Archive for April, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Xinjiang 4-23 “Terrorist Attack”: Important Instructions from Beijing, Lack of Compassion from Washington

The incident in Bachu County / Selibuya (Kashgar Prefecture) on April 23 which reportedly led to the deaths of 21 people, including 15 police officers and officials, is closely monitored by the central party and state leadership, according to Chinese state media quoted by the BBC‘s Mandarin website on Friday. A Huanqiu Shibao report, also of Friday, is quoted as saying that the CCP central committee attached great importance to the incident and that secretary-general Xi Jinping had issued important instructions and requirements concerning the handling of the case, its aftermath, and the safeguarding of stability in Xinjiang. Six suspects reportedly died, and eight were arrested.

Foreign journalists were allowed to travel to the region but frequently faced intimidation and harassment when attempting to verify news of ethnic rioting or organised violence against government authorities, the BBC’s Beijing correspondent Celia Hatton wrote in a report published last Wednesday, and a report from the BBC’s China correspondent Damian Grammaticas, published on Friday, seems to confirm that local authorities tend to interfere, as Grammaticas and his team were ordered to leave Selibuya.

Tianshan Net, a website run by the propaganda department of the CCP’s Xinjiang branch, and frequently quoted by official and non-official Chinese media in the 4-23 context, reports today that in the wake of the 4-23 [April 23] serious violent terrorist incidents, a ceremony to honor the meritorious was held at the Science and Culture Square Conference Center in Kashgar at noon local time today. Three advanced collectives (including the Selibuya party committee) and 91 advanced individuals had been commended. (天山网喀什讯(记者李敏摄影报道)4月29日上午12:00,自治区处置“4.23”严重暴力恐怖案件有功人员表彰大会在喀什市科技文化广场喀什噶尔会议厅召开。大会对巴楚县色力布亚镇党委等3个先进集体和阿布拉江•克热木、谢武中等91名先进个人予以表彰。) The fifteen party and government comrades who had sacrificed their lives were posthumously awarded titles as outstanding party members and anti-terrorism warriors during the ceremony, writes Tianshan. (自治区党委、政府追授在处置“4.23”严重暴力恐怖案件中牺牲的15名同志为优秀共产党员、反恐勇士称号。) Nur Bekri and other leading regional officials attended the ceremony.

On Friday, Tianshan Net republished a Huanqiu Shibao report criticizing America for showing no compassion in the wake of the incident, quoting a U.S. state department spokesman’s demands for a transparent investigation. The criticism was based on Beijing’s foreign-ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying‘s statement on Thursday, who had stated dissatisfaction with Washington’s lack of compassion (无同情心).

Sina.com (in English) suggested a moral link between the recent Boston Marathon bombings and the incident in Xinjiang, and also quoted Hua Chunying from her Thursday press conference.

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Related

» Due process protections, BBC News, April 25, 2013

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Human Rights Activism, Updates

1. Zeng Jinyan

Zeng Jinyan‘s (曾金燕) blog Liaoliao Yuan came back on March 22, after many months of hibernation:

“Liaoliao Yuan” turned into an important platform to “searching Hu Jia” and to “free Hu Jia”. But to advocate the safety and freedom of defenders of human rights is only part of my work. Under continuously increasing political pressure, to fall “silent” in the public sphere for a long time has been my basic policy. I was silent to avoid interference with my goal of practising what I advocate.

“了了园”长期以来已成为“寻找胡佳”和“释放胡佳”运动的一个重要平台。然而,提倡和保障人权捍卫者的安全自由只是我的工作的一部分。随着不断上升的政治压力,长时间在公共空间“沉默”是我的一项基本策略。沉默是为了身体力行排除干扰实现具体的工作目标。

I went to Hong Kong for half a year, I raised my daughter, focused on research, and I really like the atmosphere of science and research, and the professional support at the University of Hong Kong, but because I was so busy, I had no time to share [the experience] with all of you. Now I want to tell you that I am back, catching up on some scattered old news, and restarting the exchange on academics, life and social movements on online platforms.

