Author Archive

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Protests: Don’t stirr Trouble, Comrade Jiang

The party leadership might be concerned that Jiang Zemin’s death could lead from public mourning to an idolization of the deceased leader, and to more protests from there (rhymes with “past leaders were better than you guys at the top”).

Also, the party may want to serve a reminder of what it can do if it considers its rule threatened (rhymes with June 4, 1989).

While the current protests are heavily censored, June 4, 1989 was mentioned in yesterday’s main evening news, in a read-out Jiang Zemin obituary, even if n ot as “liu-si”, but rather as ījiǔbājiǔ nián chūn xià zhī jiāo:

As mayor and as municipal party secretary of Shanghai, Comrade Jiang Zemin led the cadres and masses in Shanghai to raise their spirits and to daring exploration, promoting great breakthroughs in Shanghai’s opening-up and its socialist modernization. The development and opening-up of Pudong was taking shape, he promoted party-building, and the building of spiritual civilization and of society saw major progress. As spring passed into summer in 1989, serious political crisis occurred in our country. Comrade Jiang Zemin supported and carried out the Party Central Commission’s correct decision to take a clear-cut stand and to fight against turmoil, and the correct decision to defend socialist state power, to protect the fundamental interests of the people, and to closely rely on the numerous party members, cadres and masses to vigorously protect Shanghai’s stability.
一九八五年,江泽民同志任上海市市长、中共上海市委副书记。一九八七年,江泽民同志在党的十三届一中全会上当选为中共中央政治局委员,并任中共上海市委书记。担任上海市长、市委书记期间,江泽民同志带领上海广大干部群众振奋精神、勇于探索,推动上海改革开放和社会主义现代化建设取得重大突破,浦东开发开放蓄势谋篇,推动党的建设、精神文明建设、社会建设取得重大进步。一九八九年春夏之交我国发生严重政治风波,江泽民同志拥护和执行党中央关于旗帜鲜明反对动乱、捍卫社会主义国家政权、维护人民根本利益的正确决策,紧紧依靠广大党员、干部、群众,有力维护上海稳定。
In 1989, at the 13th Central Committee’s fourth plenary session, Comrade Jiang Zemin was elected into the politburo’s standing committee, and the central committee’s general secretary. The same year, the 13th central committee’s fifth plenary session made  Jiang Zemin should become chairman of the party’s central military commission.  In 1990, at the 7th National People’s Congress’ third session, he was elected chairman of the People’s Republic of China’s central military commission.
一九八九年,在党的十三届四中全会上,江泽民同志当选为中共中央政治局常委、中央委员会总书记。同年,党的十三届五中全会决定江泽民同志为中共中央军事委员会主席。一九九〇年,在七届全国人大三次会议上当选为中华人民共和国中央军事委员会主席。

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Related

王丹:就算江執政 中國也不會有民主, RTI, Dec 01, 2022
Popular History Reader, July 31, 2012
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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jiang Zemin, 1926 – 2022

Source: Wikimedia Commons - click picture for source

Wikimedia Commons – click picture for source

Jiang Zemin (江泽民), one of the CCP leadership’s many trained engineers, the man who invented the socialist market economy and the three represents, … Relatively untarnished by the June-4 crackdowns, he became the CCP’s chairman (or secretary general) in June 1989, by means of what official Chinese sources usually refer to as an “election”, at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth CPC Central Committee.  Jiang had spent some time abroad, as a trainee at the Stalin Automobile Works in Moscow in 1955, and later worked in leading technical and party functions in trades as different as the automotive and soap-manfucaturing industries. His work turned more administrative and governmental some time after 1980.

In October 1992, he told the 14th CCP party congress that

To establish a socialist market economy we must do the following important and interrelated tasks.  First, we must change the way in which state-owned enterprises operate, especially the large and medium-sized ones, and push them into the market so as to increase their vitality and efficiency. This is the key to establishing a socialist market economy, consolidating the socialist system and demonstrating its superiority.

Based on Deng Xiaoping‘s concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics (中国特色社会主义), the socialist market economy (社会主义市场经济) focused on growth – something Deng kept emphasizing, sometimes against opposition from more conservative party leaders such as Chen Yun. Even Jiang is said to have come fully behind Deng’s all-out advocacy of growth once the paramount elder had made his inspection tour to the south (i. e. Shenzhen), garnering local support for his reform agenda, and proving that he was still China’s most powerful man, even if (mostly) from backstage.

Unlike his mentor Deng Xiaoping, he was no revolutionary veteran, and therefore lacked some or much of the traditional authority to head the party’s central military commission at the time. He led the commission anyway, and worked to make it clear that he was no mere civilian business promoter, according to a short news notice by German newsmagazine Der Spiegel in January 1995:

Those who criticize me for raising glasses with Western leaders must understand that this is tactics,

he told PLA officers in Chengdu, according to a central committee document the Spiegel said it had on hand.

