Archive for November, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Xi Jinping’s First Time: Promoting a General, Resisting Western Hopes, and (maybe) Heeding Hu’s Advice

What led me to the following speculation – and translation – is a post on a Sincere Soldier‘s (至诚大兵) People’s Daily blog, on the promotion of Wei Fenghe (魏凤和), by Xi Jinping, the CCP’s Central Military Commission. It was published on November 24 (Saturday).

I’m not quite sure what makes Wei Fenghe‘s promotion so unusual (if there is anything that does), but People’s Daily appeared to see a need to explain Wei’s  promotion from middle general (中将军) to senior general (上将军), not least in the light of other former middle generals who had had to wait longer for their promotion than Wei. To provide such explanation seems to be the job of Sincere Soldier, the “blogger” on the People’s Daily platform.

Some comment from other media (before we are getting back to Sincere Soldier):

Promoting senior military officers is one of the two most effective ways for a civilian party leader to consolidate his control over the world’s biggest fighting force. The other is increasing military spending to improve soldiers’ welfare,

the South China Morning Post (SCMP) explained, also last Saturday.

“The coming of Xi’s era is far earlier than expected by most of the outside world,” Lin said. “The authorisation of Wei’s promotion signifies the kicking off of his time in charge of the military, although the process is going as expected”, the SCMP quoted Taiwan’s former deputy defense minister Lin Chong-pin, within the same article on Saturday.

Another issue that Sincere Soldier addresses can be found in New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV’s) comment on Lei Fenghe’s promotion:

According to the constitution, the chairman of the Central Military Commission is the head of the National Central Military Commission and also the head of the national military. Xi Jinping has been recently promoted as the Chairman of the CCP’s Central Military Commission. However, Hu Jintao is still Chairman of the national Central Military Commission. Commentator Xia Xiaoqiang: “Hu Jintao hopes that Xi Jinping improves authority in the military by promoting an army general. This will help maintain the stability of the CCP regime in a whole. [...] The CCP doesn’t care about whether or not it abides by the Constitution. In front of the law, the Party has the final say.”

“Sincere Soldier”, the People’s Daily blogger, seems to see an issue there, although – obviously – in a different light. Read for yourselves.

Links within the following blockquotes added during translation – JR.

Main Link: Sincere Soldier’s blogpost

According to China Military Online, the Central Military Commission (CMC) held a solemn ceremony for the promotion to a senior general’s rank at the 8-1 building in Beijing today. CMC chairman Xi Jinping promoted CMC member and Second Artillery Corps member Wei Fenghe to the rank of a senior general.

中新网11月23日电据中国军网记者频道报道,中央军委今天在北京八一大楼隆重举行晋升上将军衔仪式。中央军委主席习近平向晋升上将军衔的中央军委委员、第二炮兵司令员魏凤和同志颁发命令状。

This is the first time that Xi Jinping signed a promotion to a senior general’s rank after becoming CMC chairman, which led to particular interest among observers. What does this first signature reveal about the construction of our military? Please read my straightforward analysis as a sincere serviceman.

这是习近平担任中央军委主席后首次签署命令晋升上将,格外引人注目。习近平担任中央军委主席后首次签署命令晋升上将,究竟凸显了我军建设的那些重要信息呢?请看至诚大兵我的五点分析式揭秘:

(1) It shows that the People’s Liberation Army resolutely obeys Chairman Xi’s command. That Xi Jinping signs the first promotion to the rank of a senior general is intended to demonstrate, to insiders and outsiders, the People’s Liberation Army resolve to obey CMC chairman Xi’s commands. To listen to the party’s commands is the core and the spirit of the People’s Liberation Army’s good tradition. After Xi Jinping took the CMC chairmanship, the People’s Liberation Army, above all, needed to uphold the party’s absolute leadership of the armed forces, the forces’ political political qualification, its absolute loyalty and reliability, to resist [by this ceremony] the West’s hopes for a “nationalization of the military forces“.

