Archive for ‘America’

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Donald Trump’s Quiztalks

When Donald Trump speaks without a script, it sounds like BBC Radio 4 entertainment – the I’m-sorry-I-haven’t-a-clue style, where people are supposed to talk without repeating a single word, or without mentioning a specific world. Something like …

Host: Mr. President, you are supposed to speak about clocks for sixty seconds, and you must use the word “clock” only once.
Trump: I don’t mind clocks. I like those things. I actually love them. We have a great relationship. The only problem with clocks is …
Detector: BUZZ!!!


Anyway. Why is the president supposed to participate in a game where winning is not important? That’s preposterous.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Beijing’s Reaction to Indo-Pacific Strategy: “China’s Rise isn’t isolated but heralds the Rise of the Asian Continent”

The following is a Huanqiu Shibao editorial, published online on Thursday, May 31. It may indicate a pattern of argument currently used by Chinese officials and “public diplomats”, in discussions with Indian counterparts – reminding the unloved southern neighbor of the need to restore Asia’s glory (and to put those small differences aside).
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Original title
Editorial: Indo-Pacific Strategy wants to bury both China and India

社评:印太战略,想既埋中国又埋印度的坑

America announced on Wednesday that the United States Pacific Command will be renamed Indo-Pacific Command.
This is a plan that has been taking shape for a long time, but has given the common people a running gag when discussing America‘s Asian strategy. Washington now welcomes this attention.

美国星期三宣布将太平洋司令部改名为印度洋-太平洋司令部,这是早已透出的计划,但还是提供了世人谈论美国亚洲战略的一个噱头。华盛顿现在很欢迎这样的关注。

Apart from analyzing how much symbolic or practical significance this kind of renaming may have, many media follow American guidance, looking at it as Washington‘s emphasis on uniting with India, as one of the steps aimed at exerting more pressure on China.

除了分析这种改名有多少象征意义和多少实际意义,很多媒体顺着美方的引导,将这看成华盛顿重视并联合印度,向中国施加更大压力的步骤之一。

This is, of course, an important momentary American strategic consideration. However, we believe that Washington is looking at the next, bigger game. The Indo-Pacific strategy has two long-term objectives. One is to make China and India, the world‘s two largest emerging countries with a population of more than a billion, neutralize each other strategically. The second is to respond to and to plan ahead for the inevitable rise of India, and to make American control of the Indian
Ocean happen in time, thus keeping India from becoming a new challenge.

这当然是美国当下的重要战略考量。不过我们认为,华盛顿在下一盘更大的棋。印太战略有两个长远目标:一是要促成中印这两个世界上十亿人口以上新兴大国的长期相互战略消耗;二是为应对必将到来的印度崛起未雨绸缪,将美国加强对印度洋的控制提前变成现实,防止印度成为新的挑战。

China‘s rise is nothing isolated, but heralds the rise of the Asian continent. When history will look back at the 21rst century, the Sino-Indian rise will most probably be seen as two consecutive waves in the same major event. The nature of China‘s and India‘s rise is identical, with two underdeveloped countries moving to the front of global development, thus driving fairer rules for global economics and politics, and allowing people who have long found themselves trailing
behind to enjoy the benefits of modernization.

中国崛起不是孤立的,而是亚洲大陆崛起的先声。历史回望21世纪时,中印崛起很有可能被看成一个大事件的先后波次。中印崛起的本质都是一样的,那就是后发国家走向世界发展的前台,促使世界的经济和政治规则更加公平,让长期处在落后、贫困中的人们分享现代化的红利。

No matter if it is about China‘s or India‘s development, Westerners‘ true feelings are complicated. In the current stage, Western public opinion more supportive attitude towards Indian development at this stage comes from strategic thought that restrains taking advantage now. As India will continuously earn economic successes, Western public opinion‘s dislike of Indian development will surface in the end.

无论对中国发展,还是对印度发展,西方人的真实情感都很复杂。现阶段西方舆论对印度发展给予了更多支持,是地缘政治思维压住了利益计算的临时心态。随着印度不断获得经济成功,西方舆论对印度发展的反感终将浮上水面。

India‘s diplomacy may be sailing with tailwinds in the smoothest seas, but this won‘t last very long. If India‘s development turns out to be rather smooth, relations with the West will become highly complicated.

现在是印度外交最顺风顺水的时候,但这个时间不会很长。如果印度的发展比较顺利,或许20年后它与西方的关系就将高度复杂化。

For America, helping India and controlling China and promoting the mutual strategic neutralization of the two, is its best countermeasure to deal with Asia. Agitation for the Indo-Pacific strategy and American containment of China are two thoughts that raised their heads at about the same time. They are two aspects of almost the same strategic consideration. It can even be said that Washington and its main Asia-Pacific allies are working diligently and tirelessly at this. Also, this dream of theirs was almost put into reality at the Doklam standoff in summer 2017.

对美国来说,拉印制华,促使中印相互战略消耗,是其最佳的亚洲对策。鼓吹印太战略与美国遏制中国思维的抬头差不多同时发生,它们几乎是同一战略考量的不同侧面。华盛顿及其主要亚太盟友可谓对此孜孜以求,而且它们的这一愿望在2017年夏天的洞朗危机期间几乎就要实现了。

The Indian Ocean is increasingly turning into global navigation‘s center of gravity, but this area‘s structure of military strength is simple nevertheless. In future, more forces will enter this area, but provided that China and India maintain normal relations, the outstanding competition will probably not be Sino-Indian. America will inevitably play the leading role here, and also go to any length to act as the director, excluding any side that would share in the power.

印度洋越来越成为全球海上交通的重心,但该地区的军事力量格局则相对简单。未来会有更多力量介入该地区,但是只要中印保持正常关系,印度洋上最为突出的安全竞争就不太可能是中印之间的,美国必将是那场竞争的第一主角,而且它将竭尽全力充当主导者,排斥任何一方与它分享权力。

China has no military bases in the Indian Ocean, Indian public opinion is alerted by China‘s participation in building harbors in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. However, the Indian Ocean‘s only significance for China is in passage, while to America, it is a new front in consolidating its global hegemony. A far-sighted view can see the main contradictions on the Indian Ocean inevitably occurring between America and India.

中国在印度洋没有军事基地,印度舆论目前对中国在斯里兰卡、巴基斯坦参与港口建设充满警惕。然而印度洋对于中国的唯一意义是通道,但它是美国巩固全球霸权的新的主阵地。往远了看印度洋上的主要矛盾必将在美国和印度之间发生。

The importance of America‘s military base on Diego Garcia will continuously become more obvious. That base doesn‘t make China feel threatened in any way, but it will probably soon cause India increasing unease.

美国在印度洋上迪戈加西亚军事基地的要性将不断凸显出来,那个基地并不让中国感到什么威胁,但是印度方面大概很快就会对那个基地地位的提升而感到不安。

The Asian continent is facing two different prospects. One is that China and India will be successfully split by America, clash with each other, constitute restrictions on one another, neutralize each other, thus delaying their respective rise to different degrees. The second is that the two countries successfully resolve their disputes or set them aside, jointly promote an irreversible global trend of rising new emerging markets, which allows human society‘s development to obtain a fairer distribution, with Asia as a whole gradually entering modernization.

亚洲大陆面临两种前景:一是中印被美国成功分化,相互冲突,形成彼此牵制、消耗之势,双方的崛起都不同程度地延后;二是两国成功化解或搁置纠纷,共同推动新兴市场的崛起成为不可逆转的世界大势,使人类社会的发展权利得到更加公平的分配,亚洲作为一个整体逐渐步入现代化。

The Indo-Pacific strategy is a big pit, dug by America. Washington wants to bury both China‘s and India‘s rise in there. The anticipation of some American elites is to help India to push China into the pit and India helping to fill it, just to kick India into the next pit.

印太战略是美国挖的一个很大的坑,华盛顿想在这一个坑里同时埋葬中国崛起和印度崛起。一些美国精英的如意算盘是,先拉着印度一起把中国推到坑里,印度跟着填土,然后再把印度也踹进坑里。

Of course, this is the anticipation some Americans are dreaming of. From India‘s reactions to the Indo-Pacific strategy so far, it can easily be seen that there is an awareness in New Delhi that India will, in the end, earn very little from this strategy.

当然了,这是一些美国人梦一般的如意算盘。从印度迄今对印太战略的反应中不难看出,新德里是存了一个心眼的,印度最终被美国这一战略俘获的可能性很小。

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Related

“Confluence of the Two Seas”, East-West Center, May 9, 2018
(Shorter) GT English version of Huanqiu article, May 31, 2018

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Huanqiu: South China Sea “a testing point for China’s strategic-opportunity development”

The following is a translation of an editorial, published by Huanqiu Shibao on May 31.

