Archive for December 1st, 2020

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Xi Jinping’s “Resisting U.S. speech”: a few remarks

Curt publication

What strikes me while translating Xi Jinping’s October 23 speech, commemorating the Korean War, is Beijing’s departure from seeking truth in the facts. Contrary to what Xi tells in his “majestic epic that scared heaven and earth and made supernatural beings cry” (驚天地、泣鬼神的雄壯史詩), China was involved in North Korea’s and Russia’s war preparations, although probably rather passively and not enthusiastically. China supported an enabled an aggression, rather than defending itself against one. Xi, in his speech, emphasized the need to be “brave to be innovative” so as to “advance further”, and to be “good at creating” so as to be “victorious” (勇于創新者進,善于創造者勝). And if being inventive enough seventy years later to win the Korean War after all (or at least make it useful), so be it, seems to be Xi’s line of thought.

But what is the use of it? The next batches of translation may turn out to be self-explanatory, though there is probably always room for different interpretations. In Xi’s view, China is in dire need of an army that will not only defend the country or to quash uprisings, but that will also be able to invade, for example, Taiwan.

To arouse a “spirit” that defies death, Xi rewrites history. Doing that has a long imperial tradition in China, but to lie as fundamentally as Xi did on October 23 marks a revival of faking the records that hasn’t been seen for decades.

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Related / Updates

Xi speech (1)
Xi speech (2)
Xi speech (3)

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