Archive for ‘education’

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Xi Jinping’s Beijing-Tianjin-Xiong’an Inspection Tour in the January 18/19 News

The following is a translation of a report on an inspection tour by Chinese party and state leader Xi Jinping, broadcast on January 18 and 19, on CCTV and CPBS. There were extensive takes of Xi speaking himself, which were turned into more reader-friendly lines in CCTV’s report script (as translated here). Errors in translation likely. Links within blockquotes added during translation. Sub-headlines also added during translation.

Anchor: The General Secretary of the CCP, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping has conducted an inspection of Jingjinji, chaired a Jingjinji symposium, and given an important speech. He emphasized that the understanding of and the work on Jingjinji joint development needed to be done from a high degree of comprehensive and long-term consideration, to strengthen awareness, activity and creativity in the administration of joint development, to maintain historical patience and strategic determination, to move steadily and with courage to assume responsibility, to innovate, work well, and to promote Jingjinji joint development’s progress with growing vigor.

央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平近日在京津冀考察,主持召开京津冀协同发展座谈会并发表重要讲话。他强调,要从全局的高度和更长远的考虑来认识和做好京津冀协同发展工作,增强协同发展的自觉性、主动性、创造性,保持历史耐心和战略定力,稳扎稳打,勇于担当,敢于创新,善作善成,下更大气力推动京津冀协同发展取得新的更大进展。

Member of the politburo’s standing committee and deputy chief state councillor Han Zheng accompanied the inspection of Xiong’an New Area in Hebei and Beijing, and attended the symposium.

中共中央政治局常委、国务院副总理韩正陪同考察河北雄安新区和北京市并出席座谈会。

Service-shaped Government, Braving the Weather

Reporter: North China’s depth of winter, cold wind and dripping water turning into ice. From January 16 to January 18, Xi Jinping made a thorough tour of  Hebei Xiong’an New Area, Tianjin, and Beijing, to learn about the situation of Jingjinji’s joint development on the ground. He was accompanied by Hebei party secretary Wang Dongfeng and Hebei governor Xu Qin, CCP politburo member and Tianjin party secretary Li Hongzhong and Tianjin mayor Zhang Guoqing, and CCP politburo member and Beijing party secretary Cai Qi and Beijing mayor Chen Jining respectively [depending on the area visited].

隆冬时节的华北大地,寒气袭人,滴水成冰。1月16日至18日,习近平分别在河北省委书记王东峰和省长许勤,中共中央政治局委员、天津市委书记李鸿忠和市长张国清,中共中央政治局委员、北京市委书记蔡奇和市长陈吉宁陪同下,深入河北雄安新区、天津、北京,实地了解京津冀协同发展情况。

In the morning of January 16, Xi Jinping first came to Hebei Xiong’an New Area’s planning exhibition center, carefully listened to explanations of New Area’s master plan, political system and construction situation, and watched the exhibition of the results of the city design launch and the big projects and main projects that are about to be launched. He emphasized that to build Xiong’an New Area is a millenium project. New Area must first be built as a plan and a building concept, embodying far-sightedness and leadership. The concept of new development needs to be comprehensively implemented, the requirements of high-quality development be maintained, and the new era’s high-quality development’s mark be created with great efforts. Xi Jinping was tele-linked to the Xiong’an railway station construction site by a big screen, and waved greetings to the construction workers. Xi Jinping praised their trailbreaking work and told them to work scientifically, pay attention to safety, to safeguard quality, to keep to deadlines, and he sent them his cordial greetings and best wishes.

16日上午,习近平首先来到河北雄安新区规划展示中心,仔细听取新区总体规划、政策体系及建设情况介绍,察看启动区城市设计征集成果模型和即将启动的重大工程、重点项目展示。他强调,建设雄安新区是千年大计。新区首先就要新在规划、建设的理念上,要体现出前瞻性、引领性。要全面贯彻新发展理念,坚持高质量发展要求,努力创造新时代高质量发展的标杆。习近平通过大屏幕连线京雄城际铁路雄安站建设工地现场,向施工人员挥手致意。习近平称赞他们是雄安新区建设的开路先锋,嘱咐他们科学施工、注意安全、确保质量,按期完成任务,并向他们及全国奋战在一线的劳动者们致以亲切问候和良好祝愿。

Government staff, faithfully listening - click photo for CCTV video

Government staff, faithfully listening – click photo for CCTV video

Investment welcome, provided …

Soon after, Xi Jinping walked to the government service center to look at the service window, to understand the deepening of government institutions reform and the creation of service-shaped government work. Xi Jinping fully affirmed Xiong’an government service center’s carrying out of the “one-seal approval” combined-service method. He pointed out that modern information technology was needed to raise the levels of government services’ connected use of information, improve government services informatization, intelligentification, accuracy, and facilitation, so as to allow the masses to run fewer errands. In the government services central building, Xi Jinping cordially conversed with some of the enterprise representatives present there. He emphasized that the construction of Xiong’an New Area required the participation of a great number of companies. No matter if they were state-owned or private companies, no matter if they were local or Beijing companies, no matter if they were Chinese or foreign-invested companies, we welcome them all as long as they fit into the New Region’s development plan. We hope that many companies will grab this extremely rare historic opportunity and make new splendid achievements.

习近平随后步行来到政务服务中心,察看服务窗口,了解雄安新区深化治理体制机制改革、打造服务型政府工作情况。习近平充分肯定雄安新区政务服务中心推行“一枚印章管到底”全贯通服务的做法。他指出,要运用现代信息技术,推进政务信息联通共用,提高政务服务信息化、智能化、精准化、便利化水平,让群众少跑腿。在政务服务中心大厅,部分进驻企业代表围拢上来,习近平同他们亲切交谈。他强调,建设雄安新区,需要大批企业共同参与。无论是国有企业还是民营企业,无论是本地企业还是北京企业,无论是中国企业还是外资企业,只要符合新区产业发展规划,我们都欢迎。希望广大企业抓住这个千载难逢的历史机遇,创造新的辉煌业绩。

The following paragraph is about the ecology, describing Xi’s visit to a forestation program in Daqinghe. In this context, too, the report emphasizes the importance of “scientific methods” and informatizational tools.