I’m aware that the West remains our main enemy.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has remained one of the CCP’s slogans, even as Jiang’s (and Deng’s) propensity to growth lost favor among the fourth generation of party leadership, i. e. the previous (Hu-Wen led) politbureau. The term socialist market economy has become less frequently used. In June 2011, China Daily hailed the concept as evidence for the wisdom of the CPC and its able leadership of the Chinese people in their endeavor to build a prosperous, civilized, democratic and harmonious modern socialist state and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation only in June 2011, but left no doubt that the Deng-Jiang approach had been second stage in a three-stage development strategy, and that

Now we are striding forward toward the strategic objective of the third stage. From now to the mid-21st century, China will be in a period of in-depth development of industrialization, informatization, urbanization, marketization and internationalization, an important period of strategic opportunities for economic and social development, but also a period with prominent social contradictions.

The three-staged approach referred to by the above China-Daily article of June 2011 had been spelled out by Jiang Zemin’s predecessor Zhao Ziyang (赵紫阳), in 1987. Jiang was to replace Zhao two years later, after Zhao had been ousted in the process of the June-4 crackdown. Li Peng (李鹏), state council chairman at the time of the crackdown, and the Standing Committee of the “National People’s Congress” afterwards, referred to the third stage as a the one where

we will catch up with medium-level developed countries in terms of per capita GNP by the middle of this century, achieve modernisation by and large and turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic and culturally advanced socialist country,

in January 2001, speaking to an audience in India.

The Hong Kong handover in 1997 added to the glorious picture of growth, this time in terms of political power. But appointing the former British colony’s tycoon Tung Chee-hwa (董建華) as the chief executive of the newly-created special administrative region (or having him “elected”) was probably one of Jiang’s leadership’s less lucky choices. In October 2000, enraged by Hong Kong journalists’ questions about if the CCP supported Tung’s candidacy for a second term, and if so, how that support could play a role, if Tung was really to be elected, Jiang told the questioners that they were “too simple, sometimes nayifu”. Tung, deeply embarrassed (by his fellow Hong Kongers, his boss, or both sides), was laughing in the background.

In his angry lecture, Jiang also advised the Hong Kong press people to learn from Mike Wallace, an American anchorman who had interviewed him about a month earlier, in the seaside resort of Beidaihe. It had been an unusual  interview, by CCP leadership standards, one that Jiang had visibly enjoyed, and one that had probably gone very well for him, in terms of public relations. Compared to his successor, he came across as a cosmopolitan, with a certain command of several foreign languages, including English, Russian, and arguably some German. When Spiegel journalists met with Jiang in 2002, they were greeted in German, with no accent.

Jiang had stated the need to deepen the reform of the system of distribution and the system of social security, in his 14th CCP party congress speech of October 1992, but that was basically that. If in essence, the objective of socialism was to liberate and develop the productive forces, to eliminate exploitation and polarization, and ultimately to achieve common prosperity, liberating the productive forces certainly came first. Growing divides between rich and poor didn’t appear to trouble either Jiang, or Zhu Rongji‘s (朱镕基) state council.

Another trend however did – the growing influence of a qigong-related, or buddhism-related religious organization, Falun Gong. In reaction to an incident in Tianjin, a massive silent protest involving over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners or supporters was organised in Beijing on April 25, 1999. The CCP leadership declared Falun Gong an “evil cult” in July, 1999, and started a lasting crackdown, initially supplemented with extended evening news propaganda featuring allegations against the organization which were hardly more “scientific” than the “evil cult” itself. Here, too, Hong Kong’s unfortunate chief executive Tung Chee-hwa was walking on eggshells, trying to please both his superiors in Beijing, and the public in Hong Kong.

When Jiang stepped down as the CCP’s secretary general in November 2002, he had held the post for more than thirteen years. He relinquished state chairmanship in March 2003, and the party’s central military commission chairmanship in September 2004.

Jiang Zemin was born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, in 1926. He is survived by his wife Wang Yeping (王冶坪, also born in Yangzhou), and by two sons, Jiang Mianheng (江绵恒) and Jiang Miankang (江绵康).

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Related
» Jiang Zemin’s Health Matters, July 8, 2011
» Tiger on the Brink, New York Times, about 1998

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Most headlines in during Jiang’s life after retirement came from Falun-Gong affiliated media. The close interest from these quarters was no coincidence.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet (3): Zhao Leji – two Upholds, never change Color


Much of the following table’s content is taken from the bio published by “People’s Daily” online, on October 25, 2017, when Zhao became a permanent politburo standing committee member for the first time (then ranking #6).

