Archive for October, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Recent televised Confessions in China

The BBC has a report about this televised confession of Chen Yongzhou and three previous similar events.

Should I believe the statements on tv?

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Related

» Under Arrest in Changsha, Oct 23, 2013

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

“New Express” Reporter under Arrest in Changsha

Changsha police official microblog (weibo) channel “Police Matters” confirmed last night that a reporter named Chen Yongzhou (陈永洲), from New Express (新快报), had been arrested on October 19, for allegedly causing causing damage to a company’s business reputation. This is what a Beijing Youth article republished by Xinhua says. His case was still under review, Changsha’s public security bureau is quoted.

The New Express, is one of Guangzhou’s main three newspapers, Beijing Youth explains. The “Express” is run by Yangcheng Evening News Group, a company founded in 1998 and also operates the Yangcheng Evening Post (羊城晚报), “Newsweek” (新闻周刊), Yangcheng Sports (羊城体育), Private Economy News (民营经济报), and “Guangzhou Construction News” (广东建设报), among others. Changsha, Hunan Province, is where Zoomlion, the company whose reputation had allegedly been damaged by Chen, is based.

Public information shows that from September 26, 2012 until June 1, 2013, Chen Yongzhou published ten critical articles concerning Zoomlion and “inflated profits”, “tunneled profits” [or maybe “conveyed benefits”, depending on translation – JR], “abnormal marketing” and alleged fraud.

公开资料显示,从2012年9月26日到2013年6月1日,陈永洲曾发表10篇有关中联重科“利润虚增”、“利益输送”、“畸形营销”及涉嫌造假等一系列批评性报道。

In July, writes Beijing Youth, Gao Hui, assistant to Zoomlion’s board chairman, wrote on a microblog that Chen had blackened the company’s name and caused significant drops in its share prices, apparently – as far as I understand Chinese – under rather strongly-worded subject lines (舆霸与打手).

Also according to Beijing Youth, Express said in a statement on August 8 that it had taken legal action against the company and Gao Hui. A civil charge says that Gao Hui had unfoundedly  and deliberately described the paper’s reports as false, thus damaging its reputation, and violated the reporter’s legal rights. Damages of 1 Yuan (sic, probably a typo) for the publisher and 100,000 Yuan for the reporter were demanded, as well as an apology.

The BBC writes that the Express has made a front-page plea for Yong’s release. Chen had spent three days and three nights in custody before he saw a lawyer, the BBC quotes from the editorial.

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Update

» Second frontpage plea, BBC, Oct 24, 2013

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

This Week in Pictures

autumn_leaves

chalk_forest_ground_acid_rain

ferris_wheel

barn

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Father’s Day: Xi Zhongxun

A New York Times Blog has a story about Xi Zhongxun‘s 100th birthday – Xi Zhongxun was the father of current party and state leader Xi Jinping. The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) had an article on Saturday, quoting a Chinese political observer in Beijing as saying that many people hope that President Xi will adhere to the reformist mindset of his father.

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The following are translated excerpts from a photo story carried by dozens of mainland Chinese news portals, including Enorth (Tianjin).

Picture 1

» October 15 is the day to remember the 100th anniversary of Xi Zhongxun. In Fuping County, Shaanxi, people from all over the country came to Xi Zhongxun’s tomb, to pay their respects, to remember the past, and to lay down baskets of flowers. This picture shows common people bow in front of Xi Zhongxun’s monument. (photo: Zhang Yuan)

10月15日是习仲勋诞辰100周年纪念日,在陕西富平县,来自全国各地的民众到习仲勋陵园瞻仰凭吊、敬献花篮。图为民众在习仲勋雕像前鞠躬。张远 摄

Picture 4

» October 15 is the day to remember the 100th anniversary of Xi Zhongxun. In Fuping County, Shaanxi, people from all over the country came to Xi Zhongxun’s tomb, to pay their respects, to remember the past, and to lay down baskets of flowers. This picture shows people from the public waiting in a long queue. (photo: Zhang Yuan)

10月15日是习仲勋诞辰100周年纪念日,在陕西富平县,来自全国各地的民众到习仲勋陵园瞻仰凭吊、敬献花篮。图为习仲勋陵园入口处,民众排起了长队。张远 摄

Picture 6

» October 15 is the day to remember the 100th anniversary of Xi Zhongxun. In Fuping County, Shaanxi, people from all over the country came to Xi Zhongxun’s tomb, to pay their respects, to remember the past, and to lay down baskets of flowers. This picture shows the flower basket [or wreath] offered by Xi Zhongxun’s wife Qi Xin, her children, and grandchildren.

10月15日是习仲勋诞辰100周年纪念日,在陕西富平县,来自全国各地的民众到习仲勋陵园瞻仰凭吊、敬献花篮。图为习仲勋夫人齐心率儿孙所敬献的花篮。张远 摄

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Deutsche-Welle Director: Great Challenge, Fascinating Task

Peter Limbourg, previously in charge of news and political information at ProSiebenSat.1 TV Germany, became director of Germany’s publicly-owned foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) on October 1. He succeeds Erik Bettermann. Deutsche Welle spokesman Johannes Hoffmann published a press release on Monday (edited by press officer Xiaoying Zhang), quoting Limbourg:

It is a great challenge and a fascinating task to be at the helm of Germany’s international broadcaster. Deutsche Welle is a media organization that enjoys an excellent reputation with its audiences worldwide. In a world, where a large number of international broadcasters are now promoting a variety of views, it is all the more important for us to persistently stand for our shared values. We will continue to ensure the credibility that DW’s staff, with great commitment, has established over the last 60 years by providing quality journalism. We will also consistently enhance DW’s multimedia profile.

Limbourg is considered “close to the Christian-Democratic Union”, the ruling party of German chancellor Angela Merkel. Limbourg’s predecessor, Erik Bettermann, is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and had been in several political functions on the party’s federal level and in the city state of Bremen before becoming DW director. He had been DW director from 2001 to 2013 (September 30), starting during Gerhard Schröder’s (SPD) chancellorship, and getting a second six-year term in November 2006, when the SPD was a junior partner in a “grand coalition” with the Christian-Democratic Union. At the time, Deutsche Welle was funded with 270 million Euros annually, according to Der Tagesspiegel, a paper from Berlin.
Deutsche Welle, as a public broadcaster, is supposed to be autonomous in its decisionmaking, but this autonomy appears to be constrained by political influence on the appointment of its directors, and budgeting and task planning are subject to consultation procedures with the federal government and the lower house of Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag.  Deutsche Welle itself does, however,  have  the last word concerning the task planning.

In 2013, the DW budget was still (or again?) at about 270 billion Euros, the same amount as reportedly in 2006.

Deutsche Welle saw a major change in its tasks in 2009, when then director Bettermann announced that the broadcaster wants to reach people who influence opinion making and democratic processes. Prior to that, in 2008, a brawl in the broadcaster’s Chinese department had caught the attention of both the German and the Chinese press. A collection of links of blogs reflecting the aftermath can be found here. A second round of disputes at the Chinese department, including labor disputes, started by 2010. Contrary to 2008, the disputes ended with the termination of contracts with four Chinese or German-Chinese members of DW staff, and went almost unreported in the German press, while getting a lot of coverage in the Chinese press.

An aspect that was usually not emphasized in the Chinese coverage, but played an important role in the weak position of the Chinese or German-Chinese staff appears to be the nature of their work contracts. Probably in or around 2011, Michael Hirschler, a labor union officer, described how DW had frequently succeeded in getting rid of quasi-employees. This seems to apply in all or most cases in the Chinese department of 2010/2011, too.

Peter Limbourg’s statement as quoted in the DW press release of October 7 does not seem to suggest big changes in the broadcaster’s policies. He wants to conduct extensive talks with DW’s staff, the Broadcasting Board, the Administrative Board as well as political and social groups and then set out a new strategic plan for Deutsche Welle for the period from 2014 to 2017. The emphasis appears to be on “shared values” and “multimedia”.

