Archive for ‘Britain’

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Deutsche Welle Russian Service: Office closed, back to the Shortwaves?


Deutsche Welle (DW) was considering a return to shortwave for its Russian language service and was checking with airtime providers, DARC Radio, a weekly program broadcast on shortwave by Germany’s main ham radio association, reported on Sunday, quoting “first-hand information”.
There appear to be no other reports that would support or confirm this, however, at least not online, and not from DW itself.

Deutsche Welle’s Moscow bureau had closed on February 4, following a ban by Russian authorities, apparently in retaliation for an earlier ban on broadcasts by Russia’s RT in Germany.

Michaela Küfner, a Deutsche Welle reporter, travelled with federal chancellor Scholz’ delegation to Moscow on Tuesday and asked the first question at the Putin-Scholz press conference that followed the talks between the two leaders. The closing-down of DW’s Moscow bureau was also discussed in the Putin-Scholz meeting of several hours.

The German chancellor’s visit was formally considered an inaugural visit, but probably mainly served collective Western efforts to deal with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine and Russia-NATO tensions.

deutsche_welle_qsl_schwerin_motiv

From Nordstream Country with love: a DW QSL card featuring the Cathedral of Schwerin, capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Xi Jinping’s Heroes (2): Martyrs, Wave upon Wave

The following is my second instalment of an article gathering notable Xi quotes concerning heroes; part one is there. No excerpts in this second part; every Xi word within the following paragraphs has been faithfully translated. All errors are my own; corrections or suggestions are welcome.

a_word_every_day

For the particularly pious, there’s “A Daily Word from Xi”,
a regular morning meditation on
China People’s Broadcasting Station (CPBS)

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link: “The Secretary General has talked about Heroes like these”, by Wen Hongyan and Song Jingsi, published on Sept 29

For the beloved motherland of their ideals, countless revolutionary martyrs held high the torch of faith, with an honor that doesn’t look back, they entered the powerful historical torrent of the people’s independence and the people’s liberation. Facing danger without fear and advancing dauntlessly in wave upon wave, they fought a brave, blood-soaked fight despite all setbacks.

为了理想中“可爱的中国”,无数革命先烈高擎信仰的火炬,义无反顾地踏入为了民族独立、人民解放的历史洪流中。他们临危不惧、前赴后继,他们浴血奋战、百折不挠。

On July 24, 2020, secretary general Xi Jinping, ending inspection work in Jilin province, pointed out:

2020年7月24日,习近平总书记在吉林考察工作结束时的重要讲话中指出:

“During the war of resistance against Japan, under extremely vile conditions, General Yang Jingyu led armed forces braved temperatures of minus 40 degrees fighting blood-soaked battles with enemies several times stronger in numbers while having nothing but dry grass, tree bark and cotton wadding in their stomachs. Their achievements were shaking popular feelings.”

“抗日战争时期,在极其恶劣的条件下,杨靖宇将军领导抗日武装冒着零下四十摄氏度的严寒,同数倍于己的敌人浴血奋战,牺牲时胃里全是枯草、树皮、棉絮,没有一粒粮食,其事迹震撼人心。”

On September 18, 1931, Japanese imperialism manufactured the Mukden Incident and began the large-scale invasion and occupation of northeastern China. In 1932, Yang Jingyu was commissioned by the party central committee to organize the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, and led the Northeast military-civilians in a bloody battle at the White Mountain and Black Water . Facing the Japanese army’s frantic pressure, Yang Jingyu was brimming with fighting spirit: “A Revolution is like fire. The snow may be sealing the mountains and hiding the birds’ and animals’ traces, but as long as we carry the spark, we can chase away the bitter winter and bring light and warmth.”

1931年9月18日,日本帝国主义制造九一八事变,开始大举侵占中国东北。1932年,杨靖宇受党中央委托到东北组织抗日联军,率领东北军民与日寇血战于白山黑水之间。面对日军疯狂镇压,杨靖宇充满斗志:“革命就像火一样,任凭大雪封山,鸟兽藏迹,只要我们有火种,就能驱赶严寒,带来光明和温暖。”

In February 1940, Yang Jingyu, in a world of ice and snow and out of ammunition and food, fought a lone fight against a great number of Japanese invaders, and heroically sacrificed his life after fighting for five days and nights, in Mengjiang County (now Jingyu County in Jilin Province).

1940年2月,杨靖宇在冰天雪地、弹尽粮绝的情况下,孤身一人与大量日寇周旋,战斗五昼夜后,在濛江县(今吉林省靖宇县)壮烈牺牲。

In times of difficulty, circumstances create heroes. In this great struggle in the war of resistance against Japan, the sons and daughters of China independently and freely casted their lives, sprinkled warm blood, mothers sent their sons to fight the Japanese invaders, wives sent their young husbands to the battleground, men and women, old and young equally mobilized.

天下艰难际,时势造英雄。在抗日战争这场救亡图存的伟大斗争中,中华儿女为中华民族独立和自由不惜抛头颅、洒热血,母亲送儿打日寇,妻子送郎上战场,男女老少齐动员。

It was Jiawu 2014. In a commemorative ceremony for the whole nation’s war of resistance that had started 77 years earlier, Secretary Xi Jinping, with deep emotion, told a heroic story: a mother from Miyun County in Beijing named Deng Yufen sent her husband and five children to the front, and they all died in battle.