一、表明解放军坚决听从中央军委习近平主席的指挥。习近平担任中央军委主席后首次签署命令晋升上将,意在向军内外展示解放军坚决听从中央军委习主席指挥的决心。听党的指挥,是解放军优良传统的核心和精髓。习近平担任军委主席之后,解放军最首要的就是保持党对军队的绝对领导,政治合格,绝对忠诚可靠,用行动抵制西方希望的“军队国家化”。

Hu Jintao, not so Mursi – for copyright reasions, I’m not including a  photo here, but it can be found there.

(2) It shows once more the nobility and sterling integrity of Hu Jintao’s withdrawal. Hu Jintao considered the overall development and on his own initiative relinquished his service as CMC chairman. The way Hu Jintao, on the extended meeting of the CMC, introduced Xi Jinping as a man who was qualified to chair the CMC reflected the high degree to which the handover was made on a foundation of trust. However, Hu Jintao remains in charge of the People’s Republic of China’s Central Military Commission*), and to step down from this service will require confirmation from next year’s National People’s Congress (NPC). The way in which the new CMC chairman Xi Jinping signed and announced the promotion by writ once again reflected Hu Jintao’s nobility and sterling integrity and his great trust in Xi Jinping, the profoundness of his mind, which avoided the possibility of a “crash” from the promotion.

二、表明胡锦涛全退高风亮节的新延续。胡锦涛从事业发展全局考虑,主动提出不再担任中央军委主席职务。胡锦涛在军委扩大会议上,向与会人员介绍习近平是合格的中央军委主席,体现了两位军委主席的移交是建立在高度信赖的基础之上。然而,胡锦涛仍然担负着中华人民共和国军委主席的职务,这个职务的卸却需要明年全国人大的确认。此时晋升上将军衔,由新任军委主席习近平签署和颁发命令状,再次体现了胡锦涛主席的高风亮节和对习近平的高度信赖,其博大胸怀避免了可能的晋升上将“撞车”。

(3) The solemnity of the occasion showed a great emphasis on the Second Artillery Corps’ importance. [...]

三、特殊隆重表明对二炮部队重要性的高度重视。[今年7月30日的建军节前,中央军委才举行过晋升上将军衔仪式,一年内这样简短时间间隔内,再次举行晋升上将军衔仪式,这是我军1988年恢复军衔制以来的首次,这次晋升魏凤和上将军衔非常特殊与隆重。这个特殊性凸显了以习近平为主席的中央军委对解放军二炮部队重要性的高度重视,体现了二炮在未来的对敌斗争及至军事作战行动中均可替代的重要作用,也体现了中央军委对二炮广大官兵的期待与关怀。]

(4) It shows that Chairman Xi Jinping grasps the construction of the armed forces in accordance with the army regulations. [...]

四、表明习近平主席按照军队条例条令抓部队建设。[按照解放军《军官军衔条例》的规定,中央军委副主席、中央军委委员、总参谋长、总政治部主任的职务编制军衔为(陆军)上将,正大军区职的职务编制为上将或中将。虽魏凤中将军衔仅只4年,然而习近平主席签署命令并现场颁发命令状,晋升魏凤和为上将,表明军队建设与国防建设的正规化,必须从制度建设着手,军委主席照样要按照《军官军衔条例》等军队条例条令的规定抓部队建设。]

Wei Fenghe’s promotion to senior general’s rank will be conducive to our military troops’ organizational command and to related activities. An army officer’s promotion to senior general’s rank is a very solemn and serious event. If we go by Ma Xiaotian and Liu Yuan as examples, they both held ranks as middle generals for nine years. [ Unsafe translation: Based on the records of service, there are above-board military-region middle generals with longer terms as middle generals than Wei Fenghe to be chosen. However, Chairman Xi Jinping signed the order and announced Wei Fenghe's promotion in the same place also lets Wei exercise complementary tasks as CMC member and the command of the Second Artillery Corps.] Wei Fenghe’s promotion will be conducive to the Second Artillery Corps’ organizational command and to related activities. Wei Fenghe’s duties and positions, besides commanding the Second Artillery Corps, will – depending on the situation – require the command of the Corps, corresponding public activities and foreign activities, and Wei Fenghe’s promotion is conducive to the troops’ organizational command and to the related activities.