For some information (based on German press) about how the new director was elected, and other impending changes at DW, click here.
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Related

Federal Labor Court, June 22, 2013
Interview: Wang Fengbo, Jan 26, 2012
Different platforms, Deutsche Welle press, June 2011
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Obituary: Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911 – 2013

Vo Nguyen Giap worked as a teacher, journalist, historian and revolutionary, a Voice of Vietnam newsarticle says. The following are newsarticles or excerpts in Chinese (from CNA, Xinhua, and Ta Kung Pao). Subtitles and links within blockquotes added during translation.

1. CNA, Taiwan, 22:49 Taiwan local time

Independence Hero

CNA Hanoi, October 4, summary report

Reuters reports that according to his family people, Vietnam’s highly respected independence hero, General Vo Nguyen Giap has died, aged 102. A government source [in Hanoi] told AFP that “I can confirm that General Vo Nguyen Giap has died today at 18:06”. A military source confirmed the time of death. Vo Nguyen Giap had been receiving treatment in a Hanoi military hospital for several years in a row.

Vo Nguyen Giap was one of Vietnam’s best-known personalities of the 20th century. The guerilla tactics he adopteddefeated France in 1954 and American-supported South Vietnam in 1975, and historians see him among Montgomery, Rommel, MacArthur, and similar military giants.

Vo Nguyen Giap was one of the main founders of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [North Vietnam], the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and of the Vietnam People’s Army. He also served as a general of the People’s Army, as defense minister, as member of the politburo, and in other functions.

2. Takungpao, Hong Kong, October 4, 23:12

“An old Friend of the Chinese People”

Vo Nguyen Giap, Vietnamese important military leader in the wars of resistance against France and America, died on October 4, aged 102.

[…]

Vietnam came under control of groups leaning towards the Soviet Union and opposing China, but because of Vo Nguyen Giap’s position, there remained a balance between leaning towards China and the USSR. When overseas Chinese people [in Vietnam] were treated unfairly after 1975, Vo Nguyen Giap criticized this as “overbearing”. When the rift between China and Vietnam grew after 1978, he suggested “to ease the conflict with China”. he was dismissed [from his political functions, apparently] in February 1980, and made efforts for improvement of Sino-Vietnamese relations in 1990. Relations were normalized one year later [in 1991]. Vo Nguyen Giap was warmly referred to as “an old friend of the Chinese people”.

3. People’s Daily online, via Xinhua,

Not a Soldier from the Beginning

October 4 (same news article published by Huanqiu Shibao)

According to American media reports of October 4, the important military leader in Vietnam’s wars of resistance against France and America, Vo Nguyen Giap, has died aged 102.

Vo Nguyen Giap was born in Vietnam’s Quang Binh Province, on August 25, 1911. According to Vietnam Newsagency VNA, he is among the longest-living personalities in worldwide military history. He wasn’t a soldier from the beginning, having studied law and political economics, and later joined Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam Independence Alliance.

After the outbreak of the war of resistance against France, Vo Nguyen Giap directed military operations for several years, as defense minister and chief commander. The Vietnamese army’s victory over the French aggressor troops in the battle of Dien Bien Phu astonished the world. In his own words, it was “[Vietnam’s] first victory over the West”.

Giap lived in Chinese exile for some time as Japan invaded Vietnam, writes the BBC. His first wife was arrested during that time, and died in a French prison.

In his late years, Giap was a critic of bauxite mining in Vietnam.

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Related

» Threat of Invasion, April 29, 2009

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tian’anmen Square, October 1: The Heirs of Communism, as Solemn as Ever

Links within blockquote added during translation.

The party and state leadership held a ceremony at the Monument to the People’s Heroes on Tian’anmen Square at ten local time Tuesday morning, taking flower baskets there. Party secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping and other “party and state leaders braved the rain”, together with representatives “from all walks of life” in Beijing.

Xinhua newsagency mentions Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Yu, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli as attendees. Xinhua:

This is the first time for the new generation of party and state leaders to offer flower baskets to the Monument to the People’s Heroes. At ten in the morning, the ceremony began. Accompanied by a military band, Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders, together with representatives from all walks of life in the capital city sang the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. After that, everyone stood silent, in tribute to the to the heroic martyrs who gave their lives in the liberation of the Chinese people and the cause of the People’s Republic. In the autumn rain, China’s leaders put down the umbrellas they held, standing silently.

这是中国新一届党和国家领导人首次向人民英雄纪念碑敬献花篮。上午10时许,仪式开始。在军乐队 伴奏下,习近平等中国领导人同首都各界代表一起高唱中华人民共和国国歌。随后,全场肃立,向为中华民族独立、中国人民解放和共和国建设事业英勇献身的烈士 默哀。在秋雨中,中国领导人放下手中雨伞,肃立默哀。

After the silence, the Young Pioneers’ song, “We are the heirs of communism” sounded on the scene, sung by all the young people present at the ceremony.

默哀之后,现场响起来中国少先队员的队歌——《我们是共产主义接班人》,参加仪式的青少年们在人民英雄纪念碑前集体合唱。

Nine flower baskets, presented by nine party and state organs as well as mass organizations were placed to the Monument to the People’s Heroes side by side, fragrant flowers  in clusters shining in the rain. Three-thousand representatives from all walks of life, including veteran soldiers, women, young boys and girls, families of martyrs, model workers and persons from all ethnic groups attended the ceremony.

由党政机构和人民团体分别敬献的9个大型花篮并排摆放在人民英雄纪念碑北侧,芬芳的鲜花花团簇拥,在雨中鲜艳夺目。3000多名各界代表,包括老战士、妇女、青少年、烈士家属、劳动模范和各民族人士参加仪式。

[…]

This day’s ceremony has been officially held since 2010, one year after another, with the ceremony of presenting flowers to the Monument to the People’s Heroes. The reporter observed that although the ceremony was held in heavy rain this year, it remained unaffected by the rain. The atmosphere was solemn as ever.
当天上午的仪式是中国官方自2010年以来连续4年在国庆日当天举行向人民英雄纪念碑敬献花篮仪式。记者观察到,虽然今年的仪式全程在大雨中进行,但仪式并没有因为雨水而受到影响。现场气氛,庄严肃穆,一如既往。

The Monument to the People’s Heroes, inaugurated on April 22, 1958, was built for the people’s heroes who sacrificed themselves for the independence of the Chinese nation, the liberation of the people, and the cause of the construction of the People’s Republic.

1958年4月22日落成的人民英雄纪念碑,是为纪念在中华民族独立、人民解放和共和国建设事业中牺牲的人民英雄而建。

Reporter: Yu Zhanyi.
(记者余湛奕)

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Xinwen Lianbo, October 1, 2013

Xinwen Lianbo, October 1, 2013 – click picture for video

Obviously, the weather was different from one year ago (with an effect on the scene), but the way CCTV’s main news broadcast, Xinwen Lianbo, presented the event on Tuesday was also quite different from last year’s, from 2011, and from 2010 (not sure if the 2010 link was the 7-p.m.-broadcast) – the first year when the ceremony was conducted. The bird’s eye view on Tian’anmen Gate (reminiscent of historic film material)  was missing previously, at least in the Xinwen Lianbo coverage, and so was the distinclty Communist “Young Pioneers” song that was featured by Xinwen Lianbo this time. It seems that the party found that it is now time again for some “spiritual nourishment”.

This year’s footage, however, also makes you aware of how empty Tian’anmen Square actually is on the occasion of the flower-presenting ceremonies. If there were 3,000 people in attendance, as mentioned by Xinhua, they appeared almost lost in the huge square.

The BBC, in its regular review of Chinese media, besides hardocre CCP sources, also quotes from (seemingly or truly) more worldly-wise media and articles than Xinhua newsagency or Xinwen Lianbo. However, it is CCTV’s evening news broadcast which reaches most Chinese households on a regular basis.

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Related

» Relentless Rejuvenation, Oct 1, 2012
» Revelling in the CCP’s Favor, Oct 1, 2012

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