Archive for August 27th, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Namibia: Old Comrades Never Cheat

Namibia should insist on conditions that benefit its development agenda when dealing with partners such as China, permanent finance secretary Calle Schlettwein said on the Southern Africa 2020 Vision Conference in Windhoek. Schlettwein said thatif the scanner transaction between the Namibian government and the Chinese company Nuctech had been subject to tender, the current alleged corruption case could have been avoided. First National Bank of Namibia Group‘s chief executive officer Vekuii Rukoro supported Schlettwein’s position, suggesting that Namibians should “shake off” their  naivety in our dealings with our former benefactors during the liberation struggle. According to Rukoro, “this naivety is based “on the fact that we were comrades and allies forever and these guys will never seek to pursue their narrow national interest at the cost of our won national interest”.

In 2007, Beijing had inisted on tender exemption in return for a “soft loan”, writes The Namibian.

In an interview on Radio Australia on August 14, Tangeni Amupadhi of Insight Namibia explained the links  between Namibia’s ruling party SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organisation) and China’s CCP.

Apparently on August 19, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs Zhai Jun, told a group of African reporters in Beijing that corruption was rife not only in Africa but around the world, and that

as China’s reform opens up we have more private businesses in Africa. We must educate them to engage in friendly ties and to respect the local laws.

Given the CCP’s record of fighting against corruption at home so far, Namibia probably shouldn’t hold its breath.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Month of the Ghosts

If you can offer this lot of food to the ghosts, you either own a grocery, or you are one of the people who have become rich first (Deng Xiaoping, unsourced) in mainland China. August is Ghost Month (鬼月) in China and elsewhere, and contrary to popular belief, it may actually be a safe month to travel, because all the superstitious thugs are staying indoors. Maybe.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

David Hawkes, 1923 – 2009

Once an intelligence instructor, teaching intelligence operatives and code-breakers how to interpret Japanese battle reports, David Hawkes spent his later life with translating The Dream of the Red Chamber (红楼梦) into a less academic English version than the existing one, thus making it “enjoyable for the English reader”. From Wales, he continued translating Chinese literature. He died on July 31, and The Guardian published an obituary on Tuesday.

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