五、魏凤和晋升上将有利于我军部队组织指挥和相关活动。军官晋升上将军衔,是非常隆重与严肃的大事。以目前的马晓天、刘源上将为例,他俩都分别在中将位置上停留了9年时间。如果论资历,显然目前比魏凤和中将任职时间长的正大军区职人选还有。然而习近平主席签署命令并现场颁发命令状,晋升魏凤和为上将,还有让魏凤和军衔与其军委委员和二炮司令员职务相匹配的考虑。魏凤和晋升上将有利于二炮部队组织指挥和相关活动。魏凤和的职务与职位,除了指挥二炮部队外,必要时需要指挥二炮外的全军部队,而且还将担负相应的公务活动以及外事活动,魏凤和晋升上将有利于部队组织指挥和相关活动。

The “People’s Liberation Army” would be under the CCP’s command either way, but the Communist Party’s immediate command (shortcutting state supervision and command) doesn’t go without saying. The above People’s Daily blogpost, by suggesting that PLA nationalization would only fulfill “Western” hopes, blanketly counts Chinese proponents of such nationalization into a “Western” camp.

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Note

*) Uaually, both the party’s and the state CMC’s are identical in membership.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Books, Emails and Reports re Deutsche Welle

Li Qi (黎奇), one of the authors of the Open Letter published by the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in April last year, also authored a book about Deutsche Welle, his former employer. The August-von-Goethe Literaturverlag apparently published the book in October this year – “Deutsche Welle’s China Nightmare” (China-Albtraum der Deutschen Welle).

A Huanqiu Shibao article published on November 9 this year contains references to the book, plus “latest news” about the Deutsche Welle Chinese department saga, but at first glance, there is little that I would take as fact right away.

Today, I received an unsolicited e-mail (probably a mass email) from a Chinese dissident in Germany, the details of which I can’t take as facts right away either. Some of it appears to refer to Li Qi, too, but from an angle which is different from Huanqiu’s, obviously.

Also according to Huanqiu, Germany’s Federal Labor Court will probably decide Wang Fengbo‘s case (see interview of January this year here) by the end of this year.

Might come back to the stories later this week.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Heimatgefühl, and the Venture into the Public Realm

My following translation will very probably contain errors.

A: [...] If you want me to be frank, I have to say that I’m not interested in the effects when I’m working. (Wenn ich ganz ehrlich sprechen soll, dann muß ich sagen: Wenn ich arbeite, bin ich an Wirkung nicht interessiert.)

Q: And once the work has been completed? (Und wenn die Arbeit fertig ist?)

A: Well, then I have finished with it. You see, what matters to me is this: I need to understand. Writing is part of understanding. Writing belongs in this process of understanding things. (Ja, dann bin ich damit fertig. Wissen Sie, wesentlich ist für mich: Ich muß verstehen. Zu diesem Verstehen gehört bei mir auch das Schreiben. Das Schreiben ist Teil in dem Verstehensprozeß.)

Q: Writing serves your own, further cognition? (Wenn Sie schreiben, so dient es Ihrem eigenen, weiteren Erkennen?)

A: Yes, because now, certain things have been determined. If we had great memory, so that we really kept all our reasoning in mind: I doubt that, because I’m aware of my own laziness, I’d have jotted down everything. What matters to me is the thinking process itself. When I’ve got that, I’m, personally, quite satisfied. When I succeed in expressing this adequately in writing, I’m once again satisfied. – Now, you asked about effects. That’s – if I may be tongue-in-cheek – a male question. Men badly want to be effective, but I’m kind of looking at it from outside. To be effective myself? No, I want to understand. And when other people understand, in the same sense as I did, that gives me satisfaction, like a sense of home. (Ja, weil jetzt bestimmte Dinge festgelegt sind. Nehmen wir an, man hätte ein sehr gutes Gedächtnis, so daß man wirklich alles behält, was man denkt: Ich zweifle sehr daran, da ich meine Faulheit kenne, daß ich irgend etwas notiert hätte. Worauf es mir ankommt, ist der Denkprozeß selber. Wenn ich das habe, bin ich persönlich ganz zufrieden. Wenn es mir dann gelingt, es im Schreiben adäquat auszudrücken, bin ich auch wieder zufrieden. – Jetzt fragen Sie nach der Wirkung. Es ist das – wenn ich ironisch werden darf – eine männliche Frage. Männer wollen immer furchtbar gern wirken; aber ich sehe das gewissermaßen von außen. Ich selber wirken? Nein, ich will verstehen. Und wenn andere Menschen verstehen, im selben Sinne, wie ich verstanden habe – dann gibt mir das eine Befriedigung, wie ein Heimatgefühl.)

