Posts tagged ‘nationalism’

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Japan and South Korean Press: some Sex and Radiation

Conventional wisdom has it that there’s a lot of distrust between China and Japan. There’s also a lot of distrust between Japan and Korea (North and South). And there are Chinese-Korean relations (North and South) which aren’t that easy to characterize.

For ordinary people, there seem to be two worlds. There’s the real world, where you meet people – when travelling for work, and when travelling for fun.

And there’s the internet world.

The difference between these two worlds: the internet is highly politicized. That has been true for the printed press, too, but it never seemed to influence people as much as does the online world. Maybe the internet gives people the feeling that they play a role of their own in shaping it. This may actually be true. But the internet is shaping them in turn. When experienced, skilled propagandists and agenda sellers appear on the scene, frequently unrecognized and unrecognizable, chances are that they will manufacture consent or dissent, according to their goals, commercial or political.

Newspaper articles have always angered people, even in pre-digital times. Once in a while, someone would actually put pen or typewriter to paper and write a letter to the editor – in the evening, or whenever he or she found the time. But more frequently, the anger would evaporate within minutes or hours. There would be no visible reader’s reaction.

The internet is quite different. Once people have joined a discussion (which is easy to do), they will stay involved for quite a while, at least mentally.

A dumb headline is enough to create a shitstorm. Try How to date Japanese women who haven’t been exposed to radiation, published by the South Korean publication „Maxim“. According to this report by the Global Post, Korean readers were quick to point [that headline] out as inappropriate given the sensitive nature of Japan’s continuing recovery after the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima disaster. But obviously, once someone is offended, this isn’t good enough, and the offended themselves need to speak out, too.

In no uncertain terms

I thought I’d better depict a Caucasian.

But there were messages from the real world, too:

I’m amazed that the mass media is able to link any article to anti-Japanese sentiment, regardless of what the incident is.

What a spoilsport.

Some statistics: the Maxim editor-in-chief reportedly apologized twice. The first apology was – reportedly – widely read as another attack on Japanese dignity, rather than a real apology.

Therefore, a second apology from the editor-in-chief was needed. It still didn’t seem to read like a sincere apology. Hence, it caught more than 130 Japanese comments in one day.

Is that a lot, or is it marginal? The Japanese who wrote those over 130 comments didn’t need to speak or write Korean. Their debate was hosted by the electronic version and the Japanese-language version of the JoonAng Ilbo, one of South Korea’s top three influential newspapers, Japan Today reported on Wednesday.

Was this a worthwhile story? And how many of the Japanese who commented there were actually Japanese women?

Thanks for your time, dear reader.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasakuni Shrine

Listening to Radio Taiwan International and KBS Seoul‘s foreign service, the unease about Shinzo Abe‘s visit to the Yasakuni Shrine is palpable. I don’t know how Japanese people feel about their prime minister’s visit, or about utterances by Japanese politicians who trivialize their country’s past warcrimes. My guess is that there are many different feelings among the Japanese – but that a majority elects politicians with these kinds of attitudes anyway.

I’m not familiar with the Yasakuni Shrine. There may be reasons to visit ancestors, no matter their past. But when a politician tries to play crimes down, or if he denies them, there is something wrong with him.

If politicians from my country were careless or disrespectful about the sufferings of victims abroad, I wouldn’t believe for a moment that such politicians could care any more about injustices that hit people at home. I wouldn’t believe that he might be able to respect my dignity, or the dignity of his and my compatriots. A politician with a flawed sense of justice wouldn’t get my vote.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chinese Press and Blog Review: funerals and self-immolations

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1. Reforming Cadres’ and Party Members’ Funerals

One of the most-read domestic news in China’s online media on Friday appears to be a state-council opinion on reform of cadres‘ and party members‘ funerals. Cremation should be the regular way, thriftily and in an ecological way, the opinion is quoted. The opinion encourages organ donations, regulated land use (and no waste of land) for graveyards, no “superstitious” or “feudal” rites (no fengshui either), etc.. However, party members who belong to national minorities should be buried with respect to customs and in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations, according to reports.

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2. Self-Immolation in Gansu Province

A Tibetan monk reportedly killed himself by self-immolation in Amchok town, Sangchu County, within the “autonomous” Tibetan prefecture of Gannan, in Gansu Province, on Thursday. His name is said to be Tsuiltrim Gyatso, a man in his early fourties. According to Phayul, he is the 125th Tibetan since 2009 to set himself on fire to protest the Chinese government.

Tsering Woeser quotes from what is said to be Tsuiltrim Gyatso’s suicide note:

Dear brothers, did you hear? Did you see? To whom can the distress of six million Tibetans be told? Black Han Chinese brutal prison, taking our golden and silver treasures, leaving the ordinary people in poverty, thinking of it, it brings still more tears to my eyes.
亲爱的兄弟,你听到了吗?你看见了吗?六百万藏人的苦难向谁诉说?黑汉人暴虐的监狱,夺走了我们黄金白银般的宝库,使百姓们处于苦难中,想起这,不禁流泪不止。

I will burn my precious body, for the venerable Dalai Lama to return to the native land, for the Panchen Lama to be released, for the happiness and benefit of six million Tibetans, I will offer my body to the fire.
将我宝贵的身体燃烧,为了尊者达赖喇嘛返回故土,为了班禅喇嘛获得释放,为了六百万藏人的福祉,我将身体献供于烈火。以此祈愿消除三界众生的苦难,走上菩提之路。

Three treasures, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha: please bless and protect those who are helpless, compatriots from the snowland, be united [unreadable] Snowland fighter Tsuiltrim Gyatso.
佛、法、僧三宝啊,请护佑无助的人们,雪域同胞们,要团结xxxxx (此处字迹不清 )……
———雪域斗士次成嘉措

According to Tsering Woeser’s blog, Tsuiltrim Gyatso’s remains was taken to his monastery by fellow monks, and more than 400 monks held prayers for him, but the current situation wasn’t known, writes Woeser.

