New Diplomatic Normal: “Give your esteemed Country’s Voters an Explanation”

Latest diplomatic hero: Zhang Xiao,
ambassador to Kazakhstan

The following is a translation published by Guanchazhe online (观察者网, Shanghai) on Monday, covering a Facebook post written by China’s ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Xiao (张霄).

Diplomats, and especially Chinese diplomats, are usually the last officials who like to become noisy, but the times are changing, and so are the demands on them. The recent behavior of Chinese ambassadors, most notoriously the one to Sweden, Gui Congyou, should probably not be seen as populism, at least not in a classical sense.

Such explosions aren’t temper tantrums. They are attempts to intimidate other stakeholders, preferably smaller countries. Charm offensives aren’t completely out, but mostly restricted to “friendly” countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, or Pakistan.

Therefore, we should probably think of this as beauty contests on Xi Jinping’s catwalk – the new diplomatic normal, prescribed by the center. (A recall of Chinese ambassadors will just lead to another guy doing his best, so waste no time on it.)

Zhang Xiao’s facebook post, and Zhao Lijian‘s Tweet (referred to in the following Guanchazhe article) are somewhat different from Gui Congyou’s in that they apparently aren’t trying to pressurize a smaller country, but rather to excel in a global opinion struggle, and to impress their superiors.

Main link: Ambassador to Kazakhstan shows his dislike for America: a waste of the time won by China (我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使怼美国:浪费中国赢得的时间)

As some of America’s high-ranking officials and members of the House of Representatives have repeatedly talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma, another Chinese diplomat strikes back on social media abroad.

【文/观察者网 齐倩】在美国部分高官、议员多次将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”后,又一中国外交官在国外社交媒体上发出回击。

On March 14, our country’s ambassador to Kazachstan, Zhang Xiao, denounced America of only caring about vilifying and slandering China, wasting precious time that China had earned the world.

3月14日,我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使张霄也在脸书用俄语发声,指责美国在疫情初期只顾诋毁诽谤中国,白白浪费了中方用生命为世界赢来的宝贵时间。

He also pointed straight away at America’s epidemic data as being “too watered-down”, yelling that America’s government should be public and transparent, not politicize the virus, or swing pans around and seek scapegoats!

他还直指美国的疫情数据“掺了太多水”,喊话美国政府要公开透明,不要将病毒政治化,也不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention director previously conceded that Americans who died from influenza had in fact suffered from COVID-19 pneumonia, and after this matter had been exposed, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had written five tweets in a row on Twitter in the evening of March 12, both in Chinese and English, fuming at America that you owe us an explanation!

美国疾控中心主任此前承认美国有流感死者可能实患新冠肺炎,此事被曝光之后,外交部发言人赵立坚12日晚在推特上,用中英双语连发5条推文怒怼美国:欠我们一个解释!

In his tweet, Zhang Xiao shouted at America’s government: In the early stages of COVID-19 pneumonia epidemic, what did you do? Still infatuated with geopolitical games, domestic political agendas and slanders against China. You have wasted precious time that China had earned the countries of the world, including your country.

张霄在贴文中喊话美国政府:新冠肺炎疫情初期你们在干什么?仍醉心于地缘政治游戏、国内政治议程和诽谤中国。你们浪费了中国用生命为世界所有国家,包括你们在内,赢得的宝贵时间。

Zhang Xiao also attacked American data for not being transparent. He said that the American government had been confident that health officials’ warnings were lies, claiming that the situation was under control. By now, the COVID-19 virus had already spread into more than 40 US states, and you are losing your head out of fear right away.

张霄还抨击美国数据不公开透明。他表示,美国政府笃定本国卫生官员的预警是“谎言”,坚称局势已在控制中。而现在,新冠病毒已在美国40多个州蔓延,“你们马上变得惊慌失措”。

According to CNN’s latest reports, combined data from the respective US state governments and the CDC say that in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. had at least 3,482 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of who at least 65 people had died. West Virginia remained the only state without confirmed cases.

据美国有线新闻网(CNN)最新报道,综合各州政府机构和疾控中心(CDC)数据,在49个州、波多黎各、美属维尔京群岛和华盛顿特区至少有3482例新冠肺炎确诊病例,至少65人死亡。西弗吉尼亚州仍然是唯一一个没有确诊病例的州。

It is worth noting that CDC data have stopped as of March 13: 1,629 confirmed cases, 41 deaths. (Guanchazhe online note: US CDC stopped updating updating data on the weekend.

