Posts tagged ‘foreign trade’

Monday, July 29, 2013

Local Government Debts: Beijing seeks the big Picture

New bosses usually want to know the status they’ve inherited. The new collective leadership around Xi Jinping is no exception: the state auditing administration, in accordance with the demands of the state council, is going to arrange a national audit concerning governmental debt. The focus is on local governments, according to Economic Reference ( 经济参考报, via Enorth):

The “black hole” of local government debt has triggered the vigilance of the center. Experts believe that illegal financing by local governments will be in the audit’s focus, and that the audit will include the financial situations of township and village governments.

“近日,根据国务院要求,审计署将组织全国审计机关对政府性债务进行审计。”国家审计署网站28日挂出的一条短消息,瞬间传遍市场,释放出强烈的信号———地方政府债务“黑洞”已经引发中央高度警觉。专家认为,地方政府的违规融资行为将是此次审计的重点,同时乡村一级政府债务情况也有望纳入审计。

This would include the debts/repayables of local investment platform companies (地方融资平台公司), says the article – however, this wasn’t the first audit of this kind. From March to May 2011, the state auditing administration had examined 31 provincial governments (including autonomous regions and municipalities) as well as five state-planned and administration levels within city-level. As of the end of 2010, with the exception of 54 county governments with no debts, provincial, city and county-level governments had accumulated 10.7 trillion Yuan RMB of debts (10,700,000,000,000).

After that, no nation-wide audits had been carried out, however, 36 local governments and their sub-levels had been examined from November 2012 to February 2013.

The article also quotes an IMF estimate as saying that Chinese government debt in its broad sense (including the central government’s and local governments’ spending on infrastructure which wasn’t included in governmental (official) budgets would already exceed 45 percent of GDP.

Other sources quoted put the percentage even higher, such as 78 percent by the end of 2012, according to a report by the Standard Chartered Bank, but despite many estimates abroad and at home, there were no official, authoritative statistics yet.

The article quotes a number of experts with their assessments, and a person close to the ministry of finance. The latter is quoted as saying that “in some counties and counties, the problem of government finance and government debts is very serious and has to be taken seriously.”

It’s a fairly candid article, and it is in line with generally more sober reports on the state of the economy, but it is strictly focused on pointing out what needs to be done, and carefully avoids any “doom-and-gloom” scenarios of the kind which would hardly be missing in a European description of either a Chinese or a European mess. The article also avoids pointing out the central government’s responsibility for the ambiguous financial status of lower government levels.

In the wake of the global financial crisis since 2008, stimulus programs – particularly investment in infrastructure – had been China’s answer to slowing global demand for Chinese products. Reportedly, the central government decided on the stimulus, but most of the investments actually had to be made (and financed) by local governments, and they were carried out by provincial or locally-owned investment companies.

As early as in March 2010, Victor Shih (Northwestern University), who apparently dug comparatively deep into the issue at the time, foresaw no Chinese financial crisis, but a costly process to restructure and recapitalize the banks.

That process is now in its infancy – and it is hard to tell if it will even manage to depict the as-is status accurately. The CCP is facing a number of options or necessities beyond financial restructuring, too, which might look like this, more or less. It won’t just be a matter of financial restructuring, but a matter of restructuring the economy: in the long run, misallocated capital can’t come cheaply.

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Related

» Who will bear the Costs, July 7, 2013

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Press Review: “Improve your Own”

A group of activists held a demonstration in front of the Chinese permanent mission to the United Nations, to commemorate the 7-5 incident in Xinjiang four years ago, the Voice of Turkey reported on July 9, quoting the Anadolu news agency (Anadolu Agency). A black wreath was also placed there. The protest was conducted by the Young Turks USA. Young Turks chairman Tulga Tekman urged Turkish sanctions against China.

“We protest against peoples’ inaction and indifference. People there [in Xinjiang] are only allowed one child. They can’t worship in mosques.”

Young Turks USA vice chairman Cenk Çoktosun blamed Turks in New York for the fact that the number of protesters was small, but said that all the same, their protests against persecution Uighurs in Xinjiang would continue. And another protester, Nigar Taşkent, who was born in Xinjiang, added that the number of Turkic people was getting smaller, that mosques in were closed to locals on orders of local authorities, and that Turkic people were being assimilated.

