Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Air Defense Competition, Particular Honors and Promotions

media_war_praparation_mobilization
“Hold on to revolution, advance production, advance work, advance war preparation”
The following is my translation from an article first published by the “China Defense Paper” (中国国防报), a paper run by a “People’s Liberation Army” publishing house which also publishes the “People’s Liberation Army Daily”. It was published online by China’s ministry of defense website on September 9, 2022.
Development of civil air defense reportedly started in 1950, when the CPC Central Committee issued a circular for an organizing committee that would then establish a “Central People’s Air Defense Committee” (中共中央发出通知,成立中央人民防空委员会筹委会). “Baike Baidu”, an online encyclopedia:

The masses are both the object and the force of Civil Air Defense. In addition to Civil Air Defense staff, the important goals of partners like government agencies, enterprises and public institutions as well as from all sides of society are also included, as are all aspects of societal life. Civil Air Defense are manifold, including evacuations, camouflage, dealing with the aftermath of air raids, etc..
人民群众既是人民防空对象,又是人民防空力量。人民防空对象除了人员以外,还包括政府机构、企业事业单位等重要目标,以及社会生活的各个方面。人民防空行动形式多样,包括疏散防护、隐蔽防护、消除空袭后果等。

There have been earlier days of mass mobilization, then against a suspicious power very near there – the USSR, in the 1960s.
The concept of mass mobilisation was confirmed in the 1990s, with an air defense law

adopted at the 202nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People’s Congress on October 29, 1996, promulgated by Order No. 78 of the President of the People’s Republic of China on October 29, 1996, and effective as of January 1, 1997.


According to the 1996 air-defense law,

[a]s authorized by the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the major military commands shall exercise leadership in the work of civil air defense in the areas under their command.

The article you are going to read describes three particular fields of competition: satellite communication, mobile-devices communication and shortwave communication.
As far as these fields of science are concerned, the 1996 law stipulates that

The tasks to be performed by mass organizations for air defense in time of war include dealing with emergencies, doing rush repairs, providing medical aid, preventing and extinguishing fire, engaging in epidemic prevention, disinfection and sterilization, eliminating contamination, ensuring signal communications, rescuing people, doing emergency transportation of goods and materials and maintaining public order, and in time of peace they shall assist the departments for fighting against floods and earthquakes in dealing with emergencies and doing disaster relief.

That said, the army wants specialized people within its ranks, not somewhere else. And as Chinese people can be drafted (without being asked), a guideline published (or publicised) by the “PLA” in August suggests that drafts during the later months of this year would be based on skills which are particularly relevant for war prepration.

The article.
Main Link: “I particularly care about this honor” (我特别看重这份荣誉)

From August 30 to August 31, the 2022 Henan Provincial Civil Air Defense System Skills Competiton was carried out in the city of Hebi. In contrast to the past, success during the competiton was linked to the contestants’ professional advancement. For example, workers and handymen, no matter if junior, intermediate or senior workers, can all be promoted to a higher position right away, with payment and status being adjusted accordingly.
8月30日至31日,2022年河南省人防系统职业技能竞赛在鹤壁市举行。与以往不同,这次竞赛成绩与参赛选手个人职业等级晋升挂钩。比如,对于工勤技能岗位人员而言,无论是初级工、中级工还是高级工,只要进入竞赛前3名,均可直接晋升为技师,工资待遇也会相应调整。

This change has been made because the Civil Air Defense System Skills Competiton has been integrated into the 2022 Henan Provincial vocational technical skills competiton plan. “The Civil Air Defense communication skills competition is technologically demanding, strict in its standard requirements, and should enjoy preferential regional industrial and technical competition policies.“ Someone in charge at the provincial Human Resources and Social Security Department’s professional capacity-building office explained that “according to the ‘Henan Province Professional Skills Competition (trial) Administrative Method’, three new items have been added this time, concerning: Civil Air Defense satellite communication, Civil Air Defense shortwave communication, and Civil Air Defense mobile device operators. With certain results, participants qualify for professional promotion.
变化,源于这次人防技能竞赛被纳入2022年河南省职业技能竞赛计划。“人防通信技能竞赛,技术含量高、标准要求严,理应享受地方职业技能竞赛优惠政策。”该省人社厅1职业能力建设处相关负责人介绍,依据《河南省职业技能竞赛管理办法(试行)》,此次新增了人防卫星、短波、移动通信机务员3个项目;参赛人员取得一定成绩,即获得职业等级晋升资格。

“Integrating war preparation competitions, practicing perfect mastery and ability.” In accordance with this line of thought, Henan Province Civil Air Defense Office first mobilized those to sign up who were up to the condition, and then instructed Municipal Civil Air Defense Offices to hold preliminary competitions to select the best from those already best so as to ensure a high starting point for the provincial finals.
“结合备战竞赛,练强过硬本领。”按照这一思路,河南省人防办首先动员符合条件的人员踊跃报名参加,然后指导各地市人防办举办预赛、优中选优,确保省决赛的高起点。

