Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Start-of-Work Links: Fostering Socialist Values on International Children’s Day

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1. Why Russia Today succeeds while CCTV-9 fails: it depends on how you define and choose your target audience, on familiar faces, on the format of your programs, and on integration with the intelligence services, suggests Foarp.

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2. Ar Dee, an ethnic Tibetan, makes no apologies for her Tib-lish. This was posted nearly two weeks ago, but the topic is  basically timeless. It’s about a language we probably won’t find on Google Translate any time soon. About a moment when the author yearned to call on some supernatural power to fix her tongue.

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3. Sichuanese police held anti-terrorism drills in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, apparently late last month. The drills included the handling of self-immolations. This struck me as weird when reading about it on the exile radio station Voice of Tibet‘s website, but CCTV English actually confirms it. Foarp – see 1. – might have a point. Chinese media for foreign audiences making fun of themselves.-

 

4. June 1 was the International Children’s Day. It seems to be mostly communist folk & custom, and logically, the indoctrination of the young is a job for the top: party and state chairman Xi Jinping, last Friday, called for fostering socialist values among children while sending greetings ahead of Sunday’s International Children’s Day.

The “socialist core values” that the country now upholds embody the thoughts of ancient masters, the aspirations of the nation’s role models, ideals of revolutionary martyrs and expectation of all Chinese people,

China Radio International (CRI) quotes Xi. Xi Jinping arrived at Haidian National Primary School in Beijing at 9:30 local time, according to this Xinhua report, and a student offered him a red scarf on arrival. How his heart pounded with excitement when joining the young pioneers in 1960, Xi told the kids, asking if they didn’t feel the same way.

“Yes”, a child answered. “Why is it so?” “Because it is sort of an honor.” The general secretary [Xi Jinping] said: “I have seen hope on your faces, the hopes of the motherland and the people. It’s just as said in the oath: one needs to be always prepared, to take one’s turn on duty in the future.”

总书记继续说:“记得入队时心怦怦跳,很激动。不知你们有没有这种感觉?”孩子们回答:“有。”“为什么会这样?因为是一种荣誉。”总书记表示,“我在你们脸上看到了希望,祖国和民族的希望。正像誓言说的那样,要时刻准备着,将来接班。”

Referred to as Xi Dada (kind of Uncle Xi) on another occasion, the general secretary was Xi Yeye (Grandfather Xi) at Haidian National Primary School, maybe for the grandfatherly stories he told. The core lesson from Xi’s recollections was that to move from one stripe to two stripes to becoming a standard bearer among the young pioneers required a lot of work, a student is quoted as summarizing the listening experience.

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5. Fei Chang Dao has the latest about efforts to block June-4-related information. Online censorship reportedly includes May 35th (May 31 + 4).

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6. The BBC has a Chinese press review: China media criticise US and Japan leaders …

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7. … but there’s no need to fear Japan anymore. This, anyway, could be the positive message you might extract from the second picture in Chang‘s collection: nearly seven decades after America won the 2nd World War in the Far East, Japan finally submits to Washington, in in the shape of Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s minister of defense. People slightly familiar with China and/or Japan will know that many Chinese and Japanese men hate to be hugged, and might flinch if it happens, but neither Chang nor South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo could apparently resist the temptation. At least, the South Koreans didn’t openly doubt Onodera’s manhood: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (left) chats with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera ahead of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Eaten rat

A rat once eaten and then returned …

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cat

… probably in a fit of bulimia.

Chang, if you find one of these pictures repulsive, you aren’t a man either!

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8. And as we started with propaganda (see “1.“),  let’s wind up with propaganda, too:

Some say that [from] the West is propaganda … - In the U.S. it is called public diplomacy (public diplomacy). We do not do it in sufficient quantities, to be honest.

Attributed to David Kramer, Freedom House executive director, by John Brown who seems to be quoting Kasparov.ru.

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Related

» Previous Monday links, May 25, 2014

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Update/Related

Adjustments at General Staff Headquarters, Oct 25, 2012

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, April 2014: France Inter / Radio France Internationale

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1. France Inter (long wave) / Radio France Internationale (short wave)

The Eiffel Tower was the first recorded site of wireless telegraphy, conducted there by Eugène Ducretet & associates, in 1898. And a bit more than 23 years later, the Eiffel Tower was also the site of the first regular radio broadcast for the general public, according to this website. As usual in regional broadcasting before the age of FM, Radio Tour Eiffel was a medium-wave broadcaster.

At the time, between the two world wars, there was both state-owned and private broadcasting.1)

Gustave-Auguste Ferrié, an army general since 1919, was a French radio pioneer, at work basically everywhere where a new radio station came out of the eggshell. Deemed essential for the further development of radio, he wasn’t retired when reaching the age limit.

Radio Tour Eiffel inauguration, 1922

Sacha Guitry (a broadcaster and film director), Yvonne Printemps (a singer) and General Ferrié at the inauguration of Radio Tour Eiffel, 1922
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Not only medium wave, but long wave, too, was an option, and it was also in Ferrié’s plans, according to this website by Thierry Vignaud. Rambouillet had originally been the designated transmitter site, but Allouis was then chosen for its location in central France, and for being sufficiently distant from major mountain ranges (or massifs). Allouis was also meant to become the site for shortwave transmissions. Shortwave transmissions started in 1931.

An article published by French magazine La Nature in February 1945, also republished online by Vignaud, suggested that with the Allouis site, France was in possession of the world’s most powerful radio station. That wasn’t exactly true then, as the war had taken its toll on the site. In 1942, the French Resistance damaged the longwave transmitter, and in summer 1944, the Germans blew the complete long wave transmission site up, and destroyed all shortwave installations.

It took Allouis nearly eight years to get back on air, or, more precisely, 164 kHz longwave, a frequency nearly unchanged to this day, broadcasting France Inter programs.2)

In 1950, a shortwave-dedicated transmitter site was built near Issoudun, some 40 km west of Allouis. What had previously been Poste Colonial, Paris Mondial and ORTF Paris became Radio France Internationale (RFI) in 1975. And French radio remained innovative – the ALLISS antenna system’s name is a concatenation of Allouis and Issoudun. ALLISS modules can be found in Issoudun/France (1995), Montsinery/French Guyana (1996), Nauen/Germany (1997), in Oman (2002), China (2003), Kuwait (2009), and possibly Cuba (still speculation).

RFI Montsinery QSL

Radio France Internationale (RFI) QSL, 1988/89, confirming reception of a Montsinery relay broadcast on 9,800 kHz.

An overseas transmitter site was Montsinery, in French Guyana, inaugurated in 1984. France closed the South American facilities in 2013. Issoudun’s shortwave transmitters stay on air.

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2. Recent Logs, May 2014

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; ALB – Albania; ARG – Argentina; BIH – Bosnia and Herzegovina; CUB – Cuba; D – Germany; EGY – Egypt; F – France; G – Great Britain; IND – India; IRN – Iran; J – Japan; KRE – North Korea; OMA – Oman; PLW – Palau; ROU – Romania; SVN – Slovenia; THA – Thailand; TIB – Tibet; UKR – Ukraine.

Languages (“L.”):
C – Chinese; E – English; G – German.

kHz

Station

Ctry

L.

