Archive for October, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mitt Romney has no China Strategy

When it comes to China, it becomes obvious to me that Mitt Romney has a problem. Heard on the radio this morning, and found on a transcript of the debate.

Barack Obama:

And that’s the reason why I set up a trade task force to go after cheaters when it came to international trade. That’s the reason why we have brought more cases against China for violating trade rules than the other — the previous administration had done in two terms. And we’ve won just about every case that we’ve filed, that — that has been decided. In fact, just recently, steelworkers in Ohio and throughout the Midwest, Pennsylvania, are in a position now to sell steel to China because we won that case.

We had a tire case in which they were flooding us with cheap domestic tires — or — or — or cheap Chinese tires. And we put a stop to it and, as a consequence, saved jobs throughout America. I have to say that Governor Romney criticized me for being too tough in that tire case, said this wouldn’t be good for American workers and that it would be protectionist. But I tell you, those workers don’t feel that way. They feel as if they had finally an administration who was going to take this issue seriously.

Over the long term, in order for us to compete with China, we’ve also got to make sure, though, that we’re taking — taking care of business here at home. If we don’t have the best education system in the world, if we don’t continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to — to create great businesses here in the United States, that’s how we lose the competition. And unfortunately, Governor Romney’s budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those investments.

Mitt Romney:

Well, first of all, it’s not government that makes business successful. It’s not government investments that make businesses grow and hire people.

Let me also note that the greatest threat that the world faces, the greatest national security threat, is a nuclear Iran.

Let’s talk about China. China has an interest that’s very much like ours in one respect, and that is they want a stable world. They don’t want war. They don’t want to see protectionism. They don’t want to see the — the world break out into — into various forms of chaos, because they have to — they have to manufacture goods and put people to work. And they have about 20,000 — 20 million, rather, people coming out of the farms every year, coming into the cities, needing jobs. So they want the economy to work and the world to be free and open.

And so we can be a partner with China. We don’t have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form. We can work with them. We can collaborate with them if they’re willing to be responsible.

Now, they look at us and say, is it a good idea to be with America?

How strong are we going to be? How strong is our economy?

They look at the fact that we owe them a trillion dollars and owe other people 16 trillion (dollars) in total, including them. They — they look at our — our decision to — to cut back on our military capabilities — a trillion dollars. The secretary of defense called these trillion dollars of cuts to our military devastating. It’s not my term. It’s the president’s own secretary of defense called them devastating. They look at America’s commitments around the world and they see what’s happening and they say, well, OK, is America going to be strong? And the answer is yes. If I’m president, America will be very strong.

We’ll also make sure that we have trade relations with China that work for us. I’ve watched year in and year out as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs because China has not played by the same rules, in part by holding down artificially the value of their currency. It holds down the prices of their goods. It means our goods aren’t as competitive and we lose jobs. That’s got to end.

They’re making some progress; they need to make more. That’s why on day one I will label them a currency manipulator which allows us to apply tariffs where they’re taking jobs. They’re stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods. They have to understand, we want to trade with them, we want a world that’s stable, we like free enterprise, but you got to play by the rules.

Ezra Klein explained ahead of the debate why this is unlikely to impress Beijing, and why it shouldn’t impress the Chinese leadership. The New York Times adds some more points.

If Romney uses this one argument when it comes to U.S.-chinese trade relations (it’s been his leitmotif throughout his campaign), it only shows that he has no comprehensive strategy – other than doing business with China, and that would be that. What he refuses to see – ostensibly, anyway – is that as a president, he wouldn’t be in a position to talk to Xi Jinping the way Ronald Reagan talked to Zhao Ziyang. This is 2012, not 1988. There have been many crackdowns and many years of Chinese economic and political growth in between. And mind you, Reagan had come to office promising that he would seek to restore normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. We know where that promise ended.

Obama on the other hand hasn’t talked tough, but he has been tough in defending his country’s industrial base. Basically, the choice between Obama and Romney boils down to a choice between these concepts.



» Can China Handle America’s Return, The Diplomat, Dec 14, 2011


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Information Warfare in the Far and the Middle East (and in Europe)

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

1) To be Blown Away: Pyongyang continues Dialog with other Means

Xinhua/Enorth, Oct 20 —

According to a KCNA report on Friday, North Korea’s People’s Army’s Western Front headquarters issued a statement condemning South Korean organizations’ plans to distribute leaflets among North Koreans, saying that once such distribution was detected, military strikes would be conducted right away and without prior warning.


The notice said that YTN Television and other media reported that South Korea would insult North Korea’s supreme dignity and sacred system by disseminating leaflets from Imjingak Park in the city of Paju [in South Korea’s northwestern, Gyeonggi Province. They schemed to write slanderous content against the sacred and supremely dignified North Korea on those leaflets, and use more than ten big balloons to fly them into North Korea.


The notice said that this action was a move by South Korean authorities themselves, directed and carried forward by the [South Korean] military. This was an intolerable challenge against the North Korean army and people, a deliberate action to push North-South relations to the worst situation.


Paju is situated near the Korean peninsula’s demarcation line. The notice said that from now on, Imjingak Park and surrounding areas, as a forthright site for leaflet dissemination, would become a target to be destroyed by North Korean troops. As soon as any dissemination activities from Imjingak Park and surrounding areas were detected, the North Korean People’s Army Western Command headquarters would conduct military strikes right away, mercilessly, and without prior warning.


KCNA (Japan), Oct 19 —

Pyongyang, October 19 (KCNA) — The Western Front Command of the Korean People’s Army released the following notice Friday:

The Lee Myung Bak group of traitors, keen on escalating confrontation with fellow countrymen, is planning to scatter leaflets slandering the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK, being unaware of its fate on the verge of ruin.

According to YIN and other media of south Korea, leaflets slandering the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and insulting the noble social system in it will be scattered from Rimjin Pavilion in Phaju City, Kyonggi Province at 11:30 a.m. on October 22.

The south Korean group of traitors said that it would use the Association for Promotion of Democracy of North Korea, a collection of riff-raffs, in the operation with the aim to intensify psychological warfare against the DPRK. It is set to send more than 10 huge balloons carrying the leaflets to areas of the DPRK side.

What matters is that the plan was directly invented by the group of traitors and is being engineered by the south Korean military.

This is an unpardonable challenge to the army and people of the DPRK and a deliberate act aimed to push the north-south ties to the lowest ebb.

The Lee regime considers that aggravated north-south ties before the “presidential election” will be favorable for the conservative forces. Human scum under the patronage of the group has common mentality with the group. This resulted in the undisguised operation of scattering the leaflets.

It is the firm will of the army not to overlook any act of provoking the dignity of the supreme leadership of the country and its social system.

The Western Front Command of the KPA issues following notice upon authorization:

1. Rimjin Pavilion in Phaju City, location from where the puppet forces made public they would send leaflets and its surrounding area will become targets of direct firing of the KPA from now.

The location is the origin of provocation which can never be left as it is and a target of physical strike to be immediately blown away.

2. The moment a minor movement for the scattering is captured in Rimjin Pavilion and in its vicinity, merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning.

Scattering of leaflets amounts to an undisguised psychological warfare, breach of the Korean Armistice Agreement and an unpardonable war provocation.

3. South Korean inhabitants at Rimjin Pavilion and its surrounding area are requested to evacuate in anticipation of possible damage.

The KPA never makes an empty talk.

2) Blatant Violation of TV regulations in Middle East

Satellite dishes, Aleppo, Syria

Hello, Halab, can you hear us? (Archive)

Jon Williams on Twitter:

BBC World News being deliberately jammed from within Syria. Unclear who responsible, but blatant violation of international TV regulations.

VoA News, Oct 19 —

The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded international broadcasters, has joined European public media outlets in condemning the jamming of satellite signals across the Middle East and Europe.

BBG Director Richard Lobo said in a statement Friday that the jamming of U.S. satellite signals and those of other broadcasters is a “blatant violation of international regulations.” He added that the deliberate interference of news and information programs in countries with restrictive media denies millions of people access to information.


Deutsche Welle Chinese website, Oct 19, 2012


On Thursday morning (October 18, 2012), Deutsche Welle was first jammed. Deutsche Welle director Eric Bettermann protested against this interference with media freedom. Bettermann said that Deutsche Welle is preparing a resolution, together with other countries’ international broadcasters.


Experts suspect Iran to be the mastermind behind the scene. According to media reports, this country has jammed Western broadcasters and television stations several times in recent years, preventing people to listen to some programs.