To ensure impartiality and fairness, the National University of Defense and Technology’s School of Communication and Information, counterpart units from Shandong, Guangxi, Sichuan and other provinces, Hebi City Fire and Rescue Brigade and other third parties were invited to send referees.
Extra efforts were made in the design of the test settings. For example, shortwave transmitter-receivers had to work with groundwaves instead of skywaves, because propagation of the latter is variably influenced [by the ionosphere]. This is how variations in assignment conditions for the participants were avoided.
为保证竞赛公平公正,他们不仅邀请国防科技大学信息通信学院,山东、广西、四川等兄弟单位,鹤壁市消防救援支队作为第三方,派出专家和技术人员担任裁判,而且还在赛题设置上下了一番功夫。比如,短波电台要借助地波而不是天波进行通联,天波受天气影响较大,这样可避免前后上场的选手作业条件出现较大差异。

Zhang Guoyin, a high-level worker from Zhengzhou City Civil Air Defense Office, achieved the second position at the Civil Air Defense mobile device operators which means that, according to the rewards policy, he can be promoted to the position of a technician*) right away. “The things demanded in this competiton are pretty much what I’m practising and using regularly anyway, so I could do this quite safely.” Zhang Guoyin told this reporter that to get promoted had by no means been as easy in the past. In 2016, he passed his high-level worker exam, but the acceptance quota was limited, and he was only promoted in 2019.
郑州市人防办高级工张国印,在移动通信机务员赛项中获得第二名,按照奖励政策,他可以直接晋升为技师。“这次竞赛的内容,基本都是平时常训常练常用的,考起来得心应手。”张国印告诉记者,以前晋级可没这么顺利。他在2016年通过了高级工考试,但受名额数量所限,直到2019年才得以晋升。

Tan E, winner of the gold medal at the shortwave communication operators’ competition, is a technician at the Provincial Civil Air Defense command information support center. As far as technicians are concerned, the first three of them [in the competition], won’t be benefitted in terms of payment, but are exempted from two theoretical senior-technician exams. They also earn themselves a title as “Henan Province technology experts”. “I used to be with the signal corps, and I particularly care about this honor.” Holding his certificate in his hands, Tan E couldn’t hide his joy.
在短波通信机务员赛项中夺得金牌的谭峨,是省人防指挥信息保障中心的一名技师。对于技师而言,前3名的成绩虽然不与工资待遇挂钩,但可在高级技师考试中免考2门理论,并可获得“河南省技术能手”称号。“我曾是一名通信兵,特别看重这份荣誉。”谭峨手捧荣誉证书,难掩心中的喜悦。

There were also active engineers taking part. Gao Bing, associate engineer from the Nanyang Civil Air Defense Office, Liu Wei, intermediate engineer from Hebi Civil Air Defense Office, won gold medals in satellite and mobile device operations respectively. These are excellent successes, laying the foundations for their next professional evaluations. Zhu Anwei, second-class floorwalker at the Provincial Civil Air Defense Office, believes that competiton among staff from specialised technological posts doesn’t only help the participants’ maturity and progress, but also provides everyone with role models, goals to achieve, and is beneficial for the promotion of building skilled and talented echelons.
竞赛场上还活跃着工程师人员的身影。南阳市人防办助理工程师高冰、鹤壁市人防办中级工程师刘伟,分别获得卫星、移动通信机务员竞赛项目金牌。优异的成绩,给他们下一步的职称评定奠定了基础。省人防办二级巡视员朱安伟认为,安排专业技术岗位人员上阵比武,不仅对他们个人成长进步有帮助,而且能让大家学有榜样、赶有目标,有利于推动技能人才梯队建设。

Those who have earned themselves gold and silver medals have been awarded, and the others don’t consider their participation wasted time either. According to releveant regulations, those who finished 4th to 10th can be promoted. “A moment on stage takes several years of practice off-stage.” According to what leaders at the Civil Air Defense Office say, having gone through several months of ample war preparation not only brought the participants’ professional skills to new levels, but also built a good atmosphere within the provincial civil air defense system that leans on personal technical skills and on real accomplishment and improvement.
摘金夺银者有奖,其他参赛人员也不虚此行。每项赛事中获得第4至10名者,也可按相关规定晋升职业技能等级。“台上一分钟,台下数年功。”该省人防办相关领导介绍,经过几个月的充分备战,这次竞赛不仅让参赛选手业务技能上了一个大台阶,而且在全省人防系统中营造了凭技能立身、靠实绩进步的良好氛围。

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Note

*) A reformed eight-level remuneration scale has reportedly been in place earlier this year. It includes the ranks of 学徒工 (apprentice), 初级工 (junior worker), 中级工 (intermediate worker), 高级工 (senior worker), 技师 (technician), 高级技师 (senior technician), 特级技师 (top senior technician), 首席技师 (chief technician) – see Industrial Bank of China and the CPC Central Committee’s “Qiushi” (bimonthly English-language edition) for sources
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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Newly appointed Russian Ambassador to China addresses Chinese Public

Igor Morgulov is Russia’s new ambassador to China, replacing Andrey Denisov there.

According to Russia’s state-run “Sputnik” website, Morgulov was born on May 4, 1961 and graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Asian and African Countries’ Research Institute. He speaks Chinese and English as foreign languages (even “fluently” according to RIAC, a thinktank’s website). He held the post of Counselor and Minister of the Russian embassy in China from 2006 to 2009, headed the Russian foreign ministry’s Asian Department next, and was appointed deputy foreign minister in 2011. Still according to “Sputnik, he has been awarded the “For Merit to the Fatherland” medals, order 4 and order 2, among other awards. “Sputnik” also quotes from President Putin’s presidential decrees that remove Morgulov from his previous post and appoint him to his new one, similar to the way TASS newsagency also does.

When you google Morgulov’s role as a deputy foreign minister, you’ll probably get the impression that central, east and southeast Asia were his main fields of work from 2011 to 2022, as well – including Russia’s relations with North and South Korea, as well as the Korean nuclear issue.
As a rule, there appear to be about half a dozen to ten deputy-minister posts in Moscow – see “Current Deputy Foreign Ministers” on Wikipedia. In that light, becoming Russia’s ambassador to China should count as quite a promotion (it’s probably the most important embassy for Moscow anywhere around the world).

Morgulov addressed the Chinese public by video this week, published by China News Service on Youtube on Friday.
20220923_morgulov_china_news_service_video
Click photo for video

Translation:

亲爱的中国朋友们,你们好。首先请允许我自我介绍一下。我是莫尔古洛夫。本月13日俄罗斯总统普京把我任命为新的俄罗斯驻华大使。对我来讲,这是一个很大的荣幸,也是很大的责任。 Dear Chinese friends, pleased to meet you. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Morgulov. On the 13th of this month, Russian President Putin has appointed me as Russia’s new ambassador in China. For me, that’s a great honor and a great responsibility.
1983年,作为第一批苏联留学生的一员,我首次来到中国。从那时候起,我的职业生涯同你们的古老而日新月异的美丽的国家紧密地联系在一起。在当今的复杂多变的国际形势下,俄中两国建立的新时代全面战略协作伙伴关系具有特殊的意义。 In 1983, I came to China for the first time, as a member of a group of Soviet students abroad. Ever since, my professional career has been closely linked to your ancient and rapidly progressing beautiful country. In today’s complicated and unsettled international situation, the comprehensive strategic partnership established by Russia and China in the new era is of special significance.
在新的岗位上,我愿意同中国朋友们积极合作,为落实好俄中两国元首所达成的重要的共识进一步推动两国关系全面发展,加强俄中两国人民之间的传统友谊而努力。朋友们,下个月我将要抵达北京。期待与大家尽快相见。谢谢。 On my new post, I wish to work actively with our Chinese friends, to implement well the important consensus reached between the Russian and Chinese heads of state and to promote our two countries’ relations further, and to make great efforts to strengthen the traditional friendship between the peoples of our two countries. Friends, next month, I will arrive in Beijing. I hope to see you all very soon. Thank you.

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Related

“Important choice, firm action”, Sept 14, 2022
Restive bulk of allies, May 6, 2022

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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Patriotic Pep Talk: Angry, angrier, scientific

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Click picture for CRI video

The following is a transcript of a video by China Radio International (yes, China’s former foreign radio  broadcaster still exists somehow – CGTN in English and in Russian, CRI in Chinese).

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

大家好!这里是『国际三分钟』。 我是爱丽。 Hello! This is “International – Three Minutes”. I’m Ai Li.
继芯片法案之后,美国又准备在生物科技领域出招了。当地时间12日美国总统拜登签署了一项鼓励美国生物技术生产和研究的行政命令,旨在促进美国的生物制造。多家美媒体国解读此举仍然是『针对中国』。 Following its CHIPS and Science Act, America is now preparing to make a move in the field of biotechnology. On September 12, U.S. President Biden signed an executive order on a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, aimed at promoting American biomanufacturing. A number of U.S. media read this as yet another move “targeted at China”.
五角大楼说的更为直接。14日白宫举办生物技术和生物制造峰会,与会人员包括国家安全顾问沙利文,和国防部副部长凯瑟琳·希克斯等人。 The Pentagon is even more straightforward. On September 14, the White House held a biomanufacturing summit which included national security advisor Jake Sullivan and deputy defense secretary and Kathleen Hicks.
希克斯在谈及投资生物技术对国防部的意义时表示,我们知道像中国这样的战略竞争对手也在优先考虑这些技术。他们想取代美国的领导地位,他们想挑战我们的竞争力。 Discussing the significance of biotechnology for national defense, Hicks said that it was known that strategic competitors like China were also considering these technologies a priority. [China] wanted to replace American leadership and challenge its competitiveness.
实际上,美国拥有世界上最强大的生物技术产业,在全球研发应用设施,基础研究方面,美国一直处于优先地位。2020年QS大学排名显示,在生命科学与医学排名前200的高校中,美国有61家入选。2019年全球市场排名前10名的生物医药公司中,美国占6家。截至2021年,在全球所有59座P4级别生物实验室中,美国独占13 – 14座。 In reality, America has the strongest global position in the biotechnological industry. In terms of R&D facilities and fundamental research, America always ranks first in global research. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings, as for life sciences and medical science rankings of the first 200 universities, 61 were American. In the [or a?] 2019 global market ranking, among the first ten biological drug companies, six were American. By 2021, U.S. P4-level biolaboratories dominated globally with 13 or 14 labs.
另外,在生物科技专利数量,专利活跃度,专利资产指数和竞争影响力等方面的领域优势,美国都很明显。中国短期内并不会对美国生物科技的全球地位产生威胁。 Also, as for the number of patents, patent activity, patent investment indices and competitive influence etc., America also has obvious advantages. China won’t be a threat to America’s global number-one position in biotechnology in the short term.
拜登政府之后已把目光转向生物技术。目的在于这背后巨大的经济利益更在于维护其科技霸权。 The Biden administration has since turned its attention to biotechnology. That’s because there are enormous economic interests behind it to protect their technological hegemony even better.
现在生物科技被广泛应用到各个领域。比如说,医疗方面的生物制药,农业方面的有机肥农药,工业方面的化学品甚至燃料,等等都跟生物科技有关。论对国家经济发展影响力,生物科技比之芯片领域毫不逊色。 Biotechnology is applied in a wide range of areas. For example, biological medication production for medical treatment, organic fertilizers and pesticides, industrial chemicals and even fuel are all related to biotechnology. Talking about influence on national economic development, biotechnology matters no less than the field of chips.
近些年中国在生物技术领域确实取得了一定的成绩。目前我们已经初涉形成门类齐全功能完备的生物经济产业体系,在生物医药生物育种,生物材料,生物能源等产业部门已经产生具有影响力的创新型企业。比如科创板上市企业中,生物企业占比就达1/3。 China has, in recent years, achieved certain successes. Currently, we have started shaping a category of fully functional and faultless biotechnological economic and industrial system. In the industrial sections of medicine, biomaterials and bioenergy etc., influential innovative companies have been created. For example, among the companies entering the Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market, one third are biotech companies.
从战略角度来看,机械化曾经让英国称霸世界。信息化又让美国问鼎世界第一强国。美国非常担心将来如果生物技术产业化使中国实现超越,自身的国际地位就将不保。也正是基于此美国有些急眼想走老路子,想通过制裁封锁中国生物科技领域的进步达到稳固其全球霸权的目的。 Seen from a strategic point of view, mechanizaton once helped Britain to declare itself the global hegemon. Informatization made America the global number one. America is really worried that in future, if biotechnological production helps China to overtake it, it may not be able to maintain its international position. It is also therefore that America is anxious to take the old path and wants to solidify its global hegemony by putting sanctions on the progress of China’s biotechnological sector.
『美国之音』就报道称,拜登新行政令被人为是对上个月签署的『芯片法案』作出的一项补充。美国『财富』杂志称,拜登的新行政令给美中经济竞争在添新战线。总之新政令是一个『风向表』,他预示着美国对中国的技术限制已经从芯片能源扩大到了生物领域。 According to the “Voice of America”, Biden’s new executive order is believed to be supplementary to the “CHIPS and Science Act”. American “Fortune” magazine said that Biden’s new executive order will add a new battlefront to U.S.-Chinese economic competition. In short, the new executive order is a “wind direction indicator”, foretelling that America’s technological restrictions on China are now expanding from the chip energy field to the field of biotechnology.
按照美国行事风格我们可以预测,如果此次新政令没有达到美方的预期效果,那很有可能像在芯片领域一样。他们会继续寻求对中国的精准打击。遗憾的是,生物领域本可以是一个美方有技术,中方有市场的合作领域,而美国现在非要打破这个平衡。 Because of America’s style of action, we can predict that if this new executive order doesn’t have the effect expected by the U.S., it will most probably resemble that of the CHIPS and Science Act. They will continue to seek for accurate strikes at China. What’s unfortunate is that biotechnology couldbe a field of cooperation, with the U.S. having the technologoy and with China having the market. But the U.S. has inisted on breaking this balance.
奈何。俄罗斯『独立报』评论称,对于美国不断升级的限制措施,中国有不同的应对举措,但最终这将促使中国加大对科技研发的投入,并努力确保独立性。说得不错。我们能做要做的。就是利用好巨大的市场优势,培育,挖掘,吸纳生物领域顶尖人才,加速推进生物科技和产业自立自强! Nothing doing. Russia’s “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” writes in an editorial that China has different options to respond, but in the end, this will induce China to increase its commitment to technological R&D and make efforts to ensure its independence. Well said. We can and we will. Just make good use of the advantages of a giant market. Nurture, unleash and attract top-notch talents in the field of biotechnology, and speed up the promotion of biotechnology and bioproduction!

