26. There are analysts who believe that Japan and America want to draw the Pacific nations into a “blockade” of China. How does the Chinese side see this? Are there worries that Sino-Pacific relations could be affected? Japanese officials say that Chinese aid usually indicates China’s own interest, and leaves the recipients heavily indebted. What is China’s response [to that]?
第六届日本与太平洋岛国首脑会议26日闭幕,有分析认为,日美有意借此拉拢太平洋岛国“封锁”中国,中方对此有何评论?是否担心中国与太平洋岛国关系受到影响?日本官员称,中方援助往往旨在维护自身利益,使受援方背上<,中方有何回应?

Liu Weimin said that the Chinese side hopes that cooperation between the countries concerned would be beneficial to the promotion of the Asia-Pacific region’s joint development and prosperity. Liu Weimin said that China and the Pacific island nations belonged to the Asia-Pacific region, were developing countries, and both sides had a deep traditional friendship and broad common interests. The potential for the development of mutual benefit was great, and the prospects were vast.
刘为民表示,中方希望有关国家之间的合作有利于促进亚太地区的共同发展与繁荣。
刘为民说,中国与太平洋岛国同处亚太地区,都是发展中国家,双方有着深厚的传统友谊和广泛的共同利益,开展互利合作潜力大、前景广阔。

According to his explanations, relations between China and the Pacific island nations had developed smoothly, with frequent high-level diplomatic exchanges, trade and economic exchange and cooperation had continuously deepened, and in international affairs, good communication and coordination had been maintained. China did what was in its power to provide sincere and selfless assistance, helped the island nations to strengthen their own capacities to develop, to achieve the United Nations’ Millenium Development goals, which was welcomed by the people of the island nations’ peoples.
据他介绍,近年来,中国与有关岛国关系发展顺利,双方高层交往频繁,经贸等领域交流与合作不断深化,在国际地区事务中保持良好沟通与协调。中方坚持在力所能及范围内向岛国提供真诚无私的援助,帮助岛国增强自主发展能力,实现联合国千年发展目标,受到岛国人民的欢迎。

“Facts have shown that friendly cooperation and relations between China and the Pacific island nations have not only brought genuine mutual benefit, but have also made active contributions to regional stability, development, and prosperity”, Liu Weimin said.
“事实证明,中国与太平洋岛国发展友好合作关系不仅给双方带来了实实在在的利益,也为促进地区稳定、发展与繁荣作出了积极贡献。”刘为民说。

He said that China was happy about other countries developing friendly and cooperative relations with Pacific island countries, and wanted to continue to strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation with countries inside and outside [the region], to jointly promote regional peace, stability, and development.
他表示,中方乐见其他国家发展与太平洋岛国的友好合作关系,愿继续与各岛国和域内外有关国家加强沟通、协调与合作,共同促进地区和平、稳定和发展。

Five years are a long time in international affairs, but what Yang Danzhi (杨丹志) of China’s Academy of Social Science (CASS) wrote in 2007, about fostering a new form of security culture and a security community consciousness, is likely to contain some of the worries the foreign ministry spokesman had been asked, and replied to with the usual diplomatic formulae on Monday. Yang Danzhi is no diplomat, let alone a Chinese leader, but he is a member of the CCP. In his 2007 article, Yang set out from the Shangri-la Dialogue, which covers issues concerning Asia, America and Europe, rather than the Pacific, but Yang quickly got to mechanisms that would apply beyond the Shangri-la regions:

