Posts tagged ‘countryside’

Monday, February 3, 2014

CCTV Chunwan Gala: Probably not Doing as Bad as Reported

Global Voices had an article a few days ago, on Chinese TV’s (CCTV) New Year’s Gala show, broadcast last Thursday night local time. It’s often been said that the show is losing its former luster. That may be true. But I seem to be getting some hunches that the decline of the show is often overstated.

For one, views expressed on the internet are overstated. The Global Voices article suggests that, according to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of the viewers were extremely disappointed in the program this year. True, but these sixty percent of viewers expressed their view on the internet, according to the source quoted there. 21,721 people apparently participated in the online survey, and they judged not the show itself, but rather the list of scheduled events during the show.

That said, the show, first broadcast on New Year’s Eve in 1983, is losing appeal, even according to a survey quoted by China Radio International (CRI). The poll in question is said to have been conducted by China Youth Daily on February 28 – i. e., also a vote on the schedule than on the show as aired. 55.4 percent found that the show was outdated. 102,791 people reportedly participated in the China-Youth-Daily survey.

I’m even suggesting that many of the young today who detest the show may get to like it as they grow older and become more conservative. From a demographic perspective, China isn’t a young country anymore, and it is greying rapidly.

All the same, Global Voices offers a summary of the gala which is worth reading. The intentions behind the production are probably interpreted fairly accurately, and two videos are included as samples.

The complete show will be somewhere on the internet.

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Related

» An estimated 700 mn, BBC blog, Jan 31, 2014
» How boring, “Global Times”, Jan 28, 2014
» No toothless Rocker, Jan 18, 2014

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, January 2014

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1. Voice of Tibet (a PBS shortwave station from or near Tibet)

If you still doubt that Tibet is a happy land of liberated serfs, PBS Tibet‘s English program “Holy Tibet” is made for you. Learn about the CCP’s warm care for the roof of the world, and how Han-Chinese party groups and neighborhood committees keep  those kids at the Tibetan leaders school in Beijing happy (starting at 3’40” here).

Apparently, there’s not quite as much care for listeners of the station who write reception reports and hope to get a QSL card as a confirmation. Maybe they remember that sending QSLs from Tibet can get radio people into big trouble. (At least as likely though, letters from abroad may not even get to the station.)

But the English-language broadcasts are, of course, directed to the outside world, as a China Tibet Website (中国西藏网) confirmed in 2010. The following are translation excerpts from the article:

Every day, with the sound of the bell in the wee hours, the strong radiowaves of Tibet People’s Broadcasting Station’s foreign program “Voice of Tibet”, and with satellite signals, too, in future, carry the sound of Tibet to the whole world. Millions of listeners all around the world can learn about the changes in Tibet in realtime, understand the broad and profound Tibetan culture, listen to melodies from the “roof of the world”, get to know Tibet and get nearer to Tibet.

伴随着每一天凌晨的钟声,西藏人民广播电台的对外广播《中国西藏之声》用强劲的电波将来自西藏的声音通过卫星传递到全球。遍布世界各地的百万听 众,可以通过这档节目及时了解西藏正在发生的变化,感悟博大精深的藏族文化、聆听来自“世界屋脊”的旋律,认识西藏并走近西藏。

On April 26 (2010), this reporter visited Tibet People’s Broadcasting Station deputy director Da Qiong. He told him his own story, and the story of broadcasting.

4月26日,记者走访了西藏人民广播电台副台长达穷,给他讲述了自己和广播的故事。

Deputy director Da Qiong told this reporter that since the English-language broadcasts had been started in May 2002*), the programs had received the attention and and appreciation. Every year, hundreds of letters come in from Britain, Germany, Switzerland, America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan, and other foreign listeners, as well as from Tibetan compatriots living in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and other foreign countries. Da Qiong says: “There are listeners in 47 countries and territories on five continents. Actually, the gap between our ideals and the program’s contents is still rather wide, and it inspires us to see how many people at home and abroad pay attention to the program. As for the young group of the “Holy Tibet” program team, every postcard and photo [that comes in] spells cordial friendship and sincere encouragement.