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Related

“Cold War mentality”, Asia Financial
And now, no news, Nov 20, 2021
By any other name, March 30, 2018
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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Li Zhanshu: “Russia made an important Choice and acted firmly”

li_zhanshu_television

Meeting Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko
Xinwen Lianbo, Sept 11, 2022

Li Zhanshu’s talk isn’t exactly going viral on Chinese mass media, and appears to be only just beginning to catch attention on Twitter . The current Chairman of the Standing Committee of the “National People’s Congress” (China’s rubberstamp parliament), told Russian parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and leaders of Russian parliament factions that

We see that the United States and its NATO allies are expanding their presence near the Russian borders, seriously threatening national security and the lives of Russian citizens. We fully understand the necessity of all the measures taken by Russia aimed at protecting its key interests, we are providing our assistance,

and

On the Ukrainian issue, we see how they have put Russia in an impossible situation. And in this case, Russia made an important choice and responded firmly

A transcript (and a much-shared video) on Twitter in Chinese:

对俄罗斯在核心利益和重大关切问题,中方对俄罗斯也是表示理解和充分的支持。就像现在的乌克兰问题,美国和北约直接逼到俄罗斯的家门口,涉及到俄罗斯的国家安全和人民的生命安全,在这种情况下,俄罗斯采取认为适合应当的一些措施,中方是表示理解的,并且从不同方面给予策应。

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The translator adds a disclaimer, saying he doesn’t understand Li’s Shanxi accent too well, but that this is about what he said.

Monday, September 12, 2022

A Vice-Ministerial Visit to Taiwan and its Story

圖說:駐立陶宛台灣代表處正式掛牌設立,新獲任命的首任代表黃鈞耀及同仁攝於館牌前。 Splittist doorplate – click photo for source

A 28-person Lithuanian delegation of laser and biotechnology company representatives led by the Baltic nation’s Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation Karolis Žemaitis has reportedly arrived in Taiwan for an official visit today (Monday, September 12 UTC).  Also today, Lithuania’s public broadcaster LRT republished a Voice of America article saying that espite offering to build high-speed rail, China charm offensive loses appeal in Baltics.

National security may have been about as much a factor in the cooling relations between China and several of its European partners, as have unfulfilled business expectations.

The Latvia state security service published a report in 2020 “essentially saying that Chinese activities in Latvia are very similar to Russian intelligence activities”,

the article quotes Martins Hirss, a researcher at the University of Latvia. The China-Central-Europe connection originally included “seventeen-plus-one” nations, i. e. Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The Voice of America / LRT article also quotes an observer as saying that China will work in a more ‘targetted’ way, enhancing its profile where it already exists in a positive manner, for example, Hungary, Serbia.

All three Baltic countries have ended participation int the 17+1 format by now, leaving China with Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia (14+1 or Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, China-CEEC).

Lithunia not only led the departure of the Baltic cooperation members (Estonia and Latvia followed in August  this year), but has also endured a particularly intense conflict with Beijing over the name of Taiwan’s de-facto embassy in its capital Vilnius  – The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania in English, or 駐立陶宛台灣代表處 in Chinese.

That was followed by Chinese economic warfare against Lithuania which in turn not only triggered a legislative process on the level of the European Union, but also likely convinced Lithuania’s two Baltic neighbors that they stood more to lose than to gain from “partnership” with China.

According to Taiwan’s foreign ministry as quoted by “Focus Taiwan”, the English-language website run by Taiwan’s Central News Agency CNA,

the fourth Lithuanian delegation led by a deputy minister-level official to Taiwan this year, following visits by Žemaitis’ immediate predecessor Jovita Neliupšienė on June 12, Ministry of Agriculture Vice Minister Egidijus Giedraitis on June 22, and Lithuanian Deputy Transportation Minister Agne Vaiciukevičiūtė on Aug. 6

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Related

Sender Viesintos, Wikipedia, acc Sept 12, 2022

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

The State of Taiwan

First of all, let me come clean: like many people I know, I take sides. I believe that Taiwan’s citizens have a right to determine their future, and that China has no legitimate reasons to interfere with Taiwan’s affairs.
However, you may be aware that not everybody sees Taiwan this way. China’s Communist Party (CPC) doesn’t only want to rule Hong Kong, Macau, and “the mainland”, as the People’s Republic is often referred to by mainlanders, Hong Kongers, Macauans, and by many Taiwaners alike. Rather, the CPC wants to rule Taiwan, too.

taiwanren_are_also_chinese

“Taiwanese are also Chinese, aren’t they?” A tourist from Hong Kong visiting Taiwan on “double-ten” day, in 2009

In the end, China will most probably try to occupy Taiwan, either by laying siege – a naval blockade – to it, or by trying to invade it right away. In either case, China will probably have its way unless Taiwan’s (probably substantial) military resistance gets support from America, and maybe from Australia, Japan, and other countries. So, if lucky, China would gain control over Taiwan by military force, and that would be that (apart from a rather unpredictable Taiwanese population under occupation – Taiwaners could turn out to be rather unruly).