Short Bio

Politburo Standing Committeee — #3 — Zhao Leji (赵乐际)

1957-03-08 Born in Xining, Qinghai province, family background: parents from Xi’an.
1974-07-00 party membership
1974-09-00 Considered an “educated youth” (知识青年), Zhao is sent or “called” to Hedong Township, Qinghai, during the “Down to the Countryside” movement. Hedong is part of the “Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”.
1975-08-00 Returns to city life as a mail clerk and messenger at Qinghai Department of Trade.
1977-02-00 Studies at Beijing University’s philosophy faculty, as a worker-peasant-soldier student.
1980-01-00 graduation
about 1980 Returns to Qinghai Department of Trade.
1984-12-00 Party secretary at Qinghai Province Hardware Electric & Chemical Products (a Qinghai Department of Trade company), also picking up managerial duties.
1986-04-00 Chairman of financial and commercial workers’ trade union’s Qinghai Department of Trade branch.
1993-02-00 Assistant to Qinghai provincial governor, provincial department of finance director.
1994-07-00 Qinghai deputy provincial governor.
1997-03-00 Xining Municipal Party Committee Secretary.
1997-12-00 Deputy secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
1999-08-00 Acting governor.
2000-01-00 Officially appointed as Qinghai provincial governor.
2003-08-00 Secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
2004-01-00 Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2007-03-25 Deputy secretary of Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee.
2008-01-23 Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2012-11-15 Member of the CPC’s 18th Central Committee, and politburo member.
2012-11-19 Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party.
2012-11-19 Holding the office of CPC Central Organizational Department director at the same time.
2017-10-25 First plenary session of the 19th CPC National Congress, CPC politburo standing committee membership (ranking 6th) among seven standing-committee members).
Also Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary, replacing Wang Qishan.
Investigates Yang Jing (杨晶), Zhao Zhengyong (赵正永), Qin Guangrong (秦光荣), Fu Zhenghua (傅政华), Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖), Meng Hongwei (孟宏伟), Xiao Yaqing (肖亚庆), and others.
2022-10-23 First plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee,Zhao Leji ranks second in the new politburo’s standing committee.

2019000_zhao_leji_hebei_research
Zhao Leji’s (r) research tour in Hebei, September 2019, “Hebei Xiong’an New Area”

What may strike a reader of this summarized biography is how often Zhao returned to previous posts in his career, how long he stayed within Qinghai networks, and how rapidly his career picked up in the 1990s (still in Qinghai, and then also in Shaanxi — see family background, accidental or not).
Deutsche Welle’s Chinese service suggested in an online article of October 23 that according to previous politburos’ practice, Zhao was likely to head the “National People’s Congress”, the CPC’s parliament simulation with Chinese characteristics. This would also match his previous experience as Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2004) and Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2008).

The following is my translation of a Xinhua article, published on November 12, 2021 (a bit more than a year ago). Zhao is quoted there in his capacity as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Main Link: “Zhao Leji emphasizes …”
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

At Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee session, Zhao Leji emphasizes the positive contributions to be made for self-revolution in the new era, by thorough study and implementation of the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit<
赵乐际在中央纪委常委会会议上强调 深入学习贯彻党的十九届六中全会精神 为新时代党的伟大自我革命作出积极贡献

November 12, 2021, 21:34, Xinhua Online
2021-11-12 21:34:39 来源: 新华网

Xinhua, Beijing, November 12 report.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee held a meeting on November 12, to convey and study the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit, and to look into ways to thoroughly implement decisons. Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Secretary Zhao Leji directed the meeting and emphasized the need for the disciplin inspection and supervision organs to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the [19th Central Committee´s Sixth] plenary session, to strengthen the “Four Awarenesses” [also known as the “Four Consciousnesses”], to strengthen the “Four Matters of Confidence”1), to achieve the “two upholds”, to link together and to put to use the historic experience from the party´s one-hundred years of struggle, to promote high-quality development of discipline inspection work in the new era, and, in advancing the party´s self-revolution, making positive contributions, leading the new practice of society´s revolution by self-revolution.
新华社北京11月12日电 中央纪委常委会12日召开会议,传达学习党的十九届六中全会精神,研究贯彻落实举措。中共中央政治局常委、中央纪委书记赵乐际主持会议,强调纪检监察机关要深入学习贯彻全会精神,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,贯通运用党的百年奋斗历史经验,推动新时代纪检监察工作高质量发展,在推进党的自我革命、以伟大自我革命引领伟大社会革命的新实践中作出积极贡献。

Zhao Leji pointed out that Xi Jinping, in a speech of profound and long-lasting deep thought and of a strong political, theoretical, strategic and guiding nature, clearly designated the way forward for the party to take bravely and resolutely, for the party so as not to forget the original intention at this new major historic juncture. The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on the Communist Party of China’s summarized political experience of why the party can, why Marxism works, and why socialism with Chinese characteristics works. [The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on] a grasp of the development and discipline of party building. It is the CPC’s political declaration and guide for action in the new era. Discipline inspection and supervision organs must make the study and implementation of the plenary session’s spirit a major political mission, study the plenary session’s documents in their entirety, learn the original documents, become aware of the principles, deeply understand the main points and essentials, correctly grasp the main theme and the main line of the party’s historic development and its main stream essence, and make use of the plenary spirit for common purpose, aggregated consensus, staunch confidence and strengthened fighting spirit.
赵乐际指出,习近平总书记在全会上的重要讲话,立意深远、思想深邃、内涵深刻,具有很强的政治性、理论性、战略性、指导性,为全党在新的重大历史关头不忘初心、勇毅前行指明了方向。全会《决议》站在中国共产党为什么能、马克思主义为什么行、中国特色社会主义为什么好的政治高度总结历史经验,把握党的事业发展和自身建设规律,是新时代中国共产党人的政治宣言和行动指南。纪检监察机关要把学习贯彻全会精神作为重大政治任务,原原本本学习全会文件,读原文、悟原理,深刻领会要点要义,准确把握党的历史发展的主题主线、主流本质,用全会精神统一思想、凝聚共识、坚定信心、增强斗志。

Zhao Leji emphasized that for the iscipline inspection and supervision organs to study and implement the plenary session’s spirit, it is necessary to link closely to reality, to stick closely to one’s duties, to deeply understand the demands of the new ideology, new conclusions and new demands put forward by the plenary session, particularly the important discourse and requirements concerning comprehensive and strict governance over the party, the party’s work style and building clean government, and fight against corruption [must be implemented at work and embodied in action]. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity and maintaining the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics – continue to learn and to put in real efforts, strive to grasp the marxist position, viewpoint and methods contained in it, and always guarantee the correct political course of discipline inspection and supervision work. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity – promote the strengthening of the entire party’s “four consciousnesses”, maintain the “four matters of confidence”, achieve the “two upholds”, conscientously carry out the responsibility and mission of political supervision, earnestly guarantee the party’s unity, guarantee centralized and unified leadership, unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity implement the guidelines of comprehensive and strict governance over the party, strengthen the will and ability to fight, promote [a state of affairs / a status when] nobody dares to nor is able or wishing to be corrupt, resolutely carry the anti-corruption work out to the end, and play a positive role in making sure that the party will never degenerate, never change color, never change smell, nor its level of achievement2).
赵乐际强调,纪检监察机关学习贯彻全会精神,要联系实际、紧扣职责,深刻领会全会提出的新思想新论断新要求,特别是关于全面从严治党、党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争的重要论述、重要要求,落实到工作中、体现到行动上。要坚定不移、一以贯之坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,在持续学懂弄通做实上下真功夫,努力掌握蕴含其中的马克思主义立场观点方法,始终保证纪检监察工作正确政治方向;要坚定不移、一以贯之推动全党增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,认真履行好政治监督的责任使命,切实保证党的团结统一、保证党中央集中统一领导;要坚定不移、一以贯之贯彻落实全面从严治党战略方针,增强斗争意志和本领,一体推进不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐,坚决把反腐败斗争进行到底,在确保党不变质、不变色、不变味中发挥职能作用。要以学习全会精神为重点巩固党史学习教育成果,引导广大纪检监察干部坚定历史自信、增强历史主动、涵养历史思维、运用历史经验,不断深化规律性认识,进一步提高正风肃纪反腐工作的质量和水平。

Yang Xiaodu, member of the politburo of the CPC and deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, attended the meeting.
中共中央政治局委员、中央纪委副书记杨晓渡出席会议。

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Previously: Li Qiang #2

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Notes

1) “Confident in our chosen path, confident in our guiding theories, confident in our political system, and confident in our culture”
2) Beijing’s “zero-covid” policy may raise questions about what <em>achievement</em> means in the CPC’s dictionary – I have no idea how they define achievement.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Christmas Program on Shortwave, 2022 (01)

If Germany’s Northern German Radio (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, NDR) has it right in its December 2022 schedule, the traditional program of greetings from the shore to the Seven Seas (minus the Pacific, it seems) will be on air on Christmas Eve from 18:03 to 21:00 UTC. That would be in line with last year’s broadcasting time, which was also just three instead of the traditional four hours.