Tekman also took part in a protest on a different topic in April this year, in Time Square at the time, according to this report. He is quoted as saying that

We have gathered here to stress that Turkish people were always towards peace through all history. Turkey is the only country which lost 39 diplomats to terror. They attacked our diplomats 200 times. Stop presenting the same lies in front of us over and over again. Do not forget that you murdered 39 Turkish diplomats between 1973 and 1986.

Tekman reportedly called the Armenian genocide “the lie of this century”. The report quotes Michael Gunter of Tennessee University as saying that “during the war, both sides had losses. But that does not mean Turks committed a genocide against Armenians”.

Back in July 2009, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had reportedly referred to the 7-5 incident in Xinjiang as “genocide” – there was no point in interpreting this otherwise.

High-level talks between America and China on July 10 and 11 in Washington D.C.. Both sides agreed to resume negotiations on an investment treaty, Al Jazeera quotes officials. The American officials voiced “disappointment” on China’s / Hong Kong’s handling of the case of Edward Snowden. Yang Jiechi rejected both this criticism, and that of China’s rights record in Tibet and Xinjiang: “We hope the U.S. will improve its own human rights situation.”
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Related

The five “No-Afraids”, July 4, 2013
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reforming China’s Financial System: who will bear the Costs?

Warning: JR is trying to explain the economy to himself. His word pool and previous knowledge about this topic are shaky, and the following may or may not make sense – you’ll have only have yourselves to blame if you base your homework (or investment decisions) on this post.

This is not the first time that a “financial crisis” is predicted for China, and certainly not so in Western media, which seem to have become aware of problems in China’s financial system by 2011. It doesn’t seem unlikely that the times of export-led growth in China are coming to an end – a new policy needs to be found, and it will need to be more specific than these.

The third wave of the global financial crisis is likely to occur in the emerging markets, and it is in its preliminary (or brewing) stage in China, Hong Kong’s Beijing-leaning Wen Wei Po (文匯報) quoted Guan Qingyou (管清友), assistant dean of the Minsheng Securities Research Institute, on June 21. However, it hadn’t started yet, Guan added, and there were two reasons for that. America’s Federal Reserve Bank hadn’t sufficient reason yet to exit its quantative easing policy, and the Bank of Japan, Japan’s central bank, was firm in its radical easing policies.

But that was no reason to lean back, Wen Wei Po continues to quote Guan Qingyou. The longer the brewing stage of the crisis lasted, the more fiercely it would become once it broke out. For the time being, there were three firewalls, Guan suggested: China’s current account suprlus with a corresponding amount of foreign-exchange reserves, a capital account that hadn’t yet been completely liberalized, and short-term capital flight would therefore be limited, and thirdly, China’s financial system was relatively stable – this third aspect had allowed China to escape the Asian financial crisis (of 1997) rather unharmed. Despite these reassuring short-term “firewalls”, an aging population, growing financial risks and excess production capacity stemming from overinvestment as well as high housing/property prices were burdens that made it difficult for China to prosper.

It would therefore be possible to avoid an acute currency crisis, Wen Wei Po quotes Guan Qingyou.

On July 2, China News Service quoted excerpts from Hong Kong’s Ming Pao‘s (明報) July 2 edition. Here, too, the Federal Reserve got a mention: there was no fixed end to the third round of quantative easing, and it would continue until the US economy’s recovery was really steady. This positive change would occur later this year, the Federal Reserve is quoted as predicting – “we hope that the Fed is right”, China News Service quotes Ming Pao.

The Fed’s “quantative easing” was at times cussed in the Chinese media (I can’t tell if that was also true for Hong Kong media) during the first years of the financial crisis, for destabilizing the global economy (and, presumably, for devaluing both the dollar and the U.S. bonds China holds  as America’s creditor). But few Chinese observers appear to be waiting for an end to quantative easing too impatiently.
Ming Pao, according to China News Service, uses some stronger language than Wen Wei Po in describing the need for Chinese financial market reforms: just as the economy was slowing down in China, and while the global markets weren’t stable, the Chinese central bank was trying to defuse the bomb in China’s financial system:

To meet their needs for working capital, mainland private enterprises are often seriously dependent on short-term funding. And if Chinese everywhere scramble for working capital, the whole Asian supply chain may become affected. This is bad news for the close regional ties between exporting and processing enterprises in mainland China. If the tightening period drags on, this will also negatively affect northeast Asian countries depending on Chinese growth.