[...]

A: My father died early. It all sounds very funny. My grandfather was the liberal congregation’s president and city councillor in Königsberg. I’m from an old Königsberger family. Still – the word “jew” was never mentioned at home, when I was a small child. I was confronted with it by antisemitic remarks – no use in mentioning them – from children in the street. That’s how I became informed, so to speak. (Mein Vater war früh gestorben. Es klingt alles sehr komisch. Mein Großvater war Präsident der liberalen Gemeinde und Stadtverordneter von Königsberg. Ich komme aus einer alten Königsberger Familie. Trotzdem – das Wort “Jude” ist bei uns nie gefallen, als ich ein kleines Kind war. Es wurde mir zum erstenmal entgegengebracht durch antisemitische Bemerkungen – es lohnt sich nicht zu erzählen – von Kindern auf der Straße. Daraufhin wurde ich also sozusagen “aufgeklärt”.)

Q: Was that a shock? (War das für Sie ein Schock?)

A: No. (Nein.)

[...]

A: I for one don’t think that I ever felt that I was German, in the sense of ethnicity, not in terms of statehood, if I may distinguish the two. I remember discussions around 1930 about that, with [Karl Jaspers], for example. He said, “of course you are German!” I said: “It’s plain that I’m not!” But to me, it didn’t matter. It didn’t spell inferiority to me. Precisely not. And if I may come back to what was special about my family: you see, all Jewish children were confronted with antisemitism. It poisoned the souls of many children. The difference was that my mother always maintained that you must not duck your head. You need to defend yourself. (Ich, zum Beispiel, glaube nicht, daß ich mich je als Deutsche – im Sinne der Volkszugehörigkeit, nicht der Staatsangehörigkeit, wenn ich mal den Unterschied machen darf – betrachtet habe. Ich besinne mich darauf, daß ich so um das Jahr ‘30 herum Diskussionen darüber zum Beispiel mit Jaspers hatte. Er sagte: “Natürlich sind Sie Deutsche!” Ich sagte: “Das sieht man doch, ich bin keine!” Das hat aber für mich keine Rolle gespielt. Ich habe das nicht etwa als Minderwertigkeit empfunden. Das gerade war nicht der Fall. Und wenn ich noch einmal auf das Besondere meines Elternhauses zurückkommen darf: Sehen Sie, der Antisemitismus ist allen jüdischen Kindern begegnet. Und er hat die Seelen vieler Kinder vergiftet. Der Unterschied bei uns war, daß meine Mutter immer auf dem Standpunkt stand: Man darf sich nicht ducken! Man muß sich wehren!)

[...]

Q [quoting Arendt]: “I have never, in all my life, loved a collective, neither the German, the French, nor the American, nor the working class, or whatever else may be there. Indeed, I only love my friends, and am completely uncapable of any other love. But above all, being Jewish myself, I would find this love dubious if it was love to the Jewish.” [...] Aren’t you afraid that your attitude could be politically barren? (Darin heißt es: “Ich habe nie in meinem Leben irgendein Volk oder Kollektiv geliebt, weder das deutsche, noch das französische, noch das amerikanische, noch etwa die Arbeiterklasse oder was es sonst so noch gibt. Ich liebe in der Tat nur meine Freunde und bin zu aller anderen Liebe völlig unfähig. Vor allem aber wäre mir diese Liebe zu den Juden, da ich selbst jüdisch bin, suspekt.” [...] Fürchten Sie nicht, daß Ihre Haltung politisch steril sein könnte?)

A: No, I think the other [attitude] is politically barren. To belong to a group is natural. You always belong to a group, by birth, always. But to belong to a group as you meant it in a second sense, that is to say, to organize – that’s completely different. This kind of organizing always happens by Weltbezug. That is, what those who organize have in common, which is usually called interests. The immediate personal relation, when you can talk about love, does exist, of course, in real love, in its greatest way, and in a certain sense, it exists in friendship. That’s when a person is reached in an immediate way, and independently from Weltbezug. That’s how people who belong to most different organizations may still be friends. But if you confuse these things, if you take them to the negotiation table – to put it in a very mean way -, I believe that’s fatal. (Nein. Ich würde sagen, die andere ist politisch steril. Zu einer Gruppe zu gehören, ist erst einmal eine natürliche Gegebenheit. Sie gehören zu irgendeiner Gruppe durch Geburt, immer. Aber zu einer Gruppe zu gehören, wie Sie es im zweiten Sinne meinen, nämlich sich zu organisieren, das ist etwas ganz anderes. Diese Organisation erfolgt immer unter Weltbezug. Das heißt: Das, was diejenigen miteinander gemeinsam haben, die sich so organisieren, ist, was man gewöhnlich Interessen nennt. Der direkte personale Bezug, in dem man von Liebe sprechen kann, der existiert natürlich in der wirklichen Liebe in der größten Weise, und er existiert in einem gewissen Sinne auch in der Freundschaft. Da wird die Person direkt und unabhängig von dem Weltbezug angesprochen. So können Leute verschiedenster Organisationen immer noch persönlich befreundet sein. Wenn man aber diese Dinge miteinander verwechselt, wenn man also die Liebe an den Verhandlungstisch bringt, um mich einmal ganz böse auszudrücken, so halte ich das für ein sehr großes Verhängnis.)

Q: [...] In a speech on Karl Jaspers you said that “humanity is  never won in loneliness and never by handing ones work over to the public. Only if you take your life and person[ality] into the venture of the public realm, you will reach [humanity].” This “venture into the public realm”, a Jaspers quote again, in which way does it exist for Hannah Arendt? (In einer Festrede auf Jaspers haben Sie gesagt: “Gewonnen wird die Humanität nie in der Einsamkeit und nie dadurch, daß einer sein Werk der Öffentlichkeit übergibt. Nur wer sein Leben und seine Person mit in das Wagnis der Öffentlichkeit nimmt, kann sie erreichen.” Dieses “Wagnis der Öffentlichkeit”, ein Zitat von Jaspers wiederum – worin besteht es für Hannah Arendt?)

A: The venture into the public realm appears to be clear to me. You expose yourself in the light of the public, as a person. While I believe that one must not appear publicly and act publicly in a self-conscious way, I still know that all action expresses the person like no other activity. And speaking, too, is a way of action. That’s one thing. The second venture: we commence something, we add our thread into a web of relationships. We never know how it will evolve. We all need to say, Lord, forgive them what they do, because they don’t know what they do. That’s true for all action. Quite practically, because you can’t know. That’s a venture. And I would say that this venture can only be taken as you rely on the human beings. That’s to say, in a – hard to grasp, but basic – trust in the humaneness in all human beings. You can’t do that in another way. (Das Wagnis der Öffentlichkeit scheint mir klar zu sein. Man exponiert sich im Lichte der Öffentlichkeit, und zwar als Person. Wenn ich auch der Meinung bin, daß man nicht auf sich selbst reflektiert in der Öffentlichkeit erscheinen und handeln darf, so weiß ich doch, daß in jedem Handeln die Person in einer Weise zum Ausdruck kommt wie in keiner anderen Tätigkeit. Wobei das Sprechen auch eine Form des Handelns ist. Also das ist das eine. Das zweite Wagnis ist: Wir fangen etwas an; wir schlagen unseren Faden in ein Netz der Beziehungen. Was daraus wird, wissen wir nie. Wir sind alle darauf angewiesen zu sagen: Herr vergib ihnen, was sie tun, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun. Das gilt für alles Handeln. Einfach ganz konkret, weil man es nicht wissen kann. Das ist ein Wagnis. Und nun würde ich sagen, daß dieses Wagnis nur möglich ist im Vertrauen auf die Menschen. Das heißt, in einem – schwer genau zu fassenden, aber grundsätzlichen – Vertrauen auf das Menschliche aller Menschen. Anders könnte man es nicht.)

Hannah Arendt in a television interview, in October 1964

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Related

» In an Unguarded Moment, Sep 29, 2010
» No Easy Solution, April 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Review: Bumblers, Scumbags, KMT Goon Sympathizer Types

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Dr. Sun, we are in the international news again!