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Related

» Inevitable Humiliations, Sept 17, 2011

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Chairman Xi, Braving the Wind and the Rain in Shenyang Military Region

The following is a translation of the top news of CCTV’s main newscast, Xinwen Lianbo, aired on August 30. Links within the translation added during translation.

Main Link: Xi Jinping visits Shenyang Military Region (习近平视察沈阳战区部队)

CCTV online news (Xinwen Lianbo): On the eve of the National Games of the People’s Republic of China‘s opening ceremony, CCP Secretary General, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping paid a special inspection visit to the Shenyang combat zone troops. He emphasized that the implementation of the party’s goal of a strong army under new circumstances needed to be deepened, that the building of the troops needed to be comprehensively strengthened, that the ability to perform missions and responsibilities needed to be improved, to make yet bigger new contributions.

央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平在出席十二届全运会开幕式 前夕,专门视察了沈阳战区部队。他强调,要深入贯彻落实党在新形势下的强军目标,加强部队全面建设,不断提高履行使命任务能力,为维护国家主权、安全、发 展利益作出新的更大贡献。

Xi Jinping has always shown great interest in the construction and crew training of China’s first aircraft carrier. In the morning of August 28, after getting off the plane, he braved the wind and the rain and came to the Naval Aircraft Integrated Testing and Training Base, watched the carrier-based aircrafts taking off from ski-jump ramps, landing-blocking training, and inspected relevant equipment on the ground. On seeing the pilots completing all kinds of trainings very efficiently, Xi Jinping was most happy and applauded them enthusiastically. Xi Jinping cordially received the first batch of officers on board, the test pilots, and the pilots of the carrier-based aircraft, and strongly appreciated the excellent skills and virtuosity shown by the pilots under complex weather conditions. Xi Jinping also listened closely to an introduction of the carrier-based aircrafts’ design and functions, required the technicians in charge to conscientiously analyse the aircraft test flight data, and to climb to the top of science and technology. On leaving, he encouraged everyone to make persistent efforts, to deepen their studies, to learn diligently and to train proficiency, tp become excellent carrier-based aircraft pilots soon.

习近平一直十分关心我国第一艘航空母舰建设和部队训练。28日上午,他一下飞机就冒着风雨来到海军某舰载机综合 试验训练基地,观看舰载机滑跃起飞、阻拦着陆训练,实地察看有关设备。看到飞行员们干净利落完成了各项训练科目,习近平十分高兴,为他们热情鼓掌。习近平 亲切接见了首批上舰指挥员、试飞员和舰载机飞行员,高度赞赏飞行员在复杂气象条件下表现出的过硬本领和精湛技艺。习近平还仔细听取了舰载机设计和性能介 绍,要求有关科技人员认真分析战机试飞数据,不断攀登科技高峰。临别时,他勉励大家再接再厉、深入钻研、勤学精练,早日成为优秀的航母舰载机飞行员。

On that day in the afternoon, again through wind and rain, Xi Jinping went to Dalian, to board the “Liaoning” naval vessel there. The military flag fluttered in the wind, the sailors stood in good order and the “Liaoning” greeted a moment of glory. Xi Jinping inspected the guard of honor, then climbed up a ladder, then to the hangar, the battle stations, he inspected the equipment and facilities, enquired about the technical and tactical performance, and about the officers’ and men training situation. Xi Jinping showed great concern for logistical support, accomodation [of the crew], food, medical care, and asked detailed questions. He accepted the ship emblem and ship cap, carefully prepared by the sailors, and solemnly signed his name in the logbook. At parting time, Xi entered the gangway, affectionately waved to the sailors, told the ship captain and political commissar to be mindful of their duties, not to dishonor their mission, to shape combat effectiveness and security effectiveness soon, and to make their contributions to a powerful People’s Navy.

