Archive for October, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Links: When You’re not Supposed to Pull the Trigger

Hot-Air balloon, October 2011

Hot-Air balloon, October 2011

By announcing negotiations on a peace treaty with China (Beijing appeared to be unaware of any plans for such a generous offer, btw), president Ma Ying-jeou had acted recklessly, argues Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who served as Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and as Taiwan’s unofficial ambassador to the United States under former DPP president Chen Shui-bian.

One inevitable result of a formal end of the civil war and a peace agreement would be that the foundation for such security cooperation would no longer exist, as Taiwan would have become part of China. Similarly, the foundation for the Taiwan Relations Act would no longer exist,

Wu wrote in an article for the Taipei Times, published on Saturday. Wu thus adds an international or military-alliance perspective to Ma Ying-jeou’s quick-and-messy initiative of October 17. When it comes to the fate Ma’s concept met at home, it didn’t bode well either. It kept Ma himself busy – he repeatedly added (conflicting) footnotes to his own plan within a week.

It is easy to create some stresses for oneself with a few comments on Taiwan’s status, all the same. Wu certainly understands that. In May this year, both the DPP and Wu himself felt it necessary to clarify that a statement made to a conference in the U.S. were just an expression of [Wu’s] own opinion and did not necessarily reflect the official position of the DPP.

Meantime, German police complain too much, believes a certain Rafael Behr, once an active policeman, now professor at the Hamburg Police Academy. Tai De takes issue with what Behr writes – except for the need to be prepared for armed hostilities. No, I think I got this wrong. But they seem to agree that there is a need to be prepared for some violence, anyway.


Updates (October 31, 2011)

Another trigger-related article here:

Syria has to show some flexibility in that regard in order to help the Arab League implement its proposal.

Wu Sike, China’s special envoy for the Middle East, when asked (in Cairo) whether he believed Assad’s regime should negotiate with overseas-based dissident groups (Telegraph, October 31, 2011).

And on the same paper:

The first component of popular legitimacy is your personal life. It is very important how you live. I live a normal life. I drive my own car, we have neighbours, I take my kids to school. That’s why I am popular. It is very important to live this way – that is the Syrian style.

Bashar al-Assad, in an interview with the Telegraph‘s reporter Andrew Gilligan last week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Daily Dose of Pain: On Vous l’avait Bien Dit

Someone has just read JR‘s latest entry and asked him why he is doing this to himself. The person who asked has a point. I usually enjoy translating, and I admitted that I’m not enjoying it in this case. Besides, while I’m doing this to myself, I see other  interesting articles in Chinese floating by without recovering them.

I haven’t found a full translation or account of the 17th central committee’s cultural reform decision elsewhere on the internet yet, and just as in my first translation installment, I might abstract a number of the original’s paragraphs again when doing part four, and all those following bits, provided that I’m leaving nothing important out.

But  I’m not wasting my time either way.

After all, I’m curious. If even the CCP website, which is usually very proud of all the party’s hard ideological work, doesn’t bother to publish an English version, I’ll need to read the Chinese original. That takes time anyway, so I might as well translate it.

But above all, I believe that this document will have a noticeable effect on China’s future. Many foreigners*), even with a strong interest in China, won’t take note of the “cultural reform” document – they probably won’t take note of party congresses either.

Unless, that is, a party congress seems to prove their point that “they” – the Chinese – become “more like us”. When Deng Xiaoping started advocating “reform and opening”, and when the party adopted economic reform policies known as the Four Modernizations, foreign observers were all ears. When Gustav Amann note in the 1920s that the foreigners saw nothing but what they could attribute to their own influence on the Manchu government, he had made an observation that wasn’t really spectacular, but one which described a lasting pattern of foreign, or certainly European, perception of China. Just as it was back then, most published foreign observation seems to be based on conceit, or wishful thinking. China may be modernizing, but if it is up to the CCP – there is little reason to believe that it will be up to any Dangwais (within or without the United Front) -, there will be no individual human rights.

This has an effect on competition between China’s and Western political systems, too. The CCP’s emphasis on social efficiency points into that direction – there will be no individual human rights on the one hand, but a lot of – possibly very successful – harnessing of “the people’s productive power” on the other.