A. Image concerns

But success by naked force, however tempting it may be in the eyes of many Chinese citizens, isn’t the preferred means to achieve the goal of what the CPC refers to as „reunification“. That’s true for a number of economic and military (including nuclear) reasons, as even a successful invasion and a rather smooth occupation might come at heavy opportunity costs, imposed by countries that wouldn’t accept China’s annexation of Taiwan.

This is also true for image reasons, While China appears to have abandoned the idea that it could convince the Taiwanese that „reunification“ with China would be in their best interest, it apparently still hopes to achieve the goal of „peaceful reunification“ by coopting Taiwan’s economic and political elites, and by intimidating a sufficient number of Taiwan’s citizens so as to push them over.

But if the need for military action to achieve „reunification“ would arise (from China’s point of view), China would like to justify its military aggression, just as it has tried to justify its efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally (hint: the never-ending Taiwan-WHO saga, or pressure on governments of third-party  countries to threaten Taiwan’s economic lifelines.

On Twitter, you are faced with a lot of Chinese propaganda, carried forward by the CPC’s official mouthpieces as well as its useful minions (some of them may be paid by China, others may act out of mere fanatism). Some free samples:

Table 1

“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China” (Reality shows that this is not the case.)
“If Taiwan declares independence, we / China will go to war right away.” (We are looking for an excuse – we’ve decided to annex Taiwan anyway.)
“Taiwan has always been a part of China.” (Only during the Qing era, and only if the Qing cared to say that there was “one China” including Taiwan. They probably didn’t care.
“There is only one China.” (Yes, and thank God for that.)
“Taiwan is part of China because Taiwan’s official name is “Republic of China”. If so, which Congo is part of the other? There are two Congos, the “Republic” and the “Democratic Republic”.China’s logic probably prescribes that the Republic must annex the Democratic Republic, because it’s always the democratic countries that get annexed.
You / your country have committed yourselves to the one-China principle. This is probably the case in a number of bilateral declarations of China and third governments – but by no means in each of them. For example, “one-China” policy basically means that you somehow handle China’s “once-China” principle, not necessarily that you agree with it.
Besides, you can always walk away from it – it has happened before.

So, a lot, if not all of the mouthpiece talk on “social media” is hollow words, suitable for propaganda, and maybe not even that. But China has to make do with the excuses it can find to gloss over its aggressiveness.

Did I mention that China applies pressure on third-party governments to deny Taiwan international space? Well, it isn’t just the World Health Organization, or the Nigerian government who accept that pressure, because it comes with good business. Many other third-party countries do likewise, to varying degrees. We’ll have a look at the examples of America and France later on.

But first, let’s take a look at the nomenclature that is flying around when people talk about China-Taiwan relations. To that end, I might use some pseudomath (it isn’t really that scientific).

B. Chinamaths

Table 1

table_one_mainland_china

or the other way round,

Table 2

table_two_orc
Then there’s that One China – or more than one idea of what that is. But wide swathes of mainland Chinese people, plus uncertain numbers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, will have this kind of math on their mind:

Table 3

table_three_orc

From the CPC’s perspective, it can’t be
table_must_not_exist
because that would imply that Taiwan’s political system would be the emperor of the whole Congo.
Now, when we are talking about Taiwan, we usually refer to everything that is governed from Taipei, not just the island of Taiwan itself, although that’s where Taiwan’s (or the ROC’s, etc.) citizens live.

Table 4

table_four_taiwan
That’s my definition of Taiwan, too – when you read “Taiwan” in this post, this table-4 definition is the definition of it.

C. Taiwan: one country, two positions

Position 1 (pan-Green, more or less)

It may be more than two just as well, but these are the two I can think of.
One is that, when Japan relinquished sovereignty over Taiwan, it didn’t transfer sovereignty to anyone else. Two authors, Michal Thim and Michael Turton, described that position in an article for “The Diplomat” in 2017 – they are themselves supporters of this position, I believe.
Under international law and practice, only an international treaty can settle the status of specific territories, they wrote, adding that the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and the Treaty of Taipei between Japan and the Republic of China on Taiwan fell under that category. If those two had contradicted one another on the matter of Taiwanese sovereignty, the San Francisco Peace Treaty would have outweighed the Treaty of Taipei, but both treaties were silent on the issue of who owned Taiwan, merely affirming that Japan gave up sovereignty over Taiwan.