当天下午,习近平又风雨兼程赶往大连,登上停泊 在大连港的辽宁舰。军旗迎风飘扬,水兵整齐列队,辽宁舰迎来了一个庄严光荣的时刻。习近平检阅了水兵仪仗队,随后攀舷梯、下机库,深入舱室战位,察看舰上 装备设施,询问技战术性能,了解官兵工作训练情况。习近平十分关心舰上官兵后勤保障情况,住宿、饮食、看病等,他问得很详细。习近平接受了水兵们精心准备 的舰徽、舰帽,郑重在航泊日志上签名。离别时,习近平登上舷梯,向水兵们深情挥手,他叮嘱辽宁舰舰长和政委,你们要牢记职责,不辱使命,早日形成战斗力和 保障力,为建设强大的人民海军做贡献。

On the afternoon of August 29th, Xi Jinping visited the Shenyang Military Region authorities, received officers from the divisional level upwards, and heard the Shenyang Military Region work report. Xi Jinping fully affirmed the achievements made in the building of Shenyang Military Region troops during recent years. He emphasized that the implementation of the party’s goal of a strong army under new circumstances was related to national defense and the overall situation of troop building, and the army’s performance of their missions and responsibilities.  We need to persist in the deep implementation of the goal of a strong army in the building of the troops, vigorously promote the learning and education of the goal of a strong army, uphold the connection between theory and practice, make good use of transformation, to make it a strong driving force for strengthen the comprehensive building of the troops, deepening the reform and innovation of the troops, and for promoting military preparedness. Always hold on to and listen to this spirit of a strong army under the party’s command, by active work on your own initiative, to occupy the troops ideological, cultural, and public-opinion position. Make sure about the troops’ loyalty, absolute purity [or honesty], absolute reliability, so that they always, under all circumstances, firmly obey the party’s central committee and the central military commission. The party committees on all levels must play a leading role at the core in the realization of the goal of a strong army. They must lend efforts to improving the standards of scientific decision-making, democratic decision-making, and of decision-making in accordance with the law. The implementation of the goal of a strong army must be expanded to the grassroots and the most outlying points, the enthusiasm, self-initiative, and creativity of officers and soldiers for the realization of the goal of a strong army be brought into play, to firmly build the solid foundatoin for the goal of a strong army.

29日下午, 习近平来到沈阳军区机关,接见驻沈阳部队师以上干部,听取沈阳军区工作汇报。习近平对近年来沈阳军区部队建设取得的成绩给予充分肯定。他强调,贯彻落实党 在新形势下的强军目标,关系国防和军队建设全局,关系我军有效履行使命任务。要坚持在部队建设中深入贯彻落实强军目标,大力推进强军目标学习教育,坚持理 论联系实际,搞好转化运用,使之成为加强部队全面建设、深化部队改革创新、推进军事斗争准备的强劲动力。要始终扭住听党指挥这个强军之魂,以积极主动的工 作占领部队思想阵地、文化阵地、舆论阵地,确保部队绝对忠诚、绝对纯洁、绝对可靠,任何时候任何情况下都坚决听从党中央、中央军委指挥。各级党委要发挥在 实现强军目标中的核心领导作用,着力提高科学决策、民主决策、依法决策水平。要推动贯彻落实强军目标向基层拓展、向末端延伸,发挥广大官兵为实现强军目标 而奋斗的积极性、主动性、创造性,切实打牢实现强军目标的坚实基础。

Xi Jinping emphasized that there is the need to continue the in-depth construction of the army style in accordance with rising standards, to achieve a fundamental improvement in the building of the army style. In accordance with the general requirements of “looking in the mirror, tidying our attire, taking a bath and curing our diseases”, concentrate on the continuous solution of the four working-style problems of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, aim at the problems, we must do a good job in rectification, and make sure that special rectification achieves real effects. We must keep the doors open and engage in activities, work and pull together to solve problems, and, achieve solid education. From top to bottom, we must maintain our grasp, one level on the other, and one level leading the other in [the process of] change. We must establish a scientific and reasonable set of rules and regulations, and promote the working-style normalization and durability. Other tasks must be accomplished at the same time with strengthening the work style, with scientific coordination, organic combination [the term might come close to synergy effects], grasping two links at the same time and being mindful of advancing both of them.

习近平强调,要坚持按照标准更高、走在前列的要求不断把部队作风建设引向深入,努力实现 作风建设根本性好转。要按照“照镜子、正衣冠、洗洗澡、治治病”的总要求,集中精力持续解决“四风”问题,针对问题抓好整改,确保专项整治取得实实在在的 成效。要坚持开门搞活动,群策群力把问题解决好、把教育实践活动搞扎实。要坚持自上而下抓,一级抓一级,一级带着一级改。要建立一整套科学合理的法规制 度,推动作风建设常态化长效化。要把加强作风建设同完成其他各项工作任务结合起来,科学统筹、有机融合,做到两手抓、两促进。

Xi Jinping pointed out that support for local economic construction needed to be made an important task, that a good job at supporting the poor and the hardship-stricken, assistance for students and education, medical support, the building of a new [rural] countryside etc. needed to be done. The fields and scopes of integration of the military and civilians needed to be expanded, the defense economy and society’s economy be promoted, military-use and civilian-use technology, army talents and local talents be developed in mutually compatible ways. Support and participation in the construction of local ecological civilization, combined military-civilian efforts in good protection and development of the fertile white mountains and the black water [characteristics of northeastern China, which Liaoning province with its capital Shenyang is part of] was needed.

习 近平指出,要把支援地方经济建设作为一项重要任务,深入做好扶贫帮困、助学兴教、医疗扶持、支援新农村建设等工作。要拓展军民融合的领域和范围,积极推进 国防经济和社会经济、军用技术和民用技术、部队人才和地方人才兼容发展。要支持和参加地方生态文明建设,军民合力把美丽、富饶的白山黑水保护好、发展好。

Finally, Xi Jinping emphasized that right now, the Shenyang Military Region troops needed to play a role as the main force and a shock brigade in flood-relief efforts, protect the safety of the people’s possessions and the fruits of its economic construction. Security and supporting tasks for the 12th National Games needed to be fulfilled meticulously, to make an active contribution to “safe and peaceful National Games”.  Fan Changlong, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and Wu Shengli, Liu Xiaojiang, Wang Jiaocheng and Chu Yimin took part in the relevant activities [of Xi Jinping's visit].

习近平最后强调,当前,沈阳军区部队要在抗洪抢险斗中发挥主力军和突击队作用,保护人民财产安全和经济建设成果。要精心做好第十二届全运会有关安保和支援任务,为实现“平安全运”积极贡献力量。范长龙、王沪宁、栗战书和吴胜利、刘晓江、王教成、褚益民参加有关活动。

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Related

» Military Pop, August 1, 2013
» Quietly like the Rain, July 25, 2013
» Braving the Tide and Sky, Oct 6, 2012
» The Soldiers’ Haircuts, March 10, 2012

Friday, August 16, 2013

Song Luzheng on Democracy: “Idle Masses indulging in a Life of Pleasure and Comfort”

Song Luzheng (宋鲁郑) is a journalist and (semi-)official living in France. The following are excerpts from an article published by Guanchazhe, a Shanghai-based website, on Thursday, and republished by the nationalist Huanqiu Shibao (online), also on Thursday. The article also appears on his regular blog.

Quotes made by Song Luzheng within the excerpts and translations underneath are my translations from Chinese to English. The wordings of the actual English-language originals (including book titles) by Niall Ferguson and Thomas Friedman may be different.

Main Link: The Tragedy of the Egyptian Raids confirm, once again, the Predicament of Democracy (埃及清场悲剧再次验证民主困境)

The bloody way in which the Egyptian military cracked down on the Morsi supporters has shocked the world. One after another, European countries condemned the “big terrorist massacre”, but Kerry, the secretary of state in charge of America’s diplomacy, of the world’s most developed democracy, with a surprising smile on his face on a press conference, didn’t condemn the military massacre in the least, and only uttered  that this was “deplorable”, that “violence was no solution and only brought about more instability and economic disaster” (but who used violence? The protesters?). Also, the only “sanction” the Obama administration imposes is “the military exercises with Egypt may be cancelled”. This is completely different from condemning the situation in Syria and taking action. Apparently, public intellectuals under American influence, abroad and at home, are in a hurry to stand on the side of the military which massacres peaceful Egyptian citizens.

埃及军方如此残酷的血腥镇压穆尔西的支持者, 举世震惊。欧洲各国纷纷表态谴责这起“恐怖大屠杀”,而世界上最发达的民主国家美国,其主管外交的国务卿克里竟然笑容满面地出席记者会,对埃及军方主导的 大屠杀毫无谴责,仅仅说了一句“悲惨的”,并不痛不痒地说“暴力不是解决方案,通向暴力的道路只能带来更大的不稳定、经济灾难”(但谁在使用暴力?抗议者 吗?)。与此同时,奥巴马政府的官员提出的唯一“制裁”措施竟然是:“可能取消与埃及的军事演习”。这和美国谴责叙利亚的态度和采取的行动完全不同。看 来,受美国影响,海内外的不少公知们很快也要站在屠杀埃及平民的军方一边了。

Most of today’s developed countries, with the exception of Britain, went through times of destruction, writes Song, and adds:

In fact, China went through a similar experience, only at a higher cost. This was the Republic of China, founded in 1912. Simply-put, the Republic of China didn’t bring China independence, nor did it bring China unity, let alone an era of strength, prosperity and dignity. In its short 37 years, the economy went into bancruptcy, there was warlordism, large-scale civil war, invasions by foreign enemies, territorial disintegration, corruption from the top to the bottom etc., and until it [the ROC] withdraw from the stage of history, China had almost reached the status of a savage nation. Life expectancy was at 35 years, illiteracy up to 80 percent. The only time in several thousands of years that China fell behind India was at that time. Not even the Cultural Revolution managed to do that. China at the end of the Qing dynasty faced three challenges: extreme poverty and weakness and encirclement by big powers, national disintegration, and military split by warlordism, and the Republic of China not only failed to provide solutions, but worsened even further. If one says that the Qing dynasty was a big collapsing building, the Republic of China not only failed to work on the Qing dynasty’s foundations, but even lost that foundation. It was at that time that Outer Mongolia was lost without a war, as the first territory in China’s history.

其实中国自己也曾有过类似的经历,只是代价更为不菲。这就是 1912年建立的中华民国。简言之中华民国是一个既没有带给中国独立、也没有带来统一,更没有带来富强与尊严的时代。在其短短的三十七年间,经济陷入破 产,军阀混战,大规模的内战,外敌入侵,国土分裂,从上到下的完全腐败,等到它退出历史舞台的时候,中国已几乎到了“蛮荒亡国”的地步:人均寿命不足35 岁,文盲高达80%。中国几千年唯一一次落后于印度就在此时,甚至文革都未能做到一点。清末中国面临的三大挑战:极端的贫困和积弱不振、列强环伺的生存危 机、国家的分裂和军队的军阀化,中华民国不但一个都没有解决,反而更加恶化。如果说清朝是倒塌的大厦,中华民国则不但连清理地基的工作都未能做到,而且把 地基都丢掉了。外蒙古也就是这个时期,成为中国历史上首个不是因为战败而丧失的领土。

Although a high price for democratic transition was a historical law [anyway], there were still more special factors at work in Egypt, according to Song: it was particularly poor, it was under the impact of the global economic crisis and of revolution at home, an unemployment rate of 31 percent (only nine percent before the revolution), and adding to that, illiteracy was at 27 percent, with female illiteracy at 69 percent.  A well-performing democracy needed an economic base and universal education. Lacking secularism in the Islamic world is also cited as a factor.