That won’t mean a lot in terms of “culture”. The CCP might as well scrap everything in its CCP plenary session document which relates to “soft power” – the CCP’s soft power is as attractive as athlete’s foot. But in terms of economic planning, social efficiency can mean a lot.  Advanced democratic societies should take note. It doesn’t take “soft power” to be influential – hard power and a long-term strategy can do the job for the CCP, too.

There is some awareness in Europe that Chinese help in solving the euro zone debt crisis may not come without “strings attached”. But when Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former French prime minister, suggests that

we cannot go it alone. China has taken over the baton and become banker to the world. That’s the new deal of the 21st century,

it seems to suggest that even the political strings don’t matter to European politicians.

European relations with Taiwan – it’s a rather shabby protocol already – may suffer further. Speaking out on human rights, and be it only for some self-respect? Umm…

Maybe European politicians haven’t taken note of the political side – and quite possibly, their “rescue plan” is built on wishful thinking anyway.

One can only hope that Raffarin is one of the worst examples – but given the matter of course in which European leaders are trying to raise Chinese funding, I’m not exactly sure about that. Anyway:

China has left the dictatorial road,

Raffarin announced in 2008. Sure?

Absolutely! Because, in 2008, too, China was

the world’s banker. The Chinese are financing the American deficit. China has left the road of dictatorship (La Chine est le banquier du monde. Les Chinois financent le déficit américain. La Chine a quitté la route de la dictature).

So, in a way, JR‘s spiteful side is at work here. In the future, you can’t say that he hadn’t warned you.

But I’m not enjoying it. It’s my Europe, too.


*) I’m restricting my speculation / observations to foreign, rather than Chinese observers here. The latter may be objects of speculation /observations on another day, or in the commenter thread.



» Trying to Translate, November 7, 2008


Sunday, October 30, 2011

17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture Document” – 3

« Part 1
« Part 2

The CCP’s 17th central committee announced a decision on cultural reform earlier this month; the Chinese media began reporting on the – then still unknown – document soon after, and it was published in full early this week. The following is part 3 of my translation of it; part 1 and 2 can be accessed through the links above. Links within blockquotes  were added during translation.

To achieve these goals, we must abide by the following guidelines.

  • Hold on fast to the guidance of Marxism, promote the sinicisation, modernization, and popularization, use the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm our minds, guide its implementation, promote work, and guarantee that the reform and development of culturekeep advancing  on the correct path.
  • Maintain the progressive direction of advanced socialist culture, adhere to serving the people, to serve socialism, let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend1), adhere to the unity of inheritance and innovation, unfurl [or expand, 弘扬] the theme, promote diversity, arm people with scientific theory, guide the people by a correct public opinion, model the people by a lofty will, use excellent works to inspire the people, form a positive and upward spirit which pursues a healthy and civilized way of life.
  • Maintain a people-oriented, close-to-reality, close-to-life, close-to-the-masses factor with the people playing a central role in building culture, adhere to cultural development for the people, cultural development leaning on the people, the fruits of cultural development for the common use of the people, promotion of comprehensive development, the cultivation of ideals, with citizens of virtue, culture, and discipline.
  • Adhere to putting social efficiency2 first, maintain the organic unity between social and economic efficiency, abide by the law [or regular pattern, 规律] of cultural development, adapt to the socialist market economy’s requirements, strengthen the building of a cultural and legal system, manage to achieve prosperity as well as mastering management, promote the cause of culture and the cultural industry in comprehensive coordination, for sustainable development.
  • Maintain reform and opening, put forth efforts to the promotion of the cultural system’s mechanical innovation, use reforms to promote development, prosperity, incessantly liberate and develop the development of cultural productive power, increase the level of cultural openness, promote Chinese culture’s path toward the world, actively absorb outstanding civilizational achievements from all countries, and cogently defend the safety of national culture.

The first page of China Radio International’s (CRI) online publication ends here; the following link points to the CRI publication’s second page.