[...] Firstly, the holding of the Shangri-la Dialog helps to foster a new form of security culture and a security community consciousness. One important reasons for the difficulties in establishing multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region after WW2 was that in some countries, lingering historical hostility was hard to eliminate. The region lacked a common, clear security culture which would benefit cooperation, let alone the creation of a sense of security community. At the Shangri-la Dialog, high-ranking defense department officials from many American and European countries and non-governmental research institutions’ scholars can get together. European and American countries’ and Asian countries’ security concepts and even human rights concepts and concepts of sovereignty are communicated and bump into each other, which in itself is sort of a new breakthrough. It helps communication and understanding among countries, and to find common security interests.
At the Shangri-la Dialog, process, all sides can freely explain views and positions concerning Asia-Pacific security, and delegates from Western countries can’t impose their will on developing countries. At the same time, from the perspective of ease maintained among participants, given the non-official nature of the Shangri-la Dialog, its characteristics are similar to the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). It also shows the influence of a multilateral security cooperation pattern as advocated by Asian countries, particularly by ASEAN. [...]
[.....] 首先,香格里拉对话的举办,有助于在亚太地区培育新型的安全文化和安全共同体意识。二战结束以来,亚太地区难以建立多边合作机制的一个重要原因,就在于部分国家迟迟不能消除历史形成的敌意,区域内缺乏一种共同的、明确的、有益于合作的安全文化,更谈不上形成安全共同体意识。香格里拉对话能将亚洲、北美和欧洲诸多国家防务部门的高官及其他官方、民间研究机构的学者聚在一起。欧美国家与亚洲国家的安全理念甚至人权观和主权观在对话中沟通碰撞,本身就是一种新的突破。有助于各国相互沟通理解,找到共同的安全利益所在。在香格里拉对话进程中,各方可以自由的阐释对亚太安全的见解和主张,西方国家的代表不能将自己的意志强加给发展中国家;同时,从香格里拉对话所采取的非正式形式,以及保持对参与各方实际意义上的舒适度来看,显现出与ARF和CSCAP相近的特征,这也在一定程度上表明亚洲国家特别是东盟所倡导的多边安全合作模式和东盟的安全文化对亚太多边安全合作机制建设进程的影响力。[.....]

Not missing is the concept of democratic relations between states (and in 2007, a mention of American unilateralism, to which the Shangri-la Dialog would serve as a counter-model, is there, too):

[...] Thirdly, small and medium-sized countries in the Asia-Pacific region participate actively, which objectively helps to limit American unilateralism in the region, and to prevent big countries from manipulating the Asia-Pacific multilateral processes. and from a long-term perspective, it benefits the democratization of international relations in the Asia-Pacific region. [...] On the third Shangri-la Dialog former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong said in his keynote speech that America wasn’t just solving security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, but was itself also was part of the issues.
第三,亚太地区中小国家的积极参与,客观上有助于限制美国在亚太地区的单边主义行为,避免大国操纵亚太多边安全合作进程,从长远看有助于亚太地区国际关系的民主化。在2004年6月第三次香格里拉对话的主旨演讲中,新加坡前总理吴作栋指出,美国不仅解决地区内的安全问题,而且本身也是安全问题的一部分。

On the downside:

The Shangri-la Dialog has negative influences, too. This mainly manifests itself here:
To a certain extent, the Dialog is a result of the intervention and participation of big Western countries in Asia-Pacific security work. Western countries’ attitude in the Shangri-la dialog shows that they continuously try to realize and expand their own strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region, by interference and influence particularly on processes of building mechanisms of Asia-Pacific security cooperation. Multilateral security cooperation is only a tool to achieve own interests.
香格里拉对话的消极影响也同时存在,这主要表现在:首先,香格里拉对话在一定程度上是西方大国介入和参与亚太安全事务的产物。西方国家在香格里拉对话中的姿态表明:西方国家力图通过干预和影响亚太安全事务特别是影响亚太安全合作机制化进程,在亚太地区进一步实现和拓展自己的战略利益。多边安全合作只是其实现自身利益需求的手段。

After a long, partly historical review of British colonialism and American hegemony, Yang’s conclusion is that Western countries motivation for participating in the Shangri-la Dialog isn’t not only Asian-Pacific security, but to expand their own strategic interests to a maximum degree: 总体上看,西方国家参与香格里拉对话的动机并不仅仅是为了亚太地区的安全,而是为了最大限度的拓展自身的战略利益。And bilateralism such as between the U.S. and Japan or South Korea respectively, about solving problems with U.S. bases in Japan, and the North Korean issue – and that in 2006, such bilateral talks and agreements outnumbered the multilal ones, thus weakening multilateralism (2006年,对话参与国间的双边会议数量增加。这种双边主义的强势发展必然会导致亚太安全合作中多边主义的弱化,进而对亚太多边安全合作进程产生不利影响).