达穷副台长告诉记者,自2002年5月开办英语对外广播节目以来,节目受到了欧美英语国家听众的广泛关注和欢迎,每年都会收到来自英国、德国、瑞士、美国、加拿大、澳大利亚、南非、日本等国外听众,以及旅居尼泊尔、印度、不丹等国外藏胞的来信数百封。达穷说:“与电台保持通信联系的国外听众遍布五大洲47个国家和地区。其实目前栏目的内容与我们理想中的差距还很大,看到这么多的国内外人士关注栏目,使我们备受鼓舞。对于《圣地西藏》节目组的这些年轻人来说,每一张明信片和照片都意味着一份诚挚的友谊和诚恳的鼓励。”

[Dutch listener M.] is a shortwave aficionado who decided, after listening to “Holy Tibet”, to travel to Tibet. In July 2009, he and his friend came to Lhasa and also visited the “Holy Tibet” program team. Coming to the newsroom, M. was very excited, saying “I have heard broadcasts from many places. When travelling in Indonesia last year, I came across your program on the radio dial and have listened ever since. I’m very happy to meet the people behind this familiar voice today. Your program includes news, cultural and muscial programs, and it’s a really good structure. Through them, I can understand the real Tibet. Tibetan music is so beautiful. It’s a trasured sound [or the sound of nature]. Thank you for your hard work.”

荷兰听众戴夫德-马丁是一位短波收听爱好者,经过收听《Holy Tibet》后决定到西藏旅游,2009年7月他和他的朋友来到拉萨并专程拜访了《Holy Tibet》节目组。来到编辑部马丁先生激动不已,他说:“我收听很多地方的广播,去年在印尼旅行时意外搜索到你们的节目,从此一直在收听。今天能见到我熟悉的声音背后的人十分高兴。你们的节目囊括了新闻、文化和音乐节目,结构布局很好。通过它我们能够了解真实的西藏,西藏的音乐太美了,真是天籁之音。谢谢你们的辛勤劳动。”

[Another listener, from Canada, wrote in a letter]: “This is a window widely opened by ancient Tibet to the world. Through this window, listeners around the world can find out about real Tibet, about fast-developing Tibet.”

另一位来自加拿大埃尔波特的听众尼格尔-潘布雷特在来信中说:这是古老的西藏向世界敞开的一扇窗口,遍布世界各地的听众通过这扇窗口了解真实的西藏,快速发展中的西藏。

The deputy director relates s0me domestic merits of the station, too: a Tibetan-language hotline where the common people can ask for help with practical problems, such as electricity blackouts in remote villages. After such a problem had been aired and solved, excited villagers took home-produced fresh milk and yoghourt to the radio station and expressed their thanks (兴奋的村民提着自己制做的鲜牛奶和酸奶找到了电台表示感谢). The deputy director acknowledges that there is competition among different media in “more developed” places, but suggests that his station can still leave a mark even among an international audience.

“Witnessing Tibet [with your own eyes]”, “Eyes on Tibet” [is/are] news feature program[s]. We introduce Tibetan human rights, the heritage of traditional culture and its development, freedom of religious belief, demographics, the ecology and environment, etc.. We determine our topics directly from these reports. We compare with old Tibet, we show how the living conditions of all nationalities and masses of new Tibet prosper under the minority policies, religion policies, and policies of enriching the people, and with the support from old and younger brothers from all provinces and cities of the nation, are improving, and how culture, hygiene, education and other public infrastructure are, day by day, create historical facts. We make interviews on the ground. Through ordinary people from all walks of life in Tibet, through description of peasants’ and herders’ own experience, we report the real Tibet. Indisputible facts show Tibet’s new development, new changes, and new life.

《目击西藏》,《Eyes on the Tibet》:新闻专题节目。对外介绍西藏的人权、传统文化的继承和发展、宗教信仰自由、人口数量的变化、生态环境等。直接针对这些报道确定选题。与旧西藏进行对比,展现新西藏各族群众在党的民族政策、宗教政策、富民政策指引下,在全国兄弟省市的大力支援下,生活条件逐年改善,文化、卫生、教育等公共设施日益健全的历史事实。全部采用现场采访,通过西藏社会各界普通百姓,农牧民亲身经历的讲述报道真实的西藏,用不争的事实展示西藏的新发展、新变化、新生活。

God knows if the Dutch and Canadian listeners quoted in the article exist for real – but if you write to the “Voice of Tibet” for a QSL card, you may want to learn from these foreign models’ example.

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*) Update (20140201): In an earlier article, apparently (originally) published by a China Tibet News Center (中国西藏信息中心) in November 2009,  it is suggested that Tibet PBS started foreign broadcasts in 1964, but with what comes across as a description of limited success. The 2002 broadcasts therefore underwent a rebranding and/or expansion, rather than being the absolute beginning of foreign broadcasts by Tibet PBS.

