Archive for April 8th, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Huanqiu on Ai Weiwei: China is no Puppet, it’s Complicated

Lu Qing (路青), Ai Weiwei‘s (艾未未) wife, sent a letter to Beijing police on Thursday, demanding an explanation as to why her husband had been arrested, and where he was being held, reports Taiwan’s CNA news agency, quoting the BBC‘s Mandarin website. At 08.00 a.m. on Thursday, Ai had been missing for 96 hours, after he had been taken away by police at Beijing Capital airport (北京首都机场). Chinese authorities were required by law to provide families with such information once the duration of an arrest exceeded twenty-four hours.
Ministry of foreign affairs’ spokesman Hong Lei (洪磊) confirmed at a regular press conference on Thursday that Ai had been arrested. He is currently accused of “economic crimes” (涉嫌经济犯罪).

A Huanqiu Shibao editorial of Wednesday, referred to by CNA /BBC, opened with a short, rich-in-quotation-marks account of international (i. e. Western, 西方一些国家的政府和“人权机构”) governments’ and human-rights organizations’ reactions to Ai’s arrest or abduction. Those ignored China’s judicial sovereignty, wrote the editorial, and constituted attempts to modify China’s value system (试图修改中国公众的价值体系).

Another paragraph with lots of quotation marks quotes unnamed sources as suggesting that Ai opposed traditional art (反艺术传统), liked to use “startling language” (“惊人之语”) and “startling actions” (惊人之举”), and that he also liked to “sail close to the wind” (也喜欢在“法律的边缘”活动). The editorial also noted that there had been reports about incomplete departure procedures as a reason for stopping Ai from travelling to Hong Kong and Taiwan on April 1, but that there had been no specific information.

A true China had to define the boundaries of what people like Ai Weiwei could do, according to the editorial. Without people like Ai, and such legal boundaries, China “wouldn’t be real” (没有艾未未这样的人,或法律不给他们的“突破”设立边界,这样的中国都是不真实).

“The West” ignored the complicated environment in which China’s judicial system was carried out, and drew conclusions about a “deteriorating” human rights record from Ai having been “taken away” (“被带走”).  Using “human rights” were just a can of paint for Western politicians to obliterate any differentiations (“人权”真成了西方政客和媒体手里拎的一桶漆,见什么抹什么,他们在抹掉这个世界各种细致的分辨率). However,

China as a whole is advancing, nobody has the right to make an entire nation adapt to the likes or dislikes of others. This and respect for the rights of minorities are two different stories (中国作为一个整体在前进,任何人都没有权利让整个民族去适应他个人的好恶,这跟是否尊重少数人的权利是两回事),

concluded the Huanqiu editorial.

Two days later, on Friday (today GMT), Huanqiu Shibao rephrases its allegations of “Western attempts” to influence China. This time, its first  targets of criticism are Ai Weiwei’s family people (apparently his mother Gao Ying in particular)  and “Western media”, rather than politicians or human rights organizations. Ai Weiwei’s disappearance had been referred to as a disappearance (失踪), bristles the paper, and suggests that international media and Ai family were demanding  immunity for Ai, rather than equality before the law (他们就可以超越“法律面前人人平等”,拥有“豁免权”).

The editorial turns sort of philosophical:

China’s laws are the country’s bones. Western attempts to influence the investigation on Ai Weiwei’s case resembles an attempt to attach electrode pads to these bones to remote-control them, to make China a big and obedient puppet (中国法律是这个国家的骨骼,西方试图影响艾未未案的审理,就像要给这个骨骼加上电动装置,遥控器握在他们的手里,让中国成为大而听话的玩偶).

The editorial finally turns to the issue of fault or innocence, in both its Chinese and English edition (as the WSJ China Realtime Report points out today). In its more worldly-wise English translation, Huanqiu dispenses with the electrified puppet.

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Related
Truthfulness is Everything, April 8, 2011
Chinese Citizens should tolerate Censorship, March 26, 2011
Global Times, a Diagnosis, Time China Blog, May 25, 2009

Update/Related
China’s foreign ministry removes Ai Weiwei references from news conference transcript, BBC News, April 8, 2011

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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Three Educationals: Truthfulness is Everything

The following may not be an easy read, partly because the two articles reproduced here are complicated, and probably also because this blogger‘s mind became complicated as well, while translating. For you to decide if it’s worth slogging through – JR

[Main Link 1]

“Three Educationals” (三项学习教育) activities are another joint initiative by the central propaganda department (中宣部), the External Propaganda Office (中央外宣办), the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT, 国家广电总局), the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP, 新闻出版总署), the All-China Journalist Association (中华全国新闻工作者协会) and other organs  to develop the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics (中国特色社会主义理论体系), a marxist news perspective (中国特色社会主义理论体系), as well as professionalism and professional ethics (职业精神职业道德) which has, according to a Central People’s Government’s website article of June 4, 2009, been in progress on the news front since 2003. According to the head of one of the Front’s working group, a marxist news perspective is about using a marxist perspective on the news “to lead to the news achieving significant results under practical aspects” (在用马克思主义新闻观指导新闻实践方面取得明显成效). The basic concept of a marxist perspective is that departments of news organizations in every place conscientiously study the concept, plus central leaders’ speeches and policies on news coverage and propaganda, centering around the correct guidance of public opinion (各地各有关部门和新闻单位组织新闻工作者认真学习马克思主义新闻观的基本观点,学习中央领导同志关于新闻宣传工作的重要论述,学习党的新闻工作方针政策,围绕把握正确舆论导向、提高舆论引导能力等主题).

[Main Link 2]

On April 1, 2011, the All-China Journalist Association’s leading group office held a seminar on the topic of  “eliminating false reports, enhancing social responsibility, and strengthening the building of professional ethics” (杜绝虚假报道、增强社会责任、加强新闻职业道德建设). Guang Ming Net (光明网) and  Beijing News (新京报) amongst others attended. So did other central and local news organizations and journalism schools. Experiences with false reporting were discussed, and it was agreed that truthfulness was everything in news coverage (与会者一致表示,真实是新闻的生命), and further educational programs for improving truthfulness, self-examination abilities and correction, and learning from other media organizations’ experience needed to continue.

Amongst others, All-China Journalists Association party secretary Zhai Huisheng (翟惠生), deputy party secretary Gao Shangang (高善罡), Shaanxi Journalists Association chairman Yin Weizu (尹维祖), Fudan University journalism faculty director Zhang Taofu (张涛甫), News Reporter magazine‘s (新闻记者) editor-in-chief Liu Peng (刘鹏) [page 1], Nan Guo Morning Post (南国早报) society news center’s Meng Xi (蒙曦), CCTV market evaluation department’s Xu Lijun (徐立军) [page 2], Inner Mongolia People’s Broadcasting‘s Xiao Junqing (肖俊青), and China Sports Daily‘s (中国体育报) chief editor Pan Ende (潘恩德) [page 3] attended or spoke at the seminar.

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Related

More Convenience with “Social Management”, February 21, 2011 (see other related links / posts within the commenting thread underneath)

Cominform in Taiwan’s Press: Many Cents, January 13, 2011

World Media Summit: be more Xinhua, October 10, 2009

Huang Mengfu: It’s Complicated, January 7, 2009

China Propaganda Mechanics, Wikipedia

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