Experts reckon that recent interference with Western broadcasters is related to European satellite Eutelsat ceased broadcasting 19 Iranian programs.  On Monday (October 15, 2012), the European satellite operator stopped Iranian Television network’s IRIB programs, making it impossible to listen to Iranian radio programs and watching Iranian television programs outside Iran, including international news channel 电视新闻.


The satellite operator says that the switch-off was a decision by the Council of the European Union in March. At the time, EU leaders included Iranian radio and television network IRIB in the EU sanctions list. In August 2009 and in December 2011, IRIB broadcasted the trials of people who had confessed after torture, which was in violation of international law.

欧洲通信卫星公司表示,停止转播伊朗电台电视台的节目是欧盟理事会今年3月做出的决定。当时,欧盟领导人将伊朗电台和电视台联盟IRIB的负责人列入了受欧盟制裁者名单。 IRIB曾在2009年8月和2011年12月播放刑讯逼供和公开审判的镜头,此举违反国际法。


Die Zeit, Oct 19, 2012

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Deutsche Welle suspects that Iran is behind the attack against their program. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the broadcaster, together with other foreign broadcasters, prepares a resolution. DW director Erik Bettermann protested against the disruptions.

Wie die FAZ berichtet, vermutet die DW den Iran hinter der Attacke gegen ihr Programm. Laut FAZ bereitet der Sender mit anderen Auslandssendern eine gemeinsame Resolution vor. DW-Intendant Erik Bettermann protestierte gegen die Störungen.

According to the report, Iran had repeatedly disrupted broadcasts from Deutsche Welle and the BBC. The latest infringement would thus be related with the cut-off of Iranian programs on the Hotbird satellite. Eutelsat and the British company Arqiva had switched them off in accordance with EU sanctions against Iran.

Dem Bericht zufolge hat der Iran in den vergangenen Jahren wiederholt die Ausstrahlung von DW und BBC gestört. Der jüngste Übergriff stehet demnach im Zusammenhang mit der Abschaltung der Übertragung von 19 iranischen Programmen über den Satelliten Hotbird. Eutelsat und das britische Unternehmen Arqiva waren mit der Abschaltung Sanktionen der EU gegen den Iran nachgekommen.

IRIB, Oct 20, 2012

[Iranian lawmaker Hojjatollah Souri*)] added that dozens of Western channels are working in Iran and many of them target the culture and beliefs of Iranians. He continued “But these countries cannot tolerate 19 Iranian international satellite channels and this shows that these 19 channels belonging to the Islamic Republic are more influential than … Western ones.”



*) According to UK for Iranians, a man named Hojjatollah Souri is in charge of Evin Prison. The lawmaker quoted above may or not be the same person.



» Keep Shortwave, for Now, July 24, 2011

Friday, October 19, 2012

CRI on Kabul University’s Chinese Faculty: Great Opportunities

The following is a translation of a China Radio International (CRI) article published online on October 12.

These students who are reading Chinese aloud, along with their teacher, are twenty Afghan students who are currently studying in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, at Taiyuan University of Technology’s international exchange institute. Why are so many Afghan students there in Taiyuan, you may ask. Taiyuan University of Technology international exchange institute deputy Dean of Faculty, Professor Zhao Enyuan, explains: “When Afghan president Karzai visited China in 2008, the two sides signed a cultural assistance agreement which included some important content about China helping Kabul University to establish a Confucius Institute, and to build, on that foundation, Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. The Confucius Institute assigned Taiyuan University to do this work. To this end, we started running school at Kabul University in 2008, and these students enrolled in March 2010, and came [to China] in September 2011. You can say that they are third-formers, now in their sixth semester.”

跟着老师朗读汉语的同学是来自阿富汗的20位留学生,他们现就读于中国山西省太原理工大学国际交流学院。您也许会问,这么多阿富汗留学 生为何集中在太原学习中文呢?太原理工大学国际交流学院副院长赵恩源教授介绍说:“2008年阿富汗卡尔扎伊总统访问中国的时候,双方签署了一个文化援助 协议,其中一项重要内容就是中国帮助喀布尔大学建设孔子学院,并在此基础上建设喀布尔大学汉语系。太原理工大学受孔子学院总部的指派承担了这项工作。为 此,我们08年就在阿富汗喀布尔大学开始办学了,这批学生是2010年3月份入学的,2011年9月份过来的,他们算是三年级了,正在进行第六学期的学 习。”

Currently, as the security situation in Afghanistan remains grim, equipment at the university is backward, funding is sparse, and one can imagine that under these circumstances, setting up the first Chinese faculty in Afghanistan’s history  here is difficult. But all along, the enthusiasm among young Afghans to learn Chinese is high. Young Afghan Hu Shan, explaining his reasons to learn Chinese, says: “I have been here in China for a year now. I really love learning Chinese. When I had passed the university entry exam, I chose learning Chinese. I first learned at Kabul University for a year and a half, and through my efforts, I now have the opportunity to study in China. Because our country and China have always maintained friendly relations, I also like Chinese culture, and I am interested in the lives of the Chinese people.”

目前,由于阿富汗国内安全局势依然严峻,大学教学设备落后、资金短缺,在这种情况下开设阿富汗历史上第一个汉语专业的难度可想而知。不 过阿富汗青年学习汉语的热情却始终很高。阿富汗青年胡山在谈到学习汉语的原因时说:“我来中国已经一年了。我很爱学习汉语。考大学以后选择了学汉语。我在 喀布尔大学先学了一年半,通过努力能有这个机会来中国。因为我们的国家和中国一直都保持友好关系,我也很喜欢中国文化,对中国人的生活我也很感兴趣。”

Deputy Dean of Faculty, Professor Zhao Enyuan, explains that when they started recruiting students in Afghanistan, young Afghans who wanted to enroll or asked for information came in an endless stream, their enthusiasm for learning Chinese was unusually high, and surprised the recruiting teachers. Good employment prospects probably also support the interest to learn Chinese. Zhao Enyuan says: “some of our students were asked to do translation work while having just started learning. There were two fourth-formers who did this kind of work. Locals had come straight to the Chinese faculty, and I recommended two students. In one day, they earned 200 US dollars, and they worked for 15 days. They had lessons in the morning, and after lessons, they just ran (off to their work). Locals, once they have business with China, are in need of their translation work. Working for tens of days, these two students earned 2,000 or 3,000 US dollars. One can say that provided that you learn Chinese well, such opportunities are ample there.

赵恩源副院长介绍说,当初在阿富汗招生的时候,前来报名和咨询的阿富汗青年络绎不绝,他们学习汉语的热情异常高涨,让从事招生工作的老 师都感到很吃惊。良好的就业前景应该也是让学汉语在阿富汗受追捧的重要原因。赵恩源说:“我们有的学生上学的时候就被请去做翻译工作。有两个四年级的学生 做过这样的工作。当地人直接找到汉语系,我就推荐了两个人去。一天就是200美元,干了15天。学生上午上课,一下课就跑了(去当翻译)。当地人跟中国公 司有一单生意,所以需要他们这样的翻译。工作了十几天,这两个学生就挣了2、3千美元啊。可以说只要是把汉语学好,这样的机会在当地是非常多的。”

It is understood that because of limited funding, only the minority of the many Afghans who are studying Chinese can really get to China to take further lessons there. But taking Afghanistan’s particular national situation into account and to give more students the opportunity to come to China, the Confucius Institute headquarter does its best to support Kabul University. Zhao Enyuan says: “From this class of 20 Afghan students, eighteen have applied for (Chinese government-provided) scholarships. On average, every Confucius institute only has a quota of two or three scholarships granted.

据了解,由于经费有限,在众多学习汉语的阿富汗青年中,真正能来华进修学习的留学生还只是少数。但考虑到阿富汗的特殊国情,为了让该校 汉语系学生获得更多来华深造的机会,孔子学院总部尽最大可能给予了喀布尔大学以支持。赵恩源说:“现在这班有20个阿富汗学生,其中18个申请到了(中国 政府提供的)奖学金。如果绝对平均的话,每个孔子学院平均只有2到3个奖学金名额。对阿富汗学生来华学习,孔子学院总部是很支持的,让他们尽可能来中国学 习。”

Afghan students are well aware that this opportunity doesn’t come easily, and are therefore hard-working learners. Their diligence deeply touches the teachers. Chang Lili, in charge of organizing the lessons, says: “All in all, I’m in touch with three classes of students. Compared to overseas students from other countries, they are learning diligently, they know how to learn. Many of them even continue studying in the classroom until midnight. They are really hard-working students.”