Reporter: […] [Xi Jinping] attentively enquired about the work and income situations of villagers working for the creation and protection of forests, repeatedly urging the active participation of local farmers, to let the farmers benefit from creating and protecting forests.

[…..] 他仔细询问参与造林护林的村民工作和收入情况,叮嘱要吸引当地农民积极参与,让农民从造林护林中长久受益。

Patriotic Education: Individual Selves, Greater Self, Political and Professional Abilities

In the afternoon of January 17, Xi Jinping came to Nankai University in Tianjin for inspection and research. Nankai University was founded in 1919 and is a famous university with a glorious patriotic tradition. Xi Jinping toured the history exhibition, minutely finding out about Nankai University’s historic development, scientific construction, its talented workforce, research, innovation, etc. Xi Jinping pointed out that school is the place of laying down morality and cultivating people. Patriotism is the Chinese nation’s heart and mind, and to cultivate builders and successors of socialism, one needed to cultivate students’ love for their country first. University party organizations needed to take the fundamental function in university administration of party building and ideological political work. Xi Jinping had exchanges with some of the scholars’, experts’ and younger and middle-aged teachers’ representatives. He pointed out that expert teaching staff are a university’s core competitiveness force. Staff with political qualities and mastery and consummate professional abilities had to be built, and teaching staff with a high level of inner qualities for the fundamental work of university building to be educated, with a fast grasp from beginning to end. In the national chemistry critical laboratory, he emphasized the need for first-class university and first-class scientific construction, fundamental research, striving for original and self-reliant innovation with more results, bravely climbing towards the global peak of science and technology. He encouraged teachers and students to blend their concrete goals of learning struggles and the great goal of national rejuvenation together, to integrate their selves into the collective self, determined to make the historic contribution of our generation. Students who had come out of the laboratories and into the square all shouted “Good afternoon, Secretary General”, “Secretary General is working hard”, loudly shouted “Love China, revive China” in chorus, and intoned “I and my China”.*)

17日上午,习近平来到天津南开大学考察调研。南开大学成立于1919年,是一所具有光荣爱国传统的名校。习近平参观了校史展览,详细了解南开大学历史沿革、学科建设、人才队伍、科研创新等情况。习近平指出,学校是立德树人的地方。爱国主义是中华民族的民族心、民族魂,培养社会主义建设者和接班人,首先要培养学生的爱国情怀。高校党组织要把抓好学校党建工作和思想政治工作作为办学治校的基本功。习近平同在现场的部分院士、专家及中青年教师代表进行了交流。他指出,专家型教师队伍是大学的核心竞争力。要把建设政治素质过硬、业务能力精湛、育人水平高超的高素质教师队伍作为大学建设的基础性工作,始终抓紧抓好。在元素有机化学国家重点实验室,他强调,要加快一流大学和一流学科建设,加强基础研究,力争在原始创新和自主创新上出更多成果,勇攀世界科技高峰。他勉励师生们把学习奋斗的具体目标同民族复兴的伟大目标结合起来,把小我融入大我,立志作出我们这一代人的历史贡献。走出实验室,广场上挤满了学生,大家高呼“总书记好”、“总书记辛苦”,齐声高喊“爱我中华、振兴中华”,还唱起《我和我的祖国》。

The following paragraph is about a residential community in Tianjin’s Heping District, with emphasis on services for military retirees, and the work of volunteers in residential communities. According to the report, the community visited by Xi was the birthplace of volunteering in China.

Real Economy

After touching on historic architecture in Tianjin (and its protection), Xi is extensively quoted on the significance of Tianjin Port and on shipping in general, plus some remarks about the real economy:

Reporter: […] Xi Jinping pointed out that the real economy is the foundation of a big country, and the economy must not move into emptiness. the real economy must not be unhanded, the strife be continued unremittingly, and the global peak be reliably reached.

[…..] 习近平指出,实体经济是大国的根基,经济不能脱实向虚。要扭住实体经济不放,继续不懈奋斗,扎扎实实攀登世界高峰。

After leaving Tianjin Port, Xi Jinping came to Tianjin Binhai Zhongguancun Technology Park. At the innovation coordination exhibition center, Xi Jinping attentively watched “Tianhe” supercomputer, Feiteng CPUs, Kylin operating systems, artificial-intelligence robots fitting electrical networks, unmanned vehicles with joint abilities controlling systems, and other products shown. Xi Jinping emphasized that self-reliant innovation is driving high-quality development, the urgent requirement of kinetic energy transformation and its important support. We must create conditions and an atmosphere that mobilize all kinds of enthusiasm for innovation, allow every person with innovative dreams to focus on innovation, and enable all innovative vigor to amply burst forth.

离开天津港,习近平来到天津滨海——中关村科技园。在协同创新展示中心,习近平仔细观看“天河”系列超级计算机、飞腾芯片、麒麟操作系统、人工智能配电网带电作业机器人、无人机集群智能控制系统等产品展示。习近平强调,自主创新是推动高质量发展、动能转换的迫切要求和重要支撑,必须创造条件、营造氛围,调动各方面创新积极性,让每一个有创新梦想的人都能专注创新,让每一份创新活力都能充分迸发。要深化科技园区体制机制创新,优化营商环境,吸引更多在京科技服务资源到园区投资或业务延伸,促进京津两市真正实现优势互补、强强联合。

In the morning of January 18, Xi Jinping went to Beijing sub-center by car, and watched the “City Green Heart” forestation area along the way. At the Municipal Committee Office Building’s main building, Xi Jinping, through a designing model, learned in detail about the major sub-center project and construction. Xi Jinping emphasized that building Beijing City’s sub-center  required to uphold [the principles of] planning in advance and quality first. Buildings and natural landscapes need to be blended into each other, production, life and ecological spaces be arranged scientifically, to shape work, places to live, leisure, traffic, education, medical services etc. as easily accessible organic combinations. There is a need to plan and implement well, to turn the blueprint into a real landscape, making Beijing City sub-center another beautiful business card of this ancient capital.