3) Promoting the Building of a System of Socialist Core Values, Consolidating the Common Ideological and Moral Foundations of Party and National Unity for the United Battle of all Nationalities


Socialist core values are the spirit [or soul] of the country’s rejuvenation, the essence of advanced socialist culture, and determine the direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ development. Guidance of education must be strengthened, consensus within society be furthered, innovative means ways and means, comprehensive protection of the system, and the system of core socialist values be blended into national education, the building of cultural and ideological progress [精神文明, also frequently translated as spiritual civilization – JR], and the complete process of building the party, [it needs to] penetrate every field of reform and opening and socialist modernization, materialize in the spirit and the creation of cultural products, and to spread into every field, [it is necessary to] adhere to the guidance of society’s ideological trends by the system of socialist core values, to form a unified ideology throughout the party and society, common ideals and beliefs, to strengthen the power of consciousness, and the basic moral [or virtuous] norms.


a) Adhere to the guiding position of Marxism. Marxism profoundly revealed the laws of human development,  firmly safeguarded and developed the people’s fundamental interests, it guides people to promote society’s progress, and creates a good life’s scientific theory. We must unswervingly adhere to the fundamental theorems of Marxism, closely link China’s reality with the characteristics of our times, the wishes of the people, and by developing Marxism to guide into a new practice. Unremittingly persevere  in the use of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm the party, to educate the people, to promote the learning and practice of the scientific develoopment concept to be deepened and broadened, to guide the party members and cadres to to learn and to implement the party’s fundamental theories, fundamental line, principles, experiences, to learn the classical Marxist works, to systematically master the Marxist positions, views, and methods. Scientifically analyze the world situation, the country’s situation, the situation and changes of the party, closely study and solve the new problems of reform and opening and the construction and modernization of socialism, incessantly deepen the understanding of the party’s rule’s regular patterns, the regular patterns of socialist construction, the understanding of human society’s development’s regular patterns, and, at every moment, turn the experience of the party’s guidance in the people’s achievements into theory.  Continuously bestow distinct practice and distinguished features, national characteristics, and characteristics of our times on Chinese Marxism. Adhere to the leading staff’s and leading cadres’ as the key for increasing the capacity for political accomplishments, by building the party as a model for the organization of skills, make all efforts to promote the learning of Marxism to shape the building of the party. Deepen and promote the process of Marxist theoretical research and construction, implement a universal plan for the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen the building of key scientific systems and teaching systems, promote the introduction of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics into teaching materials, into the classrooms, minds [or brains, 头脑], strengthen and improve ideological and political education in schools.

(一)坚持马克思主义指导地位。马克思主义深刻揭示了人类社会发展规律,坚定维护和发展最广大人民根本利益,是指引人民推动社会进步、创造美好生活的科学 理论。要毫不动摇地坚持马克思主义基本原理,紧密结合中国实际、时代特征、人民愿望,用发展着的马克思主义指导新的实践。坚持不懈用中国特色社会主义理论 体系武装全党、教育人民,推动学习实践科学发展观向深度和广度拓展,引导党员、干部深入学习贯彻党的基本理论、基本路线、基本纲领、基本经验,学习马克思 主义经典著作,系统掌握马克思主义立场、观点、方法。科学分析世情、国情、党情新变化,深入研究解决改革开放和社会主义现代化建设新课题,不断深化对共产 党执政规律、社会主义建设规律、人类社会发展规律的认识,不断把党带领人民创造的成功经验上升为理论,不断赋予当代中国马克思主义鲜明的实践特色、民族特 色、时代特色。坚持以领导班子和领导干部为重点,以提高思想政治素养为根本,以建设学习型党组织为抓手,大力推进马克思主义学习型政党建设。深入推进马克 思主义理论研究和建设工程,实施中国特色社会主义理论体系普及计划,加强重点学科体系和教材体系建设,推动中国特色社会主义理论体系进教材、进课堂、进头 脑,加强和改进学校思想政治教育。

Continued (Nov 1) –
part 4 »



1) This probably refers to the original poem, rather than to its use during the Mao era, as the way Mao invoked and “practised” the line as a slogan can hardly be considered a success story.