阿富汗留学生深知这样的机会来之不易,因此平日里学习特别刻苦,而他们的勤奋好学精神也深深打动了学校的老师。负责阿富汗留学生教学安排的常莉丽老 师说:“我一共接触了三批学生,都挺好的。比别的国家来的留学生都努力,很知道学习。他们很多学生来了以后有的甚至到晚上12点还在教室里学习,很刻 苦。”

For the students to learn at ease, the university has done its best to satisfy their various needs. To respect their faith, the university has opened a special prayer room, and to provide them with food they can eat without reservations, a halal canteen has been set up. Not only that: the university also organized [a] form master[s] to take care of their studies and lives. Class monitor Annu Wali says: “As a class monitor representing everyone, I would like to tell Afghans at home that we are fine, that we learn well, and that life is also very good. I hope that Afghan lives will also get better and better.”

为了让阿富汗留学生能够安心学习,校方还尽可能满足他们的各种需求。为尊重留学生的宗教信仰,学校专门开设了祷告室;为了让他们在异国 他乡吃得顺口还特别设立了清真餐厅。不仅如此,学校还安排了班主任照管他们的学习和生活。班长买买提?安努瓦里说:“我作为班长想代表大家对家里的阿富汗 人说,我们在这里很好,学习很好,生活也很好。希望以后阿富汗人的生活也越来越好。”

A comfortable learning environment puts these students who came from afar in a position to focus on learning Chinese, and under the high-level cultivation from their teachers and by their own diligence, most of them will find ideal jobs. Aomar is from the first semester who graduated at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty, and after that, because of his excellent study results, he became a Chinese teacher at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. He says: “I’m now a teacher at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. My first objective is to teach Afghans at Kabul University Chinese in their own language.”

舒适的学习环境让这些远道而来的留学生可以专注地学习汉语,在中方老师的辛勤培养和他们个人的勤奋努力下,从这里毕业的留学生大多找到 了理想的工作。奥马尔是喀布尔大学汉语系第一期的毕业生,毕业后,他以优异的成绩留校成为了阿富汗喀布尔大学中文系的一名汉语老师。他说:“我现在是喀布 尔大学中文系的一位汉语老师。首先我当老师的第一个目的是因为以前在阿富汗没有人教中文,我是要用我们的语言教阿富汗人学中文。”

Now, the freshmen at Kabul University Chinese faculty in 2012 have enrolled, full of expectations and hoping to learn Chinese well. This is also the wish of professor Zhao Enyuan for these new students. He says: “I hope that the students, no matter if currently in China or in their last semester in Kabul, or those I haven’t met yet, will learn Chinese diligently and skillfully. China is the only neighbor without a war between it and Afghanistan during the past 500 years. Afghans are also extremely friendly towards China. I hope that these students will learn Chinese well, understand Chinese culture, and become bridges and links for Sino-Afghan friendship. I also hope that through their improved dissemination of Chinese language and Chinese culture, more Afghans will understand this friendly, amicable and hard-working Chinese nation.”

目前,喀布尔大学汉语系2012级的新生已经入学,他们对未来充满期待,希望能把汉语学好,这也是赵恩源教授对这些新同学的期望。他 说:“我希望不管是正在中国学习的还是正在喀布尔大学读最后一个学期的,还有我没见过面的学生们,更加勤奋扎实地学习汉语。中国是阿富汗近500年来唯一 没有发生过战争的邻国,阿富汗人对中国也是十分友好的。我希望这些学生把汉语学好,熟悉中国文化,成为中阿友谊的桥梁和纽带。同时我也希望通过他们更好地 传播汉语语言和中国文化,让更多的阿富汗人了解中国这样一个友好、友善、勤劳的民族。”



» Remaking the Watchdog, WSJ, Oct 18, 2012
» The biggest investor, Xinhua, June 6, 2012
» Deutsche Welle director quotes Karzai, Deutsche Welle TV, June 2011
» A Taste of Chinese Life, China Daily, Dec 2, 2009
» Give us Afghanistan, Sep 22, 2009

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cambodia and “Diplomacy with Chinese Values”