18日上午,习近平乘车前往北京城市副中心,并沿途察看“城市绿心”植树造林地块。在市委办公楼主楼,习近平通过设计模型和展板,详细了解副中心重大工程项目规划建设情况。习近平强调,建设北京城市副中心要坚持规划先行、质量第一。要把公共建筑与山水自然融为一体,科学布局生产、生活、生态空间,使工作、居住、休闲、交通、教育、医疗等有机衔接、便利快捷。要把规划执行好、落实好,把蓝图变为实景,使北京城市副中心成为这座千年古都又一张靓丽的城市名片。

In the conference room of Beijing Municipal Committee Office Building’s main building, Xi Jinping presided over the Jingjinji Coordinated Development symposium. National Development and Reform Commission director He Lifeng, Beijing party secretary Cai Qi, Tianjin party secretary Li Hongzhong, Hebei Provincial party secretary Wang Dongfeng gave speeches, explaining the work on Jingjinji coordinated development, giving opinions and making suggestions.

在北京市委办公楼主楼会议室,习近平主持召开京津冀协同发展座谈会。国家发展改革委主任何立峰、北京市委书记蔡奇、天津市委书记李鸿忠、河北省委书记王东峰先后发言,就京津冀协同发展介绍工作情况、提出意见建议。

Jingjindi Development and Innovation

Having listened to the speeches, Xi Jinping gave an important speech. He fully affirmed the outstanding results that have been achieved since the Jingjinji development’s strategic implementation. He emphasized that Jingjinji coordinated development is a systems project that can’t be done in a stroke. There was a need to do good long-term strategic preparation. During the past five years, the Jingjinji coordinated development had, overall, been through the stages of planning and reasoning, establishing the foundations, and the search for the breakthroughs. Currently, and during the next period, one would enter the key stage of rolling the stone uphill, climbing up the pits, assaulting fortified positions to overcome difficulties, with the need to exert even greater energy to carry the work forward.

听取大家发言后,习近平发表了重要讲话。他充分肯定京津冀协同发展战略实施以来取得的显著成效。他强调,京津冀协同发展是一个系统工程,不可能一蹴而就,要做好长期作战的思想准备。过去的5年,京津冀协同发展总体上处于谋思路、打基础、寻突破的阶段,当前和今后一个时期进入到滚石上山、爬坡过坎、攻坚克难的关键阶段,需要下更大气力推进工作。

Xi Jinping made six demands concerning the promotion of Jingjinji joint development. The first is to grab the oxen by the nose and to keep at it, actively, dependably and orderly easing Beijing’s non-capital functions. Greater attention must be paid to methodology, strict control of increments and mitigating reserves be joint together, internal functional reorganization and externally-directed mitigation shifts be carried out bidirectionally, dependably and orderly promoting implementation. The market system’s role must be developed, marketization and rule by law be adopted, purposeful guiding policies be defined, to take shape as a joint force with Xiong’an New Area and Beijing city sub-center. Based on Beijing’s “four centers” functions, the capitals’s functions must continuously be optimized. Secondly, historical patience and strategic determination and high-quality, high-standards promotion of Xiong’an New Area’s planning and construction must be maintained. Design and results must be fully absorbed into controlled and detailed planning, the solemn and restrained character of planning be maintained, and laws and regulations be used to guarantee a roadmap that is carried out all the way. A number of distinguishing projects that mitigate Beijing’s capital functions must be undertaken, and construction of a number of major traffic and communications, water conservancy, public service and other major underlying supporting facilities must be started, to let members of society of all walks of life and the common people in the new areas see the changes. Ranks of cadres with political mastery, professional mastery, that work hard and a groundbreaking and innovative spirit must be formed, the formation of party style and honest politics be strengthened, and a good environment with clean winds and a positive atmosphere be built. Thirdly, by turning Beijing’s city-level offices relocations into an opportunity, plans and construction of Beijing’s city sub-center must be promoted at high quality. All kinds of situations that may be encountered during the relocation process must be given sufficient consideration, and political measures that are purposeful and operable must be researched and launched, to settle the worries of cadres and staff. Major basic infrastructure construction that allocates education, medical services, cultural and other public service functions must be accelerated, to improve the sub-center’s carrying capacity and attractiveness. The “Old-City reorganization” in Beijing’s city center must be promoted, spatial planning and economic structuring of Beijing be optimized, and Beijing’s administrative efficiency and role for the central authorities’ government affairs and services be upgraded. Fourthly, there is a need for propulsion towards reform and innovation, an original driving role to be played in high-quality development. High-end innovative resources need to be gathered and used, major scientific and technological projects’ cooperation actively be launched, and the main sources for our country’s self-reliant innovation and original innovation  be created. Market integration based on the promotion of key factors like passenger transportation, logistics, flows of information etc. is necessary. Administrative barriers and institutional obstacles that restrain joint development must be eliminated, and systemic guarantees for the promotion of joint and high-quality development be built. Fifthly, the concept of green water and green hills being mountains of gold and silver must be adhered to, and the joint establishment, protection and management of ecological environments be strengthened. Supply of clean energy must be increased, energy consumption structures be adjusted, the ecological construction of the Jingjinji region unremittingly pursued, the formation of the energy-saving and environment-protective spacial structure, industrial structures, production methods and ways of life be accelerated. Sixthly, maintaining [the principles of] the people at the center and promoting the jointly built and jointly shared basic public services. Efforts need to be made to solve the hot problems that common people are concerned about, and that touch upon their vital interests, optimizing the arrangements of education and health resources. Adherence to work in Hebei’s poor areas to lift them out of poverty must be promoted by ever intensifying degrees, bringing into play Beijing’s and Tianjin’s suitable supporting mechanisms, to guarantee that in 2020, impoverished counties in Jingjinji will be completely cleared. Priority for employment must be upheld, and the story of the common peoples’ employment be well written.

习近平对推动京津冀协同发展提出了6个方面的要求。第一,紧紧抓住“牛鼻子”不放松,积极稳妥有序疏解北京非首都功能。要更加讲究方式方法,坚持严控增量和疏解存量相结合,内部功能重组和向外疏解转移双向发力,稳妥有序推进实施。要发挥市场机制作用,采取市场化、法治化手段,制定有针对性的引导政策,同雄安新区、北京城市副中心形成合力。要立足北京“四个中心”功能定位,不断优化提升首都核心功能。第二,保持历史耐心和战略定力,高质量高标准推动雄安新区规划建设。要把设计成果充分吸收体现到控制性详细规划中,保持规划的严肃性和约束性,用法律法规确保一张蓝图干到底。要打造一批承接北京非首都功能疏解的标志性工程项目,新开工建设一批交通、水利、公共服务等重大基础配套设施,让社会各界和新区百姓看到变化。要建设一支政治过硬、专业过硬、能吃苦、富有开拓创新精神的干部队伍,加强党风廉政建设,营造风清气正的良好环境。第三,以北京市级机关搬迁为契机,高质量推动北京城市副中心规划建设。要充分考虑搬迁过程中可能遇到的各种情况,研究出台具有针对性和可操作性的政策举措,解决干部职工的后顾之忧。要加快重大基础设施建设,配置教育、医疗、文化等公共服务功能,提高副中心的承载力和吸引力。要推进北京中心城区“老城重组”,优化北京空间布局和经济结构,提升北京市行政管理效率和为中央政务服务的职能。第四,向改革创新要动力,发挥引领高质量发展的重要动力源作用。要集聚和利用高端创新资源,积极开展重大科技项目研发合作,打造我国自主创新的重要源头和原始创新的主要策源地。要立足于推进人流、物流、信息流等要素市场一体化,推动交通一体化。要破除制约协同发展的行政壁垒和体制机制障碍,构建促进协同发展、高质量发展的制度保障。第五,坚持绿水青山就是金山银山的理念,强化生态环境联建联防联治。要增加清洁能源供应,调整能源消费结构,持之以恒推进京津冀地区生态建设,加快形成节约资源和保护环境的空间格局、产业结构、生产方式、生活方式。第六,坚持以人民为中心,促进基本公共服务共建共享。要着力解决百姓关心、涉及切身利益的热点难点问题,优化教育医疗资源布局。要加大力度推进河北省贫困地区脱贫攻坚工作,发挥好京津对口帮扶机制的作用,确保2020年京津冀地区贫困县全部摘帽。要坚持就业优先,做好当地百姓就业这篇文章。

Summary

Han Zheng said that Secretary General Xi Jinping’s important strategic thinking concerning the joint Jingjinji development needed to be thoroughly studied and understood, that this “oxen” of Beijing’s non-capital functions be firmly grasped, held, and solved, to promote new breakthroughs and results of Jingjinji’s joint development. Policies, robust mechanisms needed to be perfected, and the endogenous propulsion of Beijing’s non-capital functions’ resolution be strengthened. High quality and high standards needed to be maintained, and Beijing’s “two wings” be well planned. Infrastructure construction across regions such as rapid transit needed to be done well, and favorable conditions for the mitigation of Beijing’s non-capital functions be created. The people-centered development ideology must be maintained, basic public services be made uniform, and the people’s masses’ sense of achievement continuously be strengthened.

韩正表示,要深入学习领会习近平总书记关于京津冀协同发展的重要战略思想,牢牢扭住疏解北京非首都功能这个“牛鼻子”,推动京津冀协同发展取得新突破新成效。要完善政策、健全机制,增强疏解北京非首都功能的内生动力。要坚持高质量高标准,规划建设好北京新的“两翼”。要抓好跨区域重大轨道交通等基础设施建设,为疏解北京非首都功能创造便利条件。要坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,推进基本公共服务均等化,不断增强人民群众获得感。

After the meeting, Xi Jinping rode an elevator to the first floor hall, where Beijing Municipal Party Committee and municipal government employees gave the Secretary General warm applause. Xi Jinping frequently waved to everyone and passionately said, you are, by practical activity, implementing the party’s central committee’s important strategic decisions, and have made contributions to Jingjinji’s joint development. […]

会议结束后,习近平乘电梯来到一楼大厅,北京市委和市政府的工作人员对总书记报以热烈掌声。习近平向大家频频挥手,动情地说,你们以实际行动贯彻落实党中央重大决策,为疏解北京非首都功能、推动京津冀协同发展作出了贡献。建设北京城市副中心,是北京建城立都以来具有里程碑意义的一件大事,对新时代北京的发展是一个重大机遇。让我们共同努力把这件大事办好。希望大家以新办公区的新气象,在各项工作中实现新的更大作为!离开时,习近平同大家一一握手,掌声经久不息。

Building Beijing sub-center is a great milestone in the history of Beijing’s city construction, and a major opportunity for Beijing’s development in the new era. Let’s work together to manage this big thing well. Let’s hope that in the new atmosphere of the new office building area, even greater achievements will be made in all projects! As he left, Xi Jingping shook hands with everyone, under long-lasting and ceaseless applause.

会议结束后,习近平乘电梯来到一楼大厅,北京市委和市政府的工作人员对总书记报以热烈掌声。习近平向大家频频挥手,动情地说,你们以实际行动贯彻落实党中央重大决策,为疏解北京非首都功能、推动京津冀协同发展作出了贡献。建设北京城市副中心,是北京建城立都以来具有里程碑意义的一件大事,对新时代北京的发展是一个重大机遇。让我们共同努力把这件大事办好。希望大家以新办公区的新气象,在各项工作中实现新的更大作为!离开时,习近平同大家一一握手,掌声经久不息。

Ding Xuexiang, Liu He, Wang Yong, He Lifeng and Xu Kangdi accompanied parts of the inspection tour [depending on the area visited] and attended the symposium, and comrades in charge at related central departments and state organs, and provincial and municipal comrades in charge, took part in the symposium.

