Archive for September, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Xinhua: Jacques Chirac’s “profound awareness”

Main Link: “Jacques Chirac: a French president’s love for China” (希拉克:一位法国总统的中国情缘)

Xinhua, Paris, Sept 26, 2019 — Jacques Chirac, currently France’s “most popular politician,” was also an important foreign leader with a deep affinity to China. On September 26, his family confirmed that this former French president had died on that day, aged 86. The independent and self-determined diplomatic position and anti-war philosophy he took during his presidency has left France and even Europe with a precious legacy.

新华社巴黎9月26日电 雅克·希拉克,法国当代“最受欢迎的政治家”,也是一位有着深深“中国情缘”的外国政要。9月26日,希拉克的家人确认,这位法国前总统当天上午与世长辞,享年86岁。希拉克担任总统期间的独立自主外交立场和反战理念,是留给法国乃至欧洲的宝贵政治遗产。

That’s the way they liked him (click picture for CCTV video)

Gaining fame by opposing war

反战赢声誉

Jacques Chirac was born on November 29, 1932 in Paris, Corrèze [?]1), his father was a manager at Crédit Commericale de France. [Chirac] graduated at Sciences Po and the École Nationale d’Administration. At a young age, he followed Charles de Gaulle’s policies, and was elected to France’s National Assembly before he was 40 years old. In 1974, he became France’s prime minister. After resigning as prime minister in 1976, he founded the Rassemblement pour la République and became its first chairman. From 1986 to 1988, Chirac took up the post of prime minister again. In 1995 he was elected French president, re-elected in 2002, staying in office until he retired in 2007.

希拉克1932年11月29日生于巴黎科雷兹镇,其父曾为法国商业银行总管。他毕业于巴黎政治学院、法国国家行政学院,年轻时就追随戴高乐从政,不到40岁当选为法国国民议会议员。1974年,希拉克出任法国总理。1976年辞去总理职务后,他创立保卫共和联盟并任主席。1986年至1988年,希拉克再度出任法国总理。1995年他当选法国总统,2002年连任,直至2007年卸任。

photo / caption: on July 14, 1995, just been elected president, Chirac attended the Bastille Day military parade at the Place de la Concorde. (Xinhua)

Despite having lost much of its former economic power, France played the role of a top-ranking power in the field of diplomacy. When British and American-led coalition forces started the Iraq war in 2003, France, led by Chirac, stood at the forefront of the anti-war camp.

在希拉克时代,法国尽管经济实力已大不如前,但在外交领域却一度发挥着一流大国的作用。2003年,以英美军队为主的联军发动伊拉克战争,希拉克率领的法国则站在了反战阵营的前列。

Before the Iraq war began, Chirac clearly said that France would exercise its veto power at the UN security council. One year after the beginning of the war, Chirac predicted that the Iraq war would lead to increasing terrorist activities and make the world more dangerous. The facts have confirmed the truth of Chirac’s warning.

伊拉克战争开始前,希拉克明确表示法国会在联合国安理会行使否决权。开战后一年,希拉克就预言,伊拉克战争将导致恐怖活动加剧,会让世界变得更加危险。事实证明,希拉克的警告是正确的。

Chirac’s firm opposition to the war earned France global fame, but especially in the Arab world. Many French people took pride in Chirac, believing that on a matter of peace or war, of life and death, “he had adhered to French principles and upheld justice and morality.”

希拉克的坚定反战立场,使得法国在全球、特别是阿拉伯世界赢得了声誉。不少法国人以希拉克为荣,认为他在“事关和平与战争,生命和死亡”的时候,“坚持了法国的原则,捍卫了正义和道德”。

As the leader of one of the Western powers, Chirac was very clear-headed about the trend of global multi-polarization and advocated a “strong Europe” for that reason. In 2007, he said at a EU summit that “the world’s biggest transformation is that we are going through a decade of transformation, from global uni-polarity to multi-polarity. He also believed that European diversity and social fusion were important factors in maintaining strength.

作为西方大国领袖,希拉克对世界多极化的趋势非常清醒,并主张为此需要“强大的欧洲”。2007年,他在欧盟峰会上表示,“世界最大的变革在于,我们正经历从单极世界向多极世界转变的年代”。他同时认为,欧洲的多样性和社会融合是保持强大的重要因素。

photo / caption: on April 28, 2002, French president Chirac, at the central French city of Nontron, embraced a baby from the welcoming crowed at a election campaign event. The presidential elections were held on May 5 that year. (Xinhua / Reuters)

2002年4月28日,法国总统希拉克在法国中部城市农特龙进行竞选活动时,从欢迎人群中接抱一个婴儿。法国总统选举当年5月5日举行。(新华社/路透)

In 2009, a survey conducted by opinion pollster IFOP for “Paris Match” found that two years after leaving office, Chirac remained the most popular politician in the French peoples’ opinion.

2009年法国民调机构Ifop为《巴黎竞赛画报》所做一项调查中,卸任两年的希拉克被法国人视为“最受欢迎的政治家”。

Deep love for China

中国情缘深

Chirac wasn’t only a well-known politician and diplomat, but also an elegant connoisseur of oriental culture. He had a particular passion for the long history of Chinese culture, which he had studied a lot. French media have called him a man who ardently loves China”, having a “deep affinity towards China”.

希拉克不仅是著名的政治家与外交家,也是品位高雅的东方文化鉴赏家。他对历史悠久的中国文化情有独钟,且颇有研究。法国媒体称他为“热爱中国的人”,有着深深的“中国情缘”。

As a youngster, Chirac often went to Guimet Museum. At the time, he was particularly attracted to Chinese art, especially ancient bronze devices. Appreciation of ancient Chinese bronze devices became his hobby at the time, at times an obsessive one. According to a diplomat familiar with Chirac, he can even accurately determine the historic age of Chinese bronze relics. In July 2007, while attending a NATO summit was “absent-mindedly” reading a book. The moment was captured on camera by a French reporter who published the news that “president takes a short break, studying Chinese bronze devices.”

希拉克在少年时代经常光顾法国国立吉美亚洲艺术博物馆。当时,他被中国艺术品特别是古代青铜器深深吸引。从此,中国青铜器鉴赏研究成为他的爱好,甚至到痴迷程度。据了解希拉克的外交官介绍,希拉克甚至能准确判断中国青铜器的历史年代。2002年7月,希拉克出席北约首脑会议时“开小差”读书。这一幕被在场的法国记者拍下,登报称“总统忙里偷闲,研究中国青铜器”。

Photo/Caption: on December 4, 2000, Chirac appreciated China Liao dynasty relics on a Chinese cultural relic discoveries exhibition in Paris.

2000年12月4日,希拉克在巴黎举办的中国文物考古发现展上欣赏中国辽代文物。(新华社记者李根兴摄)

In September 1978, Chirac, in his capacity as former French prime minister and as Paris mayor, visited China on invitation. After visiting the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, he was greatly stunned and called the place “the eighth world wonder”.

1978年9月,希拉克以法国前总理、巴黎市市长的身份应邀访华。他在西安参观秦始皇兵马俑后深受震撼,称之为“世界第八大奇迹”。

Jacques Chirac felt emotional links towards Chinese culture and was a major promoter of French cultural exchanges with China. When the Chinese-French cultural year was held from 2003 to 2005, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated in “Chinese red”. This didn’t only pioneer cultural exchange between the two countries, but also played a model role globally.

希拉克情系中国文化,也是法国对华文化交流的主要推动者。2003年至2005年,中法互办文化年,埃菲尔铁塔披上“中国红”。这既是两国文化交流史上的创举,也在世界上具有示范作用。

Chirac left a profound footprint in Sino-French relations and contributed to the “golden decade” of Sino-French” relations. Between the times he assumed and left office as president, he visited China four times, tracking almost half of the country. In the meantime, Sino-French relations kept improving. In 1997, China and France established a comprehensive cooperative partnership, and in 2004, they established a comprehensive strategic partnership.2)

希拉克对中法关系的发展留下了自己的深刻印迹,造就了中法关系的“黄金十年”。1995年出任总统至卸任,希拉克4次访华,足迹几乎遍及半个中国。其间,中法关系不断得到提升。1997年,中法两国建立全面合作伙伴关系,2004年建立全面战略伙伴关系。

In 2006, in an interview with Xinhua reporters before a visit to China, Chirac emphasized that all French people understood the extent to which the prospects of global development depended on China. China and the world were inextricably linked to each other, and this profound awareness was exactly one of Jacques Chirac’s prime motives to vigorously promote Sino-French relations.

2006年,希拉克在访华前接受新华社记者专访时强调,每个法国人都明白,世界的发展前途在很大程度上取决于中国。中国与世界密不可分,这一深刻认识正是希拉克大力推进中法关系发展的原动力之一。

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Note

1) probably a mix-up by Xinhua – Chirac was born in Paris, but many of his ancestors were from Corrèze in central / southwestern France, the department he also represented at the National Assembly from 1967 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1995.
2) Referred to as partenariat global sino-français and partenariat stratégique global respectively, in French-language Chinese publications.

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Related

“Le bruit et l’odeur”, 1991, Wikipedia, acc 20190928
“A completely banal incident”, LA Times, Aug 29, 1987

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

The KMT’s last Chance: Waste Separation in Shanghai

Main Link: Anyone may criticize the KMT, but not former “honorary member” Terry Gou (王丰:谁都有资格批评国民党,但前“荣誉党员”郭台铭没有)

Wang Feng (王丰), born 1956 in Taichung, Taiwan, to a mother from Jiangsu and a father from Hubei, is president of the China Times Group. He is also an occasional interviewee of Guanchazhe, an online news and commentary portal based in Shanghai. The China Times has been owned by Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), a China-leaning businessman, since 2008. While Taiwan’s pan-green political camp detests the paper and doubts its integrity, in turn, Wang Feng, defending the paper in July this year against accusations that it had been taking “phone calls” from China’s “Taiwan Affairs Office” (TAO), criticized the accusers, saying that freedom, democracy and human rights were Taiwan’s hard-won values, and that a pluralistic and democratic society was the only thing Taiwan had over China.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) criticized the China Times Media Group for filing a lawsuit against the Financial Times’ correspondent Kathrin Hille (who had apparently reported about the alleged link to the “TAO” first), calling the legal action abusive. There doesn’t seem to be any news online about if and how the group’s legal proceedings have continued since.