值得注意的是,美国疾控中心(CDC)的数据仍停留在3月13日:确诊病例1629例,死亡41例。(观察者网注:美国疾控中心周末停止更新数据。)

Zhang Xiao said that all the same, American scientists had confirmed themselves that many many people who had died of influenza were really victims of the COVID-19 virus, making the actual number of deaths from COVID-19 much higher,

张霄称,然而美国的科学家自己也证实,许多死于流感的人实际上是新冠病毒的受害者,所以实际死亡人数要多得多。“你们的数据里水分太多,谈何透明?”

[Apparently a caption of the Facebook entry:] The ridiculous thing is that facing an epidemic disease, your esteemed country has not taken emergency measures to mend the leaks, but shifted the responsibility to China, calling it “China virus”. Such a careless conclusion will inevitably raise suspicions among the popular feelings.

“可笑荒谬的是,面对流行病,贵国没有采取紧急措施来弥补和修补漏洞,而是把责任推给了中国,称其为“中国病毒”。如此草率地下结论,不免让人心生怀疑。” [End of caption]

He also continued to call on experts from all countries of the world to carry out research about the origin of the virus, and the truth would eventually come to light [literally: become clear under heaven]. What we must do now is that all countries unite, jointly resist the virus, but not shirk responsibility! There must be no pan-swinging and scapegoating again!

他还继续呼吁,各国专家都在对病毒起源进行研究,真相终将大白于天下。现在我们需要做的事情,就是各国团结一致,共同对抗病毒,而不是推卸责任。不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

With the American epidemic becoming more serious day by day, Zhang Xiao [rhetorically] asked if your esteemed country’s lack of face masks, gloves, test reagents, equipment, and goods supplies and even the stock market crash were also China’s fault? It is time now to give your esteemed country’s voters and the international community an explanation, “what are you actually hiding?”

对于美国日趋严峻的疫情,张霄称,贵国缺乏口罩、手套、测试试剂和设备物资,甚至股市崩盘,这也是中国的错吗?现在是时候给贵国选民和国际社会一个交待了,“你们到底隐瞒了什么?”

Closing, Zhang Xiao explained that America’s government, as a result of its negligence in epidemic prevention, wasted the time China had gained for the world, and urged the US not to continue this kind of meaningless trick, because politicizing the virus would make the situation worse.

最后张霄重申,美国政府在防疫上的粗心大意,导致白白浪费了中国为世界赢得的时间,并敦促美国不要继续这种无意义的把戏,因为将病毒政治化会使情况变得更糟。

The virus is awful, even the strongest countries of the world won’t be able to withstand its blow. We must always remember not to expectorate into the well (not to do stupid things).

“病毒是可怕的,即使是世界上最强大的国家也会不堪一击。我们要永远记住,不要往井里吐痰(不要做蠢事)。”

Earlier,  high-ranking American officials and Members of the House of Representatives had, in disregard of WHO appeals, deliberately talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma. According to a report on the Chinese embassy to Kazakhstan’s website, Zhang Xiao had forcefully stated his dislike of American politicans’ ridiculous statements as early as on March 9, saying that the COVID-19 virus had torn off America’s cold-blooded, hypocritical and arrogant mask.*)

此前,美国部分高官、议员多次无视世卫组织呼吁,故意将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”。据中国驻哈萨克斯坦大使馆网站报道,早在3月9日,张霄就在脸书力怼美国政客的荒谬发言,称新冠病毒撕下了美国冷血、虚伪和傲慢的面具。

Moreover, countering the so-called “virus’ orgin” controversy, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a reply on a regular press conference on March 13 that “we notice that recently, there have been discussions about the source of the virus. Individual high US government officials and Members of Congress are using this as a pretext for all kinds of false and irresponsible remarks to discredit and to attack China, to which we are resolutely opposed. In fact, the international community including America, have different views of the virus’ origin. China has always taken the view that this is a scientific issue and that we need to listen to scientific and professional opinions.”

另外,针对所谓“病毒起源”的争论,外交部发言人耿爽在3月13日召开的外交部例行记者会上回应称,“我们注意到,最近一段时间有一些关于新冠病毒源头的讨论。个别美国政府高官和国会议员借此发表种种不实和不负责任的言论,抹黑攻击中国,我们对此坚决反对。事实上,国际社会包括美国国内,对病毒源头问题有不同看法。中方始终认为,这是一个科学问题,需要听取科学和专业的意见。”

____________

Note

*) This doesn’t seem to make sense, but it’s how I’m reading it.

____________

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: