Thursday, April 11, 2019

Taiwan’s Representative to Czech Republic: Relations not affected

The following is a translation of a CNA (Central News Agency) article from Taiwan, with some details of an interview Taiwan’s semi-offical ambassador Wang Chung-I (汪忠一, officially his country’s diplomatic “representative”), gave to a Czech newspaper on Tuesday. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link (CNA): Dispute around Taiwan’s Representative having to leave his seat won’t affect relations between the two Countries (被迫離席風波 駐捷克代表:不影響兩國關係)

Central News Agency CNA reporter Lin Yuli, Berlin, April 10 – Taiwan’s Representative to the Czech Republic, Wang Chung-I, who took part in a conference hosted by the Czech ministry of trade and industry, and was removed under Chinese pressure. Czech media published interviews with him, and Wang Chung-I believes that this diplomatic dispute will not lead to bad effects on the two countries’ relationship.

(中央社記者林育立柏林10日專電)駐捷克代表汪忠一上月參加捷克貿易工業部主辦的會議,因中國施壓被迫離席。捷克媒體刊登他的專訪,汪忠一相信這起外交風波不至於影響兩國的關係。

The case of the Taiwanese representative having been forced to leave the venue had led to great controversy in Czech political circles. Forty senators across party lines have sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babis in recent days, demanding that trade and industry minister Marta Novakova should assume political responsibility, and the House of Deputies‘ foreign  affairs committee also met to discuss this diplomatic dispute.

台灣代表被迫離場事件,最近在捷克政壇引起軒然大波。40名跨黨派的參議員日前聯名致函總理巴比什(Andrej Babis)要求貿易工業部長諾娃科娃(Marta Novakova)負起政治責任,眾議院外交委員會也開會討論這起外交風波。

Major Czech paper “Economic Daily” (Hospodarske Noviny) published an entire page of an interview with Wang Chung-I on April 9. Wang Chung-I said that after the incident, the representative office [i. e. Taiwan’s semi-official embassy in Prague] received support from all walks of life in Czechia, also e-mails of encouragement from members of the general public, which made him feel pleasantly surprised.

捷克大報「經濟日報」(Hospodarske Noviny)9日用一整版的篇幅刊出汪忠一的專訪。汪忠一表示,事件發生後,代表處收到捷克各界的聲援,還有民眾寫電子郵件來鼓勵,讓他感到驚喜。

He pointed out that during the past 19 years, Taiwan had always received invitations from the trade and industry ministry, and had always sent someone to take part in the conferences. He knew that the trade and industry ministry was under great Chinese pressure, and had therefore issued no protest to the ministry, and rather held talks with Czech diplomats to make mutually sure that this incident woudl not affect bilateral relations.

他指出,過去19年台灣每年都收到貿工部的邀請,也都派人出席這場會議。他知道貿工部受到中國的強大壓力,因此事後沒有向貿工部抗議,但與捷克外交官員進行了會談,互相保證這件事不至於影響雙邊關係。

Wang Chung-I emphasized that in the past, similar incidents had occured in Czechia, and usually it was the Chinese ambassador opposing the Taiwanese representative being in the place. If the organizing unit maintained its right to invite whom it wanted to invite, the Chinese ambassador would leave his seat, this was his first time to have to leave the place because of Chinese pressure.

汪忠一強調,捷克過去也曾發生過類似的事件,一般而言是中國大使反對台灣代表在場。如果主辦單位堅持有權決定想邀請的人,中國大使會離席,這是他第一次因中國施壓而被迫離場。

In the interview, Wang Chung-I also quoted former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a man with friendly feelings towards Taiwan, as describing in a book why Czech and Taiwanese people had similar lines of thought.

汪忠一在這篇專訪中,還引述了對台灣友好的捷克前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的話,他在一本書中曾描述捷克人和台灣人為何有相同的思維方式。

Wang Chung-I pointed out that both Czechia and Taiwan were rather small countries, both with experience in resisting powerful neighboring countries, and common values of respect for human rights, freedom and democracy.

汪忠一指出,捷克與台灣都是比較小的國家,一樣有與超強鄰國對抗的經驗,而且共享尊重人權和自由民主的價值觀。

Czechia is a major tourist destination in Europe, with its capital Prague attracting particularly many Taiwanese tourists. Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib mentioned in a meeting with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen late last month that he hoped to establish direct flights with Taipei.

捷克是歐洲的觀光重鎮,尤其首都布拉格吸引許多台灣觀光客,布拉格市長賀吉普(Zdenek Hrib)上月底訪問台灣會見蔡英文總統時才提到,希望與台北建立直航。

Wang Chung-I said that last year’s number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Czechia reached up to 190,000, an annual rise by ten percent, and for tourism and commercial exchange between the two countries, he hoped that a direct flight connection between Prague and Taipei would soon materialize. (Editor’s name) Number

汪忠一表示,去年台灣旅客造訪捷克的人數高達19萬,年成長率10%,為了兩國的觀光和商務往來,他也期盼布拉格與台北的直航能早日實現。(編輯:高照芬)1080411

Friday, April 5, 2019

Prague Castle*) incident: “The Minister should have known what to do”

*) Correction, April 11, 2019: not at the Castle, but at the trade ministry in Prague.

Update, April 11, 2019: Reportedly, trade minister Marta Nováková will be replaced, along with transport minister Dan Ťok, in a cabinet reshuffle.

Britain’s Daily Mail quotes a “series of missteps”, the way she dealt with the Chinese ambassador’s “request” to remove Taiwan’s representative from a meeting at the trade ministry among them, but mainly her comments on Czech mobile data prices.

====================

The top levels of Czech politics may be confused, but civil society stands up to blackmail. While it is true that the world’s leading democracies are falling over themselves to do business with China, the Czech Republic’s tradition is different from that of the London School of Economics.

Beijing doesn’t appear to advertise its ambassador’s implementation of its one-belt-one-road project in Prague, but Zdeněk Hřib, Prague’s mayor and one of the critics of Beijing’s most recent attempt to sideline Taiwan, isn’t an unknown in China anyway. A blogger named Warfare Bureau stationed with Taiwan Special Task Force member no. 666, publishing on a Guanchazhe platform, shows rightful indignation about Hřib’s current visit to Taiwan:

Actually, this mayor of the Czech Republic capital who has just taken office has often before raised his unfriendly voice against China. Early this year, he voiced doubt about the “one-China clause” in the sister city agreement between Prague and Beijing, asserting that he “could not see the need to retain it,” and demanding renegotiation.

其实,这位才上任不久的捷克首都新市长曾经多次发表对华不友好的声音,今年初贺瑞卜在受访时就公然对与北京缔结姐妹城市关系时协定中的“一中条款”表示质疑,他声称,“实在看不出保留的必要性”,要求重新协商。

According to the blog, Hřib said in an interview with Czech media that if the Prague city council demanded to repeal the article from the agreement, he would negotiate with Beijing, and if negotiations failed, Prague would have to withdraw from the agreement.*)

Even worse, the guy, reacting to Beijing’s plans to send a Panda to Prague, had said in 2016, in an interview with Taiwan’s Liberty Times (自由時報), that “human rights are much more important than Panda’s”. (What a shameless lie.)

It might be worth mentioning that Hřib is a member of the Czech Pirate party. A lot of politicians talk about “values”, but some actually have the nerve to practice them.

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Related

Rising Aggression, Jan 28, 2017

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Notes / Updates

*) Prague’s city council decided on January 21 that the article about the “one-China policy” should either be removed, or the partnership with Beijing be terminated, according to Radio Prague‘s German service on that day.

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Comment, instead of a Comment: Europe and China

Hi Jixiang,

blogspot.com sucks. I have tried posting a comment on your blog for ten minutes, until clicking fire hydrants, buses and traffic lights (to prove that I’m no robot) had sent me into a state of trance.

Anyway, here goes. This would have been my comment.

… and it would be most effective if the EU as a whole would draw them.

I agree, but believe that EU countries won’t react to the challenges in the same speed. In many ways, it’s the commerical base that shapes the policies, because there is no primacy of politics in Europe.

Countries like Germany, Sweden or the Netherlands are more likely to draw comparatively “early lines”, because they and China are the most immediate competitors, on similar markets, and all of them post trade surpluses.

It would be great if human rights and fundamental rights counted in Europe, but I don’t think they do.

P.S.: Yes, Jixiang, and Foarp, too: blogspot.com sucks. Try wordpress.com.

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Related

RAE, CRI, Universal Topics, March 22, 2018
AIB maintains RTI membership, July 7, 2017

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Two Meetings, and how Red History re-educated Yang Liwei

The following is a translated excerpt from “People’s Daily” online, published there on March 9, during the “two meetings”, i. e. the “National People’s Congress” and the “Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference” sessions earlier this month.

