Archive for August, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chinese Press after Hazare’s Hunger Strike: Indian Society “stable”, not “turning”

China Radio International‘s (中国国际广播电台, CRI) Chinese Service1) reports that Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare (安纳·哈扎雷, in Chinese characters) has ended his hunger strike against corruption.

India’s leading anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare ended his hunger strike on Sunday morning in New Delhi, after 288 hours, announcing that the government accepted his team’s three key principles. This website’s [CRI’s website] contacted CRI’s correspondent in New Delhi, Wang Chao (王超), who explains Hazare’s campaign.

Reporter: Shortly after 10:00 am on August 28, Hazare ended his hunger strike. After 288 hours without food, he drank a small cup of coconut water with some honey, thus officially ending his hunger strike. With tsunami-like cheers from tens of thousands of his supporters, Hazare said that the government had finally accepted his three big principles concerning corruption, and this was the victory of the entire people. But he also emphasized that this was not the end, and that he was ending his hunger strike only temporarily. There was more work for him and the people ahead, such as improvements of India’s electoral system.

It should be said that Hazare ending his hunger strike was the result of concessions mutually made by India’s political forces. The [federal] government led by Manmohan Singh had faced unprecedented pressure, and a refusal to make concessions could have led to a deterioration in the course of events. At the same time, as the government showed good faith, opposition parties, including left-wing parties and prominent members of society, gradually persuaded the campaigner to end his hunger strike, to avoid a deadlock.
应该说,哈扎雷结束绝食是印度政坛各方势力互相妥协的结果。在绝食进行到第10天左右的时候,辛格领导的政府面临空前的压力,如果再不做出让步,事件有可 能会朝着恶化的方向发展。同时,在政府不断释放出善意的前提下,所有支持哈扎雷的反对党和左翼政党以及一些知名的社会人士也纷纷劝说哈扎雷尽快结束绝食抗 议,以防止事件进入僵局。

On August 27, after a day of heated debate, the Indian parliament’s upper and lower house  took a vote and accepted the Hazare team’s three key principles to fight corruption, including the establishment of a “citizen charter”, broadening of anti-corruption monitoring, the inclusion of more low-level official into the monitoring, and the establishment of independent supervisory bodies both centrally and locally, etc.. Prime minister Manmohan Singh immediately informed Hazare about the outcome of the debate, and asked him to end his hunger strike right away. Hazare immediately agreed and delivered on his prominence in the morning of August 28 by ending his hunger strike.

Moderator: How, in your view, will things develop from here?

Reporter: As far as I can see, although the government has accepted the three big principles, the parliament’s standing committee still has to review the [parliament’s] resolution, waiting for final suggestions. The parliament’s work is very slow; and every segment will have to be go through repeated debate [this refers to parliamentary readings – JR], and can be adjourned every so often. Therefore, this victory in parliament, I guess, is still a long way from the final passage of an anti-corruption bill. Also, from my daily observations, even if the anti-corruption bill is passed smoothly, and Hazare’s concepts are all implemented, will this spell the cure for Indian corruption, down to the roots? I think there is no definite answer yet. There has been corruption in India for a long time. It can be found in every corner of Indian society, and simply passing a tough bill won’t solve the problem. So, all things considered, there is still a long way to go from Hazare’s victory to a real end to corruption. But at least, people have made headway again in the anti-corruption efforts, and see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Moderator: What does the Hazare phenomenon mean for Indian society? Does it spell social participation? Or is it a turning point in Indian society?