2014年,岁逢甲午。在纪念全民族抗战爆发七十七周年仪式上,习近平总书记深情讲述了一位英雄母亲的抗战故事:“北京密云县一位名叫邓玉芬的母亲,把丈夫和5个孩子送上前线,他们全部战死沙场。”

Deng Yufen clenched her teeth and stood firm under these blows, smiling less than before but becoming more active in the anti-japanese war and closer to the younger generations of soldiers.

面对沉重的打击,邓玉芬硬是咬牙挺住了。她脸上的笑容少了,但对抗日工作更积极了,对子弟兵更亲了。

In August 1945, the Chinese people finally defeated the Japanese aggressor. Deng Yufen had tears in her eyes, comforting her husband and her sons under the nine springs: we are victorious! Before her death in February 1970, Deng Yufen told her fellow villagers, “bury me next to the roadside, I want to see the children return”.

1945年8月,中国人民终于打败日本侵略者,邓玉芬眼噙泪花,告慰九泉之下的丈夫和儿子们:咱们胜利了!1970年2月临终前,邓玉芬对乡亲们说:“把我埋在大路边,我要看着孩子们回来。”

In the extraordinarily difficult years of the anti-Japanese war, the Chinese people fought against powerful enemies, built a great wall out of blood and flesh, with always another one stepping into the breach to replace the fallen, and wrote a majestic epos, for a shaken world to read and to make even supernatural beings cry2), thus winning the fist war by Chinese against foreign aggressors in modern times3).

在艰苦卓绝的抗日战争中,中国人民以铮铮铁骨战强敌、以血肉之躯筑长城、以前仆后继赴国难,谱写了惊天地、泣鬼神的雄壮史诗,赢得了近代以来中国抗击外敌入侵的第一次完全胜利。

Secretary-general Xi Jinping pointed out on a symposium commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Chinese people’s anti-Japanese war of resistance’s victory and the world’s war against fascism’s victory: “High-ranking officers like Yang Jingyu, Zhao Shangzhi, Zuo Quan, Peng Xuefeng, Tong Linge, Zhao Dengyu, Zhang Zizhong, Dai Anlan and others from numerous heroic entities such as the Eight-Route Army’s ‘Five Heroes on Langya Mountain’, the New Fourth Army’s ‘Liulaozhuang company’, the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army’s eight female warriors, the KMT Army’s ‘eight heroes’, are outstanding representatives of the Chinese people undefiant,self-sacrificing stance.”

习近平总书记在纪念中国人民抗日战争暨世界反法西斯战争胜利69周年座谈会上指出:“杨靖宇、赵尚志、左权、彭雪枫、佟麟阁、赵登禹、张自忠、戴安澜等一批抗日将领,八路军‘狼牙山五壮士’、新四军‘刘老庄连’、东北抗联八位女战士、国民党军‘八百壮士’等众多英雄群体,就是中国人民不畏强暴、以身殉国的杰出代表。”

While fighting the liberation war, the Communist Party of China relied closely on the masses, obtained a power that toppled the mountains and overturned the seas, and ended the KMT’s reactionary rule, establishing a brandnew People’s Republic.

解放战争中,中国共产党紧紧依靠人民群众,获得了排山倒海的力量,结束了国民党的反动统治,建立了崭新的人民共和国。

“With no care for their heads, their warm blood irrigated the country.” To win national independence and the people’s liberation, countless revolutionary martyrs marched forward bravely, building the great wall of steel that rescued the nation in peril and defended the nation’s dignity. According to incomplete statistics, there were 3.7 million martyrs among revolutionary the troops led by the party from 1921 until 1949.

“未惜头颅新故国,甘将热血沃中华。”为争取民族独立和人民解放,无数革命先烈勇往直前以赴之,筑起拯救民族危亡、捍卫民族尊严的钢铁长城。据不完全统计,从1921年到1949年,党领导的革命队伍中,有名可查的烈士就达370多万人。

Secretary-general Xi Jinping emphasized: “The republic is red, and can’t weaken this color.4) The blood of countless martyrs gave our flag its color. There is no way that we would not build the republic well that they hoped, fought and sacrificed for.”
“We absolutely must engrave the martyrs’ final wishes and never forget the great ideals they sacrificed their blood for.”

习近平总书记强调:“共和国是红色的,不能淡化这个颜色。无数的先烈鲜血染红了我们的旗帜,我们不建设好他们所盼望向往、为之奋斗、为之牺牲的共和国,是绝对不行的。”“我们一定要铭记烈士们的遗愿,永志不忘他们为之流血牺牲的伟大理想。”

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Notes

1) White Mountain + Heilongjiang = Dongbei
2) Xi Jinping appears to have a particularly strong liking for warm blood “irrigating” the motherland, but also for borrowing from the world on the other side of the cupboard: supernatural beings have played a role in his commemorative speech about the Korean war, too, and – if a verbatim quote of what Xi said back then – in his September 2015 speech.
3) Among Chinese – not among Americans or Taiwanese – “近代” usually seems to refer to the times from around 1912 to 1949. The term is discussed by a Wikipedia article, too.
4) xCompare commemorative speech about the Korean war in October with the same phrase: 共和国是红色的,不能淡化这个颜色. Another translation for “weaken” could be “dilute” or “trivialize” its color.
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Friday, June 18, 2021

Xu Yuanchong, 1921 – 2021

Documentaries made during a man’s lifetime often do a better job at describing him, than obituaries. Here’s a good film on Xu Yuanchong (许渊冲) – unfortunately only in Chinese.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Huanqiu Shibao: G7 London Meeting, small-circled cliques and factions

As he said before, it’s you, not us

The following is a translation of an article by Huanqiu Shibao online, published on Tuesday (May 4). Huanqiu’s translations from English do not necessarily reflect what the persons quoted there actually said.