Dr. Sun, we are in the international news again!

Gave this the re-tweet, but aren’t you jumping a bit too far in the other direction (as in “how dare those Taiwanese respond)?

Foarp, Nov 20, 2012, liking a post about how the KMT responded to an Economist article (“Ma the Bumbler”).

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Don’t know what you’re on about mate. They can respond how they like and I can point out is hysterical bleating! I gather from what I’ve seen of your blog that you’re one of those KMT goon sympathiser types anyway. Strange as you seem to have no time for their equivalent scumbags over the water …

fromthenightmarket, Nov 20, 2012, disliking Foarp’s comment.

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SCMP now reports Ma Administration has changed its mind, won’t lodge protest over Ma the Bumbler. First he was gonna do it, now he’s backed off?

The View from Taiwan, Nov 20, 2012

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“There has absolutely never been any such instruction” from the president, [spokesman] Fan Chiang said. [...] Fan Chiang, however, said that immediately after The Economist had published the article, the Office of the President issued a statement acknowledging the island faced economic and other domestic challenges.

SCMP, Nov 20, 2012

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Okay, let us end the silly name-calling and focus on what needs to be done to prevent further erosion of the economy.

Taipei Times, November 21, 2012

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Related

» Great Rejuvenation, Nov 16, 2012
» One (Belated) Question, Oct 10, 2012

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blogging Break: Plus ca change, plus c’est Deng (or Franco)

If KT takes a break from blogging, why shouldn’t JR? I’m thinking of a duration of ten days or so – but if Jiang Zemin leaves this world, or Deng Xiaoping rises from the dead, or whatever kind of colossal thing occurs, JR will be here to make sense of it for you.

foggy day

foggy day

A look back on the CCP’s 18th national congress: Felix Lee, a correspondent for Germany’s green-leaning daily taz, runs a China blog at a German weekly, Die Zeit. He’s usually very positive about, as we like to say, “China” – certainly from my perspective, but such optimism might sometimes give way to Welsh rats. His latest blogpost refers to Zhang Dejiang and Liu Yunshan as the new pigheads in the politbureau (Die neuen Betonköpfe im Politbüro).

And expectations towards reformers like Wang Yang had been too high. After all, even Wen Jiabao never had his way with more inner-party democracy, during his ten-year tenure.

Well, in fact, Wen Jiabao had his way with very few things (and I’m not sure that I can remember any, now).

I don’t know where many China watchers took their optimism from. The party had documented its schedule very clearly, in fall 2011. Now, I’m not saying that I could have predicted the composition of the 18th politbureau – but whoever would have entered the standing committee, would have had to stick to the line. If Wang Yang had entered the standing committee, it would have meant that he isn’t that reformist after all, or that he’s prepared to become less so.

But of course, Felix Lee doesn’t consider China’s future hopeless. After all, society is changing bigtime, he writes. Three controversial industrial projects had been thwarted by citizens this year, he writes.

Then again, you can discuss industrial plants with anyone, anyway – even with Zhang Dejiang. To object to them is no principal contradiction (主要矛盾).

The party published their line, Hu Jintao re-iterated it a few weeks later, but most correspondents seemed to take that lightly, or as some funny little theater. As if the document had been written (and agreed to by outgoing and incoming dictators) for fun, or out of boredom.

Hint (and, granted, no imperative logical connection): a year earlier, in September 2010, Wen Jiabao had made his last serious foray on those pig-headed fortifications: he talked to journalists from Hong Kong and Macau, about the need for political reforms. That was in New York, apparently. People’s Daily disagreed. Wen insisted. Half a year, there was the cultural decision.

Same with other concepts, such as social management. There weren’t a few Zhou Yongkang‘s sitting around a table and picking that stuff out of their nose.

Either, too many correspondents in China have no sense for political trends, or they don’t report their real assessment, because they wouldn’t sell. Or maybe something else I can’t imagine right now.

Either way: “staff issues” within the CCP are, in my view, hopelessly overemphasized in our press. Yes, it’s a dictatorship. Yes, it’s a totalitarian system. But it’s a collective oligarchy leadership – pragmatic, maybe, but not unideological.

