Posts tagged ‘agriculture’

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wu Ping, 1957 – 2014: a Car Crash and its Story in the Press

Wu Ping (吴平), vice president of Zhejiang University, was killed in an automobile accident in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province last Thursday, June 12.  China Radio International (CRI) didn’t give details of the accident in its news report published on the same day, but one day later, China Daily described surveillance footage from the scene of the accident, Hangzhou Western Beltway, according to which, Wu almost missed the exit where he wanted to leave the beltway and head to the university. 

The footage, published on websites like sina.com, suggests that Wu Ping cut into a truck’s safety zone, long after the opportunity to leave the highway in accordance with the traffic regulations had passed.

China Daily quoted a colleague of Wu as saying that lack of sleep could be the cause of the accident – he was a diligent man who often worked very late.

Wu reportedly died at the scene. The truck driver, Wang Guocai (汪国财)  from Anhui Province, was taken to Tongde Hospital (浙江省立同德医院) with injuries. According to reports, he expressed sadness about Wu Ping’s death, in interviews with Xin’an Evening Post (新安晚报) and the official provincial website Anhui Net.

“In 1993, me and my wife, one after another, lost our jobs. In 1995, I obtained my driver’s license and began to drive”, Wang Guocai recalled. This time, Yao, his boss in Shexian County told him to take logs to Hangzhou. On June 12 in the early morning, at about 00:20, he went onto the highway, arrived at Lin’an motorway service station at three in the morning, slept on the truck until about five in the morning, and then continued. At about six in the morning, he was on Hangzhou Western Beltway, approaching northern Sandun Expressway Exit, when he suddenly startled, then lost control of the truck, and finally hit the isolation strip. During those seconds, Wang Guocai had felt that “this was it”.

“1993年的时候我和爱人双双下岗,1995年我拿到驾照开始开车。”汪国财回忆说,这次是歙县的姚老板让他送一车原木到杭州去。6月12号凌晨0点20分许,他驶上高速,凌晨3点到达临安服务区,在车上睡到5点左右,发动车子继续出发。清晨6时许,他行驶到杭州绕城高速西线南向北三墩主线出口处,突然感到车身一震,随后车子不受控制,撞上隔离带,那几秒间,汪国财感觉“完了”。

 

Wu Ping was born in March 1957. He spent most of his time as an academic with work in the agricultural field, with several years of experience abroad, at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, from 1989 to 1994. He had become a CCP member in July 1986.

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Related

» Wu Ping, Zhejiang University

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Press Review: the “Magic” of Third Plenary Sessions

The Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee’s third plenary session is scheduled to begin on Saturday, and to close on Tuesday. The Economist is full of joy and great expectations:

When colleagues complain that meetings achieve nothing, silence them with eight leaden words: “third plenary session of the 11th central committee”. This five-day Communist Party gathering in December 1978 utterly changed China.

Why should Xi Jinping be in a position to repeat a similar plenum tomorrow, 35 years after the 1th Central Committee? Because Xi, and chief state councillor Li Keqiang, have assembled an impressive bunch of market-oriented advisers, and because Xi himself appears to have more authority than any leader since Deng. And he had done nothing downplay expecations.

press review

The outland expects nothing short of a (counter) revolution.

The Economist’s editorial mentions two fields on which the central committee – in its view – should focus: state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the countryside. The magazine has been banging on about the latter issue since March 2006 – if not earlier. In its March 25, 2006 edition, it suggested land reform (“how to make China even richer”), and it saw some of its expectations met in winter 2008, but the third plenum that Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao chaired in October 2008 proved an anticlimax.

If the next days should not produce spectacular decisions, neither the Economist nor the Financial Times appear to be too worried: bloated phrasing, the FT suggests, has not been an obstacle to far-reaching economic policy changes in China over the past 35 years. The FT also agrees with the Economist’s 2008 finding that

for Hu Jintao, Mr Xi’s predecessor, the 2003 third plenum became a marker of his administration’s shortcomings. Mr Hu vowed at the plenum to tackle China’s unbalanced growth, but a decade later left office with the economy even more reliant on investment.

But contrary to the Economist, the FT doesn’t seem to believe that the input from the market-oriented advisers, assembled by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, will translate into results quite as dramatic as the think-tank papers. Incremental change would prevail.