The following are excerpts from a Xinhua article and a Huanqiu Shibao editorial on Sino-Cambodian relations after Norodom Sihanouk’s death. While the Xinhua article on a farewell ceremony in Beijing for King Sihanouk mainly expresses “atmosphere” through protocol, the Huanqiu editorial advocates Chinese soft-power efforts based on the experience of Sino-Cambodian relations — JR

Xinhua — On Wednesday, State Chairman Hu Jintao went to Beijing Hospital to attend a farewell ceremony for Cambodian King Sihanouk*) and had talks with [King Sihanouk’s widow] Norodom Monineath [Queen Monique], Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, prime minister Hun Sen, representing the Chinese government and people [in expressing] deep sadness and most sincere condolences.



Hu Jintao said that sadly, his majesty died from illness. Cambodia has lost an outstanding leader, we have lost a great friend, and are deeply saddened. I once again want to express deep sadness and most sincere condolences to the Cambodian  royal family, government and people, in the name of the Chinese government and people.


Hu Jintao said that although HM King Sihanouk was no longer with us, he will forever remain in the hearts of the people as a symbol of Sino-Cambodian friendship, his outstanding contributions for the development of friendly relations would go down in history, and motivate the people of the two countries to forge ahead to jointly write a new chapter in the traditional friendship between China and Cambodia.


Queen Norodom Monineath, King Norodom Sihamoni and prime minister Hun Sen profoundly thanked the Chinese government and people for the meticulous care they had given to King Sihanouk for a long time, and said that King Sihanouk had always worked to promote the cause of friendship between the two countries, seeing China as a second home. Cambodia would continue to carry on the King’s behest, continue to strengthen the traditional friendship, and to promote the good-neighborly cooperation and relations.



In the hall, a banner “deeply mourned Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk, and underneath, in two lines, wreaths from Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang and others were placed.


There were also wreaths from Li Peng, Wan Li, Qiao Shi, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Song Ping, Wei Jianxing, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Luo Gan and others, as well as from the Central Committee of the CCP, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the State Council, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Central Military Commission and other relevant departments.



Also present were State Councilors Ma Kai, Meng Jianzhu, Dai Bingguo, and others.


After the ceremony, King Sihanouk’s coffin was flown home to Cambodia. Dai Bingguo accompanied the coffin on the same plane with Queen Norodom Monineath, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and prime minister Hun Sen.


On Wednesday, flags in front of Xinhua Gate, the Great Hall of the People, on Tian An Men Square, and the foreign ministry were lowered to half-mast.  China’s embassy in Cambodia also expressed its mourning by lowering its flag to half-mast.


Huanqiu, as republished by

Cambodian King Sihanouk’s coffin leaves China today, to return to Cambodia. This time, Sihanouk, who was an occasional resident in China for some fourty years, won’t come back.



“He who is in trouble is met with true sentiments”, Sihanouk’s and China’s anti-imperialist values and protection of national independence resonated with each other, and Sihanouk remembered the warm, brilliant light from the collective Chinese people’s recognition and goodwill during that particular era. During Sihanouk’s life of ups and downs, rain and shine, China became his reliable second home, and a warm harbor […]


How China’s older generation of leaders established deep friendship with Sihanouk and opened the traditional friendship with Cambodia has become legendary in the relations between the two countries, and even in the global records of diplomacy. It embodies how, within the Chinese nation’s traditional culture, people are treated, and it reflects the charm and justice of China’s independent and peaceful diplomacy: principled, prepared, affectionate, and continuously friendly.


[…] We should practise diplomacy of values with Chinese characteristics, internationally establish an image of Chinese moral and justice, with heart-to-heart communication, with honesty in dealing with people, no matter the system, with respect for diversity. On this foundation, we should build and deepen friendships, a new form of relations between countries, and to promote democracy in international relations and even global peace, we should contribute a distinctive Chinese effort.


Sihanouk is a epochal vivid memory in Chinese diplomacy, but that he left must not become the end of an era.




*) The character 太皇 used in the Xinhua report could also indicate an emperor.



