Archive for April 19th, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Net Nanny: Three-Self Control

Dear Net Nanny,

isn’t it almost impossible to control the population of a country as vast as yours? I can’t imagine how that works!

Singing General.

___________________________

Singing General,

About Self-Control

Self-Control of the People

I think your question is really about as to how we are doing a better job here in China, than you and your comrades ever did in East Germany. OK, first of all, both our propaganda and our censoring systems are better than yours ever were. Your bedtime stories always made us yawn. Besides, you sided with Russia (the past), not with China (the future).

But of course, there are also some natural factors. Even criminals don’t like criminals here. Sometimes we, the guardians of decency, conventions, and harmony, are just sitting in our offices, having a nice cup of tea and wait until they come and report each other. Its called the three-self (三自) here: rob yourselves, beat yourselves, and turn yourselves in.

And if you are an important personality (and maybe somewhat afraid of the three-self commonality), don’t be confused. Jackie Chan (陳港生), for example, is a great example for self-control, too.

You could have learned a thing or three from us thirty years ago, bloody social-imperialist.

Harmonious greetings

Sunday, April 19, 2009

China-funded: Three Eight Hundreds

MSU [Michigan State University], through its award-winning Confucius Institute, already helps thousands of students learn Chinese language and culture. The new Teacher Institute for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language will complement those efforts and build on MSU’s renowned teacher education programs to support the emerging needs of Chinese language educators around the world.

Chinese Language Council International, or Hanban, will provide more than $1 million to help support the institute for at least five years. MSU leaders celebrated the signing of the agreement during a dinner for Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Michigan State University’s homepage, April 17

According to China Press USA (侨报, Qiao Bao, quoted by Lianhe Zaobao), Liu Yandong (刘延东) announced a three eighthundreds initiative a few days ago: to establish Confucius Institute scholarships this year, providing eight hundred scholarships for students and local teachers of Chinese; to invite eight hundred American university and high school students to participate in the Chinese Bridge summer camp; and to invite eight hundred primary and secondary school principals and district educational managers to China.

China would also continue to send Chinese teachers and volunteers to the U.S., according to the needs of the Confucius Institutes.

____________

Related: Branding China: Language(s) of a Multi-Polar World, May 18, 2008

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amnesty International Blog: Signatures for Martin Jahnke?

A number of activists wrote an open letter to the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (Subcommittee on Human Rights), according to an Amnesty International blog post of February 27. The letter criticizes the prosecution’s allegations against Martin Jahnke, who threw a shoe at China’s prime minister Wen Jiabao at Cambridge University on February 2. Its comparison of the case against Jahnke with that of a man who slapped former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder in the face and got away with four months probation is interesting.

But most interesting to me are the apparent suspicion of the undersigned that  England’s Cambridge Magistrates’ Court might bring a disproportionate verdict, before the trial has even started. This kind of activism is untimely. What the prosecution asks for isn’t necessarily what it will get from the court.

Where does this lack of trust stem from?

One of the signatories is Mrs Wang Rongfen (王蓉芬). An NY Times article of three years ago tells her story.

Such stories should be listened to. But during the past year with the Olympic-Games activism, it dawned on me that the European establishment and many European institutions haven’t had a real policy on interaction with China for decades. That’s why an open letter was able to catch the Voice of Germany flat-footed. For too long, the focus had been on the power that be – the CCP -, and not on dissenting voices from China.

The signatories of the open letter to the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee are right: China’s political system is totalitarian. The CCP has only eased its grip on the country, because modernization helped the stability of its rule. For sure, the CCP also tries to compromise political systems abroad. [1] [2]

But not every statement by the CCP is wrong, and not every statement by the dissidents is correct. To judge where we should heed either side’s advice, and where we should not, we need information, and a position of our own. Without that, we are easy targets for campaigns from all sides.

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