Original headline / main link: America’s increased Patrolling of the South China Sea is doomed to be transitional (美国巡航南海再多,也注定是过客)

A similarly-worded, but less detailed, editorial was also published by the English-language “Global Times”. Neither version was signed.

Links within blockquotes added during translation, not part of the Chinese article. Translations and links may not always reflect the accurate judicial terms – this is a newspaper reader‘s translation, not a lawyer’s — JR

Under the American machinations, the South China Sea issue has heated up somewhat. American defense secretary Mattis said on May 29 that America would continue to unfold “freedom of navigation activities”, and that the American navy would also take other action.

在美国的策动下,南海问题近来有所升温。美国防长马蒂斯29日表示,美国将继续在南海具有争议的岛屿附近开展“航行自由行动”,此外美军还会采取其他行动。

Just as Mattis said the words above two days ago, two American navy vessels entered China Paracel islands’ [Xisha] and reefs’ territorial waters. Australian senator Jim Molan was an even more ear-piercing voice, asserting that only all-out war would expel China from the Spratlys.

就在马蒂斯发表上述谈话的两天前,美国两艘军舰进入了中国西沙群岛的领海。澳大利亚参议员莫兰发出更加刺耳的声音,宣称只有一场全面战争,才能将中国逐出南沙岛屿。

Also, some Philippine media and Western media have hyped Philippine foreign minister Cayatano’s talk to days ago. That foreign minister said that Philippine president Duterte had defined a red line concerning the South China Sea, and to prepare to “fight for the South China Sea”. However, when you read Cayetano’s complete talk carefully, you find that his and Duterte’s attitude are not that extreme.

此外,一些菲律宾媒体和西方媒体炒作菲律宾外长卡耶塔诺的一次讲话,这位外长说菲律宾总统杜特尔特已经为南海问题划设了红线,并且准备好“为南海而战”。然而仔细阅读卡耶塔诺的讲话全文,可以发现他和杜特尔特的态度远非那么激进。

Seen from the perspective of the countries within the South China Sea zone, the situation here remains stable, the differences receive control. But the exercise of American strength in the South China Sea begins to show an increasing frequency. This shows in America’s revoking the invitation of China to the RIMPAC exercises under the pretext of opposing China’s “militarization” of the South China Sea, and by two US Navy vessels dashing into the Paracel Islands’ twelve-nautical-miles zone and similar declarations that seem to foretell more active American provocations.

从南海域内国家的关系角度看,这里的局势继续保持平稳,分歧得到管控。但是美国在南海问题上的发力开始呈现增加之势,标志是美以反对中国在南海搞“军事化”为名取消对中国参加环太平洋军演的邀请,美海军两艘军舰一起闯西沙岛屿12海里以及相关表态似乎在预示美更活跃的挑衅。

The South China Sea’s serving as America’s strategic game point can’t be cooled down in the short term. In the future, its continuous heating up will probably occur with a rising frequency. China needs to prepare well psychologically and make tactical arrangements, with the goal of dealing with America in an orderly and methodical way in the South China Sea.

南海作为中美的战略博弈点很难在短时间内冷却下来,它在今后进一步升温看来是高概率趋势。中国必须对此做好充分的心理准备和策略安排,与美在南海有条不紊地长期周旋。

China needs, first of all, to stabilize relations with the claimant countries, especially Vietnam and the Philippines and so on, it needs to continue control of divisions with these countries, avoid the eruption of sharp conflict with any of these countries, [unable to read]. In this way, America’s and its overseas allies excuses for meddling can be greatly reduced, and it will help to let them understand that giving cause to quarrels and manufacturing tense situations are not welcomed.

中国首先需要稳定好与南海声索国,尤其是与越南、菲律宾等的关系,继续管控好同这些国家的分歧,争取不出现同某一个声索国的尖锐冲突,维系发展作为这一地区主题的局面。这样可以大幅减少美国及其南海域外盟友在这里开展干预行动的借口,也会让它们在南海通过搬弄是非制造紧张局势不受欢迎。

Secondly, China must maintain a bottomline concept, strengthen its ability to serve powerful responses, should extreme US intervention in the South China Sea occur. Apart from the deployment of defensive weaponry on the Spratly islands and reefs, China also needs to build a powerful deensive system that includess naval mobile forces and land-based ans air-borne forces, making sure that, if by any chance, the situation in the South China Sea heatens, we are able to meet the situation head-on and fight back at any level of challenge, and any deck of cards.