Reporter: One should say that Hazare’s victory represents a new model. The participation of the people and discussion will gain more momentum. Justice minister Shri Salman Khushid said that social groups2) will play an ever more important role in the process of legislation, and in the land requisitions and food safety bills ahead, the people will have the right to express their own views. These are in fact two bills I’m watching closely, no matter if land requisition or food safety issues, there are no small complaints within Indian society, and there are a lot of things the people want to say. How will these views be conveyed? How will the voices within society influence the government’s fnal decisions? These questions are worth continuous observation. As for what some Western media said, that Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign could lead to a new turning point in Indian societal change, I believe that from my daily observation and exchanges with Indian officials, scholars, and ordinary people, that Hazare’s movement has had an improving effect, as the structure of Indian society has proven relatively stable, and the phrasing of a turning point lacks supporting evidence.
记者:应该说哈扎雷的这次胜利在印度又塑造了一个新的楷模,民间团体的参政议政现象将会得到进一步提升。在哈扎雷的这次胜利之后,印度司法部长萨尔 曼就表示说,社会团体将会在未来的立法过程中扮演更加重要的作用,在接下来的有关土地征用和食品安全等法案的制定过程中,民众们有权利表达他们自己的观 点。实际上这也是我个人非常关注的两个法案,无论是对于土地征用问题还是食品安全问题,目前印度社会都有着不小的抱怨,民众有许多话要说。这些观点将会被 怎样的传达?民间的声音将如何影响政府最终的决定?这些问题都值得进一步的观察。
而关于此前部分西方媒体所说的哈扎雷的反腐运动可能会导致印度社会变革新拐点的出现,应该说从我日常的观察以及和印度官员、学者以及普 通百姓交流的情况来看,哈扎雷的运动起到的是一个改良的效果,印度社会本身的架构体系相对来说还是比较稳定的,拐点一说缺乏足够的论据支撑。

Moderator: Last question, beyond this issue – hunger strikes are apparently very popular in India. How can one know that it’s a genuine hunger strike? We know that you have been to the scene of Hazare’s hunger strike, how do you feel about it?


Reporter: In India, if Hazare goes on a hunger strike and is nationally watched, or if a student is dissatisfied with the examination system, they may resort to a hunger strike. I have previously been at a loss about how to know if people on a hunger strike are really going without food. That was until last year when a friend from  Jawaharlal Nehru University told me that several students who couldn’t graduate under the system in place were protesting with a hunger strike. I went there to see what was happening. After they had declared their hunger strike, the government sent doctors who would regularly check their health, take blood samples, and if the students had secretly taken food, it would have been discovered very quickly.

During Hazare’s nationwide protest movement, I have been to the scenes in New Delhi and Mumbai, and among the protesters, two feelings seemed to be prevalent. There were those who were dissatisfied with official corruption, but without seeing real political demands and goals very clearly. They were happily in the streets, waving banners, shouting slogans and marching forward, like on a big party. My second impression was that younger and middle-income people were the main force in the protests, as corruption is palpable everywhere in their daily lives. A student gave me an example. One of his undergraduate fellow students wanted to go to France in a students exchange program, but after half a year, his passport still hadn’t been issued. If this was to go on, his exchange project could have been cancelled, and he therefore bribed the department in charge to obtain his passport. If a students exchange has to be resolved by bribe, bribery certainly has a big effect on these peoples’ lives. They perfectly understood Hazare’s demands, and this was a great opportunity. You can say that it is exactly these kinds of forces within society which helped Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign to gain victory.





1) CRI broadcasts (and probably their website, too) mainly target audiences abroad – overseas students, and overseas Chinese people in general – (many of the subscribers to CRI’s Standard Chinese educational program, Kongzi Xuetang, appear to be children of overseas Chinese families). Some hundred other websites, from Phoenix TV (Hong Kong) to Anhui Daily (安徽日报, Anhui province) have put the interview online since it first appeared on CRI Online at 6:11 am local time.

2) I’m not sure what would be the best translation for 社会团体 – “social groups” is just my workaround. Your suggestions for better translation would be welcome.



» Hazare rests after Fast, BBC, August 29, 2011
» India, Philippines, Vietnam, August 20, 2011
» Tell Us Who You Bribed, June 13, 2011


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, August 28, 2011

To make the table underneath load accurately, you will probably need to click this blogpost’s headline to view it individually. Date of reception: all on August 28, 2011 (GMT).