2) Social efficiency could be seen as an optimal allocation of resources, and there have been several initiatives or concepts outside China which advocated or discussed such concepts, but in the context of the CCP central committee decision, this article on Ezine seems to characterize the term quite neatly. However, I’m not implying that this is exactly what the decision wants to prescribe. Just do your own search of this term – 社会效益 – online, and let me know what you find. It is also possible that there is no clear-cut definition at all, as a document like the decision may need to satisfy more than one viewpoint within the politbureau’s standing committee.



» Reinforcing Party’s Guidance, Oct 19, 2011
» Science in Action, Sept 26, 2011
» Patriotic Essays, September 1, 2009


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mekong Security: all Brothers, Big and Small

Xinhua, October 13, 2011

Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao on Thursday summoned diplomatic envoys from Thailand, Laos and Myanmar and urged the three nations to intensify their investigation of a deadly attack on Chinese ships that occurred on the Mekong River.


Song said China has urged the countries to take effective measures to strengthen the protection of Chinese ships and sailors on the Mekong River and its relevant waters and to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future. / Huanqiu Shibao, October 30, 2011 (中新网), Oct 30. According to the Ministry of Public Security’s website, China will hold a conference with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, on cooperation in law enforcement and security on the Mekong River basin on October 31. The conference’s purpose was to thoroughly investigate the shootings of 13 Chinese crewmen, to establish a common system of law enforcement and security cooperation on the Mekong River, effectively safeguard maritime security order on the Mekong, and to guarantee the safety of the four countries’ vessels’ and crews’ lives and property.

中新网10月30日电 据公安部网站消息,中国将于10月31日在北京召开中老缅泰湄公河流域执法安全合作会议。此次会议旨在尽快彻底查清中方13名船员在湄公河水域遭枪杀案件,推动建立中老缅泰湄公河执法安全合作机制,有效维护湄公河流域航运安全秩序,确保四国船舶和人员生命财产安全。

Chinese State Councillor and public security minister Meng Jianzhu, Thailand’s vice prime minister [apparently] Chalerm Ubumrung, Laotian vice prime minister and defense minister [apparently] Chansamone Chanyalath, Myanmar’s interior minister [apparently] Ko Ko, heading a delegation separately, will attend the conference.


The conference will carry out a set of bilateral and multilateral consultations concerning law enforcement and security cooperation in the Mekong River Basin, and a broad consensus on  more joint law-enforcement patrols, jointly addressing emerging security problems, jointly fighting cross-border crime, and common replies to incidents is expected.


Reportedly, the conference participants from Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, will arrive in Beijing separately arrive in Beijing on October 30.


From Huanqiu Shibao’s commenter thread

Great! These countries have become our little brothers! (太好了 这几个国家 已经成为我们的小弟! – 2011-10-30 14:42)
Myanmar home affairs minister Ge Ge [Ko Ko] – that name suits him nicely. (缅甸内政部部长哥哥 …….. 名字起的真好 -2011-10-30 14:35)*)
Thai militry implemented American intelligence plans!! To destroy China’s and its neighbors’ relations!! (泰国军方实施,美国情报部门策划!!破坏中国和周边国家关系!! – 2011-10-30 14:35)



*) Ge Ge implies racketeering (big brother). According to an Irrawaddy article of October 13, Lieutenant-General Ko Ko was a military commander in the Triangle region in the past.



» 孟建柱会见缅甸内政部部长哥哥, 公安部网站, October 30, 2011
» Hawngleuk militia, “Underground since 2006”, Irrawaddy, Oct 13, 2011


Friday, October 28, 2011

17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture Document” – 2

« part 1

This post is the second one about the 17th CCP central committee’s 6th plenary session’s resolution (or decision), and a continuation to that post (with some links to related topics). Contrary to the first post, I tried to translate all these following paragraphs here in full. Still a lot of translation to do; the previous and this post may amount to a quarter of the entire document.

If anyone who is reading this has translated some or all of it, or knows of a translation elsewhere, please let me know, and I’ll link there, for complementation, or for comparison.

