Archive for January, 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020

My first ten Days on Twitter

Thinking about it, these have been ten days within Twitter. Nothing or little of what I tweet would actually surface, except for a small chatroom of interested readers.

Press PR: "Because every word trains your head"

Press PR: “Because every word trains your head” (Archive)

My original motivation to start using a Twitter account was to draw more attention to this blog. But I’m beginning to suspect that this isn’t going to happen, for a number of reasons.

One is that there is a certain dialectics at work: you have to keep banging on the same subject, and kicking at the same objects, much of the time, if you want to attract readers. (There are exceptions, of course.)

Much of the news – especially many videos – can hardly be fact-checked.

I find it hard to confine my tweets to one speech bubble only – frequently, a message takes about three bubbles.

Then why should I keep using a Twitter account at all?

Probably because I find Twitter informative (even though my previous impressions may suggest otherwise). Provided that you remain skeptical, you may actually get a lot out of the constant stream of news, maybe-news, and opinion. Looks like promising material for blog posts. You cut yourself off the stream of information if don’t read along where the crowd is.

It used to be the blogosphere which informed readers. Now, to write good, up-to-date blogs, you probably need to follow Twitter users.

Friday, January 24, 2020

People’s Daily: “A Test for our Governance System, and an Examination for our Ability to Govern”

Xinwen Lianbo coverage, Jan 24, 2020

Xinwen Lianbo coverage, Jan 24, 2020 –
click picture for video

Main LinkPeople’s Daily online editorial: The more difficulties and dangers may unfold, the more the unity of the masses’ will shall form an impregnable wall (人民网评:越是艰难险阻,愈益众志成城)

From ten o’clock on January 23, all the city’s public transport, railways, ferries, long-distance passenger traffic will be suspended, and without particular reasons, city residents must not leave Wuhan. Traffic leaving Wuhan from the airport or train station is suspended.” That night, Wuhan issued an announcement which sent a clear signal: Just now, Wuhan is taking more careful, thorough and tangible preventive action, making every effort to contain the spread of the epidemic situation.

“1月23日10时起,全市城市公交、地铁、轮渡、长途客运暂停运营;无特殊原因,市民不要离开武汉,机场、火车站离汉通道暂时关闭。”武汉市连夜发出公告,传递明确信号:武汉正在采取更细致、更深入、更扎实的防控举措,全力遏制疫情扩散蔓延。

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. This casts light on a fundamental logic, to protect the masses’ lives and safety: don’t be afraid of involving many people, to “use manpower and resources generously”, and don’t be afraid of doing whatever it takes to defend!

非常之时,非常之举。这昭示了一个基本逻辑,为了守护人民群众的生命安全:不怕兴师动众、不怕“劳民伤财”、不怕十防九空!

Prevention and cure of this contagious disease has its complexities, and even more so its regularities, and when the times demand it, extraordinary measures must be taken, and both emotions and reason will lend them firm support. Extraordinary measures must crush routine and affect normality. The lives of Wuhan’s citizens will inevitably be affected, and we send them our respect for this! For winning this fight, every Wuhan citizen deserves grateful admiration, and everyone who is actively involved deserves our respect.

传染病防治有其复杂性,更有其规律性,必要时候必须采取非常之举,这于情于理于法都有坚实支撑。非常之举,必然要打破常规、影响常态。武汉市民的生活将不可避免地受到影响,我们向武汉市民的付出致敬!打赢这场防疫硬仗,每一位武汉市民都值得感佩,每一名积极参与者都值得我们呈上敬意。

Extraordinary measures require even more that government departments follow the principle of wholeheartedly serving the people. To answer the masses reasonable demands and to limit the disadvantageous effects from the measures taken is also a matter of vital importance. This is a test for our governance system, and an examination for our ability to govern. Apart from Wuhan, no city can keep out of this. This is not only so because of the epidemic’s interlinked effects, but to fulfill our solemn promise to the people.

非常之举,更需要政府部门遵循全心全意为人民服务的常理。积极回应民众的合理诉求,最大限度减少应急措施带来的不利因素,也是当务之急。这是对我们治理体系的测试,是对我们治理能力的检验。除了武汉,没有哪一座城市可以作壁上观。这不仅是因为疫情的联动效应,更是因为我们对人民的庄严承诺。

The epidemic has been fast, and now, some places and connections are facing challenges. Supplies with medicine, disinfectants, instruments and other prevention and control goods is urgent. It should be  noted that as the world’s factory, China isn’t short of material and production capacities; and to fill the material gaps is no poses no problems. The shortages that have occurred in some places fall into a structural category, constituting “local mismatches”, even more so as factories being on holiday create further lacks in supplies. We call on the manufacturers of goods such as face masks to respond to the situation and go to full production speed; emergency rescue efforts can be made from all across the country, for mutual support.