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s. The station is still active on shortwave in seven languages - Spanish, German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese.





Time (GMT)

6,000 kHz RHC Habana Cuba Spanish 00:05 – 00:58 3 4 5 4 3
6,000 kHz RHC Havana Cuba English 01:03 – 01:30 3 4 5 3 3
15,345 kHz R. N. Argentina Argentina Spanish 01:58 – 02:13 3 4 3 3 3
15,075 kHz All India Radio India unid. 02:14 – 02:26 3 5 4 3 3
6,000 kHz RHC Havana Cuba English 02:32 – 02:50 3 4 4 4 3
5,985 kHz RTI Taipei USA (FL) Mandarin 03:01 – 03:20 4 5 4 4 4
9,625 kHz CBC Radio 2 Canada English 03:30 – 03:40 4 4 4 4 4
9,625 kHz  see above  03:41 – 03:45 3 3



» Easy Shortwave Listening, August 9, 2011
» Rel. Tag: Shortwave Radio


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Impatience with Diplomacy: Ma opposes, Wu, too

Sheep on a Rainy Day, August 2011

Sheep on a Rainy Day, August 2011

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu (马朝旭) called the U.S. Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military development “an irresponsible act which does no good to enhance China-U.S. strategic trust” (People’s Daily in English), or, as quoted by Huanqiu Shibao, “this sort of  report, gesticulating at China’s reasonable and legitimate and normal national-defense building with no lack of exaggerated content”  (这样的报告对中国正当、正常的国防建设指指点点, 其中不乏夸大内容). This was “no responsible kind of behavior, and without benefit for the promotion of Sino-American mutual strategic trust, and the Chinese side firmly opposed [the report] (这不是一种负责任的行为,无益于增进中美战略互信,中方坚决反对).

A reporter asked: the American defense department issued a Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China report and appraisal. Do you have a comment?

Ma Zhaoxu said that the U.S. Department of Defense issued such a report year after year, gesticulating at China’s reasonable and legitimate and normal national-defense building, with no lack of exaggerations concerning China’s actual military power, spreading “Chinese military threat” content. This was no responsible kind of behavior, and without benefit for the promotion of Sino-American mutual strategic trust, and the Chinese side firmly opposed it.

Ma Zhaoxu pointed out that China would unswervingly take the path of peaceful development, pursues a defensive defense policy and made efforts to protect and promote peace, stability and prosperity  in the Pacific region and even the world. China’s development of limited military power was to protect national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and posed no threat against any country. No country should have any misgivings about it.

The latest comments in a (probably heavily censored) commenting thread seem to express doubts in the strength of China’s foreign-policy position (or impatience with it), rather than explicit jingoism.

“They only know passive opposition – stupid” (只知道被动的反对,笨), comments one online reader (16:55 local time).

“Wu Jianmin says he firmly opposes” (吴建民说坚决反对), writes another reader with an apparently long memory, at 18:37 local time.

Wu Jianmin served as the foreign ministry’s spokesman from 1991 to 1994.


Update / Related

» PRC steps up Psychological Warfare targeted at Taiwan, Taipei Times, August 26, 2011


Friday, August 26, 2011

After Re-trial: KMT Lawmaker blames Chen Shui-bian “Moles in the Judiciary”

After Chen was given the “not guilty” verdict, Chiu Yi (邱毅), a legislator from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), expressed his shock at the outcome of the retrial, which he said was a focus of world attention.
The justices have sold their souls to the devil, Chiu said, adding the country was now one in which “all are guilty except Chen and his family”,

,writes the China Post, reporting the results a re-trial of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁, of the oppositional Democratic Progressive Party, DPP) and his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), on Friday. Chen and his family were also given lighter sentences in two other cases, than in previous trials, reports the China Post.