内地的私营企业为满足营运资金的需求,往往 严重依赖短期资金。因此,若中国供货商到处争夺营运资金,整条亚洲供应链都可能会受到干扰。对于与内地出 口加工企业关系密切的地区出口商来说,这是个坏消息。若内地的紧缩周期拖长,对于那些俨如中国经济增长寒暑表的东北亚国家来说,将会不利。

The more resolute China’s [financial?] reform plans, the more painful the labor pain will be. The decision makers will try to increase the efficiency of capital use within the financial system. There is no “painless” way of dealing with the problem of debt dependence.

中国的改革计划愈有决心,这种阵痛的时间就愈长。决策者试图提高资金在金融系统内的运用效率。要处理之前遗留下来的债务依赖问题,实在没有“无痛”的方法。

Access to loans had long been a problem for smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Occasionally even the press seemed to confront the central bank with the issue. A Zhejiang Satellite TV reporter asked People’s Bank of China (PBoC)  governor Zhou Xiaochuan in March 2011 how, under a tightening policy, harm for the SMEs can be avoided, given that banks could easily raise interest rates, and the SMEs had absolutely no bargaining power. Zhou’s answer amounted to a speech, rather than to an answer, and the only “practical advice” it contained basically amounted to a one-liner: We also encourage small companies to choose from the market.

The central bank hasn’t earned itself better grades very recently either, at least not by the Economist‘s standards: stirred by one trillion yuan added to the commercial banks’ loanbooks during the first ten days of June, the PBoC concluded that some banks were expecting a fresh government stimulus to revive a slowing economy and had “positioned themselves in advance”. But rather than going into another illicit lending orgy, the commercial banks had – arguably – only recognized existing loans in deference to the regulator’s instructions.

The message the BBC‘s Laurence Knight reads into the PBoC’s decisions is that the newly-ensconced government of President Xi Jinping is deadly serious about “rebalancing” China’s economy. (Knight’s story also contains a history of China’s recent “cheap-money era”, i. e. the stimulus package, and how small borrowers have been marginalised from the mainstream financial system.

But if the Xi leadership is indeed deadly serious about addressing the reform of the financial system, the question remains who will need to bear the pain Ming Pao (as quoted by China News Service) predicted on July 2. Michael Pettis, finance professor at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, can think of one sector which must not take the burden:

You can only resolve a bad debt problem by assigning the cost to some sector of the economy. In the past it was the household sector that implicitly paid to clean up the debt, but if we expect rapid growth in household consumption to lead the economy going forward, and this is what rebalancing means in the Chinese context, we cannot also expect the household sector to clean up the bad debt in the same way it has done so over the past decade.

But if growth led by domestic demand – instead of export-led growth – is indeed the goal, neither Guan Qingyou’s comments as quoted by Wen Wei Po nor Ming Pao’s article as quoted by China News Service seem to hint at such a solution.  And when it comes to China’s colonial possessions, investment appears to remain the only answer, to economic and political problems alike. But then, excess production capacity may hardly be the main issue there, in the short run.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior adds Chinese Programs

Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior (RAE) added programs in Chinese to its broadcasts on shortwave, on May 13, Mondays through Fridays:

10:00 – 11:00 UTC (18:00 – 19:00 Beijing time) on 6,060 and 15,345 kHz and
04:00 – 05:00 UTC (12:00 – 13:00 Beijing time) on 11,710 kHz.

The programs at 10:00 UTC are live broadcasts, and those at 04:00 UTC are pre-recorded. The live broadcast’s target area is China / Far East; that of the recorded broadcast is the Americas.

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s.

This brings the number of Argentina’s foreign broadcaster’s program languages up to eight, in addition to Spanish, German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese.

Chinese ambassador Yin Hengmin (殷恒民) was quoted with a congratulatory message on RAE:

Dear listeners, I’m very pleased that the national broadcaster [i. e. RAE / Radio Nacional] has added a Chinese channel, and I express my warmest congratulations. We at the Chinese embassy will support the national broadcaster’s Chinese channel and assist the national broadcaster in getting establishing professional contacts with China Radio International. We also sincerely hope that the national broadcaster’s Chinese programs will get better and better!

各位听众 我非常高兴国家广播电台能够增加中文频道,我对中文频道的开播表示热烈的祝贺,我们中国大使馆将支持国家广播电台的中文频道,并帮助国家广播电台跟中国国际广播电台建立业务联系,并真诚的希望国家广播电台的中文节目越办越好!

» Soundtrack here.