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2. Recent Logs

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:

AFS – South Africa; ARG – Argentina; CHN – China; CUB – Cuba; D – Germany; EQA – Ecuador; IND – India; INS – Indonesia; KRE – North Korea; RRW – Rwanda; TIB – Tibet, TUR – Turkey; USA – USA.

Languages (“L.”):

C – Chinese; E – English; F – French; G – German; R – Russian; S – Spanish.

kHz

Station

Ctry

L.

Day

GMT

S I O
 6170 Vo Korea KRE G Jan
2
19:00 5 5 4
 3985 Radio
Prague
D G Jan
7
20:00 4 4 3
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG C Jan
10
04:00 3 3 3
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG C Jan
15
04:00 4 4 3
11755 AWR
Meyerton
AFS F Jan
16
20:00 4 4 3
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG F Jan
17
03:48 4 4 4
15700 Deutsche
Welle
Kigali
RRW E Jan
19
06:00 4 5 3
17800 Deutsche
Welle
Kigali
RRW E Jan
19
06:20 4 5 4
 6165 Radio
Habana
Cuba
CUB E Jan
20
04:00 4 4 3
15235 Channel
Africa
AFS E Jan
20
17:00 5 5 5
 6170 Vo Korea KRE G Jan
20
18:51 5 5 4
 6170 Vo Korea KRE G Jan
20
19:00 5 4 4
 6155 CRI
Beijing
CHN R Jan
20
20:00 4 3 4
 9800 Deutsche
Welle
Kigali
RRW E Jan
20
21:01 4 5 3
 4905 PBS
Tibet
TIB E Jan
21
16:25 4 3 3
 7205 Vo
Turkey
TUR G Jan
21
18:30 4 3 3
 7550 AIR
Delhi
IND E Jan
21
19:00 5 5 5
 9800 Deutsche
Welle
Kigali
RRW ? Jan
22
03:51
7425 Deutsche
Welle
Kigali
RRW E Jan
22
04:01 4 5 4
 9525 RRI
Jakarta1)
INS G Jan
22
19:00 4 5 4
 7240 PBS
Tibet2)
TIB C Jan
24
01:00 4 4 4
 7240 PBS
Tibet
TIB C Jan
24
02:00 4 4 3
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG E Jan
24
02:10 0 0 0
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG F Jan
24
03:40 3 4 3
 7365 Radio
Martí
USA S Jan
24
02:15 4 5 4
 6000 Radio
Habana
Cuba3)
CUB E Jan
24
03:00 3 2 2
 6165 Radio
Habana
Cuba
CUB E Jan
24
03:03 4 3 3
 6050 HCJB
Quito
EQA S/E Jan
24
03:13 4 4 4
 6165 Radio
Habana
Cuba
CUB E Jan
26
05:00 4 4 4
9445 AIR
Delhi4)
IND E Jan
27
21:15 4 5 4
 4905 PBS
Tibet
TIB E Jan
28
16:00 4 4 4
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
ARG E Jan
29
02:00 5 5 4
 6155 Channel
Africa
AFS E Jan
29
03:00 3 2 2
 4905 PBS
Tibet
TIB E Jan
30
16:00 4 4 4
 4905 PBS
Tibet
TIB E Jan
31
16:40 3 4 3
 5000 WWV USA E Jan
31
06:02 3 3 3

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Footnotes

1) in English from 18:00 – 18:59 UTC
2) more fading by 01:30 UTC: 44434
3) interference by Radio Liberty, apparently from 5995 kHz
4) blackouts on 7550 and 11670 kHz from 21:00 – 2115 UTC, hence 9445 kHz (fine)

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Related

» Log Dec 2013
» Log Nov (2) 2013
» Log Nov (1) 2013

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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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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Xi Jinping’s New Work Style in Action

There were no formalities and extravaganzas when Xi Jinping revisited Zhengding Town in Hebei Province on July 11, Hebei Daily (via Enorth, Tianjin) reported. No police motorcades, only two small or medium-sized buses, quietly like the rain (雨悄没声). And Xi even recognized the party branch secretary in the village from his first visit, in 2008.

Later, the party and state leader “spontaneously” visited a family:

“The General Secretary has come to our home”, 18-year-old Jie Jinkai wrote on QQ. The General Secretary had randomly chosen Jin’s family to visit there. “Village cadres knocked on the door, and the General Secretary just came in. I was on the internet, my younger sister was watching television, and Grandma, Mum and Dad were busy with other things – I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

“总书记来我家了。”这是18岁的解金凯11日更新的QQ签名。总书记是随机选择来到他家的。“村干部敲开门,总书记就走了进来。当时我正在上网,妹妹正在看电视,奶奶、爸爸、妈妈都在忙着别的事,当时简直不敢相信自己的眼睛。”

The kids airing their heels, and Granny working her ass off: this was extremely realistically choreographed moderate-prosperity stuff, and the message was clear: The party’s new work style is in full swing, with modesty, cloeseness to the masses, small meals, and small people.

Xi Jinping listens closely and conscientiously takes notes - CCTV evening news (Wednesday) on a conference with provincial leaders in Wuhan, Hunan Province. Click picture for video.

Xi Jinping listens closely and conscientiously takes notes – CCTV evening news (Wednesday) on a conference with provincial leaders in Wuhan, Hunan Hubei Province.
Click picture for video.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes - CCTV evening news on Wednesday.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes – CCTV evening news on Wednesday.

Will President Xi Jinping turn out to be a reformer in the vein of Taiwan’s Chiang Ching-kuo, the South China Morning Post (SCMP, Hong Kong) asked on July 18. Or will he walk a more conservative path, becoming a leader in the mould of Communist Party helmsman Mao Zedong?

Conventional wisdom has it that a new leader needs to consolidate power before making decisive political moves (if he has any on his mind). But the SCMP quoted members of liberal circles in China who believe the opposite: that Xi could only move before his successor (who would only succeed him in about nine or ten years, if you go by the experience of Jiang Zemin or Hu Jintao) becomes known. That’s to say, Xi’s window of opportunity would be during his first five-year term.

But rather, the SCMP quoted another liberal, Xi had moved to the “left”, i. e. Maoist tradition.

On July 19, People’s Daily (online) reported on Xi’s activities as chairman of the Central Military Commission. The CMC is both an organ of the party and the state, and formally, they are therefore two different bodies. However, membership of both of them is identical, and only during the transition between Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, when Xi had become the CCP’s general secretary, and Hu remained head of state (and therefore the “state CMC”), their functions could count as slightly different from each other.

With Xi’s approval, People’s Daily wrote, the Central Military Commission has recently published the “Army implementation of the Party’s regulations on building the system of incorrupt government”.  (经中央军委主席习近平批准,中央军委日前印发《军队实行党风廉政建设责任制的规定》。)

The “Regulations” thoroughly implement the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the CCP, and under the guidance of the Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thoughts of the “Three Representatives” [Jiang Zemin] and of scientific development [Hu Jintao] resolutely implement Chairman Xi’s important series of instructions, closely centered around the party’s goal, in the new situation, of a strong military, in accordance with the Central Committee’s and the CMC’s relevant rules concerning
the Party’s regulations on building incorrupt government. [The “Regulations”] combine the troops’ reality, clearly stipulated the concrete responsibilities of all levels within the party committees, of the commissions for discipline inspection of the CCP, and of leading cadres, as well as measures for inspection, supervision, responsibility and investigation.

《规 定》深入贯彻落实党的十八大精神,以邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想、科学发展观为指导,坚决贯彻习主席一系列重要指示,紧紧围绕党在新形势下 的强军目标,依据党中央、中央军委关于党风廉政建设的有关规定,结合军队实际,明确规定了各级党委、纪委和领导干部在党风廉政建设中的具体责任,以及检查 监督和责任追究的制度措施。

The CMC requires all levels to thoroughly study the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the CCP, to conscientiously implement the Central Committee’s, the CMC’s and Chairman Xi’s important instructions on incorrupt government and anti-corruption work, conscientiously implement the Politburo’s eight rules of the CPC Central Committee on improving work style and maintaining close contact with the people, and the spirit of the CMC’s ten regulations  for strengthening the work style, centered around the goal of a strong military, to do good work by strictly implementing the Party’s regulations on building incorrupt government. Measures of different forms must be taken for propaganda and education to create a good atmosphere for the implementation of the “Regulations”. The responsibility of the party work style of incorrupt government must be carried out earnestly, and concerted efforts must truly take shape.

