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.)



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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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”.


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”.


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.


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.


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.


“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.”


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.


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.


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.


“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.”


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.


“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.


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.


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.


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”.




» 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


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. has English translations of those telegrams. What 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.



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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


[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.]


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.



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.


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.




*) 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.



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


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.



» Press Review, Sept 15, 2012


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).



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.



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.


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.



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.



» 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


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.



» Previous JIU revelations

%d bloggers like this: