Archive for September, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Chinese Right since Ancient Times

It’s frequently been argued that the Senkaku Islands shitstorm – or the Chinese side of it – is a distraction from CCP power transition hiccups. I have my reservations about that, but I do believe that the current “patriotic enthusiasm” in which Chinese people have rights,  are a distraction from much bigger issues – issues about “small people”. Big, because there are many “small people”.

The really big issue is that inside China – not out there in the seven seas where the barbarian man-eaters are ambuscading you – basically anyone has the “right” to break a “smaller” compatriot’s neck. (Of course, the perpetrator needs to be Chinese to exercise that right which has been Chinese since ancient times.)

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Related

» The World’s most Useless Husband, Nov 11, 2011

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

People’s Daily Online on Economic Sanctions against Japan: “Don’t Hurt the Friends, don’t Please the Enemy”

The following is a translation of an article published by People’s Daily Online (人民网) on September 18, 2012.

Links within blockquotes were added during translation.

The article focuses on two levels of sanctions: government-level (with a very cautious attitude) and “non-governmental boycotts” (with an “understanding” attitude).  In terms of business, the article addresses losses that China would incur in terms of technological progress if it took comprehensive “countermeasures” against Japan. Further down, the article suggests that rare-earth sanctions against Japan had basically backfired, in or since 2010.

Rather than expressing an editorial stance of its own, the article quotes a number of academics. The subtitles within the following translation are not part of the original article.

Main Link: 打经济战 中国承受力定比日本强? – People’s Daily Online, September 18, 2012

Economic Sanctions: Not while Japan maintains its Technological Edge

[…] Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei said recently that the so-called “islands purchase” by Japan (Diaoyu Islands) made it hard to avoid negative impacts on Sino-Japanese trade relations.

因日本对中国固有领土钓鱼岛进行所谓“国有化”,中日关系再度降温,由此引发的寒潮在经贸领域已经有首当其冲的显现。商务部副部长姜增伟日前表示,日方的所谓“购岛”(钓鱼岛)行为,难以避免地会对中日经贸关系产生负面影响。

In Chinese public opinion, voices sympathetic to terrorizing Japan by economic sanctions have emerged, which say with certainty that Japan’s economy was more dependent on China than vice versa. Even if economic and trade confrontation had the killing power of weapons on both sides, China’s ability to bear that was far stronger than Japan’s. However, to “play the economic card needed to be done  cautiously, and the two countries’ abilities to bear this be judged by seeking the truth in the facts, and this issue be dealt with rationally and objectively”. Recently, a scholar with a good knowledge of Sino-Japanese economic and trade issues talked with this People’s Daily Online reporter.

中国舆论中已出现用经济制裁威慑日本的声音,并言之凿凿:日本经济对中国经济的依存度高于中国对日本。虽然中日经贸对峙对双方都有杀伤力,但中国承受能力远高于日本。然而,“打经济牌必须慎重,要实事求是地评估两国的承受力,理性客观地对待这个问题。”近日,谙熟中日经贸事务的学者如是告诉人民网记者。

Japan’s economy entered a long-term depression in the 1980s, with exports as the main driving force in economic development. Although European and American markets were the main factors in influencing Japan’s economy, China’s influence was no insignificant factor either.

自上世纪80年代中期始,日本经济陷入长期萧条,出口是其经济发展的最主要动力。虽然欧美市场是影响日本经济的最主要因素,但是对日本经济而言,中国因素早已不可忽视。

China is currently Japan’s biggest trading partner and its biggest export market. According to Japan’s Ministry of Finance statistics, Japan’s trade with and its exports to China stand at 19.7 percent and 20.6 percent respectively, in its total amount of foreign trade. After the European Union, America, and ASEAN, Japan is China’s fourth-largest trading partner.

中国是目前日本最大的贸易伙伴和最大出口对象国。据日本财务省统计,2011年日本对华贸易和对华出口将分别占日本外贸总额和出口总额的19.7%和20.6%。而日本在欧盟、美国、东盟之后,是中国的第四大贸易伙伴。

Analysts have pointed out that Japan’s economy is more dependent on China than vice versa. Even if economic and trade confrontation had the killing power of weapons on both sides, China’s ability to bear that was far stronger than Japan’s. Once China started economic and trade sanctions against Japan, this could lead to a Japanese economic crisis.

有分析人士指出,日本经济对中国经济的依存度高于中国对日本。虽然中日经贸对峙对双方都有杀伤力,但中国承受能力远高于日本。一旦中方启动经济制裁,可能引发日本经济危机。

Feng Zhaokui, a researcher with the National Japanese Economic Research Institute, told this People’s Daily Online reporter that taking economic countermeasures against Japan’s economy could have a greater than on China in theory. “However, the so-called ability to bear” is no mere matter of numbers.