Also, some Muslim societies have long lacked a spirit of compromise and tolerance. This national character displays itself in a firm position and no concessions. This led to a situation where, when a ruler [Muarak] made concessions, prepared to move toward democracy, the country missed out on this top-down transition model which would have come at rather low costs, and even after a democratic success, and used extreme methods to solve conflicts. This happened both in Tunisia and in Egypt. When Muarak announced that he wouldn’t stay in office for another term and that his sons wouldn’t participate in elections, and that after his current term, there would be comprehensive, free and fair elections, the masses rejected this. As a result, power was transferred to the military, thus extending the transition period.  And after one year of rule by Morsi, the first president elected by the people was pushed off the stage by another street revolution, causing nation-wide confrontation and resulting in an unprecedented bloody tragedy. This kind of lack of compromise has already strangled Egypt’s democracy in its cradle. History shows again and again that what is born in a pool of blood is only violent, not democratic.

再者,有些穆斯林社会长期缺乏妥协和宽容精神,这种国民性在革命时可以表现 为立场坚决,绝不退步。却也造成当执政者做出让步,准备走向民主时,国家错过从上而下的、代价较低的转型模式,甚至在民主成功之后,采用极端手段来解决冲 突。这一幕在突尼斯和埃及都反复上演。当穆巴拉克宣布不再连任、自己的儿子也不参选、任期届满之后即进行全面、自由、公正的选举时,却被民众拒绝了。结果 权力被交给军方,大大延长了过渡期。随后又在穆尔西执政一年后,再次以街头革命的方式,将首位民选总统赶下台,造成全国性的对抗,终至演变成空前的血腥悲 剧。实际上,这种不妥协,已经把埃及的民主扼杀在摇篮中。历史已经一而再地证明,在血泊中诞生的只有暴力,而不是民主。

Revolutions like these were most likely to happen in demographically young countries, Song continues. Japanese media had pointed out that therefore, a revolution was unlikely to happen in a country like China, which was older on average, and with only one child per family.

The West itself was equally in trouble, writes Song, enumerating the share of respective national debt as a share of GDP. All of those shares were above the internationally accepted warning line of 60 percent.

The trouble was that democratic systems were based on the expectation that the people were perfect, and wouldn’t allow abuse. Unreasonable public expectations made politicians accept even unreasonable demands:

By using the ballot box in this Western system, people can force politicians to accept unreasonable and even perfectly unreasonable demands. Today’s Western debts come from deficit spending [今天西方国家普遍出现的债台高筑寅吃卯粮], high levels of welfare are hard to sustain and impossible to reform, the masses idly indulge in a life of pleasure and comfort, and falling competitiveness and falling economic growth have their sources here.

西方危机的深层根源就在于它实行的一人一票的民主制度。当今民主制度有一个理论假想:政府是应有 之恶,要进行限权,但对人民却又认为是道德完美、能够做到绝对正确。事实上,人民的全体和个体的人民一样,都有先天性的人性缺憾,比如好逸恶劳贪得无厌、 目光短浅急功近利等等。而任何权力包括民权没有限制都会被滥用。于是在西方这种制度模式下,民众可以通过选票迫使政治人物接受并非理性、甚至完全不合理的 诉求。今天西方国家普遍出现的债台高筑寅吃卯粮、高福利难以为继却无法改革、民众日益懒惰贪图享乐、竞争力下降经济增长乏力的根源就在于此。

When it is said that traditionally socialist countries with absolute public ownership of means of production (and economic equality) has proven a failed utopia, the failure of Western democratic societies as another big Utopia with absolute equality (one man, one vote) is now also being proven.

如果说过去传统社会主义国家生产资料的绝对公有制(即经济上均贫富)是人类已经证明失败的乌托邦,那么西方民主社会另一大乌托邦即政治权力的绝对平等(一人一票)的失败也正在被历史所验证。

Song mentions the role of Wall Street’s five largest investment banks in the 2008 U.S. elections:

While collusion between officialdom and business in China still requires secrecy, it happens in broad daylight in the West.

由于西方的民主制度法必须通过选举,而选举成本堪称天文数字,这又给了资本介入的契机。我们知道2008年华尔街五大投行全军覆灭,但高盛集团的政治献金仍然高达数亿美元(如果说中国官商勾结还需要遮遮掩掩,在西方则是光天化日)。

Apparently based on the bestseller “This Town”, Song details his statement about democracy.

This book’s grim conclusion is this: transactions between power and money has become a thorough procedure. America has become exactly the way of the Roman empire in its late stage, before its collapse: Systematic political corruption, evil action as the usual practice, and legal offense in vogue.

