Sherman-Xie Tianjin Meeting: “The Eyes of the Chinese Common People are Sharp”

The following is a translation of a rant by China’s deputy foreign minister Xie Feng (谢锋), as rendered by a number of Chinese mainstream media (with Shanghai newsportal Guanchazhe apparently as the original source), in a meeting with U.S. deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman and her delegation in Tianjin on Monday.

The meeting apparently didn’t make it into Monday’s main Chinese telvision newscast, “Xinwen Lianbo”.

Links within blockquotes added during translation. My translation may contain errors, and corrections aind suggestions are welcome.
20210726_dragon_tv_tianjin_sherman_xie
Main Link: Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng’s Tianjin Talks with U.S. Principal Deputy Secretary of State Sherman

(Guanchazhe online news) In the morning of July 26, Chinese vice foreign minister Xie Feng held talks in Tianjin with American deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman.

(观察者网讯)7月26日上午,中国外交部副部长谢锋同美国国务院常务副国务卿舍曼在天津举行会谈。

According to Weibo @玉渊谭天 news1), Xie Feng said during the talks with Sherman that Chinese-American relations were currently in deadlock2) facing serious difficulties, the basic cause of which was that some people in America regarded China as an “imaginary enemy”.

据微博@玉渊谭天 消息,谢锋在和舍曼会谈时表示,中美关系目前陷入僵局,面临严重困难,根本原因就是美国一些人把中国当作“假想敌”。

Xie Feng said that for some time, some people on the American side had embellished Sino-American conflicts as so-called “Pearl-Harbor moments” and “Sputnik moments”. Some experts and scholars stated clearly that America is comparing China to second world wartime Japan and the cold-war Soviet Union, wanting to establish China as an imaginary enemy country, to reignite a sense of national purpose by demonizing China, thus deflecting the American people’s discontent with domestic politics, the economy and society, shifting the blame for deep-seated American structural contradictions onto China.

谢锋表示,一段时间以来,美方一些人在渲染中美冲突和美国面临的挑战时提到所谓“珍珠港时刻”和“斯普特尼克时刻”。一些专家学者明言,美方是在把中国比喻成二战时的日本、冷战时的苏联,想通过树立中国这个“假想敌”,重新点燃国家目标感,通过妖魔化中国,转移美民众对国内政治、经济、社会的不满,把美国内深层次结构性矛盾甩锅到中国身上。

Xie Feng pointed out that the entire American government and society were mobilized to comprehensively contain China, as if America’s domestic and external problems could be easily solved and as if America could become great again, and American hegemony continue, if only China’s development was contained. America readily criticized China, and things looked as if without gossiping about China, nothing could be said and done in America. We urge America to change its current, extremely mistaken, thought and its extremely dangerous China policy.

谢锋指出,美全政府全社会动员,全方位遏制中国,似乎只要遏制住中国的发展,美内外难题就能迎刃而解,美国将重新变得伟大,美国治下的霸权就可以延续。美方动辄拿中方说事,好像不扯上中国,都不会说话做事了。我们敦促美方改变当前这种极其错误的思维和极其危险的对华政策。

Xie Feng said that the eyes of the Chinese common people were sharp. America’s “competition, cooperation, confrontation” trichotomy was just America’s smokescreen. The innate character were confrontation and containment, while cooperation was a stop-gap plan of convenience and competition was the discourse trap. When China is needed, cooperation is demanded; when there’s an advantage [on America’s side], there’s decoupling, blockade and sanctions; and in order to contain China, [America] unscrupulously applies conflict and confrontation. If only matters of concern to America should be solved, if only results wanted by America should be reached, if benefits are unilateral and there’s always leeway for extreme measures [for America], how in the world can that be justified?!

谢锋表示,中国老百姓的眼晴是雪亮的。美方的“竞争、合作、对抗”三分法就是遏制打压中国的“障眼法”。对抗遏制是本质,合作是权宜之计,竞争是话语陷阱。有求于中方时就要求合作;在有优势的领域就脱钩断供,封锁制裁;为了遏制中国,不惜冲突对抗。只想解决美方关切的问题,只想得到美方想要的结果,单方面受益,既要坏事做绝,还想好处占尽,天下哪有这样的道理?!

Xie Feng pointed out that America’s so-called protection of the “rules-based international order” was just about packaging its own and a minority of Western countries’ “lineage rules and gang regulations”, to be used to block and suppress other countries. America is turning away from the international community’s accepted international law and international order, damagaging the international system it once participated in building, [then] building a new stove to throw the so-called “rules-based international order” out. Only in order to play shameless games, to usurp and change rules to restrict others, to strive for its own profit, it wants to execute the “law of the jungle” where you either eat or are eaten.

谢锋指出,美方所谓维护“基于规则的国际秩序”,就是想把自己和少数西方国家的“家法帮规”包装成国际规则,用来规锁打压别国。美方抛弃国际社会广泛接受的国际法和国际秩序,破坏自己曾经参与构建的国际体系,另起炉灶抛出所谓“基于规则的国际秩序”,无非是想耍赖,想篡改规则限制别人、谋利自己,是想施行弱肉强食、以大欺小的“丛林法则”。

Xie Feng said that what the world needed most these days was joint cooperation, rising to the challenges from the same boat3). The Chinese people loved peace, actively promoted the building of a new world order of mutual respect, fairness and justice, cooperation and double-win, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind4). China wanted to interact mutually with America on an equal footing, seeking common ground while keeping differences. America should change its ways5) and choose meeting with China halfway, mutual respect, fair competition, and peaceful coexistence. Healthy and stable Sino-American relations are not only in both sides’ interest but also the international community’s shared expectation.

