When business is going fine, CCP cadres are partners. When it’s going less well, they are mongrels [who] shoot their own people.
1. Why Russia Today succeeds while CCTV-9 fails: it depends on how you define and choose your target audience, on familiar faces, on the format of your programs, and on integration with the intelligence services, suggests Foarp.
2. Ar Dee, an ethnic Tibetan, makes no apologies for her Tib-lish. This was posted nearly two weeks ago, but the topic is basically timeless. It’s about a language we probably won’t find on Google Translate any time soon. About a moment when the author yearned to call on some supernatural power to fix her tongue.
3. Sichuanese police held anti-terrorism drills in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, apparently late last month. The drills included the handling of self-immolations. This struck me as weird when reading about it on the exile radio station Voice of Tibet‘s website, but CCTV English actually confirms it. Foarp – see 1. – might have a point. Chinese media for foreign audiences making fun of themselves.-
4. June 1 was the International Children’s Day. It seems to be mostly communist folk & custom, and logically, the indoctrination of the young is a job for the top: party and state chairman Xi Jinping, last Friday, called for fostering socialist values among children while sending greetings ahead of Sunday’s International Children’s Day.
The “socialist core values” that the country now upholds embody the thoughts of ancient masters, the aspirations of the nation’s role models, ideals of revolutionary martyrs and expectation of all Chinese people,
China Radio International (CRI) quotes Xi. Xi Jinping arrived at Haidian National Primary School in Beijing at 9:30 local time, according to this Xinhua report, and a student offered him a red scarf on arrival. How his heart pounded with excitement when joining the young pioneers in 1960, Xi told the kids, asking if they didn’t feel the same way.
“Yes”, a child answered. “Why is it so?” “Because it is sort of an honor.” The general secretary [Xi Jinping] said: “I have seen hope on your faces, the hopes of the motherland and the people. It’s just as said in the oath: one needs to be always prepared, to take one’s turn on duty in the future.”
Referred to as Xi Dada (kind of Uncle Xi) on another occasion, the general secretary was Xi Yeye (Grandfather Xi) at Haidian National Primary School, maybe for the grandfatherly stories he told. The core lesson from Xi’s recollections was that to move from one stripe to two stripes to becoming a standard bearer among the young pioneers required a lot of work, a student is quoted as summarizing the listening experience.
5. Fei Chang Dao has the latest about efforts to block June-4-related information. Online censorship reportedly includes May 35th (May 31 + 4).
6. The BBC has a Chinese press review: China media criticise US and Japan leaders …
7. … but there’s no need to fear Japan anymore. This, anyway, could be the positive message you might extract from the second picture in Chang‘s collection: nearly seven decades after America won the 2nd World War in the Far East, Japan finally submits to Washington, in in the shape of Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s minister of defense. People slightly familiar with China and/or Japan will know that many Chinese and Japanese men hate to be hugged, and might flinch if it happens, but neither Chang nor South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo could apparently resist the temptation. At least, the South Koreans didn’t openly doubt Onodera’s manhood: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (left) chats with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera ahead of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Chang, if you find one of these pictures repulsive, you aren’t a man either!
8. And as we started with propaganda (see “1.“), let’s wind up with propaganda, too:
Some say that [from] the West is propaganda … - In the U.S. it is called public diplomacy (public diplomacy). We do not do it in sufficient quantities, to be honest.
» Previous Monday links, May 25, 2014
Adjustments at General Staff Headquarters, Oct 25, 2012
Russia has returned to its old Pravda-like disinformation tactics,
which is why we absolutely have to do the same thingChina and the Arab nations are creating sophisticated new broadcasts, and Twitter and social networks are changing the game.
Walter Isaacson, a former Board of Governors Chairman, suggesting that the Voice of America (VoA) should follow a “double mission” to clearly present American policy as well as provide objective news. Quoted by the New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
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 )……
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.
» Inevitable Humiliations, Sept 17, 2011
The following is a translation from a Sina.com rendition of Central People’s Broadcasting Service (CPBS/China National Radio) coverage on North Korea. Links within blockquote added during translation.
CPBS news online, Beijing, December 17, via Sina.com. According to CPBS channel “Voice of China”, North Koreans from all walks of life commemorated the country’s previous leaders at Mansudae platform at the city center of Pyongyang, in front of the bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. As today is the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il, the grand celebrations will continue today.