疫情来得迅疾,目前一些地方、一些环节面临挑战,做好药品、消毒、器械等防控物资的储备供应,显得迫在眉睫。需要看到,中国作为世界工厂,并不缺少物质生产力,补上物资缺口并非难事。一些地方出现物资短缺属于结构性的,只是“地域错配”,加上春节工厂放假因素而导致缺货。我们呼吁,口罩等物资的相关厂家能急疫情之所急,开足马力生产;全国各地也能紧急驰援、相互支持。

If the whole country stands as one, coordinates its arrangements, and advances in a concerted way, there is reason to be confident that shortage issues can be solved very quickly. At this moment, we must unleash our society’s long-trained abilities to mobilize, and our institutional superiority. Our party cadres must play a pioneering and exemplary role in the face of crisis, and show everyone the way into belief in victory, and into fighting and winning this hard battle!

只要全国一盘棋,统筹安排,协调推进,相信很快就可以解决物资短缺等难题。在这个时候,我们就是要把长期培育的社会动员能力和制度优越性充分释放出来。我们的党员干部在危机面前尤其要发挥先锋模范作用,引领大家增强必胜的信心,打赢这场硬仗!

Go Wuhan, the whole country is with you. The more we face difficulties and dangers, the more the unity of our masses’ will shall form an impregnable wall. This logic of China has constantly been validated by history and reality.

武汉加油,全国人民支持你们。越是遭遇艰难险阻,我们愈益众志成城。这是被历史和现实不断验证的中国逻辑。

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Related

不人道,不统一的, Tweet, Jan 25, 2020

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wuhan “in a State of War”, but without Health Protection Upgrades, says virologist

Main Link: “More than ten times as many infections than during SARS”

Yi Guan, or Guan Yi (管軼), a Chinese virologist who is credited with a crucial role in keeping SARS under control in 2004, is critical of Wuhan’s performance in combating the current coronavirus, according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI), quoting from an interview the professor gave Caixin online. For one, he doubts the efficiency of the restrictions on travels from Wuhan, as many people had already returned home to celebrate the new lunar year. Guan believes that by now, the infection rate is at least ten times as high as SARS was.

香港大學新發傳染性疾病國家重點實驗室主任管軼今天(23日)表示,武漢交通封城實際效果存疑,因為不少人已經回家過年。他又表示,武漢肺炎疫情已經無法控制,保守估計感染規模是嚴重急性呼吸道症候群(SARS)的10倍以上。

Guan also called the city’s less spectacular preventive measures into question. While staying in Wuhan on January 21 and 22, he had been to a vegetable market where sanitary conditions had been poor and where only one person in ten had been wearing a face mask. He also found disinfection at Wuhan airport was unsatisfactory, with only sporadic use of chemicals in the waiting lounges. Guan had also been told by a security officer that superiors, worried about the airport’s image, didn’t allow him to wear a face mask, and that all employees who did had brought their own ones, rather than getting them from their employer.

管軼接受中國大陸「財新網」訪問時說,21日曾到武漢考察兩天,發現一個菜市場衛生狀況惡劣,但只有不到一成人戴口罩,22日機場竟然還有旅行團出遊,機場地面沒有消毒,候機大廳只有零星地方放置消毒液。1名安檢人員對他表示,上級擔心影響形象不准戴口罩,口罩都是自備。管軼形容,武漢已經進入「戰爭狀態」,但衛生防護根本沒有升級。

While Wuhan had now entered “a state of war” (戰爭狀態), even basic health protection measures had not been upgraded.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Excitement without Borders

If you follow the news – even in Europe -, the coronavirus infections that reportedly started in Wuhan features prominently.

This can hardly be explained with the dangers it may pose to individuals, at least for now. Then why the excitement, while climate change (probably) continues and poses a much greater threat?

What becomes news depends on what people can relate to. When a royal couple decides to move to Canada (but not quite, only a bit), it’s news, because it suggests that there must be a VIP family conflict.

When murder occurs in a place where overseas tourists go, media are more likely to report the case than if the same thing happens in Gaborone, or in a tranquil Swiss village off the beaten track.

And when shit happens in China, it becomes an online game: because new statistics and measures are announced every hour, the news seems to suggest that the situation becomes ever more grim.

Besides, because the Chinese authorities earned themselves a bad record  during the SARS epidemic early this century, there are suspicions that the worst news may still be covered up.

And as Wuhan closes down public transport (including trains and flights), this comes across as truly dramatic, particularly in countries where such actions, in modern times, are unheard of.

But then, draconic measures are nothing unusual in China (as many victims of arbitrary police and other state organs can tell, if they dare). And besides, if you live in Wuhan and own a car, you can go wherever you like. I haven’t heard of Wuhan citizens being refused a flight once they have reached, say, Nanjing International Airport.

Life goes on: the South Korean government, only on Monday, published plans for individual travels from South to North, and one of the options includes traveling through China (“or other countries”). Yes, you may still plant an apple tree.

When Wuhan adopts measures the way it does now, there are always two ways of interpreting them: one may think that if things are that bad, they are probably even worse.  But then, maybe the authorities simply want to be efficient this time. It depends on how you look at it.

Time for me to hit the road. And I’m sure that I’m much more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, than by a virus from Wuhan.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

“A Hong Konger, too”

BBC, Nov 27, 2019

Monday, January 13, 2020

A second Term for President Tsai Ing-wen

我也要向大家保證,絕對不會因為勝利,就忘記了反省。過去這四年,我們有成績,但是也有不足的地方。台灣人民願意再給我們四年,我們會把做不夠的、來不及做的,做得更好、做得更多。

I promise that I will not stop reflecting and improving after winning this election. We have made progress over the past four years, but we also have our shortcomings. Now that the Taiwanese people have given us four more years, we will do more and be better, to make up for areas where we fell short or have not yet finished our work.

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Related

Re-elected, not just for being tough in China, NY Times, Jan 12, 2020
Written English version, CNA (Focus Taiwan), January 11, 2020

Saturday, January 4, 2020

January 2020: Nature turns to Spring, the Right Time for Military Drill

The following is a translation of a “Lianbo jia” article, published on January 3 by CCTV online. “Lianbo jia” or “Lianbo+” is a CCTV category which describes itself this way: Study and understand more here (在这里读懂更多).

It is, of course, all about Xi Jinping, except the “three agriculturals” on December 23. (But don’t worry, he is mentioned as the guy to learn from, there, too.)

Lianbo+ for all that matters

Lianbo+ for all that matters


Main Link: CCTV Lianbo+, Jan 3, 2020

Republished by Jiefang Daily, Guanchazhe online, and many others.

1. Introduction

联播+丨紧贴实战 习近平这样锻造精兵劲旅
Lianbo+ / Stick close to actual combat / this is how Xi Jinping forges squads of elite troops

联播+ 强国必须强军,军强才能国安。一元复始,万象更新,练兵正当时。
Broadcast + / A strong country needs a strong army, only with a strong army will there be national security. A new year begins, nature turns to spring, which is the right time for military drill.

1月2日,中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平签署中央军委2020年1号命令,向全军发布开训动员令:大抓实战化军事训练,保持高度戒备状态,确保召之即来、来之能战、战之必胜。
On January 2, Central Committee General Secretary, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping signed Central Military Commission’s first order for 2020, issuing a drill mobilization order to the entire army: Take charge of real-combat transformation military training, maintain a high degree of preparedness, ensure responsiveness whenever the call comes and the ability to fight, and to win.

实现党在新时代的强军目标,把人民军队全面建成世界一流军队的宏伟蓝图正一步步变成现实。连续三年的新年伊始,习近平向全军发布号令,聚焦实战化军事训练,坚定练兵备战决心。《联播+》特梳理,与您一起学习。
The magnificent blueprint to bring about the party’s goal of a strengthened army in the new era, and to build the People’s Army comprehensively into a front-ranking army,is, step by step, becoming a reality. For three years in a row, Xi Jinping has issued orders to the entire army focusing on real-combat military training, resolutely drill the troops and make them prepared and determined for war. “Lianbo+” is here to study [the orders] with you.

2. JPGs quoting the orders

要坚持领导带头人,以上率下,坚持实战训,联战联训,坚持按纲施训,从严治训。
2018年1月3日,向全军发布训令
We must adhere to leading and to setting examples, from the top to all levels, maintain real-combat training, joint operation and joint training, maintain training in accordance with the guidelines, and strictly manage the drills.
January 3, 2018, training order to the entire army

要端正训练作风,创新训练方法,完善训练保障,严格训练检察,开展群众性练兵比武活动,加强针对性对抗性训练,提高军事训练实战化水平,牢牢掌握能打仗,大胜仗的过硬本领。
2018年1月3日,向全军发布训令
Styles of work at training must be correct, innovative training methods and perfected training be guaranteed and seriously checked upon, mass army training competitions be carried out, purposeful stand-off training be strengthened, the level of military actual-combat abilities be improved, and perfect skills to fight and to win be maintained.
January 3, 2018, training order to the entire army