According to China Daily on May 9, [g]rowing trade and investment ties between Beijing and Buenos Aires have resulted in more Chinese enterprises dipping their toes in the water in Argentina, and China has become Argentina’s third largest source of investment, following the United States and Spain, and its second largest trading partner. The two countries’ economies were complementary, China Daily wrote. During a visit by Chinese vice state chairman Li Yuanchao (李源潮), also in May this year, Argentine vice president and senate speaker Amado Boudou expressed appreciation for China’s support to Argentina’s claim for the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands. Argentina would firmly uphold the One-China policy, explore practical cooperation with China in infrastructure, agriculture and other fields, and seek a comprehensive development of the bilateral strategic partnership.

Taipei DXer notes that

although reception of Argetina’s Chinese broadcasts on shortwave is not easy, but if you want to learn more about this distant South American country, you can now rather easily read on their website.

雖然不容易收到由阿根廷發送的中文短波廣播,但是如果想要瞭解這遙遠南美洲國家,現在可以透過他們的網站,有了中文網頁服務後,讓閱讀也變得較輕鬆了。

China Radio International (CRI) reportedly started a one-hour program (Monday through Saturday) in Chinese and Spanish in Argentina some three years earlier, on March 7, 2009. The program was or is aired on medium wave, as a cooperation between CRI and some Argentine entrepreneurs and broadcasting people, according to CRI.

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Related

» Entrevista, OrientarTV, May 14, 2013
» RAE’s Siempre Argentina, Jan 4, 2013
» Public Relations Challenges, Jan 9, 2011

Monday, May 27, 2013

Press Review: Li Keqiang in Germany, and the only Disharmony

Xinhua, via Enorth (Tianjin), May 27, 2013 —

Chief state concillor Li Keqiang met with German president Gauck on Sunday.

国务院总理李克强26日在柏林会见德国总统高克。

Li Keqiang conveyed the cordial greetings and best wishes from chairman Xi Jinping. Li Keqiang said that current Sino-German relations were continuously reaching new developments on a high level, with both countries facing rare opportunities. With Merkel, we have deepened the Sino-German strategic partnership, and we held talks about strengthening cooperation in all kinds of fields. The two sides have issued a press communiqué, clearly stating the key areas and the direction of cooperation for our two countries. China is looking forward to strengthen dialog and exchange with Germany on the principles of respect and equal treatment, to enhancing understanding and mutual trust, to jointly cope with challenges.

李克强转达了习近平主席的亲切问候和良好祝愿。李克强说,当前中德关系在高水平上不断取得新发展,两国合作面临难得机遇。我同默克尔总理就深化中德战略伙 伴关系、加强各领域合作举行了很好的会谈,双方发表联合新闻公报,明确两国重点领域合作方向。中方愿本着相互尊重、平等相待的原则,同德方加强对话交流, 增进了解和互信,共同应对挑战。

Discussing China’s development and domestic situation, Li Keqiang said that all along during the past thirty years, China had moved forward, and the economy had achieved huge successes. Construction of a democratic legal system and the cause of human rights had constantly progressed. As a big developing country with 1.3 billion inhabitants, China’s path towards modernization was still long. We are acting from our own country’s national situation [国情, guóqíng, also translated as national characteristics or national circumstances sometimes], adhere to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and at the same time, we want to draw on the civilizational achievements and experiences to achieve comprehensive development even better.

在谈到中国的发展和国内情况时,李克强表示,中国过去30多年一直在改革开放中不停顿地前行,经济社会发展取得巨大成就,民主法制建设和人权事业不断进步。中国作为一个拥有13亿人口的发展中大国,要实现现代化还有很长的路要走。我们从本国国情出发,将坚持走中国特色社会主义道路,同时愿借鉴人类社会的文明成果和有关发展经验,更好实现全面发展。

Gauck welcomed Li Keqiang to Germany and asked him to convey his cordial greetings to Xi Jinping. Gauck said that Germany and China both had a long history and magnificent cultures, and relations between the two countries had developed fine in recent years. Germany admires the achievements of China’s economic and social development and wants to strengthen cooperation and dialog with China in politics, economics, the humanities and other fields, and to promote further development in the relations of the two countries.

高克欢迎李克强访德,并请转达对习近平主席的亲切问候。高克说,德中都拥有悠久历史和灿烂文化,两国关系近年发展良好。德国钦佩中国经济社会发展取得的成就,愿同中方加强政治、经济、人文等领域的合作与对话,推动两国关系取得新发展。

Li also met with Brandenburg’s minister-president Matthias Platzeck in the regional capital Potsdam, next to Berlin. In Potsdam,visiting Cecilienhof Castle there,

Rheinische Post (RP) onkine, May 26, 2013 —

Li Keqiang re-emphaszized his country’s claim on an uninhabited group of islands in the East China Sea. Japan had to hand the territories back to China. “This was a hard-earned fruit of victory”, Li said, pointing to international post-war agreements. The islands, contested between the two countries, had once been stolen from China by Japan.

Li Keqiang bekräftigte in Potsdam den Anspruch seines Landes auf eine unbewohnte Inselgruppe im Ostchinesischen Meer. Japan müsse die Territorien an China zurückgeben. “Das war die Frucht des Sieges, der hart erkämpft wurde”, sagte Li unter Verweis auf internationale Abkommen der Nachkriegszeit. Die zwischen beiden Ländern seit langem umstrittenen Inseln seien China einst von Japan gestohlen worden.

Märkische Allgemeine, May 26, 2013 —

In front of the castle [Cecilienhof], some flurry arose when two Tibet activists wanted to register a spontaneous demonstration. Security forces stopped the protest “along the route of protocol”, as a police spokesman told the MAZ [Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung].

Vor dem Schloss kam kurz Unruhe auf, als zwei Tibet-Aktivisten eine spontane Demonstration anmelden wollten. Sicherheitskräfte unterbanden jedoch den Protest “entlang der Protokollstrecke”, wie ein Polizeisprecher gegenüber der MAZ sagte.

Platzeck, whose heart beats for Dortmund, revealed that the Chinese guest was a soccer fan and that they had talked about the game [between Borussia and Bayern], too. It had turned out that Keqiang had more been in favor of Bayern Munich. That, however, had been the only disharmony between the two politicians, Platzeck assured.

Platzeck, dessen Herz für Dortmund schlug, verriet, dass der chinesische Gast ein Fußball-Fan sei und man auch über das Spiel am Vorabend gesprochen habe. Dabei stellte sich heraus, dass Keqiang eher für den FC Bayern gehalten habe. Dies, so versicherte Platzeck, sei aber die einzige Disharmonie zwischen den beiden Politikern gewesen.

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Related

» Merkel vows, Bloomberg, May 27, 2013
» Industriousness and Wisdom, Jan 9, 2011
» Full of Vitality and Vigor, July 16, 2010

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Animated Movies from Shijiazhuang: Soft-Power Tools?

Main Link:
Activeley develop Domestic and Foreign High-End Cartoon Industry, “Going out” in Great Strides (积极开拓国内外高端市场动漫产业大步“走出去”)
Links within quotes and blockquotes added during translation.

China needed to build a sound, modern culture market system, the “Culture Document” (or “cultural decision”), approved by the 6th plenary session of the 17th Central Committee, stipulated in October 2011.

The focus must be on the development of books and other publications, digital audio and video products, performing arts and entertainment, television series, cartoons, animation, and [computer] games, and similar markets, for the further perfection of a comprehensive international Chinese platform on fairs and exhibitions, etc.

According to Shijiazhuang News Net (石家庄新闻网), the local cartoon industry is doing just that:

Since 2006 , under the close attention of the CCP municipal committee and the municipal government, our city’s cartoon industry has developed rapidly, and achieved notable results in satisfying the city’s needs of spiritual civilizsation, in spreading advanced culture, in enriching the masses’ lives, promoting the healthy adolescence of the young, and fostering the growth of a new economy. During the past seven years, no matter if established by locals or by companies who came to Shijiazhuang from elsewhere, they have enjoyed all the benefits of Shijiazhuang’s cartoon-industry policies, environment, and prospects. On this foundation, “cartoons made in Shijiazhuang” have gained the courage to display themselves, to develop markets, and with the advantages in branding, high-end orientation and originality, they have drawn widespread attention from industries at home and abroad.

2006年以来, 在市委、市政府的高度重视下,我市动漫产业迅速发展,在满足市民精神文化需求、传播先进文化、丰富群众生活、促进青少年健康成长、培育新的经济增长点方 面,取得了显著成效。7年来,无论是本土动漫企业还是来石创业的动漫公司,都享受到了石家庄动漫产业政策、环境、前景的利与好。 在此基础上,“石家庄原创动漫”勇于展示自我、敢于开拓市场,以品牌化、高端化、原创化的优势,引起了国内外业界的广泛关注。

By Shijiazhuang Newsnet reporter Wang Xin
本报记者王欣

As the saying goes, good wine needs no bush*). However, this doesn’t apply in today’s increasingly competitive markets. After several years of development and carefully ripening the wine, its sweet smell attracts many investors and company founders. At the same time, cartoonists from Shijiazhuang also seize the opportunities of actively exploring domestic and foreign markets, to take Shijiazhuang cartoons to bigger arenas.

俗话说,酒香不怕巷子深。然而,在市场竞争日趋激烈的今天,好酒也怕巷子深。经过几年的发展,我市动漫产业如同一坛精心酝酿的老酒,持续散发出馨香的气 息,吸引了众多投资者、创业者前来。与此同时,石家庄动漫人也抓住机遇,积极开拓国内国外市场,把石家庄动漫推向更广阔的舞台。

The Shijiazhuang Animation Institute‘s (石家庄动漫协会), that of the beneficial support of the city government and the conducive industrial environment had all become the envy of companies elsewhere, according to Shijiazhuang Newsnet. “Publicity” (宣传) and promotion had made Shijiazhuang’s cartoon industry better known in China and abroad, making people coming to Shijiazhuang to seek cooperation. A Western Australian Film Office (西澳大利亚州政府电影融资发展局 – I’m not familiar with Australia’s film industry or the industry’s official promotional institutes) was currently seeking a cooperation partner with the Shijiazhuang Animation Institute’s assistance, according to the report. The Australians had been impressed with the originality and production levels of Shijiazhuang’s industry and had since visited four times, Shijiazhuang Newsnet quotes a member of the Shijiazhuang Animation Institute, Zhang Maolan (张茂兰).

DeepCG Animation Science and Technology gets a particular mention in the report. The general manager, Wu Yifeng (武义峰), doesn’t seem to be too specific about his company’s current prospects in Europe, but is quoted as saying that South-East Asia was the most promising market for one of his company’s works, a cartoon movie about late Han dynasty general Zhao Yun, given its richness with Chinese culture.

The cartoon’s title seems to translate Zhao Yun and the Clicking Sound of the Box (赵云与咔哒盒子).

It seems to be based on a theme previously used in a Zhao Yun movie (but not a cartoon) made in Hong Kong, in 2010.

Shijiazhuang News Net is the online platform of Shijiazhuang Daily (石家庄日报), an official CCP paper.

In a review of the 17th Central cultural decision in October 2011, David Bandurski of the China Media Project (Hong Kong) appeared to be skeptical of the impact Chinese media and culture could have under political and ideological controls.

It may be time for a first assessment of how things are going for the “cultural industry” in China – especially when it comes to its record abroad. Personally, I have no clue about cartoons, and not even a taste for them. Stuff like Zhao Yun and the Box (a sample video here) should be judged by bloggers or critics who really are into the genre.

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Note

*) This isn’t an exact translation. The actual Chinese quote or proverb would be 酒香不怕巷子深 – something like the smell of wine isn’t afraid of a deep lane (or alley), meaning that good things will sell even without advertising them.

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Related

» Soft Power starts at Home, Jan 21, 2012
» A Low-Carbon Industry, Dec 2, 2011
» Shijiazhuang Cartoon School, CRI, Aug 20, 2009
» Go-Out Policy, Wikipedia, acc. 20130412
» Private investors, PD English, Aug 20, 2004

Friday, March 22, 2013

Xi Jinping, out of Town: Huanqiu Shibao quotes “Western Media” (i. e. Deutsche Welle)

China and Russia are most important strategic partners, the BBC quotes CCP secretary general and Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping, who has started a tour of Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo today. While in Africa, Russia will remain on his agenda on foreign relations, too – Xi will attend the fifth Brics summit from March 26 to 27 in South Africa.

Fenghuang (Hong Kong) coverage of Xi’s arrival in Moscow here »

According to the Voice of Russia (VoR), one of the aims in advancing the two countries’ partnership is to boost mutual trade turnover to 100 billion dollars by 2015. Energy issues, local economic cooperation and social events, including a meeting with students of the Lomonosov State University are on the agenda, according to VoR. According to the broadcaster, China has become Russia’s largest trade partner for the second year in a row.

Xi is scheduled to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, Duma (parliament) chairman Sergey Naryshkin “and other leaders”, as well as friends from all ways of life in Russia, writes Xinhua newsagency. He will also deliver a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and meet Russian sinologists, according to Xinhua. International affairs aren’t ranking high in the descriptive Xinhua article, but Russian president is quoted from a telephone record with Xi of March 14 as saying that Russian-Chinese relations were among the important factors of safeguarding world peace and stability, and carrying particular significance.

Huanqiu Shibao quotes a Russian deputy foreign minister as describing Xi’s visit to Russia as a “major event” in the two countries’ relationship. The deputy foreign minister added that Moscow had made careful preparations for the visit. Western media said that Xi’s choice of Russia as his first foreign destination was “no surprise” (“不意外”), writes Huanqiu. One after another, Western media believed that the intentions behind China’s arrangements made people wonder.

“Are China and Russia going to sign big energy contracts?” “Is Beijing turning back to the [old] strategic center of gravity with Moscow” to respond to the shift of America’s strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region?” The guesses and speculations by Western analysts, with seven mouths and eight tongues (七嘴八舌), look as if they were x-raying Sino-Russian relations.

俄副外长里亚布科夫21日用“两国交往中的大事件”形容这次访问,并称莫斯科已为迎接习主席做好万全准备。西方媒体大多对中国国家主席上任后首先访俄“不 意外”,同时纷纷认为北京的安排用意极深,耐人琢磨。“中俄要签能源大单?”“北京要用‘战略重心重返莫斯科’回应‘战略重心重返亚太’的美国?”西方分 析家七嘴八舌的猜测就像在给中俄关系做X光检测。

As for Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo, after his stay in Russia, and the “Sino-African approaches” (“中非走近”), following the “Sino-Russian embrace”, have gone hot in Western public opinion. “Westerners are tossing lots of question marks, but essentially, their curiosity is only about one thing. That is how big a country China will be in the next ten years”, says Chinese scholar Jin Canrong.

由于习主席访俄后将访问坦桑尼亚、南非和刚果(布) ,“中非走近”已尾随着“中俄拥抱”在西方舆论中迅速变热。“西方人抛出的问号很多,但实质上他们的好奇只有一个。那就是未来十年,中国会做一个怎样的大国。”中国学者金灿荣说。

In fact, Germany’s former foreign broadcaster and current media platform Deutsche Welle (DW) describes Xi’s visit to Russia as his unsurprising international debut. Deutsche Welle also quotes Gu Xuewu of the University of Bonn with pretty much the remarks about deepening military cooperation in the face of the US “pivot to Asia” that had been noted by Huanqiu Shibao’s “Western media” review.

However, much of what the DW article says is simply not quoteable for Huanqiu Shibao: fair weather friends, unsentimental partnership of convenience, or a trip to Moscow that was was symbolic in nature. Not to mention the demographic development in the Far East, viewed by the Russian side with unease.

And obviously, Huanqiu provides no link to the DW article – nor do they mention the old enemy broadcaster as their online source.

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Related

» VoR Chinese frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» CRI Russian frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» No Bullying, July 19, 2012
» Now Africa’s largest trading partner, BBC, May 22, 2012
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Xi Jinping’s Speech on Sunday: China Towering, but Development remains Overriding Ideology

Both an important speech (重要讲话) itself and the Chinese press coverage are part of the same decoration team, aiming at not only creating a verbal message, but an atmosphere, too. Newly elected state chairman Xi Jinping‘s speech on Sunday was no exception.

Today, our People’s Republic stands towering in the East of the world.

今天,我们的人民共和国正以昂扬的姿态屹立在世界东方。

Comrade Hu Jintao held the post of state chairman for ten years, and with a wealth of political wisdom, excellent leadership qualities, assiduous work spirit, did outstanding deeds to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, won the love and support from all the nationalities of China and the international community’s universal praise. We express our sincere gratitude and greatest respect to Comrade Hu Jintao!

胡锦涛同志担任国家主席10年间,以丰富的政治智慧、高超的领导才能、勤勉的工作精神,为坚持和发展中国特色社会主义建立了卓越的功勋,赢得了全国各族人民衷心爱戴和国际社会普遍赞誉。我们向胡锦涛同志,表示衷心的感谢和崇高的敬意!

vote

Approving the predecessors: vote on last year’s government work report et al.
Click photo for CCTV coverage.

No need to repeat oneself. In Xinhua newsagency’s coverage, it is Xi Jinping himself who stands towering:

Wearing a dark-blue suit and a red tie, the membership hanging on his chest, Xi Jinping, tall of stature, stood smiling, calmly and self-confident. His voice clear, bright and vigorous, looking frank and honest, resolute and steadfast, he revealed the power of stirring people to action.

