Archive for ‘America’

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.

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.

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Notes

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

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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Patriotic Pep Talk: Angry, angrier, scientific

zhuchiren_04
Click picture for CRI video

The following is a transcript of a video by China Radio International (yes, China’s former foreign radio  broadcaster still exists somehow – CGTN in English and in Russian, CRI in Chinese).

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

大家好!这里是『国际三分钟』。 我是爱丽。 Hello! This is “International – Three Minutes”. I’m Ai Li.
继芯片法案之后,美国又准备在生物科技领域出招了。当地时间12日美国总统拜登签署了一项鼓励美国生物技术生产和研究的行政命令,旨在促进美国的生物制造。多家美媒体国解读此举仍然是『针对中国』。 Following its CHIPS and Science Act, America is now preparing to make a move in the field of biotechnology. On September 12, U.S. President Biden signed an executive order on a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, aimed at promoting American biomanufacturing. A number of U.S. media read this as yet another move “targeted at China”.
五角大楼说的更为直接。14日白宫举办生物技术和生物制造峰会,与会人员包括国家安全顾问沙利文,和国防部副部长凯瑟琳·希克斯等人。 The Pentagon is even more straightforward. On September 14, the White House held a biomanufacturing summit which included national security advisor Jake Sullivan and deputy defense secretary and Kathleen Hicks.
希克斯在谈及投资生物技术对国防部的意义时表示,我们知道像中国这样的战略竞争对手也在优先考虑这些技术。他们想取代美国的领导地位,他们想挑战我们的竞争力。 Discussing the significance of biotechnology for national defense, Hicks said that it was known that strategic competitors like China were also considering these technologies a priority. [China] wanted to replace American leadership and challenge its competitiveness.
实际上,美国拥有世界上最强大的生物技术产业,在全球研发应用设施,基础研究方面,美国一直处于优先地位。2020年QS大学排名显示,在生命科学与医学排名前200的高校中,美国有61家入选。2019年全球市场排名前10名的生物医药公司中,美国占6家。截至2021年,在全球所有59座P4级别生物实验室中,美国独占13 – 14座。 In reality, America has the strongest global position in the biotechnological industry. In terms of R&D facilities and fundamental research, America always ranks first in global research. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings, as for life sciences and medical science rankings of the first 200 universities, 61 were American. In the [or a?] 2019 global market ranking, among the first ten biological drug companies, six were American. By 2021, U.S. P4-level biolaboratories dominated globally with 13 or 14 labs.
另外,在生物科技专利数量,专利活跃度,专利资产指数和竞争影响力等方面的领域优势,美国都很明显。中国短期内并不会对美国生物科技的全球地位产生威胁。 Also, as for the number of patents, patent activity, patent investment indices and competitive influence etc., America also has obvious advantages. China won’t be a threat to America’s global number-one position in biotechnology in the short term.
拜登政府之后已把目光转向生物技术。目的在于这背后巨大的经济利益更在于维护其科技霸权。 The Biden administration has since turned its attention to biotechnology. That’s because there are enormous economic interests behind it to protect their technological hegemony even better.
现在生物科技被广泛应用到各个领域。比如说,医疗方面的生物制药,农业方面的有机肥农药,工业方面的化学品甚至燃料,等等都跟生物科技有关。论对国家经济发展影响力,生物科技比之芯片领域毫不逊色。 Biotechnology is applied in a wide range of areas. For example, biological medication production for medical treatment, organic fertilizers and pesticides, industrial chemicals and even fuel are all related to biotechnology. Talking about influence on national economic development, biotechnology matters no less than the field of chips.
近些年中国在生物技术领域确实取得了一定的成绩。目前我们已经初涉形成门类齐全功能完备的生物经济产业体系,在生物医药生物育种,生物材料,生物能源等产业部门已经产生具有影响力的创新型企业。比如科创板上市企业中,生物企业占比就达1/3。 China has, in recent years, achieved certain successes. Currently, we have started shaping a category of fully functional and faultless biotechnological economic and industrial system. In the industrial sections of medicine, biomaterials and bioenergy etc., influential innovative companies have been created. For example, among the companies entering the Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market, one third are biotech companies.
从战略角度来看,机械化曾经让英国称霸世界。信息化又让美国问鼎世界第一强国。美国非常担心将来如果生物技术产业化使中国实现超越,自身的国际地位就将不保。也正是基于此美国有些急眼想走老路子,想通过制裁封锁中国生物科技领域的进步达到稳固其全球霸权的目的。 Seen from a strategic point of view, mechanizaton once helped Britain to declare itself the global hegemon. Informatization made America the global number one. America is really worried that in future, if biotechnological production helps China to overtake it, it may not be able to maintain its international position. It is also therefore that America is anxious to take the old path and wants to solidify its global hegemony by putting sanctions on the progress of China’s biotechnological sector.
『美国之音』就报道称,拜登新行政令被人为是对上个月签署的『芯片法案』作出的一项补充。美国『财富』杂志称,拜登的新行政令给美中经济竞争在添新战线。总之新政令是一个『风向表』,他预示着美国对中国的技术限制已经从芯片能源扩大到了生物领域。 According to the “Voice of America”, Biden’s new executive order is believed to be supplementary to the “CHIPS and Science Act”. American “Fortune” magazine said that Biden’s new executive order will add a new battlefront to U.S.-Chinese economic competition. In short, the new executive order is a “wind direction indicator”, foretelling that America’s technological restrictions on China are now expanding from the chip energy field to the field of biotechnology.
按照美国行事风格我们可以预测,如果此次新政令没有达到美方的预期效果,那很有可能像在芯片领域一样。他们会继续寻求对中国的精准打击。遗憾的是,生物领域本可以是一个美方有技术,中方有市场的合作领域,而美国现在非要打破这个平衡。 Because of America’s style of action, we can predict that if this new executive order doesn’t have the effect expected by the U.S., it will most probably resemble that of the CHIPS and Science Act. They will continue to seek for accurate strikes at China. What’s unfortunate is that biotechnology couldbe a field of cooperation, with the U.S. having the technologoy and with China having the market. But the U.S. has inisted on breaking this balance.
奈何。俄罗斯『独立报』评论称,对于美国不断升级的限制措施,中国有不同的应对举措,但最终这将促使中国加大对科技研发的投入,并努力确保独立性。说得不错。我们能做要做的。就是利用好巨大的市场优势,培育,挖掘,吸纳生物领域顶尖人才,加速推进生物科技和产业自立自强! Nothing doing. Russia’s “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” writes in an editorial that China has different options to respond, but in the end, this will induce China to increase its commitment to technological R&D and make efforts to ensure its independence. Well said. We can and we will. Just make good use of the advantages of a giant market. Nurture, unleash and attract top-notch talents in the field of biotechnology, and speed up the promotion of biotechnology and bioproduction!