第二,中国必须保持底线思维,加强对美国一旦在南海采取极端干预进行强有力反制行动的实力建设。除了在南沙岛礁上部署防御性武器,中国还需构建包括海军移动力量和陆基、空基力量组成的强大威慑系统,确保在万一南海局势升级时我方能够迎头回击任何级别的挑战及摊牌。

Thirdly, with ample strength serving as a backup, China will confidently deal with routine military provocations from America, with the principle of each to their own. American declarations of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea don’t touch China; it goes without saying that navigation is free in South China Sea regular territorial waters, and the psychological pressure America can create with this method is decreasing, and its significance diluted. Time in the South China Sea is measured in Chinese and local time, not in American time.

第三,有充足的实力做后盾,中国要自信地与美国一般性军事挑衅耐心周旋,原则应当是它搞它的,我搞我的。美国在南海宣示航行自由奈何不了中国,南海正常水域的航行本来就是自由的,美方这样做所能施加的心理压力一直在递减,其意义不断被冲淡。南海上记录这个时代的钟表使用的一定是中国和当地时间,而决不会是美国时间。

Sovereignty issues concerning the islands and reefs in the South China sea, and maritime rights and interests, are also a testing point for China’s strategic-opportunity development. China must balance these two issues well, and maintain China’s territorial position, and also, it must avoid taking military measures to achieve this position.

南海存在岛礁主权和海洋权益之争,这里同时是中国发展战略机遇期的一个考验点。中国一定要做好这两个问题的平衡,即坚持中国的领土主张,也决不为实现这一主张采取军事手段。

To solve disputes through talks has long been our stable approach. China must strenghten communication with the claimant countries on the South China Sea sovereignty issue, shape mutual understanding, make all sides feel at ease, make regional countries’ development cooperation build on foundations of emerging and solidifying strategic mutual trust. To this end, it is important to implement the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea”, to build consensus on standards of negotiations.

通过谈判解决纷争早已是我们的稳定态度,中国要就此与南海主权声索国家加强沟通,形成默契,让各方都安心,使得域内国家的发展合作建立在不断形成并且巩固的战略互信基础之上,为此落实《南海各方行为宣言》,就南海行为准则谈判构建共识都非常重要。

Obviously, navigation in the South China Sea is free, but the South China Sea isn’t a place for countries outside the area to wave about and issue orders, and to show off their military strength. The South China Sea is an important international thoroughfare, but also China’s gate. This means that to China, it needs to be all the more unimpeded. China won’t allow any outisde power to build hostile screenwalls against it here, we have sufficient strength and resolve to persevere until they abandon their harmful attempts against us.

显而易见,南海航行是自由的,但南海不是域外国家指手画脚、耀武扬威的地方。南海是国际大通道,但它同时是中国的家门口,这意味着它对中国来说更必须是畅通的。中国不会允许任何域外力量在这里构建针对中国的敌对性屏障,我们有足够的实力和坚定的意志与任何那样的企图坚决博弈下去,直到它们放弃针对我们的不良企图。

Saturday, May 19, 2018

East-West Relations: “Not the Partner” (1)

The Economist‘s title story on March 3 this year was about “how the West got China wrong”. In some more detail, the same edition explored as to how China is “not the partner you were looking for”.

As a public, we seem to have a tendency to categorically idealize and devalue relationships – even between nations and civilizations. This is how Max Frisch, a late Swiss author and playwright, put cooling love affairs into an exemplary gloomy dialog:

“You are not,” says the disappointed he or she, “who I thought you were.” (“Du bist nicht”, sagt der Enttäuschte oder die Enttäuschte, „wofür ich Dich gehalten habe.”)

Now, I’m not thinking of West-East relations as a love affair, and Max Frisch was describing the feelings of individuals. But the quote applies all the same (even if Frisch would certainly disapprove of putting it into this East-West context). Propaganda shapes “collective identities”, and according to Jacques Ellul, it offers man “a remedy for a basically intolerable situation” – the impossibility of grasping “the world’s economic and political problems”.

Both Western and Chinese narratives about a disappointing relationship are beginning to take shape. Both are top-down propaganda – people at the grassroots, this blogger included, can only draw information from mainstream and alternative media, blogs (which frequently turn newspaper steaks into hamburger meat without changing the substance), and individual contacts. That’s no great competition for propaganda – rather, it’s part of it. I don’t claim to be able to escape from it, either. I’m experimenting. I’m still blogging because it’s fun.

During this summer, I might try to depict “how the West got China wrong”, and “how China” (or uncertain shares of  Chinese public opinion, anyway) “got the West wrong”. It may also be interesting to speculate about how we will continue to get each other wrong, or which of the mainstream narratives, if either of them, will prevail – or how they may have to take realities into account in order to prevail.

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Related

The Primacy of Politics, June 13, 2010

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Inside Report: the Singapore Summit

 

A very special moment …

 

and the very last moment …

… for world peace.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Inter-Korean Summit: all the Virtuous Circles (around China, please)

CCTV, via Huanqiu Shibao.

Main Link: Historic Day – One Sentence from South-North Korean Summit makes this Continental Plate go Wild (历史性一天:朝韩首脑的一句话 让这个板块涨疯了)

Today, the Korean peninsula has welcomed a historic scene. At 08:30 Beijing time and 09:30 Seoul time, North Korea’s highest leader Kim Jong-un crossed the military demarcation line between the North and the South, to meet and shake hands with South Korean president Kim Jae-in. This was the first time for a highest North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil.

今天朝鲜半岛迎来历史性的一幕。北京时间8时30分,首尔时间9时30分,朝鲜最高领导人金正恩越过朝韩军事分界线,与韩国总统文在寅会面握手。这是朝鲜最高领导人首次踏上韩国领土。

After having talks, they signed an agreement and jointly issued the “Panmunjom Declaration”, achieving agreement to a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Let us look back on this historic moment together.

双方在会谈之后,签署协议并共同发表了《板门店宣言》,就半岛无核化达成协议。一起来回顾一下这一历史性的时刻↓ [sic]

One line (or word) of this summit meeting has driven this continental plate wild!

朝韩首脑会晤上的一句话,让这些领域涨疯了!

Concerning this South-North Korean summit, CCTV Finance Channel’s special correspondent to South Korea, Li Xianghe, and Washington correspondent Wei Xuejiao also compiled the latest reports.

有关此次韩朝首脑会晤,央视财经频道在韩国首尔的特约记者李香和驻美国华盛顿记者魏雪娇也发挥了最新的报道↓

The nearly 12-hours itinerary of the third South-North Korean summit ended concluded perfectly. This afternoon, the South and North Korean leaders signed the “Panmunjom Declaration”, announcing the termination of all hostile behavior towards the other side, a strife for a declaration of the end to the state of war within a year, the two sides confirmed the goal of complete denuclearization of the peninsula by complete abandonment of nuclear weapons, and realizing balanced development and joint prosperity of the national economy. All South Korean media carried out complete and close coverage of today’s meeting. Many among the South Korean masses paid close attention to the historic moment.

将近12个小时的韩朝第三次首脑会晤的日程圆满结束。今天下午,韩朝领导人签署了《板门店宣言》,宣布停止一切针对对方的敌对行为,争取年内宣布结束战争状态,双方确认通过完全弃核实现半岛无核化的共同目标,实现民族经济的均衡发展和共同繁荣等。韩国各大媒体对今天的会晤进行了全程跟踪报道。很多的韩国民众,他们对这一历史性时刻给予了高度的关注。

Also, all South Korean walks of life assess the results of today’s meeting positively. All parties from South Korea, although with varying enthusiasm, affirmed the content of the “Panmunjom Declaration” signed today. Reactions from entrepreneurial circles were more direct and more positive.

另外,韩国各界也积极评价了今天的会晤成果。韩国朝野各党虽然存在一定的“温差”,但是对韩朝双方签署的“板门店宣言”的内容都给予了肯定。企业界的反映则更直接、更积极。

South Korea’s committee of small and medium-sized enterprises said that this meeting could become a relief for the tense situation on the peninsula, a major opportunity for the promotion of peace and prosperity, that they [the SMEs] would actively prepare renewed operation of Kaicheng Industrial Park, and promote South-Northern economic cooperation.

韩国中小企业委员会表示,此次会晤成为缓解朝鲜半岛紧张局势、推进和平繁荣的重要契机,他们将积极准备开城工业园的重启工作,促进南北经济合作。

After some notes on market reactions, the CCTV article continues:

In the informal conversation of this morning, Kim Jong-un praised South Korea’s high-speed railway, while Moon Jae-in said that if the two railway systems could link up to each other, they could be used by everyone. This kind of dialog pushed railway sector stock exchange up, with some exceeding a rise of 13 percent.  This kind of bilateral willingness is also reflected in the two sides’ declarations. Both the South and the North that they will link up the Interkorean Railway and the Gyeongui Line rail and road, promoting cooperation in the field of infrastructure. The North-South Korean summit was constantly and closely watched by the United States.