What interested me during the run-up to the 18th national congress was how the system tried to shape their citizens’ perception of their (local) realities. Some of the derivatives from the State Information Office’s publicity work prescriptions were – just my impression – written somewhat tongue-in-cheek by cheesed-off journalists who had to work with those guidelines. But that, too, shapes reality. It shows the small man who he is, and who they are. Dictators aren’t out with baseball bats to hit you every day. Quite obviously, harmony is cheaper.

bright day

bright day

That’s the year that was, I suppose, in terms of China and politics. The American fiscal cliff is moving to the fore, and so is the Euro crisis. Talking about baseball bats, democratic governments seem to know how to use them, too. Henryk M. Broder, not a great friend of demonstrators, I believe, but no great friend of the European project either, contrasted two European “events” on Thursday: Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for justice, basic rights and citizenship, celebrated “a historic day” for womens’ rights in listed companies: by 2020, 40 percent of board seats would have to be for women. Patrician daughters will be delighted to hear that, of course. But some of Ms Reding’s smaller sisters were protesting in Madrid, about very different worries.

Clubbing is so much fun, isn’t it? Maybe Deng is already back from the dead. And if you see Francisco Franco dining and sniffing snow in some hip Madrid institution, don’t be too surprised. Chances are that he’s always been with us.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Current CCP Politbureau Members, and a few Guesses

Red line numbers (column 1): new to the politbureau. Red crosses (column 4): new to the standing committee.

# name born stand
ing com
mit
tee
majors party func tion state func tion leanings
1. Xi Jinping (习近平)  1953  x chem. engin eering gen. secre tary vice chair man prince ling
2. Ma Kai (马凯)  1946 pol. eco nomics state coun cil
3. Wang Qishan (王岐山)  1948  x history (fina nce?) dis cip line state coun cil prince ling
4. Wang Huning (王沪宁)  1955 French inter- natio- nal poli tics re sear ch
5. Liu Yunshan (刘云山)  1947  x journal ism (pro bably) pro pa gan da youth league
6. Liu Yandong (刘延东)  1945 chemi stry state coun cil youth league
7. Liu Qibao (刘奇葆)  1953 econ omic plan ning Sichu an party secr.
8. Xu Qiliang (许其亮)  1950 de fense  CMC
9. Sun Chunlan (孙春兰)  1950 party crash cour  ses youth league
10. Sun Zhengcai (孙政才)  1963 agri culture Jilin party secr.
11. Li Keqiang (李克强)  1955  x law, eco nomics state coun cil youth league
12. Li Jianguo (李建国)  1946 literat ure NPC secre tary gen. NPC vice cha ir
13. Li Yuanchao (李源潮)  1950 math, e conom. manag ement org gan izat. dept.
14. Wang Yang (汪洋)  1955 political econo mics Guan gdo ng party secr. refor mist
15. Zhang Chunxian (张春贤)  1953 engin eering Xin jiang party secr.
16. Zhang Gaoli (张高丽)  1946  x econon omics Tian jin party secr.
17. Zhang Dejiang (张德江)  1946  x Korean, econ omics Chon gqing party secr. hardline
18. Fan Changlong (范长龙)  1947 Xuan- hua Artillery College & others CMC
19. Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱)  1947 systems engin eering state coun cil (pub lic se curi ty)
20. Zhao Leji (赵乐际)  1957 philo sophy Shaan xi party secr.
21. Hu Chunhua (胡春华)  1963 Chinese, literat ure Inner Mong olia party secr. youth league
22. Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声)  1945  x electron ic engin eering, automa ted mis siles Shang hai party secr. keeper of the Deng Xiao ping grail
23. Li Zhanshu (栗战书)  1950 centr al com mittee office Hei long jiang gov er nor
24. Guo Jinlong (郭金龙)  1947 physics, acou stics Bei jing party secr.
25. Han Zheng (韩正)  1954 econom ics Shang hai mayor Shang- hai Cli que (but) Hu Jintao

The exclusion of a role held by Zhou Yongkang could be a message for Zhou and his supporters, rather than an indication of policy, suggests the Committee to Protect Journalists blog (CPJ). Zhou ranked 9th in the previous standing committee, and in his state (rather than party) function, he oversaw China’s security forces and law enforcement institutions.