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Related

“Cold War mentality”, Asia Financial
And now, no news, Nov 20, 2021
By any other name, March 30, 2018
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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Li Zhanshu: “Russia made an important Choice and acted firmly”

li_zhanshu_television

Meeting Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko
Xinwen Lianbo, Sept 11, 2022

Li Zhanshu’s talk isn’t exactly going viral on Chinese mass media, and appears to be only just beginning to catch attention on Twitter . The current Chairman of the Standing Committee of the “National People’s Congress” (China’s rubberstamp parliament), told Russian parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and leaders of Russian parliament factions that

We see that the United States and its NATO allies are expanding their presence near the Russian borders, seriously threatening national security and the lives of Russian citizens. We fully understand the necessity of all the measures taken by Russia aimed at protecting its key interests, we are providing our assistance,

and

On the Ukrainian issue, we see how they have put Russia in an impossible situation. And in this case, Russia made an important choice and responded firmly

A transcript (and a much-shared video) on Twitter in Chinese:

对俄罗斯在核心利益和重大关切问题,中方对俄罗斯也是表示理解和充分的支持。就像现在的乌克兰问题,美国和北约直接逼到俄罗斯的家门口,涉及到俄罗斯的国家安全和人民的生命安全,在这种情况下,俄罗斯采取认为适合应当的一些措施,中方是表示理解的,并且从不同方面给予策应。

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The translator adds a disclaimer, saying he doesn’t understand Li’s Shanxi accent too well, but that this is about what he said.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The State of Taiwan

First of all, let me come clean: like many people I know, I take sides. I believe that Taiwan’s citizens have a right to determine their future, and that China has no legitimate reasons to interfere with Taiwan’s affairs.
However, you may be aware that not everybody sees Taiwan this way. China’s Communist Party (CPC) doesn’t only want to rule Hong Kong, Macau, and “the mainland”, as the People’s Republic is often referred to by mainlanders, Hong Kongers, Macauans, and by many Taiwaners alike. Rather, the CPC wants to rule Taiwan, too.

taiwanren_are_also_chinese

“Taiwanese are also Chinese, aren’t they?” A tourist from Hong Kong visiting Taiwan on “double-ten” day, in 2009

In the end, China will most probably try to occupy Taiwan, either by laying siege – a naval blockade – to it, or by trying to invade it right away. In either case, China will probably have its way unless Taiwan’s (probably substantial) military resistance gets support from America, and maybe from Australia, Japan, and other countries. So, if lucky, China would gain control over Taiwan by military force, and that would be that (apart from a rather unpredictable Taiwanese population under occupation – Taiwaners could turn out to be rather unruly).

A. Image concerns

But success by naked force, however tempting it may be in the eyes of many Chinese citizens, isn’t the preferred means to achieve the goal of what the CPC refers to as „reunification“. That’s true for a number of economic and military (including nuclear) reasons, as even a successful invasion and a rather smooth occupation might come at heavy opportunity costs, imposed by countries that wouldn’t accept China’s annexation of Taiwan.

This is also true for image reasons, While China appears to have abandoned the idea that it could convince the Taiwanese that „reunification“ with China would be in their best interest, it apparently still hopes to achieve the goal of „peaceful reunification“ by coopting Taiwan’s economic and political elites, and by intimidating a sufficient number of Taiwan’s citizens so as to push them over.

But if the need for military action to achieve „reunification“ would arise (from China’s point of view), China would like to justify its military aggression, just as it has tried to justify its efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally (hint: the never-ending Taiwan-WHO saga, or pressure on governments of third-party  countries to threaten Taiwan’s economic lifelines.

On Twitter, you are faced with a lot of Chinese propaganda, carried forward by the CPC’s official mouthpieces as well as its useful minions (some of them may be paid by China, others may act out of mere fanatism). Some free samples:

Table 1

“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China” (Reality shows that this is not the case.)
“If Taiwan declares independence, we / China will go to war right away.” (We are looking for an excuse – we’ve decided to annex Taiwan anyway.)
“Taiwan has always been a part of China.” (Only during the Qing era, and only if the Qing cared to say that there was “one China” including Taiwan. They probably didn’t care.
“There is only one China.” (Yes, and thank God for that.)
“Taiwan is part of China because Taiwan’s official name is “Republic of China”. If so, which Congo is part of the other? There are two Congos, the “Republic” and the “Democratic Republic”.China’s logic probably prescribes that the Republic must annex the Democratic Republic, because it’s always the democratic countries that get annexed.
You / your country have committed yourselves to the one-China principle. This is probably the case in a number of bilateral declarations of China and third governments – but by no means in each of them. For example, “one-China” policy basically means that you somehow handle China’s “once-China” principle, not necessarily that you agree with it.
Besides, you can always walk away from it – it has happened before.

So, a lot, if not all of the mouthpiece talk on “social media” is hollow words, suitable for propaganda, and maybe not even that. But China has to make do with the excuses it can find to gloss over its aggressiveness.