One of the ideas – certainly not shared by all Chinese leaders alike – behind the right to farmers to sell their land is that the money earned from sales would enable them to start new lives in the cities or in urbanized areas. This would, apparently, require loosening or abandoning the household-registration system, even if some more conservative models of trading land-related rights rather seem to encourage rural citizens to stay where they are.

This should make sense – maybe not everywhere, but in many places. After all, Hu Jintao’s and Wen Jiabao’s caution wasn’t unfounded. The history of Chinese agriculture seems to have been about making farmers owners of their land – with concepts of ownership which most probably differ from our days -, even if for different goals. The idea then was to make agriculture work, not to make urbanization work. And time and again, land concentrated, back into the hands of small elites, Erling von Mende, a sinologist, suggested in a contribution for a popular-science illustrated book published by Roger Goepper, in 1988.*)

If a peasant in Gansu province sells his few mu of land – to a local developer, for example – and heads to a big city, one may doubt that his small capital would get him very far. He might return to his home province as a poorer man than ever before. It’s unlikely that the center would loosen all the brakes at once.

The most striking thing to me about recent foreign coverage of the plenary session aren’t the technicalities, however. It is the way China is being looked at as just another kind of political system. The potential of big business seems to have squashed ethical issues.

That’s not soft power, but it is Beijing power. A number of former foreign officials, among them Mexico’s former president Ernesto Zedillo and former British prime minister Gordon Brown, pilgrimaged to the Chinese capital to attend a conference of the 21st Century Council, a global think tank (apparently formed by them). They got an invitation for tea met with Xi Jinping, too, who informed them that China would not fall into the middle-income trap.

There is no reason to believe that elites who worship abusive power abroad will show more respect for human rights at home.

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Note

*) Roger Goepper (Hrsg.): “Das Alte China”, München, Gütersloh, 1988, pp. 164 – 166

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Related

» Is China misunderstood, Oct 24, 2012
» Middle-income trap, Wikipedia, acc. 20131108

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, July 2013

1. Radio Habana Cuba (RHC)

If there is an element of soft-power methodology in Cuba’s foreign radio programs – winning friends and influencing people -, it’s probably the music they play.  Some other of the station’s regular topics may come across as rather old-fashioned to listeners, especially – depending on your perception – the World of Stamps and Arnie Córo‘s DXers Unlimited programs.

Radio Habana Cuba (RHC) covered the trails of the Pastors for Peace this month, on their annual trip to revolutionary sites in the free territory in the Americas. Also in the news: lots about Edward Snowden or related events, and Swedish member of parliament Torbjörn Björlund has a short interview with the station as he visits Cuba for the first time.

RHC used to broadcast to Europe, too, partly or completely through relay stations in the USSR, but the main target areas are now the Americas and Africa. The main target area for RHC’s English-language broadcast is North America, and one of the program’s frequencies, 6000 kHz, can usually be received clearly in Europe, too.

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Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988

Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988. The project’s prominent role in the QSL series is no concidence: the project is or was run by Ramón Castro Ruz, » the older brother of the two political leaders. Asked by an American journalist in the late 1970s » what he thought about Cuban-U.S. relations, Castro parried the questions “with a shrug and grin: ‘That’s all politics – I leave that to Fidel. All I know about are cows.'”

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2. Voice of Turkey

TRT Ankara, also known as the “Voice of Turkey”, retains a bastion of Kemalism. Every once in a while when listening, you will stumble across readings from the founder of the Republic’s diary or memories, or contemporaries’ memories about him (I have never given the topic a close listen yet). No Koran recitals in the English, French, German or Spanish programs, as far as I can tell, but both the Arab and the Chinese services carry such programs at the beginning of every broadcast, at least currently. In the Chinese case, the recitals may be meant to benefit Uighur listeners, and other Muslim minorities in China. A listeners’ letter with a number of signatories asked TRT for a Koran copy for each of them in January this year and were told that unfortunately, there are no Korans among our gifts, but you can download them from the internet. There are also Chinese ones.

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3. Recent Logs

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; ARS – Saudi Arabia; CUB – Cuba; EGY – Egypt; INS – Indonesia; KRE – North Korea; MRC – Morocco; OMA – Oman; RUS – Russia; THA – Thailand; TUR – Turkey.

Languages (“L.”):
A – Arabic; C – Chinese; E – English; F – French; G – German; S – Spanish.