丁薛祥、刘鹤、王勇、何立峰和徐匡迪等分别陪同考察或出席座谈会,中央和国家机关有关部门负责同志、有关省市负责同志参加座谈会。

____________

Related

*) This is sort of what it should have sounded like.

____________

Sunday, December 9, 2018

National Leading Group on Science and Technology first plenary session held

Main Link: Li Keqiang presides over national science and technology leading group’s first session ( 李克强主持召开国家科技领导小组第一次会议)

Links within blockquotes added during translation — JR

On December 6, CCP central committee standing committee member, chief state councillor and head of the national leading group on science and technology Li Keqiang presided over the national leading group on science and technology first plenary session. Photo by Xinhua reporter Liu Wei Bing

12月6日,中共中央政治局常委、国务院总理、国家科技领导小组组长李克强在北京主持召开国家科技领导小组第一次全体会议。 新华社记者刘卫兵摄

Li Keqiang presided over national leadcing group on science and technology’s first plenary session

李克强主持召开国家科技领导小组第一次会议强调

Deepening reform will further expand arousal of society’s ingenuity

深化改革更大激发社会创造力

Even better bring technological innovation’s supporting and leading role for economic development into play

更好发挥科技创新对发展的支撑引领作用

Han Zheng attended

韩正出席

Xinhua newsagency, Beijing, December 6, CCP central committee standing committee member, chief state councillor and head of the national leading group on science and technology Li Keqiang presided over the national leading group on science and technology first plenary session, explored the strategic plan of technological development, promotion of open cooperation in innovation, to push and implement policies of giving technological organizations and employees greater leeway in decision-making.

新华社北京12月6日电 12月6日,中共中央政治局常委、国务院总理、国家科技领导小组组长李克强主持召开国家科技领导小组第一次全体会议,研究国家科技发展战略规划、促进创新开放合作,推动落实赋予科研机构和人员更大自主权政策。

Han Zheng, member of the standing committee of the CCP central committee’s politbureau and vice premier of the state council, attended.

中共中央政治局常委、国务院副总理韩正出席。

Li Keqiang pointed out that innovation concerns the country’s future destiny. Ever since the party’s eighth national congress, under the the party center’s strong leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, the entire nation had implemented a new concept of development, thoroughly carried out the strategy of driving innovation, with technological development achieving major breakthroughs in many fields, society’s innovative vitality bursting forth enormously and technological progress, and old and new kinetic energy conversion constituting a huge promotional force for economic development. The current new round of global technologcial revolution and industrial transformation are pressing issues, our country finds itself at a key moment of upgrading economic transformation, facing opportunities, difficulties and challenges, and [our country] must stand on the strengthening of economic innovation power and competitive power, bringing into play our country’s abundance of manpower and human resources, domestically, the market’s huge advantages etc. must be used, technological innovation and competitiveness be established with greater vigor, and high-quality development be promoted.

李克强指出,创新事关国家前途命运。党的十八大以来,在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,全国上下贯彻新发展理念,深入实施创新驱动发展战略,科技发展在多个领域取得重大突破,社会创新创造活力极大迸发,科技进步和新旧动能转换对经济发展形成了巨大推动力。当前世界新一轮科技革命和产业变革形势逼人,我国正处于经济转型升级的关键时期,面对机遇、困难和挑战,要立足增强经济创新力和竞争力,发挥我国人力人才资源丰富、国内应用市场巨大等优势,更大力度推进科技创新,推动高质量发展。

Li Keqiang said, technological innovation strategies needed to integrate better into the national development’s general situation, orient towards construction of modernity, focus on key core technology, foster and strengthen new kinetic energy, and promote deepened harmonization of technology with the economy. Fundamental research is the source of scientific systems and must provide increased support for the long-term stability of fundamental research, guide companies and society towards more investment, project “hard technology” research, and make efforts to achieve more innovation. Innovation mechanisms needed to be perfected, companies’ main bodies and markets to be upheld, joint innovation in production, education and research be encouraged, leading enterprises leading role in major technological projects be supported, international channels of innovation be expanded, and breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovation as well as result transformation be promoted. A level playing field of technological-development resources for common use, and new types of research and development organisations and other innovative platforms as well as industrial internet platforms need to be developed, big, medium-sized and small companies, online and offline circulation, in-depth promotion of mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation must be supported, and a level based on “double innovation” as well as an industry rising to the medium and high-end be promoted.

李克强说,科技创新战略布局要更好融入国家发展大局,面向现代化建设,聚焦突破关键核心技术、培育壮大新动能,推动科技与经济深度融合。基础研究是科学体系的源头,要对基础研究加大长期稳定支持,引导企业和社会增加投入,突出“硬科技”研究,努力取得更多原创成果。完善创新机制,坚持企业主体、市场主导,鼓励产学研用联合创新,支持龙头企业牵头重大科技项目,拓展国际创新合作渠道,促进科技创新突破和成果转化。发展科技资源共享平台、新型研发机构等创新平台和工业互联网平台,支持大中小企业、线上线下融通创新,深入推进大众创业、万众创新,促进“双创”上水平,推动产业向中高端跃升。

Li Keqiang said that reform of technological structures needes to be deepened, intellectual property rights more strongly protected, and a good innovation ecology be built. The law and scientific staff needed to be respected, and the productive forces be further emancipated. Technological organizations and policies giving scientific staff greater leeway in decision-making, [policies of] assessing scientific research projects, and giving incentives to research staff needed to be implemented. As for policies concerning project management, technology route and decision-making, budget adjustments, the allocation of result transformation benefits etc. that have already emerged, the relevant departments need to further sort things out, define responsibilities, and ensure comprehensive redemption.