The Reuters article referred to by Huanqiu Shibao can be found here.

Main Link: Evoking the China-Russia threat once again? (又渲染中俄威胁)

Bian Zihao, Huanqiu Online reporter — Hyping another Chinese-Russian threat? The G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Britain’s capital London opened on May 3. According to Reuters, Britain will seek decisive action from the G7 member states to respond to global threats. Reuters says that these so-called “global threats” include China and Russia.

【环球网报道 记者 边子豪】又炒作中俄威胁?七国集团外长会3日在英国首都伦敦开幕,据路透社报道,英国4日将寻求与G7成员国采取果断行动以应对全球威胁。路透社称,上述所谓“全球威胁”包括中国和俄罗斯。

As it holds the G7’s rotating chairmanship this year, Britain also invited Australia’s, India ‘s , South Africa ‘s and South Korea ‘s foreign ministers this week. Reuters says that this is the first time in two years that G7 representatives talk face-to-face and that this is seen as an opportunity to “strengthening support for the international rules-based system.

作为今年七国集团轮值主席国,除了G7成员国外,英国本周还邀请了澳大利亚、印度、南非和韩国等国外长。路透社说,本次会谈是近两年来七国集团代表首次举行面对面会议,被英方视为“加强支持基于规则的国际体系的机会”。

Reuters also quoted Britain’s wording, an evocation of the so-called “China-Russia threat”, saying that China’s economic influence and Russia’s “evil activities” could break that system.

此外,路透社还引述英方说法,渲染所谓“中俄威胁”说,中国的经济影响力和俄罗斯的“恶意活动”可能会破坏上述体系。

The report also mentioned that on May 3 local time, U.S. secretary of state Blinken, after meeting British forign secretary Raab, called for the building of an international alliance. He claimed that although there was no intention to “contain China”, there was a need to make sure that China “acted in accordance with the rules”. In a program broadcast by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Blinken explained his position similarly. He said there, “our goal isn’t to contain China, not to block China, not to inhibit China. (But) it is the protection of order-based rules to which China currently raises challenges …”

报道还提到,当地时间5月3日,在与英国外交大臣拉布会面后,美国国务卿布林肯呼吁组建一个全球联盟,他宣称尽管不想“遏制中国”,但要确保中国“按规则行事”。 而在5月2日哥伦比亚广播公司(CBS)播出的一档节目中,布林肯也曾有过相似表态。当时他说:“我们的目的不是遏制中国,不是阻止中国,不是压制中国。(而)是为了维护基于秩序的规则,(但)中国正在对(这些规则)提出挑战……”

The foreign ministers’ meeting is seen as a warm-up for the G7 summit in June. The G7 consists of Britain, America, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. Russia joined as the eighth country in 1997. In 2014, after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, Russia was excluded.

本次外长会被视为将于6月在英国举行的七国集团峰会的预热。七国集团由英国、美国、法国、德国、意大利、加拿大和日本组成,俄罗斯1997年加入后成为八国集团。2014年乌克兰危机爆发以后,俄罗斯被排除在外。

In reality, concerning talk about the so-called “China threat”, FMPRC spokesman Zao Lijian has previously emphasized that China adheres unswervingly to the road of peaceful development, we have never provoked a war on our own accord, and never violated an inch of another country’s territory, nor have we ever constituted a threat to any country. Facts have repeatedly proven that China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a protector of international order, and that China’s development is an opportunity for the world.

事实上,关于所谓“中国威胁论”,中国外交部发言人赵立坚此前曾强调,中国坚定不移走和平发展道路,我们从来没有主动挑起过一场战争,也从来没有侵犯过别国一寸领土,不对任何国家构成威胁。事实一再证明中国始终是世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者,中国的发展是世界的机遇。

Zhao Lijian said that China’s development spells the growth of global peace, that it is the woeld’s opportunity and not a challenge. China has always firmly upheld the international system with the United Nations at the core, based on international law. But that isn’t an international order defined by individual countries to protect their own interests. In the age of globalization, the destruction of international order [happens] for real when lines are drawn along ideology and when countries form small-circled cliques and factions. In the end, this is what really doesn’t enjoy popular support and what doesn’t provide a way out.

赵立坚说,中国的发展是世界和平力量的增长,是世界的机遇而非挑战。中方始终坚定维护的是以联合国为核心的国际体系和以国际法为基础的国际秩序,而不是个别国家为维护自身霸权所定义的国际秩序。在全球化时代,以意识形态划线,拉帮结派,搞针对特定国家的小圈子才是对国际秩序的破坏。这终究是不得人心的,也是没有出路的。

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Related

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, Aug 9, 2020
An unprecedented common cause, June 7, 2013
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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Trans-Pacific Press Review (TPPR), April 14

Happy reading …

Date Item
April 1 Argentina has sought Chinese support in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Argentina started with reaching an agreement with the IMF. China is one of Argentina’s biggest trade and investment partners. According to a report by Argentina’s embassy to China, Argentina’s ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, has had meetings with high-level Chinese officials. The purpose was to ask China to support Argentina in its talks to have deadlines extended and interest on debt lowered.
April 9 Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and a master of innocuous small talk, died last Friday.
April 9 Also on Friday, the world’s biggest Mazu pilgrimage started in Dajia District, Taichung, Taiwan.
April 9 Still on Friday, China’s ambassador to Canada had reassuring news for Michael Spavor‘s and Michael Kovrig‘s fellow citizens: the “vast majority” should not worry about being kidnapped by the police, he reportedly told a Zoom audience Memorial University of St. John’s.
(I suppose his wording was a bit different from kidnapped by the police, rather something like “people engage in those criminal activities, whether it’s Canadians or other nationalities”.)
April 12 Gao Fu (高福), head of the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, has been quoted as saying that China’s current vaccines  “don’t have very high rates of protection”, but later referred to this statement as a “complete misunderstanding”.
April 14 US climate envoy John Kerry is in China, and two authors on Foreign Policy have some advice for him.
April 14 Also, a US delegation is in Taiwan at President Joe Biden‘s request. President Tsai Ing-wen will reportedly meet with the delegation on Thursday morning.

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Related

Universal topics, Mar 22, 2018
RAE adds Chinese programs, Jun 10, 2013

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before you define your next China policy, learn from Lu Xun

Chinese nationalism has had its share of wishful thinking. But in recent decades, the West has fallen into similar traps, although its humiliations – the 2008 financial crisis and the flat-footed reaction of most Western countries to the Covid-19 pandemic – have been comparatively minor humiliations.

True story

But humiliations they have been, and nothing shows this more clearly than the way some of the West’s governments have reacted to China’s handling of the pandemic. To quote one of the more civil criticisms  – by Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party -, “the world would have had more time to prepare for the pandemic if Chinese leaders had been more forthcoming”. No worries, though, he switched into another gear right away:

For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. Once we get clear of this terrible pandemic it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship,” he said.

Politics, that much is true, must never let a crisis go waste, and there are reasons to “rethink” the West’s, and possibly the world’s, relationship with China.

But China only bears a limited share of responsibility for this global crisis. If people in the West don’t understand that, they don’t understand their own political class.

We don’t need to reconsider our relationship with China because its role in the pandemic was questionable.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because we must not tolerate the way Chinese authorities treat Chinese citizens. Human rights violations often hit “national minorities” like Tibetans or Uyghurs hardest, but the political malpractice doesn’t stop there.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in Hong Kong, Beijing has shown complete disregard for the rule of law, within Hong Kong’s autonomy (that’s nothing new, China has never understood the concept of autonomy anyway), and complete disregard of international law.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in the South China Sea and other international waters, China has adopted a policy of annexation.

And we must reconsider our relationship with China, because with his “Resist America, Aid Korea” speech in October, Chinese CPC secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping has made China’s disregard for international law official, by suggesting that Maoist China’s war against the United Nations had been a “war against imperialism”.

There may be some reason to believe that many within the CPC believe that the speech has been a non-starter, because they haven’t dwelled too much on it in the media since, and because the faces of many of the leaders during Xi’s speech appeared to speak volumes. But there is no reason to believe that Xi’s speech wasn’t an honest attempt at rewriting history, at the expense of truth. This attempt must be taken seriously.

All that said, when reconsidering our relationship with China, we must not walk into the Ah-Q trap. This is something we might learn from China indeed: the way Chinese intellectuals used to be self-critical was part of China’s more recent successes, just as China’s more recent pompousness and triumphalism may earn it serious setbacks.

The same is true for us, and especially for those who consider themselves our “elites”. For decades, China has been described as an opportunity too big to miss, and to justify throwing valuable Western-made technology at it. To make this foreign-trade salad more palatable to the general public (and arguably also to the propagandists themselves), China-trade advocates added that trade and engagement with China would lead to improvements in the country’s human rights practice, or its economic and social system.

“The party is over,” a long-forgotten “expert” crowed in the 1990s, in a huge, long-forgotten book. Others suggested that the CPC might become a “social-democratic” party. But nobody seemed to ask the CPC people if they had any such intentions, at least not seriously. And if they did, they only heard the answers they wanted to hear.

There was never a doubt that China’s political system is a dictatorship. And when that dictatorship began to succeed economically and technogically, quite a number of Western intellectuals, and especially business people, began to admire that dictatorship:

I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Don’t get me wrong either. I don’t think Thomas Friedman argued in favor of the introduction of authoritarianism, let alone totalitarianism. But he didn’t apply any logic – and he’s no exception among Western intellectuals. He’s full of ideas and without a plan when it comes to these issues.

Because if we could be China for one day, we could be China every day. And then we would be the kind of society that we now want to reconsider our relationship with. (OK, maybe not Friedman.)

But the worst thing is to think of ourselves as Santa. The guys who only want the best for China, etc.. I’m pretty sure that half of my fellow Germans, in as far as they have misgivings about China, don’t worry about China’s human rights record. They worry about its economic clout, and the preparedness of a lot of Chinese people to work harder, for less income, then we would.

That’s legitimate self-interest, but nobody should confuse this interest with something like international solidarity. To do that, to suggest that “we are nice, we are generous, we’ve done everything for them, and they are bloody ingrats” is typical Ah-Q thought.

No, guys. Our bosses threw our technology at China, technology developed with support of public institutions we paid our taxes for. That’s what our bosses usually do. Sometimes at the Chinese, sometimes at other promising markets. But as our bosses’ greed for profits from China knew no limits, they fooled themselves, too. Occasionally, they complained once it went wrong. But this wasn’t “Chinese” greed – they only picked up what was thrown at them. And even if they never told us that they would make good use of it, with or against the law, daily practice could have shown us in a year that this transactional model wouldn’t work – at least not for the West.