在今天上午的非正式谈话中,金正恩赞了韩国的高铁,文在寅则说到如果双方铁路能连起来了,大家可以一起用。这样的对话助推了铁路板块股票的上涨,有的涨幅甚至超过了13%。这样的意愿也反映在了双方的宣言上,韩朝双方表示将连接韩朝东海线及京义线铁路和道路,推动基础建设领域的合作。 针对此次朝韩首脑会晤,美国方面一直在对其进行着密切的关注。

White House: At the time of the North-South Korean summit, America hopes for smooth [interaction of] the people in the North and the South. It hopes that the talks will allow the Korean peninsula to forge toward peace and prosperity. At the same time, America also praises its South Korean ally and expresses hopes that President Trump and Kim Jong-un will also meet within a few weeks. At the same time, many American mainstream media provide prominent coverage of this summit. On the whole, the American media really anticipate this historic meeting. Many American media also refer to a “historic meeting”.

白宫:在朝韩首脑会晤之际,美方希望朝韩人民顺利。希望谈判能够让朝鲜半岛向和平、繁荣迈进。同时,美方也赞赏了盟友韩国,对未来几周,特朗普总统和金正恩的会谈表示期待。 与此同时,很多美国主流媒体都突出报道了此次朝韩首脑会晤,整体上来看,美国媒体非常期待这次历史性会谈。很多美国媒体也用“历史性会晤”来形容。

The “Wall Street Journal” [writes] that this time’s results will determine the future direction of relations on the Korean peninsula, and establish a foundation for preparing and holding the summit between North Korea and America.

美国《华尔街日报》本次的结果势将决定朝鲜半岛关系未来走向,并为拟定举行的朝美首脑会晤奠定基础。

“Bloomberg News” said that hopes were rekindled on the Korean peninsula, and that this time’s meeting between the North and the South made people expect that besides putting an end to a meaningless conflict, and that it could at least reduce current threats to global security and the tense situation on the global financial markets.

美国《彭博社》表示,朝鲜半岛再次燃起希望,此次朝韩会晤也令人期待,除了结束毫无意义的冲突之外,至少可以减少目前威胁全球安全和世界金融市场的紧张局势。

The CCTV article then describes US media interest in the two leaders’ dinner menu, abd mentions the release of photos showing newly-appointed US secretary of state Pompeo’s meeting with North Korean leaders a few weeks ago.

In fact, if everything develops smoothly, including this North-South Korean summit, President Trump and Kim Jong-un will hold a leaders meeting in May or June, which would be the first dialog between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

实际上,如果一切进展顺利的话,包括此次朝韩首脑会晤,特朗普总统和金正恩将在5月或6月举行美朝领导人会晤,那将是美国现任总统与朝鲜领导人之间的首次对话。

In further news, South Korean media have revealed that the South Korean president may visit America around mid-May, have talks with US President Trump, brief him about the results of his talks with Kim Jong-un, and discuss a specific roadmap for the implementation of the Korean peninsula’s denuclearization.

接下来,韩国媒体已经透露,韩国总统或将于5月中旬访问美国,与美国总统特朗普举行会谈,向他介绍同金正恩的会谈结果,并讨论半岛无核化路线图的具体落实方案。

This meeting was the third one between South and North Korean leaders, eleven year after the most recent one. The “Panmunjom Declaration” confirms the realization of the peninsula’s denuclearization which brings about development space for the two countries, North East Asia and the whole world for economic cooperation.

此次会晤是时隔11年后,韩朝首脑的第三次会谈,《板门店宣言》确认实现半岛无核化,这将为两国、东北亚以及全球范围内的经济合作,带来发展空间。

Experts say that this summit, bringing about the establishment for a long-term peace mechanism, opens the door and paves the way for economic cooperation between the two countries and North East Asia.

专家表示,此次韩朝首脑会晤,带来的长期和平机制的建立,将为打通韩朝两国以及东北亚各方的经济合作,奠定基础。

Chinese Academy of Social Studies Asian and Global Strategy Research Institute’s researcher Pu Jianyi says that China’s, Russia’s and Mongolia’s building of a trilateral economic corridor could include North Korea, if the situation on the Korean peninsula approached a a virtuous circle. Once North Korea was included, South Korea would naturally join, with Japan behind. China, Japan, and South Korea cooperating, plus China integrating them with North Korea and Russia, would spell better prospects for the future.