赴港半年,抚养女儿,专心研究,我非常喜爱香港大学的学术研究气氛和专业支持,因为忙未能顾得上和大家分享。今天我想说,作为曾金燕,我回来了。补上一些散落各处的旧闻新事,重启基于网络平台的学术、生活和社会运动交流。

Zeng’s March-22 blogpost also contains a list of some past events and articles, and an outlook on activities planned this year.

2. Liu Xiaobo and Family

Liu Xia‘s (刘霞) brother Liu Hui (刘晖) stood trial at the Huairou District People’s Court in a northern suburb of Beijing on Tuesday, on charges of fraud linked to a property transaction, Radio Free Asia reported, also on Tuesday. Liu Xia is the wife of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), who is currently imprisoned in Liaoning Province. Liu Xia attended her brother’s trial on Tuesday.

Charges on commercial or economic offenses are frequently suspected to be politically motivated.

In November 2010, Zeng Jinyan, as the manager of Beijing Loving Source, an AIDS support group, had to close down the organization’s operations under a “tax inquiry”. Such inquiries and investigations had become frequent since summer 2009.

However, the tax office in charge apparently stated in August 2012 that it saw no tax illegality in the NGO’s operations from August 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009 – the period that had apparently been under investigation.
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Related

» Liu Xia defiant, Guardian, April 23, 2013
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chinese Press Review: Lushan Mourning, Maritime Disputes, Border Disputes, and CPBS Emergency Broadcasts

1. Offerings to the Spirits of the Dead

On Friday, a ceremony to honor the two earthquake (military) relief workers Yang Bo (杨波) and Li Tangdong (李堂东) was conducted at a funeral parlor in Meishan, Sichuan Province, reports China News Service (中国新闻网, via Huanqiu Shibao). The two are referred to as martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the rescue efforts in Lushan, Sichuan Province, which occurred on April 20.

Yang Bo, a platoon leader (probably around the rank of a lieutenant, with the 13th Army Group) died in an accident when his military vehicle got off a road due to a bursting tire and fell off a cliff.

Li Tangdong, a corporal who drove the vehicle, also died in the crash. Li was from Wuxi County (Chongqing).

2. Maritime Disputes with Japan

Japan has adopted a five-year blueprint for protecting maritime interests, partly in an effort to counter territorial claims by China and South Korea, reports The Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo). It suggests closer cooperation between Japan’s military and coastguard. Okinotorishima as well as other remote islands on what is defined as Japan’s borders reportedly are to play a role as port facilities according to the five-year plan plan, so as to protect interests in the nation’s exclusive economic zone. Methane hydrate, which could become a next-generation fuel, is among the undersea energy resources in the maritime regions in questions, writes Asahi Shimbun.
China’s Huanqiu Shibao quotes Japan’s Yomiuri Simbun on the same topic. According to Huanqiu (or its possibly rather loose rendition of Yomiuri’s coverage), Japan’s five-year blueprint calls for responsive strategies to Chinese vessels that enter the waters of the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese). Rather than port facilities as described by the Asahi Shimbun, Huanqiu Shibao refers the plans for the remote islands as ones for resupply bases or depots (补给站). Okinotorishima is referred to as a “reef” (礁) while the Asahi Shimbun calls it an “island”. According to Huanqiu Shibao, the Japanese government, for wanting to protect its interests in resources, has begun to promote the protection of remote islands and the management of the legalization process [of Japan’s claims or rights].

In 2012, a research team from Tokyo University detected large quantities of rare earths beneath the seaground of Minami-Tori-shima‘s adjacent waters. It was then that the Japanese government decided to strengthen the protection of energy sources and natural resources in its exclusive economic zones.

2012年,东京大学研究小组在南鸟岛周边海底发现了大量稀土。以此为契机,日本政府决定加强在保护专属经济海域内能源资源方面的措施。

[…]

Okinotorishima reef is said to be a southern Japanese atoll in the Pacific [don’t quote me on this – I’m not sure that this is what Huanqiu really says about the place in Chinese – JR]. In recent years, the Japanese government has spent huge amounts on creating man-made corals at these reefs, thinking of these atolls as “islands”, trying to declare sovereignty on this basis, taking the opportunity to expand their “territorial” waters and the range of the “exclusive economic zones”, to make the development of nearby marine resources more convenient.