Propaganda, of course, has a seat in the standing committee, with Liu Yunshan, and diplomacy stays out, as it did previously (unless a now sitting member becomes foreign minister next year).

Indirectly, the “United Front” is also represented at the standing committee. Liu Yandong headed that department for special party relations from 2002 to 2007. The “United Front” is also the organization whose website carries news about telegram exchanges between Hu Jintao / Xi Jinping  with Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou, as the top headline. They reportedly communicated in their capacities as former CCP secretary general (Hu), the CCP’s new secretary general (Xi), and the KMT’s chairman (Ma).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ma, Hu, Xi: Great Rejuvenation

Can’t tell if “sending telegrams” should be taken literally. Technically, the procedure  should still be feasible.

Xinhua Net, Beijing, November 15, 2012 —

China KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou separately sent telegrams to Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping saying that Hu Jintao had made major contributions to improved cross-strait relations, and congratulating Xi Jinping for his election as CCP secretary general. Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping expressed their thanks in separate replies.

新华网北京11月15日电 中国国民党主席马英九15日分别致电胡锦涛、习近平,表示胡锦涛为改善发展两岸关系作出重大贡献,祝贺习近平当选中共中央总书记。胡锦涛、习近平分别复电表示感谢。

In his reply, Hu Jintao said that in recent years, under the common efforts of both parties, the peaceful development of cross-strait relations achieved a number of imortant positive results. I sincerely hope that our two parties, will persist in strenghthening cooperation, in further consolidating and deepening the situation of peaceful cross-strait relations, for the happiness of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

胡锦涛在复电中表示,近年来,在贵我两党共同努力下,两岸关系和平发展取得一系列重要积极成果。诚挚希望贵我两党再接再厉,加强合作,进一步巩固和深化两岸关系和平发展局面,为两岸同胞谋福祉,为中华民族谋复兴。

Xi Jinping said in his reply that the current cross-strait relations were in a good situation of peaceful development. It is my heartfelt hope that our two parties will grasp the historical opportunity, deepen mutual trust, solidify the policies of peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and the economic, cultural and societal foundations, that they will promote the achievement of ever-new results from the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and together create a wonderful future for the Chinese nation.

习近平在复电中表示,当前两岸关系呈现和平发展的良好局面。由衷期望贵我两党把握历史机遇,深化互信,筑牢两岸关系和平发展的政治、经济、文化、社会基础,推动两岸关系和平发展不断取得新成果,共同开创中华民族美好未来。

In his telegrams to Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, Ma Ying-jeou said that during the past ten years, the two parties had adhered to the “92 Consensus”, maintained the basic stability across the Taiwan Strait, and the Taiwan Strait had achieved the greatest peace and stability during the past sixty years. As these parties forge ahead, I hope our parties, on a good foundation, will continue to bring about broadened and deepened exchanges and common institutions to mutual significant results. When looking to the future, with the great cause of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on the rise, there is particularly strengthened mutual trust, sincere cooperation, for the benefit of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

马英九在致胡锦涛、习近平的来电中表示,过去10年来,贵我两党坚持“九二共识”, 维持了台海基本稳定,台海地区达到60年来最和平稳定的状态。值此贵党继往开来之际,期待贵我两党在既有良好基础上,继续促成两岸双方在扩大、深化交流及 互设机构等重大事务上获致更显著的成果。展望未来,中华民族复兴大业方兴未艾,两岸之间有待强化互信、真诚合作,造福两岸人民。

On the same day, the China KMT honorary chairmen Lien Chan and Wu Poh-hsiung also separatelz sent telegrams to Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping. Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping separately replied to express their thanks.

同日,中国国民党荣誉主席连战、吴伯雄也分别向胡锦涛、习近平致电,胡锦涛、习近平分别复电表示感谢。

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Related

» Hardtalk in 2006, June 20, 2008

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meet Mr. Chi Dschinping

Xi Jinping, 59, ausgesprochen Chi Dschinping, ist Parteichef und wird im März Staatspräsident. Li Keqiang, 57, ausgesprochen Li Ketjiang, ist Nummer zwei in der Partei.

Der Spiegel, Nov 11, 2012

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