Archive for May, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Year’s most beautiful Season

Rainy night

Rainy night

This is the year’s most beautiful season. Hence, I’m blogging slowly at the moment.

This has also been the most rainy springtime we’ve seen in four years. People on more fertile ground may hate the rain, but in places like these, it comes as a blessing, and seeps away quickly enough.

The world isn’t only getting green, it is even growing.

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

32nd Ethnic-Unity Education Month in Xinjiang: Attack at Urumqi South Railway Station as Xi Jinping ends Inspection Tour

Urumqi South Station (乌鲁木齐火车南站) saw an explosion and knife attacks at about 7.10 p.m. local time on Wednesday, on arrival of a train from Chengdu (Sichuan Province), the BBC reported on Thursday. Three people were reportedly killed, and 79 injured.

A China Net report of May 3, republished also on May 3 by Shijiazhuang News (石家庄新闻网), emphasized the beauty and encouragement the official press sees in Xi’s visit to Xinjiang from April 27 to 30, during the days before the attack in Urumqi:

In recent days, State Chairman Xi Jinping carried out a four-day inspection tour in Xinjiang. This was the first time that Chairman Xi came to Xinjiang after the 18th CCP National Congress. His words, “Our Xinjiang is still the most Beautiful”, expressed his sincere feelings, and moved countless people who love these lands at one blow. “Uncle Xi has come at last! The people of Xinjiang see their hope!”, a netizen named Jiebushimusi cheered.

近日,国家主席习近平赴新疆进行了为期4天的考察。这是十八大后习主席首次来到新疆,他的一句“最美还是我们新疆”展现出的真挚情感,一下子打动了无数关心、热爱这片土地的人。“习大大终于来新疆了!新疆人民看到希望了!”名为“姐不是缪斯”的网友这样欢呼。

Xi was accompanied by Fan Changlong (范长龙), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhang Chunxian (张春贤), Li Zhanshu (栗战书),  Liu Yuejun (刘粤军), Li Changcai (李长才), Wang Jianping (王建平), and Nur Bekri (努尔•白克力), according to state television CCTV.

Xinwen Lianbo, CCTV‘s main news broadcast, covered the inspection tour extensively in its May-1 edition.

A counter-terrorism exercise, Xinjiang Military Region Integrated Training Field, April 29. Click picture for CCTV coverage.

A counter-terrorism exercise, Xinjiang Military Region Integrated Training Field, April 29. Click picture for CCTV coverage.

Soldiers of six different nationalities dance and listen to the party - click picture for CCTV coverage.

Soldiers of six different nationalities dance and listen to the party – click picture for CCTV coverage.

On May 2, Xinwen Lianbo, again as its first main news story, presented a model-worker Armed-Police hospital in Xinjiang, which had carried out more than one-hundred gallbladder surgeries. The report also noted that May 2014 also marked the 32nd ethnic-unity education month in Xinjiang.

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Related

» 暴恐袭击案告破, Jinghua, May 2, 2014
» Zhu Weiqun, Febr 23, 2014
» Ilham Tohti, Febr 12, 2014
» Important Instructions, Apr 29, 2013
» Nur Bekri, Mar 7, 2009

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Norway: “appeasing China seems to take precedence”

Norway’s prime minister and foreign minister are not going to meet the Dalai Lama when he visits next month, as part of an effort to ease tensions with the world’s second-largest economy, Bloomberg reported on April 23. Views and News from Norway wrote on April 9 that Parliamentary President and a long-time supporter of Tibet, Olemic Thommessen, said he would not be meeting with the exiled spiritual leader because it was more important to repair relations with China. Relations between Oslo and Beijing had been frigid ever since Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, reports the Norwegian English-language website. It was Norway’s – now ruling – Conservative Party, including now prime minister Erna Solberg, who spoke up for human rights issues and Tibet in 2008. The Dalai Lama himself is a Nobel  laureate and visits on the 25th anniversary of being awarded the peace prize.

According to the Views and News report,

Olav Gunnar Ballo, another former leader of the Tibet committee, said it’s a shame Norway’s leading politicians haven’t come out in support of the Dalai Lama, and it’s cowardly that appeasing China now seems to take precedence over human rights issues that were so actively brandished in the past.

According to the Voice of Tibet, a Norway-based broadcaster and website operator, demonstrators protested, on Wednesday, against high-ranking politicians’ decisions not to meet with the Dalai Lama. Among the demonstrators – about 400 according to News and Views -, were Liberal Party leader Trine Skei Grande, MP Rasmus Hansson of the Green Paerty, and rock musician Lars Lillo-Stenberg. Norway should not cave in to force and threats, one of the organizers reportedly told Norway’s public broadcaster NRK. According to Views and News, Liberal Party leader Grande said that

the Dalai Lama would not be received “in the basement” […] but would be brought to parliament to meet “as many politicians as we can manage to scrape together. We will show that people are concerned about the cowardice shown.”

These are strong words of criticism – and as they come from Norwegians, these words are laudable. But before Europeans elsewhere join the condemnations easily, they should pause and think what they or their countries were doing while Norwegian business was kept in the cold by Beijing. In fact, Oslo resisted the pressures for a remarkably long time.

But it is also true that the Nobel Peace Prize committee in Oslo – independent from government in formal terms, but not when it comes to membership and influence – has made a joke of itself in recent years. Awarding Liu Xiaobo was a brave choice, but the award that had preceded it a year earlier – to Barack Obama -, and the one that followed in 2012,  to the European Union, were silly (to put it mildly).

Are the current (small-scale, but still bigger than elsewhere) protests only the last echoes from Norway’s better days? Or are they an indication that civil society is picking up important issues where the elites are failing? The Dalai Lama himself has turned more to people-to-people diplomacy in recent years, at least formally.

That’s where the future is.

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Related

» press conference, FMPRC (English), April 28, 2014
» press conference, FMPR (Chinese), April 28, 2014
» Dalai Lama in Oslo, schedule May 7-9
» Out of the Flames, Woeser/High Peaks, April 15, 2014

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