中国社会科学院亚太与全球战略研究院研究员 朴键一表示,目前在中国、俄罗斯、蒙古三方的经济走廊建设,如果朝鲜半岛形势向着良性循环的方向发展,可以期待中蒙俄经济走廊建设的横向扩展,很快就可以把朝鲜拉进来,有了朝鲜,韩国自然就跟上了,后边日本。中国、日本,韩国的合作,还有就是中国和朝鲜、俄罗斯怎么把它们整合,会有一个比较好的前景。

[…]

Zhang Jianping, director of the Minstry of Commerce’s Research Center for Regional Economic Cooperation, says that North Korea has actually made some preparations during the past few years, establishing more economic development zones. Also, agricultural cooperation had become a matter of vital importance.

商务部研究院区域经济合作研究中心主任 张建平表示,朝鲜其实在前些年已经准备了一些,设立一些更多的一些经济开发区,另外在农业开放合作方面,现在也是当务之急。

Chinese Academy of Social Studies Asian and Global Strategy Research Institute’s researcher Pu Jianyi says that from South Korea through North Korea up to China, infrastructure building such as railways and highways, are now under discussion.  Among these, not only China, but along the Russian coastline, too, there were matters of  building railways and energy pipelines.  This infrastructure construction would entail lots of mutual economic cooperation, for example in the field of minerals, etc..

中国社会科学院亚太与全球战略研究院研究员 朴键一表示,从韩国经过朝鲜到中国来,像铁路、公路基础设施的建设,现在正在讨论。其中不光是到中国来,去俄罗斯的沿海岸线要铺设铁路,还有一个就是能源管道的问题。这样的一些基础设施建设,后边就带上一大堆相应的经济合作,比如矿产品等。

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Related

Chinese Interests won’t be sidelined, March 12, 2018

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Hundert Jahre Wladimir Dudinzew

Confused my two WordPress blogs: the post on Dudintsev is there.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Taiwan cuts Shortwave Broadcasts in French and Spanish – here is why it shouldn’t

Cutting Shortwave broadcasts in French and Spanish

The French and the Spanish programs of Radio Taiwan International (RTI) are no longer broadcast on shortwave. On March 5, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg‘s (RBB) Radio Eins media magazine reported that RTI would terminate its broadcasts in German on March 25, i. e. the day when the current international shortwave frequency plan (A-18) came into effect1).

A notice was added by the Radio Eins editors a few days later, saying that RTI’s German service kept denying this information. However, Radio Eins did not name the source or sources of their information, citing rather general “trade circles” (Branchenkreise).

On March 9, in a regular mailbag program, RTI’s German service reacted to listeners’ questions concerning the shortwave issue, and stated that while the Spanish and French departments were indeed to exit shortwave with effect from March 26, the German service’s shortwave broadcasts would continue.

Seventeen days later, the German service’s denial proved correct – its broadcasts have been continued, now on their traditional summer frequency of 6185 kHz, as predicted on March 9.

In its report, Radio Eins also pointed out that Radio France Internationale (RFI) had terminated its shortwave broadcasts for Asia years ago, and that this had also put an end to Radio Taiwan International’s once lower-cost access to transmissions from France (with transmitters located at Issoudun, central France). The two international broadcasters appear to have exchanged airtime in the past.

On its website, RTI hardly (if at all) communicates the decision to terminate the shortwave broadcasts in Spanish and French. However, a month before Radio Eins wrote about RTI’s shortwave closures, shortwave-watching website swling.com had quoted from an RTI email saying that the station’s French and Spanish services would “unfortunately stop broadcasting on shortwave”. There appears to have been no mention of the German programs at the time.

Following a Trend …

RTI is following a trend among foreign radio services from industrialized countries2). As noted by Radio Eins, Radio France Internationale ended its shortwave broadcasts to Asia years ago. German foreign Radio, Deutsche Welle (DW), terminated its shortwave broadcasts in Chinese with effect from January 1, 2012. Three months earlier, DW had ended its shortwave broadcasts in German.

Earlier in 2011, the BBC and the Voice of America (VoA) had announced their Chinese programs’ withdrawals from shortwave (the VoA later reversed the decision, but BBC Mandarin kept to their exit).

One of the more contested decisions to abandon shortwave was Radio Australia‘s. It took effect by the end of January, 2017. The station made a – not terribly successful, it seems – effort to communicate the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) decision.

Radio Australia’s (now abandoned) role in informing Pacific islanders about emergency situations via shortwave was deemed essential by some critics, and Radio New Zealand (RNZ), Radio Australia’s only existing competitor on shortwave in the Pacific region, leapt at the gap left by the Australians.