身着深色西装,佩带红色领带,胸挂出席证,身材高大的习近平微笑站立,从容自信。清朗而浑厚的声音,坦诚而刚毅的目光,透出激奋人心的力量。

“To achieve the construction of a moderately prosperous society, and the goal of a strong and prosperous, democratic and civilized, harmonious socialist modern motherland, to achieve the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, this means achieving modern national prosperity and strength, vigorous national revitalization, and the happiness of the people …”

“实现全面建成小康社会、建成富强民主文明和谐的社会主义现代化国家的奋斗目标,实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦,就是要实现国家富强、民族振兴、人民幸福……”

Witnessed by the Great Hall of the People, under the stars of its dome, under surges of applause, Xi Jinping firmly said:

人民大会堂见证,在繁星点点的穹顶下,在如潮涌动的掌声中,习近平坚定表示:

To bring about the Chinese dream, we must take the Chinese road.
To bring about the Chinese dream, we must advance the Chinese spirit.
To bring about the Chinese dream we must cohere Chinese power.

——实现中国梦必须走中国道路。

——实现中国梦必须弘扬中国精神。

——实现中国梦必须凝聚中国力量。

This is the duty the leaders of the People’s Republic of China take for the motherland, the people: we must never be complacent, we must never be sluggish, we must make persistent efforts, advance boldly, continue to push forward the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and continue to struggle for the achievement of the Chinese dream of China’s great rejuvenation.

这是共和国领导者对祖国、对人民的情怀和担当:我们不能有丝毫自满,不能有丝毫懈怠,必须再接再厉、一往无前,继续把中国特色社会主义事业推向前进,继续为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而努力奋斗。

This is our promise to the people: The Chinese dream is, after all, the dream of the Chinese people, it must firmly rely on the people to achieve it, it must continuously bring benefit for the people.

这是对民族的承诺:“中国梦归根到底是人民的梦,必须紧紧依靠人民来实现,必须不断为人民造福。”

That much from the Xinhua report, and back to the actual speech:

development remains the overriding (or absolute) strategic ideology (我们要坚持发展是硬道理的战略思想), said Xi, thus quoting “Deng Xiaoping theory”, but added that the fruits from development should benefit the entire people in a fairer way – and that China was still in “the first stage of socialism”.1)

Taiwan didn’t escape a mention either2):

Numerous Taiwanese compatriots and mainland compatriots join hands and support, maintain and promote cross-strait relations and peaceful development, enhance the happiness and benefit of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, jointly set up the new and further prospects of the Chinese nation. Numerous overseas Chinese want to make contributions to carry forward the Chinese nation’s the fine, diligent and kind Chinese tradition, and work diligently to advance the motherlands development, to promote the Chinese people’s and local people’s friendship.

广大台湾同胞和大陆同胞要携起手来,支持、维护、推动两岸关系和平发展,增进两岸同胞福祉,共同开创中华民族新的前程。广大海外侨胞,要弘扬中华民族勤劳善良的优良传统,努力为促进祖国发展、促进中国人民同当地人民的友谊作出贡献。

The Chinese people love peace. We will hold the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win high, we won’t change our road of peaceful development, we won’t change the strategy of mutual benefit and opening up, we will make efforts to cooperate friendly with all the countries of the world, fulfill our international responsibilities and duties, continue to work with all people in all countries to advance the lofty cause of humankind’s peace and development.

中国人民爱好和平。我们将高举和平、发展、合作、共赢的旗帜,始终不渝走和平发展道路,始终不渝奉行互利共赢的开放战略,致力于同世界各国发展友好合作,履行应尽的国际责任和义务,继续同各国人民一道推进人类和平与发展的崇高事业。

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Notes

1) 31 members of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) are farmers-turned migrant workers, China Radio International (CRI) reported on Sunday. That number was a tenfold increase from the 11th NPC. But they are hardly a match to the 90 NPC members who appear to be worth at least 1.8 billion Yuan (The Economist, March 16, 2013, page 53).
2) Stability in Hong Kong and Macau was an issue addressed by Xi, too. One day later, on March 18, Xi reminded visiting Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying that implementation was the key to the chief executive’s vision of “seeking change while maintaining stability” in Hong Kong.
“I’m not an idiot either”, replied Leung. (No, Leung said no such thing. This is just a malicious rumor, courtesy of JR.)

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Related

» Nods to Public Concerns, NY Times, March 14, 2013
» Delegates make Difference, March 6, 2009

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