20140929_leer_binnenhafen
Hello World, this is Leer calling

»»»»» Beginning of Update, Nov 30, 2022

Times and frequencies

Target Areas Schedule Nov 26
(now invalid)
Schedule Nov 30
(most recently)
Atlantic (North) 6145 kHz
Atlantic (South) 9830 kHz 13725 kHz
Atlantic (Northwest) 15770 kHz
Atlantic (Northeast) 6030 kHz
Atlantic / Indian Ocean 9590 kHz 11650 kHz
Indian Ocean 9740 kHz
Indian Ocean (West) 9740 kHz
Indian Ocean (East) 9675 kHz
Europe 6155 kHz 6080 kHz

This leaves us with some guesswork, but tradition and target areas seem to suggest that the Atlantics will be served from Nauen (Germany) or from Issoudun (France). and 6155 kHz look like Moosbrunn (Austria), especially as the Austrian Broadcasting Service (Österreichischer Rundfunk Service, ORS) seem to target all of Europe (360°) from there with their daily morning and midday broadcasts in German.

But to be honest, I’m really wildly guessing. Hopefully, NDR will follow up with some more details about transmitter sites, soon.

Still update, Nov 30, 2022

I’m not sure how the NDR schedule had arrived at the previous schedule (Nov 26) – those weren’t last year’s Christmas frequencies either. But moving up the spectrum makes sense, as maximum usable frequencies have been rising for a while, and are likely to do so until about 2025.

End of update Nov 30 «««««

In some ways, the program seems to be going back to normal as far as its  format is concerned. People are no longer confined to their computers and the internet – people meet again. Christmas messages from seafarers’ relatives ashore will be pre-recorded in Leer (East Frisia / Ostfriesland) on December 11, and in Hamburg on December 18, in settings as christmaslike as possible, 13 or six days ahead of the big day (or night) itself.

What will be missing this year (it appears) is the religious service – the only part of the traditional shortwave broadcasts that actually used to be live on the air. That would follow at 22:00 UTC, but only on VHF, digital, or streamed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

German Chancellor’s first China Visit: Opportunities and Liabilities

It is going to be the first visit to China for German chancellor Olaf Scholz who took office late last year with a three-party coalition (SPD, Greens, and FDP).

On Friday (November 4), he is scheduled to meet “President” Xi Jinping, according to his office’s website, and following that, a meeting his planned with him and Li Keqiang, his actual colleague as head of a government. Bilateral relations, international topics such as climate change, Russia’s “war of aggression” against Ukraine and the situation in the east Asian region are said to be on the agenda. “Federal Chancellor Scholz will be accompanied by a business delegation during his visit”, the office’s statement concludes.

dongnanweishi_scholz_and_companies
Not everybody’s first visit
Shanghai’s “Jiefang Daily” suggests*) that

many European companies have experienced serious economic problems this year, because of the energy crisis, high inflation, rising interest rates and problems like the economic slowdown. It is crucial for these European companies to make up for these losses in Europe by profiting from the Chinese market. Brudermüller for example, CEO at Germany’s chemical giant BASF, plans to further expand BASF’s “favorable investments” in China. It’s business report shows that unlike in Europe, results in China have been positive.
欧洲很多企业今年以来由于能源危机、高通胀、利率上升和经济放缓等遭遇严重经营困难。对这些欧洲企业来说,用中国市场的收益弥补在欧洲的亏损至关重要。比如德国化工巨头巴斯夫集团首席执行官薄睦乐就打算进一步扩大巴斯夫在中国的“有利投资”。业绩报告显示,与在欧洲的亏损不同,巴斯夫集团在中国的增长一直是正向的。


Michelin’s business report, said to have been published on October 25, also shows rapidly rising sales in China, in contrast with an eight-percent drop in Europe, “Jiefang Daily” reports.

Michelin’s handsome China numbers notwithstanding, the “Global Times”, a Chinese paper for a foreign readership, blames a “sour-grape” mentality for France’s differences with Germany’s China policy. Those differences probably exist, with Paris being more skeptical about Chinese “opportunities” than Berlin, but you might consider Germany’s dependence on Chinese export markets as a liability, rather than as an opportunity, just as well.

While the SPD remains highly cooperative when it comes to China business, both its coalition partners have advised caution. And while it may be difficult to forecast a trend of future German investment in, exports to and supply chain connections with China, there are statements from German business circles you wouldn’t have heard a few years ago.

China itself rather bets on protectionism, but wants to get into the act globally, including in Germany (China setzt selbst eher auf Abschottung, will aber überall in der Welt mehr mitmischen, auch bei uns in Deutschland),

German weekly “Focus” quotes Martin Wansleben, head of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce.  Scholz should champion clear-cut rules.
It isn’t only France that is concerned about Germany’s economic dependence on China. “Voice of America’s” (VoA) Chinese service, too, points out that “the West shows growing concern about Chinese trade practices and its human rights record”, as well as unease about “Germany’s dependence on the world’s second-largest economic body” (对德国对中国这个世界第二大经济体的依赖感到不安).