这本书得出的冷酷结论是:权钱交易已经彻底地程序化。美国正如罗马帝国崩溃前的末期:制度化的政治腐败,作恶成了惯例,违法成了时髦。

[...]

In the face of the crisis of Western democracy, more and more scholars are waking up. Niall Ferguson, one of the West’s most renowned and influential historians, called “one of the world’s 100 most influential people” by “Time”, wrote -  after writing “Money and Power” and “Civilizaton” – about “The Western Civilization’s four Black Boxes”. In this book he argues that questions about the decline of the West lies in the degeneration of the institutions. Representational government, free markets, the rule of law, and civil society were once western Europe’s and North America’s four pillars, but are now in decay. The root lies in the irresponsibility to which the voting people have turned, living at the costs of future generations.

面对西方民主的危机,越来越多的学者开始醒悟。当代西方声誉最高、影 响力最大的历史学者,被《时代》周刊称为“影响世界的100人”之一的尼尔·弗格森,在《金钱与权力》、《文明》后,又推出一本新作:《西方文明的4个黑 盒子》,在这本书中,他认为西方衰落的答案就在西方的建制正在退化。代议政体、自由市场、法治、公民社会,曾是西欧、北美社会的四大支柱,但在今天这些建 制已败坏变质。根源则在于作为选民的人民变得不负责任,使一代选民得以在牺牲未来数代人利益下过日子。

This is also why the “New York Times’” columnist Thomas Friedman, in his new book “[The World is] Hot, Flat, and Crowded”, goes as far as titling one chapter “If America could be China for one Day”. He gives an example: “If need be, China’s leaders can change the regulatory system, the standards, infrastructure to safeguard the country’s long-term strategic benefit. If such issues get discussed and implemented in Western countries, I’m afraid it takes years or even decades.” [...]

这也是为什么《纽约时报》专栏作家托马斯·费里德曼新书《世界又热又平又挤》有一章的标题竟然是这样的: 假如美国能做一天中国。他举例道:“如果需要的话,中国领导人可以改变规章制度、标准、基础设施,以维护国家长期战略发展的利益。这些议题若换在西方国家 讨论和执行,恐怕要花几年甚至几十年的时间。” [.....]

This is where Song Luzheng gets back to Egypt, as a painfull lesson for Egypt itself, but a fortune for China (埃及的惨痛教训,对于中国实是极为宝贵的财富).

There are the three major human civilizations: Christian civilization, Islamic civilization, and Confucian cvilization. Only the Western democratic system can keep pace with China’s political civilization. But this kind of Western system has developed to today’s dysfunctionality, increasingly unable to adapt to the challenges of globalization. Apparently, Chinese civilization cannot be refused to play an important role among the world’s civilizations!

目前人类三大主要文明:基督教文明、伊斯兰教文明和儒家文明,真正能和中国政治文明并驾齐驱的只有西方的民主制度。但西方这种制度发展到今天已弊病丛生,日益无法适应全球化的挑战。看来,中华文明将不得不再一次在世界文明中扮演极为重要角色!

We can say that the decline of Western democracy and China’s institutional civilization full of vitality are humankind’s greatest and most influential change. In the old days, China’s  huge contributions to humankind weren’t only reflected in economics, but more importantly in its institutional civilization. These days, as China is becoming strong and prosperous again, it will also, once again, carve out another height of institutional civilization for humankind.

我们可以说,西方民主的衰落与中国制度文明充满生命力的崛起将是二十一世纪人类最伟大、影响最为深远的变革。昔日中国对人类的巨大贡献并不仅仅表现在经济的富庶,更重要的是制度文明。今天的中国,在重新走向富强的同时,也将再一次为人类开拓出更高的制度文明。

____________

Related

» Those Southern Newspaper’s Commentators, Jan 28, 2013
» Refuting Western Rhetoric, china.org.cn, Nov 18, 2012
» JR turns to Science, Dec 17, 2011
» Make America collapse, Feb 14, 2010

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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.”
____________

Related

The five “No-Afraids”, July 4, 2013
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Huanqiu Shibao on Xinjiang: the “Five Not-Afraids”

The following editorial was published by Huanqiu Shibao, on Tuesday morning local Beijing time. It is a reaction to recent coverage on reported violence in Xinjiang which was said to have killed 35 people in June.

My translation of the editorial may contain errors. For example, the regular Chinese word for “terrorist” would be 恐怖分子 (terrorist element) or 恐怖主义者 (terrorist), but in this editorial, it’s 暴恐分子 which seems to read more like sudden-fear element. I translated the term as “terrorist” anyway.

Main Link: Using the five “Not Afraids” to knock the Terrorist Element’s Aggression out (用五个“不怕”打掉暴恐分子嚣张)

Editorial: Using the five “Not Afraids” to knock the Terrorist Element’s Aggression out
社评:用五个“不怕”打掉暴恐分子嚣张

The arrogant aggression of the Xinjiang terrorist elements was fought down right away, but will it raise its head again in the future?  This doesn’t depend so much on the terrorist elements, but more so on our attitude.