坚持实战训,联战联训,紧贴作战任务,作战对手,作战环境,大抓本系对抗训练,大抓复杂环境下训练,大抓极限条件下训练,加大科技练兵力度,把战略战术练精,把作战体系练强,把制胜招法练过硬,提高训练实战化水平。
2019年1月4日,向全军发布开训动员令
Adhere to real-combat training, joint operations and joint training, the tasks of sticking close to actual combat, combatting the adversary, the combat environment, take charge of systematic stand-off training of our own faculties, of training in complicated environments, and training under extreme limits, we must increase the level of technological drill, refine strategic and tactical training, strengthen combat systems, train perfect mastery of prevailing over the enemy, and improve real-combat transformation levels.
January 4, 2019, training opening mobilization order to the entire army

坚持按纲施训,从严治训,创新训练理念和模式,完善训练领域政策制度,加强训练规范和组训标准建设,加强训练条件和手段建设,端正训练作风,严格训练考核和监察督导,加大战备拉动抽查力度,提升训练质量和层次。
2019年1月4日,向全军发布开训动员令
We must maintain training in accordance with the guidelines, strictly manage the drills, innovative training concepts and methods, policies in the fields of training be perfected, training standards and the organizing of training standards be strengthened, the building of training conditions and means be strengthened, styles of work at training must be correct, checks and evaluations be strictly supervised, efforts for random inspections of preparedness for war be increased, and quality and arrangements of training be improved.
January 4, 2019, training opening mobilization order to the entire army

突出对抗检验,加强指军对抗,实兵对抗,体系对抗,创新对抗方式方法,完善检验评估体系,实际检验作战概念,作战方案,作战指军,作战力量,作战保障,促进备战工作落实。
2020年1月2日,向全军发布开训动员令
Give prominence to stand-off [abilities] inspection, strengthen standoff guidance and standoff [abilities], systematic standoff, and innovative standoff ways and methods, perfect inspection and evaluation systems, realistically inspect concepts of combat, combat plans, action guidance, strength, and support, guaranteed action, and promotion of war preparedness work implementation.
January 2, 2020, training opening mobilization order to the entire army

突出锤炼作风,从实战需要出发从难从严摔打部队,发扬一不怕苦,二不怕死的战斗精神,敢于战胜一切困难,敢于压倒一切敌人,坚决完成党和人民赋予的新时代使命任务。
2020年1月2日,向全军发布开训动员令
Give prominence to forging the working style, set out for real-combat requirements and strictly toughen the troops, develop a battle spirit of firstly no fear of pain, and secondly no fear of death, the derring-do to overcome all difficulties, to overwhelm all enemies, resolute fulfillment of the new era’s mission and duties assigned [to the armed forces] by the party and the people.
January 2, 2020, training opening mobilization order to the entire army

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Related

High-quality employment, Oct 17, 2019
Greetings to the Military, Febr 18, 2015
Xinjiang Ethnic Unity Education Month, May 3, 2014
Successes to the Grassroots, Jan 29, 2014
Shenyang Military Region, Sept 2, 2013
Xi Jinping’s first time, Nov 29, 2012

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Radio Austria International’s shortwave broadcasts as of 2020

As traditional as the medium: a Radio Austria International QSL card, confirming reception on July 11, 1987, on 6155 kHz shortwave

As traditional as the medium: a Radio Austria International QSL card, 1987

Reportedly, the company operating the shortwave transmission site in Moosbrunn has announced the closure of the site by 2020 “at the latest”

is how I quoted a bimonthly local paper for Moosbrunn, published by the Austrian People’s Party,  in April last year. I might have given a more accurate translation, though. What a leading member of Austria’s public radio ORF had told Moosbrunn’s mayor and some other Moosbrunn representatives was this, according to the paper:

Dabei wurde den Gemeindemandataren mitgeteilt, dass der Betrieb der Sendeanlage aus heutiger Sicht bis längstens 2020 weitergeführt wird. Damit gehören senderbedingte Störungen hoffentlich bald der Vergangenheit an.

On the occasion, the elected municipal officers were told that operation of the transmitting site would, from today’s point of view, only continue until 2020 at the latest. Therefore, interferences*) will, hopefully, be a thing of the past, soon.

If an end to the transmissions is planned for 2020, the most likely days for that would be March 29, October 25, or December 31. Frequency and time schedules traditionally change on the last Sundays of March and October, and December 31 would be another obvious breaking point.

ORF has kept to its broadcasts on 6155 kHz, with a signal in here this morning that left nothing to be desired. Scheduled times are from 06:00 to 07:20 UTC from Monday to Friday, and from 06:00 to 07:10 UTC on Saturdays and on Sundays.

All programs are in German.

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*) No description of the interferences is given, but the paper’s local readers may be familiar with them.

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Related

Christmas program, Nov 11, 2019
Return to full morning bcs, May 17, 2018
Austria leaving shortwave?, April 11, 2018
Win-win flattery, April 7, 2018
ORF frequencies, ORF, April 17, 2017
Austrian DX Board, frequently updated

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