中 央军委要求,各级要深入学习贯彻党的十八大精神,认真贯彻党中央、中央军委和习主席关于加强党风廉政建设和反腐败工作的重要指示,认真落实中央政治 局关于改进工作作风、密切联系群众八项规定和中央军委加强自身作风建设十项规定精神,紧紧围绕强军目标,把严格执行党风廉政建设责任制作为一项重要政治任 务切实抓紧抓好。要采取多种形式搞好宣传教育,营造学习贯彻《规定》的良好氛围。要切实履行抓党风廉政建设的责任,真正形成齐抓共管的合力。

Still within the third paragraph, but in bold characters, i. e. emphasized, the People’s Daily article says that

Right from the sources, corruption must be fought, in accordance with the “Regulations”, concrete measures and methods must be improved, systems to control and supervise with complete power must be built, and the power be impounded in a systematic cage. The edcuational activities for the development of the party’s mass line [or ampaign on mass line education and practice] must be deepened, we must concentrate on solving the four working-style problems of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. Searching our way step by step, 抓铁有痕的劲头, clutching the building of the work style, we must achieve. We must adhere to the principle that where there’s where there is a [criminal? corruption?] case, there needs to be an investigation, where there’s corruption, there needs to be punishment, we must adhere to the principle of striking both at tigers and flies, and conscientiously rectify and deal with our [respective] units’ problems at party work style building, and corruption problems. By strict and impartial discipline, we guarantee the Party’s regulations on building the system of incorrupt government.

要 从源头上有效防治腐败,依据《规定》制定完善具体措施办法,健全权力运行制约和监督体系,把权力关进制度的笼子里。要深入开展党的群众路线教育实践活动, 集中解决形式主义、官僚主义、享乐主义和奢靡之风这“四风”问题,以踏石留印、抓铁有痕的劲头,把作风建设一抓到底、抓出成效。要坚持有案必查、有腐必 惩,坚持“老虎”“苍蝇”一起打,认真纠正并严肃处理本单位在党风廉政建设和反腐败工作中存在的问题,以严明的纪律保证党风廉政建设责任制的贯彻落实。

Not only the liberals quoted by the South China Morning Post on July 18 are pessimistic. Willy Wo-Lap Lam, once himself an SCMP editor, interprets Xi’s language as reminiscent of the Great Helmsman’s masterly blend of the vernacular and the metaphysical. And rather than establishing institutions such as universal-style checks and balances, […] Xi is resorting to Cultural Revolution-era ideological and propaganda campaigns to change of mindset of cadres, observes Lam.

This doesn’t necessarily amount to an allegation that Xi would be a Maoist himself. Rather, independent commissions against corruption might target the alleged wealth of China’s “first families”, not least Xi Jinping’s own family.

Institution-building could pose personal risks. But then, maybe the Xi’s aren’t that rich after all. Or maybe the new work style will truly take shape.

Until then, authority needs to be inherited.

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Related

Ban on new Government Buidlings, Herald Sun / AAP, July 23, 2013

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Updates/Related

Charges against Bo Xilai, BBC, July 25, 2013

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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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Friday, December 7, 2012

Nobel Lecture in Literature: Mo Yan

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Script in English »
Script in Chinese »

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Going to the Grassroots to See the Changes: Enorth (Tianjin) Welcomes the CCP’s 18th National Congress

Links within blockquotes added during translation. The original article also contains some links, but the pictures linked to don’t appear to load – JR

Enorth (Tianjin), October 31, 2012 —

Editors note: to welcome the Party’s 18th National Congress, to display the results of Tianjin’s persistent work of creating happier lives and a good future, and to display the scientific implementation of economic and social life, especially the lives of the common people, Enorth launches “Welcoming the Party’s Eighteenth National Congress – Going to the Grassroots to Report the Changes”, to bring into play the characteristics of the internet, to look at Tianjin’s development and to discover the individual changes from the perspective of Enorth’s many netizens. Today, we publish “Small Cameras Record the Changes in Binhai Village”.

编者按:为迎接党的十八大,展示天津为创造幸福生活和美好未来而不懈努力的成果,展示把科学发展观贯彻落实到经济社会,特别是百姓生活的方方面面,北方网特推出《喜迎十八大——走基层看转变系列报道》,发挥网络特色,通过北方网众多网友的角度,看天津发展,晒身边变化。今天刊发:《小相机纪录滨海乡村大变化》。

Enorth News: “This is Dagang‘s agri-touristical project, this is the newly-established wetlands park project – you can see how well our new village project is going …” Browsing his own photographs on the Enorth Forum, Wu Zongyu is thrilled, continuously sighing to the reporter with emotion. “With such rapid development of my hometown, even I, coming from this place myself, feel amazed.”

天津北方网讯:“这是大港的农业旅游项目、这是新建成的湿地公园……看我们新农村建设的多好……”浏览着自己在北方网论坛发表的摄影作品,吴宗禹内心里激动不已,向记者连连感慨:“家乡发展速度之快,连我这个自家人都觉得了不起。”

Fourty-year-old Wu Zogyu is a native from Binhai New District, Dagang, Taiping Village. A year ago, he and one of his colleagues uploaded photos of fresh flowers to Enorth’s forum, and were showered with praise. After so much encouragement, he fell in love with photography and sharing his joy and his works with others on the forum. Therefore, Wu Zongyu bought a micro camera online and started a website with the romantic and canorous name “Grass-Green cqq”.

今年40岁的吴宗禹土生土长在滨海新区大港太平村。一年前,他和同事拍摄鲜花在北方论坛上发表,好评如潮。看到自己的作品被这么多人鼓励,吴宗禹从此爱上了摄影,爱上了在论坛里和网友分享作品的快乐。为此,吴宗禹还特意在网上买了一台微单相机,并起了一个浪漫而又好听的名字“草青青cqq”。

Currently, Wu is very active in the forum, ever since registering late last year, he has published more than 100 photo posts, becoming Enorth Forum’s “news eye internet reporter”.

如今,吴宗禹在论坛里十分活跃,从去年年底注册到现在,已经发表100多个图文并茂的帖子,成为北方网论坛《拍客新闻眼》的“资深网友记者”。

However, Wu Zongyu only humbly tells the reporter: “In fact, I just want to show the “new village” in my heart to everyone, to let more people know how happy our lives are…”

[A set of photos]

Subtitle:
Old Memories, New Village

“My hometown was handed over to Tianjin from Heibei Province and belongs to Tianjin’s outlying districts. Therefore, the folk customs of some of the elderly remain intact, especially during spring festival. People say that these older people are slowly ebbing out. But I believe that this is part of our intangible assets, and should be preserved and be passed on.

“我的老家与河北省交接,属于天津的边远地区,因此,老家的一些民俗至今保留的还算完整,尤其是过年的时候。有人说,这些老例儿应该慢慢取消。可我觉得这应该是我们的一种无形的财富,应该保留下来。“

Most of Wu’s works reflect life in his hometown, this land’s folk customs, changes, and development. This has become his greatest joy.

吴宗禹大部分作品都是在反映自己的家乡,纪录这片土地上的民俗、变化、发展成为他最大的乐趣。

“Look, this was during spring festival, a photo of the villagers coming together. It is in fact very different from past spring festivals”, Wu says. “In the past, people on a picture were formal, but now, such a scene shows the real feeling of spring festival and keeps the fun of the occasion [on picture]. That’s no small thing when walking across a market.

“你看,这是过年时,村民赶大集的照片,实际上跟过去有了很大不同。”吴宗禹说:“过去人们赶集是刚性需求,而现在就是为了体验过年的味道,还留恋着过去那会儿热闹劲儿,这跟逛超市可不是一个概念。”

And this is the integrated metropolitan farm in Dagang, the “Four Seasons Idyllic Countryside” ecological park. It will open soon, providing tourism, eating and drinking, pasttime etc. services. How could the village attract any tourists in the past, as a remote backwater place, not to mention the recreational benefits it now provides…

“你看,这是我们大港综合型现代都市农庄‘四季田园’生态园,现在马上就要建好开放了,可以给市民提供旅游、餐饮、休闲等服务。要在过去,这农村哪能吸引来什么游客啊,穷乡僻壤的地方,更别提休闲娱乐了……”

“Look at this one, this is the aircraft factory built by the Dagang villagers. Looking at this plane, you might find it dumbfounding that villagers can do something related to aircraft, this is our party’s and our state’s strengthened development, with good policies, and that’s the life of us villagers nowadays.” Saying this, Wu Zongyu is very proud.