新疆暴恐分子的嚣张气焰被迅速打了下去,但它今后还会再次抬头吗?这不取决于暴恐分子,而更多取决于我们的态度。

Why could the terrorist elements be arrogant? Because they believe that the society that surrounds them “fears” the trouble they create. They are only a few people, but believe that today’s society is frail, and that they only need to “put lifes at danger” to impose imbearable shocks on society. Therefore, when society looks at their faces, they [the "elements"] think of themselves as something “very new”.

暴恐分子为什么会嚣张?因为他们认为周围的社会“怕”他们闹事。他们人很少,但觉得如今的社会很脆弱,只要他们敢“玩命”,就能带来社会无法承受的震动。因此社会要看他们的脸色,他们自以为“很牛”。

Now, we have to tell them by practical action that society in Xinjiang and in all of China is not afraid of them at all. We can obtain anything we strive for in terms of stability in Xinjiang, not to mention our nation-wide political design. If the terrorist elements dare to defy the law, we will resolutely eliminate them. Xinjiang and China will continue to advance.

现在我们就是要以实际行动告诉他们,新疆社会和整个中国社会一点都不怕他们。我们没有新疆稳定得不出任何事的追求,在全中国更没有这样的政治设计。暴恐分子敢以身试法,我们就坚决消灭他们。新疆和中国都将继续前进。

The first meaning of “not being afraid” is that we care about real stability in Xinjiang, but we do not care about the image of Xinjiang being “very stable”. The violent forces of terrorism in Xinjiang have not been eradicated, and every once in a while, they may jump forward and create an incident and chime in with foreign anti-China forces. This is an obvious reality. We accept this phenomenon in Xinjiang, and we won’t put make-up on this [phenomenon].

我们“不怕”的第一个内涵是,我们在乎新疆的真实稳定,但我们并不在乎新疆“很稳定”这个形象。新疆的暴力恐怖主义势力并未得到根除,它们隔一段时间就会跳出来制造事端,并同国外反华势力遥相呼应,这些都是明摆着的现实。我们接受新疆的这个形象,并不准备对其进行化妆。

But while many countries and areas worldwide are plagued by terrorism, Xinjiang is different from them. The terrorists’ capabilities there are small. They hardly have access to military weaponry or powerful explosives. Their main tools to commit their crimes are hacking knives. They can’t shake the foundations of Xinjiang’s stability, the overall situation is under control, the normal economic development is real, and the chances for committing crimes successfully generally remain very small. This reality and phenomenon in Xinjiang is “normal” by global standards. Such things happen in a modern and prosperous society.

然 而世界有很多遭恐怖主义困扰的国家和地区,但新疆与它们不一样。新疆暴恐分子的本事并不大,他们几乎得不到制式武器和威力强大的爆炸物,他们的主要作案工 具就是砍刀。他们动摇不了新疆社会稳定的根基,新疆大局可控、经济发展如常进行都是真实的,暴恐分子的作案得逞总体上仍是极低概率事件。新疆的这一现实和 形象在现代世界是“达标的”,它是偶尔出现暴恐事件的现代繁荣社会。

The second meaning of “not being afraid” is that officials in Xinjiang don’t need to be afraid of assuming responsibility. Cadres and police people all over Xinjiang have made great efforts and the policies applied in Xinjiang have been formulated under participation of the national level. As terrorist forces move fast and are contagious, terrorists incidents that happen in whichever place aren’t the sole responsibility of local officials, cadres and police, and Chinese society won’t complain about them. We understand their difficulties.

“不怕”的第二个内涵是,新疆各地的官员不必怕担责。新疆各地干警都尽了他们的最大努力,新疆的各种政策也是在国家参与下制定的。由于暴力恐怖主义有游动性和传染性,某个地方出暴恐事件,的确不全是当地官员和干警的责任,中国社会不会一味抱怨他们,我们理解他们的难处。

The third meaning of “not being afraid” that while everyone will fear individual misfortune, nobody fears that terrorist elements can bring about political threats. They are just a group of criminals, and won’t find [...........] Once they come up with a crime, a powerful nation will easily deal with them in accordance with the law.

“不怕”的第三个内涵是,每个人都会怕自己遭遇不幸,但中国社会决不怕暴恐分子能成为带来某种政治威胁的力量。他们就是一群刑事犯罪分子,是群政治上找不着北的愚昧之徒。只要他们露出头来作案,将他们绳之以法是这个强大国家再容易不过的事情。

The fourth meaning of “not being afraid” is that a resolute struggle against the Xinjiang terrorist elements will not lead to controversy or divisions within Chinese society.   Even if some people disagree about the administration of Xinjiang, there are no doubts that the terrorists must be dealt with toughly. The more resolutely terrorism is fought, the more united Chinese society will be.

“不怕”的第四个内涵是,与新疆暴恐分子坚决斗争不会引发中国社会的争议和分裂,即使一些人对新疆的社会治理有不同看法,对向恐怖分子强硬出手也不存疑义。反恐越坚决,中国社会只会越团结。

The fifth meaning of “not being afraid” is that Western fault-seeking of our fight against terrorism should be like water running off a duck’s back. We will not, for the sake of “good reviews” from the West, be soft-hearted in dealing with terrorist elements. China has become ever firmer and will soberly achieve in this field, too.

“不怕”的第五个内涵是,应当把西方对我们打击暴恐势力的指责当成耳旁风,我们才不会为了西方的“好评价”而对暴恐分子手软。中国正越来越坚定、清醒地做到这一点。

As we are clear about these five “not afraids”, and act clearly, the Xinjiang terrorists will lose all the capital they need to threaten society. They will become more desperate, they will learn that they are extremely lonely, that they are criminals who will get very little echo, that they can’t influence Xinjiang’s and China’s politics, and they will have to ruminate about their own insignificance.

把这五个“不怕”都讲得清清楚楚,做得明明白白,新疆暴恐分子就将失去要挟社会的全部资本。他们将更绝望,他们会发现自己的确就是些非常孤独、甚至彼此难以呼应的刑事犯,他们影响不了新疆以及中国的大政治,他们将重新咀嚼自己的渺小。

We believe that military and police presence will be needed on the streets of Xinjiang for a long time. This isn’t going to damage Xinjiang’s image. It will only maintain the pressure on the terrorist elements, and strengthen the sense of security among all nationalities.

我们认为新疆重点地区的街头应长期保留军警的存在,这不会损害新疆的形象,只会维持对暴恐分子的震慑,增加各族群众的安全感。

The terrorist elements want to achieve their own “super-influence” in an exceptional atmosphere, but seeking truth in the facts will get embedded in every detail in Xinjiang, and the true nature of the terrorist elements will be unmasked. They count for nothing against twenty-three million Xinjiang nationality people and the 1.3 billion people of the entire country. How can they be arrogant? They are losing every spiritual sanctuary.

暴恐分子最想在某种特殊氛围里实现自己的“超值影响力”,只要让实事求是深深嵌入新疆局势的所有细节,暴恐分子的原形就将无遮无掩。他们将被迫以数得过来的人数对付2300万新疆各族人民,对付全国的13亿大众。他们如何嚣张?他们将失去所有精神避难所。

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Railroader’s Dream‏

There’s been a lot of talk about the “Chinese dream” ever since Xi Jinping first coined the term. The following individual dream, published in a dream-collection project on the Enorth internet portal in Tianjin, probably isn’t one of those that might alarm Xi and his collective leadership, as the Economist suggested in May this year. It’s the dream of a man who works for one of China’s most detested organizations – the railroad:

Everyone is talking about the Chinese dream, but we, the railroaders, should talk about the dream of the railroad. The railway ministry is no more, but the railroaders need to continue to live, we must dream our dream, because without dreams, there is no future. I will discuss my dream of the railroad, and hope that everyone will take part and discuss their own dreams.

到处都在谈中国梦,我们路内之人应该谈铁路梦,铁道部没了,铁路人还要生存下去,还要做我们的梦,没有梦想就没有未来,我先来谈我的铁路梦.望大家都来参与各谈各的梦.

1. Wages must catch up with those of civil servants, because I’m reaching retirement age and wish I could buy a flat from what I saved from my wage.

1.工资能够追上公务员,因为我这年龄该退休了,最想用自己的劳动挣到的钱,买到自己的一套房.

2. A sense of honor. I want to dare telling outsiders that I’m a railroader without being looked down upon. When our kids go outside, they should be proud of their fathers being railroaders.

2,个人荣誉感,遇到路外的人敢说我是铁路人而不被人看低.孩子出在外面以父亲是铁路人为荣.

3. Tasks must not be allocated according to red, yellow, and white tickets, relations between cadres and masses should be sorted out, and work become more relaxed. Let me do what I want to do, (and pay me for the worth of it). Let everyone make his contribution for the railway’s cause, according to their hearts.

3,没有红,黄,白票的任务数,理顺干群关系,轻松工作.变让我干为我要干(工资得对得起我的付出).发自内心为铁路事业做出自己的贡献.

4. No more nightshifts. Retirement at the age of 55. A chance to adjust the biological clock. Give retirees an opportunity to enjoy some more years.

4.不再上夜班,55岁退休,能够改变生物钟,退休能享受几年.

5. After retirement, I will always want to come back and to have a look – I care for the railroad in many ways, it gives me a sense of home [or belonging].

5.退休后还总想来铁路看看,多方面关心铁路,铁路给我家的感觉.

6. To be in a position to buy a Xiali car at about thirty-thousand [Yuan RMB].

6.买得起,用得上三万左右的夏利轿车.

7. A free ticket for the whole country, to travel around, to see the motherland’s beautiful and mountains, and to heighten my patriotic enthusiasm.

7.有一张全国免票,每年年休出去转一圈,看看祖国的大好河山,提高爱国热情.

8. No worries about seeing a doctor and about pension.

8,看病养老不发愁.

9. There should be no need to still take the brunt of the work at the age of fifty-plus, as the physical condition and memory are declining, and things take longer. Hopefully, more young people will fill the frontline, to become the main force at work.

9.不要在50多岁的时候还是一线主力,身体状况,记忆都在下降,容易耽误事.盼更多的年轻人充实到一线,成为生产主力军.

10. Cancel the cadres’ lifetime appointments, base advancement on achievement – everything for work, nothing for selfish ideas.

10取消干部终身制,能者上庸者下.一切为了工作而不掺杂私心杂念.

Posted by the original contributor on May 28, as a comment in the thread underneath his dream, on May 28.

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