According to the BBC,

[..] Taiwan’s High Court has acquitted Chen of the charge [of embezzling some $5m (£3m) from a special presidential fund while he was in power].

The court, however, found him guilty of money laundering and forging documents, and handed down the additional two-year sentence. That brings his overall sentence to about 20 years.

Chen’s wife, former first lady Wu Shu-chen, received a longer sentence of nearly 12 years at the retrial, but she is unlikely to spend any time in prison because of her poor health, says the BBC’s Cindy Sui in Taipei.

On September 11, 2009, Chen had been sentenced to life in prison. Most recently, his total sentence had been at 17.5 years in jail, and the latest round added two years and eight months to that, writes the Taipei Times. Previous convictions for a role in the use of fraudulent receipts to obtain reimbursement for spending from the state affairs fund, and in a money laundering case that concerned a land deal in Taoyuan County’s Longtan were upheld and led to the (even if partly commuted) additional time in jail. According to the Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Taiwan Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said that it would appeal the verdicts, claiming the public would have difficulty accepting the new sentences, according to the China Post.

The BBC report quotes analysts saying that the ruling could appease Chen’s supporters and help President Ma Ying-jeou, who is seeking re-election in the upcoming January presidential race, plus the station’s correspondent in Taiwan as suggesting that quite to the contrary, it could also help the opposition party which Chen once led, by giving it more leverage to accuse the governing party of playing politics in prosecutions.

To Chiu Yi, the KMT lawmaker quoted at the beginning of this post, the evidence is clear:

Chen really has many moles operating in the judiciary, Chiu concluded,

according to the China Post



» Acquitted of one Charge, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Aug 26, 2011
» Taiwan’s Unbelievable Justice, September 12, 2009


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For all to See: President Ma “no Persian Cat”

Persian Cat, Wikimedia Commons

Persian Cat, Wikimedia Commons (click picture for source)

No matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice, it’s a good cat. But it must by no means be a Persian cat which only looks good – pleasant to the eye but useless!

James Soong Chu-yu (宋楚瑜), People-First Party (PFP, 親民黨) chairman and (potential) presidential candidate

KMT spokeswoman Lai Su-ju ((賴素如)) said that the Ma government’s achievements over the past three years in the fields of cross-strait relations, diplomacy and the economy were there for all to see. Song Chu-yu’s criticism was a far cry from the facts.

Lai, indirectly quoted by the China Times online (中時電子報), with her reaction to what Soong may or may not have targeted at president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Soong Chu-yu said that politicians, even when talking in private, shouldn’t crack jokes, thus invoking inappropriate connotations among outsiders. He hoped that people wouldn’t read too much into it. He would pay more attention and choose his words more carefully in the future.

United Daily News, indirectly quoting James Soong Chu-yu.



» Soong says Sorry, Taipei Times, August 24, 2011
» The Feather that could…, August 5, 2011
» Government by Facebook, April 29, 2011
» Handsome, articulate, savvy, China Daily, April 3, 2005


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogging: Pondering on Podcasts

A Stack of Logs, August 2011

A Stack of Logs, August 2011

Once in a while, I’m using radio  – mostly shortwave radio – as a source or as an appetizer for thought when writing a post.  Sometimes, there is a post about shortwave radio itself – when it comes to Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany), the Voice of America‘s (VoA) Mandarin service, China Radio International (CRI, foreign radio) or China National Radio (CNR, domestic radio) for example. It could be nice to post short recorded clips in addition to what I write. The most obvious way would be YouTube. I do have a cheap digital camera, so making badly-arranged videos would be feasible, even if the picture doesn’t matter at all, as the message is on the soundtrack. However, being the ecologically-aware blogger I am, I’m not so fond about the useless data flow and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions such videos would generate.

Audio podcasts could provide the answer. However, WordPress would require an upgrade before I could post podcasts,  either video or audio files, and while I’m aware of YouTube as a free video platform, I don’t know a free platform for publishing audio files.