That wasn’t an issue in Wang Feng’s most recent interview with Guanchazhe (published on Saturday) either. It centers around Foxconn founder Terry Gou‘s (郭台銘) withdrawal from the KMT, which had made him an honorary member only in April.

Based on opinion polling, Gou lost the KMT primaries to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in July this year.

Han Kuo-yu is now the KMT’s nominee, and therefore the KMT’s official challenger of incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen (DPP),  in Taiwan’s presidential elections, scheduled for January 11, 2020. However, his chances to emerge as Taiwan’s next president have faltered, not least since the beginning of large-scale demonstrations in Hong Kong, against a (now apparently scrapped) extradition law draft by the special administrative zone’s government. The Hong Kong events seem to have raised the Taiwanese public’s awareness of what the “one-country-two-system” approach, advocated by China’s party and state leader Xi Jinping as a “model” for Taiwan, would mean in practice, and an apparent unpreparedness by Han Kuo-yu to criticize Beijing has added to his problems on the campaign trail.

Criticizing Beijing, of course, is nothing Wang Feng would do either, nor would it be something Guanchazhe could publish anyway. If the KMT (rather than Taiwan in general) has any advantage over China in Wang’s book, it wouldn’t be “pluralistic and democratic Society” (as stated in his announcement to sue the Financial Times and the Taiwanese media who had referred to the FT’s Coverage), but the KMT’s potential skills in managing waste separation in, say, Shanghai (比如国民党的环保能力非常强,现在上海在搞垃圾分类,国民党可以派人来当顾问,帮大陆做得更方便、更干净). In such fields, the KMT should enter a competition with the Chinese Communist Party, Wang said, not so much in terms of votes (obviously), but in helping Taiwanese compatriots to leave a favorable Impression on mainland compatriots” (争取人心,不是去争取选票,而是要争取大陆同胞对台湾同胞的好感), and in making peoples’ lives easier.

The “big picture” Wang drafts for the KMT in the interview might be summed up as think global, act in China, suggesting that solving China’s (environmental) problems would contribute to solving the world’s problems. His interview can also be seen as part of Guanchazhe’s efforts to prepare the Chinese public (or the share of it that cares) for a (no longer unlikely) re-election of Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s president.

Terry Wang, apparently a very sensitive man when his own professional integrity, or that of his paper, is called into question, doesn’t mince his words about Terry Gou. As a man who had portrayed himself as a principled man who believed in Mazu and Guan Gong, Gou hadn’t done himself a favor by withdrawing  from the KMT, “neither in terms of business nor politically” (换言之,他现今的脱党举动会在他未来不管是企业还是从政的道路上,布下一个非常不好的变数,而所谓的变数就是让人对他的诚信产生根本的否定), Wang says. He also cites Gou’s management style at Foxconn as an example as to how void his recent criticism of the KMT actually were. After all, if Gou – contrary to the KMT old guards – was indeed a modernizer, he could have democratized Foxconn (郭台铭不“迂腐陈旧”,难道鸿海敢搞企业民主、开明治理吗).

As for the state of the KMT’s unity, Wang suggests a numerical game to predict how the Party would fare:

There is a precondition for the KMT being united, and it is that their candidate must be in a safe zone of winning the elections, or moving close to losing. In such situations, there is a likelihood for unity. If Han Kuo-yu’s support rate isn’t more than 30 percent, but 20 percent or lower, the KMT may split.

国民党的团结必须有一个大前提,就是候选人是在胜选的安全区域,或接近落选的危险边缘,这样他们才有团结的可能性。如果韩国瑜今天不是30%多的支持度,而是20%多或更低,那么国民党就会是分裂的。我刚还在想,国民党的这些人跟战国七雄很相似,他们心中永远有个战国心态,就是“老子弱的时候,就臣服于强者;老子强的时候,又蠢蠢欲动想分裂”。

According to Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service on September 12, Gou may register as an independent candidate until September 17. He is widely expected to run for president as an independent now. That, however, could force him to state his positions, much more explicitly than up to now, reckons Frozen Garlic, a blogger who has focused on the topic of Taiwan’s elections for more than nine years. Even though Gou had mostly served platitudes during a visit to Chiayi city council earlier this month (and before withdrawing his KMT honorary Membership),

[e]very time Gou speaks, he gives Tsai [DPP] and Han [KMT] an opening to question him and force him to defend his positions and the implications of those positions.

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Related

“We uphold our principles,” Jan 2, 2019

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Updates/Related

Gou bows out, RTI, Sept 17, 2019

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