李克强说,要深化科技体制改革,更大力度保护知识产权,营造良好创新生态。尊重规律,尊重科研人员,进一步解放生产力。要切实抓好赋予科研机构和人员更大自主权、科研项目评价、科研人员激励等政策落实。对项目管理、技术路线决策、预算调剂、成果转化收益分配等方面已出台的政策,有关部门要逐一梳理,明确责任,确保全面兑现。

Li Keqiang said that the scientists minds needed to be vigorously enhanced, that full concentration of scientists and researchers needed to be encouraged, more opportunities for young people to grow and to make something of themselves needed to be created, and help had to be provided to them to solve lingering worries from the past*). More efforts to build sincere science and research, to avoid fickleness and impatience, serious investigations of improper behavior in violation of scientific ethics, and the building of an academic atmosphere of pursuing excellence and a practice of rigorously striving for realistic results were needed.

李克强强调,要大力弘扬科学家精神,鼓励科研人员潜心钻研,多为青年人成长成才创造机会,帮助解决后顾之忧。加强科研诚信建设,避免浮躁,严肃查处违背科研道德和伦理的不端行为,营造追求卓越、严谨求实的学术风气。

Li Keqiang demanded that all member units of the national leading group on science and technology should take Xi Jinping’s new-era socialism with Chinese charachteristics as guidance, implement the party’s 19th national congress’ spirit, conscientiously plan the project of reforming and developing science and technology, strengthen and overall planning, focus on policy implementation and the advancement of major missions, to mobilize science and technology circles and relatede forces to spare no effort in building an innovative country.

李克强要求,国家科技领导小组各成员单位要以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,贯彻党的十九大精神,认真谋划科技事业改革发展,加强统筹协调,狠抓政策落实和重大任务推进,调动科技界和相关各方面力量,为建设创新型国家不懈努力。

Sun Chunlan, Liu He, Bagatur and He Lifeng attended the meeting.

孙春兰、刘鹤、巴特尔、何立峰出席会议。

____________

Notes

*) This could refer to former students’ employment opportunities and student loans repayment problems, issues Li has discussed before.
____________

Related

Economic transformation, SCMP, Dec 7, 2018
Israel-China Innovation Coop, Embassy, Oct 30, 2018
十三五规划, Wikipedia as of June 10, 2018
孔子说过, State Council, Dec 30, 2016

____________

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Plans for English as an Official Taiwanese Language

Duties and a receptive mode (online and offline) are keeping me from blogging at the moment.

by-products

If I had blogged this month, one topic might have been about Taiwan’s (sensible, I believe) plans to make English their second official language. To survive under Chinese pressure, international perceptibility – i. e. communication – is a key issue for Taiwan.

There had been plans to make English official for some time, but they appear to have been taking shape this summer. Pan-blue leaning United Daily News (UDN) published an online article in March this year, quoting both people in favor and against the idea, including criticism by a Chengchi University professor:

Chengchi University professor Her One-Soon says that this, in ideological terms, is about surrender to Western power. “Currently, most of the countries of the world that have made English an official language have been colonized by Britain and America”, but has Taiwan? If [English] is really to become an official language, it only represents Taiwan’s inferiority complex towards its own language and culture.

政大語言所教授何萬順則說,這樣在意識形態上是向西方強權屈膝,「目前世界大多國家以英文做為官方語言,都是被英美殖民過」,但台灣有嗎?若是真的定為官方語言,只是代表台灣對自身語言文化的自卑。

If statistics of six years ago are something to go by, there may be more practical issues that would need to be solved. In November 2012, the English-language Taipei Times quoted a foreign education company’s study which said that proficiency in English was low.

Currently, Taiwan is ranked as a country with rather low proficiency by “Education First” (which emphasizes the importance of perceptibility by listing Taiwan as “Taiwan, China”).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Heilongjiang Daily: Li Min, 1924 – 2018

The following is a translation of an article from Heilongjiang Daily (黑龙江日报). Links within blockquotes added during translation.

There are (or were) at least two prominent women named Li Min. Second from left is deceased Li Min; second from right is Mao Zedong’s daughter Li Min. Photo: Kremlin.ru, President Medvedev’s 2010 visit to China, CC BY 4.0

Main Link: Farewell Ceremony for late Comrade Li Min’s Remains held in Harbin

This papers news of July 29 (Guo Minghua and Sun Jiawei reporting) — Quiet funeral music filled the air, grief knew no limits, and people from all walks of life were in incomparable sorrow, saying their last farewell to Comrade Li Min who was lying peacefully among fresh flowers and incense cedar. The farewell ceremony for Li Min, former vice chairperson of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference’s Heilongjiang Provincial Committee, and warrior of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, was held at Harbin Tianheyuan Funeral Parlor. Nearly one-thousand cadres and members of the masses had rushed there to deeply mourn this outstanding member of the Chinese Communist Party, this time-tested, loyal warrior of Communism.

本报29日讯(记者郭铭华孙佳薇)哀乐低回、哀思无限,各界人士怀着无比沉痛的心情,向安卧在鲜花翠柏中的李敏同志作最后告别。29日上午,中国人民政治协商会议黑龙江省委员会原副主席、东北抗联老战士李敏同志遗体告别仪式在哈尔滨天河园殡仪馆举行,近千名干部、群众赶来,深切悼念这位中国共产党优秀党员、久经考验的忠诚的共产主义战士。

Comrade Li Min died in Harbin, on July 21, at 03:39 hours, from illness, aged 951).

李敏同志因病于7月21日3时39分在哈尔滨逝世,享年95岁。

Provincial leaders Zhang Qingwei, Wang Wentao, Huang Jiansheng, Chen Haibo, Wang Changsong, Li Haitao, Gan Rongkun, Wang Aiwen, Zhang Yupu, Wang Zhaoli, Jia Yumei and Du Heping attended the farewell ceremony.

