Posts tagged ‘Shandong’

Monday, April 28, 2014

An Open Letter from Malaysian Politics: Universal Virtues

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Some analysts see Obama’s visit to Malaysia, a close trading partner of China, as a strategy to dilute China’s influence in Southeast Asia, writes the “Global Times”, a state-owned English-language paper from China which is mainly written for a foreign audience (and possibly for Chinese learners of English, too). However, quoting Qu Xing (曲星), director of the China Institute of International Studies, the article suggests that Kuala Lumpur was in fact taking a balanced attitude and showed that Malaysia is trying to avoid confrontation with China on this issue. The article suggests that the American president didn’t make much headway in promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade project that, if put into practice, would manage trade between its original member states of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam. If the trade pact would benefit or damage the interests of the nations involved is contested, as is a trade project between America and the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The (English-language) “Global Times’” headline is implicitly about censorship: US TV shows removed from popular streaming websites / The removal of several popular American TV series from Chinese video streaming sites over the weekend may indicate stricter online monitoring. Huanqiu Shibao, the Chinese-language sister paper for a mostly domestic readership, carries a headline about the Ukraine crisis. Huanqiu also prominently features a short news article from Jilin: Unearthing the whole story of Japanese invasion has made many experts suffer from depression (日本侵华档案发掘始末:很多专家患上抑郁症). According to the news article, the files in question were some 100,000 volumes of Japanese files in an archive in Jilin, northeastern China, concerning the invasion, 90 percent of them written in Japanese.

Underneath the top headlines, another article of today quotes an American official – or American officials – as saying that America was working on several military plans to contain or deter China (美国官员:美国拟定多套军事方案遏阻中国). Huanqiu quotes a quote from the Chinese edition of the Wall Street Journal (also of Monday) which is avaliable online.

The Wall Street Journal:

American officials say that the American military prepares several plans to strongly respond to future provocative actions in the South China Sea (called Southern Sea by china) and the East China Sea (called Eastern Sea by China). These plans include dispatching B-2 bombers to places close to China, and holding aircraft-carrier exercises in the range of China’s coastal waters.

美国官员称,美国军方准备了多种方案,将强有力地应对中国未来在南中国海(中国称南海)和东中国海(中国称东海)的任何挑衅行动。这些方案包括向靠近中国的地方派遣B-2轰炸机,以及在接近中国沿海水域的范围举行航母演习。

Apart from the explanations in brackets, the first paragraphs are identical at WSJ and Huanqiu. From the second paragraph, Huanqiu cuts a long WSJ story short, with only two more paragraphs:

Security issues play an important role on president Obama’s tour of four Asian countries. On April 28, the American president will sign an agreement in the Philippines which allows American military to return to the Philippines after more than twenty years. The Philippine opposition parties had previously forced America to abandon its military bases on the Philippines.  Equally, Obama stood side by side with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan, saying that America’s promise to guarantee Japan’s security was “absolute”.*)

美国总统奥巴马近日 访问亚洲四国,安全问题是他此行的一个重要议题。4月28日,美国总统将在菲律宾签署一项协议,允许美军在二十多年后重返菲律宾。此前,菲律宾反对党曾迫 使美国方面放弃了在菲律宾的军事基地。同样,巴马访问日本时与日本首相安倍晋三并排站在了一起,并表示,美国在条约中对日本的安保承诺是“绝对的”。

Besides military aspects, the Huanqiu account of the WSJ argicle also mentions contingency plans and humanitarian aid operations. Surveillance of areas near China would be strengthened, calls of American navy vessels to allied countries’ ports be intensified, so as to demonstrate American military strength (加强对中国附近地区的监视、增加美国海军对盟友港口的停靠等,以展示美国的军事实力).

A major issue mentioned by the WSJ Chinese edition, about Washington trying to alleviate doubts among its Asian allies in its security assurances, especially after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula (尤其是在俄罗斯吞并克里米亚半岛之后), are not quoted by Huanqiu Shibao.

The full WSJ article (which has been put behind a registration wall by now) quotes Pacific Command public affairs officer Chris Sims as a source.

But it’s not all about the U.S. Navy. Under China’s lead, eight countries’ navies carried out the “Maritime Cooperation 2014″ military exercises off the coast of Shandong province last week. China, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, Singapore and three other countries participated, reports a Beijing Youth article republished  by Huanqiu Shibao on Monday. Beijing Youth in turn quoted Xinhua newsagency as reporting that the exercise featured reactions to non-traditional security issues (非传统安全的内容) such as piracy, terrorism, natural disasters as well as other threats faced by countries in the region and everywhere in the world.

