Friday, February 3, 2023

Wuxiwooshee: Trying to transcribe Major-General Jiang Yinan

That’s Major-General Jin Yinan (金一南), a Chinese Major-General, Professor, author and CPBS radio columnist with peculiar opinions about the Netherlands and Norway (click picture underneath for more info):

baike_baidu_jin_yinan

Also, I find him difficult to understand.

Here goes:

Question: 欢迎收听一南军事论坛。我是[Zhou Yuting]。 北约军事委员会主席罗伯·鲍尔*)一月二十八日在接受媒体采访时公开表态说,北约准备与俄罗斯直接对抗。他的这个表态迅速引发国际社会的广泛关注。对此,俄罗斯国家杜马回应称,这种言论正在将整个世界投入和战争。那么北约真的要直接与俄罗斯开战吗? 和战争的威胁是否离人类越来越近。这些就是今天一南军事论坛要关注的话题。首先欢迎金一南教授。金一南教授,您好!

Jin Yinan: 你好!

Question: 我们都知道自从俄乌开战以来,以美国为首的西方国家在对俄罗斯实施多轮建立制裁的同时,还…不断的向乌克兰提供各种军事援助。那么,北约军事委员会主席罗伯·鲍尔的自谈表态是否意味着北约已经做好准备将直接与俄罗斯开战?

Jin Yinan: 他这种讲话就北约准备与俄罗斯直接对抗--这种话的份量非常重。不是间接对抗。与俄罗斯直接对抗。几乎就说就让往这个欧洲大战faran中。这是一个非常严重的采取啊。我觉得一辈子两次世界大战see-sai和现在有长效和平的欧洲人应该对鲍尔的话感到非常震惊。 原来北约的整个态度--谴责俄罗斯,制裁俄罗斯,提供优先的军备--这个优先军备是什么呢?就wuxiwoosheewooshee现在慢慢转进wuxiwoosheewooshee。现在向乌克兰提供美国的Abrahams坦克,德国的”豹”式坦克等等适于最先进的一种坦克…,那就完全不是wuxiwoosheewooshee了,是wuxiwoosheewooshee。
[…..]

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Notes

Clues: 防御性的武器 — 进攻性的武器
*) Robert Bauer
Want to try yourselves? Give it a go there (starts at 19′ 45”)

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Xi Jinping’s Rabbit of the Year

The following are translated excerpts of China’s main evening TV news, Xinwen Lianbo, on January 20th, 2023.
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

CCTV News (Xinwen Lianbo): The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council held a Spring Festival meeting in the Great Hall of the People in the morning of December 20th. Communist Party of China Secretary General, State Chairman and Central Military Commissions Chairman Xi Jinping gave a speech on behalf of the Central Committee and the State Council, wishing a happy new year to the entire nation’s and the entire people’s nationalities, to the compatriots in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to the compatriots in Macau Special Administrative Region, and to the Taiwanese and overseas Chinese compatriots.
央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央、国务院20日上午在人民大会堂举行2023年春节团拜会。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平发表讲话,代表党中央和国务院,向全国各族人民,向香港特别行政区同胞、澳门特别行政区同胞、台湾同胞和海外侨胞拜年。

full_of_joy

Absolutely rabbit: Kang Hui announces the happy gathering

Xi Jinping emphasized that the outgoing year of the tiger’s thirty-ninth year I3 of the 60 year cycle [i. e. 2022] had been a year of utmost importance in the history of the party and the country. Facing an unusually stormy international environment and formidable duties of reform, development and stability at home, the entire party, the entire army and the entire country with all its nationalities rose to the challenges, fought unitedly, and based on the enthusiasm of the soaring tiger and the leaping dragon, dared to enter the tiger’s cave, and wrote, with fortitude and tenacity, a new chapter of socialist modernization.
习近平强调,即将过去的壬寅虎年,是党和国家发展史上极为重要的一年。面对风高浪急的国际环境和艰巨繁重的国内改革发展稳定任务,全党全军全国各族人民迎难而上、团结奋斗,凭着龙腾虎跃的干劲、敢入虎穴的闯劲、坚忍不拔的韧劲,书写了社会主义现代化建设的新篇章。

Li Keqiang presided over the meeting, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Han Zheng, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi and Wang Qishan attended the meeting.

李克强主持团拜会,栗战书、汪洋、李强、赵乐际、王沪宁、韩正、蔡奇、丁薛祥、李希、王岐山等出席。

[…]

Xi Jinping pointed out that in traditional Chinese culture, the Rabbit is referred to as the auspicious Jade Rabbit, standing for resourcefulness and nimbleness, honesty and kindness, serenity and beauty. The auspicious rabbit represents symbolizes the increasingly auspicious peace, abundant vitality and youthful energy of the Chinese lands. In the lunar year of the Rabbit, we hope that the entire people, and especially many young people, will leap ahead in the way of the Rabbit and exert themselves in all areas of life in a graceful manner.

习近平指出,在中华传统文化中,兔被称为瑞兔、玉兔,代表着机智敏捷、纯洁善良、平静美好。吉兔呈祥,象征中华大地愈发安宁祥和、生意盎然、朝气蓬勃。在农历兔年,希望全国人民特别是广大青年像动如脱兔般奋跃而上、飞速奔跑,在各行各业竞展风流、尽显风采。

Leading and old comrades from the Central Committee, the National People’s Congress’s Standing Committee, the State Council, theNational Supervision Commission,  the Supreme People’s Court, the People’s Republic of China Supreme People’s Procurate, and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, attended the gathering.

中共中央、全国人大常委会、国务院、国家监委、最高人民法院、最高人民检察院、全国政协、中央军委领导同志和老同志出席团拜会。

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Related

“Open the Skies for the Young”, May 5, 2013

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Lai Ching-te’s Rabbit of the Year

Lai Ching-te, cabinet transition ceremony, Sept 2027

It’s just around the Corner (click photo for source)

Lai said that facing an international climate that wasn’t good, changes in local politics and the threats of authoritarianism, the country, the government, individuals and companies could all display the wisdom of the rabbit. That would surely help to overcome an unpromising outset and turn it into a lucky process, to get through difficult times and for the people  to lead better lives.
國家、政府、個人、公司都可以學習發揮兔子的智慧,必定可逢凶化吉、度過難關,也讓人民過更好的生活。

Vice President Lai said among the twelve zodiac animals, the rabbit ranked fourth. It belonged to the 4th eartly branch. So this is the beginning of the day, full of hope. This was the hopeful year of the rabbit, the festival was symbolized by the character for “Spring”, and one could look forward to saying Goodbye to things that hadn’t worked as one wished for, and to hope for a prosperous year for everyone.

賴副總統說,兔子的生肖排名第4,在地支屬卯,時辰是一天的開始,也是充滿希望。今年是充滿希望的兔年,節慶則對應「春」字,期盼揮別以往的不如意,希望今年大家都興旺。

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Related

Learn from the Rabbit’s Wisdom, RTI, January 23, 2023
Lai Ching-te, Wikipedia, accessed Jan 27, 2023

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Friday, January 13, 2023

China’s New Normal is the Old Decadent Normal

At some point during the past fourteen years of blogging, I began to feel bored by Chinese press reviews. They weren’t funny anymore,  or that’s how I felt about them anyway. They had been comical until spring 2012, if I trace the involuntary jokes back correctly, and then lost their luster.
But give a secretary-general of the Communist Party of China a lifetime job, and the fun will be back. A man with powers only held by Mao Zedong (and certain emperors) before him reopens the pandora box of ingratiation, sycophancy and loss of touch with reality that have made China great.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes - CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes – CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013.

Here’s Xi Jinping’s vision of shared future, and its place in history:

Thousands of years ago, China envisaged a world where people would live in perfect harmony and be as dear to one another as family. Today, President Xi Jinping has given the world such a vision in the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Don’t get me wrong: the “One-Belt-one-Road” initiative has been a fairly clever approach to foreign relations. Even cold warriors like yours truly never hesitate to learn from fascists like Xi when they get something right. In the case I remember, in April 2015, on a state visit, it was just the right bit of ingratiation and – calculated, I suppose – loss of reality. (It was just Pakistan, and there was therefore no danger that the great helmsman would be overegging it. The loss of reality was Pakistan’s problem, not Xi’s.)
But it’s a different story for China when Xi’s subjects sing the praise of their overlord. Extreme flattery is where madness sets out from, and loss of reality is how it continues. Or, in the words of Jacques Ellul, a French sociologist and theologican (1912 – 1994)*),

In an article in Pravda in May 1957, the Chinese writer Mao Dun wrote that the ancient poets of China used the following words to express the striving of the people toward a better life:
“The flowers perfume the air, the moon shines, man has a long life.” And he added: “Allow me to give a new explanation of these poetic terms. The flowers perfume the air — this means that the flowers of the art of socialist realism are incomparably beautiful. The moon shines — this means that the sputnik has opened a new era in the conquest of space. Man has a long life — this means that the great Soviet Union will live tens and tens of thousands of years.”

Ellul’s comment:

When one reads this once, one smiles. If one reads it a thousand times, and no longer reads anything else, one must undergo a change. And we must reflect on the transformation of perspective already suffered by a whole society in which texts like this (published by the thousands ) can be distributed and taken seriously not only by the authorities but by the intellectuals. This complete change of perspective of the Weltanschauung is the primary totalitarian element of propaganda.

One might object that this isn’t funny at all. I can see that point, and I can even feel a bit of the pain myself. But I also believe that the most comical stories grow in the most terrifying gardens. Chinese propaganda is making fun of itself  again – not because of a sense of self-irony (there’s nothing like that), but because Chinese public life has become living satire again.
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Notes

*)    Jacques Ellul: “Propaganda – the Formation of  Men’s Attitudes”, New York, 1968, 1973

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

China is wary of new China Strategies – of course

German-Chinese relations are under review by Germany’s federal government – Beijing is worried

I actually wanted to ignore the visit to Taiwan by “Free Democrat” (FDP) members of Germany’s federal parliament. The FDP  would drop Taiwan like a hot potato if Xi Jinping put China’s state-owned enterprises up for international privatization. It is understandable that Taiwan welcomes foreign visits, this one included, but forget that talk about “friendship”.

That said, China’s ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, makes sure that the German visit to Taiwan can’t be ignored – he’s making another fuss of it, in Germany’s business-friendly “Handelsblatt”, warning German politics “not to play with fire and not to test China’s red lines”. He is also worried that the German “traffic-light coalition”, consisting of Social Democrats, Greens, and the FDP (whose trademark color is yellow) would entirely follow America’s China policy.

The government's colors

The government’s colors

Nils Schmid, the Social Democrat parliament group’s spokesman on foreign affairs, says that he is “somewhat surprised” by Wu’s criticism. “The SPD parliamentary group demanded an adjustment of China policy, and the coalition agreement contains unambigious statements.”

The Chinese embassy has certainly laid its hands on one or several drafts of Berlin’s strategy papers. However, Schmid suggests that it must be a version that is several months old, and says that there is no final version yet. He adds that “contrary to China, where the state-controlled media certainly wouldn’t publish a similar criticism by foreign ambassadors, the Chinese ambassador has the opportunity to do so without being censored, around here.” This showed that there was systemic competition between China and democratic states after all.

Gyde Jensen, deputy chair of the FDP’s parliament group, says that Wu Ken’s answers show how fundamentally differently China interprets guiding liberal principles (“liberale Leitprinzipien”) and “bereaves them of their core concept, such as free markets, entrepreneurial freedom, human rights and multilateralism”. That alone was enough to explain why Germany needed a comprehensive China strategy, “for the record for everyone, China not least, to show how we see these principles and concepts and which action or rules we derive from them.” This included Germany’s interpretation of the “One-China policy”, concerning Taiwan.

China’s ambassador to Germany probably chose the “Handelsblatt” as an interlocutor not least because of its business-friendly position. However, by far not all German business is as involved in business with China as he appears to believe.

If it was up to Beijing, the Communist Party of China would determine China’s policy on Western countries, and business would continue to determine the West’s China policies. That was, of course, an extremely profitable arrangement for China, and it’s not really surprising that Beijing would like to keep it in place.

But every relationship, economically and politically, has to be in its stakeholders’ mutual interest (to borrow a Chinese slogan). Germany’s China policy will still be partly business-driven: if German business had got the “access” to Chinese markets it has long dreamed of, a tougher German policy on China would be almost inconceivable.

In that light, there is no reason to sing the praise of either Germany’s, America’s or any country’s government and their sudden attention for human rights et al. But there is reason to welcome their “tougher” policies. Depending on the “last versions” and their implementation, they may be in the national interest of our countries – at last.
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Related

“The Ukraine crisis it has triggered”, “China Daily”, Jan 10, 2023
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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Some Porridge, some Rice: China’s New Normal?


Xi Jinping’s new year address for 2023 has been flowery as usual, but it also comes with some frugal characteristics. If it is such great news that China has maintained its position as the world’s second-largest economy, times must be tough indeed, especially when you take into consideration that (according to China’s propaganda) the world’s biggest economy, i. e. America, has gone to hell in a basket. If they are still bigger than China now, where is China?