The entire party must come to recognize that the advanced socialist culture is the banner above the Marxist political party’s thoughts and spirit, and the building of a socialist culture is an important part of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ overall design. Without the vigorous cultural guidance, there is no richness in the spiritual world of the people, the power of national spirit won’t fully unfold,  and a country, a nation, cannot stand towering the forest of the world’s nations. Material insufficiency isn’t socialism, and spiritual emptiness isn’t socialism. If socialist culture doesn’t flourish, there will be no socialist modernization. In the deepening of the reform of the cultural system at this new historical starting point, the promotion of the development and thriving of socialist culture concerns the realization of comprehensive development of a society with modest prosperity, the maintenance and development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We must correctly grasp our country’s new economic and social requirements, correctly grasp the current era’s new trend of cultural development, correctly grasp all the people’s nationalities’ expectations to spiritual and cultural life, strengthen the sense of responsibility and urgency, emancipate our minds, transform our concepts, seize our opportunities, harness the momentum, and, in the process of building a society of modest prosperity, on the road of scientific development, struggle for the creation of socialist culture, and for a new state of affairs.


2) Adhering to the Path of Development of a Culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Striving to Build a Strong Country of Socialist Culture


To adhere to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to deepen the reform of the cultural system, to promote the development and flourishing of socialist culture, it is essential that we fully implement the essence of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, that we uphold the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and, under the guidance of the important thoughts of Marxism and Leninism, the Mao Zedong thoughts, the Deng Xiaoping theories, and the “Three Represents”*), deepen the scientific development concept’s thorough implementation, maintain the progressive direction of advanced socialist culture, and by scientific development as the key subject, by building a system of socialist core values as the fundamental task, and with the people’s spiritual cultural needs as the starting point and the final destination, with reform and innovation as the driving forces, develop towards modernization, towards the world, towards the future and the nation’s scientific and the masses’ socialist culture, cultivate a high degree of cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence, improve the entire nation’s civilizational quality, enhance the country’s cultural soft power, unfold Chinese culture, and strive to build a strong socialist country.


To build a strong country with a socialist culture means to put forth effort on the promotion of an advanced socialist culture going deeper into the peoples’ hearts, to promote the comprehensive development of a socialist spirit and civilization and material civilization, to start, at every moment, the whole nation’s continuous gush of cultural creativity and vitality, a richer and more colorful and  socialist culture’s life, better protection of the people’s basic cultural rights, the comprehensive improvement of the people’s ideological and moral qualities’ and of scientific cultural qualities, and the building of an overall spiritual home for the Chinese nation, to make greater contributions to human civilization’s progress.


In accordance with the new needs for succeeding in the strife of building a moderately prosperous society, the goals in striving for the cultural reform and development until 2020 are: to further promote the building of a system of socialist core values, to further unfold good ideological and moral customs, to significantly improve the quality of citizens, to accomodate the people’s needs for richer cultural products, to make quality works emerge in large numbers, to make the cause of culture prosper comprehensively, to built a basic public cultural services system which covers the entire society, to evenly spread accessibility to these basic services, to turn the cultural industry into a pillar of the national economy, to comprehensively and significantly strengthen its competitiveness with the international cultural industry, with public ownership as the predominant pattern developing comprehensively together with various other forms of ownership, to amply invigorate the cultural management system and cultural production operation system, and to turn them highly efficient, to attract, with the national culture as the principal part, beneficial culture from abroad, to ever further promote the pattern of an open Chinese culture’s stepping towards the world; to develop [existing] high-quality talents further, and guarantee more vitality for the development of flourishing developing talents. The entire party and the entire country must work together to make these goals happen, they must incessantly improve the scientification level of developing culture, in order to lay the foundation on which to build our country into a strong country of socialist culture.