The term “re-education” has never left the Chinese language – there has always been “re-education” in the PRC, even though the use of the term may have peaked during Maoism.

Main Link (original title): Actively Participating in the Management of State Affairs, Fostering the Propagation of Popular Science

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Host: Hello everyone, this is People’s Daily online’s video interview. Today, we have run into Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s committee member and space-flight hero Yang Liwei. Hello, Yang laoshi. First of all, a question that everyone is particularly interested in, how has your past year of duty been?

大家好,这里是人民网视频访谈。今天我们遇到了全国政协委员、航天英雄杨利伟,杨老师您好。首先大家特别关注,在去年一年,您的履职情况是怎样的呢?

Yang Liwei: First of all, by being able to enter the big family of the Political Consultative Conference I have learned and seen many things, because following my participation in last year’s two meetings, especially when attending the meeting, I took the path of a committee member, and by doing so, we from the manned space flight can do good propaganda, and at the same time make the space flight third generation’s selection situation known. As it happens, we have just completed the pre-selection of third-generation astronauts, under everyone’s attention. From here, a completely new work can be touched upon. Following this kind of getting in touch, I like and love this big family more and more, the CPPCC is really good, with people from different trades coming across each other and conducting exchanges which helps you to understand a lot. Especially last year I have participated in many CPPCC activities, going out and conducting investigation and research left a really deep impression on me.

首先能够去加入政协这个大家庭,去年一年对我来讲学到了很多东西,也看到了很多东西,因为随着参加去年的两会,特别是参加会议的时候,我走了委员通道,用这种方式对我们载人航天也进行了一个很好的宣传,同时也介绍了一下第三批航天员的选拔情况,恰恰我们现在第三批航天员的初选已经结束了,大家很关注。从这开始之后,一个全新的工作,就是让自己去接触。随着这种接触,越来越喜欢这个大家庭和爱上这个大家庭,政协真的是很好,不同界别的人交叉在一起进行交流,会让你了解很多。特别是在去年,又参加了很多政协的活动,出去进行了调研,给我留下印象非常的深刻。

Host: To which kind of impression can you think back now, for example, that was very deep?

主持人:比如什么样的印象让您现在回想起来很深刻?

Yang Liwei: We studied and researched the old revolutionary area of Jiangxi, conducting research themed “protection and use of red resources”. Apart from that, after getting to the old revoltionary areas, we looked at the area’s development, and at the same time received a very good re-education of the Red Army of that time, leaving a really very deep impression on us. Before, it could all be seen on the media, but this time’s personal experience, to see these things, spells reeducation to me.

我们调研到了江西老区,进行“红色资源的保护与利用”的主题调研,除了调研红色资源的保护和利用,到了革命老区之后,看到了老区的发展,同时也进一步接受了那个时候红军的一个很好的再教育,给我留下的印象真的非常深刻。以前都是在媒体上看到的,这一次身临其境的去看,看到了一些东西,对我来讲,也是进行再一次教育。

No kidding – it’s a real astronaut

In this process, because we were in touch with the old revolutionary area’s common people, between the lines and idioms they used, besides from red genes and revolutionary continued tradition, as astronauts, I also met many children there. They were very interested in space flight. In this process, after recognizing us, they were really happy, and also, very small children all knowing made me feel gratified. Actually, when you think deeply about what forty years of reform and opening have brought to this country, because of all kinds of development of differing degrees, allows us to even better make contact with the common people, and the common people understanding us better. So, by doing some study and research, I got to know from my own experience how to maintain and how to increase efficiency of this method, how to improve our participation in the management of state affairs, and how to implement it better. Practical study and research is the best way. So, last year, especially by this process, many members still have some interaction, especially with an online app opened by the CPPCC for members. By using modern technology, on this platform, you will understand many members’ proposals and advice quite well, and the information is very helpful at our work. So, this year, apart from my job, I should say that what influenced me most has been this work.

在这个过程当中,因为接触了红区的老百姓,在他们字里行间,除了红色基因、红色传承以外,作为航天员来讲,对我来讲,因为碰到很多孩子,在那个地方。对航天又非常的感兴趣。在这个过程当中,认出来我们之后非常高兴,而且很小的孩子都知道,让我非常的欣慰,实际上深层次去想,国家经过40年的改革开放,给国家带来的是什么,因为各种各样的不同程度的发展,让我们能去更好地接触到老百姓,和老百姓更好地了解我们。所以,通过一些调研,也让我深刻体会到了,怎么样去保持增效这种方式,提高我们参政议政的能力,怎么样把它更好地落到实处。实际的调研是最好的一个方式。所以,通过去年这一年,特别是因为在这个过程当中,很多委员还有一些互动,特别是我们现在政协又开通了委员的网上APP,用现代的技术手段,你在这个平台上会了解很多不同委员的一些建言献策也好,信息也好,对我的工作有很大的帮助。所以,这一年对我来讲,除了本职工作以外,应该说对我影响最大的还是这项工作。

[…]

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Related

Xinjiang Re-education Camps, Wikipedia
Uighur’s Today, Han’s Tomorrow, Aug 19, 2018
How Yellow was my Hometown, Febr 14, 2015
Open the Skies for the Young, May 5, 2013
National Tourism and Leisure, Febr 18, 2013
A Role in School Curricula, Sep 1, 2009

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Yellow Blogging

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Belarus, Russia: together, but not THAT together (yet)

The following is a translation of a Guanchazhe newsarticle, published on February 23.

Main Link: Lukashenko: no Merger with Russia at any Time

News bubbled last week that “Belarussian president has agreed to a merger with Russia”. It also caused a former NATO secretary‘s “concern”, who demanded on that occasion that Belarus protect itself against “Russian threats.”

“白俄罗斯总统同意与俄罗斯合并”的消息上周传得沸沸扬扬,还引来了北约前秘书长的“关怀”,借此要求白俄罗斯保护自己免受“俄罗斯威胁”。

Belarussian president Lukashenko personally rebuked the rumor on February 22, stating the importance of national sovereignty and independence. He also said that as president, he would not merge Belarus into another country at any time.

对于这一传言,白俄罗斯总统卢卡申科2月22日亲自辟谣,他重申了国家主权和独立的重要性,并表示作为总统,任何时候都不会将白俄罗斯并入他国。

According to the Belarussian president’s press office on February 22, Lukashenko said on that day, while inspecting the Military Academy of Belarus and having exchanges with the academy’s teachers and students, that “national sovereignty and independence are the most important achievements we have made now. To have become the first president of this sovereign and independent state is something that makes me proud and happy.”

据白俄罗斯总统新闻局22日消息,卢卡申科当天在视察白俄罗斯共和国军事学院并与该学院师生进行交流时表示:“主权和独立是我们当今取得的最重要成就,我为能成为这个主权国家的第一任总统感到骄傲和高兴。”

Concerning speculation abroad that Belarus could merge into Russia, Lukashenko asked back: “What kind of people could allow such things to happen, after having established and lead an independent country? Would you destroy it with your own hands by letting it become part of another country? Poland or Russia? I will never take this road.

对于外界有关白俄罗斯并入俄罗斯的猜测,卢卡申科反问:“什么样的人会在建立和领导独立国家之后,允许这样的事发生?你会亲手去摧毁它,让它成为其他国家的一部分吗?波兰还是俄罗斯?我永远不会走这条路。”

Lukashenko emphasized that he had clear boundaries that he would never cross, among them, as the most important one, that of defending his country’s sovereignty and independence. He appealed not to pay attention to foreign conjectures that Belarus could lose its sovereignty and independence.

卢卡申科强调,自己有明确的不能逾越的界限,其中最重要的界限就是守卫本国的主权与独立。他呼吁,不要去理会外界关于白俄罗斯会失去其主权和独立性的猜测。

However, he said on the same day that “Russia is our important friend. No matter how many contradictions and disputes we may have, we and Russia will always be together.”

不过,他当天也表示:“俄罗斯是我们重要的朋友,无论我们有多少矛盾和争执,我们和俄罗斯永远在一起”。

Before, there had been rumors abroad that “Belarusian president Lukashenko has announced preparations to merge with Russia,” even with people relating that he had said that “tomorrow there can be a merger into Russia, no problem.”

此前,外界曾盛传“白俄罗斯总统卢卡申科宣布准备与俄罗斯合并”一事,甚至有人转述卢卡申科的话说:“明天就可以并入俄罗斯,没问题”。

Guanchazhe online checked on many Russian and Belarusian official media reporting that Lukashenko had not announced a “Belarusian-Russian merger,” but had made a vigorous statement about the two countries’ union (Guanchazhe note: the original word was объединение, meaning union or unification, translated as integration by Russian media.)