而全国日本经济学会研究员冯昭奎则告诉人民网记者,对日本采取经济上的反制措施,理论上日本受到的影响大于中国。“但是所谓的‘承受能力’却不是光用数字就能够衡量的。

Feng Zhaokui says that since 2002, in Sino-Japanese trade, China has always recorded a trade deficit, mainly because much of the trade was in the field of production. The levels of bilateral import and export differed, and the weight of technological content differed. In the industry chain, Japan stood at the high end, and China mainly imported key core technological components from Japan, with high technological content, much added value, and if these imports were affected, the industrial chain would see disrupture, which would damage China’s production. Even as Sino-Japanese trade was gradually transforming from a vertical division of labor to a horizontal pattern, Japan generally was the side with goods of high technological content, high added value and maintained an edge there.

冯昭奎说,自2002年以来,在中日贸易中,中方一直处于逆差状态,主要原因在于中日之间在生产领域内的贸易所占比重较大。中日双方的进出口产品层次不同,技术含量不同。日本处于产业链的高端,中国从日本主要进口关键的核心零部件,技术含量高、附加值高,如果进口受影响,产业链将面临断裂,对中国将产生损害。尽管中日之间的贸易结构正在逐步从垂直分工向水平分工方向转化,但总体来看,日本在技术含量高、附加值高的产品方面仍占优势。

According to surveys, Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in China in 2011 was at 6.35 billion US dollars, an increase of 49.7 percent compared with the previous year. This was abut 40 percentage points more than the increase in what China attracted in overall FDI (9.72 percent). Japanese investment in China supported Japan’s economic recovery and growth; it also contributed to China’s economic development. Hasty economic sanctions against Japan could lead to Japanese companies withdrawal from China.

调查显示,2011年日本对华直接投资实际到位资金63.48亿美元,同比增速高达49.7%,而中国实际吸引外资增幅为9.72%,与此相比整整高出近40个百分点。日本对华投资有力地支持了日本经济的复苏和增长,也对中国经济的发展做出了贡献。如果轻率地对日本使用经济制裁,可能会导致在华日企撤离中国。

“China’s economic growth this year is voluntarily restricted to eight percent, which is to say that we are approaching the lower limit”, says Feng, as China adds twenty million new workforce annually. Our country has entered a period of accelerated promotion of economic transformation, it faces growing pressures from the global economy which complicate the external environment, with growing uncertain factors such as if the economy can maintain needed growth, and the job market may suffer blows. “Therefore, the economic card must be played cautiously, and the two countries’ ability to bear this be judged by seeking the truth in the facts, and this issue be dealt with rationally and objectively”.

“今年中国的经济增长率将自行控制在8%,对我们来说,是接近下线的。”冯昭奎说,而中国每年新增劳动力一两千万。我国已经进入加快推进经济转型的关键时期,面临着世界经济下行压力增大的复杂外部环境,不确定因素增强,如果经济不能保持适当的增速,就业市场就会受到冲击。“所以,打经济牌必须慎重,要实事求是地评估两国的承受力,理性客观地对待这个问题。”

The Rare-Earths Card

Among the economic-sanction measures discussed recently, limiting exports of rare earths to Japan has been most frequent. Many people say that when it comes to rare-earths resources, Japan will continue to depend heavily on China in the near future, and therefore, China should play the “rare-earth card”.

在近日经济制裁日本的诸多措施中,限制对日稀土出口是讨论得最多的。不少人士表示,日本在稀土资源近期仍将倚重中国,因此中国可打出“稀土牌”。

According to the Nihon Kezai Shimbun, Japan’s imports of rare earths frm China have fallen by 3007 tons during the first six months of 2012, i. e. 49.3 percent of Japan’s total imports. These imports were reduced by fifty percent within half a year. Before 2009, 90 percent of Japan’s rare-earths imports came from China.

而据《日本经济新闻》报道,2012年1到6月份,日本从中国进口的稀土资源下降到3007吨,仅占全部输入总量的49.3%,半年内减少了50%。而在2009年之前,日本的稀土资源9成以上都需依靠中国进口。

China got a lesson, in terms of economic sanctions”, Feng believes. In 2010, Japan had illegally detained the captain of a Chinese trawler. Although China hadn’t openly acknowledged the use of economic sanctions, practically, China temporarily halted rare-earths exports and created temporary difficulties for Japan at the time. “But in fact, Japan mainly cried out, and had already got prepared. Their inventories were ample.

“在经济制裁方面,中国是有教训的。”冯昭奎认为,2010年,日本非法扣押中国渔船船长。中国虽然没有公开承认使用了经济制裁,但事实上中国暂停了对日稀土出口,当时给日本造成一时困难。“但其实困难主要是日本叫唤出来的,他们早就有备无患,存货很多。”

China holds only one-third of the global rare-earth reserves, but currently supplies some 90 percent of the worldwide quantity. “There are countries rich in rare earths, too, and their technological ability to produce them has increased” Feng Zhaokui says. After China had restricted imports of rare earths in 2010, Japan resumed research of resources policies, and especially decided that it couldn’t depend on only one country for rare minerals and rare metals. These days, Australia, Malaysia and other countries rare-earth projects are developing very smoothly.