China – not just the CPC, but most of the Chinese people – have always told us that their rightful global place was at the pole position.

They have always told us that they would “re-take” Taiwan, once they had the power to do so.

Every bloke in the street told us that Hong Kong was no stuff to negotiate about – it had been taken by the imperialists, and had to be retaken by China. Besides, those Hong Kongers shouldn’t think of themselves as “special”. Yadayada.

We played along, one year after another. We still do. I’m afraid we’ll continue to do so. Our governments, for example, keep participating in the diplomatic charade to this day that, for some incomprehensible reasons (depending on what individual Western nation’s memoranda with Beijing have made up out of thin air), Taiwan wouldn’t be quite a sovereign country.

In short: it was hard to get China wrong, but we managed anyway. And if we don’t stop suggesting that our intentions in this relationship had always been honest, we won’t get our next China policy right either.

To reshape our relationship with China, let’s learn from Lu Xun first.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, while Party expects Returns on Investment

Twitter can be fun, but would be a waste of time if all the information you can get passes by without some reflection on it. Learning by repetition. Here goes.

China’s recent diplomacy has been referred to as wolf warrior diplomacy (戰狼外交) in recent months – or in fact for years (as Sweden can tell) -, but it has become a much more frequently used term with the COVID-19 crisis.

As Washington and Beijing traded accusations and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 origins during the first half of 2020, Beijing’s propaganda machine continuously switched gears between angry statements and more or less funny cartoons on “social media” platforms like Twitter, depicting Trump administration officials as dorks or hypocrites. Chinese foreign ministry (FMPRC) spokesman and communications director Zhao Lijian as well as Chinese media outlets like CCTV-English, People’s Daily in English, Xinhua news agency etc. took leading roles in “anti-American” (反美) enunciations.

But wolf warrior diplomacy apparently didn’t lead to results that would have satisfied Beijing after all. On Tuesday (August 4), China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, told an NBC anchor and a wider online public that

The normalization of relations between our two countries and the growth of this relationship over the decades has served the interests of both countries and the world very well. It’s quite clear to all of us are still enjoying the positive outcome, the benefit of this growth of relationship. Nobody can really deny this.

Societal differences should provide opportunities for mutual learning, Cui suggested.

Cui himself didn’t have to make a u-turn to emphasize the “positive outcomes” of Sino-US relations – he had never been a wolf warrior diplomat anyway, and Washington wouldn’t have been the place to test these fruits of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era / Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy anyway. And when he made the essential swipe – there needs to be one in every Chinese representation to Americans these days, to show that the speaker is not afraid of his audience -, he smiled as if he wanted to apologize for what he was saying.

Click picture for video

His boss, foreign minister Wang Yi, didn’t have to turn everything upside down either. But to show that Xi has always been a great supporter of dialogue, he inaugurated a Research Center for the Guiding Role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic Thought at the FMPRC on July 20.

According to “Radio Free Asia” (apparently not safely verified), fifty-centers have been told to switch their messages from “anti-American” to “double-win” (click picture for details)

Thusly illuminated, foreign minister Wang addressed an online forum of American and Chinese think tanks (including Henry Kissinger and Kevin Rudd, apparently) on July 9, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas in a video conference on July 24 (not without informing his colleague in Berlin that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America), and, most recently, the readers of Communist Party organ “People’s Daily”.

Chances are that US secretary of state Pompeo and his network have struck the right note in communication with Beijing during the past months, and distancing from China could become a bipartisan American policy. However, the Trump administration may not be able to take traditional allies as far along in their cause as they would like to.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told a press conference with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo that “we make our own decisions and we use our own language”, and that “the relationship with China is important and we have no intention of injuring it”.

Sydney Morning Herald correspondents wrote on August 1 that Joe Biden, the US Democrats’ presidential nominee, was

expected to be closer to what Australia is trying to do: transition to a multipolar region where Beijing is accommodated but counterbalanced by regional powers including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the US.

At times, Trump and Pompeo’s approach seems to be an attempt to maintain the US as regional hegemon – something Canberra quietly gave up on a few years ago.

[Lowy Institute executive director] Fullilove says in some ways a Biden administration would be tougher on China and may make requests of Australia which are harder to refuse.

The correspondents also pointed out that both Japan and New Zealand, while basically following the US / Australia lines, had kept a rather low profile, thus protecting their trade interests with China.

Germany wasn’t exactly the first country either to throw a gauntlet at Beijing, or to publicly take note of China’s internment policies in East Turkestan, or its breach of international law by imposing its “national security law” on Hong Kong. Berlin’s position was further complicated as Germany’s leadership currently chairs the EU in a rotational arrangement, having to find as much common ground among Beijing-leaning EU member states and more resilient members.

Only when Hong Kong’s government announced a “postponement” of Legislative Council elections by a year, ostensibly because of the special administrative region’s COVID-19 crisis, Germany joined other countries and suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. On August 3, French foreign ministry sharply criticized Beijing’s “national security law”, and halted ratification of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which had been in process since 2017.