Position 2 (pan-blue, more or less)

Another position, also widely spread among Taiwanese citizens (if they care about what might be the legal superstructure of their statehood) is the Republic of China.
Now, there are probably many sub-positions to this one, like Taiwan equals the Republic of China, or that Taiwan can somehow claim mainland China (plus Hong Kong and Macau)  as well (that would be a minority, I guess). There is also a an interpretation of what the RoC is that seeks common ground between the San Francisco Peace Treaty supporters, and the RoC guys. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen adopted (and possibly coined) it when she ran for president for the first time, eleven years ago: the ROC, having lost all its territory in 1949, found shelter on Taiwan.

“Taiwan Independence”

In practical daily life, globally speaking, China and Taiwan are two separate countries. The rest is silly political squabble. But the silly squabble is accompanied by the clouds of war, and that’s why the rest of the world tries to take it into consideraton.
Obviously, wanting to please China (because it might be great business) is another reason to care about the “one-China” noise.

Supporters of the San-Francisco-Peace-Treaty version may argue that Taiwan is independent because Japan gave up sovereignty over it, and because there was nobody entitled to pick it up.

The “Taipei Times”, a paper from Taiwan’s “pan-green” political camp, led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), described it this way, in 2017:

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) changed the constitutional system and became the nation’s first directly elected president.
By “vesting sovereignty in Taiwanese,” he acknowledged that Taiwan had become an independent state via democratic elections.

This, from Taiwan’s pan-green point of view (or the “Taipei Times” rendition of it), means that Taiwan’s independence is the status quo. Taiwan is independent, and the above is the legal reason.

Position 2, the pan-blue one, basically, may be best summarized by what former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou told an American audience in 2017:

On the question of Taiwanese independence, Ma recalled once being asked by a reporter why the island doesn’t formally declare. “Have you ever heard of a country declaring independence twice?” he replied. “We were an independent country back in 1912 — how can I declare independence again?”

1912 refers to the declaration of the Republic of China in the aftermath of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution. Ma therefore sees Taiwan as an independent state in the continuity of the mainland RoC from 1912 to 1949. That is pretty much in line with the general KMT view.

And if any version of “Taiwan independence” was palatable to the CPC in China, it would be this second one, because it is somehow about “one China”. The official reason for Beijing to be mad at Tsai Ing-wen and her DPP is that they would rather consider Lee Teng-hui the founding father of Taiwan’s sovereignty, than RoC founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

They ignore, however, that President Tsai’s position is somewhere between those two positions, and probably leaning towards position 2. It would be hard to ignore the RoC superstructure when you want to become Taiwan’s President – in fact, you are sworn in on the RoC’s constitution, in front of a large picture of Sun Yat-sen. That’s a tradition left behind by the KMT’s dictatorship era when there was only one legal political party on Taiwan anyway – the KMT itself. The RoC had, for many years, been a one-party state.

What is noteworthy is that both positions – pan-green and pan-blue alike – avoid another declaration of independence. What either camp would do if there wasn’t a threat of war from China is a question for another day. China’s reading of Taiwan’s status is that there hasn’t been a Taiwanese declaration of independence (yet).

How does the rest of the world deal with the “one-China” noise (mostly from China, not from Taiwan)? Let’s have a look at two third-party governments that have established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and severed (official) diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (RoC). Some countries either switched official diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing at some point in time, and some others – like the Federal Republic of Germany – hadn’t had diplomatic relations with Taipei anyway, and therefore found it rather easy to establish theirs with Beijing.
The two examples I know a few things about are the American and the French positions concerning Taiwan’s status.

D. Third-government positions

Sample 1: America

The frequently-quoted Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China (aka the “Shanghai Communiqué”), issued in February 1972 on a visit by then U.S. President Richard Nixon to China, says that

The Chinese side reaffirmed its position: the Taiwan question is the crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations between China and the United States; the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China; Taiwan is a province of China which has long been returned to the motherland; the liberation of Taiwan is China’s internal affair in which no other country has the right to interfere; and all U.S. forces and military installations must be withdrawn from Taiwan. The Chinese Government firmly opposes any activities which aim at the creation of “one China, one Taiwan”, “one China, two governments”, “two Chinas”, an “independent Taiwan” or advocate that “the status of Taiwan remains to be determined”.

As far as the withdrawal of U.S. forces and military installations are concerned, the U.S. appears to have obliged (although there may be varying, and unconfirmed, numbers of U.S. military staff plus equipment in Taiwan from time to time, or permanently, or whatever).

But Washington did not agree with China’s definition of Taiwan’s status – the 1972 Joint Communiqué basically says that the Americans listened to what the Chinese said about it during the talks:

The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. With this prospect in mind, it affirms the ultimate objective of the withdrawal of all U.S. forces and military installations from Taiwan. In the meantime, it will progressively reduce its forces and military installations on Taiwan as the tension in the area diminishes. The two sides agreed that it is desirable to broaden the understanding between the two peoples. To this end, they discussed specific areas in such fields as science, technology, culture, sports and journalism, in which people-to-people contacts and exchanges would be mutually beneficial. Each side undertakes to facilitate the further development of such contacts and exchanges.