中国的稀土储量只占世界的三分之一,却承担了目前国际市场上90%的供应量。“国外也有稀土资源丰富的国家,而且有技术,这两年里他们把稀土生产搞上来了。”冯昭奎说,2010年中国限制稀土出口后,日本就重新研究了资源政策,尤其决定稀土及稀有金属不能只依赖一个国家。如今澳大利亚、马来西亚等地的稀土项目,进展得都很顺利。

“As far as our talk about having a monopoly position on rare earths, other countries have caught up, and we haven’t increased our technological content, and we haven’t upgraded the industrial change. Our competitiveness in the field of rare earths has been greatly affected.”

“而我们总说在稀土产量上有垄断地位,但是现在其他国家赶上来了,我们却没有提高技术含量,升级产业链,在稀土产业竞争力方面大受影响。”

Feng believes that rare earths won’t restrain Japan anymore, and that they are no longer a card that could be played. If one wanted to impose economic sanctions, one had to take the rare-earths lessons into account.

冯昭奎认为,稀土已经制约不了日本,不再是一张牌。如果要采取经济制裁措施,一定要吸取稀土教训。

In the wake of the heightened temperatures from the Diaoyu Islands’ issue, another popular surge in “boycotting Japanese goods” and even a low in travels to Japan are inevitable. Information from all travel agencies say that since September, the number of group travels to Japan had gone down drastically, and some travel agencies have stopped Japan travel services altogether. Numbers released by the Chinese automotive industry on September 10 show that compared with last year’s same period, August sales of Japanese cars had dropped by two percent. From August, Japanese goods such as household appliances had also gone down in China.

在钓鱼岛事件升温之际,“抵制日货”的浪潮不可避免地在民众中再次掀起,连带着赴日旅游也遭遇低谷。来自各大旅行社的消息称,进入9月份以来,赴日旅游成团数量急剧减少,有的旅行社则干脆停止赴日旅游业务。中国汽车工业协会9月10日公布数据显示,与上年同期比较,8月日系车销量下降2%。而8月份以来,日系品牌家电在中国销售额也整体大跌。

Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei said on a press conference that given Japanese violations of Chinese territory, Chinese consumers had a right to express their position in reasonable manners, and that we should express understanding for that.

商务部副部长姜增伟近日在记者会上表示,针对日方侵犯中国领土主权的行为,中国消费者以理性的方式表达其立场和他们的一些想法,是他们的权利,我们对此应该表示理解。

“Reach for the wine when friends arrive, and reach for the gun when enemies arrive”, China Academy of Social Science Japan Institute director Gao Hong told People’s Daily Online reporter in an interview. The Chinese people have shown patriotic enthusiasm, and spontaneous boycotts of Japanese goods was a right which gave no cause for criticism. “However, we need to distinguish between the non-governmental and the governmental level when it comes to the economic card. At the government level, more economic policies need to be adjusted to each other.”

“朋友来了有好酒,敌人来了有猎枪,”中国社科院日本所副所长高洪在接受人民网记者采访时也如是说,中国人民出于爱国热情,自发地抵制日本产品,是自己的权利,无可厚非。“但是经济牌要有区分,政府层面和民间层面的牌是不一样的,政府层面更多的是进行经济政策的调整。”

Liu Gang, professor at the Okinawa University, pointed out in a number of media that to sanction a country, other countries’ support was frequently required. To mobilize international sanctions against Japan, these needed to be adopted by the United Nations. That’s how so-called sanctions would be legitimate. If one country high-handedly reached for the big stick of economic sanctions, this didn’t only deviate from WTO principles, but also give rise to gossip and a series of other side effects.

日本冲绳大学教授刘刚在此前的媒体评论中分析指出,制裁一个国家,通常应该有其他国家的支持。如若真要动用国际力量制裁日本,有必要提请联合国通过。这样,所谓的制裁行动才具有正当性。如果一国妄自舞起经济制裁大棒,不仅容易偏离WTO原则,更易授人口实,引起一连串的副作用。

“As for economic sanctions, I believe that generally-speaking, it isn’t China’s position that they should be a tool in handling international relations”, Qu Xing, director of the China Institute of International Studies, clearly points out.

“对于经济制裁,我觉得中国一般地讲,不主张把制裁作为处理国际关系的一个手段。”中国国际问题研究所所长曲星明确地指出。

Gao Hong also told the People’s Daily Online reporter that as far as countermeasures were concerned, these were meant to subdue the other side. Countermeasures needed to correspond with the other side’s provocation. If Japan didn’t continuously act provocatively on the economic level, countermeasures on a governmental level could usually not be carried out. After Japan’s so-called “nationalization” [of three of the Senkaku islands – JR], China had announced its points about the Diaoyu territorial seas, institutionalized the dispatch of naval patrol boats, and submitted material and cartography to the United Nations, etc.. These “combined punches” had already hit Japan where it was vulnerable.

高洪也告诉人民网记者,就反制来讲,反制是针对对方进攻所采取的反击制服的斗争手段。反制和挑衅的层次和力度相当。如果日本在经济上没有进一步的挑衅行为,政府层面的经济反制一般不会进行。在日本对钓鱼岛进行所谓“国有化”后,中方随即公布钓鱼岛领海基线基点,派海监船对钓鱼岛实施常态化监测,以及向联合国提交钓鱼岛坐标表和海图等,这一套“组合拳”已经击中日本的要害。

Liu Gang believes that Japan’s established policy of swallowing the Diaoyu Islands is an international problem, and China didn’t need to oblique references to that. The best approach would be tit-for-tat, to confine oneself to the facts, to make representations when needed, and to let strength and actions speak – to learn from Russia meant to use strength as a backup, with less talk and more action.

刘刚认为,吞下钓鱼岛已经是日本的既定方针和国是问题,对此问题,中国没必要再旁敲侧击,又何必冀望于“歪打”迂回,反而最好针锋相对,就事论事,该怎么交涉就怎么交涉,让实力和行动说话。学习俄罗斯,以实力做后盾,少说多做。

The Diaoyu issue is inherited from history, as many experts say. The struggle for the Diaoyu Islands is a long-term one and can’t be done overnight. This is only the first round of the struggle, and the struggle needed long-term preparation. China’s departments in charge also state clearly that they reserve the right to all kinds of action. Since a long-term struggle was needed, strategies needed to be made, orders [of approaches], and sequences of goals. Nothing should be done on the spur of sentiments, and not in a way that would “hurt friends and please the enemies”.

正如近期不少专家学者所说,钓鱼岛问题是历史遗留问题。关于钓鱼岛的斗争是长期的,不能一蹴而就。现在只是斗争的第一回合,要做斗争的长期准备。中国相关部门也明确表示,保留一切行动的权利。既然要做长期斗争,就要讲策略、讲次序、讲阶段性目的,不能意气用事,做令“亲者痛、仇者快”之事。

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Related

» Making Patriotism Useful, Sep 17, 2012
» The Nine-Dotted Line, Foarp, Sep 30, 2011
» Collision with Sth Korean Coast Guard, Dec 18, 2010
» A Nefarious Turn, Sep 25, 2010

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Senkakus: Some Plans are too Complex to keep the Peace

One Conflict, two Sustainable Solutions

When it comes to the Senkakus (or Diaoyu Islands, in Chinese), I’m sure there are lawyers who can make a convincing case for China’s, or for Japan’s position. The immediate problem seems to be that neither side – neither Beijing, nor Tokyo – will be prepared to have an international court – the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) would be a likely address – decide their dispute. The Economist suggested a natural solution, i. e.:

Our own suggestion is for governments to agree to turn the Senkakus and the seas round them—along with other rocks contested by Japan and South Korea—into pioneering marine protected areas. As well as preventing war between humans, it would help other species.

Hardcore ecologists may agree. If any territory that gets contested by anyone was ti be turned into ecological habitat, too, they might agree even more. But what we need in this context aren’t conservation areas. International relations need rules.

In that light, another suggestion, also by the Economist, but in another article, makes much more sense:

[..] for the majority of disputes, the courts can provide fair results. It may take decades to finish the job, but a long wait is better than the alternative. In the words of one international lawyer: going to court is always cheaper than going to war.

The Economist believes in progress. That doesn’t mean that they would never support war. They supported the war against Iraq in 2003, for example. But generally, their stance seems to be that global economic integration and growing prosperity would be the real way forward. By habitat or by law.

After all, war on Iraq looked manageable, in 2003. A war between China and Japan, one a nuclear military power, the other quite probably backed by a nuclear military power, looks very different, not to mention the impact on the global economy, even if war could be limited.

Click the blood to enter the Mukden Incident Museum

Click the blood to enter the Mukden Incident Museum

It is right to work for peace. But should we take the peace for granted?

Foarp appears to believe that, and cites two reasons:

  • it is the government that drives the demonstrations in China, which in themselves fit a long running pattern for such demonstrations
  • There is nothing to fight for. The islands themselves are of little or no value and are incapable of sustaining significant numbers of inhabitants.

In short, according to Foarp, the current

sudden outburst of government-directed anger against Japan is most likely an attempt at distraction from the CCP’s current problems surrounding this year’s transition of leadership in Beijing. Put simply, in observing Chinese political affairs you should never forget which hand holds the whip.

Totalitarianism can change Public Opinion, but not Anytime

Both Foarp and I, if I remember our past discussions correctly, think of China as a totalitarian state. But that doesn’t mean that the whip is irrevocably in the hands of the CCP. The CCP did create many of the factors that make nationalism a double-edged sword for Beijing. Nationalism can be the mastic that holds the party and the “masses” together. But nationalism is also one of the few areas of “public opinion” where government censorship on “patriotic” utterances looks truly awkward, and makes the CCP’s own “patriotism” look dingy. In short: a petroleum tanker notched up to full speed over decades – think of patriotic education as the heavy fuel that drives it – can’t easily be stopped within days, or even weeks, without get into odds with people whose anger you would better agree with, for the sake of your own credibility.

Japan is no one-party dictatorship. But there are political parties which use nationalism as a whip on more moderate competitors. Yoshihiko Noda‘s decision to buy three of the Senkaku islands was most probably driven by the desire to snatch that booty away from Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo’s nationalistic mayor, who had previously planned to buy those islands from its private owners. Depending on Japan’s future national elections, nationalists may still inherit those islands from the moderates.