VoA also quotes a German government spokesman as saying that while Berlin’s view on China had changed, “decoupling” from China was opposed by Berlin.

When you keep pressing people for a while, the main problem appears to be China’s aggressive policy against Taiwan. Most Germans (this blogger included) never expected that Russia would really invade Ukraine. Now that this has happened, peoples’ imagination has become somewhat more animated – and realistic.

The Social Democrats are more skeptical than its middle- and upper-class coalition partners when it comes to the West’s human-rights agenda, and rightly so. (If China put all its SOEs on international sale, you wouldn’t hear a word about the Uyghurs from Western governments anymore.)

But the Russian-Chinese alliance is a fact, and so is that alliance’s preparedness to annex third countries. That is something the Social Dems can’t ignore. If the press, the oppositional CDU/CSU and the SPD’s coalition partners statements are something to go by, the tide of German integration with China’s economy is being reversed.

“Nothing speaks against German SMEs continuing to import their special nuts and bolts from China”, a columnist mused on German news platform t-online last week, but not without a backup source.

China’s propaganda doesn’t look at Scholz’ visit in a way isolated from its other global contacts. In fact, the German visitor is mentioned in a row with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan – all of them bearing testimony, or so the propaganda suggests, of how attractive “Chinese opportunities” (中国机遇) actually are.

But Germany’s dependence on China, while worrying and in need to be cut back substantively, shouldn’t be viewed in an isolated way either. Scholz visit won’t even last for a full day, without an overnight stay, and also in November, Scholz will travel to Vietnam. Statistics appear to suggest that German industry will find backup sources there – if not first sources just as well.

And Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister and one of the leaders of the SPD’s China-skeptic Green coalition partner, is currently travelling Central Asia. All the countries there “once hoped to be a bridge between Russia, China, and Europe,” German broadcaster NTV quotes her – the European Union needed to provide Central Asia with opportunities. Options beyond Russia and China, that is.

____________

Notes

*) “Jiefang” actually “quotes foreign media”, but Chinese propaganda is often very creative in doing so – therefore no names here.

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Monday, October 31, 2022

Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet (2): Li Qiang

The following is a translation of a report that toes a fine line between coming across as a moderately modest local hero, giving credit to your great sponsor, and still make people aware of your personal rise through the ranks. Li Qiang doesn’t visibly dominate the article and leaves a lot of space to Xi Jinping’s role in “Shanghai’s story”.

The article was published by Xinhua, in June 2021.

Apart from that, readers may get an idea of some of the key words in the megacity’s projects, and not least about the world according to Beijing.

Surveys about other nation’s attitudes towards China, certainly when published by Western media, often focus on OECD countries’ attitudes. At least when it comes to third-world countries’ “elites”, the picture can be different, and given the many failures of development projects in the past of the “global South”, the Chinese model does often sell there – especially when it comes with grants and scholarships.

This is the second part of a series about Xi’s kitchen cabinet, the 20th Politburo’s Standing Commission.

Previously posted: Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet: (1): For what we are about to receive


picture_shanghai_that_special_dialogue
Top left: Li Qiang; top right: Song Tao

Main Link: The China Communist Party’s Story – the Practice of Xi Jinping Thought on New Era Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in Shanghai

Xinhua, Shanghai, June 16, report by Wu Yu.
Jointly organized by the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Communist Party of China Shanghai Municipal Committee, a dialogue under the name “China Communist Party’s Story – the Practice of Xi Jinping Thought on New Era Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in Shanghai” was carried out in Shanghai on June 16. Titled “Set out for the Dream, Witness the Wonders”, the world was shown the Communist Party of China’s glorious course through the century, and especially the party’s great achievements since its 18th National Congress, [illustrated by] the great changes from Shanghai as the party’s birthplace to the forefront of reform and opening up. 126 political parties and friendly organizatons with more than 740 representatives took part through video link, and ambassadors from more than 40 countries were present at the meeting.

新华社上海6月16日电(记者吴宇)由中共中央对外联络部和中共上海市委共同主办的“中国共产党的故事——习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想在上海的实践”特别对话会16日在上海举行。对话会以“启航梦想,见证奇迹”为主题,通过上海从中国共产党的诞生地到中国改革开放前沿阵地的沧桑巨变,向世界展现中国共产党百年光辉历程,特别是党的十八大以来以习近平同志为核心的党中央带领中国取得的伟大成就。来自近100个国家、126个政党和友好组织的740多名代表通过视频连线参加对话会,40多个国家驻华大使现场出席会议。

Li Qiang, member of the CPC Central Committee’s Politburo and Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, said in his address that Shanghai is the birthplace of the CPC, the place from where the CPC’s dream set out, a window for the world on China, a hub that connects China with the world, and a main carrier for major national strategies. Since the CPC’s 19th National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally visited Shanghai in four consecutive years, issued strategic arrangements for Shanghai’s development, poured in great momentum, Shanghai became more radiant by the day, an even more dazzling pearl of the Orient.
Binding together the vivid stories of the rise of Luziazui Financial City‘s rise, the Huangpu and Suzhou Rivers’ shoreline linkup, the “two networks” in step with the municipality (integrated online government services, “management on one website”), [Li Qiang] described Shanghai’s concrete practice in Pudong’s development and opening up, in people’s city building and megacity administration. He said that under the guidance of Xi Jinping’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Thought, Shanghai will unswervingly follow the road of liberating thought, deepening reform, orientation towards the world, and of broadening openness, of smashing routine, creating new breakthroughs, and of constantly producing extraordinary achievements that are worthy of the party’s place of origin.

中共中央政治局委员、上海市委书记李强在致辞中表示,上海是中国共产党的诞生地,是中国共产党梦想启航的地方,也是世界观察中国的窗口、中国链接世界的枢纽、国家重大战略的重要承载地。中共十九大以来,习近平总书记连续四年亲临上海,为上海发展作出战略擘画、注入强大动力,上海正日益焕发出更加璀璨的光彩,成为更加耀眼的东方明珠。李强结合陆家嘴金融城兴起、黄浦江苏州河“一江一河”岸线贯通、政务服务“一网通办”和城市运行“一网统管”“两张网”建设等生动故事,讲述了上海在浦东开发开放、人民城市建设、超大城市治理方面的具体实践,表示上海将在习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想指引下,坚定走解放思想、深化改革之路,面向世界、扩大开放之路,打破常规、创新突破之路,不断创造无愧于党的诞生地的不凡业绩。

Song Tao, director of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, said that Shanghai, as the place where the dream of the Communist Party of China had set out from, had witnessed the beginnings of the great cause of the CPC’s founding, witnessed the quantum leap of China standing up, prospering and its rise to become a strong country. Over the past century, the CPC had persisted in following the goal of the people’s happiness, in the struggle towards the goal of the nations’s great rejuvenation, and especially since the party’s 18th national congress, under the strong leadership of the party’s central committee with Xi Jinping as the core, all the party’s and the state’s undertakings had achieved historic successes. The masses’ sense of gain, feeling of happiness and sense of security had been enormously improved, and so had China’s international status and influence. The Communist Party had also always striven for the cause of mankind’s progress. As for the future, the CPC wants to work with political parties from all the countries of the world to strengthen friendly contacts, to bring together the majestic power of building the Community of common destiny for mankind, and to make new and greater contributions global peaceful development and the progress of mankind.

中共中央对外联络部部长宋涛表示,上海作为中国共产党梦想启航地方,见证了中国共产党成立这一开天辟地的大事,见证了中国从站起来到富起来、强起来的伟大飞跃。一百年来,中国共产党坚持把为人民谋幸福、为民族谋复兴作为奋斗目标,特别是党的十八大以来,在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,党和国家的各项事业取得历史性成就,人民群众的获得感、幸福感和安全感极大提升,中国的国际地位和影响力极大提升。中国共产党也一直为人类进步事业而奋斗。展望未来,中国共产党愿同世界各国政党加强友好往来,凝聚构建人类命运共同体的磅礴力量,为世界和平发展和人类进步事业作出新的更大贡献。

The representatives of political parties etc. participating in the meeting earnestly listened to the story of Shanghai’s economic and social development and the people’s improved standard of living, narrated by representatives from all walks of life in Shanghai. Chairman of the Socialist Party of Serbia and President of Parliament Ivica Dačić, Cambodian People’s Party Central Committee’s Standing Committee and Second Vice President of Cambodia’s National Assembly Khuon Sodary, the Party of the European Left‘s first vice chairperson Mola, Gabonese Democratic Party‘s General Secretary1) Bounguendza, Panama Democratic Revolutionary Party General Secretary González, People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan vice chairman2) Yousufei etc. warmly congratulated on the CPC’s 100th founding anniversary and its successes that had caught the attention of the world. They said that the CPC’s foundation had not only greatly changed China’s development process, but also contributed significantly to world peace and global development, having become a model for study by the world’s political parties, and an example to learn from. Following the CPC’s 18th national congress, the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core had proposed the “Belt and Road” initiative, helping developing countries to achieve greater development, vividly adding to the concept of a Community of common destiny for mankind. They hoped to strengthen exchanges with the CPC about government experience, and to advance pragmatic cooperation in all fields so as to benefit all countries and peoples even better.

与会政党代表等认真听取了上海各界人士代表讲述上海经济社会发展和人民生活水平提升的故事。塞尔维亚社会党主席、议长达契奇,柬埔寨人民党中央常委、国会第二副主席昆索达莉,欧洲左翼党第一副主席莫拉,加蓬民主党总书记本根扎,巴拿马民主革命党总书记冈萨雷斯,塔吉克斯坦人民民主党副主席尤苏菲等在发言中热烈祝贺中国共产党百年华诞和取得的举世瞩目成就,表示中国共产党的成立不仅极大改变了中国的发展进程,也为世界和平、发展与进步作出了重大贡献,成为世界政党研究、借鉴和学习的榜样。中共十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的中共中央提出“一带一路”倡议、助力发展中国家实现更大发展,生动诠释了人类命运共同体理念。愿同中国共产党加强治国理政经验交流,促进各领域务实合作,更多造福各国和各国人民。
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Notes

1)     the title might look revolutionary, but Wikipedia suggests that his party is center-right
2)     supposing this is a man

To be continued.

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Related

Many Miracles, “China Daily”, June 18, 2021
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Monday, October 24, 2022

Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet (1): For what we are about to receive

In an effort to better understand China, let’s take a look at the six men who are going to complement the People’s Leader during the coming five years (if none of them turns out to be Lin Biao II). A lot may have been written about them already, and a lot is going to be written, but let’s listen to the members of the Politburo Standing Committee themselves. 

liang_yan_xis_kitchen_cabinet

No interviews, I suppose, but we can turn to their publications, or to what they had China’s “reporters” publish about themselves. 

Obviously, I don’t know yet if all of Xi’s six men have provided the masses with spritual nourishment, or if some of them rather qualified by mowing the people’s lawns and darning their socks. In either case, this series shall amount to seven instalments (this introduction being the first). 

Stay tuned …

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPC’s 20th National Congress: “The Party will never degenerate”

2,300 delegates were supposed to attend in February, more precisely, according to Li Keqiang (main link) on Saturday morning, the number was 2,296, plus particular invitees (特邀代表), that would be 2,379 delegates, minus 39 delegates having asked for leave because of illness, i. e. 2,340 delegates present there.

“Major-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics to be unfolded in a comprehensive way” was unfolded by Xi Jinping himself in his work report. You should be forgiven if you think that this is about Chinese consuls-general tweeting about how America bombs and China helps Africa, or how their tummies bulged with pride when Xi Jinping told the party’s national congress that Taiwaners had no right to be free when 1.4 million Chinese were not.

But major-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics isn’t a diplomatic market-economy product – it was produced at home in Beijing, by the 19th Central Committee’s Sixth Plenary Session (according to their communiqué in November 2021).

Condensed self-flattery concerning the party’s “zero-Covid” policy (which probably didn’t go down as well with the audience outside the “Great Hall of the People” as other parts of Xi’s speech), and this.

We have kept nailing the nails, thus correcting and punishing the “four winds”, opposed the idea and phenomenon of privileges, stopped some unhealthy trends that hadn’t been brought to a halt for a long time, and investigated and punished obstinate chronic diseases which hadn’t been eliminated for many years. We have fought an unprecedented fight against corruption, and by “offending thousands, and living up to the 1.4 billion” [Chinese people], we have fulfilled our mission to dispel the disease and disorder. The multi-pronged struggle against corruption, by beating the tigers, swatting the flies and hunting the foxes, has achieved an overwhelming victory and overall consolidation, eliminating the serious hidden dangers within the party, the state, and the military. By uncompromising efforts, the party found self-revolution, thus escaping the historical cycle of order and chaos, of rise and fall, for a second time. This has made sure that the party will never degenerate, never change color, never change smell.
我们以钉钉子精神纠治“四风”,反对特权思想和特权现象,刹住了一些长期没有刹住的歪风,纠治了一些多年未除的顽瘴痼疾。我们开展了史无前例的反腐败斗争,以“得罪千百人、不负十四亿”的使命担当祛疴治乱,“打虎”、“拍蝇”、“猎狐”多管齐下,反腐败斗争取得压倒性胜利并全面巩固,消除了党、国家、军队内部存在的严重隐患。经过不懈努力,党找到了自我革命这一跳出治乱兴衰历史周期率的第二个答案,确保党永远不变质、不变色、不变味。

hu_jintao
No offense meant, miserable failure

If Bo Xilai had said that, it would have struck people as populism – but then, Bo never made it into the top ranks.
China’s “Communists” have announced many victories in the past. If this one is as decisive as Xi has claimed will be hard to prove or disprove as long as he remains in control of the narrative.

Just these few sidenotes for now.

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