Journalists saw people clothed in quiet colors at the scene of mourning, holding flowers and looking sad, coming in to Mansudae from all directions, bowing deeply to the bronze statues, and putting the flowers in front of the statues, expressing their grief about Kim Jong-il’s death. An oath-taking ralleye will be held today for the North Korean People’s Army. So will North Korea still hold commemorations today? Xinhua’s correspondent Du Baiyu explains the latest situation:
North Korea’s People’s Army held a swearing-in ceremony on the square of Kumsusan Palace of the Sun yesterday, pleding to defend Kim Jong-un to their death, with ceremonies for the land forces, the navy, and the airforce respectively. People in charge of North Korea’s military force, troops of different ranks and cadres and students from military schools and others took part in the ceremony. Today, as the passing of previous leader Kim Jong-il is marked, the North Korean masses as well as some international organizations and consular staff etc. will go to Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, and North Korean masses will also put flowers to older bronze statues and portraits in North Korea to lay down flowers there.
在昨天，朝鲜人民军在平壤的锦绣山太阳宫广场举行了一场规模盛大的誓师大会，决心誓死保卫金正恩，在誓师大会上进行了人民军陆海空三军分列式行进。朝鲜的 人民武力部负责人、各级部队和军事学校的干部和学生等都参加了誓师大会。在今天，也就是朝鲜的前最高领导人金正日逝世两周年的日子里，朝鲜的群众和包括驻 朝的一些国际机构以及使馆等等都会去太阳宫，并且朝鲜的群众在这两天都会到朝鲜的旧的铜像以及画像前去献花。
Some foreign media speculate that after the demise of Jang Sung-taek, within the coverage of the commemorations, a new “Number Two” [behind Kim Jong-un] could be announced. However, [the Xinhua] journalist explains that there is no such talk about a “Number Two” personality, and that the North Korean people are simply united as one around their leader, loyal to the leader, which means loyalty to Kim Jong-un. As for the new political structure in North Korea, we may expect a report to the North Korean [Workers Party] Central Committee [or central authorities] today, and the seating order there deserves attention, as it may provide clues about the structures.
有外媒猜测说，张成泽被拿下后，在金正日逝世两周年的报告大会上，所谓新的”二号人物”可能揭晓。然而，记者介绍道，其实在朝鲜国内没有所谓的二号人物一 说，朝鲜人民只是对领袖的一心团结，忠诚于领袖也就是只忠诚金正恩。关于朝鲜的新的政治架构，在今天我们预计会有一场朝鲜的中央报告大会，大会上的座次是 值得关注的，从中或许可以看出朝鲜政治架构的端倪。
There have been many media analysts who said that the participation of the highest DPRK officials at the mourning activities today would provide the outside world with the best possible window to observe North Korea’s trends. However, Yang Xiyu, Northeast Asia issues expert at the China Institute of International Studies, sees it differently. In his view, the media misread the so-called “Number Two personality”:
Yang Xiyu: Rumours in the media, including foreign media, that Jang Song-taek was the “number two” are definitely not accurate. No matter if actually or nominally, his position wasn’t that of a number two. He was only promoted from candidate status to full membership of the politburo to full membership during Kim Jong-uns era. North Korea’s real Number-Two personality is Choe Ryong-hae, who was exceptionally promoted to permanent membership status at the politburo, while the two others are 84 and 85 years old, and their membership is of honorary nature. The only two real full members are Kim Jong-un and Choe Ryong-hae. No matter what the line-up will be like during the commemoration activities, I believe that the director of the general political bureau of the People’s Army, Choe Ryong-hae, remains North Korea’s number-two personality.
杨希雨：其实我们媒体包括外媒的传言“张成泽是二号”这个肯定是不对的，张成泽无论从实际地位还是从名义地位都没有坐过二号，而且恰恰是金正恩时代才把他 从政治局候补地位提拔为政治局委员。现在朝鲜实际上的二号人物是崔龙海，他是被破格提到政治局常委的位置，而另外两位常委分别是84、85岁，已经是一个 名誉性的，真正两位常委就是金正恩跟崔龙海。所以不管今天的正式的纪念活动是怎么样的阵容，会出现什么样的新面孔，我想人民军总政治局局长崔龙海依然是朝 鲜的二号人物。
At the swearing-in ceremony, director of the general political bureau of the People’s Army, Choe Ryong-hae, read out the words: “Korea’s gunbarrels will defend Kim Jong-un, and will only accept Kim Jong-un’s arms.” And another North Korean high official said that Jang Sung-taek hadn’t been the decisionmaker about North Korea’s economy. So, has the case of Jang Sung-taek changed the economic direction of North Korea?