» Funeral Plans, BBC, Oct 17, 2012
» The Brilliance of Morality, Global Times, Oct 16, 2012
» Norodom Sihanouk, Wikipedia, accessed Oct 18, 2012


Sunday, October 14, 2012

In Other News: Cremations, Self-Immolations, and the Sacredness of Life

1) Xinhua/Enorth (Tianjin), October 13, 2012 —

An official from Beijing’s Development and Reform Commission said that within five years, Beijing would continuously improve the level of civil administration and of infrastructure for the people’s livelihood, with a number of comprehensive projects with major long-term development effects. The projects reportedly include community areas for the elderly, the third municipal ophanage [or children welfare institution], and relocation and rebuilding of Babaoshan cremation facilities. The cemetery itself would remain unaffected, and the project was only about the cremation facilities.

The cremation facilities were to be relocated to Mentougou District (门头沟区), while the former location would be turned into a scenic spot for cultural activities, such as for studies of revolutionary traditions.

The main objectives of the relocation are said to be urban-environment improvement, economical use of land and to address the need of moving municipal functions further to the outskirts.

Mentougou is one of Beijing’s two southwesternmost districts, north of Hebei Province’s Dongling Mountain scenic area. According to a Chinese tourism website, it is an area of revolutionary tourism (red tourism), rural tourism and mountain scenery.

2) Tianjin Daily/Enorth, October 13, 2012 —

The Tianjin Museum of Fine Arts (天津美术馆) opened a China Tibetan Thangka show on October 13. Municipal People’s Congress chairman Xiao Huaiyuan (肖怀远), other members of the People’s Congress, Municpal Organization Department director Yin Deming (尹德明), Municipal Propaganda director Cheng Qisheng (成其圣) and members of the public attended. The exhibition is scheduled to end on October 21.

Tianjin Daily (天津日报):

The exhibition showcases the nation’s and Tibetan Autonomous Region’s proud*) successes in the work of protecting, passing on, and promoting outstanding cultural heritage, raising the brand value of traditional pieces of art, and promoting cultural exchange between Tianjin and Tibetan culture, deepening the [Tianjin] citizens’ understanding of Tibetan culture, promoting national unity, which is all highly significant.

3) International news, October 13/14, 2012 —

According to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Free Tibet Groups, Tamdin Dorjee, reportedly the grandfather of the grandfather of the seventh Gungthang Rinpoche, has burned to death in northwest China after setting himself on fire near a monastery in China’s Gansu province. In other sources, Dorjee’s name is also spelled Tamding Dojee. The 52-year-old reportedly burned himself to death in Hezuo City (合作市), on Saturday afternoon. According to the BBC‘s Mandarin website, the report wasn’t independently confirmed by Saturday afternoon (GMT).

In one of this blog’s Bozhu interviews, British-Tibetan blogger Dechen Pemba noted that self-immolations had provoked strong reactions from non-Tibetans and Tibetans alike. She recommended two blog posts, one explaining why its author would not dare order Tibetans living in Ngaba or anywhere else in Tibet to stop burning themselves, or to stop protesting, or to stop fighting for what they want. Another blogger had asked people on the verge of burning themselves to death to stop killing themselves.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Dalai Lama opposes self-immolation as a violation on the sacredness of life.

If that is so, most of the Chinese public won’t know. Even when it came to the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, the “Dalai” showed no sympathy, but cold and detached gloating instead – according to “China Tibet Net” (中国西藏网), that is, and according to regional websites like Enorth (Tianjin) which republished the article.



*) Originally referred to being arrogant to others. Now it describes something one is proud of.



» The CCP sighs with Emotion, July 17, 2011

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deutsche Welle: Before we go Off Air Forever, tell us how you feel about Sino-Indian Relations

Deutsche Welle‘s (Voice of Germany) Chinese service will reportedly no longer be on the air. Shortwave broadcasts to China are to end soon, reports Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg‘s (RBB) shortwave editor. The winter broadcasting schedule which is going to take effect on October 28 does still include shortwave frequencies for the Chinese service, but these transmissions, relayed from the United Arab Emirates and from Singapore, could be cancelled on short notice.

Deutsche Welle Singapore frequency

Two sweethearts, and the summerwind:
Deutsche Welle Singapore summer frequency, 11965 kHz, …

Deutsche Welle frequency United Arab Emirates

… and Deutsche Welle United Arab Emirates summer frequency, 17770 kHz.

According to the German Journalists Association (Deutscher Journalisten Verband), Deutsche-Welle spokesman Johannes Hoffmann told EPD Media that shortwave had lost much significance in China, and that according to estimates, the number of users in China who accessed the station’s internet content surpassed the number of shortwave listeners.

A Taiwanese blog, Taipei DXer, wrote on Thursday that neither of the two summer frequencies currently used by Deutsche Welle, 11965 or 17770 kHz, had recently provided great reception. 17770 kHz was S=3 (moderate) at best, and sometimes as bad as SIO=131. Signal quality on the Singapore frequency of 11965 kHz had also  been poor recently, Taipei DXer wrote. The blog didn’t mention the reported closure in that post, and the Chinese-language web in general doesn’t seem to take note of the issue. Apparently, Deutsche Welle itself  hasn’t reacted to the RBB and journalist-association reports yet.

The German Culture Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) criticized the decision to cut all shortwave frequencies in a press release on October 1. Deutsche Welle, which supplied quality journalism and was highly appreciated globally, as an independent source of information, a cultural ambassador and a builder of bridges for intercultural dialog needed appropriate and continuous funding (Der Deutsche Kulturrat setzt sich seit Jahren für eine angemessene und kontinuierliche Finanzierung der Deutschen Welle ein. Die Deutsche Welle liefert Qualitätsjournalismus und ist weltweit als unabhängige Informationsquelle, Kulturbotschafter und Brückenbauer für den interkulturellen Dialog hochgeschätzt).

“Broadcasting freedom (Sendefreiheit) needs shortwave”, says the Cultural Council’s headline, which may or may not refer to the freedom of the airwaves or freedom of radio (Rundfunkfreiheit).

Christian Höppner, who doubles as a member of the Deutsche Welle broadcasting commission (Rundfunkrat) and the Cultural Commission’s vice president, said that

Switching off shortwave is a wrong signal. Other countries have recognized the significance of their foreign broadcasters long ago and are investing much more into their media ambassadors. The German Bundestag [federal parliament] and the federal government need to secure the performance of Deutsche Welle’s public mission for the future, too, by significantly increasing the financial resources, as after the reform process, cost reduction potentials have mostly been exhausted.
(Die Abschaltung der Kurzwelle zur Verbreitung des Programms der Deutsche Welle für den chinesischen Senderaum setzt ein falsches Signal. Andere Länder haben die Bedeutung ihrer Auslandssender längst erkannt und investieren in erheblich höherem Maße in ihre medialen Botschafter. Der Deutsche Bundestag und die Bundesregierung sind gefordert, die Erfüllung des öffentlichen Auftrages der Deutsche Welle durch eine signifikante Erhöhung der finanziellen Mittel auch für die Zukunft sicherzustellen, da nach dem Reformprozess die Einsparmöglichkeiten weitestgehend ausgeschöpft sind.)

Deutsche Welle has certainly done its best to save money: in a listerners’ essay contest launched on September 19 this year, only one I Pod Nano 8 GB was offered for the overall winner. The next five winners would earn themselves one piece of high-quality electronic scrap  – i. e. shortwave receivers – each, probably to listen to China Radio International.

But then, maybe Deutsche Welle itself only learned about the planned closure of their shortwave frequencies some time after mid-September. Or maybe they are still hopeful to retain at least two shortwave frequencies. Or the radio sets had been in the storeroom for decades, and this was Deutsche Welle’s last chance to get rid of them.

Either way, if you aren’t professionally connected with the station and fulfil some other requirements, too, you can still send them your essay (in Chinese) on what Sino-Indian relations mean to you. October 15 will be the closing date.


Update, Oct 17, 2012

According to Taipei Dxer, a blog also mentioned within the post above, Deutsche Welle announced its winter frequencies on October 13. From October 28, frequencies would be 9,610 kHz from 13:00 – 13:30 GMT, and 11,600 and 13,700 kHz from 13:00 – 14:00 GMT. Apparently, still no announcement from DW about an impending end to shortwave broadcasting in its announcements.


Related Tags

» Deutsche Welle
» shortwave


Friday, October 12, 2012

Mo Yan Speaks

There are people who are outspoken when they are young, and mute their voice as they are getting older. There are others who mute their voice when they are young, and become more outspoken as they are growing older.

Mo Yan ( 莫言), it seems, is a man of the second kind.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

I don’t know a great deal about Mo Yan (莫言) and his works. But I do know that Xu Pei is no likely congratulator.

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