Nationalism may come, in many ways, naturally. That is debatable in itself, but it’s my belief that love for ones own country, even hot-headed at times, for a limited period and under certain circumstances, can be natural. What is not so natural is the mixture of victimization and megalomania Chinese students have been fed with for many decades. It’s a rather philistine kind of megalomania, but it is too presumptuous to be considered normal. The Bangkok Post published an article by Robert Sutter on Tuesday, and it is more outspoken than what you will get to read in most cases. Above all, it describes a Chinese tendency to believe in a unity of foreign-policy principles and practice, while  from the viewpoint of the neighbours and foreign specialists, the principles kept changing and gaps between principles and practice often were very wide. And Chinese opinion sees whatever problems China faces with neighbours and other concerned powers including the US over sensitive issues of sovereignty and security as caused by them and certainly not by China.

Combine that with a belief that China is becoming invincible. Most Chinese citizens have never been in the army. Even less have seen genuine war. War seems to be a remote thing, even if it should occur. When Yugoslavia was on fire in the 1990s, I was in China, and I was told that Europe was enviable – it had Northern Ireland, the Basque country, and Yugoslavia. There was real action in our place. And those who talked that way were no idiots who ran around in camouflage suits after hours – they were quite normal people. It became a completely different story when the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was bombed a few weeks later.

Patriotism is – in itself – a good thing. That’s why all powers, but totalitarian ones in particular, want to manipulate it to their own ends. A totalitarian political system has the most comprehensive plans. The problem with that, as Walter Sobchak famously said:

If the plan gets too complex something always goes wrong.

Tokyo, and most Japanese people, probably don’t want war. Beijing, and most Chinese people, probably don’t want war, either. But Chinese anger on Japan is not just a welcome “distraction” for Beijing, as Foarp and many commenters suggest. It is fuel that Beijing wants to harness. That, see above, is a very complex plan.

Mark it zero.

This is a league game, Smokey. Mark it zero.

A disproportionate demand for respect – and that’s what nationalism is about -, is usually based on a long, complex story. Therefore, there’s no need for anything substantial to fight over. The demands are substance enough.

If you want a Fight, there’s Always something to Fight over

One can get too obsessed with history. It’s not the proverbial “mirror” to predict the future – but it does give us clues about human behavior – behavior that seems to make sense to contemporaries, even if it leads to war. Behavior that makes no sense to the later generations, or at hindsight, often not even in the countries who “won”.

On July 29 and 30, 1914, Russian Czar Nicholas II and German Emperor Wilhelm II exchanged several telegrams, in which they made demands on each other and at the same time assured each other that neither of them wanted a war. At the same time, Austria-Hungary was mobilizing its army. history.com has English translations of those telegrams. What history.com apparently missed: Serbia actually accepted Vienna’s ultimatum. The German emperor’s reaction:

That’s more than one could expect! A great moral success for Vienna, but with it all reason for war disappears. (Das ist mehr als man erwarten konnte! Ein großer moralischer Erfolg für Wien, aber damit fällt jeder Kriegsgrund weg.)

If all reason for war had disappeared, Vienna didn’t care, and invaded Serbia anyway. From that moment on, Czar Nicholas was under pressure from the Russian public – and Russia’s international position was at stake. Simply giving in would have been another blow, five years after the Bosnian crisis.

Neither war, nor a trade war between China and Japan, are inevitable. But status and influence in East Asia are a league game. Japan “retreated” in a diplomatic showdown about the arrest of a Chinese trawler crew in 2010.

Business concerns prevailed, the Economist noted, in September that year,

and so did China, in a sense. A bitter feud with Japan had been escalating since September 7th, when a Chinese fishing boat ran into a Japanese patrol in waters which both countries claim as sovereign territory. Today Japan released the boat’s Chinese skipper, who had been accused of bashing into the two Japanese vessels deliberately. With the release of the captain, Zhan Qixiong, the diplomatic world breathes a sigh of relief. But how to score this match? Japan comes off looking weak, as it succumbs to an avalanche of pressure.

That’s not going to work every time. Neither public pressure in China (which has long forgotten 2010 and feels “humiliated” all over again), nor public pressure in Japan should be underestimated.

Nothing to fight for?

People who feel that they are just bystanders may feel that real clashes would be irrational. People who feel that they are stakeholders may view things very differently.

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Updates/Related

» Out of Hand, Beijing Cream, Sep 17, 2012
» Caught in the Screw, Nov 18, 2010

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Chinese Press Review: Making Patriotism Useful

Topics: Panetta’s Japan visit, arguing for civilized patriotism

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR

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1) Xinhua/Enorth, September 17, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta: This is the Time to strengthen U.S.-Japanese Alliance

American defense secretary Leon Panetta who is currently visiting Japan held talks with Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Gemba and defense minister Satoshi Morimoto on September 17. He called for a strengthened U.S.-Japanese alliance, and hoped that Japan and China would solve their “Senkaku Islands” (this means the China Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands) dispute calmly and constructively.

正在日本访问的美国国防部长帕内塔17日先后与日本外相玄叶光一郎、防卫大臣森本敏举行会谈,呼吁强化美日同盟,并希望日中两国冷静且建设性解决“尖阁诸岛”(即中国钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿)争议。

In his talks with foreign minister Koichiro Gemba, Panetta said that for the security and for guaranteeing prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, this was the time for strengthening U.S.-Japanese relations. Koichiro Gemba said that the Japanese-American security system was an indispensable factor in protecting Japanese security and Asia-Pacific regional stability. From ow on, Japanese-American relations needed to be deepened, and Japan would handle Japanese-Chinese relations calmly, with the bigger picture in mind.

在与玄叶光一郎的会谈中,帕内塔说,为了亚太地区的安全保障和繁荣,现在正是应该强化美日关系的时期。玄叶表示,日美安保体制是维护日本安全和亚太地区稳定不可或缺的因素。今后要继续深化日美关系,日本将以大局观冷静处理日中关系。

In a joint press conference with [Japanese defense minister] Satoshi Morimoto, Panetta said that America and Japan needed to to understand [or re-recognize] their alliance’s function, responsibility and abilities again, and deepen their relations as allies in the fields of information security, space development [or exploitation], internet security, missile defense, and other areas of their alliance. Panetta also hinted at the possibility that the outline of American-Japanese security cooperation would be revised.

在与森本敏会谈后举行的联合记者会上,帕内塔说,美日有必要重新认识同盟的作用、责任、能力,在信息安全、宇宙开发、网络安全、导弹防卫等方面深化同盟关系,并暗示今后有可能对美日安保合作大纲进行修订。

Panetta also said that the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey aircraft deployment in Japan was important for Japan’s defense develoment, and America would make efforts to safeguard these fighter aircrafts’ safe performance. Satoshi Morimoto said that Japan and America would, through all kinds of common military exercises, strengthen their dynamic security capabilities.

帕内塔同时说,MV-22“鱼鹰”倾转旋翼机在日部署对于日本开展防卫至关重要,美方将努力确保该战机安全性能。森本则表示,日美今后将通过各种共同军事演习来强化动态防御能力。

Panetta pointed out that America held no position concerning the “Senkaku Islands” (this means the China Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands) sovereignty issue. America was worried about Japan’s and China’s antagonism concerning this issue and hoped that this matter would be solved calmly, peacefully and constructively, through diplomatic means. This would be in line with Japan’s and China’s national interests.

帕内塔指出,美国对“尖阁诸岛”(即中国钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿)主权归属问题不持立场。美国对日中在此问题上的对立感到担忧。期待当事国通过外交手段冷静、和平、建设性地解决争议,这也符合日中两国国家利益。

[There are either no comments, or even viewing existing comments may require a login.]

[Quotations from the interlocutors quoted above are direct translations from the Chinese article and no direct quotations from English-language quotations.]

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2) Xinhua/Enorth, September 17, 2012

Don’t Boycott Japanese Goods, Best them

In an opinion piece, Xinhua (via Enorth) makes a case for abiding the law, under the headline

Patriots should be Rational and Law-Abiding Citizens, our Love will make China more Peaceful, …

The picture shows the Mukden incident monument at the Mukden Incident Historic Museum (沈阳“九·一八”历史博物馆), a place described as a base for patriotic education*), to refresh historical memory, and for renewing membership oaths to the CCP (重温入党誓词). Click picture above for the museum’s website.

… readers are reminded that September 18 is the day of commemorating the Mukden Incident. That said, the issue of safeguarding sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands [Senkakus], citizens feelings should not turn into “boycotts of Japanese goods” (Xinhua cites an example of such action in Shenzhen), “cancelling Japan trips” or even smashing Japan-made police cars. The safeguarding of sovereignty could not be allowed to become “an excuse for harming the legitimate rights of other citizens”. (这样的热情很快就化为“抵制日货”、“取消赴日旅游”等等具体的行动,但不忍看到的情况还是出现了,深圳曝出有人发起抵制日货行动,市民的日系轿车被砸,3辆日系警车遭遇打砸。在保钓问题上,绝不能允许以维护国家利益为借口,抛弃法律,伤害其他公民的合法权益。) People who acted as patriots to commit acts of vandalism needed to be brought to justice.

Patriotism doesn’t worsen a country, but makes it better. Patriotism must defend the entire country’s interests, and common values. While the masses’ expression of patriotic feelings is enthusiastic, rationalism and respect for the law is what deserves praise, and only this will show the world a country’s strong inside power.

爱国不是让国家更糟糕,而是为了让国家更美好。爱国既需要捍卫共同的国家利益,也需要捍卫共同的价值。民众在表达爱国热情时,理性而守法,才值得称赞,也才能向外界展示一个国家强大的内在力量。

[…]

On August 19, boycott activities against Japanese goods were carried out in Shenzhen, and more than a few citizens’ Japanese cars were smashed. Three police cars were also smashed. After the incidents, Shenzhen police said that while the patriotic feelings were understandable, and reasonable ways of citizens to make their voices heard deserved support, intentionally inciting people to harm other peoples’ property was intolerable behavior. There was no way to act illegally in the name of “patriotism”, and citizens should maintain reasonable views.

8月19日,深圳有人发起抵制日货行动,不少市民的日系轿车被砸,有警员称3辆日系警车遭遇打砸。事发后,深圳警方称,警方理解市民的爱国热情,可以支持市民合理发出声音,但个别人在人群中故意煽动群众侵害他人的财产,警方不能容忍这样的行为,不能利用“爱国”名义进行不法行为,市民应该理性看待此事。

Although only individuals committed crimes, their behavior could put shame on patriotic action, the article suggests. Both Chinese and Japanese citizens in China were under the protection of the law.

The article takes issue with boycott initiatives, too:

The desire of contemporary young Chinese people to follow earlier generations’ example and to boycott Japanese goods obstructs their own learning process. Mastering modern technology and love for ones country are interlinked. Chinese companies may not want to obstruct their production abilities and the objective Chinese national interest. If the desire to “boycott Japanese goods” is replaced with [the goal to] “surpass Japanese goods”, this won’t only serve [the goal of] surpassing Japan in terms of GDP, but also to China’s comprehensive strength and influence in terms of production quality.

当代中国青年在向往并试图效仿先辈抵制日货时,不妨将自身学业、对现代技术的掌握,与对国家的热爱结合起来;而中国企业也不妨将自身的产能升级和中国国家利益的客观需求结合起来。如果实现从“抵制日货”到“替代日货”的跨越,其意义将不亚于中国GDP总量超过日本,也将对中日的整体力量格局产生实质性影响。

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Note

*) Bases for patriotic education are part of China’s educational system. The 17th Central Committee “Decision on Culture” document, published in October 2011, prescribed the [further] strengthening of

the construction of patriotic education bases, make good use of red tourism resources, and let these become important classrooms for cultivating a national sonscience and a conscience of our times.

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Related

» Anti-Japan Fever, Peking Duck, Sept 16, 2012
» Inevitable Humiliations, Sept 17, 2011

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beyond the Protocol: No Bygones, no Mercy

Bettina Wulff, the wife of former German president Christian Wulff, wrote a book which was published this month, with a title frequently translated into “Beyond the Protocol”. More literally, the wording seems to be “On the other side of the protocol” (Jenseits des Protokolls).  This is no review of Bettina Wulff’s book. I haven’t read it.

Wikipedia has an article in English about her.

I never “liked” Christian Wulff or his wife, or the way they designed the president’s time in office. I probably didn’t like it, because they seemed to be so eager to be an “authentic” first family. Their style was way too personal. I had hoped for a president who would explain politics, rather than one who’d try to set a personal example for harmony.

But the way a German mob is following the spectacle that surrounds her book looks scary to me.

That mob is quite probably a minority. But only 15 percent  of people surveyed by Emnid, an opinion pollster, “feel sorry” for her, and 67 percent don’t believe her statement that she didn’t actually want to be the first lady.  How can anyone judge that statement without knowing her personally?

Mrs Wulff is the mother of two children. I’m wondering how many of those who tried and keep trying to blacken her name are themselves parents – and I’m wondering what kind of parents they may be. I hope that either way, their children may grow to become good people all the same.

Wulff’s case isn’t the worst example of how public interaction works – not even close. It’s much worse when “small people” are pronged by tabloids or television stations, and presented to a slobbering public. But having read a few online “reviews” about her book, and a few dozens of comments about her underneath a German online paper’s article, a quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky comes to my mind: The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

When it comes to Germany, you may also look at how a former first lady is publicly abused. People who indulge in that kind of activity can’t have much self-respect. If they respected themselves, they could ignore the book, and the former first lady alike.

On the other side of the protocol, there has probably never been a more telling German presidency.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anti-Japan Demonstrations: the Eggs of Anger

In the name of virtue, every messiness must be considered sublime.

Eggs of Anger, two per protester.

Eggs of Anger (愤怒的鸡蛋), provided by a No-Worries Farm (安心农场). Click picture for a Sinostand report.

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Related

» Press Review, Sept 15, 2012

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Press Review: “I don’t want to comment, but I guess…”

Main Topics: Senkaku Islands, Xi Jinping

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

China’s automobile market had slowed, but that the past eight months’ numbers suggested that the overall trend was good, People’s Daily quotes Dong Yang (董扬), president and vice secretary of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (中国汽车工业协会).

与其他行业相比,中国汽车产销在经济增长放慢、消费意愿低迷的形势下,能够保持一定增长,并且逐月走高,着实不易。从前8个月的统计数据来看,中国车市总体发展趋势继续向好。

——中汽协常务副会长兼秘书长董扬认为。

For the next step in its chain of arguments, People’s Daily quotes Jin Baisong (金柏松), a researcher at the ministry of commerce’s Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (商务部国际贸易经济合作研究院, CAITEC):

Japan must understand that if it wants to welcome bright economic prospects, it must get along with its neighbors in a friendly way. Only if there is peace, it can drive its economic development. China may tell Japan that Chinese economic sanctions could make it [Japan] pay a huge price for its provocation concerning the Diaoyu Islands [Senkakus] issue.

