Archive for January 13th, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

The “China Cultural Year”, and the “Cavemen”

The following is a note published on China Radio International‘s (CRI) German website on Thursday.

Beijing. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations [between China and Germany], the Chinese government initiated the implementation of a “Chinese Cultural Year” in Germany as early as in 2009. In 2010, China’s premier Wen Jiabao and German chancellor Angela Merkel signed a corresponding agreement.

Anlässlich des 40. Jubiläums der Aufnahme diplomatischer Beziehungen im Jahr 2012 initiierte die chinesische Regierung bereits im Jahr 2009 die Umsetzung eines “Chinesischen Kulturjahres” in Deutschland. 2010 unterzeichneten Chinas Premier Wen Jiabao und die deutsche Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel eine entsprechende Vereinbarung.

Dialog and cooperation were at the fore of this reply to “Germany and China – Together in Motion”, Dr. Hardy Boeckle, counsellor of culture at the German embassy, explained in Beijing on Thursday. The event, which is meant to dispel misunderstandings and build knowledge, is under the aegis of president Hu Jintao. Among the programs are the National Chinese Art Museum’s  (NAMOC) “Public Art” exhibition, the Beijing Fringe festival in Germany, and the mobile “China! China? China…”*) meeting place.

Gespräch und Kooperation stünden im Vordergrund dieser Antwort auf “Deutschland und China – Gemeinsam in Bewegung”, erklärte Dr. Hardy Boeckle, Botschaftsrat für Kultur der deutschen Botschaft, am Donnerstag in Beijing. Präsident Hu Jintao ist Schirmherr der Veranstaltung, die Missverständnisse ab- und Kenntnisse ausbauen soll. Zu den verschiedenen Programmen gehören unter anderem die Ausstellung “Public Art” des Nationalen Chinesischen Kunstmuseums (NAMOC), das Beijing Fringe Festival in Deutschland und das mobile Begegnungszentrum “China! China? China…”.

There was a “China Cultural Year” in Italy in 2011, and at a forum intended to be a warm-up to that occasion,

More than 20 Chinese and foreign government officials, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs, including some ethnic Tibetans, gathered to explore opportunities for cooperation in Tibet’s economic, social and cultural sectors,

in October 2009, according to China Daily.

Meantime in America (2009): NPC Tibetan Delegates provide an American Public with vivid examples and accurate data (click picture for context)

Also in 2009, but in America: NPC Tibetan Delegates provide the Public with vivid examples and accurate data (click picture for context)



*) the China-China-China title appears to be an ironical reference to a statement once made by then German chancellor Kurt-Georg Kiesinger, as quoted by Der Spiegel in 1969, warning of red dangers: “I only say China, China, China” (Ich sage nur China, China, China). In the context of the chancellor’s 1969 election campaign, this was one of the comparatively vague slogans. To his leftist German critics, he would refer as “cave people” and “howling dervishes”, according to Der Spiegel. Some of those young to take offense in 1969 may be just at the right age now to organize the German side of the “Cultural Year”, before retiring.

(I’ve chosen some Kiesinger vocabulary to monger the Cultural-year information on my esteemed readers’ feedreaders more effectively, given my unswerving commitment to dialog and friendship among nations.)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Deutsche Welle on Yu Jie: a Sudden Flight

The following are excerpts from a Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) online article in German, published on Thursday, about Yu Jie’s and his family’s arrival in America.

[…] One event in particular, during spring last year, had led to Yu’s decision to leave China, says Martin-Liao*): back then, Yu Jie had been abducted by the Chinese security agencies. The officials had pulled a bag over his head, and abducted him to an unknown place. There, Yu had been brutally beaten. The thugs had undressed and photographed him, says Tianchi Martin Liao. They had threatened that if he continued to write articles, he would vanish from this earth. […]

The critical author has long been anathema to the Chinese authorities. He regularly writes articles critical of the government, for internet blogs, and Hong Kong media. The 38-year-old is a close friend of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, and one of the signatories of “Charter 08”, a manifesto for freedom of opinion and democracy in China.

Yu is also active in a Christian underground church. This even led to an encounter with former U.S. president George W. Bush. But above all, Yu became known for his book “China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao”. He criticized China’s prime minister forthrightly, thus breaking a taboo in China. The book, published in Hong Kong, is banned in the People’s Republic.

Deutsche Welle’s Chinese department produced Yu’s best-known work as an audio book and offers a free download. In an interview with about his criticism of Wen, Yu Jie said in summer 2010 that “I as a critic, as well as Wen Jiabao, or the Chinese government who are criticized are in a learning process. For me, this means that I have to learn to advance my criticism still more rationally and objectively, and for the government, it means learning how to handle criticism.”




*) Liao Qianqi or Liao Tian Chi (廖天琪), chairwoman of the Chinese Independent Pen Center


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