Yang Xiyu: North Korea’s economic policies, and economic management and optimization in particular, will not change just because of a high-ranking official’s downfall. But given that Jang Sung-taek has indeed been responsible for handling cases of economic cooperation with China, which were also contained in the official conviction of Jang, and some specifically pointed to. Therefore, the major direction of North Korea’s economic policies, including economic cooperation with China, will not change because of this downfall. But the fact that some projects of Sino-North Korean cooperation were mentioned in the conviction will at least add a lot to the political uncertainties. But these are only some individual cases, and as for the general direction, I believe that North Korea has no better choices, other than to continuously improve its systems, continuously entering market mechanisms, expanding the opening-up to the outside world. There are no better policies than these to choose from, and therefore I believe there will be no general changes in the direction of North Korean economic policies.
杨希雨：朝鲜的经济政策特别是关于经济管理与改善的这种调整不会因为某一个高官的落马而改变，但是因为张成泽在负责经济工作的时候确实亲手办理了几个朝鲜 与中国经济合作的案子，而在给张成泽定罪的官方文件当中，也专门点到了某些案例。所以总的讲，朝鲜的经济政策包括朝鲜同中国的经济合作的关系，这个大的方 向大的政策不会改变，不会因为某个人落马而改变。但是在张成泽的定罪书里涉及到一些中朝合作的项目，这个恐怕难免要至少增加了很多的政治上的不确定性。但 这只是一些个别的案子，从大的方向上，我认为朝鲜没有别的更好的选择，除了更好的进一步改善和调整自己的体制，进一步引入市场机制，进一步地扩大对外开 放，没有比这个更好的政策选择，所以我相信总的经济政策的方向没有什么改变。
This year, from January to September, Chinese-North Korean trade amounted to 4.69 billion US dollars – an increase of 200 million US dollars. From August, China resumed oil supplies to North Korea. Before that, from February to July this year, Chinese oil exports to North Korea amounted to zero. Where should future relations between China and North Korea go?
Yang Xiyu: Sino-North Korean relations won’t be affected by the stepping-down or by the promotion of some individual. The development of Sino-North Korean relations follow their own rules. To be frank, China is simply too important for North Korea, so North Korea will continue to make efforts to protect the relations with China, and this won’t be affected. The biggest obstacle and negative impact on relations now is North Korea’s wrong policy of continued development of nuclear arms. We all know China’s two main strategic goals on the Korean peninsula: the first is to maintain peace and stability on the Korean pensinsula, and the second is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. These two goals are the two sides of one coin. One won’t be achieved without achieving the other, because the possession of nuclear weapons by any party on the peninsula will make it impossible to ever usher in peace and stability. Or, conversely, we want to solve the issue of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, for the goal of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
杨希雨：中朝关系不会因为某一个人的下台，或者某一个人的提拔而受影响，因为他的中朝关系有它自己发展规律，说实话中国对于朝鲜来说太重要了，所以朝鲜它 也会继续的努力维护好同中国的关系，这条不会受影响。中朝关系目前最大的障碍、最大的影响是朝鲜坚持发展核武器这个错误政策，我们都知道中国在朝鲜半岛是 两大战略目标，第一是要维护朝鲜半岛的和平与稳定，第二是要坚决实现朝鲜半岛无核化。这两大目标就有如一枚硬币的两个面，二者缺一不可，因为只要朝鲜半岛 南北任何一方拥有核武器，这个半岛就永远不会迎来真正的和平与稳定。反过来说我们要解决朝鲜半岛无核化问题，其实也是为了朝鲜半岛真正的和平稳定。
(Original headline: Expert says actual No. 2 of North Korea is [and was] Choe Ryong-hae, not Jang Sung-taek.)