据了解,冲之鸟礁是日本南部太平洋海域的一处环礁。近年来,日本政府斥巨资用来在此礁人工养殖珊瑚,并认为该环礁为“岛”,企图以此来宣布主权,借机扩大其“领海”和“专属经济区”范围,为开发附近丰富的海洋资源提供方便。

As for the Okinotorishima reef, China believes that this is a reef, and not an island. Okinotorishima reef provides no base for human habitation, doesn’t sustain economic activity, and there is no basis to establish establish [i. e. claim] any connection between it and the continental shelf. On September 11, 2009, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf said that a working group under the commission had commenced the handling of an application from Japan concerning the extension of the southern continental shelf into the Pacific.  China has filed objections with the UN.

有关冲之鸟礁问题,中国方面认为冲之鸟是 岩礁而不是岛屿。冲之鸟礁不能供人类居住,也无法维持经济生活,设定大陆架没有任何根据。2009年9月11日,联合国大陆架界限委员会表示,该委员会下 属的一个工作小组已经着手处理日本提出的南太平洋大陆架延伸申请。中国已向联合国正式提交反对意见。

Huanqiu Shibao’s emoticon vote suggests a strong trend of anger among the traditionally nationalist readership – the option “I’m angry” rose from 160 to 181 within about thirty minutes. Clicks for “this is ridiculuous” stayed at 14.

3. Sino-Indian Border Conflicts

Meantime, Huanqiu Shibao has soothing news from the South:

China News Service, April 26 [published by Huanqiu Shibao on April 27] — Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid answered questions from Indian media on April 25, concerning the confrontational incident on the Sino-Indian border, and said that the consultation mechanism on border issues had been started. He believed that this mechanism would find a solution for the issue in question, just as it had found solutions in the past.

中新网4月26日电 4月25日,印度外长库尔希德在回答印媒体关于中印边境对峙事件的提问时表示,印中双方已启动边境事务磋商机制,相信该机制能够像过去一样,为此次事件找到解决办法。

Huanqiu Shibao quotes Salman Khurshid as saying that bilateral relations grown over many years shouldn’t break down by overemphasizing small issues and were just like some acne on a face which only required some ointment.

“我期待在下个月访问中国之前,双方能够通过外交渠道结束僵局。”库尔希德说,我们不能因为某个地方发生的小问题而毁掉双方多年来为双边关系付出的投入和心血,正如不能因为脸上有一个小的痤疮就说这张脸不美,所需做的只是敷一点药膏而已。

Kurshid was looking forward to his planned visit to China next month.

Correspondingly, only eleven clicks from the readership were made to express anger, while 374 clicks express delight. Still, 46 clicks find the article (or the news) ridiculous. Both the “delight” and the “ridiculous” numbers are increasing quickly. Those readers who take the trouble to comment appear to be less conciliatory though.

4. Emergency Radio Frequencies (older news)

On Monday, Central People’s Broadcasting Station (中央人民廣播電台, CPBS, now also known as China National Radio, but only the English name changed in 1998) started special emergency broadcasts in the wake of the Lushan earthquake. These were the first broadcasts of this kind, according to CPBS itself. A studio was established in the hardest-hit county of Lushan, broadcasting rescue information, expert interviews, news, psychological support and consolation, and practical information. Frequencies used were 9,800 kHz and 12,000 kHz on shortwave and 92.7 MHz on VHF/FM.

The 6th plenary session of the CCP’s 17th Central Committee*)  had issued plans for such an emergency broadcasting system, and the plans were then included in the country’s 12th five-year plan, according to CPBS.

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Note

*) the same plenary session adopted the party’s cultural decision, in October 2011.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Herrschaftswissen: Free or not, but “Engineered”

Wikileaks may have been useful in making some of the (Western or Arab) governments’ inside workings a bit more transparent – but it seems to me that what has been published by them doesn’t outweigh what is published by government themselves, or by their advisers, or by the mainstream press. We could have every government archive at our disposal, and would still face the problem of finding out what matters, and the problems of interpretation.

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages.

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages.

In this post, I will try to describe two examples of Herrschaftswissen, and one (rather old) example of methodology. A talk (not an article) on Wikipedia about enlightenment in Western secular tradition translates Herrschaftswissen as knowledge restricted to the rulers. I’m not sure if this should count as an exact translation, or just as a rough one.

Example 1: David Cameron’s “Muscular Liberalism”

In February 2011, British prime minister David Cameron addressed the Munich Security Conference, an annual conference on international security policy held in Bavaria’s capital. It is an example of how politics and mainstream media work hand in hand – it was founded by a publisher in 1962, and that publisher was succeeded by a former high-ranking government bureaucrat in 1998.

In his speech, Cameron focused on radicalization among Muslims in many European countries. There isn’t much in the speech itself that I would object to, but what I view critically is the context of the speech.

While Cameron was focused on radical Islamists in Europe, the “Arab Spring” was in full swing. Cameron gave his talk on the eve of the outbreak of the Syrian civil war – a war described by the BBC‘s Jim Muir as a proxy struggle between the US-led western world and al-Qaeda international.

The West’s undertaking could also be described as a struggle to discern moderate and radically Islamist forces among the opposition fordes in Syria – a struggle European governments are facing at home, too. But that’s a problem the West could have spared itself. If Western governments (and their Arab and Turkish allies) succeeded in toppling Syria’s Baath regime and install a “moderate” new regime, chances are that the new regimes human rights record would be no better than that of the Baath party. Governments who encourage and support radicalism in mainly Muslim countries are hardly qualified to encourage moderation among Muslims in their own countries.

A few days ago, the European Union’s Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told told the BBC that among the estimated 500 European citizens who were currently fighting in Syria, but most likely many of them will be radicalised there, will be trained.

When you want to undermine Islamist radicalization at home, the West’s strategy on Syria doesn’t look too reasonable. Those who Cameron purportedly wants to win over know very well how ambivalent muscular liberalism is about terrorism, when it is about practise, rather than about talk.

Example 2. Trust in the CCP’s Central Committee

“Unity” is one of the supreme banners of the Chinese Communist Party. The downfall of Chongqing’s party chief Bo Xilai, only eight months ahead of the 18th National Congress of the CCP, came at a sensitive time. But if the power struggle about Bo Xilai was unpleasant or embarrassing already, the “visit” (or rather the tempoary getaway) of Chongqing’s Public Security Bureau head to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February 2012 should count as a PR disaster for the CCP.

The Chinese press had to pick up the pieces in the guidance of public opinion. Huanqiu Shibao, a CCP-owned but rather popularar Chinese paper, applied a mix of natural science (China’s rapid development is like a living body’s development, and there may always be some particulars we haven’t been familiar with) and orthodoxy (In China’s society of numerous and complicated voices, trust in the party’s central committee has become reason for society in its entirety). There was, Huanqiu elaborated, no contradiction between emancipation of mind and trust in the party’s central committee:

It is exactly for the diversity, for having several options, that we truly discover that trusting the party’s central committee, implementing the party’s road map, is more reliable than any other method other people may teach us, and more able to create the conditions that make the country and the individual develop.

This sounds like muscular socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Both Cameron and Chinese propaganda emphasize unity when it comes to fundamentals. The fundamentals are very different from each other, but the tools they are using to justify and legitimize their dominance are quite similar. However, Camaron’s game is easier to play than the CCP’s. When Chinese media openly bash dissidents, they risk getting unusually unharmonious responses from their recipients. When Cameron addresses radical Islamism, he will get his share of criticism, too, but that is nothing uncharacteristic in the British media.

And despite some inevitable criticism, when a European leader singles out radicalization among Muslims, chances are that the mainstream will respond rather favorably.

The problem for European politicians is that the political class is lacking the high degree of legitimacy – in view of the public – that it (reportedly) used to have. Or, as the Economist‘s Bagehot observed, the pomp of Margaret Thatcher‘s funeral met with shallow public interest. Even Mrs Thatcher’s enemies trusted that her motives were sincere, argues the Economist, but now all politicians are distrusted.

Not just among radical or not so radical Muslims. But if you pick a frequently disliked minority as Cameron does, you may still strike a chord with an increasingly resentful majority.

3. Engineering of Consent

In 1955, an American public-relations counsel, Edward L. Bernays, wrote an article, summarizing what he referred to as the engineering of consent. Bernays didn’t necessarily invent it, but at the time when he wrote about it, he had probably been among the most successful thinkers about and propagandists and practitioners of the concept for decades. The engineering of consent should under no circumstances […] supersede or displace the functions of the educational system, either formal or informal, Bernays wrote, in bringing about understanding by the people as a basis for their action. Rather, engineering of consent supplemented the educational process.

But in the previous paragraphs, Bernays had also written that

[..] it is sometimes impossible to reach joint decisions based on an understanding of facts by all the people. The average American adult has only six years of schooling behind him. With pressing crises and decisions to be faced, a leader frequently cannot wait for the people to arrive at an even general understanding. In certain cases, democratic leaders must play their part in leading the public through the engineering of consent to socially constructive goals and values. This role imposes upon them the obligation to use the educational processes, as well as other available techniques, to bring about as complete an understanding as possible.

Bernay’s essay leaves it essentially to the adopters how to make use of the toolkit he provided. Given that the tools are highly effective, it is obvious that they aren’t only used when the gap between public understanding and necessity (problem-solving) can’t be bridged in time, but whenever opportunists finds the engineering useful. Or, to put it more catchy: the dumber a policy, the dumber the public needs to be, and all the more, engineering of consent needs to supersede education.

Both democratically-elected and totalitarian politicians appear to be keen adopters, and it would be for the public itself to become more informed, to judge if the actons of politicians are in the public interest, or if they are not.

But the opposite is the case. While many European middlebrows regard the political class and their techniques as ethically rotten or even detest them for the manipulation, they are themselves adopters of spin-doctoring, too. Many blogs,  comments and other expressions of (political) opinion seem to apply the means and methods used by the political class to make their case. There seems to be an ambivalence among the ruled about the desire to belong to the political class, and to refute it.

Not to mention Wikileaks. Wikileaks doesn’t “educate”, either.

In that regard, the average Chinese netizen appears to be more aware of the manipulation he or she is subjected too, than the Western subject to the same PR technology – Chinese awareness states itself in terms like “we’ve been harmonized” [by Chinese authorities or media]. Or, when Huanqiu Shibao wrote in 2012 that opinion poll results published by American Gallup  showed that during the preceding three years, among the five BRIC states’ population, the Brazilians and Chinese had been most satisfied with their living standards, and only the Chinese felt during three successive years that the living standard had continuously improved, a commenter laconically replied that he had been satisfied (in a passive-voice sense) by the Americans. In certain ways, the experience of living under a totalitarian government seems to stimulate clear-sightedness.

Bernays reportedly liked to close his speeches and talks with an invariable summary: And everybody is happy.

There may not be a great future for public happiness. But quite probably, there is one for the engineering of consent.

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Related

» Battle of Opinion, Feb 13, 2013

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Businesslike Fourth Option

Prof Andrew Graves, head of the University’s School of Management, told Li he could resubmit the 12,000-word essay, appeal against the mark or accept it and withdraw from the course.

But Li told the professor “I am a businessman”, before placing £5,000 in cash on the table in front of him.

“There is a fourth option, you can keep the money if you give me a pass mark and I won’t bother you again,” he told Prof Graves.