A few days earlier, and five days after his conversation with Germany’s foreign minister, Wang Yi had been on the phone with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian,

Austrian public radio ORF‘s China correspondent Josef Dollinger arguably provided one of the more succinct summaries of European policies. Asked on July 29, the morning when the EU governments presented their agreed reaction to Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, if Washington’s chances of isolating Beijing could be successful, he said that conflicts with China could not be painless, and that while

you can ride a tiger gone wild without getting bucked off – difficult as that may be -, you shouldn’t keep shouting “I’ve got him, I’ve got him.”

Man kann zwar auf einem wild gewordenen Tiger reiten, ohne abgeworfen zu werden – auch wenn’s schwierig ist -, aber man sollte dabei nicht ständig rufen, “ich hab’ ihn, ich hab’ ihn”.

In the EU, disappointment about stalling talks on a comprehensive investment treaty with China have likely added to a hardening position.

And while America’s allies have resisted Pompeo’s calls to join them on the warpath, it does appear that China underestimated the impact of its Hong Kong policies, at least in democratic countries.

All the more, Wang Yi himself, too, tries to stick to a script that would paint China as the natural and predetermined victor to emerge from the beginning struggle. Among some double-win promises, he also threatened America with history’s pillar of shame (恥辱柱).

No matter how much, or little, pressure China may feel as a whole, Beijing’s diplomats are having a tough time of it. It is one thing to open a Xi-Jinping shrine at the FMPRC. To deliver on hard issues is another. The leadership and its personality core have significantly raised investment in diplomacy. They will expect more than just damage control in return.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

“Pragmatic Cooperation”: German and Chinese foreign ministers hold videoconference

The following are three off-the-cuff translations of the news articles published by the FMPRC and the German foreign office earlier today, after a videoconference between the two countries’ foreign ministers. These translations are by no means authoritative and may contain errors – in case of the doubt, look at the originals. If either of them is a comprehensive description of the conference is, of course, impossible to tell.

Wang Yi also presented the Chinese version of his country’s conflict with the US, but this was published in an extra article by the FMPRC – please refer to the third translation.

“Positive and constructive attitude”

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The following is a translation of the news article published by China’s foreign ministry.

On July 24, 2020, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video conference with German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤。

Wang Yi said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, China and Germany had both upheld close communication through telephone, video and other means, to plan for the next step in the development of Chinese-German and Chinese-European relations. We must actively  implement the political consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, ensure the sound and stable development of Chinese-German relations, advocate multilateralism together, reject unilateral behavior, and provide more stability and correct energy for the world:

王毅表示,疫情发生以来,中德两国领导人通过通话、视频等方式保持密切沟通,为下一步中德、中欧关系发展作出规划。我们要积极落实两国领导人达成的政治共识,确保中德关系健康稳定发展,共同倡导多边主义,抵制单边行径,为世界提供更多稳定性和正能量:

Firstly, to newly start Chinese-German dialog on all levels and in all fields, actively plan and carry out dialog and consultation mechanisms in a flexible way, with the two foreign ministries taking a role in the resumption of exchanges.

一是要让中德各层级、各领域对话重新启动起来,以灵活方式积极规划实施好各种对话磋商机制,两国外交部可在恢复交往方面发挥作用。

Secondly, to let Chinese-German pragmatic cooperation resume as soon as possible, to jointly maintain international supply chains and their stability. The two countries have already taken the lead in the implementation of “fast-lane travels”, with the need to create better conditions by strengthening prevention and expanding bilateral staff contacts and increasing the numbers of flights.

二是要让中德务实合作尽快恢复起来,共同维护国际产业链、供应链稳定。两国已率先实行“快捷通道”,要通过加强联防联控,为扩大双方人员往来和增加航班创造更好条件。

Thirdly, to let Chinese-German interaction and coordination on multilateral matters, strengthen cooperation on United Nations matters, implement the G20 summit countries’ consensus and promotion of international epidemic prevention, including help for African and other less-developed regions in fighting the epidemic, and strengthen vaccine research and development and sharing.

三是要让中德在多边事务中的互动与协调活络起来,加强在联合国事务中的合作,落实好二十国集团峰会共识,推动国际抗疫合作,包括帮助非洲等欠发达地区抗击疫情,加强疫苗研发合作和分享。

Wang Yi emphasized that China has always looked at the EU and Chinese-EU relations with a positive and constructive attitude, always supported the European integration process, supported the EU’s growth and expansion, and happily watched the EU’s development of a greater international role. To develop Chinese-European relations well, comprehensive, objective and accurate knowledge of each other is the key. Wang Yi reiterated that Chinese-European consensus was much greater than their divisions, and cooperation much greater than competition. The two sides’ contacts should be positive and win-win, not a you-lose-I-win zero-sum game. China and Europe are cooperation partners, not systemic rivals. China expects the term of Germany’s rotating EU presidency to promote the realization of still bigger upgradings of Chinese-European relations and is willing to work with Europe to plan and prepare the next stages of the Chinese-European political agenda, to deepen cooperation on climate change, and to send a positive signal that China and Europe join hands to cooperate in safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governance.