Nearly seven years later (save one month), Washington and Beijing established diplomatic relations. That was accompanied by the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations of January 1, 1979. Here,

The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.

This is followed by a bilateral reaffirmation of the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communiqué. Also,

The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.

When you have read some “legal papers” before, you’ll probably think that in the 1979 Joint Communiqué, Washington didn’t accommodate Beijing’s positions any further than in the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué. I also think so.

The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China (1972) only says that Washington understands that Chinese people in China and Taiwan see it that way.

The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China (1979) doesn’t even acknowledge that an unspecified number of Taiwaners (“all Chinese”) sees it that way.

Sample 2: France

France went a step further than America in pleasing China – in 1994, that is, not in 1964 when Paris and Beijing established official diplomatic ties, and when Paris didn’t mention Taiwan at all, according to a piece by France-Info, published in August this year.

In 1994, France stated in another communiqué with China that (my translation)

The French side confirmed that the French government recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legal government of China, and Taiwan as an essential part of Chinese territory.
La partie française a confirmé que le gouvernement français reconnaît le gouvernement de la République Populaire de Chine comme l’unique gouvernement légal de la Chine, et Taïwan comme une partie intégrante du territoire chinois.

Now, I would think that this states explicitly that Taiwan, from France’s point of view, is under China’s jurisdiction. But Antoine Bondaz, a Research Fellow and the Director of both the Korea Program and the Taiwan Program at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS), points out that (my translation)

France doesn’t say explicitly that Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, there isn’t any such declaration.
La France ne dit pas explicitement que Taïwan fait partie de la République populaire de Chine, il n’y a eu aucune déclaration.

Sounds like logic applied by a bunch of weasels, but that’s diplomacy. And if this assessment is correct, you can be pretty sure that China’s diplomats knew that, and still didn’t squeeze France to make further concessions (because that would have meant no communiqué at all, I suppose).

E. Some cold hard facts

All this is mostly about superstructure – cream on a cup of coffee that wouldn’t go away even if there was no cream. What remains as a fact is the existence of Taiwan (and its semiconductors, of course), and a Chinese disposition towards violence against Taiwan.
So if there are two Chinas, just as there are two Congos, why would China believe that it has a right to harass, invade and/or annex Taiwan?
Former Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi probably said it best, at the 17th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi in July 2010, reportedly: “China is a big country and other countries are small countries and that is just a fact”.

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Note

Thanks to Multiburst who suggested that this topic deserved some more attention than what a few tweets would allow.

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Related

Some people, March 23, 2022
China-Deutschland, “Beijing Rundschau”, Oct 11, 2017

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

The OHCHR’s “Xinjiang Assessment” causes Beijing a practical Headache


Probably one of China’s vocational schools (click picture for source)
There have probably been few high-ranking UN officers who know better what human-rights violations are, than Michelle Bachelet, the 7th United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who left office yesterday, after presenting the OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. And if there were statistics, it could well turn out that many of those who attacked her for being slow  (or worse) in publishing the OHCHR Assessment were close ideological neighbors of those “Chicaco Boys” who had Ms Bachelet – and her mother – tortured in Chile, in 1975.

Every paragraph of the Assessment is worth to be read carefully. It provides information about how China’s “judiciary” and extra-judiciary systems work. China itself has no face to lose anymore, but the report also contains a line that must have been really severely contested between the OHCHR and Beijing, because of the practical effects it may have on Chinese officials:

The information currently available to OHCHR on implementation of the Government’s stated drive against terrorism and “extremism” in XUAR in the period 2017- 2019 and potentially thereafter, also raises concerns from the perspective of international criminal law. The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law and policy, in context of restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.

It is unlikely that any criminal “tigers”, i. e. high-ranking officials, will ever be arrested because of human-rights violations in their capacity as Beijing’s henchmen in Xinjiang – but lower-ranking “flies” have always been a different story. To maintain its system of terror and intimidation, Beijing must keep its “flies” assured that they will be protected by the mighty Chinese Communist Party.

That’s how the OHCHR report may provide a glimmer of hope for Uyghurs, and how it may cause a headache for Beijing.

____________

Note

“The Journey never ends”, M. Bachelet, August 31, 2022
“Firmly opposes”, PRC Mission, August 31, 2022

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Monday, August 29, 2022

Radio Pravda dlya Rossii (“Truth for Russia”) on Vacation

According to its Twitter account, Radio Truth for Russia / Радио Правда для России (Radio Pravda dlja Rossii) is currently taking a summer break. Not sure if this affects their shortwave transmissions.
hf_transmitter_radio_pravda_for_russia
Please check their Twitter feed for updates.

Information about times and frequencies of their broadcasts on shortwave – in addition to their youtube channel – vary, but 9670 kHz, 6070 kHz and 13600 kHz are often mentioned.


For a number of reasons (safety, appropriate use of donations, etc.), I wouldn’t expect QSL cards from this broadcaster.

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