» The Negarakuku Saga, August 2007

Tony Pua (潘俭伟), a member of Malaysia’s Democratic Action Party (DAP) and member of parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, published an open letter to Barack Obama on Saturday, the day of the American president’s arrival in Kuala Lumpur:

Mr President, with all due respect, we do not need you to visit our country to tell us that our country is a standout example of moderation, because it is not.

Or for you to praise our government that it is a model plural society living in peace and harmony, because it is a façade.

We need you, Mr President, to speak of the universal virtues of humankind, of the principles your forefathers upheld and sacrificed for.

We want you to speak of the importance of basic human rights, equality, freedom and fundamental democratic principles.

We want to know that the president of United States still believe in the protection and promotion of civil liberties throughout the world – those very liberties which allowed you to be in your position today.

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Footnote

*) this apparently refers to this statement by Obama: And let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.

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Related

» Pivotal state, BBC, April 26, 2014

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bo Xilai Trial: “Party Resolved, Nobody above the Law”

The following is a translation of a Xinhua newsagency account of Bo Xilai‘s first day in court, on Thursday. Probably because of the judicial nature of the article, I found it quite complicated. Objections and advice to improve the translation will be welcome.

Like many (online) papers and websites, Huanqiu Shibao carried the Xinhua account.

Xinhua Net, Jinan, August 22 (reporters Huo Xiaoguang, Yang Weihan). The intermediate people’s court in Jinan, Shandong province, heard the case of Bo Xilai bribery, corruption, and abuse of authority. Bo Xilai is standing trial. Witnesses appeared in court and gave testimony. Close relatives of the defendant, National People’s Congress delegates, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference members, media journalists and members of the masses from all walks of life – more than one-hundred overall – were sitting in and following the trial.

新华网济南8月22日电(记者霍小光、杨维汉)山东省济南市中级人民法院22日一审公开开庭审理被告人薄熙来受贿、贪污、滥用职权一案。薄熙来出庭受审。相关证人出庭作证。被告人亲属、人大代表、政协委员、媒体记者及各界群众一百余人旁听了庭审。

At 8:43, presiding judge, vice president Wang Xuguang of Jinan intermediate people’s court, struck the gavel and opened the hearing.

8时43分,审判长、济南市中级人民法院副院长王旭光敲响法槌,宣布开庭。

The prosecutor read out the indictment. The indictment reads: From 1999 to 2012, Bo Xilai used his offices as Dalian mayor, Dalian municipal party secretary, Liaoning provincial governor, minister of commerce and other offices to obtain property amounting to more than 21,790,000 Yuan RMB directly or through his wife Gu Kailai and his son Gu Guagua, after accepting requests from  Dalian International Development Company general manager Tang Xiaolin (case handled separately), Dalian Shide Group Ltd. chairman Xu Ming (case handled separately) to help their companies or them individually with applying for car import quotas, reporting petrochemical project(s). The amount(s) was/were particularly big in 2002, when Bo Xilai made use of his office as Liaoning provincial governor and, together with others, embezzled Dalian city funds of 5,000,000 Yuan, and in January and February 2012, when Bo Xilai, as Chongqing municipal CCP secretary, violated regulations to obstruct investigations concerning Bo Gu Kailai’s intentional homicide, before and after the defection of deputy mayor Wang Lijun, approving the false public information that Wang Lijun “was on vacation and receiving treatment” and other ways of abusing authority. His behavior was a major cause in making it impossible to handle the above case timely in accordance with the law, and in the defection of Wang Lijun. This created a particularly abominable effect on society, major losses for the country’s and the people’s interests, under particularly serious circumstances. The prosecutor believes Bo Xilai should be prosecuted [on the basis of] crime of accepting bribes, crime of corruption, and crime of abuse of authority.

公诉人宣读起诉书。起诉书指控:1999年至2012年间,薄熙来利用担任大连市人民政 府市长、中共大连市委书记、辽宁省人民政府省长、商务部部长等职务便利,接受大连国际发展有限公司总经理唐肖林(另案处理)、大连实德集团有限公司董事长 徐明(另案处理)的请托,为相关单位和个人在申请进口汽车配额、申报石化项目等事项上提供帮助,直接或者通过其妻薄谷开来、其子薄瓜瓜收受上述二人给予的 财物共计折合人民币2179万余元,数额特别巨大;2002年,薄熙来担任辽宁省人民政府省长期间,利用职务便利,伙同他人侵吞大连市人民政府公款人民币 500万元,数额巨大;2012年1月至2月,薄熙来作为中共重庆市委书记,在有关人员揭发薄谷开来涉嫌故意杀人及时任重庆市人民政府副市长王立军叛逃前 后,违反规定实施了阻碍对薄谷开来涉嫌故意杀人案重新调查、批准对外发布王立军接受“休假式治疗”的虚假消息等一系列滥用职权行为,其行为是导致上述案件 不能及时依法查处和王立军叛逃事件发生的重要原因,并造成了特别恶劣的社会影响,致使国家和人民利益遭受重大损失,情节特别严重。公诉人认为,对薄熙来应 以受贿罪、贪污罪、滥用职权罪追究刑事责任。