王毅强调,中国始终以积极、建设性心态看待欧盟和中欧关系,始终支持欧洲一体化进程,支持欧盟发展壮大,乐见欧盟在国际上发展更大作用。发展好中欧关系,全面、客观、准确的相互认知是关键。王毅重申,中欧共识远大于分歧,合作远大于竞争。双方的交往应当是互利共赢的良性互动,而不是你输我赢的零和博弈。中欧是合作伙伴,而不是制度性对手。中方期待德国担任欧盟轮值主席国期间推动中欧关系实现更大提升,愿同欧方一道,筹划好下阶段中欧重大政治议程,深化气候变化国际合作,对外释放中欧携手合作,维护多边主义、完善全球治理的积极信号。

Maas first expressed sympathy to the Chinese people suffering the flood disaster. Maas said that Germany places great attention on German-Chinese relations. Close German-Chinese communication, dialog and cooperation in the face of the epidemic challenge had led to good results. Germany highly appreciated China’s pledge to  turn a successfully developed vaccine into an international product after successful development. [Germany] wanted to strengthen cooperation with China in vaccine R & D, and in improving accessibility to such a vaccine. Germany firmly supported multilateralism and supported the WHO. It would substantially increase financial support for the WHO. Germany was willing to make ample use of existing dialog and consultation mechanisms, to strengthen strategic dialog and communication, to cooperate on post-epidemic economic recovery, increase the numbers of business and chartered flights while doing a good job at prevention and control, and promote essential contacts. As rotating president of the EU, Germany placed great attention on European-Chinese relations, was willing to plan the next stages of European-Chinese high-level exchanges, to deepen cooperation on climate change, strengthen third-party cooperation in Africa, and contribute efforts to the promotion of European-Chinese relations’ development.

马斯首先向遭受洪涝灾害的中国民众表示慰问。马斯表示,德方高度重视德中关系。面对全球疫情挑战,德中保持密切沟通,对话与合作富有成果。德方高度赞赏中方承诺在疫苗研发成功后将作为国际公共产品,愿同中方加强疫苗研发合作,提高疫苗的可及性。德方坚定支持多边主义,支持世卫组织,将大幅提高对世卫组织的资金支持。德方愿充分利用现有各种对话磋商机制,加强战略对话与沟通,就疫后经济复苏开展合作,在做好防控的同时,增加商业航班和包机数量,促进必要人员往来。作为欧盟轮值主席,德方高度重视欧中关系,愿同中方共同规划好下阶段欧中重要高层交往,深化应对气候变化协作,加强在非洲第三方合作,为促进欧中关系发展贡献力量。

The two sides exchanged opinions about the China-EU investment agreement negotiations, concurred that with the background of unilateralism and protectionism, efforts to meet half-way and to negotiate needed to be increased, so as to strive for the attainment of a comprehensive, balanced and high-class Chinese-European investment agreement at the earliest possible date.

双方就中欧投资协定谈判交换了意见,一致同意在当前单边主义、保护主义抬头背景下,应加快相向而行,加大谈判力度,争取尽早达成一项全面、平衡、高水平的中欧投资协定。

The following is a translation of the news article published by Germany’s foreign ministry.

Since early June, the worst rains ever since the beginning of keeping records have caused massive floods in China. We are aghast of the pictures and reports about the flood disaster. On behalf of the federal government, I have expressed our deepest sympathy and our solidarity with the population affected by the floods.

Seit Anfang Juni sorgen die schlimmsten Regenfälle seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen für massive Überschwemmungen in China. Wir sind bestürzt über die Bilder und Berichte der Flutkatastrophe. Im Namen der Bundesregierung habe ich der chinesischen Seite unser tiefstes Mitgefühl und unsere Solidarität mit der von den Fluten betroffenen Bevölkerung ausgedrückt.

For us, China is an important partner, but a competitor and systemic rival, too. Maintaining cooperation matters to us. However, it is also crucial that we keep up dialog especially about critical topics.

China ist für uns ein wichtiger Partner, aber auch Wettbewerber und systemischer Rivale. Für uns ist der Erhalt der Zusammenarbeit wichtig. Gleichzeitig ist es aber auch entscheidend, dass wir im Dialog insbesondere auch zu kritischen Themen bleiben.

The most An important topic of my discussion with Wang Yi was the situation in Hong Kong – as has been in my talks with Great Britain this week, and in EU circles last week. I have presented the common European position and reflectins among EU partners, concerning the treatment of the new legal situation, once again. There, too, there is need for action. To us, it is and remains important that, in accordance with international law entered by China, Hong Kong’s autonomy and the liberties guaranteed by the Basic Law, including freedom of opinion, remain guaranteed. That is why we are watching closely now how the law will be applied in practice, also with reference to the Legislative Council elections. If the principle of “one country, two systems” gets eroded by the security law, there will be consequences for our relations with Hong Kong and China. The human rights situation in China was also a topic in our discussion.

Wichtiges Thema meines Gesprächs mit Wang Yi war die Situation in Hongkong – wie im Übrigen auch schon bei meinen Gesprächen mit Großbritannien diese Woche und im EU-Kreis in der vergangenen Woche. Ich habe Wang Yi nochmals die gemeinsame europäische Haltung und die Überlegungen unter den EU-Partnern zum Umgang mit der neuen Rechtslage dargelegt. Denn auch dort gibt es Handlungsbedarf. Für uns ist und bleibt es wichtig, dass gemäß der völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen, die China eingegangen ist, die Autonomie Hongkongs und die im Basic Law garantierten Freiheiten, einschließlich der Meinungsfreiheit, gewährleistet bleiben. Deshalb beobachten wir jetzt genau, wie das Gesetz in der Praxis angewandt wird, auch mit Blick auf die Wahlen zum Legislative Council. Wenn das Prinzip „Ein Land, zwei Systeme“ durch das Sicherheitsgesetz ausgehöhlt wird, hat das auch Folgen für unser Verhältnis zu Hongkong und China. Auch die Menschenrechtslage in China war Thema unseres Gesprächs.