Alledged Western intentions or attempts to contain China, by spreading the China threat theory is the bad influence number one, from a Chinese point of view (首先,西方国家试图利用香格里拉对话作为宣传中国威胁论的新渠道,贯彻其遏制中国的战略意图). Bad influence number two, also from China’s perspective: ASEAN countries’ attempts to contain China (其次,东盟国家力图以香格里拉对话机制对我进行战略牵制。这无形中会对我国在亚太地区的安全环境产生不利影响). China’s rise had led to misgivings among small and medium-sized countries in the Asia-Pacific region. And thirdly, Taiwanese attempts to participate in the Shangri-la Dialog: after setbacks on the first- and second-track diplomacy stage, Taiwan had created a kind of third-track security diplomacy to internationalize the “Taiwan question” – drawing on exchanges with think tanks. Participation there had probably added to the Taiwan-independence forces’ “arrogance” (冷战后,台湾当局一直高度关注亚太多边安全合作,试图以官方身份参与亚太安全事务。陈水扁上台后,更力争使台湾问题国际化,为台独寻求更多的国际支持。在参与亚太地区的第一轨道和第二轨道外交受挫后,台湾甚至还自创所谓第三轨道的“亚太安全论坛”(APSF),为台湾军方高层人士和智库研究人员与国外从事亚太安全研究的学者共同讨论亚太安全搭建平台,在一定程度上助长了台独的气焰).

Indeed, the preface to Hung-mao Tien‘s and Tung-jen Cheng‘s (editors) “The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific”, Institute for National Policy Research, New York, 2000, page not identified, suggests that

[T]he primary purpose of this forum is to provide a distinctive new venue for multilateral discussion. It promises a high comfort level for ground-breaking dialogue, a broad definition of security, a high degree of inclusiveness, and new levels of original research and conceptualization. This new venue will fully incorporate into its deliberations Taiwan-based scholars and intellectual resources, which often are barred from other “track two” fora.

Yang Danzhi (still from his 2007 article):

Worse, Taiwanese defense officials had even been allowed to attend the Shangri-la Dialog, according to Yang’s paper. All the same, he comes to the conclusion that China should actively participate, and send higher-ranking officials as delegates than before, not least to dispel Western (media’s) doubts about China’s sincerity and transparency.

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Main Link 3: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 3)

Enorth’s third headline – also an article from Xinhua – is about a time table authored by the ministry of finance to make state budgets transparent to the public.

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Related

» Pacific Year, Every Year, The Australian, May 29, 2012
» The New Banker in Town, The Diplomat, April 5, 2011
» Try to engage China in joint projects, Lowy Institute, April 2011
» Hu: Make use of Monetary Squeeze, Jan 18, 2010

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Monday, May 28, 2012

The London School of Economics…

… is reportedly going to publish “a new and comprehensive ethics code” in June.  In a submission of May 11, Christopher Hughes, an LSE professor, warned that the school must avoid retreating on its commitment to reform its ethical approach. The LSE’s acceptance of about £400,000 from the Communist regime showed it had failed to learn from the scandal after it accepted a pledge of £1.5m from Saif al-Islam Gadaffi, son of the late Libyan dictator. Gaddafi jr’s pledge had led to former LSE director Howard Davies‘ resignation.

At the time however, the Gaddafi clan had become an increasingly unlikely source for future funding.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Heritage of Günter Grass – a Vision

Uneducated critics who worship only money (or markets) are making fun of Günter Grass‘ latest poem, the one about the EU and Greece, or Germany and Greece, or Merkel and Greece… That’s how an educated critic – a critic who praises the poem – criticized those who criticize the poem, the second one by Grass within weeks. It’s the educated critics who decide who is educated, and who is uneducated, of course.

If Grass continues to churn out poems at his current rate, not only the “uneducated” will lose interest. But a very educated team of class book editors will, years on, sit at a round table full of newspaper clippings, in a conference center, their foreheads furrowed, and curse the old master:

“Fuck – which one shall we take? Why are there no pictures added to the later ones? And when did he challenge himself last time?”

Don’t keep encouraging the old sage. His heritage is going to haunt you.

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Related

» What Must be Said, Guardian, April 5, 2012

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Ambassadors Abroad: Open House at the CCP Central Propaganda Department

The following is a translation of an article published by People’s Daily (online) on Friday. Quotes from the diplomats, plus their names, are re-translated from Chinese-language quotes within the People’s-Daily  article, and this may or may not reflect what they originally said. — JR

Main Link: People’s Daily online, May 25, 2012, 05:46

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Sincere Openness wins Whole-Hearted Praise — Open House at CCP Propaganda Department

- by Du Rong

真诚开放赢得真心赞许
——“走进中共中央宣传部”主题开放日侧记
本报记者  杜  榕

On May 24, the Central Propaganda Department at W Changan Road opened its doors and welcomed some special guests. At an open-house activity with the theme “Entering CCP Central Propaganda Department”, nearly sixty high-level diplomats stationed in China came in here for the first time, to have a look around, to have discussions and exchanges, and to understand the CCP’s work at theoretical learning, news dissemination, and at the building of ideological virtue.
5月24日,位于西长安街上的中宣部敞开大门,迎来了一批特殊的客人——以“走进中共中央宣传部”为主题的开放日活动在此举行,近60名驻华高级外交官首次走进这里,现场参观、座谈交流,“零距离”地了解中国共产党在理论学习、新闻宣传和思想道德建设等方面的工作。