省领导张庆伟、王文涛、黄建盛、陈海波、王常松、李海涛、甘荣坤、王爱文、张雨浦、王兆力、贾玉梅、杜和平出席告别仪式。

Du Yuxin, Song Fatang, Zhang Zuoji and others also attended the farewell ceremony.

杜宇新、宋法棠、张左己等也出席了告别仪式。

At 08:30 hours, the farewell ceremony began. Tianheyuan Funeral Parlor had been decorated in a dignified and solemn manner, with Comrade Li Min’s portrait at the center. Li Min’s body was covered with the CCP’s flag, and with the sound of the funeral music, everyone stood solemnly, with people tearfully observing a moment of silence.

8时30分,遗体告别仪式开始。天河园殡仪馆观天厅布置得庄严肃穆,正中悬挂着李敏同志的遗像。李敏同志的遗体上覆盖着中国共产党党旗,在哀乐声中,全场肃立,人们含泪默哀,深情缅怀李敏同志的光辉业绩和崇高风范。

Comrade Li Min was born in Heilongjiang Province, Tangyuan County, Wutonghe Village, on November 5, 1924. In 1936, she joined the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, and she joined the CCP in January 1939. She was sent to the USSR for studies in 1940, and after instruction travels within the Anti-Japanese United Army, she became a political instructor at the communications operations, and deputy party branch secretary in 1942, and received the military merit medal. In August 1945, after entering the Northeast with the Soviet Red Army, she took part in Suihua Prefecture‘s government building, army building, women masses, and other work. From November 1982 to 1993 she served as vice chairperson of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference’s Heilongjiang Provincial Committee.

李敏同志1924年11月5日出生于黑龙江省汤原县梧桐河村,1936年参加东北抗日联军,1939年1月加入中国共产党。1940年被派往苏联学习,1942年抗联部队编为教导旅后,在通讯营任政治教员、党支部副书记等职,被授予战斗功勋奖章。1945年8月随苏联红军进入东北后,参加绥化建政、建军、妇女群众等工作。1982年11月至1993年任黑龙江省政协副主席。

As a Northeastern Anti-Japanese United Army veteran, Li Min vigorously propagandized the Northeastern Anti-Japanese United Army history, promoted the Northeastern Anti-Japanese United Army spirit, propagandized and promoted the spirit of patriotism. She received the Order of Stalin medal, the Soviet War of National Defense Victory order, the remembrance medals of the 60th and 70th anniversaries of the Chinese People’s Victory in the Anti-Japanese War, as well as the Red Army Long March Victory’s 80th Anniversary commemorative medal – more than thirty medals in total. Comrade Li Min put forward that fourteen, instead of eight years of the Chinese People’s Glorious Anti-Japanese War should be included in China’s nation-wide primary and middle school textbooks, a proposal which was adopted2). Comrade Li Min whole life was a revolutionary life, a glorious life, and a huge life.

作为东北抗联老战士,李敏同志大力宣传东北抗联历史,弘扬东北抗联精神,宣传弘扬爱国主义精神,她生前曾荣获斯大林勋章、苏联卫国战争胜利勋章,中国人民抗日战争胜利60周年、70周年纪念章,以及红军长征胜利80周年纪念章等三十余枚奖章。李敏同志提出了关于将中国人民抗日战争光辉历史由八年改为十四年并纳入全国中小学教科书的建议被采纳。李敏同志的一生是革命的一生,光荣的一生,也是伟大的一生。

Leaders and comrades of the Provincial People’s Congress standing committee, the Provincial government, the Provincial Political Consultative Conference’s and military region, garrisoned troops, military police, from Harbin, and other provincial-level comrades, lifetime friends of Li Min, relatives and others also took part in the farewell ceremony.

省人大常委会、省政府、省政协和省军区、驻军、武警及哈尔滨市领导同志,其他副省级老同志,李敏同志生前友好、亲属等也参加了告别仪式。

____________

Notes

1) Depending on how you count birthdays. As Li Min was born in November 1924, she was 93 years old when she died.

2) [Update, Aug 10] The textbook revision ascribed to Li Min was reported by the Guardian in January 2017, but without a mention of any particular activism leading to this step. Chinese media reported in 2010 that in a local or regional northeastern event, a “Longjiang Internet Media Conference”, Li Min had advocated a revision of this kind, arguing that Chairman Mao fully recognized the Northeastern Anti-Japanese United Army’s role and achievements in the entire Anti-Japanese War, and [he also] pointed out that the war of resistance against Japan began in 1931.

However, no mention of Li was made in a Xinhua report in January 2017.

The revision, Xinhua wrote, had been made after serious expert studies, organized by the ministry of education. In fact, in recent years, historians and educationalists have made active efforts to guide the young generations to a more real, more comprehensive understanding of the War of Resistance. The revision also crushed some foreign forces’ distortions of the organic links between the eight and the fourteen years of war of resistance, and removed the arbitrary blotting of the Chinese Communist Party’s role as the Chinese nation’s tower of strength.

____________

Related

李敏 (黑龙江省政协副主席),Wikipedia, acc 20180808

____________

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Obituary: Yu Guanzhong, 1928 – 2017

Taiwanese poet and university teacher Yu Guangzhong (余光中) has died in Kaohsiung  on Thursday. According to Radio Taiwan International (RTI), quoting  a statement by aohsiung Medical University hospital,  Yu had been hospitalized late in November, after a stroke. His condition deteriorated due to heart failure and lung condition pneumonia, according to the statement.

Wikipedia has entries about Yu, in Chinese and in English.  He was born in Nanjing, in 1928.

One of his poems, as published by Singtao Ribao‘s Canadian edition, on Thursday (Wednesday Vancouver local time):

小时候,乡愁是一枚小小的邮票,我在这头,母亲在那头。
During childhood, homesickness was a small postage stamp, with me here and my mother there.