Day

GMT

S I O
15140 Radio
Oman
OMA E May
2
14:30 4 5 4
  6130 PBS
Tibet
TIB E May
2
16:00 4 3 3
  5040 RHC
Cuba
CUB E May
3
05:00 4 5 4
    918 Radio
Slovenia
SVN E May
5
20:30 5 5 5
    918 Radio
Slovenia
SVN G May
5
20:33 5 4 4
 9540 Radio
Japan
J C May
7
15:30 5 3 4
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG E May
8
02:00 5 4 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
D G May
10
21:00 5 4 4
13695 AIR
Delhi
IND E  May
11
10:00 2 3 2
 7410 IRIB
Tehran
IRN G  May
11
17:23 5 5 4
12015 Voice of
Korea *)
KRE G May
11
19:00 5 4 4
 9540 Radio
Japan
J C May
12
15:30 4 5 4
15345 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG G May
13
21:00 3 4 3
15140 Radio
Oman
OMA E May
19
14:27 5 5 4
 9540 Radio
Japan
J C May
19
15:30 5 3 3
15235 Channel
Africa
AFS E May
19
16:00 5 5 5
 6130 PBS
Tibet
TIB E May
19
16:38 4 3 3
 7550 AIR
Delhi
IND E May
19
17:45 5 5 4
15344.3 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG E May
23
18:00 3 4 3
 9410 Radio
Cairo**)
EGY G May
23
19:00 4 3 2
 6100 Radio
Serbia
International
BIH G May
23
20:00 4 2 3
 9510 IRRS
Milano
ROU E May
24
08:00 5 5 5
11970 Radio
Japan
F E May
25
07:00 4 5 4
 5975 Radio
Japan
G E May
25
07:15 5 5 5
11980.2
(USB)
Radio
Dniprovska
Hvyla ***)
UKR  ? May
25
08:04 3 4 3
 9540 Radio
Japan
J C May
25
15:30 4 4 4
12015 Voice of
Korea
KRE G May
25
18:00 5 5 5
 6100 Radio
Serbia
International
BIH G May
25
20:00 5 3 3
   918 Radio
Slovenia
SVN E May
25
22:35 5 4 4
   918 Radio
Slovenia
SVN May
25
22:39 5 4 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
D G May
31
04:30 5 5 4
 9965 Radio
Australia
PLW E May
31
13:20 4 3 3
 9390 Radio
Thailand
THA E May
31
19:00 5 5 4
 7465 Radio
Tirana
ALB May
31
19:30 4 5 4

 

*) Some Radio Nacional de Espana interference, at times I=3
**) Modulation horrible
***) The language sounded like Russian to me. If one of you understands Russian, please let me know, and I’ll upload my recording of the transmission and publish the link. Would like to know if this was Ukranian or indeed Russian.

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Footnotes

1) Towards the end of World War 2, after the liberation of France, all private radio stations were nationalized by decree. It took more than 36 years before the state monopoly on radio broadcasting was terminated – oddly by a socialist president, Francois Mitterand.
2) International frequency planning arranged for a lowering of longwave frequencies by two kHz – Allouis adapted France Inter long wave to 162 kHz in 1986. This applied to all European long wave frequencies. Also in accordance with the wavelength plan, the Droitwich longwave transmitter broadcasting BBC Radio 4 went from 200 kHz to 198 kHz.

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Related

» Journal en francais facile, RFI, cont. updated
» Comparing China and Europe, Jan 1, 2012
» No radio jamming kit, Reuters, Mar 31, 2008

» Previous shortwave logs
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Obituary: Chris Gelken, 1955 – 2014

Chris Gelken, a former anchor and editor at China Radio International, Press TV (Iran), and media in Hong Kong and South Korea, died in the French city of Limoges on April 4, aged 58, according to the Korea Herald online.

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Related

» BC and AD, Ridealist, October 14, 2013
» Have we met, Dec 6, 2011
» Publish & be damned, Korea Herald, April 5, 2010

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Monday Start-of-Work Links: Kim Jong-un “not the real Actor”?

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1. A Deity doesn’t need to have a mind of his own,

argues Korhonen Pekka, a Finnish political scientist, in a post for Sino-NK. Nor does Kim Jong-un, he writes. Pekka interprets Kim’s reign as rather ceremonial, and that the bureaucracy is calling the shots. That however doesn’t appear to bode well for the future.

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2. Lawyers should not Overestimate their Political Clout,

Fei Chang Dao quotes an editorial by Shan Renping (which is the pen name of Huanqiu Shibao‘s editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin). Fei Chang Dao (there appears to be a lawyer behind the blog) also explains the differences between the Chinese version of the article, and one published by Huanqiu’s sister edition in English, the “Global Times”. More recently, Fei Chang Dao explores how June-4 related searchwords are censored.

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3. Public Diplomacy and its Limits

Obama’s Policies on Syria and Egypt, as well as on intelligence operations of U.S. administrations as revealed by Edward Snowden [...] will have serious impacts on U.S. popularity in the world, Kilic Kanat, a political scientist, wrote on May 12, in an article for the English-language Daily Sabah from Istanbul. If Obama kept following his current policies especially on Syria and Egypt, [...] the U.S. may face another downward trend in its standing. Under those circumstances, public diplomacy campaigns will only waste money on U.S. foreign policy.

Russia, Ukraine, or the Far East don’t seem to matter at all.

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4. Meantime, on Capitol Hill …

… American senators and retired propaganda apparatchiks are trying to make sure that money spent on public money gets wasted indeed, by demanding that the language of Voice of America’s mission [..] explicitly state that the outlet has a role in supporting American “public diplomacy” and the policies of the government. To bring it down to a round figure, Fulbright scholarships are apparently being targeted by budget cuts.

No need for international exchange when you can broadcast linear propaganda, be it on shortwave, be it on “social media”.

This is the Voice of America, signing on. Hello World, shut up and listen!

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Related

» Umstrukturierung des US-Auslandsfunks, Radio Eins, April 5, 2014

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The only Answer to Bad Journalism: bad Journalism

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Voice of America QSL, 1986

Going, going, gone? Voice of America QSL, 1986

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Russia has returned to its old Pravda-like disinformation tactics, which is why we absolutely have to do the same thing China and the Arab nations are creating sophisticated new broadcasts, and Twitter and social networks are changing the game.

Walter Isaacson, a former Board of Governors Chairman, suggesting that the Voice of America (VoA) should follow a “double mission” to clearly present American policy as well as provide objective news. Quoted by the New York Times.

Friday, May 23, 2014

FYI

This – JR’s China Blog – is now a veteran blog. Thinking about it, I probably agree with FOARP, and I also agree that sometimes, blogs remain an adequate form to write about things at (some) length. Like this post about how it may feel when you come back to China after a break of several years.

Bremen-Hemelingen, May 2014

No matter where you are, there’s something Chinese in every picture: Bremen-Hemelingen, May 2014

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Related

» Once Upon a Time, Dec 25, 2009

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Sino-Russian Shanghai Summit: Natural Gas Deal “supports Russia”, but simultaneous Naval Exercises indicate no Military Alliance

On Tuesday, prospects that Beijing and Moscow would get to an agreement over a natural gas supply treaty after many years of negotiations looked good, according to Victor Larin, Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far East Institute. Societies in both countries were watching the negotiations closely and discussing them “warmly”, said Larin, and situations like these frequently indicated that two sides were close to an agreement. Russia was in a position to provide China with needed energy, and in turn, the treaty would provide Russia with the funding it needed for its own economic development. Larin was quoted by Economic Information Daily (经济参考报, via  People’s Daily, and so was a Russian sinologist whose name would read Bie’erge’er in Chinese. He was quoted as saying that energy cooperation could reach well beyond gas supplies from Russia, and include oil processing, Russian involvement in nuclear power plant construction in China, Russian electricity supplies into China, and cooperation in wind and solar energy development. The main obstacle the sinologist still saw was pricing.

Discussing Russia’s “Looking East”, Larin said that Russia was currently actively developing Siberia’s Far East, and Russia would only be able to make this happen with the help of Asian countries, and particularly with help from China. Russia needed Chinese investment, equipment, and Chinese human resources.

拉林在谈到俄罗斯“向东看”时说,俄罗斯正在积极开发西伯利亚和远东地区,只有依靠亚洲国家特别是中国的帮助,俄罗斯才能实现这一目标,俄罗斯在开发上述地区过程中需要中国的投资、设备和人力资源。

Sina quotes the Chinese website of RIA Novosti on Thursday as reporting that Russia was going to invest 55 billion USD in the implementation of the gas supply treaty, while china would invest 22 billion USD. According to the agreement, Russia will supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas over thirty years. The treaty’s overall value is 400 billion USD, RIA/Sina quote Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

It took almost a decade to conclude the negotiations, the Washington Post wrote on Wednesday. While Russia believes that gas supplies to China can start in 2018, the Christian Science Monitor quoted a consultant who warned that after the political declarations are made this week, and even if Putin comes home waving a huge new gas deal with China, Gazprom may prove unable to deliver the goods, and that 2020, rather than 2018, might mark the beginning of gas supplies at the earliest. The olifields that would have to serve the contract were running behind schedule, and any diversion of existing supplies to serve the expanding Chinese market risks disrupting ties with another priority customer, Japan. It could become necessary to pipe gas from more distant fields, and in the worst case, a costly measure like that could mean that Russian taxpayers are committed to subsidizing Chinese consumers well into the future.

Sino-Russian naval exercises in the East China Sea are taking place for the third time this year, but without intentions to form a Sino-Russian military alliance, a RIA Novosti report quotes both sides. The exercises began on Tuesday.

Guancha, a Shanghai-based website and therefore at the scene of the Sino-Russian summit, suggests that the 400-billion deal between Beijing and Moscow is “a blow to the West”, or rather, that this was the view of much of European and American public opinion (….. 欧美舆论大多认为,中俄走近对西方来说是个打击). The gas treaty would strengthen Russia’s ability to resist Western pressure. Guancha also quotes the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as saying that the gas supply treaty provides Russia with support at a time when its relations with the West are worsening. While the EU was looing for gas suppliers beyond Russia, the treaty with China strengthened Russia’s position. (A word of warning: I haven’t found the quoted WSJ article online and can’t tell if Guancha quotes it correctly.)

The support the treaty offers Russia might come at a price – two WSJ reporters took the data available about the treaty on Wednesday and computed an implied price for the gas of about $350 per thousand cubic meters, which would spell a good deal for China. If true, that is – other guesswork quoted in the article suggests that Russia would nearly get 380 USD, i. e. basically what it gets from Europe, too.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chinese-Vietnamese Standoff Scrapbook (1): Low-Class Nationalism?

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The protests in Vietnam against the Chinese oil-rig operations near the Paracel Islands are not just jingoism, suggests Bill Hayton, of the BBC Media Action organization. Industrial relations, too, play a role, and conflicts with Chinese bosses or investors (or bosses mistaken for Chinese nationals) are among the currents of anger running underneath the demonstrations’ and riots’ official label:

What we are witnessing in Vietnam is an inchoate sense of anger – partly against China but more urgently against bad employers. This is a nightmare scenario for the Communist Party of Vietnam.

It will be easy for protestors to paint it as betraying the national interest out in the South China Sea (by failing to stand up strongly enough to China) and weak at home for failing to ensure that foreign companies treat their workers fairly.

Probably mot quite beside the point -  either Canada Home, an overseas-Chinese paper from Ontario, or Huanqiu Shibao, a Chinese newspaper, or both, warned Vietnam in June 2011 that it shouldn’t manufacture a hostile Sino-Vietnamese atmosphere based on low-class (or vulgar) nationalism. This conflict doesn’t look new at all. Most, if not the majority*) of the Vietnamese citizens who became known as “boat people” in the 1970s, after South Vietnam had been conquered by Hanoi, were ethnic Chinese people, or Hoa people. The current Wikipedia’s article suggests that Hoa population dropped from 1.2 million in 1976 to 935,000 three years later.

But many Vietnamese seem to see their country as a mere victim to China. This probably dates back centuries. Even the country’s name – “Viet” – appears to be of Chinese origin. There were four periods of Chinese domination of Vietnam, between 111 BC to 1427.

Even today, obedience may be what is expected of the southern neighbor (or from a wife from Vietnam, anyway) – and an easy military target for China, at least from the view of the Sunday drivers among the armchair generals. And as recently as in 1979, Deng Xiaoping dispatched Chinese troops into Vietnam, reportedly to teach them some necessary lessons.

On last year’s tomb-sweeping day, Huanqiu Shibao remembered Chinese soldiers buried on Vietnamese soil, and in July 2010, Yazhou Zhoukan, a Malaysian/Hong Kong weekly, suggested that neither China nor Vietnam wanted to get back to history.

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Related

» Let’s talk about War, June 21, 2012
» How to win Friends, May 11, 2012
» No hostile Forces, Oct 16, 2011
» Arrests after Demonstrations, Aug 22, 2011

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Updates/Related

*) Most probably not a majority – the numbers make that implausible. The total estimated number of boat people was 1.6 million or more.

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