Did I mention that China applies pressure on third-party governments to deny Taiwan international space? Well, it isn’t just the World Health Organization, or the Nigerian government who accept that pressure, because it comes with good business. Many other third-party countries do likewise, to varying degrees. We’ll have a look at the examples of America and France later on.

But first, let’s take a look at the nomenclature that is flying around when people talk about China-Taiwan relations. To that end, I might use some pseudomath (it isn’t really that scientific).

B. Chinamaths

Table 1

table_one_mainland_china

or the other way round,

Table 2

table_two_orc
Then there’s that One China – or more than one idea of what that is. But wide swathes of mainland Chinese people, plus uncertain numbers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, will have this kind of math on their mind:

Table 3

table_three_orc

From the CPC’s perspective, it can’t be
table_must_not_exist
because that would imply that Taiwan’s political system would be the emperor of the whole Congo.
Now, when we are talking about Taiwan, we usually refer to everything that is governed from Taipei, not just the island of Taiwan itself, although that’s where Taiwan’s (or the ROC’s, etc.) citizens live.

Table 4

table_four_taiwan
That’s my definition of Taiwan, too – when you read “Taiwan” in this post, this table-4 definition is the definition of it.

C. Taiwan: one country, two positions

Position 1 (pan-Green, more or less)

It may be more than two just as well, but these are the two I can think of.
One is that, when Japan relinquished sovereignty over Taiwan, it didn’t transfer sovereignty to anyone else. Two authors, Michal Thim and Michael Turton, described that position in an article for “The Diplomat” in 2017 – they are themselves supporters of this position, I believe.
Under international law and practice, only an international treaty can settle the status of specific territories, they wrote, adding that the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and the Treaty of Taipei between Japan and the Republic of China on Taiwan fell under that category. If those two had contradicted one another on the matter of Taiwanese sovereignty, the San Francisco Peace Treaty would have outweighed the Treaty of Taipei, but both treaties were silent on the issue of who owned Taiwan, merely affirming that Japan gave up sovereignty over Taiwan.

Position 2 (pan-blue, more or less)

Another position, also widely spread among Taiwanese citizens (if they care about what might be the legal superstructure of their statehood) is the Republic of China.
Now, there are probably many sub-positions to this one, like Taiwan equals the Republic of China, or that Taiwan can somehow claim mainland China (plus Hong Kong and Macau)  as well (that would be a minority, I guess). There is also a an interpretation of what the RoC is that seeks common ground between the San Francisco Peace Treaty supporters, and the RoC guys. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen adopted (and possibly coined) it when she ran for president for the first time, eleven years ago: the ROC, having lost all its territory in 1949, found shelter on Taiwan.

“Taiwan Independence”

In practical daily life, globally speaking, China and Taiwan are two separate countries. The rest is silly political squabble. But the silly squabble is accompanied by the clouds of war, and that’s why the rest of the world tries to take it into consideraton.
Obviously, wanting to please China (because it might be great business) is another reason to care about the “one-China” noise.

Supporters of the San-Francisco-Peace-Treaty version may argue that Taiwan is independent because Japan gave up sovereignty over it, and because there was nobody entitled to pick it up.

The “Taipei Times”, a paper from Taiwan’s “pan-green” political camp, led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), described it this way, in 2017:

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) changed the constitutional system and became the nation’s first directly elected president.
By “vesting sovereignty in Taiwanese,” he acknowledged that Taiwan had become an independent state via democratic elections.

This, from Taiwan’s pan-green point of view (or the “Taipei Times” rendition of it), means that Taiwan’s independence is the status quo. Taiwan is independent, and the above is the legal reason.

Position 2, the pan-blue one, basically, may be best summarized by what former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou told an American audience in 2017:

On the question of Taiwanese independence, Ma recalled once being asked by a reporter why the island doesn’t formally declare. “Have you ever heard of a country declaring independence twice?” he replied. “We were an independent country back in 1912 — how can I declare independence again?”

1912 refers to the declaration of the Republic of China in the aftermath of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution. Ma therefore sees Taiwan as an independent state in the continuity of the mainland RoC from 1912 to 1949. That is pretty much in line with the general KMT view.

And if any version of “Taiwan independence” was palatable to the CPC in China, it would be this second one, because it is somehow about “one China”. The official reason for Beijing to be mad at Tsai Ing-wen and her DPP is that they would rather consider Lee Teng-hui the founding father of Taiwan’s sovereignty, than RoC founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

They ignore, however, that President Tsai’s position is somewhere between those two positions, and probably leaning towards position 2. It would be hard to ignore the RoC superstructure when you want to become Taiwan’s President – in fact, you are sworn in on the RoC’s constitution, in front of a large picture of Sun Yat-sen. That’s a tradition left behind by the KMT’s dictatorship era when there was only one legal political party on Taiwan anyway – the KMT itself. The RoC had, for many years, been a one-party state.

What is noteworthy is that both positions – pan-green and pan-blue alike – avoid another declaration of independence. What either camp would do if there wasn’t a threat of war from China is a question for another day. China’s reading of Taiwan’s status is that there hasn’t been a Taiwanese declaration of independence (yet).

How does the rest of the world deal with the “one-China” noise (mostly from China, not from Taiwan)? Let’s have a look at two third-party governments that have established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and severed (official) diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (RoC). Some countries either switched official diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing at some point in time, and some others – like the Federal Republic of Germany – hadn’t had diplomatic relations with Taipei anyway, and therefore found it rather easy to establish theirs with Beijing.
The two examples I know a few things about are the American and the French positions concerning Taiwan’s status.

D. Third-government positions

Sample 1: America

The frequently-quoted Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China (aka the “Shanghai Communiqué”), issued in February 1972 on a visit by then U.S. President Richard Nixon to China, says that

The Chinese side reaffirmed its position: the Taiwan question is the crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations between China and the United States; the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China; Taiwan is a province of China which has long been returned to the motherland; the liberation of Taiwan is China’s internal affair in which no other country has the right to interfere; and all U.S. forces and military installations must be withdrawn from Taiwan. The Chinese Government firmly opposes any activities which aim at the creation of “one China, one Taiwan”, “one China, two governments”, “two Chinas”, an “independent Taiwan” or advocate that “the status of Taiwan remains to be determined”.

As far as the withdrawal of U.S. forces and military installations are concerned, the U.S. appears to have obliged (although there may be varying, and unconfirmed, numbers of U.S. military staff plus equipment in Taiwan from time to time, or permanently, or whatever).

But Washington did not agree with China’s definition of Taiwan’s status – the 1972 Joint Communiqué basically says that the Americans listened to what the Chinese said about it during the talks:

The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. With this prospect in mind, it affirms the ultimate objective of the withdrawal of all U.S. forces and military installations from Taiwan. In the meantime, it will progressively reduce its forces and military installations on Taiwan as the tension in the area diminishes. The two sides agreed that it is desirable to broaden the understanding between the two peoples. To this end, they discussed specific areas in such fields as science, technology, culture, sports and journalism, in which people-to-people contacts and exchanges would be mutually beneficial. Each side undertakes to facilitate the further development of such contacts and exchanges.

Nearly seven years later (save one month), Washington and Beijing established diplomatic relations. That was accompanied by the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations of January 1, 1979. Here,

The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.

This is followed by a bilateral reaffirmation of the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communiqué. Also,

The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.

When you have read some “legal papers” before, you’ll probably think that in the 1979 Joint Communiqué, Washington didn’t accommodate Beijing’s positions any further than in the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué. I also think so.

The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China (1972) only says that Washington understands that Chinese people in China and Taiwan see it that way.

The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China (1979) doesn’t even acknowledge that an unspecified number of Taiwaners (“all Chinese”) sees it that way.

Sample 2: France

France went a step further than America in pleasing China – in 1994, that is, not in 1964 when Paris and Beijing established official diplomatic ties, and when Paris didn’t mention Taiwan at all, according to a piece by France-Info, published in August this year.

In 1994, France stated in another communiqué with China that (my translation)

The French side confirmed that the French government recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legal government of China, and Taiwan as an essential part of Chinese territory.
La partie française a confirmé que le gouvernement français reconnaît le gouvernement de la République Populaire de Chine comme l’unique gouvernement légal de la Chine, et Taïwan comme une partie intégrante du territoire chinois.

Now, I would think that this states explicitly that Taiwan, from France’s point of view, is under China’s jurisdiction. But Antoine Bondaz, a Research Fellow and the Director of both the Korea Program and the Taiwan Program at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS), points out that (my translation)

France doesn’t say explicitly that Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, there isn’t any such declaration.
La France ne dit pas explicitement que Taïwan fait partie de la République populaire de Chine, il n’y a eu aucune déclaration.

Sounds like logic applied by a bunch of weasels, but that’s diplomacy. And if this assessment is correct, you can be pretty sure that China’s diplomats knew that, and still didn’t squeeze France to make further concessions (because that would have meant no communiqué at all, I suppose).

E. Some cold hard facts

All this is mostly about superstructure – cream on a cup of coffee that wouldn’t go away even if there was no cream. What remains as a fact is the existence of Taiwan (and its semiconductors, of course), and a Chinese disposition towards violence against Taiwan.
So if there are two Chinas, just as there are two Congos, why would China believe that it has a right to harass, invade and/or annex Taiwan?
Former Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi probably said it best, at the 17th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi in July 2010, reportedly: “China is a big country and other countries are small countries and that is just a fact”.

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Note

Thanks to Multiburst who suggested that this topic deserved some more attention than what a few tweets would allow.

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Related

Some people, March 23, 2022
China-Deutschland, “Beijing Rundschau”, Oct 11, 2017

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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Headlines: Guanchazhe, Shanghai, July 24

20220224_guanchazhe_press_review

Guanchazhe, headlines at 07:30 UTC

(1)     Actual Guanchazhe article there. Wikipedia has a useful article in English on Wentian space laboratory cabin module
(2)     Link
(3)     It’s more of a rant (you wouldn’t need academics for that, but it probably looks more authoratitve this way).
The article may contain some news for you however if you believe that Western sanctions against Russia are happily supported (or admired) everywhere else in the world
Friday, July 8, 2022

Chinese-Philippines Ties: “Brimming with Expectations”

The following is my translation of a press release by the Chinese foreign ministry (FMPRC), published on Wednesday morning (GMT) this week.

Links within blockquotes were added during translation.

Lines of disputes in the South China Sea (map)

一百聞不如一見:
maritime disputes (click map for source)

Main Link: 

Wang Yi meets Philippine national security advisor Carlos

王毅会见菲律宾国家安全顾问卡洛斯

On July 6 local time, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Philippine National Security Advisor Ms Carlos1) in Manila.

当地时间2022年7月6日,国务委员兼外长王毅在马尼拉会见菲律宾国家安全顾问卡洛斯女士。

Wang Yi said that Sino-Philippine have a thousand-year history of friendly relations. During the past six years, with the joint efforts of both sides, Sino-Philippine relations had achieved a change for the better and advanced quality. The election of President Marcos had opened a new page in Sino-Philippine relations, and the two countries’ peoples were brimming with expectations for the development of bilateral relations. This visit represents the Chinese side’s focus on Sino-Philippine relations and its support for the new government, the continuity and stability in China’s friendly policies toward the Philippines. China would like to cooperate with the Philippine side to implement the important consensus between the two heads of state, to deepen pragmatic cooperation and to initiate another “golden age” in Sino-Philippines relations.

