Archive for January 6th, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

“Yiwu Incident”: All India Radio Coverage

Trade Advisory, Jan. 3

New Delhi has cautioned Indian businessmen and [Indian] traders in Yiwu, a major hub for commodity trading in Zhejiang province in China. A trade advisory posted on the Indian embassy website said yesterday, all people who have businesses with Yiwu are cautioned against doing businesses there, and all people who do not have business with Yiwu are requested to be careful that they do not do business with Yiwu. […] Indian businessmen to stay away from Yiwu. The advisory has been issued in the backdrop of illegal detention of two Indian businessmen in the locality, and manhandling of an Indian diplomat.

All India Radio (AIR), , January 3, 2012 »
JR on (a) Soundcloud

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Safety of Utmost Importance, Jan. 4

The news in detail. India has secured the release of two Indian traders, tortured and taken captive by locals in a trading hub in China. They have safely got to the consulate in Shanghai. External affairs minister S. M. Krishna said after talks with the Chinese ambassador Zhang Yan that they had been assured that Beijing was paying [full] attention to the safety of Indian traders Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agrawal. Mr. Krishna said the incident should not be blown out of proportions. The minister said the two countries agreed that the safety of the two Indians involved in a civil litigation in Yiwu is of utmost importance. Asked about the return of the traders to India, Mr. Krishna said that Indian consular officers have met them and they will perhaps work out the details. Chinese ambassador Zhang said the authorities in Beijing are working hard to resolve the issue. Zhang also met joint-secretary East-Asia, Gautam Bambawale, and informed him about the incident.

All India Radio, , January 4, 2012 »
JR on (a) Soundcloud

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Related

» “Tortured like Animals”, Hindustan Times, Jan 5, 2012
» No Way to treat a Diplomat, January 3, 2012

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Friday, January 6, 2012

No Time to Lose: the CCP’s Cultural Design

First of all, this isn’t really news. It’s what Chinese party and state chairman Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) told the 17th central committee’s sixth plenary session – not a recently-written piece for QiuShi (求是), a paper for CCP theory, as one might believe when getting started with this article by The Telegraph. Hu only set the tune for, or summarized a series of ideological work which has been going on on all levels in China for more than two months now, ever since the end of the central committee’s sixth plenary session. But the alarmist fashion chosen by the Telegraph has reverberated through the press, anyway:

President Hu Jintao has said China must strengthen its cultural production to defend against the West’s assault on the country’s culture and ideology, according to an essay in a Communist Party policy magazine published this week,

the New York Times‘s Edward Wong suggested on January 3. Yes, sure he did – months ago. But Hu’s address was only a summary of a very big document which in turn doesn’t suggest that this is a new major policy initiative announced in October which would continue well into 2012 only. Given that there are people on their way out of power in the incumbent politbureau and the central committee, and people on their way into power as well, this initiative is likely to live for the better part of the coming decade.

But then, who reads central committee documents. Boring, huh?

The Central Committee meeting in October established the ideological foundation for a tightening of the cultural sphere that is only now beginning to unfold,

the NY Times proceeds. Tell that to your colleagues of the Chinese press, or any party cell member in any bigger Chinese organization who has been inundated with the central committee document and its implementation for some eight weeks, Mr. Wong. Some of them actually notified the public of their ideological work, on their company websites.

There seems to be a notworthy aspect in Hu’s speech though which doesn’t appear in the first half of the central committee’s document (haven’t finished translation of its second half yet):

At the same time [that we develop our cultural industries and gain international advantage thereby], we must see with utmost clarity that hostile international forces are currently stepping up the implementation of Westernization in China, attempting to do so via in a variety of strategies; their long-term focus is on infiltration [渗透/shentou] in the ideological and cultural fields. We should thoroughly understand the seriousness and complexity of this ideological struggle, remaining vigilant (lit. “always keep the bell ringing“), ever alert, and taking effective measures to prevent and respond to [the challenge of cultural infiltration]

同时,我们必须清醒地看到,国际敌对势力正在加紧对我国实施西化、分化战略图谋,思想文化领域是他们进行长期渗透的重点领域。我们要深刻认识意识形态领域斗争的严重性和复杂性,警钟长鸣、警惕长存,采取有力措施加以防范和应对.  –

translated by Adam Cathcart.

With this westernization aspect, the QiuShi publication doesn’t only insist on continued ideological struggles on all levels, but it also aims for further mobilization. If you are a local party cell member who has so far read this document as yet another boring piece from the central committee’s paper mill (most potential foreign readers appear to have done so anyway), you must now understand that this is a matter of life and death for the Chinese nation. The implications of your passive attitude should be clear enough.

When Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao et al relinquish much or most of their power – probably later this year when Hu steps down as party chairman -, Hu will have left a mark on the CCP’s long-term policies. In the end, everything is “cultural”, under the CCP’s rule.

Hu Jintao hasn’t changed his mind for the past quarter of a century, as Adam pointed out two and a half years ago. The CCP isn’t going to change its mind for another ten years. The central committee’s cultural decision is a collective  agreement, between outgoing and incoming dictators.

Xi Jinping sharing Chinese know-how with Angela Merkel - click picture for more details about this meeting

Cultural development [in our country] has undergone profound changes, and achieved great successes, but all in all, cultural development hasn’t quite kept up with economic and social development and with the growing spiritual and cultural demands of the people, and the problems which shackle the organizational mechanisms of cultural productivity haven’t been fundamentally solved. As a  factor in  guiding style, the people’s education, social services, and the promotion of development, culture hasn’t been brought into full play yet. Our country’s comprehensive cultural strength [or power – 我国文化整体实力] and international influence don’t match our international position yet, and a global culture and global opinion marked by “a strong West, and a weak China” hasn’t been fundamentally reversed.

[…..] 文化领域正在发生广泛而深刻的变革,文化发展取得了巨大成就,但总体而言,文化发展同经济社会发展和人民日益增长的精神文化需求还不完全适应,束缚文化生产力发展的体制机制问题尚未根本解决,文化在引领风尚、教育人民、服务社会、推动发展等方面的作用还没有得到充分发挥,我国文化整体实力和国际影响力与我国国际地位还不相称,“西强我弱”的国际文化和舆论格局尚未根本扭转。

That’s the nice thing about the cultural document. It spells out homework for the coming ten years – and arguably far beyond.

And the nicest thing of all: the whole crackdown cultural development will need to start at home, right away. There’s no time to lose.

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Related

» Big Daddy’s Latest Workings, Oct 16, 2009
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