Just in from their cars, some envoys merrily watched the buildings belonging to the Central Propaganda Department, and what made them even more expectant were the following “close contacts”. How does this department work? How does their work materialize in which fields? What are the qualities of the staff working here? …  This was of interest to all diplomatic envoys, but they also had a common expectation that “the Central Propaganda Department would, with a sincere, open attitude have exchanges with them, to get a better understanding of the CCP in these exchanges, and a better understanding of the relevant work in China”.
刚刚走下车,一些驻华使节就兴致勃勃地观察起中宣部院内的各个建筑,而更让他们期待的,是接下来将近3小时的“亲密接触”。这个部门是如何开展工作的?他们工作的成果体现在哪些方面?工作人员的能力素质如何?……每一个驻华使节都有自己最感兴趣的问题,但他们对于这次开放日活动却有一个共同的期待,“中宣部以一种真诚、开放的态度与我们交流,希望能够在交流中增进对中国共产党的了解,甚至进一步更好地理解中国的相关工作。”

[...]

Arranging and scripting “Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face”, coordinating major news disseminating activities, organizing and implementing “work at the grassroot level, changing the ways of doing things, and changing styles” activities, organizing and implementing activities to build spiritual civilization, organizing and coordinating large-scale art and literature activities, promoting cultural reform … In the central propaganda building, a variety of exhibits was on display and attracted many diplomats’ attention, and some fell over backwards (迫不及待) to take notes while listening and talking. Full of interest, they heard detailed accounts from comrades in the relevant departments, conscientiously dipped into theoretical writings by the Central Propaganda Department, some were interested in the recording of ongoing discussions, and some stopped at the newspaper and periodical showroom.
组织编写《理论热点面对面》、协调重大新闻宣传活动、组织开展“走基层、转作风、改文风”活动、组织开展精神文明创建活动、组织协调大型文艺活动、推动文化改革发展……在中宣部综合楼大厅内,展览内容精彩纷呈,吸引了众多驻华使节的关注,一些使节迫不及待地拿出纸笔,一边听讲解一边进行记录。而在各司局听取了有关负责同志详尽的介绍后,使节们更加兴致盎然,他们有的认真翻阅中宣部组织编写的理论书籍,有的对正在进行录制的座谈节目颇感兴趣,还有的在新闻刊物陈列室里驻足观看。

New Zealand’s ambassador Carl Worker, after watching the exhibition and listening to the introductions, told this reporter that the Central Propaganda Department is a very important department at the CCP, and what’s more, it is in charge of the important work of news dissemination, theory learning, the building of ideological virtue, and “coming here, I hope to understand the institutions at the Central Propaganda Department, the contents of work, how the work is done, so that we better understand the CCP and have better exchanges and interaction”.
新西兰驻华大使伍开文在看了展览、听了介绍后告诉记者,中宣部是中国共产党一个非常重要的部门,而且承担了新闻宣传、理论学习、思想道德建设等方面的重要工作,“这次来我最希望了解的就是中宣部的机构组成、工作内容,看看是如何开展工作的,这对于我们更好地了解中国共产党、更好地交流互动有很大的意义。”

At the Theory Office, to give the diplomats a deeper and intuitive impression, producers of the Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face television special reports explained how they centered their programs around hot and difficult issues that concerned society. The books produced during the past few years, television recordings, were there not just to be read by the diplomats, but also to take them home for closer studies. Vietnam’s Minister Counsellor Hoang Ngoc Vinh took more than ten books right away, saying that “in Vietnam, we have similar departments. These books and theories are significant and worth to learn from”.
在理论局,为了让驻华使节留下深刻且直观的印象,“理论热点面对面”电视专题片的制作修改团队来到了现场,直接展示如何围绕社会关注的热点难点问题制作电视专题片。同时,现场还摆放着近年来理论工作的数10套书籍、电视节目光盘,让驻华使节不仅可以翻阅,还可以带走作更深入的研究。越南驻华使馆公使黄玉荣一口气拿了十多本书,他说:“在越南我们也有类似的部门,这些书籍、理论很有借鉴意义,中宣部工作的方式、内容也值得学习。”

“May I ask who Lei Feng is”, Ethiopian deputy ambassador Ababi Demissie Sidelel asked the person in charge, after having listened to an introduction at the education department and feeling a bit confused. [...] After listening to the detailed and correct answer, the deputy ambassador’s doubts had been cleared, and he noddingly said: “Every country needs this kind of heroic person; this work is really important!”
“请问雷锋是什么人?”埃塞俄比亚驻华副大使阿巴比·德米思在宣传教育局听完介绍后感到有些困惑,向该局负责人提出了这个问题。  [ “雷锋是中国家喻户晓的全心全意为人民服务的楷模,他作为一名普通的中国人民解放军战士,在短暂的一生中助人无数,他的精神也代表着中国人的精神,因此我们广泛组织向雷锋同志学习的活动,希望他的精神能够代代传承。”]  详实准确的回答解开了副大使的疑惑,他频频点头说:“每个国家都需要这样的英雄人物,这项工作确实非常重要!”

After reading at the News Office’s The Party’s Historical Papers and Periodicals  and The Party’s Historical Papers and Periodicals at the newspaper and periodical showroom, an ambassador said with emotion: “Thank you very much for today’s activity, this was of great help to our understanding the Chinese media”. Seeing the public-opinion supervision work explanations, an envoy said: “In the past, we thought that food safety issues only existed in some small companies, but from the results of China’s public-opinion supervision we can see that  it is a universal issue, one of which the whole world must be vigilant and responsive. China’s public-opinion supervision has played a particularly important role.”
在看完了新闻局的“历史上的党报党刊陈列室”、“当代党报党刊陈列室”后,一位驻华使节感慨地说:“非常感谢今天的这个参观活动,这对我们了解中国的媒体有很大的帮助。”而看到对舆论监督工作的介绍后,有驻华使节说:“过去我们以为食品安全问题在一些小公司才有,但是从中国舆论监督的结果来看,这是一个具有普遍性的、全世界都需要警惕和应对的问题,中国的舆论监督确实发挥了特别重要的作用。”

[...]

To let the ambassadors truly understand the CCP’s propaganda work wasn’t only about the exhibition, but about the diplomats’ own queries: “Can the CCP make use of the new media to better understand the popular will?”, “Which challenges do you encounter in the fields of ideology and public opinion?”, “How does the Central Propaganda Department increase China’s cultural soft power?” ……. These questions, without exception, got a very good answer and explanation. Bangla Desh’s embassy’s Minister Counsellor 阿卜杜尔·莫塔拉布·沙克尔 said: “This visit to the Central Propaganda Department was impressive. The department does very good work in the fields of ideology and culture, news dissemination, theoretical research, etc.. It has also brought along a lot of convenience and service for the public, and displays a ruling party’s democratic, open, and progressive image. We are touched, and also very inspired, and hope that similar activities will follow.”
真正让驻华大使了解中国共产党的宣传工作的还不只是这些现场参观的内容,在最后的座谈交流环节,许多驻华大使提出了自己的疑问:“中国共产党是否会利用新媒体更好地了解民意?”“在思想舆论领域遇到了哪些挑战?”“中宣部是如何提升中国文化软实力的?”……这些问题无一例外都得到了很好的解答。孟加拉国驻华使馆公使阿卜杜尔·莫塔拉布·沙克尔说:“今天的中宣部之旅让人印象深刻,中宣部在思想文化、新闻宣传、理论研究等方面做得很好,同时也为民众带来了很多便利的服务,展现出一个民主、开放、进步的政党形象,我们很受感动,也很受启发,希望类似的交流活动能继续保持下去。”

Sincere communication, heart-to-heart talks, and frank encounters during this open-house activity, an open, transparent, harmonious and democratic Chinese Communist Party won the diplomats’ whole-hearted praise.
真诚沟通、倾心交流、坦诚面对,在中宣部的这个开放日,公开、透明、和谐、民主的中国共产党赢得了驻华使节的真心赞许。

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Related

» An Inconvenient Truth, Febr 28, 2012
» 怎么看房价过高 (How to view excessively high house prices), 理论热点面对面 (Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face), television program

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Victoria Nuland: Let’s Put it That Way

Daily news briefing, State Department, May 24

QUESTION: On China, you must have heard the new State Department directive to the Confucius Institute in the U.S. Could you explain to us, what is the purpose of this new directive?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, let me say that, as you know, the U.S. greatly values its people-to-people exchange with China. This was one of the centerpieces of the Secretary’s participation in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. She had a separate people-to-people exchange with State Councilor Liu and they got a chance to meet some American students and some Chinese students, and it was a great event.

This is also not about the Confucius Institutes themselves. It is simply about whether the right visa status was applied in these cases. When you have a J-1 education visa, there are two categories. There are J-1 visas if you are in kindergarten through high school, and there is a different category of J-1 visas if you are at university.

And there was some muddling and messing up, so – in these cases – so we’re going to sort these out. Nobody’s going to have to leave the country. It’s all going to get cleared up. But there was some confusion on the front end, so we’re going to fix it.

QUESTION: But in the directive, it said on all the current affected exchange visitors, they have to leave before June 30 this year. Is that the case?

MS. NULAND: My understanding is that we’re going to do our best to fix this without having anybody have to leave.

QUESTION: And finally –

MS. NULAND: That is my understanding.

QUESTION: — are you concerned about the Confucius Institute’s expansion in the U.S. as the –

MS. NULAND: Are we concerned about?

QUESTION: The Confucius Institute’s expansion in the U.S. as the strongest Chinese soft power?

MS. NULAND: No. This is something that we support. It’s part of the people-to-people understanding. We just want to make sure that the visa categories are correct.

Okay.

QUESTION: Can you speak to the timing of why now? Was it – was that in conjunction to this problem being across all of the Confucius Institutes, the J-1 confusion?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to why this came up now. I think that we – as I understood it this morning, we became aware that this wasn’t just one case or two cases, that there was a – sort of a mess-up in the processing in general. So we need to fix that.

QUESTION: What was the mess-up?

QUESTION: Can you characterize the mess-up? Yeah.

MS. NULAND: That in fact, folks who are participating and teaching in programs that were K-12 were given university-style J-1s, and the other way around.

QUESTION: So –

QUESTION: And whose problem with that?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to how the mess-up occurred, but we’re going to fix it.

QUESTION: Well, who issues the visas? I mean, it’s – the State Department issues visas, right?

MS. NULAND: Right. So whether there was some confusion on the front end with the sponsors as to which programs individual teachers were being brought for, or whether there was some changing after they arrived, I really can’t speak to that. But we’re going to clean it up so that everybody’s in the right visa category.

QUESTION: So you –

QUESTION: You don’t expect anyone to have to leave the country?

MS. NULAND: My understanding was we’re going to do our best to fix this so that nobody has to leave.

QUESTION: And just so we’re clear, you don’t think, then, that the mistake was on the State Department’s end? Do you think it’s possible that it was on the end of the people who applied or the intermediaries?

MS. NULAND: I just can’t speak to that, and I can’t speak to whether this was uniform in any way or whether there were various problems.

QUESTION: And you can’t speak to it because you don’t know –

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: — or because you know and you don’t want to say?

MS. NULAND: Because we have to investigate it and figure it out.

Okay.

QUESTION: Can you talk about how many visas were impacted by the problem?

MS. NULAND: I don’t have that either.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: May I ask you for what kind of meetings, when you say that you are working on this issue? I heard that some of the Confucius Institutions have come and had meetings with the assistant secretary already talking about this. So could you tell us more about what kind of works has been doing to avoid – make sure people don’t have to leave the country by the end of June?

MS. NULAND: Yeah. My understanding is that at the current moment, we’re trying to size the problem, we’re trying to figure out how many people are affected, and then we’re going to – and we’re in the process of reissuing instructions that are a little bit clearer and a little bit more easy to manage. Let’s put it that way.

QUESTION: Okay. And may I also say that we know that in the past couple of months, a few members in the Congress expressed their dissatisfaction and question about the operation of Confucius Institutes in the U.S. So I wonder, when you were doing this – before you released this direction about the J-1 visa, did you have any contact with those members in the Congress?

MS. NULAND: Well, I’m sure that, as we always do on all matters, we’re in dialogue with Congress. But this is a matter not about any of that; it’s a matter about whether people are in the right visa category for where they are teaching.

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Related

» State Department directive, May 24, 2012

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Confucius Institutes: Göttingen University, for Example

Tai De is (kind of) corresponding with German authorities, concerning Confucius Institutes in Lower Saxony. Either a guest post by Tai De, or an interview with him, is in the pipeline. Stay tuned.

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Related

» State Department Directive, May 24, 2012
» No Communists at Deutsche Welle, March 11, 2012

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another Escape from Dongshigu

Chen Guangfu (陈光福), Chen Guangcheng‘s older brother, has escaped to Beijing, reportedly to find help on behalf of his son, Chen Kegui (陈克贵).

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