BBC News, April 23, 2013

Ifeng (Phoenix, Hong Kong) and Xinwen Wanbao (Shanghai) also report the story, but can only use a phonetic combination of characters to write Yang’s name, as they draw on a Daily Mail report.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Press Review: Lushan Earthquake Coverage


Links within blockquotes added during translation

1. China News Service (中新网)

April 22, 2013

According to Sichuan Provincial Home Affairs Secretary’s website, the 7.0 earthquake of Ya’an City, Lushan County has so far affected 1.99 million people, killed 189, injured 12,211, and led to the evacuation of more than 608,000 people in the area of Ya’an City’s nineteen cities and administrative areas / 115 counties.
[…]

中新网4月22日电 据四川省民政厅网站消息,四川省雅安市芦山县7.0级地震目前已造成包括雅安在内的19个市州115个县199余万人受灾,189人遇难,12211人受伤,紧急转移60.8万余人。
[…]

2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 22, 2013

On the evening of April 22, State Chairman Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Russian president Putin.

2013年4月22日晚,国家主席习近平应约同俄罗斯总统普京通电话。

Putin once again offered his condolences on behalf of the Russian government and the Russian people, concerning the strong earthquake in Lushan, Sichuan Province. He said that at this difficult time, the Russian people stood firmly with the Chinese people and Russia wanted to provide all the help required. He believed that the Chinese government and the Chinese people would certainly overcome the difficulties and triumph over disaster. Whatever the difficulties, all the Russian people were the reliable friends of the Chinese people.

普京代表俄罗斯政府和人民,再次对中国四川芦山发生强烈地震致以深切慰问。他表示,值此困难时刻,俄罗斯人民坚定同中国人民站在一起,俄方愿为中方提供一切必要帮助。相信中国政府和人民一定能够克服困难,战胜灾害。无论遇到什么困难,俄罗斯人民都是中国人民的可靠朋友。

Xi Jinping said that the message of condolence Putin had sent on the day of the Lushan earthquake and his telephone call now to express deep condolences was something he valued highly. On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, he expressed sincere thanks to Putin.

习近平表示,普京总统在四川芦山发生地震当天就发来慰问电,现在又打来电话,表达深切慰问,我对此高度评价。我代表中国政府和人民,向你表示诚挚谢意。

Xi Jinping said that at times of trials and tribulation, truth could be found [another translation: a friend in need is a friend indeed].  Whenever major natural disasters occured in the two countries of China and Russia, both sides supported each other right away. This amply reflected the high standard of Sino-Russian relations and the fraternal relations between the two countries and peoples. China wanted to work with Russia at the earthquake relief and at the reconstruction afterwards.

习近平指出,患难见真情。每当中俄两国发生重大自然灾害时,双方都第一时间给予相互支持。这充分体现了中俄高水平的关系和两国人民的友好情谊。中方愿同俄方就抗震救灾及灾后重建保持密切沟通。

Explaining the post-disaster situation, Xi Jinping emphasized that the disaster relief work was carried out comphrehensively and orderly. The Chinese people were of one mind, fighting in a joint effort, and would certainly triumph over disaster,  rebuild their homes, and make the lives of the people in the disaster area better lives.

在介绍了地震灾情后,习近平强调,我们正在全面有序展开抗震救灾工作。中国人民同心同德、协力奋战,一定能够战胜灾害、重建家园,让灾区人民过上美好生活。

The two heads of state also exchanged views about bilateral relations. Xi Jinping said that the state visit he had recently made to Russia had achieved major results. China wanted to conscientiously implement the consensus and agreements reached by the two sides on the same path with Russia, and further deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship.

两国元首还就双边关系交换了意见。习近平表示,我不久前对俄罗斯进行的国事访问取得重大成果。中方愿同俄方一道,认真落实双方达成的各项共识和协议,进一步深化中俄全面战略协作伙伴关系。

Putin said that Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia had been a complete success, that Russia would make all efforts to implement the results of the visit, and promote the rise of Russian-Chinese relations to a new level.

普京表示,习近平主席对俄罗斯的国事访问取得圆满成功,俄方将尽全力落实好访问成果,推动俄中关系迈上新台阶。

3. Xinhua (via Shijiazhuang News Net)

April 20, 2013

Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang directed the earthquake relief work  from the scene of the epicenter at Lushan County, Longmen Township government square. He demanded that the road leading to Baoxing should be opened up again as quickly as possible, and close attention be paid to the rescue work.