According to the great helmsman, China has “blown the trumpet to signal the brave beginning of a new journey” (吹响了奋进新征程的时代号角), with “stable and steady economic development” (stable and steady probably referring to the lowest growth numbers since the last years of Mao Zedong’s reign), a 19th consecutive bumper harvest this year (十九连丰), and “the consolidation of achievements made in shedding poverty”  (我们巩固脱贫攻坚成果). —Corrections, Jan 27*)

Near Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, according to Beijing News

How green is our motherland? (Source: Beijing News, Dec 31, 2022)

With the Scarce Resources always on your Mind

Generally, Chinese propaganda points out that its 19th bumper harvest in a row has been achieved while the world had been facing a food crisis. That’s not a big deal when you consider that Russia hasn’t blocked China’s northeastern provinces from the rest of the country, but it may be considered an invitation to the Chinese public to cherish self-sufficiency.

As for the “new phase of pandemic prevention and control now entered” by China, Xi doesn’t wade into the details, and just sees the light – or the dawn of a new era – ahead (目前,疫情防控进入新阶段,仍是吃劲的时候,大家都在坚忍不拔努力,曙光就在前头).
The lines closest to Xi’s heart – if the communist faith he’s wearing on his sleeves is real – are probably these:

After the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party I and other colleagues went to Yan’an together, to renew what we had learned about the magnificent years when the Party’s Central Committee prevailed over difficulties rarely seen over generations and to appreciate the spiritual strength of the old generation of communists. I frequently say that difficulties and deprivation only perfect the jade. The Communist Party of China’s past one-hundred years have been hard work in the open regardless of the weather, cutting their way through thistles and thorns,  – how difficult and great the journey has been. We want to advance further, keep struggling, and make tomorrow’s China even better.
党的二十大后我和同事们一起去了延安,重温党中央在延安时期战胜世所罕见困难的光辉岁月,感悟老一辈共产党人的精神力量。我常说,艰难困苦,玉汝于成。中国共产党百年栉风沐雨、披荆斩棘,历程何其艰辛又何其伟大。我们要一往无前、顽强拼搏,让明天的中国更美好。

Both China’s economic plans and its “great-power diplomacy” appear to be in some trouble. As for China’s economy, it would take a real lot of innovation to catch up with the ageing of society. And China’s “great-power diplomacy” (大国外交), although re-iterated by Xi in another new-year address one day ealier, to a meeting of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference on December 30th, appears to have fed its wolf-warriors some chalk. For now, that is.

There is no reason to believe that China has given up on “replacing” America, or on other major goals, “core interests” and what have you. But the CPC leaders are revisiting and reassessing the foundations of their power. The emphasis on food security suggests that self-sufficiency in that field will always be a priority – China doesn’t only distrust the sealanes, it also distrusts its immediate neighbors. And if America’s restrictions on chip and chip-manufacturing equipment supplies to China find international support and cooperation, China’s growth plans will probably need to be postponed.

When enumerating China’s moderate successes to Chinese People’s Consultative Conference members, Xi emphasized that those successes hadn’t been “easy to achieve” or “easy to come by” (来之不易). That term is linked to a proverb about man’s most basic needs, i. e. food and clothing. My try at a translation:

Some porridge and rice aren’t easy to come by,half a silk or cotton thread, permanently bear in mind how scarce are your resources.
一粥一饭,当思来处不易;半丝半缕,恒念物力维艰

That’s also where China’s grassroot propaganda – in the shape of newspapers more prominent than, say, “People’s Daily” – is taking us as it picks up Xi’s reference to the latest bumper harvest: to the countryside. Here, too, none of the bumper harvests has been “easy to come by”. The proverb didn’t feature prominently in politics articles before the end of December, while it was popular in all other kinds of (less basic-need-related) online articles or comments. Now, it is represents the flavor of the new era.

To help the readers understand the significance of this year’s output, his attention is drawn to a number of natural disasters.

Delicious Meat then, Tough Bones now

How planned are China’s readjustments? The new “cold war” China keeps warning us of may not have been intended by Beijing, but it was provoked by Beijing.

Either way, tough times have occasionally been predicted by China’s propaganda before, and by its supreme mouth not least. In February 2014, Xi Jinping told Russian television that

After 30 years of reform, China has entered the deep water [or blue water], and all the pleasant reforms have been completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones. This requires our courage, and steady moves. Courage means to push reform even when it is difficult, and to prove worthy, to tackle the hard bones, and to enter dangerous shoals. Steadiness is about keeping to the accurate direction, driving steadily, and, above all, to avoid disruptive mistakes.

The Russians must have been an understanding audience. Now, eight years later, Xi needs to find out how understanding the Chinese are.
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Notes

*) Corrected – previous text:
… and “the consolidation of hard-earned achievements made in previous difficult missions” (我们巩固脱贫攻坚成果)
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Saturday, December 31, 2022

The State of Xi – Dented, but Dominant?


Friday nights in Sanlitun are reportedly busy:

Increasing numbers of people are going around maskless too. Fear of the virus is receding in Beijing, at least among the young. Most have already been infected anyway.

Reactions abroad aren’t that sanguine: those who dare to, introduce controls.Passengers arriving in Taiwan from China have had to undergo nucleic acid tests since Wednesday (December 28), South Korea has announced restrictions on visa for Chinese travellers until the end of January, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and France have introduced restrictions or are about to do so, but Germany is too busy working on its national security strategy – not least because the federal states demand to participate in its definition.

The State of Xi

The Chinese leadership, according to Xi Jinping at the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference’s tea meeting on Friday, has reason to celebrate:

We have solemnly celebrated the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, resolutely fought against “Taiwan independence” splittist behavior and foreign forces’ interference. We have continued to promote great-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and maintained overall stability within the general external environment. These successes haven’t been easy to achieve. They are the fruits of united struggle by the entire party, the entire army, the entire nation’s nationalities – the fruits of tenacious struggle.
我们隆重庆祝香港回归祖国25周年。我们对“台独”分裂行径和外部势力干涉进行坚决斗争。我们继续推进中国特色大国外交,维护外部环境总体稳定。这些成绩来之不易,是全党全军全国各族人民团结奋斗、顽强拼搏的结果。

Chinese People's Consultative Conferences Tea Meeting, December 30, 2022

Let’s have some tea together

Deng Yuguan, a regular columnist for the Chinese service of the “Voice of America”, believes that his (rather gloomy, apparently)  predictions of last year, concerning China and Xi Jinping’s government, have come true. Among those, China’s external environment hasn’t been favorable in 2022 (外部环境和中国面临的地缘政治让中国好起来的因素没有出现). The party leaders with Xi as the core etc. would agree: “a turbulent and unsafe environment outside China’s borders” (外部环境动荡不安,给我国经济带来的影响加深) is what they called it after their annual economic work conference on December 15 and 16.

Deng sanctimoniously deplores that the situation now was even worse than his predictions, and that “Xi’s image has quickly fallen from his divine pedestal” (习的形象从高高在上的神坛快速跌落). That said, it’s just Xi’s image, not the guy himself yet, and some of the examples Deng cites to prove the great helmsman’s decline are as evil as you’d expect, but, by Chinese standards, also rather trivial: the Li Tiantian “incident” (李田田事件[编辑]), tennis star Peng Shuai’s sexual-assault allegations against Zhang Gaoli and her disappearance, and the “Xuzhou chained woman incident”. Then Deng moves to China’s lockdown policies, and to what turned out to be “the failure to fight the pandemic” (抗疫的失败对习的权威是巨大打击). Those, of course, are real blunders, but his conclusions may still be somewhat far-reaching, concerning Xi’s reign.

There had been some ups and downs already, such as the trade standoff with the Trump administration, but every time, Xi had been able to defend his status – most recently by stopping the spread of Covid within China, successfuly sold as Chinese victories over the West to the Chinese public (although only for a while, until people lost patience), writes Deng.
He doesn’t go as far as to suggest that Xi will be toppled, but

Now, he has started his third term at the 20th party national congress with a unified Xi team, but the failure to fight the pandemic – while it apparently hasn’t hurt his grip on power – has seen him crossing the peak of his power and authority, and entering a downward spiral.
如今,他虽然在二十大如愿以偿开启第三任期,并建立了一个清一色的习氏班子,抗疫的失败看起来并未动摇他对权力的绝对掌控,可从毛的案例来看,他跨过了权力和权威的巅峰期,进入下行通道。

Comparing Xi’s situation with Mao’s after the latter’s numerous setbacks, Deng doubts that Xi would be able to overthrow everything that opposes him and restore his power and authority that way. On the other hand, while weakened, he isn’t likely to be sidelined either, writes Deng, and so much for the rendition of his VoA column.

If the U.S.-led policy on semi-conductor restrictions on China should turn out to be successful, Xi’s greatest mistake will probably turn out to be China’s “more assertive” role after 2012. The “wolf-warrior diplomacy” was utterly useless (except for those attacked by it – Sweden, Lithuania, South Korea and many other countries have gained new insights on what a “powerful” China will do, and the U.S. seems to have gained some insights, too.  Much of the “turbulent and unsafe environment outside China’s borders” (CPC speak, see above) is a world made by China itself. Beijing hasn’t been powerful enough (yet) to shape the world in a way to its liking, but they’ve successfully left unpleasant turds all through the five continents.

Meantime, not all the news is bad for Beijing.

Tired of a too-strong and newly weaponized greenback, some of the world’s biggest economies are exploring ways to circumvent the US currency,

notes a signed Bloomberg article. That’s not to say that the dollar is going to hell in a basket, according to the authors, but both sanctions and “[t]he he US currency’s rampant gains have [..] made Asian officials more aggressive in their attempts at diversification“.

So, let’s think of the dollars future reign (for whatever period) as something like Xi Jinping’s reign over China (according to Deng’s VoA column): possibly somewhat dented, but dominant all the same.

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Related

新年茶话会,习近平发表重要讲话, CPBS, Dec 31, 2022
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Thursday, December 29, 2022

Chip War: Better Behavior, Enthusiastic Reactions


“Under pressure from business, senators have rowed back on plans for an immediate moratorium on Chinese components as the chip war continues”, “Tech Monitor”, apparently a portal from the UK, wrote on December 7. Business, or the US Chamber of Commerce more specifically, may actually brought forward some technial arguments that were hard to deny, given an existing supply chain of “older, less-powerful chips used in a wide range of electronics”.

But what Alan Estevez, US commerce under-secretary for industry and security, reportedly had to say to add to the business side of the discussion, doesn’t look encouraging:

“We are seeing better behaviour. Mofcom has been more forthcoming.”

Estevez reportedly also said that “it’s not the first time we’ve seen such a change in attitude, so it depends on how long that is sustained”.
That’s easy to predict: as long as China remains dependent on cooperation with the West – and it would be surprising if Estevez wasn’t aware of that. And after that, the “wolf warrior diplomats” – or worse – will be back.

Meantime, the Netherlands and Japan appear to be coming around to America’s chip policies on China. While there have apparently been accusations against Washington of “strong-arm” policies and disregard for (Japanese) sovereignty. Resistence would probably have been futile, because U.S. technology is virtually everywhere across semiconductor supply chains, the United States has the power to authorize or block sales extraterritorially, a signed article published by “The Diplomat” said on Tuesday.

Meantime, China has sent technology scouts to Europe again, after a long Covid-caused ice age. But while travel restrictions are receding, the emissaries have encountered a colder atmosphere than what they had been used to, writes “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”‘s (NZZ)  tech correspondent. China is in dire need of a technological push, writes the correspondent, during the first nine month of 2022, GDP grew by only three per cent (according to official statistics) – “one of the lowest growth rates since Mao’s death in 1976”.

Success is imperative for China’s agents:  resolute prevention of a large-scale return of poverty (坚决防止出现规模性返贫) had to be carried out, a joint economic conference convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, and led by Personality-in-Chief Xi Jinping, stated in its communiqué on December 17.

France and Germany appear to be important destinations for China’s technological sourcing – there may be no great chip industries there, but the business environment may be somewhat more welcoming than the Netherlands or Japan.

That said, one of the traveling tech scouts told NZZ that European interlocutors were “under pressure” when “cooperating with China”. Trying to explain his difficulties to his domestic audience on “WeChat”, he reportedly pointed to the many American military barracks in Germany.

"Enthusiastic reactions", CCTV, Dec 17, 2022

“Enthusiastic reactions”, CCTV, Dec 17, 2022

Meantime, people from all walks of life and nationalities are celebrating the economic work conference:

The Central Work Conference’s spirit has aroused enthusiastic reactions, and everyone says that we must unite our thought for common purpose, aggregate consensus, work industriously to get things done, put the party’s decisions and arrangements into place by taking practical aciton, make efforts to complete the objectives of economic and social development, and create a good starting point for the comprehensive construction of a socialist modern country.
中央经济工作会议精神在全国各地引起热烈反响,大家表示,要统一思想、凝聚共识、真抓实干,以实际行动把党中央决策部署落实到位,努力完成经济社会发展目标任务,为全面建设社会主义现代化国家开好局起好步。

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