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kHz

Station

Ctry

L.

Day

Time
GMT

S I O
  6000 RHC
Habana
Cuba
 CUB  E July
6
 04:00 3 5 3
13760 Vo Korea  KRE E July
7
 13:00 3 5 3
15140 Radio
Oman
 OMA E July
7
 14:00 4 5 4
17660 Radio
Riyadh
 ARS F July
8
 14:53 5 5 5
12050 Radio 1)
Cairo
 EGY G July
8
 19:00 4 5 1
15290 Radio 1)
Cairo
 EGY E July
8
 19:00 3 3 1
17660 Radio
Riyadh
 ARS F July
14
 14:00 4 5 4
 5980 Channel
Africa
 AFS E July
15
 03:00 4 5 3
 6000 RHC
Habana
Cuba
 CUB E July
15
 04:00 3 4 3
15240 TRT 2)
Ankara
 TUR C July
16
 11:00 4 4 4
15670 Vo
Russia
 RUS E July
16
 13:00 4 5 3
12050 Radio 1)
Cairo
 EGY G July
16
 19:00 4 5 2
15290 Radio 1)
Cairo
 EGY E July
16
 19:00 3 4 2
 6000 RHC
Habana
Cuba
 CUB E July
17
 03:50 4 5 4
9525.7 RRI
Indonesia
 INS G July
20
 18:07 4 4 4
 6000 RHC
Habana
Cuba
 CUB E July
21
 01:00 3 5 3
 9770 TRT
Ankara
 TUR S July
22
 01:00 4 5 4
 9665 Vo
Russia
 RUS E July
22
 02:00 4 5 4
 9580 Radio
Médi
 MRC A/
F
July
22
 08:48 5 5 5
 9390 Radio
Thailand
 THA E July
22
 19:00 4 5 4
11750 TRT
Ankara
 TUR  A July
24
 11:00 4 5 4
13760 TRT
Ankara
 TUR  G July
24
 11:30 4 5 4

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Notes

1) The usual modulation disaster.
2) Soundtrack here, online for ten days (minimum). Download enabled.

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Related

» Previous Log, June 28, 2013

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer: Walled Little World

Good weather conditions so far – mostly a good mix of sun, rain and overcast skies. Everything is still lagging behind schedule by a few weeks, as the warm season started late.

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grapes

Small grapes, great expectations

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Some of the crops are growing on mini-terraces as the slope would make watering wasteful otherwise.

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lavender and potatoes

Lavender and potatoes

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potato blossom

potato blossom

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tobacco

Tobacco – only a few rows so as not to exceed the legal limit.

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Related

Summer Observations, July 12, 2011
Rain at last, June 19, 2011

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Obituary: Chen Xitong, 1930 – 2013

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Chen Xitong

Former Beijing mayor Chen Xitong (陈希同) died on Sunday. HK China News Agency (HKCNA, a branch of mainland Chinese China News Service) broke the news on Tuesday, reportedly in a rather scant bulletin.

Chen was born in Sichuan Province, in 1930, and died aged 82, 83, or 84, depending on how you count the years. He was seen as a staunch supporter of the Tian’anmen massacre of June 4, 1989. In 1992, he became a member of the central committee’s politburo, and party secretary in Beijing. In turn, he ended his mayorship after some ten years in office.

His career ended in 1995, when he faced corruption charges. In 1998, he was sentenced to sixteen years in jail, but was released on medical parole in 2006.

According to sources beyond HKCNA – quoted by the Voice of America -, Chen Xitong’s relatives released a bulletin of their own, too. Chen Xitong’s son, Chen Xiaotong (陈小同),  thanked those who had helped the family during the illness of his father. Chen Xitong reportedly died from cancer.

Yao Jianfu (姚监复), a former researcher at the state council’s rural development research center, met Chen Xitong several times after Chen’s release in 2006. In June 2012, he had his accounts of their discussions, Conversations with Chen Xitong, published in Hong Kong.

Chen is said to have contested the notion that his role in the Tian’anmen massacre had been crucial. Deng Xiaoping had had his own sources to make his decision (i. e. didn’t depend on information from the Beijing mayor).

In June 2012, on the occasion of the publication of the Conversations, the Washington Post quoted Chen Xitong as having referred to the 1989 demonstrations as an American-backed conspiracy orchestrated by a “tiny handful of people”  at the time of the movement, 24 years ago. Chen, in his rather recent conversations with Yao Jianfu, is also quoted as comparing his political fate (concerning the corruption charges in 1995) to that of Bo Xilai.

Some allegations against Chen Xitong, regarding his role in 1989, are based on the alleged diary by then chief state councillor Li Peng. But some allegations appear likely, such as Chen having been in charge of the headquarters that oversaw the crackdown. Either way, he certainly played his role well enough to get promoted to the politburo.

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Candellight Vigil in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of Hong Kongers attended a candellight vigil in Victoria Park on Tuesday night. William Chan, a Youtube user, wrote:

Hong Kong made me proud today. A big crowd braved heavy rain to attend. This was the moment when we all put down our umbrellas to raise our candles. The chants at the end are “Vindicate June 4th!” and “Never give up!”

The erhu music performed is called 江河水 [River Water].

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Related

» Ma Ying-jeou’s June-4 remarks, Taiwan Today, June 5, 2013

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Xi Jinping on Youth Day: “Open the Skies for the Young”

Chinese chief of party and state Xi Jinping spoke to outstanding young people from all walks of life at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation‘s (中国航天科技集团公司) China Academy of Space Technology (中国空间技术研究院) on Saturday. Among China’s English-language media, China Daily, sina.com, and the All-China Women’s Federation website cover the event.

Main Link: Xi Jinping holds a forum with outstanding youth representatives from all walks of life (习近平同各界优秀青年代表座谈)
Links within the following blockquotes were added during translation.

Xinhua (via CCTV), May 4, 2013:

On the occasion of Youth Day, CCP Central Committee Secretary General, State Chairman and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping came to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s Academy of Space Technology on May 4 and took part in a community activity under the theme of “Realizing the Chinese Dream, the Young assume their tasks”, talked with representatives of outstanding young people from all walks of life and gave an important speech, and, on behalf of the Central Committee, extended greetings on the occasion of Youth Day.

新华网北京5月4日电 五四青年节到来之际,中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平4日来到中国航天科技集团公司中国空间技术研究院,参加“实现中国梦、青春勇担当”主题团日活动,同各界优秀青年代表座谈并发表重要讲话,代表党中央向全国广大青年致以节日问候。

Xi emphasized that the young are most vigorous and idealistic, that the country rose with the rise of the young, and that the country was strong when the young were strong. The staunch ideals and convictions of the young, their abilities to pass the hardest tests, their courage to innovate and to create, their hard and persevering work, their strong and high-minded characters, their vivid dream of realizing the take-off of the China dream would write a splendid new chapter in the bookof the unremitting struggle in the people’s interest.

习近平强调,青年最富有朝气、最富有梦想,青年兴则国家兴,青年强则国家强。广大青年要坚定理想信念,练就过硬本领,勇于创新创造,矢志艰苦奋斗,锤炼高尚品格,在实现中国梦的生动实践中放飞青春梦想,在为人民利益的不懈奋斗中书写人生华章。

At 9:30 in the morning, Xi Jinping arrived at the China Academy of Space Technology’s exhibition hall and viewed the exhibition of space technology achievements. On seeing that the secretary general had arrived, some of the outstanding young representatives who were also viewing the exhibition gathered around him, and Xi Jinping smiled and shook hands with one of them after another.

上午9时30分许,习近平来到中国空间技术研究院展厅,参观空间技术成就展。看到总书记来了,正在参观的部分优秀青年代表围了过来,习近平微笑着和大家一一握手。

CCTV coverage

CCTV coverage, with about the same wording as the Xinhua article – click picture for video.

The Xinhua article continues to set the scene for another while, describing how Xi Jinping closely listens to explanatons or introductions in front of the exhibits and having discussions with young technical or academic leaders. The average age of the Chang’e team and the Shenzhou team was 33; that of the Beidou system team was 35;  that of the Dongfang-Hong-4 team [a 1967 project] had been 29; that of a satellite application team was 28, Xi Jinping hears with great pleasure, pointing out that the hope for technological innovation is placed on the young.

The article then lists participants from different places and companies or authorities, from a petrochemical welding pioneer (中国石油第一建设公司第三工程处313工程队电焊技师裴先锋) to a party branch secretary from Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区新巴尔虎右旗克尔伦苏木芒来嘎查党支部书记), and military officers.

About 806 out of the article’s 1878 words are reserved for an account of Xi Jinping’s actual speech, basically centering around the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is carefully crafted and meant to enthuse the youth delegates who are attending. But there is also some space for the interest of the individual:

Xi Jinping pointed out that all along, the party represented the young, won the young over, relied on the young, all along attached great importance to the young, showed care for the young, and trusted the young. Facing the future, leaders and cadres from all levels of the party and the government needed to make further efforts to pay attention to the aspirations of the young, to help the young develop, to support them starting businesses, to open the skies even wider for the galopping ideas of the young (青年驰骋思想) and a still wider platform for their innovative work, more opportunities for shaping their lives, and more favorable conditions.

习近平指出,我们党始终代表青年、赢得青年、依靠青年, 始终重视青年、关怀青年、信任青年。面向未来,各级党委、政府和领导干部要进一步关注青年愿望、帮助青年发展、支持青年创业,为青年驰骋思想打开更浩瀚的 天空,为青年实践创新搭建更广阔的舞台,为青年塑造人生提供更丰富的机会,为青年建功立业创造更有利的条件。

[...]

Prior to the forum, Xi Jinping had a cordial meeting with the participating outstanding youth representatives from all walks of life and had keepsake photos taken with them.

座谈会前,习近平亲切会见了参加座谈会的各界优秀青年代表并合影留念。

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Related

» In space, the possibilities are endless, Ronald Reagan Radio Address, July 21, 1984
» May-4 Youth Day, Wikipedia, acc. 20130505
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

An Inspection Tour: Cross-Legged on the Kang

Latest (probable) directive from the propaganda department (in these or other words):

“Dampen great nationalist expectations, but strike a chord with them nevertheless. Dampen expectations among the masses at large. Display the care and awareness of the Central Committee for those stricken by hardship. Spread a message of hope and glory, but modest glory.”

Former foreign minister (and probably still a central-committee member) Li Zhaoxing showed that kind of concern in global terms, in an interview with the Guangzhou Daily. Around the same time, Xi Jinping demonstrated his awareness locally, on December 29 and 30, 2012.

Main Link: Xi Jinping visits People in Straited Circumstances in Fuping Country, Hebei Province
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Eradicating poverty, improving the people’s livelihood and to achieve common prosperity was the innate character of socialism, Xi Jinping told people in Fuping, Hebei Province, during a visit last year.

[...] we will pay special attention to people in straitened circumstances, we will care especially for them, and we will do our best to help them to dispell their worries and to solve their problems.

我们要格外关注、格外关爱、格外关心,千方百计帮助他们排忧解难

From December 29 to December 30, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited and comforted people in straitened circumstances in Hebei Province’s Fuping County. This picture (Xinhua Newsagency) shows him visiting the poor Tang Rongbin’s family in Luotuowan Village, Longguan town.

12月29日至30日,中共中央总书记、中央军委主席习近平在河北省阜平县看望慰问困难群众。这是习近平在龙泉关镇骆驼湾村到困难群众唐荣斌家看望。 新华社发

From December 29 to December 30, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited and comforted people in straitened circumstances in Hebei Province’s Fuping County, inspecting the [local] work to help the poor. This picture (Xinhua Newsagency) shows Xi Jinping in Gujiatai Village’s retail department, inquiring about the rural village’s everyday supply situation.

12月29日至30日,中共中央总书记、中央军委主席习近平在河北省阜平县看望慰问困难群众,考察扶贫工作。这是习近平在龙泉关镇顾家台村的小卖部,了解农村日常用品供应情况。新华社发

After the picture section, the actual article:

Xinhua Newsagency, Shijiazhuang, December 30, 2012 — the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping went to Fuping Country, Hebei Province, to visit and comfort people in straitened circumstances, and to inspect the work of helping the poor and development support there. He pointed out that eradicating poverty, improving the people’s livelihood and to achieve common prosperity was the innate character of socialism. We will pay special attention to people in straitened circumstances, we will care especially for them, and we will do our best to help them to dispell their worries and to solve their problems, with the safety and well-being of the masses always on our heart, and we will send the party’s and the government’s warmth to the innumerable homes.

新华社石家庄12月30日电 中共中央总书记、中央军委主席习近平近日到河北省阜平县看望慰问困难群众,考察扶贫开发工作。他强调,消除贫困、改善民生、实现共同富裕,是社会主义的本 质要求。对困难群众,我们要格外关注、格外关爱、格外关心,千方百计帮助他们排忧解难,把群众的安危冷暖时刻放在心上,把党和政府的温暖送到千家万户。

On December 29, Xi Jinping, in the freezing conditions of more then minus ten degrees C., travelled more than 300 kilometers by car and then arrived in Fuping County, in the depths of the Taihang Mountains. Fuping is an old revolutionary base area, in the border area of what was then the location of the Jin Cha Ji government. Fuping County is a major national poverty country [sometimes also referred to as key counties for poverty reduction]. Xi Jinping was perfectly concerned about the area’s cadres and masses, coming there especially before New Year to visit them.

29日下午,习近平冒着零下十几摄氏度的严寒,驱车300多公里来到地处太行山深处的阜平县。阜平是革命老区,是当年晋察冀边区政府所在地。阜平县也是全国重点贫困县。习近平对老区干部群众十分挂念,元旦前特地来到这里看望。

Xi and his entourage didn’t fail to make the point that unforgettable achievements had been made from the once-revolutionary base, plus pointing out the need to improve lives which remained comparatively difficult (生活还比较困难), and that with confidence, the yellow ground [i. e. the loess ground] would turn into gold (习近平强调,只要有信心,黄土变成金).

Xi Jinping [...] visited Tang Rongbin’s and Tang Zongxiu’s family, sat cross-legged on the kang with them hand in hand with the villagers, inquiring in detail about their incomes during the year, about food supplies, clothing and heating coal during the winter, the distances the children had to cover to attend school, and about conveniences and inconveniences when having to see a doctor.

习近平逐一走进困难群众唐荣斌家、唐宗秀家看望,盘腿坐在炕上,同乡亲手拉手,详细询问他们一年下来有多少收入,粮食够不够吃,过冬的棉被有没有,取暖的煤炭够不够,小孩上学远不远,看病方便不方便。

One of the more concrete contents of Xi’s tour was the mention of the new rural cooperative health system (新型农村合作医疗制度).

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and central responsible comrades in charge accompanied [Xi] on the inspection tour.

王沪宁、栗战书和中央有关部门负责同志陪同考察。

To see Xi Jinping cross-legged on the kang, go to this story republished by the “Global Times”.

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Related

» How they cried, December 24, 2012

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh Come All Ye Faithful: Mao Zedong’s 119th Birthday

In Shaoshan, countless people sang “The East is Red” together to mark Comrade Mao Zedong‘s 119th birthday, notes People’s Daily online. Another activity on December 25 was a fitness marathon, in reply to Mao’s call to “develop sports to strengthen the people’s physical shape”. Nearly ten-thousand people from provincial departments colleges and universities, and from all over the province (i. e. Hunan Province) reportedly participated.

Follow the star over Shaoshan town.

Follow the star over Shaoshan town.

Another lot of countless people probably didn’t care, unless they absolutely had to. And the article in question was written by a fairly productive (judging by search results) trainee, or an intern.  To her glory, the short article is carried by many mainstream websites, too.

How can a party that claims have been the faithful inheritor and advocate of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture from the day of its establishment celebrate a barbarian mass killer?

There may be many reasons, but two seem to come to my mind. For one, they have to celebrate him. To admit that he had been a liability through most of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s would call the party’s legitimacy into question. After all, they enabled him.

And secondly, because maybe, Mao isn’t that much of a liability when it comes to party rule. Under the Great Helmsman’s correct leadership, 70-percent-correct leadership or whatever kind of leadership, the Communists showed the people what they were capable of. No, I’m not thinking about literacy statistics here, but about shock and awe. When a younger generation became somewhat forgetful, only twelve or thirteen years after Mao’s death, they got another – comparatively small – reminder of what the CCP can do for them.

And many people inside and outside China keep saying that the Tian-An-Men massacre in 1989 was a “necessity”.

But these two reasons alone basically seem to guarantee that China can’t develop genuine “soft power”. There may be soft power over some of our elites in Europe, for example, especially when they are tired of the cumbersome business of democracy – especially elections.

But no “ordinary people” in their right minds can subscribe to concepts like those.

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Related

» Convivial Diplomacy (2009), Febr 20, 2012
» Message to a Barbarian, June 26, 2011

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