新华网快讯:李克强总理在震中芦山县龙门乡政府广场现场指挥抗震救灾。他要求尽快打通通往宝兴的道路,抓紧救援。

[picture 1 showing Li on board of an aircraft, on the phone]

On April 20, on his way to Sichuan Li Keqiang held an emergency meeting to map out the earthquake relief work. After their arrival at the airport, Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang and his party boarded four helicopters to fly to the epicenter.  The picture shows Li Keqiang as he talks to Sichuan provincial party secretary Wang Dongming on the phone. (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

4月20日,在飞往四川途中,李克强总理召开紧急会议,部署抗震救灾工作。到达机场后,李克强总理一行分乘四架直升飞机,飞往震中。图为李克强与四川省委书记王东明通电话。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

[picture 2 showing Li on board of an aircraft, talking to what appears to be either a captain or a colonel]

On April 20, on his way to Sichuan Li Keqiang held an emergency meeting to […..]. The picture shows Li Keqiang as he flies to the epicenter by helicopter. (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

4月20日,在飞往四川途中,李克强总理召开紧急会议,部署抗震救灾工作。到达机场后,李克强总理一行分乘四架直升飞机,飞往震中。图为李克强乘直升飞机前往震中。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

[picture 3 showing Li on board an aircraft, being shown a map]

After their arrival at the airport, Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang and his party boarded four helicopters to fly to the epicenter.  (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

4月20日,在飞往四川途中,李克强总理召开紧急会议,部署抗震救灾工作。到达机场后,李克强总理一行分乘四架直升飞机,飞往震中。图为李克强乘直升飞机前往震中。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

[picture 4 showing Li on board an aircraft, pointing at the map]

On April 20, on his way to Sichuan Li Keqiang held an emergency meeting to map out the earthquake relief work. After their arrival at the airport, Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang and his party boarded four helicopters to fly to the epicenter.  (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

4月20日,在飞往四川途中,李克强总理召开紧急会议,部署抗震救灾工作。到达机场后,李克强总理一行分乘四架直升飞机,飞往震中。图为李克强乘直升飞机前往震中。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

[picture 5, showing Li and staff meditating on a map]

Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang left Beijing by plane on April 20 at 13:15 to fly to the Ya’An earthquake disaster area in Sichuan to direct the earthquake relief work. (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

中共中央政治局常委、国务院总理李克强4月20日13时15分从北京乘飞机前往四川雅安地震灾区,指导抗震救灾工作。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

[picture 6, showing Li and at least three staff putting their fingers on a map]

Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang left Beijing by plane on April 20 at 13:15 to fly to the Ya’An earthquake disaster area in Sichuan to direct the earthquake relief work. (photo origin: Xinhua Viewpoint Weibo)

中共中央政治局常委、国务院总理李克强4月20日13时15分从北京乘飞机前往四川雅安地震灾区,指导抗震救灾工作。(图片来源:新华视点微博)

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Related

» 温家宝抵达成都, Enorth, May 12, 2008

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Third Year of Gardening

Every year, some more square meters of the thick lawn are turning grey as I’m digging it over. Lots of couch grass in between, but I’m in no mood of using herbicides.

cat in the sun

There’s nothing like the warmth of dug-up earth …

five cats on the window ledge

… except bird-spotting from the window ledge, maybe.

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Related

» Spring by Day, April 3, 2013

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Chinese Media Control: Three further Efforts

News from foreign (or outside-border) sources must no longer be used by Chinese press people without prior authorization, Radio Australia‘s Mandarin service quotes a notice from China’s SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television). Also part of a move to standardize editorial behavior are the management of news websites, and of blogging and microblogging – three further efforts combined. According to Radio Australia, editors and journalists are also told to get approval from their work units before registering with a microblogging platform (probably particularly before registering with Sina Weibo).

Reporters without Borders (RSF) published a statement on Wednesday, roundly condemning the SARFT directive. RSF believes that embarrassing revelations about China’s leaders in foreign media – particularly about the alledged fortunes acquired by former chief state councillor Wen Jiabao‘s and current party general secretary and state chairman Xi Jinping‘s families – had triggered the move.

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