Continued (Oct 30) –
part 3 »



*)  The buzzword “Leninism” was missing in the original’s third paragraph (see earlier post for a quick review of that paragraph)  – but it’s appearing here, along with Marxism, and every Chinese party or paramount leader since Mao (except for Hua Guofeng, who bequeathed no spiritual legacy of his own to humankind),  just as  they were referred to by Wu Bangguo in March this year.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Leaders’ Efforts – Wu Sike begins Talks in Damascus

Links within blockquote added during translation – JR

SANA – Damascus

Syrian minister for external affairs and overseas Syrian nationals Walid Muallem met with Chinese special envoy for Middle Eastern issues at noon today. During the meeting, the two sides discussed China’s and Syria’s bilateral relations, how to develop cooperation in all fields, and how to advance them to strategic cooperation.


Minister Muallem described the effects of Syria’s current situation, and the pace of the reforms adopted by Syria’s leaders, aimed at satisfying the demands of the people, as well as the efforts made by Syria’s leaders to implement the reforms, such as the national dialog conference held in Damascus. He also gave an account of president Bashar al-Assad’s meeting with the Arab Ministerial Committee of yesterday.

穆阿利姆部长详细介绍了叙利亚当前局势的影响,以及叙利亚领导人所采取的改革步伐,其目的为了满足人民的需求,以及叙利亚领导人为实施改革所付出的努力,如:在大马士革举行国民对话大会。 另外,还向中国特使讲述了巴沙尔•阿萨德总统昨天与阿拉伯部长级委员会的会议结果。

Wu Sike emphasized China’s friendly relations with Syria. The Chinese side attached great importance to Syria’s security and stability, because Syria’s security and stability were also the entire Middle Eastern region’s security and stability. Wu Sike also rated the Syrian leaders’ efforts in this regard highly, in that they adopted dialog and following through on reforms to address the current crisis.


Wu Sike emphasized that the two countries should continue their cooperation, concerning international forums. He also rejected any kind of external interference in Syria’s internal politics.




» Al-Shara, al-Moallem Meet Sike, SANA (English), Oct 27, 2011
» SANA quotes Jiang Yu, October 27, 2011
» Professor of Propaganda, Now Lebanon, September 3, 2011
» The Reporter in the Rye, March 25, 2011
» Armtwists and Sanctions, Syria Comment, Nov 17, 2010

Thursday, October 27, 2011

17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture” Document published

Xinhua news agency published the 17th CCP central committee’s 6th plenary session’s resolution (or decision) earlier this week – republished by China Radio International’s (CRI) Chinese service on Tuesday (GMT). The following are excerpts and summaries from the document.

1) Fully understanding and advancing the importance and urgency of cultural reform and development, raising awareness, increasing self-initiative in promoting the great development and prosperity of socialist culture.


Culture is the pulse of the nation, and the spiritual home of the people. During the process of our country’s more than five-thousand year-old civilization’s development, people of all nationalities have united inseparably, have restlessly strengthened themselves, have unitedly a well-established, broad and profound Chinese culture, and provided the Chinese nation’s development  and growth with strong spiritual power, thus making a significant and indelible contribution to humankind’s civilizational progress.


Ever since the day of its establishment, the Chinese Communist Party has been the faithful inheritor and advocate of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture, and the active  initiator and developer of China’s advanced culture. Our party has always attached great importance to the use of culture to lead into the direction of progress, uniting the hard-working forces, uniting and guiding the nationalities of the whole country, and, by constant new awakening to ideological culture, by theory creating new fruits, by culture establishing new successes, promoted the progressive development of the party and the people. Cultural work has played an irreplaceably important  role in reform, construction, and every historical period of reform.


The following, very long paragraph contains the usual buzzwords, from seeking the truth in the facts (实事求是), the sinicization of marxism (马克思主义中国化), the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics (中国特色社会主义理论体系), the use of sinicized marxism’s newest fruits to arm the party and to educate the people (用马克思主义中国化最新成果武装全党、教育人民), and to use the national spirit with patriotism as its core and the spirit of the times with reform as its core to  the  end of inspiring the will to fight (or morale – 用以爱国主义为核心的民族精神和以改革创新为核心的时代精神鼓舞斗志). Generally, this is a review of maoist and post-maoist concepts. Much of these buzzwords – minus Leninism [Correction – for clarity: Wu Bangguo mentioned Leninism; this document didn’t do so in its first paragraphs. For the document’s referral to Leninism, see part 2 of this translationJR] – had been referred to by Wu Bangguo, in his work report to the 11th “national people’s congress’ fourth session in March. I’m not trying to assess the prominence of either of these buzzwords, in either text.