Bo Xilai denied the indictment charges, made a statement and denied the charges. The court investigated the charges. Prosecutors and defenders respectively questioned the defendant, and cross-examined Dalian Shide Group Ltd. chairman Xu Ming [who attended] as a witness. The prosecutors showed evidence, testimonies, used evidence such as audio and video recordings, and prosecutors and defenders carried out ample evidence. The court put forward all permissions for Bo Xilai to to speak and to file motions.

在审判长主持下,被告人薄熙来对起诉书指控的受贿犯罪事实进行了陈述,并否认了指控。法庭就起诉指控薄熙来受 贿的事实进行了法庭调查。公诉人、辩护人分别讯(询)问了被告人,并对出庭作证的证人大连实德集团有限公司董事长徐明进行了交叉询问。公诉人当庭出示了书 证、证人证言、询问证人同步录音录像等有关证据,控辩双方进行了充分质证。法庭对薄熙来当庭提出的所有发言申请均予以准许。被告人及其辩护人充分发表了意 见。

The defendant, Bo Xilai, was emotionally stable in the court proceedings, his physical condition was normal. There was order among those sitting in and following the hearings.

被告人薄熙来在庭审过程中情绪稳定,身体状况正常。法庭旁听秩序井然。

At about six p.m., the presiding judge announced an adjournment, and the continuation of the hearings on August 23.

下午6时许,审判长宣布休庭,23日继续开庭审理。

During the trial, Jinan intermediate people’s court’s official microblog channel [Weibo] covered the trial. After the morning session and the afternoon session, Jinan intermediate people’s court spokesman [or spokespeople] reported to the media.

庭审期间,济南市中级人民法院官方微博对庭审情况及时作了播报。22日上午和下午休庭后,济南市中级人民法院新闻发言人向媒体通报了庭审有关情况。

According to the emoticons underneath, eleven reading voters are “frightened”, 37 are “angry”, 573 are “saddened”, three are “moved”, 28 “delighted”, none are “happy”, sixteen are “bored”, and 145 pushed the “ridiculous” button.

Huanqiu Shibao itself published an article today (Friday) that focuses on how the public follows the hearings, with an emphasis on international media: “Bo Xilai’s appearance in court attracts international attention” (薄熙来出庭受审引国际关注).

The BBC reported that Jinan people’s intermediate court’s offical microblog channel provided timely coverage. From the announcement of the trial and access provided to the audience, to the verification of the defendant’s identity, every step [in the proceedings] was published on the microblog.

英国广播公司报道说,济南市中级人民法院官方微博对庭审情况及时作了播报。从预告案件以及旁听人员入场到核实被告人身份等,每一步都有微博发布。

Agence France-Presse (opening time of the hearings) and Singapore’s Lianhe Morning Post (orderly public listening to the proceedings), Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao online and WenWei Po  are also quoted – none, however, with news or commentary that would add information to that provided by Xinhua (see first translation).

Two Russian sources get the last word in Huanqiu’s press review:

Russian newspaper “Independent” says that China’s trial of Bo Xilai shows that  nobody can put himself above the law. Any criminal at any level will be punished. Russian “Information” website says that the trial clearly shows the CCP’s determination to fight against corruption.

俄罗斯《独立报》称,中国审判薄熙来表明,任何人都不能将自己凌驾于法律之上,任何级别的犯罪分子都将受到惩罚。俄“消息”网站则称,审判清晰表明中共进行反腐斗争的决心。

According to the emoticons, 34 (emote-voting) readers are “frightened”, 52 are “angry”, 392 “saddened”, eleven are “moved”, 45 “delighted”, seven “happy”, 58 “bored”, and 1409 appear to find the article, the topic, situation, or else, “ridiculous”.

Xinwen Lianbo, China’s main evening news broadcast, apparently carried no news about the trial on Thursday, but an (apparently) unrelated one about cleaning the internet of “rumors”.

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Related

» Trial resumes, CNN, Aug 23, 2013

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Updates/Related

» Press verdicts, BBC, Aug 23, 2013
» Censorship instructions, China Digital Times, August 22, 2013

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Monday, June 3, 2013

June 4, 1989: the Unsinkable Boat of Stone

Tiananmen Square has a meaning to China – not just Beijing – as deep as the Place de la Bastille‘s for Paris, or that of the Alexanderplatz for Berlin. On 400,000 square meters, Tiananmen Square – according to relevant tourist information – provides space for one million people. That’s how the square has been used – for gatherings ordered by the Chinese Communist Party, when Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic, for Hua Guofeng‘s eulogy on Mao Zedong in 1976, and for military parades celebrating the People’s Republic’s 35th, 50th, and 60th birthday.

In 1997, on Tiananmen Square, a limited number of people celebrated the return of Hong Kong. The limitation had conjecturable reasons – eight years and four weeks earlier, Chinese army and police troops had quashed a student movement – that movement, too, had its public center in Tiananmen Square.

Ever since 1911, Tiananmen Square had been a place for gatherings outside the scripts of the powers that be. The first, probably, was the May-Fourth movement, sparked by the transfer of formerly German possessions in Shandong Province to Japan, rather than to China, in 1919, after World War One. Chinese intellectuals had begun to perceive their country not just as a civilization, but as a nation, interacting with other nations and falling behind internationally. In 1919, there were no celebrations. There were protests.

The May-Fourth movement has since been canonized. CCP historians see the movement as the beginning of progressive processes during the first half of the 20th century, leading to the CCP’s rise to power. But even Hua Guofeng’s eulogy on Mao, in September 1976, had been preceded by expressions of grief months earlier, in April, for the late chief state councillor Zhou Enlai. The more radical followers of Mao Zedong considered that an affront.

Personal impressions from the 1976 “Tian An Men incident” apparently made Wu Renhua, later a dissident, honor Hu Yaobang with a wreath on Tiananmen Square, in April 1989. Hu Yaobang had just passed away, and some points seem to be noteworthy:

When Hu died, he had been removed as the CCP secretary general for more than two years. Apparently, the party leadership had considered him to be too reform-minded. Expressions of grief from the population might be considered an affront by the party leaders, too, and they probably did, even if it took more than six weeks for the party to put an end to the movement of intellectuals and students in  which Wu Renhua had been taking part.

By then, the movement had long gone beyond their original motivation of honoring Hu Yaobang. Through anti-corruption protest, it had turned into a movement for democracy.

Also, Wu Renhua, then an about thirty-three years old lecturer from the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, was part of the movement, but – according to his own account – rather going along with it, than driving it. His actual confrontational attitude towards the CCP  only built after the massacre – an outrage that he had never seemed to expect from his country’s leaders.

And even if the University of Political Science and Law played an important role in the 1989 movement, the Beijing University, the Beida, had the traditional, leading role.

Rivalries among the 1989 dissidents are nothing unusual today. Frequently, they are personal rather than political, accompanied by allegations that X is self-important, that Y is a CCP collaborator, or that Z is remote-controlled by Falun Gong – somehow unpredictable or dangerous.

June 4 has become an unsolved complex in Chinese history. Whoever studied in a major Chinese city in 1989 will know that complex. “Sure”, a Shanghainese told me in the early 1990s, “we were all protesting.” To her, however, the matter was closed with the end of the movement – ostensibly, anyway. Many Chinese people born after 1989 hardly know about the existence of the movement, and among those who do remember it, at least some consider the crackdown a rather lucky outcome: be it because they don’t think that the students were able to handle politics in 1989, be it because they see a foreign conspiracy against China’s stability and China’s rise behind the former movement.

By 2008, a trend had changed. Many Chinese people who used to feel respect for (Western) democracies had changed their mind. Frequently negative coverage by Western media on the Beijing Olympics certainly played a role here – the negative foreign echo was spread selectively, but broadly by Chinese media. Some overseas Chinese in Germany even organized a silent protest against the biased German media who had failed to spread their patriotic message and who had therefore muzzled them. Add how the mighty had fallen in the financial crisis – China’s period of growth still continued, thanks to state stimulus programs that tried to compensate for falling imports by Western economies. Criticism from abroad – that’s how the Chinese public was informed (frequently correctly) – was an expression of foreign envy. The ideas so vigorously discussed in 1989 have given way to the truculent nationalism of new generations, Isabel Hilton noted in 2009.

In 1990, Yang Lian (楊煉), a Chinese poet in exile, published this:

The darker the sky, you say that the boat is old,
the storms it bore are long gone,
it is for us to erase the Self, let the boat of stone rot away.1)

That, of course, is the last thing a boat of stone will do.

What is the role of the 1989 dissidents today? According to C. A. Yeung, an Australian blogger and human rights activist, hardly any role. Dissidents abroad, above all, appear to be out of touch with many activists inside China. This may also be true for Wei Jingsheng, an exiled Chinese who lives in Washington D.C..

Wei wasn’t part of the 1989 movement. At the time, he had been a political prisoner for some ten years. He was only released in 1993, and soon, he was re-arrested. Since 1997, he has been in America.

It requires a strong – and at times probably dogmatic – personality to resist the pressures Wei faced. No confessions, no concessions to the Chinese authorities through all the years of imprisonment. To people like Wei, “foreign interference” in China’s “internal affairs” is no sacrilege, but necessity. Such “interference” may not create space to live for open dissidents in totalitarian countries, but it does, at times, enable dissidents to survive. In that light, it was only logical that Wei attended a hearing of the German federal parliament’s culture and media committee on December 2008, about the alleged proximity of Germany’s foreign broadcaster’s Chinese department (Deutsche Welle, DW)  to the CCP. DW Staff and program should defend human rights and democracy as a matter of principle, Wei demanded.

It turned out that Wei didn’t actually know the DW programs, jeered Xinhua newsagency.  Wei didn’t disagree: “As a matter of fact, I have said from earlier on that I would not listen to the broadcast of the Deutsche Welle’s Chinese service that has been speaking on the CCP’s behalf.”

Such appearances in foreign parliaments may appear fussy, and near-irrelevant. But in 2002, Dutch author and exile observer Ian Buruma had still believed that Chinese dissidents abroad could play a big role:

Let’s say there are suddenly serious splits in the Chinese government. Things start to move rather quickly. All kinds of things are going to happen. And then, it can be that you suddenly need people who know how to operate in Washington, who know which buttons to press and [who] have contacts in Congress, and so on. And this has happened in the case of Taiwan, for example, where you had dissidents in the 60s and 70s who hung around, languished, were considered to be irrelevant until things began to change in Taiwan politically and suddenly, they were important.2)

But maybe, by now, that role has diminuished further – if Buruma’s original observations were correct. Maybe Wei Jingsheng and other dissidents, among them those who had to leave China after June 4, 1989, will play a role similar to the one Wolf Biermann, an East German exile in West Germany, anticipated for himself long before the Berlin Wall came down: at times cheering from the sidelines, providing advice once in a while, but hardly authoritatively. Only on his return to East Germany, Biermann mused, his actual exile would begin, as hardly anyone would recognize him: Dann beginnt erst mein Exil.

The actual historical events of spring 1989 are a different story, however. These days, the CCP neither condemns the events, nor does it condone them. The topic is entirely shunned.

In Hong Kong, people haven’t forgotten. After all, the June-4 crackdown came as a shock for a society that was to return to the motherland eight years and a month later. June 4 is part of tradition there. For many Hong Kong activists who demand more democratic rights for Hong Kongers themselves, solidarity with mainland activists or dissidents is part of their self-image.

The only official evaluation so far: Deng Xiaoping defends his reform policies of economic openness and political repression, June 9, 1989

The only official evaluation so far: Deng Xiaoping defends his reform policies of economic openness and political repression, June 9, 1989 (click picture for video)

In 1995, Deng Xiaoping‘s daughter Deng Rong suggested in an interview with the New York Times  that only later generations could judge the 1989 events. She didn’t know how people thought about it – but my father at least, in his heart, believed that he had no other way.

It may take years before a re-evaluation of the 1989 movements may begin. Or it may only take months. The CCP could initiate one if it feels strong enough, or the citizenry could initiate one if the party gets weaker.

Nobody inside or outside China knows what is being thought about the movement. And many Chinese may only find out what they think once it becomes a topic – when it gets unearthed, gradually or rapidly, in a controlled or spontaneous process.

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Notes

1) Yang Lian: Alte Geschichten (I-IV), Der einzige Hafen des Sommers, aus: Masken und Krokodile, Berlin, Weimar 1994, quoted by Joachim Sartorius (Hrsg): Atlas der Neuen Poesie, Reinbek, 1996, S. 67.
天空更加阴暗  你说  这船老了
一生运载的风暴都已走远
该卸下自己了  让石头船舷去腐烂
夏季  是惟一的港口

2) Jatinder Verma: Asian Diasporas, BBC (World Service), Sept 2, 2002

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

After Suicide: Guangzhou Government Defends Qi Xiaolin’s Name

« Previous coverage (January 9)

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Main Link: secretary of the political and law committee: no Violations of Discipline found (穗政法委书记:未发现祁晓林违法纪)

Links within blockquote added during translation.

Yangcheng Evening Post, reporter Wang Pu. On January 9 at noon, Guangzhou Municipal PSB office’s website “Guangzhou Golden Shield” (广州金盾网) stated: deputy municipal PSB director Qi Xiaolin hanged himself to death.

羊城晚报讯 记者王普报道:1月9日中午,广州市公安局官网“广州金盾网”发布消息:广州市公安局副局长祁晓林自缢身亡。

The notice said: on January 8, 2013, Guangzhou Municipal PSB deputy director Qi Xiaolin hanged himself and died, aged 55. Comrade Qi Xiaolin suffered from depression at his lifetime. Yangcheng Evening Post learned that Qi hanged himself in his office’s rest room inside the Guangzhou PSB building.

消息称:“2013年1月8日18时许,广州市公安局党委副书记、副局长祁晓林自缢身亡,终年55岁。祁晓林同志生前身患疾病,有抑郁症状。”羊城晚报记者了解到,祁晓林是在广州公安局大楼内自己办公室内的洗手间自缢的。

“Qi Xiaolin indeed suffered from depression, but there had been no indication that he would hang himself”, a PSB officer told this reporter. On Tuesday afternoon, there had been a democratic cadre appraisal of mid-level cadres, and these cadres had all voted there in the [PSB building's] auditorium. “At that time, Qi Xiaolin and other leading cadres attended on the rostrum, and while they were checking the votes, he returned to his office. As the counting process took quite a while, nobody noticed that Qi hadn’t returned, or wondered why he didn’t come back.” It is said that Qi’s secretary wanted to ask him back to the meeting and found that he had hanged himself to death. He left no suicide note. Legal medical examinations and procurial organs found no doubts about the cause of death.

“祁晓林的确是有患病,但突然自缢却一点征兆也没有。”一位公安人员告诉记者,1月8日下午,广州市公安局中层干部集体民主评选干部,处以上干部都到公安 局礼堂内投票。“当时,祁晓林副局长与其他局领导在主席台上,验票时他回到了自己办公室。由于验票时间较长,没有人再留意到祁晓林最后没有到场,或者是为 什么没有到场”。据称,验票结束后祁晓林的秘书通知其回到会议上,进入办公室后,才发现祁晓林已自缢身亡。他生前没有留下遗书。经法医、检察机关勘查证 实,死亡原因无疑点。

Qi Xiaolin entered rural ranks after junior high school graduation, then entered police school, initially at Guangzhou Huangpu District PSB branch office, and rose from an ordinary policeman to become the branch office’s deputy political commissar and director, then switched to Fangcun PSB branch office to become its director, and then became Guangzhou Municipal PSB deputy party secretary and deputy director in 2003, ranking third in its hierarchy.

祁晓林1973年初中毕业后到农村插队,之后考入警校,最早在广州市黄埔区公安分局工作,由普通警员升任分局副政委、分局局长,2000年交流至芳村公安分局任局长,2003年升任广州市公安局党委副书记、副局长,在广州市公安局领导中排名第三位。

A senior people’s policeman told this reporter that “Qi Xiaolin was good at investigating criminal cases. During his time at Huangpu and Fangcun Districts, he solved important cases. After becoming deputy PSB director, he was mainly in charge of the traffic police, PSB internal security, the subway and liason with Tianhe District PSB branch office. The last public event he attended was on December 18, 2012, at the “National key internet media Guangdong line – Guangzhou scientific development implementation informative meeting”.

一位资深民警告诉羊城晚报记者:“祁晓林是侦办刑事案件的一把好手,他在黄埔区、芳村区时都曾破获大要案件。”祁晓林任广州市公安局副局长后,分管部门为 交警、内保、保卫、地铁,联系天河区公安分局。祁晓林最后一次出席公开活动是2012年12月18日在“全国重点网络媒体广东行——广州落实科学发展观情 况介绍会”上介绍广州社会治安情况。

There had been beliefs that Qi, having been in charge of traffic police for so long, was linked to corruption cases in this administrative field, but a people’s policeman said: “That’s not too likely. If there was such a link, he wouldn’t have been left in charge of car traffic administration.”

因祁晓林分管交警多年,有人事后将其自杀与此前广州市车管所腐败窝案联系起来,一位民警认为:“不大可能,如果他与车管窝案有牵连,早就不会让其继续分管交警”。

An old classmate said: “Qi Xia0lin was introverted, not very talkative. He frequently felt pain on his neck, didn’t sleep well, and I’ve heard his family people say that they had learned about his depression”. A people’s policeman said: “Qi Xiaolin was responsible for security work for a long time. There was a lot of pressure.”

祁晓林的一位校友称:“祁晓林性格内向、不愿意将什么事情说出来,他颈椎部位经常有疼痛,一直睡眠不好,听他家人说已发现有抑郁症”。一位民警称:“祁副局长期分管保卫工作,责任、压力较大”。

Yangcheng Evening Post concludes the article with a statement from Wu Sha (吴沙), Guangzhou secretary of the political and law committee (see here for a “Global Times” news article in English). After his statement, Wu expressed his sympathy to Qi’s relatives.