观察者网查证多家俄媒与白俄罗斯官方媒体报道,卢卡申科并没有宣布“白俄合并”,而是对两国联合(观察者网注:原文объединение意为联合、统一,俄媒译为一体化)进行了积极表态。

Reacting to the sentence of “merger tomorrow”, TASS quoted Lukashenko’s original words as being “provided that you are prepared, we can have a union tomorrow (объединиться вдвоем), that’s no problem. But are the Russian and Belarusian people well prepared? (но готовы ли вы),” “if well prepared, we will fulfill the will of the people.”

针对那句“明天就合并”,塔斯社援引卢卡申科说法,其实原话是这样,“只要你们准备好,明天我们就可以联合(объединиться вдвоем),这点没有问题,但是白俄罗斯人和俄罗斯人们准备好了吗?(но готовы ли вы)”,“如果准备好了,我们将履行人民的意志。”

According to Belarusian newsagency belta.by reporting, Lukashenko had previously also reiterated that sovereignty was sacred and could not be violated.

据白方官媒白俄罗斯通讯社(belta.by)报道,卢卡申科此前也重申了主权神圣不可侵犯。

Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin had vaguely commented about “Belarusian-Russian integration”, discussing his opinion about “independence” and saying that “there is no completely independent country in the world. No matter if they are big or small countries, today’s world is interdependent.”

俄罗斯总统普京则对“白俄一体化”进行了模糊表态,他谈到了自己对“独立”的看法,称“世界上不存在完全独立的国家,无论是大国还是小国都是如此,现代世界相互依存。”

On February 22, Lukashenko also mentioned the INF treaty. He said that Russia had not violated the treaty in question, and voiced concern that America could deploy missiles after its withdrawal [from the treaty]. He believed that this could create a very big threat to Belarus. He said that Belarus would need to consider countermeasures.

22日,卢卡申科也谈及了《中导条约》问题,他表示,相信俄方未违反相应条约,并对美国在退约之后可能在欧洲部署导弹表示担忧,认为这将对白俄罗斯造成很大威胁。他表示白俄罗斯需要与俄罗斯共同思考如何采取回应措施。

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Related

We are no scroungers, BelTa, March 1, 2019
How the EU lost Ukraine, Der Spiegel, Nov 25, 2013

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Oh so famous!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sony ICF 2001 – Early Days of Global Digitalization

Among the large variety of receivers currently available, the Sony ICF 2001 is unique. […] suggests the Sony is probably the first portable shortwave receiver designed to overcome the general public reluctance to tune to shortwave and international broadcasts. With the Sony ICF 2001, nearly anyone can call up a distant station, if the frequency is known.

This is how then South African foreign broadcaster Radio RSA reviewed the Sony ICF 2001 at the time.

Sony would certainly agree, as can be seen from the early 1980s artwork on the box: that wasn’t a receiver, it was a technological sunrise, with a glorious new millennium booming into your face.

Sony ICF 2001 packing

Proclamation of a new Era: Sony ICF 2001 packing

While reviewers at Radio RSA apparently admired the receiver’s sophistication, they did see a potential problem:

The convenience of the ICF 2001 is obviously unique, but for the established shortwave hobbyist, the lack of a conventional tuning knob can be a drawback.”

And battery consumption was deemed “a little high” – average battery lifetime was estimated at around ten hours.

Great points in its favor, as seen by the reviewers, was excellent sensitivity, selectivity, automatic gain control, and just the right bandwith (as long as users wouldn’t want to bother about choosing the right bandwith).

A shortwave listener in South Bend, Indiana, listened to the Radio RSA review on March 14, 1982, and recorded it. About 35.5 years later, he posted it online.

It’s a fascinating document to listen to. The review contains a short original soundtrack of the ICF 2001’s performance, and a bit of (feigned, I suppose) political innocence:

But let’s try medium wave and let’s try Channel 702, broadcasting from Bophuthatswana.

Summing up, the reviewers pointed out that the ICF 2001

has several features not found on other portables, namely the six-channel memory.

OK – that was in 1982.

A shortwave radio blogger who bought a Sony ICF 2001 in 2015 highlights the built-in antenna trimmer – a great feature indeed, and one the Sony ICF 2001 D (the Sony ICF 2010’s edition for the German market) was lacking.

Obviously, when the year of 2001 really arrived, the internet had been there for years, and even the world’s most incredible shortwave receiver wouldn’t lure a dog from behind the stove, as a German saying goes.

That said, it might still work on dogs older than forty.

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