Then why wouldn’t I start a domain of my own, and rent some server space from somewhere else?

WordPress is very convenient in that they allow me to blog anonymously. That’s one of several reasons why I like WordPress, and why I avoid platforms like Facebook.  After all, Germany is by no means as free an environment for bloggers as is America, for example. Legal harassment is always a possibility in my country. By paying for an upgrade, my anonymity would be less perfect than now.

In short: I’d like to keep things as they are, plus posting some audio files. If you can tell me a platform where I can post audio files for free, just as I could post videos for free on YouTube, let me know.

Don’t ask what JR can do for you – ask what you can do for JR.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Arrests in Vietnam after South-China-Sea Demonstrations: Huanqiu Shibao quotes Phil Robinson

Huanqiu coverage, Aug 22

Huanqiu coverage, August 22

The following is a translation from Huanqiu Shibao (环球时报), the older (Chinese-language) sister of the (English-language) Global Times. The beginning of the article (“according to a report by Huanqiu Shibao”) seems to refer to Huanqiu’s printed edition. I haven’t checked the authenticity of the reports and statements as quoted by the article’s author Wei Fang (魏 芳). The article will probably have invited some unwelcome comments from the online readers, and such comments are frequently removed.

Main Link:

By special correspondent Wei Fang

According to a report by Huanqiu Shibao of August 22, Vietnamese police dispersed an anti-Chinese (一场反华示威) demonstration in Hanoi on Sunday, and arrested several dozen participants (拘捕数十名参与者). This has been the 11th protest against China in three months, concerning the “South China Sea sovereignty” issue. It is noteworthy that prior to that, the Vietnamese government had issued a ban on anti-Chinese demonstrations.

Reuters quotes “witnesses” as saying that at least forty Vietnamese people had been on the streets to protest against “China’s intrusions into the South China Sea”. Since June this year, there have been people organizing gatherings on the streets of Hanoi to protest against China, concerning the South China Sea. At first, there were some 300 participants. Later, the number gradually went down to fifty to sixty.

Agence France-Presse says that only a few minutes after the beginning of the protest [on Sunday], plain-cloth police pushed some forty protesters onto a bus waiting next to the scene, and drove them to a different location. Associated Press says that the authorities had apparently sent “a strong police force” which put some fifteen protesters into police cars which drove away from the scene. The report also says that Vietnamese police had strengthened protection for China’s embassy, deployed police on the street in front of it, and sealed that road off completely.

Western human rights organizations once again expressed dissatisfaction with the Vietnamese authorities’ approach. On August 21 [Sunday], Reuters quoted “Human Rights Watch’s” (“人权观察”) Asia Division deputy director Phil Robinson (菲尔·罗宾逊) as saying: “We are concerned about the arrests of these people after demonstrating, and call on the authorities to release them as soon as possible”. Robsinson also said that the arrests showed an “over-reaction” by the Vietnamese government”, as the protesters goal had been “to protect Vietnam’s unity, and had done no wrong”.

In fact, Vietnam had issued a ban on anti-Chinese demonstrations last week. The Vietnamese government is worried that some people (一些人) could use the gatherings to stir dissenting views which would eventually oppose the government. Hanoi’s People’s Committee issued a statement on August 18, saying that some oppositional elements at home and abroad (越南国内外的一些反对派分子) were using the anti-China demonstrations to oppose the Vietnamese government, to “damage Vietnamese unity and Vietnamese-Chinese relations”. The statement warned that the police would take action against people who defied the ban.

Official newspaper “New Hanoi News” believes that the authorities must take “the necessary measures” against illegal gatherings. The BBC said on August 21 that several gatherings and demonstrations had made the Vietnamese government aware that there were people who tried to use the rallies to incite the masses to oppose the communist party’s political power, and that it had therefore issued this kind of ban.

Reuters says that before the ban, 25 Vietnamese representatives from the intelligentsia (知识界代表) had signed a petition to the authorities, demanding that the government revoke the ban, and stating the belief that this approach was “unconstitutional”. The petition was also published on the internet.