The statement was apparently needed, not necessarily because of Qi Xiaolin as a person, but because of general suspicion against the PSB or public officials. Among those who have commented on Huanqiu Shibao on the story since yesterday, cynicism prevails. There are only six comments now – at least some more have been removed since. None of them is sympathetic, but eleven hours ago, “King Qin’s Warrior” had the last word so far with the only comment at a conflict of sorts with the others: Take severe measures against corruption, so that a prosperious people lives in the country at peace. Let the nation unite, and defend itself against foreign enemies.

According to Yangcheng Evening Post, Qi Xiaolin was born in September 1957, and was a native of Haiyang, Shandong Province.

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Related

» Partytalk, May 19, 2012
» Satisfaction of the People, Aug 16, 2009

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chen Kegui sentenced to three years, three month in jail

Chen Kegui (陈克贵), nephew of Chen Guangcheng, has been sentenced to three years and three months in jail, “for assaulting officials”, reports the Guardian.

After Chen Guangcheng’s succesful getaway from his home (and house arrest) in Dongshigu village, Shandong Province, in April this year, local officials and public security people burst into the home of Chen Guangcheng’s older brother Chen Guangfu (陳光福), whose son (Chen Guangcheng’s newphew) Chen Kegui held a kitchen knife in self defense, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) describes the case. Three people got injured.

Yinan County Court (沂南縣法院) found Chen Kegui guilty of what – according to RTI’s wording – would seem to amount to “intentional murder” or “intentional manslaughter” (故意杀人), and jailed him for three years and three months.

If that was the verdict, and if this article by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of October 15 this year was correct, hopes that the police accusation (“intentional manslaughter”) would turn into “intentional infliction of injury” at the state prosecutor’s office apparently didn’t materialize.

Chen Kegui’s jail sentence doesn’t quite reach that of Hu Jia, who – in an unrelated case – was sentenced to three years and six months in prison in 2008, after three months in detention while awaiting trial. In Hu’s case, the charges were about “subversion of state power”. What spelled factors for Hu not to get the maximum sentence of five years appears to be unknown.

Chen Kegui’s detention while awaiting trial (his whereabouts at the time appear to have been unknown) amounted to about seven months.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland criticized the proceedings for lacks of basic due process guarantees. Among other issues, Chen Kegui wasn’t

fully represented by legal counsel of his choosing. He didn’t have an opportunity to present his own defense. So this was a deeply flawed legal process.

Indeed, according to German daily Die Welt, (quoting news agencies), Chen Kegui’s defenders were appointed by the state.

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Related

» Kurzer Prozess, Die Welt, Nov 30, 2012
» Huanqiu: Just a Grassroot issue, May 3, 2012
» Support Network, BBC, May 19, 2012

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Mo Yan Speaks

There are people who are outspoken when they are young, and mute their voice as they are getting older. There are others who mute their voice when they are young, and become more outspoken as they are growing older.

Mo Yan ( 莫言), it seems, is a man of the second kind.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Obituary: Xu Huaiqian, 1968 – 2012

Xu Huaiqian (徐怀谦) was born in a village in Shandong Province, in 1968. He graduated at Beijing University’s (Bei Da) Chinese Faculty in 1989 and then worked at People’s Daily‘s arts and literature department. He left People’s Daily for two years, in 1999, and went to Yucheng County in Henan Province to work there temporarily, for two years, as a county (party) committee deputy secretary chairman.

His work as a journalist wasn’t confined to People’s Daily – the list of papers he wrote for includes Southern Weekend (南方周末), a progressive and liberal paper in Guangdong Province. His last function was at a supplement paper to People’s Daily, Da Di (大地, “The Land” or “Earth”), as deputy editor-in-chief.

One of the initial – or the initial – microblog posts came from Hangzhou City Express (都市快报) chief editorialist Xu Xunlei (徐迅雷) on the day of Xu Huaiqian’s death and said that Xu had unfortunately died (不幸去世), and mentioned depression as the cause of death. Jiangsu Net explicitly reported that Xu had suffered from depression and had committed suicide (via Sohu, via Dongfang Net). The article also quotes Xu himself, from one of his books:

Some people say that this is a mediocre era, an era without substance, of foolish music, without mastry. But we can’t blame on this on the era. An individual can’t control the era, but he can control his face. He may not be pretty, but he can’t be without content. He may be ugly, but he can’t be without personality.

有人说,这是一个平庸的时代,一个物质的时代,一个愚乐的时代,一个缺乏大师的时代,可是,我们不能把什么过错都推给时代。一个人左右不了时代,却可以左右自己的脸——它可以不漂亮,却不可以没内容;它可以很丑,却不可以没有个性。

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Related

» Reactions, RFA, Aug 23, 2012
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Updates/Related

» Not by Magic, Xu Huaiqian (via Paper Republic), June 2012

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekender: how Chen Guangcheng is Unharmonious, and why he was Freed Anyway

Harmony promoters in China, ideally, ridicule non-conformistic behavior, to the degree a situation appears to demand. A child won’t be argued with, and won’t be refuted. Rather, it will be told that “you must not be that way”. If need be, a mischief will be shamed.

But maintenance or restauration of harmony can also be a fight to the finish. That’s true for many families, every triad, every brotherhood, and it’s true within the CCP.

The way the CCP “educates the masses” (or “public”) is also a process with many different options. Huanqiu Shibao, a governent mouthpiece for a (comparatively) angry readership, is diverse. Once in a while, readers will be encouraged to believe in the partyline or the party’s correct leadership, with stuff like this:

There is no contradiction between emancipation of mind and trust in the party’s central committee. Without emancipation of minds, trust in the central committee would be mere slavish conformism. It is exactly for the diversity we have, for having other options, that we truly discover that trusting the party’s central committee, implementing the party’s road map, is more reliable than any other method other people may teach us, and more able to create the conditions that make the country and the individual develop.

Which seems to come pretty close to philosophy, theology, or a simplified way of advocating a second naivete (after the era of the Great Helmsman who butchered the country until 1976). If there are parallels between religion and socialism with Chinese characteristics, this is one of them.

And on other occasions, after a lively anti-Japan campaign for example, some reconciliatory words appear to be in order, as an indication to the crowd that even virtuous “patriotism” shouldn’t come without occasional restraint.

And again, once in a while, one might quote from a – basically suitable – foreign article to say things that one doesn’t want say in ones own role as a propagandist (or kindergarten teacher), but which is deemed an article worthy to be communicated to the target readership, so as to encourage a somewhat relaxed or more objective attitude.

It’s only a fight to the finish once all other means haven’t achieved their goal. This certainly owes to some ethics, and it’s practical, too (weighing the costs and effects of an approach). Shock and awe – at least “ideally” – is an exception.

In any case, nowhere is there a principle which is right in all circumstances, or an action that is wrong in all circumstances. The method we used yesterday we may discard today and use again in future, there are no fixed right and wrong to decide whether we use it or not,

That’s how the Liezi appears to choices like these. If a Chinese official were prepared to discuss the authorities’ handling of dissidents publicly, he might quote this one. If American consular officials understood their Chinese counterparts correctly, back in May this year, there were “no remaining legal issues directed at” Chen Guangcheng. To get rid of the embarrassing case, and to make the end to Chen’s (illegal) house arrest plausible, the obvious had to be stated.

As my view of the Chinese classics is at least as simplified as Huanqiu Shibao’s view of Paul Recoeur‘s second naivete, issues of no rights or wrongs in all circumstances – in my view – may help to explain why Chen wasn’t jailed again. And they may help to explain why the CCP can – however unconvincingly – preach a concept of “a country under law”, but act – however convincingly – as if there was no law.

When it comes to harmony, the Huainanzi has / have this to say:

When the lute-tuner strikes the kung (gong) note (on one instrument), the kung note (on the other instrument) responds (ying). (…) This results from having corresponding musical notes in mutual harmony.

Before he was jailed, and later placed under house arrest, Chen, as a self-taught legal activist, had brought his own instruments and tunes to the courtroom, as he defended victims of state transgressions. But he didn’t play along with the usual script, and as the CCP continued to confuse a courtroom with a concert hall, he was kicked out of there, and jailed when he continued to “stir trouble”.

The authorities reckoned that Chen might continue to act “disgracefully” after his release from jail – that he would continue to endanger the “harmony”. But to state this openly was impossible, because the disgrace was on the bureaucracy, not on Chen.

Snowwhite: the Queen's Mirror

I’m beautiful. I’m beautiful. I’m beautiful, it’s true (click picture for source).

That’s also why propaganda can’t simply “shame” dissidents publicly, even if this should be the first choice to restore harmony.

Concerning Chen Guangcheng, tries to shame him or his supporters were certainly made, but an apparent experiment by Shan Renping – also at Huanqiu Shibao – to this end went rather wrong, judging by the comments that followed.

To shame dissidents, one would need to have public debates with them – and to refute them. And even if the CCP believed it had a chance to gain from such an approach, the question who would gain or lose in that kind of process isn’t only too important to leave that to chances – just as China wouldn’t take disputes with south-eastern neighbors to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. You just won’t argue with “children”.

It’s not that China would mind a more harmonious global tune. It’s just that, globally and at home, the CCP wants to be the composer, the conductor, and the artistic director.

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