Main Link: The Fifth Big State Institution – 第五大国家机构, Enorth/CPBS, November 13, 2013
While the 18th central committee’s third plenum’s communiqué doesn’t appear to reveal a lot about future economic or social reforms in general (I haven’t read it myself), a fifth big state institution (第五大国家机构, or party institution for that matter), in addition to the CCP central committee, the state council, the “National People’s Congress” and the “The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference” may be taking shape – but to suggest that, Chinese media apparently need to quote foreign media or observers. An article by Enorth (Tianjin) is apparently based on China’s domestic radio (Central People’s Broadcasting Station, CPBS, or CNR) in its coverage – possibly because not everyone has the right to quote foreign sources anymore.
The fifth big state institution would be a state security committee. Analysts are quoted as saying that a double role of dealing with basic domestic and external challenges could be discerned.
Plans for a state security committee had been made or demanded since 1997, but were only now taking shape, says the article. And many other countries had similar institutions: America’s national security council (since 1947), France (since 2008), Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, and Malaysia, for example. In Japan, the establishment of a national security council was underway, too.
A security committee needed to be a permanent institution, experts are quoted. And Ruan Zongze, once a secretary in China’s embassy in Britain and now vice director at the China Institute of International Studies, reportedly suggests that building a state security committee was an important and innovative measure, and indicating the growing dynamics of Chinese foreign policy.
» Terrorists will be nervous, CRI, Nov 14, 2013
Peter Limbourg, previously in charge of news and political information at ProSiebenSat.1 TV Germany, became director of Germany’s publicly-owned foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) on October 1. He succeeds Erik Bettermann. Deutsche Welle spokesman Johannes Hoffmann published a press release on Monday (edited by press officer Xiaoying Zhang), quoting Limbourg:
It is a great challenge and a fascinating task to be at the helm of Germany’s international broadcaster. Deutsche Welle is a media organization that enjoys an excellent reputation with its audiences worldwide. In a world, where a large number of international broadcasters are now promoting a variety of views, it is all the more important for us to persistently stand for our shared values. We will continue to ensure the credibility that DW’s staff, with great commitment, has established over the last 60 years by providing quality journalism. We will also consistently enhance DW’s multimedia profile.
Limbourg is considered “close to the Christian-Democratic Union”, the ruling party of German chancellor Angela Merkel. Limbourg’s predecessor, Erik Bettermann, is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and had been in several political functions on the party’s federal level and in the city state of Bremen before becoming DW director. He had been DW director from 2001 to 2013 (September 30), starting during Gerhard Schröder’s (SPD) chancellorship, and getting a second six-year term in November 2006, when the SPD was a junior partner in a “grand coalition” with the Christian-Democratic Union. At the time, Deutsche Welle was funded with 270 million Euros annually, according to Der Tagesspiegel, a paper from Berlin.
Deutsche Welle, as a public broadcaster, is supposed to be autonomous in its decisionmaking, but this autonomy appears to be constrained by political influence on the appointment of its directors, and budgeting and task planning are subject to consultation procedures with the federal government and the lower house of Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag. Deutsche Welle itself does, however, have the last word concerning the task planning.
In 2013, the DW budget was still (or again?) at about 270 billion Euros, the same amount as reportedly in 2006.
Deutsche Welle saw a major change in its tasks in 2009, when then director Bettermann announced that the broadcaster wants to reach people who influence opinion making and democratic processes. Prior to that, in 2008, a brawl in the broadcaster’s Chinese department had caught the attention of both the German and the Chinese press. A collection of links of blogs reflecting the aftermath can be found here. A second round of disputes at the Chinese department, including labor disputes, started by 2010. Contrary to 2008, the disputes ended with the termination of contracts with four Chinese or German-Chinese members of DW staff, and went almost unreported in the German press, while getting a lot of coverage in the Chinese press.
An aspect that was usually not emphasized in the Chinese coverage, but played an important role in the weak position of the Chinese or German-Chinese staff appears to be the nature of their work contracts. Probably in or around 2011, Michael Hirschler, a labor union officer, described how DW had frequently succeeded in getting rid of quasi-employees. This seems to apply in all or most cases in the Chinese department of 2010/2011, too.
Peter Limbourg’s statement as quoted in the DW press release of October 7 does not seem to suggest big changes in the broadcaster’s policies. He wants to conduct extensive talks with DW’s staff, the Broadcasting Board, the Administrative Board as well as political and social groups and then set out a new strategic plan for Deutsche Welle for the period from 2014 to 2017. The emphasis appears to be on “shared values” and “multimedia”.
For some information (based on German press) about how the new director was elected, and other impending changes at DW, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.