日本必须认识到,想迎来经济上的光明前景,必须与周边国家友好相处,只有和平才能带动自身经济的发展。中国会告诉日本,中国的经济制裁足以令其明确将为在钓鱼岛问题上挑衅付出巨大代价。

——商务部国际贸易经济合作研究院研究员金柏松强调。

While the first two “voices” probably don’t follow each other coincidentally, the third is about another kind of “consumer choice” Changsha Municipal Price Bureau and Tobacco Monopoly Bureau demand controls that ensure reasonable retail prices for cigarettes, and Chen Pingfan (陈平凡), a lawyer and professor at Xiangtan University, analyzes:

As the consumer market becomes more diverse by the day, “astronomical prices” for cigarettes, wine, and similar products are actually part of consumer choices just as well. To ban cigarettes sales “at astronomical prices” spells a wrong approach on variable taxes run counter to the development rules of a market economy.

在消费日益多元化的市场经济时代,“天价”烟、酒等物品的选择其实也是消费者的一种正当选择的自由。禁售“天价烟”其实不仅搞错了端口环节,有悖于市场经济内在的发展规律,其合法性只怕也尚需接受一番拷问。

And Wang Renxiu (王仁秀), Zhejiang LQ Bamboo Fiber Company’s general manager, awakens to a new managerial truth:

In the past, I used to believe that as long as the products are getting out, everything is alright. Now I know that the company needs to successfully go out [go global, 走出去], that it first needs to train its own basic skills.

Wang is just back from a U.S. tour, and reportedly said that the first thing she needed to do now is to apply for trademarks for her company’s products.

以前以为只要产品出去就行,现在才知道企业要成功走出去,先得练好自己的基本功。

——王仁秀是浙江绿卿竹业科技有限公司的总经理,从美国考察回来后,她首先要做的就是为自己的产品申请商标,她说。

As for the first two “voices” quoted by People’s Daily, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) quoted a more explicit statement by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers’ Dong Yang, as long as five days ago:

While August had otherwise been positive for auto sales in China, some Japanese auto makers bucked the trend, the WSJ wrote on Monday.

At a press conference on Monday, Dong Yang, secretary general of the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, linked slowing sales of Japanese cars to the countries’ growing diplomatic tussle over islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

“I don’t want to comment much but I guess Japanese brands sales slowed in August mostly due to the Diaoyu issue,” Mr. Dong said.

Meantime, Xi Jinping (习近平) took a botanical tour of the China Agricultural University to celebrate Science Popularization Day on Saturday. The activity is to continue until September 21, and one of its main topics is “food and health”. Television reports all seem to show the same officially-published two pictures, but no motion pictures of Xi.

The BBC‘s Mandarin website quotes Xinhua as the original source of the latest Xi coverage. The BBC quotes Boxun with sources that didn’t want to be named as saying that Xi had cancelled public appearences during the first half of the month as he had been too busy with assuming party-leadership tasks from Hu Jintao, and with managing Beijing’s reactions to the Senkaku Islands issue.

It can hardly be denied that an incoming CCP chairman is very busy indeed, and this information will probably never turn out to be unfounded, but it should also be said that not every bit of news that Boxun publishes turns out to be correct.

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Related

» Physical and verbal insults, Ministry of Tofu, Sept 15, 2012
» 在华日本公民人身安全依法得到保护, Xinhua, Sept 14, 2012

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

From JR’s Intelligence Unit: Xi Jinping’s embarrassing Ailment revealed

Roger Cavazos of Sino-NK came pretty close to the truth, regarding the reason for Xi Jinping’s absence, but it was still speculation. One of his scenarios: a minor medical issue.

This is a best-case scenario.  Everything remains basically the same; Xi just doesn’t want to come out while he’s still looking Quasimodo-ish.

Well, Roger, that’s not too far off the mark, but it’s still speculation, and you even added three more scenarios, which are all wrong.

Xi Jinping: more than he could chew.

Xi Jinping: more than he could chew.

The JR Intelligence Unit (JIU), the world’s reference point which only reports once there is something to report, has learned from usually well-informed sources that Xi spent his Sunday afternoon (September 2) at his desk as usual, doing extra hours to serve the people, with a bag of pretzels next to him. He then fainted, and his face hit the desk.

Now, China is a highly face-aware country. To be “transparent” about the brusies isn’t advisable. What adds to the humiliation is that he brand he had on his table was Snyder’s of Hanover, i. e. America‘s pretzel. Don’t open that can of worms to the public.

“As usual, his wife had instructed the attendant on duty that afternoon to serve her husband mantou and dim sun”, one of the sources said.

And as usual, Xi Jinping (there are a few foreigners, with full bellies, who have nothing better to do than try to point fingers at our country”) had stuffed the mantous and dim sum into his desk’s top-left drawer and retrieved another bag of pretzels from one drawer further down.

“He’s kind of messy”, the usually well-informed source confided.

You don’t buy that? Next time you see Xi (on Huang Rong‘s funeral, for example), offer him an American pretzel and watch his obvious discomfort.

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Related

» Previous JIU revelations
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