“trundle on trundle on trundle on, human rights groups are just garbage in the future the west won’t rule the world your game will be over soon” (滚滚滚滚,人权组织就是个垃圾将来西方不统治世界了你们也就一块玩完了, 17:07 local time), comments a reader, and another: “What this bunch of beasts (or brutes) is most afraid of is that their rice bowls [i. e. their jobs – apparently targeted at human rights campaigners] won’t be safe” (这帮畜生最怕的事情就是他们饭碗不保, 17:11 local time).



» Press Review: India, Philippines, Vietnam, Aug 20, 2011
» Don’t Manufacture Low-Class Nationalism, June 12, 2011
» Human Rights Watch website

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reception Report: All India Radio Press Review on Tibet

Reception Report: All India Radio, August 20, 20:55 GMT, 7550 kHz

I only got to the radio in time to listen to All India Radio’s (AIR) last two renditions from the Indian press last night (of the Sunday Pioneer, August 18, and the Deccan Herald, August 10), and only from the second line of the transcript as follows. Some of the broadcast’s quotes differed slightly from what you will find online when clicking onto the links, and the online articles are of course more comprehensive than the review.

Beginning of Transcript –>

The self-immolation of a second Tibetan monk in a span of five months in the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan which is home to a large section of the community has once again put the spotlight on the Communist Party’s repressive behaviour towards the country’s ethnic minority. This past Sunday when 29-year-old Tsewang Norbu doused himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze in the centre of Daofu, a town located in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garzê, crying out for the freedom of his people and for the return of the exiled Dalai Lama to Tibet, his actions served as a somewhat vile but nonetheless true reflection of how deep runs Tibetan dissatisfaction of Han-majority Chinese leadership.*)  Chinese authorities must do better consider Tibetean grievances, as they have shown greater respect for popular demands in other parts of the country.

In a related comment, Deccan Herald in its editorial comment, “Tough Tasks”, writes that the prime minister of Tibet’s government in exile, Lobsang Sangay,

has taken over the political role of the Dalai Lama who will continue as spiritual leader of the Tibetans. Sangay, as the Tibetan government in exile first elected leader, has announced that he is willing to talk to the Chinese government ‘anytime and anywhere.’ Beijing’s response was on expected lines. It described the government-in-exile as a ‘separatist political clique’ with ‘no legitimacy at all.’ Sangay has publicly expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s policy of seeking ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibet under Chinese rule.

The paper adds that

as for China, if it is planning to ignore Sangay in the hope that post-Dalai Lama the Tibetan movement will fizzle out, it is treading a perilous path.

That was a press review scripted by Sanjeev Kumar.

End of Transcript <–



*) The referral to Tsewang Norbu‘s self-immolation as “somewhat vile” by the Sunday Pioneer reminds me of an online discussion I had with bryanbeus, on High Peaks, Pure Earth, in April and May this year. The monk whose reported self-immolation was discussed there was named Phuntsog. A Wikipedia article links to one which discusses Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in Saigon in 1963, apparently in protest against the U.S.-backed South-Vietnam government’s policies on Buddhism. The article on Quang Duc actually discusses the question if Buddhism, or any of its teachings, would justify self-immolition, and if the Saigon immolation was actually related to politics.  Apparently, the article was originally published by the Minnesota State University.



» Chinese Press Review, August 20, 2011
» The CCP sighs with Emotion, July 17, 2011


Updates / Test

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 – Neru Kaneah made me aware of – as a test, I’m uploading the digitalized recording of the AIR press review (transcript in the post above).

AIR press review »

If it works, enjoy!

Update (July 21, 2012): soundfile removed from for upload space reasons. If you are interested in the file, contact me, and I will make it available online, for a limited period – JR


» Rigzin Phuntsog “intentionally killed”, BBC, Aug 26, 2011


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