But funding public diplomacy is hardly popular in most free societies. Slashed budgets may irritate or infuriate the trade or the immediate users of an abandoned service, but they will hardly become known to a wider public. After all, the (noticeable) remonstrators are usually just some listeners abroad, and apart from that, they are no voters.
In RTI’s case, the question – from the audience perspective – seems to be how prepared the target areas are for the termination of shortwave broadcasts. As for France and Spain, the answer seems to be easy: industrialized, reasonably good internet connections, and with only a few people (probably) who would still listen on shortwave anyway.
But there are drawbacks. In general – this goes for countries with a highly developed internet infrastructure and Latin America or North Africa alike – it is much harder to gain new listeners, than to retain existing ones.
RTI’s management (or the lords of their budgets) may have drawn inspiration from reports like ECLAC’s 3), discussing sharply increasing internet use and access in Latin American countries, and the Caribbean.

But the ECLAC, while optimistic about the development and prospects of the internet in Latin America, also notes that no country in the region has at least 5% of its connections with speeds of more than 15Mbps, compared to 50% in advanced countries, and there is a difference of 41 percentage points in Internet penetration between urban and rural areas in the country that has the greatest gap in the region.And a report (apparently published online in December 2016) by Statista, a Hamburg-based market research company, saw the region’s average monthly internet usage at 18.6 hours in 2016. When you leave Brazil – the leading country in terms of monthly internet usage – out of the calculation, the rate will be even lower.

If the trends indicated by the two papers continue, there may be a time when switching off shortwave makes sense (at least when considering the costs, and the pressures from the broadcasters’ funders). But the data suggests that RTI’s decision to do so came too early.

… but neglecting the Facts

One of the reasons that international broadcasters stop using shortwave frequencies is that radio is a medium used by the poor, rather than by the affluent and influential. That’s not how they communicate their decision (if there is communication at all), but the trade’s high-flown jargon suggests just that.

In a press release of May 18, 2011, less than a year before abandoning shortwave broadcasts in Chinese, German (its native language) and Hindi, Deutsche Welle wrote that by focusing on the internet in many regions of the world, “info seekers” would be reached more effectively,

… especially those who are or will be influential in their countries’ public opinion, and people who actively campaign for democracy, civil liberties and progress in authoritarian states, thus strengthening civil society.

… insbesondere insbesondere jene, die Einfluss auf die öffentliche Meinung eines Landes haben oder zukünftig haben werden, sowie Menschen, die sich in autoritären Staaten aktiv für Demokratie, Freiheitsrechte und Fortschritt einsetzen und so die Zivilgesellschaft stärken.

But nobody knows who will call the shots in a target area, ten or twenty years from now. In Venezuela, it’s an ex bus driver now. Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2011, Lula da Silva, reportedly only learned to read at the age of ten, and worked as a peanut seller and shoe shine boy as a child. Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, was born to a subsistence farming family and started his political career as a rural labor unionist.

If they had been born ten or fifteen years ago, none of them would be a likely regular internet user.

Shortwave radio may not matter as a medium, when it comes to commercial viability, as the owner of a North American shortwave radio station admitted in 1991. In that light, Facebook could be a more or less “real” alternative to shortwave radio.

But on “social media”, a foreign radio station is just one “friend” among many. There may be no studies available, but if there were some, they would probably show that shortwave listeners are a much more dedicated audience than internet users.

In short: shortwave radio remains a crucial medium, especially for Taiwan. The country will almost inevitably lose all or most of its remaining “diplomatic allies” in Latin America, as it has lost official diplomatic ties with nearly every country worldwide already. If shortwave remains crucial in Taiwan’s communications with European countries may be debatable, but to maintain Taiwan’s visibility in Latin America, there can be no doubt that shortwave would be worth the (quite manageable) costs.
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Note

1) While KBS World’s German service via Woofferton, England, is announced under the broadcasting station’s name (Korean Broadcasting Station), Radio Taiwan International’s name is ommitted. Instead, the HFCC states the operator’s company name (Babcock Communications) there. The KBS frequency is also operated by Babcock, and also from Woofferton.
2) Japan may be the only exception.
3) The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The report linked to is dated September 12, 2016.

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Related

Inclusive Internet Index, Economist Group, 2018
Abandoning Shortwave & Opportunities, Oct 3, 2014
A bottomless pit of waste, PCJ, around 2014

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