谢锋表示,当今世界最需要团结合作、同舟共济。中国人民爱好和平,积极推动构建相互尊重、公平正义、合作共赢的新型国际关系,构建人类命运共同体。中方愿与美方平等相待、求同存异。美方应该改弦易辙,选择与中方相向而行,相互尊重,公平竞争,和平共处。一个健康稳定的中美关系不仅符合双方利益,也是国际社会的共同期盼。

Xie Feng said that America should first solve its own human rights problems. From a historical perspective, racism and genocide against native people; seen from reality, 620,000 people died from inactivity in fighting the virus; from a global perspective, putting all military might into wars of aggression, using lies to provoke wars, bringing the world serious disasters. What is America’s advocacy role for democracy and human rights based on?

谢锋表示,美方应该首先解决好自己的人权问题。从历史看,对土著居民搞种族灭绝;从现实看,消极抗疫造成62万美国人死亡;从世界看,长期穷兵黩武,用谎言挑起战争,给世界带来深重灾难。美国凭什么以全球民主人权自居?

Xie Feng said that America wasn’t qualified to wave around and making indiscreet remarks6) about democracy and human rights in China. If there was no strong and effective leadership of China’s Communist Party, no strong governing system, no appropriate road of development for China, and if the Chinese common people were denied democracy, freedom and human rights, how would the Chinese people be able to release such huge creativity and productivity? How did China, an enormously large country with more than a billion inhabitants, create the two miracles of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability? How was the Chinese nation able to perform the great leap of standing up, prospering and becoming strong within just 100 years? Western opinion polls show that the Chinese masses’ satisfaction with Chinese government exceeds 90 percent – an amazing rate for any country.

谢锋说,美方没有资格在中方面前指手画脚谈民主人权。如果没有中国共产党坚强有力的领导、没有一套行之有效的政治制度、没有一条适合国情的发展道路,如果老百姓都被剥夺了民主、自由、人权,中国人民怎么能释放出如此巨大的创造力和如此巨大的生产力?中国这么一个十几亿人口的超大规模国家怎么能创造经济快速增长与社会长期稳定两大奇迹?中华民族怎么能在短短的100年间迎来从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃?西方民调显示,中国民众对中国政府的满意度超过90%,这在任何一个国家都是惊人的。

Xie Feng said that Chinese culture advocated not to do to others what you don’t want others do to yourself, as it had no hegemonic genes, expansionist moods, or any precedent cases of coercion of any other country. Facing external interference, China had adopted adequate and lawful countermeasures to defend the country’s righteous interests, to protect international fairness and justice, and never ran to other peoples’ doors to pick fights, to reach into other people’s property, let alone occupy other countries’ territory – not even an inch. The patent and intellectual property on coercive diplomacy7) is all belonging to the Americans, as America applies sanctions on a grand scale, long-arm jurisdiction and interference in domestic politics. America’s so-called “interaction with other countries from a position of strength” is really just about bullying others based on one’s power, tyrannize others based on one’s power, [with the idea that] might makes right. It is coercive diplomacy through and through.

谢锋表示,中国文化主张己所不欲、勿施于人,从无霸权基因、扩张冲动,从不胁迫任何国家。面对外来干涉,中方采取的是合理合法反制,捍卫的是国家正当权益,维护的是国际公平正义,从未跑到别人门口挑事,从未将手伸进别人家里,更没占领过别国一寸土地。胁迫外交的发明权、专利权、知识产权,都非美国人莫属,是美国大搞单边制裁、长臂管辖、干涉内政。美方所谓“从实力地位出发与别国打交道”,本质就是仗势欺人、恃强凌弱、强权即公理,是彻头彻尾的胁迫外交。

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Notes

1) I’m not familiar with this account, but this way of quoting Xie Feng may intend to carry his message the Chinese public in a less official way than through the Chinese foreign ministry’s website
2) or, in other translations, in a stalemate
3) Please see Adam Cathcart’s great comment with classical background – two antagonized parties, condemned to cooperate
4) More literally translated: a community of common destiny for mankind
5) Literally translated, this could be mounting a new bowstring (or a string on a musical instrument) and change track”. This is sort of loaded, as the saying has also been used in the context of self-criticism and becoming a new man. The memory of that isn’t really cherished by the common people and doesn’t look like a constructive remonstrance to me.
6) literally: pointing fingers and drawing feet
7) more literally: diplomacy that threatens violence

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Related

G7, small-circled cliques and factions, May 4, 2021
Anchorage meeting,wise and competent, March 15, 2021

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Updates/Related

“Taiwan most important in Tianjin talks”, RTI, July 27, 2021
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2 Comments to “Sherman-Xie Tianjin Meeting: “The Eyes of the Chinese Common People are Sharp””

  1. Nice work on this, JR — I had a look at 同舟共济 (‘crossing the river in the same boat’), seems it’s meant here in the ‘obliged to to work together toward common goals’ or ‘work together under pressure’ sense, which you have combined into ‘rise to the challenges in the same boat’. Curious so looked up the chengyu; it is apparently from the Spring and Autumn period — the people of Wu and Yue hated one another, once some people from those states took a ferry together and nearly came to blows when lo! a storm arrived, nearly capsizing the ship. So they worked together to survive and get to the other side, such a heartwarming story that shows that China’s diplomats have by no means lost their nimble touch under pressure.

    Here’s the link http://www.hydcd.com/cy/gushi/0571tz.htm#:~:text=%E8%88%B9%E5%88%9A%E5%BC%80%E7%9A%84%E6%97%B6%E5%80%99,%E5%AE%89%E5%85%A8%E5%88%B0%E8%BE%BE%E6%B2%B3%E7%9A%84%E5%AF%B9%E5%B2%B8%E3%80%82

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link! Wondering if Wendy Sherman had a gushi to relate, too.

    Like

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