Given globalization and other major global trends, the document continues, the role of culture in building cohesion within the country, was only the more obvious. The task of making national culture had become harder, and strengthening China’s soft power and its culture’s international influence had become just the more important (当今世界正处在大发展大变革大调整时期,世界多极化、经济全球化深入发展,科学技术日新月异,各种思想文化交流交融交锋更加频繁,文化在综合国力竞争中的地位和作用更加凸显,维护国家文化安全任务更加艰巨,增强国家文化软实力、中华文化国际影响力要求更加紧迫。).

The documents lists “the main contradictions and problems:

  • a lack of awareness in certain locations and (work) units when it comes to the importance of the building of culture
  • the loss or distortion of virtue, sincerity, values and core socialist values
  • a need to increase the ability to guide public opinion, the building and management of the internet, and public cultural services
  • a need to strengthen the international influence of Chinese culture
  • the development (or promotion) of the ranks of cultural talents



These are the lines that caught my eye while reading the document’s fully-understanding chapter (see above blockquote’s headline). I might continue translation this or next week, if it can’t be found in English elsewhere. Once in a while, the CCP’s website publishes English translations of documents like this one. So far, there is only a sparse summary plus some academic reactions available, plus an article on China’s non-Communist parties endorsing the CPC’s decision on boosting cultural development.

continued (Oct 28)  –

part 2 »



» All in Favor of Culture, CMP, Oct 26, 2011
» Dangwai, January 31, 2011
» Global Local Sticks TV, Oct 22, 2009
» Three Eight Hundreds, April 19, 2009


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Syrian Arab News Agency quotes Jiang Yu

In every street

In every street

Possibly to please Beijing, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) posted a news article in Chinese on Wednesday, quoting from a statement by foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, on a press conference at China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday, nearly or completely in full.

I haven’t yet found an equivalent to this news article on SANA’s or other official Syrian websites in English yet. However, SANA’s French website published a news article as early as on Tuesday, also quoting from the press conference of the same day. The people’s legitimate demands (人民[的]合理诉求, see blockquote below) is translated as the people’s logical demands (demandes logiques du peuple) there.

SANA – Beijing

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu, answering a question concerning Syria on a regular press conference on October 25, said China hoped that all Syrian parties would attach most importance to the state’s and the people’s interest, dismiss violence, and avoid clashes and bloodshed, and that all parties would solve their differences by dialog and peaceful means, thus resolving the conflict; and that the Syrian government should actively implement its promised reforms, and respond to the people’s legitimate demands.

中国外交部发言人姜瑜2011年10月25日在举行的例行记者招待会上回答有关叙利亚当前局势问题时说,中国希望叙利亚有关各方能以国家和人民利益为重, 摒弃暴力,避免流血冲突;希望各方通过对话以和平方式解决分歧,化解矛盾;叙利亚政府应积极落实改革承诺,回应人民合理诉求;

At the same time, the parties should participate in a peaceful process, constructively and actively. The international community should promote solutions of the differences through dialog, and play a constructive role in safeguarding peace and stability in the entire Middle East.


Jiang Yu also said that China’s special envoy for Middle Eastern issues will visit Syria and Egypt, from October 26 to October 30.


Jiang’s Tuesday comments may be read as a cautious criticism of Syria’s ruling Ba’ath Party, as a “hope” that Damascus would respond to the people’s legitimate / logical  demands seems to suggest that such responses are still absent.

If this spells growing pressure on Syria, as Germany’s Focus news magazine suggested on Tuesday, remains to be seen. However, in case of a demise of Syria’s current rulers – in whichever way -, Beijing may want to position itself as the Syrian people’s advocate. Quotes like Jiang Yu’s, or possibly by Wu Sike later this week, could spell a hedge.



» U.S. Ambassador leaves Syria, Huffington Post, Oct 24, 2011
» An important speech, SANA, March 28, 2011
» China’s Car Exports Falling, August 19, 2009


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