“你再看看这个,这是我们大港农民自己建的飞机厂,看到这些飞机,我都傻眼了,怎么想象到农民自己能干和飞机相关的事情,这都是我们党和国家发展壮大了,政策好了,才有我们农民的今天。”说起这些,吴宗禹自豪极了。

[Another set of photos – two pictures related to the four paragraphs above]

Subtitle:
Happiness is a home, possessions, and a husband or wife
幸福是老窝儿+老底儿+老伴儿

Talking about life today, Wu Zongyu emotionally tells the reporter that he grew up with four brothers in a small home. Life was very hard, and often, having had a meal, they hardly knew where the next meal would come from. Now it was different. He bought himself a car, lives in a tower block, and his brothers all have a flat as well.

谈起现在的生活,吴宗禹感慨地告诉记者,他从小家里哥四个一起长大,生活非常艰苦,常常是吃了上顿没下顿。可现在条件好了,自己买了汽车,还住上了楼房,而且兄弟中有的还不止一套房。

A few days ago, on CCTV, after he had watched an interview titled “Are you Happy”, he had his own understanding of happiness: “Happiness is a feeling, it’s when you compare with your own past, in the old days, [unsure about the following lines’ meaning - JR], everyone had to plan, but it was mostly colorless. If you were poor or rich, as long as you lived your life safely and down-to-earth, happiness was in contentment. To use my mother’s words: ‘As long as there’s a home, possessions, and a husband, as long as there’s your family, economic security, and when parents, wife and children are in good health, isn’t this happiness?'”

前几天,他看见中央电视台随机采访“你幸福吗?”后,也有自己对“幸福”的理解。他认为:“幸福是一种感觉,是和自己的过去比,过日子谁都想好,可大多都是平平淡淡的,穷过也好,富过也好,只要过的平安、踏实就好,应该知足常乐。借用母亲的话来说,就是‘老窝儿+老底儿+老伴儿’,有自己的家,还有经济保障,父母妻儿身体健健康康,这不就是幸福吗?”

Watching Wu Zongyu’s photos, the reporter felt warmth. Different from many landscape photos, Wu Zongyu’s photos exude an air of real life, village customs, changes, and new achievements, containing simple villagers enjoyment and appreciation, and also their expectations and prayers for a beautiful future life. Setting out from small topics, his photos really embody Binhai New Area’s achievements from development and opening up.

看着吴宗禹展示的照片,记者心里暖洋洋的。与很多风景照片不同,吴宗禹的照片总是散发着浓浓的生活气息,这些反应农村民俗、新变化、新成果的照片,既蕴含着朴实的农村人对现有生活的享受和珍惜,同时也蕴含着他们对未来美好生活的祈盼。他的照片恰恰从一个细小的主题出发,体现了滨海新区开发开放的成果。

These days, Wu Zongyu’s lense ebulliently captures Dagang’s changes on each passing day. He says he hopes that his hometown will develop better and better, will let more people come to Dagang to feel this spirit, and he hopes that there will always be people to cultivate this land, and constantly reaping the fruits.

如今,吴宗禹镜头中的大港变化日新月异、朝气蓬勃。他说,希望家乡发展越来越好,让更多的人们走进大港,感受这里蓬勃的朝气,也希望这片土地上不断地有人去耕种,不断地结果。

(Fu Wenchao reporting.)
(记者付文超)

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Related

» Internet Information Office meeting, Oct 26, 2012
» Improvement among Minors, Sep 12, 2012
» Beautiful Melodies, Nov 14, 2011

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Monday, October 1, 2012

People’s Daily on October 1: Relentless Rejuvenation

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1. People’s Monument ceremony

Picture 1 – see China News Service Online (中新网) / Enorth (Tianjin) here.

Photos on the Chinese original by Xinhua news agency.

Links within the following blockquote added during translation.

On the morning of October 1, party and state leaders Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang and others went to Beijing Tiananmen Square and, with representatives from all walks of life in Beijing, laid down wreaths to the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

10月1日上午,党和国家领导人胡锦涛、吴邦国、温家宝、贾庆林、李长春、习近平、李克强、贺国强、周永康等来到北京天安门广场,同首都各界代表一起,向人民英雄纪念碑敬献花篮。

[…]

On the Monument’s northern side, the Central Committee, [members/representatives from] the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the State Council, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Central Military Commission, all democratic parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and personalities without party membership, people’s organizations, members of the Beijing public from all walks of life, and the Young Pioneers of China, respectively laid down big wreaths, one after another. On each wreath’s red ribbon, red letters said that “the people’s heroes will live forever”.

在人民英雄纪念碑北侧,中共中央,全国人大常委会,国务院,全国政协,中央军委,各民主党派、全国工商联和无党派人士,各人民团体,首都各界群众,中国少年先锋队分别敬献的9个大型花篮一字排开。每一个花篮的红色缎带上都写着“人民英雄永垂不朽”的金色大字。

[…]

Beijing CCP Secretary Guo Jinlong presided over the ceremony.

敬献花篮仪式由北京市委书记郭金龙主持。

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2. People’s Daily Editorial

Links within the following blockquotes added during translation.

Special report on Two Holidays: Mid-Autumn and National Day

Bravely Advancing on China’s Hopeful Road
奋进在充满希望的中国道路上

– Celebrating the 63rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
——庆祝中华人民共和国成立63周年

2012 is different from other years. At a moment on our path where opportunities and challenges are intertwined, socialist China advances particularly firmly. Responding to the spreading and deepening international financial crisis, [China] accelerates the transformation of its economic development, protects the country’s sovereignty and social stability in a complicated and volatile international situation, steadily promotes reform in key areas, “Shenzhou 9″ took off, “Jiaolong” submarine explored the sea, and other important and innovative tasks were smoothly completed… The great People’s Republic, by storming forward, overcame difficulties, and with brave self-confidence forged ahead to its worthy 63rd anniversary, with the people confidently greeting the Party’s 18th National Congress.

2012,是不同寻常的一年。在机遇、挑战交织而来的时代征程中,社会主义中国前行的步伐格外坚定。应对蔓延深化的国际金融危机加快转变经济发展方式,面对复杂多变的国际形势坚决维护国家主权和社会稳定,重点领域和关键环节一系列改革稳步推进,“神九”飞天、“蛟龙”探海等重大创新任务顺利完成……伟大的共和国以攻坚克难、奋勇前进的自信迎来第六十三个华诞,全国人民满怀信心迎接党的十八大胜利召开。

How could this year not be a minitiature of the People’s Republic’s path of development? Looking back at the ten years since the Party’s 16th National Congres, we have followed an extraordinary path, with the international situation being volatile, the task of stable reform at home was heavy. With Comrade Hu Jintao as the party general secretary and under the Central Committee’s strong leadership, all nationalities have grasped the important strategy of this era full of opportunities, and made good use of them, sustained the emancipation of mind, deepened reform and opening, promoted scientific development and social harmony, and managed a series of great things, happy events and difficult issues, and did their utmost to promote the cause of Chinese socialism to a new stage of development.

这荡气回肠、令人振奋的一年,何尝不是中国发展历程的缩影?回顾党的十六大以来的10年,我们走过了很不寻常的道路,国际形势风云变幻,国内改革发展稳定任务繁重。在以胡锦涛同志为总书记的党中央坚强领导下,全国各族人民紧紧抓住和用好我国发展的重要战略机遇期,坚持解放思想,深化改革开放,推动科学发展,促进社会和谐,办成办好办妥了一系列大事、喜事、难事,奋力把中国特色社会主义事业推进到一个新的发展阶段。

The following paragraphs are similarly breathless and in awe of achievements. In particular, an average annual growth of 10.7 percent (during the past ten years, apparently), urbanization (exceeding 50 percent of the population), and a 1.8-fold income growth in urban and rural areas – apparently the mixed average of the two, as there are (not mentioned in this article, obviously) disparities between urban and rural income development -, are listed.

For more than a century, countless Chinese people advanced wave upon wave, relentlessly pursuing the dream of national rejuvenation, moving from the eastern horizon and coming to us in big strides.

一百多年来无数中国人前赴后继、不懈追求的民族复兴梦想,正从东方的地平线大踏步向我们走来。

The paragraph following that basically tries to condense the decade of Hu/Wen leadership, from the people-oriented concept (以人为本) of scientific development to socialist social harmony (社会主义和谐社会), from the acceleration of economic-development transformation to an innovative country, from socialist core values to a strong socialist country, etc..

The final paragraph refers to the CCP’s (more or less scheduled) 18th National Congress, emphasizes the leading role of Hu Jintao, the guiding ideas of “Deng Xiaoping Theory” and Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents”, and announces a beautiful tomorrow for the great motherland’s future.

Great Future, Overweight Woman.

An overweight woman lies at the feet of the editorial. That said, the editorial mentions modest prosperity as a goal for the nearer future.

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Related

» The CCP sighs with Emotion, July 17, 2011

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