王毅表示,中菲有着千年友好交往历史。过去6年来,在双方共同努力下,中菲关系实现转圜改善、提质升级。马科斯总统当选为中菲关系翻开了新的一页,两国人民对双边关系发展充满期待。此访旨在体现中方对中菲关系的重视和对菲新一届政府的支持,体现中国对菲友好政策的连续性和稳定性。中方愿同菲方落实好两国元首重要共识,深化各领域务实合作,开创中菲关系下一个“黄金时代”。

Carlos said that the two peoples of the Philippines and China were were deeply attached and culturally connected to each other. China was a friendly major power. Chairman Xi Jinping had emphasized that he wanted to create a prosperous and beautiful future together with the Ascia-Pacific countries. The Philippine side is fully in favor of this and would like to broaden exchange and cooperation with the Chinese side, handle disagreements properly, promote mutual trust, improve confidence, gather goodwill and strengthen friendship.

卡洛斯说,菲中两国人民相亲、文化相通。中国是友善的大国。习近平主席强调要同亚太国家共创共享和平繁荣的美好未来,菲方完全赞同,愿同中方扩大交流合作,妥善处理分歧,促进互信、增强信心、积累善意,巩固友好。

Wang Yi said that China had never followed the traditional great powers’ road of colonialism and lootings and that it would maintain its own peaceful development, maintain cooperation and win-win, maintain shared development of opportunities with neighboring countries, join hands to build the community of human destiny2) together and take good care the global village inhabited by all of us together.

王毅说,中国从不走传统大国殖民掠夺的老路,将坚持自身和平发展,坚持合作共赢,坚持与邻国分享发展机遇,携手共建人类命运共同体,呵护好我们共同居住的地球村。

Wang Yi emphasized that China and the Philippines were neighbors neither of which could be moved away, and our choice was friendship, friendship, and friendship again. The healthy continuation and the stable development of Sino-Philippine relatoins was in accordance with the two countries’ and the two peoples’ fundamental and long-term interests. Given the current international and regional situation full of uncertainty and instability, the two sides must continue and enhance their traditional friendship, and let Sino-Philippines relations become more stable and durable, so as to keep them moving forward on the right track.

王毅强调,中菲是搬不走的邻居,我们唯一的选择就是友好、友好、再友好。中菲关系健康持续稳定发展符合两国和两国人民的根本和长远利益。面对当前充满不确定不稳定性的国际地区形势,双方要传承弘扬传统友好,使中菲关系更加稳固坚韧,始终沿着正确轨道向前发展。

Both sides believed unanimously that people-to-people exchange should be strengthened and that the two countries’ friendly public opinion and the societal foundations of the two countries’ friendship be solidified.

双方一致认为应加强人文交流,夯实两国友好的民意和社会基础。

The two sides unanimously believed that the valuable experience of the two countries should be summed up, the overall situation of Sino-Philippine friendship should be actively protected, bilateral relations should not be defined by disputes, and definite differences not be allowed to be in the way of the two countries’ cooperation.

双方一致认为应总结两国交往宝贵经验,努力维护中菲友好大局,不以争议定义双边关系,不让具体分歧阻碍两国合作。

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Notes

1) Clarita Reyes Carlos, aka Clarita Carlos
2) frequently, but not precisely, translated as a community with a shared future
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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Press Review, Thursday, June 9, 2022

1. Guanchazhe headline at 08:50 GMT / 16:50 Beijing standard time /

He Qinghua, first-level inspector at the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission, on Thursday's press conference at the health commission's press conference center, Xizhimen office quarters

He Qinghua, first-level inspector at the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission, on Thursday morning’s press conference at the health commission’s press conference center, Xizhimen office quarters

Q (“China Daily”):
We have seen that after cluster outbreaks in sections of the city, requirements to nucleic acid test certificates concerning time spans, entering and leaving places have differed from each other. I would like to ask under what specific circumstances is there a need for a test certificate from within 24, 48 or 72 hours? On what basis are the certificate duration limits determined? Will certificate controls on entry and departure from different locations become the normality in the future? Thanks.
中国日报记者:我们看到部分城市发生聚集性疫情后,不同的时间段、出入不同的场所,对于核酸阴性证明的要求都不一样。请问,具体在哪些情形下要提供24小时、48小时和72小时内的核酸阴性证明?确定这些核酸证明有效时长的依据是什么?今后出入不同场所查验核酸证明是否会成为常态?谢谢。
A (He Qinghua):
Thank you for your question. After a disease-cluster outbreak, there is a need to determine and formulate the nucleic acid test strategy in accordance with the requirements of epidemic control and prevention, a need to delimit scope and frequency of testing, to avoid blindly expanding the scope to mass nucleic acid tests, and to [rather] carry out nucleic testing people in accordance with risk levels, from high to low risk. The first nucleic acid screening in a closed area should be completed within 24 hours, and a mass nucleic acid screening in the control area should be completed within 48 hours. In other words, when an outbreak occurs, comprehensive arrangements concerning people to be tested, scope and frequency of tests must be established in accordance with epidemic prevention and control requirements. The closed area definitely completes a mass test within 24 hours and the control area completes the first mass testing within 48 hours. In medium- and high-risk areas’ closed and control areas, people must not leave the area, but if you absolutely have to travel in areas with a low risk of outbreaks, a 48-hours nucleic acid test certificate is required. Any region can adjustments in accordance with the needs arising for epidemic prevention and control.
谢谢你的提问。聚集性疫情发生以后,要根据疫情防控的需要,科学确定制定核酸检测策略,划定核酸检测的范围和频次,避免盲目地扩大开展全员核酸检测的范围,将受检的人员按照风险等级由高到低依次开展核酸检测。封控区应该在24小时内完成首次核酸筛查,管控区要在48小时完成首次的全员核酸筛查。就是说在疫情发生以后,一定是根据疫情防控的需要,把核酸检测的人员、范围、频次统筹安排。封控区一定是在24小时内完成首次全员核酸检测,管控区在48小时内要完成第一次的全员核酸检测。中、高风险地区和封控区、管控区这些人员不得外出,但是疫情发生地的低风险地区和防范区确需出行的,需要持48小时的核酸检测阴性证明。各地可以根据疫情防控的需要进行调整。
Also, in areas with no epidemic outbreaks and no risk of importing [coronaviruses], nucleic acid tests on entry and departure should not become kind of a norm. Beijing has ways of handling this, and we would like to ask director Li Ang for a presentation.
还有一个,没有发生疫情,也没有输入风险的,查验核酸不应该成为一种常态。北京在这方面有些做法,我们想请李昂主任给大家作个介绍。
[…]

2. Where does the Economy go?

02_01_zhang_jun_left

“Seize the opportunity, deepen structural reform”

That’s what Professor Zhang Jun, Dean at Fudan School of Economics and an economic researcher, discusses in an interview addressing the “three pressures” of shrinking demand, supply shocks and weaker expectations (需求收缩, 供给冲击, 预期转弱).
After a detailed discussion of options to revive the economy, reducing youth unemployment etc., Zhang says that

I am more and more worried that our country’s economy is entering a vicious circle. In my opinion, the only way to break from this cycle is to seize the opportunity and to promote deeper structural reform, to thoroughly organize government-market relations. Just as Secretary General Xi Jinping emphasized at the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission‘s twenty-third meeting on December 17, 2021, the development of a socialist market economy is a great creation of our party. The key is to handle the government-market relationship well, to let the market have a decisive role in the allocation of resources, and to play a better role as a government.
我现在越来越担心我们国家的经济进入一个恶性循环,而唯一能够打破这个循环的,我认为就是要抓住时机,推进更深层次的结构改革,彻底理顺政府与市场关系。正如习近平总书记2021年12月17日召开中央全面深化改革委员会第二十三次会议时所强调,发展社会主义市场经济是我们党的一个伟大创造,关键是处理好政府和市场的关系,使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用,更好发挥政府作用。

3. Biden stumbles


But there’s good news, too: U.S. President Biden nearly falls, an animated gif informs the exhilarated reader.

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Complete picture of Guanchazhe’s main page this morning GMT:

Link 1 (top section)

Link 2 (section 2)

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Related / Updates

Whereever, you need a test result, BBC, June 9, 22
Inflation isn’t the problem, income is, SCMP, June 9, 22
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