As the EU’s presidency, we also still hope that the EU-China summit, originally planned for mid-September, can soon be catched up with. It is important that we finally reach substantial steps in the EU-China investment agreement.

Als EU-Ratspräsidentschaft hoffen wir nach wie vor, dass der ursprünglich für Mitte September geplante EU-China-Gipfel bald nachgeholt werden kann. Es ist wichtig, dass wir endlich substantielle Schritte beim EU-China-Investitionsabkommen erreichen.

G5 network development was a topic in our discussion, too. I explained that strengthening Europe’s digital sovereignty is an important concern for the German EU presidency. We have a strategic interest in our critical infrastructur’s security. To this end, security criteria will be established that all companies have to fulfill if they want to take part in 5G network development.

Auch der 5G-Netzwerkausbau war Thema unseres Gesprächs. Ich habe erläutert, dass die Stärkung der digitalen Souveränität Europas ein wichtiges Anliegen der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft ist. Wir haben ein strategisches Interesse an der Sicherheit unserer kritischen Infrastruktur. Dafür werden Sicherheitskriterien aufgestellt, die von allen Unternehmen zu erfüllen sind, wenn sie am 5G Netzwerkausbau beteiligt sein wollen.

In the area of climate change, the EU wants to work closely with China. Without China, we will not be able to achieve sustainable results here. Therefore, it was important that here, too, we remain in a close dialog.

Im Bereich Klimaschutz wollen wir als EU den engen Schulterschluss mit China suchen. Ohne China werden wir hier keine nachhaltigen Ergebnisse erzielen können. Deswegen war es wichtig, dass wir auch hierzu im engen Dialog bleiben.

We have also addressed the situation in Libya and Iran. If we want progress, we need China as a responsible actor in international politics. I have once again made a case for more Chinese support about Libya in the UN Security Council, and for constructive cooperation about Iran. Here, it has to be our main goal to preserve the JPCOA.

Wir haben auch die Situation in Libyen und dem Iran angesprochen. Wenn wir Fortschritte erzielen wollen, brauchen wir China als verantwortungsvollen Akteur in der internationalen Politik. Ich habe mich nochmals stark gemacht für eine weitere Unterstützung durch China zu Libyen im Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen und für eine konstruktive Mitarbeit zum Iran. Hier muss es unser oberstes Ziel bleiben, das JCPoA zu erhalten.

Of course, we also discussed COVID-19. The pandemic appears to be under control in our two countries for now – a success of our cooperation and solidarity. We agreed that this creates the opportunity for gradual development of travel connections between our countries.

Selbstverständlich haben wir auch über COVID-19 gesprochen. Die Pandemie scheint in unseren beiden Ländern vorerst unter Kontrolle zu sein – ein Erfolg unserer Zusammenarbeit und Solidarität. Wir waren uns einig, dass dies die Möglichkeit schafft, gemeinsam am schrittweisen Ausbau von Reiseverbindungen zwischen unseren Ländern zu arbeiten.

However, we must not relent in our efforts in fighting Corona. The pandemic continues to require international solidarity, especially in a globally fair distribution of a future vaccine. However, it is also important in our view that there will be scientific research [or investigation] of the virus’ origins. Therefore, we also discussed an invitation to the WHO, concerning the deployment of an expert commission.

Wir dürfen in unseren Bemühungen im Kampf gegen Corona aber keinesfalls nachlassen. Die Pandemie erfordert nach wie vor internationale Solidarität, gerade auch bei der global gerechten Verteilung eines künftigen Impfstoffes. Wichtig ist aus unserer Sicht allerdings auch eine wissenschaftliche Untersuchung der Herkunft des Virus. Daher haben wir auch über eine Einladung an die WHO über die Entsendung einer Expertenmission gesprochen.

The following is a translation of Wang Yi’s version of China’s conflict with the US.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a video meeting with German foreign minister Heiko Maas on July 24, 2020, introduced [Maas] to the current [state of] Chinese-American relations on request.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤时,应询介绍了当下的中美关系。

Wang Yi said that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America, their objective is to try to interrupt China’s development progress, by means fair or foul, and even with a lack of any bottom line. Recently, some American anti-China forces also deliberately created ideological antagonism, openly forced other countries to choose the side to stand on, to get into confrontation with China for America’s selfish interest, but no country with an innate sense of right and wrong and an independent spirit would keep that kind of company.

王毅表示,中美关系目前面临的困难完全是美方一手造成的,其目的就是企图彻底打断中国的发展进程,为此可以不择手段,甚至毫无底线。最近美方一些反华势力还蓄意制造意识形态对立,公开胁迫别国选边站队,为了美方的私利与中国对抗,但任何有良知和独立精神的国家都不会与之为伍。

Wang Yi said that China still hopes that non-conflict with America can be reached, without confrontation, with mutual respect, mutually profitable cooperation, but that we will inevitably and resolutely defend national sovereignty and national dignity, resolutely defend our own just development rights, and the principles of international relations. China will not behave like America, but won’t tolerate American trouble-making either.

王毅表示,中国仍希与美国实现不冲突、不对抗、相互尊重、合作共赢,但我们必将坚定维护国家主权和民族尊严,坚定维护自身正当发展权利,坚定维护国际关系基本准则。中国不会随美方起舞,但也绝不容美方胡来。

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Updates / Related

Crunch time, SCMP, July 23, 2020
Subsidies beyond reach, SCMP, July 24

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