Archive for July 24th, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cheng Tianquan: Citizen Participation in Foreign Affairs

The following is the second half of an article by Cheng Tianquan (程天权), professor and party secretary at Renmin University (or People’s University). The article was first published by Jiefang Daily, and then by the CCP’s website, on Tuesday.

Cheng was born in Shanghai, on March 28, 1946, according to People’s University’s website, and is a specialist in Chinese legal history. From 1986 to 1991, he was the director of Fudan University’s propaganda department. He became professor in 1995, apparently while at Fudan University, and has been Renmin University’s party secretary and administrative affairs’ (or university council) director since February 2001.


It needs to be pointed out that the building and handling of international relations isn’t only a matter for the national government, but also for the citizens. In this interlinked world, where everyone may widely disseminate news, it becomes important to talk about how citizens can be helped and be guided in their participation in international affairs, and how harmonious “people-to-people” relations can be developed in this global village. Although the government clearly guides public opinion, the so-called “will of the people” has at times kidnapped1) the government’s diplomatic policy-making. It would be promising if influential researchers and think tanks in the field of international issues would make it their task to guide citizens to look at international affairs rationally.


The appropriate road for international strategic research should also be on various levels. First of all, fundamental research, on the historical as well as the philosophical range, should be deepened.This is important work there are specialists who apparently have nothing to do with international relations, but who in fact have a lot to do with it. After all, language, expression and ideological habits may all constitute obstacles in the field of knowledge and assessment in a broader sense. Just as with obvious cultural differences between the West and China, there are also dissimilarities within the oriental cultural system, on various levels.


Secondly, the applicability of international-relations theory research, mainly generally used international-relations theory research, at the same time includes the expansion and innovation of these theories.

As a third point, concerning real-time countermeasures, there needs to be exchange between thinktanks and final appraisals. This can build rich resources and case-study material with a lot of reference value for the handling of international affairs. And finally, thinktanks should be encouraged to participate in people-to-people diplomacy2). International experience tells us that an important way to create smooth conditions for a country in the international community is to use people-to-people diplomacy to actively communicate [within the international community], by individual behavior, trade activities, cultural interaction, thinktank exhanges and other diversified means, to enrich the understanding of ones own country among a foreign public, among foreign organizations and foreign media. In this regard, the role of thinktanks is irreplaceable.




1) Cheng’s “kidnapping” remark won’t refer exclusively to the Chinese government’s “management” of public opinion after the arrest of Chinese fishermen by a Russian FSB patrol boat earlier this month. However, the issue of public anger concerning foreign affairs probably led to the  explicit mention of “policy kidnapping” by the public in Cheng’s article.
2) 民间外交 (minjian waijiao) usually stands for what may be translated as people-to-people diplomacy, while 公共外交 would amount to public diplomacy. Please see footnote 1 under that post.



» Jiang Zemin: Importance of Philosophy, Xinhua, April 28, 2002


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ROC Flag removed from Regent Street

Originally among the world’s national flags hanging above Regent Street, the Republic of China’s flag (i. e. Taiwan’s flag) has been removed, the BBC’s Mandarin website reports. The BBC’s Chinese department contacted the Regent Street Association to ask for the reason, but were asked to contact the London Olympic organizers instead.

The BBC Mandarin website was then told by a press officer at the  London organizing committee that this issue was outside the London Olympics’ jurisdiction.

Taiwan takes part in a number of international events, including the Olympic Games, under the name of “Chinese Taipei” (中华台北 or chunghua taipei), a carefully crafted label to appease Beijing.

The London Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on Friday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Year after the Wenzhou Train Crash: an Editorial by People’s Daily

The accident is something we want to forget. If a local government were to plan a ceremony, that would bring shame on the Ministry of Railways. You surely understand that, don’t you?

A senior Wenzhou official talking to Asahi Shimbun, according to the Telegraph.

Meantime, Google search results suggest that visiting the Hong Kong Journalists Association‘s (HKJA) website may harm your computer.

According to the Telegraph, the first anniversary of the crash has been completely blackened out.

But that’s not to say that technology can’t be discussed.

A People’s Daily Review of Chinese Development since the 16th 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China – a Decade of Innovation and Chinese Wisdom (十六大以来中国发展历程述评 – 十年创新 中国智慧), lists achievements in science and technology, citing, among others, the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, opened on July 1, 2006;

Liu Xingzhou‘s Himalayan Olympic torch project on May 8, 2008;

and the Jiaolong submarine’s 7,000-meter-dive, among other achievements.

The Communist Party, i. e. People’s Daily – in an editorial republished on more innocent websites like Enorth (Tianjin), too, sighs with emotion:

A decade of innovation and Chinese wisdom  […] – an appraisal of Chinese reform and development since the 16th National Party Congress

Good news reverberates in the ears: Shenzhou-9 docking to Tiangong, creating Chinese precision, in the first manned space flight with a successful meeting in space.


During the past ten years, numerous scientists bravely scaled heights, devoted themselves to fundamental research […] Chinese wisdom made great contributions to development and improvement, to improve the people’s livelihood, and won dignity for the Chinese nation.


My skin is fairly thick, but for this one, I have to agree with a recent comment: to translate certain things would amount to masochism – and it’s a pretty long editorial.

I guess you’ll get the picture from the above, anyway.



» Wide-spread Sense of Depression, July 31, 2012
» Only two Words, July 28, 2012


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