长大后,乡愁是一张窄窄的船票,我在这头,新娘在那头。
After growing up, homesickness was a worn sea passage ticket, with me here and my bride there.

后来啊,乡愁是一方矮矮的坟墓,我在外头,母亲在里头。
Later on, homesickness was a small grave, with me outside and my mother inside.

而现在,乡愁是一湾浅浅的海峡,我在这头,大陆在那头。
But now, homesickness is a strait of shallow waters, with me here and the mainland there.

A book published in 2008 offers  an interpretation.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cybercrime Report: “Major targets”

The following is a translation of an article by Xinhua newsagency. The cybercrime report reproduced by Xinhua on November 13 was apparently published nearly two weeks earlier, on November 1, with the keywords online fraud (网络诈骗), pretended moonlighting (虚假兼职), false shopping items (虚假购物), red envelopes (红包), finance (理财), cash returns (现返), and false identities (身份冒充).

While the reporting units are located in Beijing, the statistics refer to cases from all over China. According to the report, Guangdong, Shandong, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Henan, and Zhejiang provinces topped the list with 13.4%, 6.4%, 5.6%, 5.5%, 5.0%, and another 5.0% respectively.

Main Link: Men most easily fooled online, young users as fraudsters’ major targets

Xinhua Tianjin, Nov 13 2017 (Zhou Runjian reporting) — Online fraud reporting website Liewang’s1) “2017 third-quarter report on online fraud research” points out that there are more men than women among the victims of online fraud, especially men born from 1990 to 19992).

新华社天津11月13日电(记者周润健)国内网络诈骗信息举报平台——猎网平台最新发布的《2017年第三季度网络诈骗趋势研究报告》指出,在网络诈骗中,男性受害者占比大大高于女性,90后受害者最多。

The report says that among the accounts that reported cases, 67.4 percent were men, and 32.6 percent were women. However, men reported an average loss of 13.404 Yuan RMB, while women reported an average losso f 17.522 Yuan RMB.

报告指出,从报案用户的性别差异来看,男性受害者占比大大高于女性,分别占67.4%和32.6%;但从人均损失来看,男性为13404元,女性为17522元。

The report’s analysis says that in cyberlife, chances that women would be fooled are much smaller than with men, but that once women do trust a fraudster, they will frequently pay much more.

报告分析说,在网络生活中,女性的上当几率其实要比男性低得多,但女性一旦相信了骗子,往往会比男性付出更大的代价。

The report also points out that there are also significant differences between the occasions on which men and women are cheated. Those cheated in online gaming transactions, gambling, lotteries and establishing contacts, nearly 80 percent of those cheated are men, while most women become victims of refunding fraud and schemes that seem to offer moonlighting opportunities.

报告进一步指出,男性和女性在不同类型的网络诈骗中被骗几率也有明显不同。其中,在网游交易、赌博博彩、交友诈骗中,被骗的几乎80%都是男性,而退款诈骗、虚假兼职类诈骗是女性被骗比例最高的诈骗类型。

It is worth noting that there are also big differences in the ways men and women are cheated. Faked concurrent-job offers are the ones that most women are cheated with (28.3 percent), while the most frequent fraud reported by men is financial fraud (19.4 percent).

值得注意的是,男性和女性在被骗类型方面也有很大的区别。虚假兼职是女性被骗最多的类型,占比28.3%,男性被骗举报数量排名第一的是金融诈骗,占比为19.4%。

The report also says that 42.0 percent of online fraud victims are 1990ers, 29.7 percent are the second largest group with 29.7 percent, and 11.8 percent of the overall number are 1970ers with 11.8 percent. The specific age group focused on by online fraud are those aged between from 18 and to 31.

报告还指出,从被骗网民的年龄上看,90后的网络诈骗受害者占所有受害者总数的42.0%,其次是80后占比为29.7%,再次是70后占比为11.8%;从具体年龄上来看,18岁至31岁的人群是网络诈骗受害者最为集中的年龄段。

The report believes that young people with particular internet skills and extensive online time who, at the same time, lack sufficient social experience, are major targets and victims of online fraud.

报告认为,即具有一定的上网能力,上网时间较长,同时又缺乏足够社会经验的年轻人是网络诈骗的主要对象和主要受害人群。

____________

Notes

1) “Liewang” (“internet hunt”) is a cybercrime reporting website run by the “Beijing Alliance for Online Security and against Cybercrime”, which in turn is co-run by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (PBS) and Qihoo 360, an (apparently privately-owned) online security company.

2) 90后 (1990ers) refers to people born between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1999

____________

Saturday, May 27, 2017

International Press Review: Huanqiu Shibao “quotes” German newspaper on Social Credit System

Main Link / Headline – German media: “Social Credit System” plan will change Chinese Peoples’ Sincerity for the Better

The following is a translation from Huanqiu Shibao‘s international press reviews. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Germany’s “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in an article on May 23, titled digital plan will change Chinese for the better. China is trying some new things. One of these is social credit digitalization. In the coming three years, China will carry out the “social credit system” plan. Social credit rating will change Chinese peoples’ sincerity for the better.

德国《南德意志报》5月23日文章,原题:数字计划让中国人变得更好  中国正尝试一些全新的事物。社会信用数字化就是其中之一。在未来3年里,中国将实施“社会信用体系”计划。信用评价将让中国人的诚信变得更好。

This means that in the future, there will be a “social credit office” and a sincerity app, assessing if a citizen is honest. Based on the social credit data it will be decided if a citizen can board a plane. Those who always cross the street on a crosswalk and pay their bills in time will be rewarded. For others, who cheat in the higher education exams, or download bootleg movies, their bad social credit will lead to serious consequences.

这意味着未来将有“信用办公室”和诚信App,来评估一个公民是否诚实。而信用电子数据将决定一个公民是否可以登机。那些总走斑马线、及时支付所有账单的人,将得到奖励。而另一些人,如果他们在高考上作弊,或下载盗版电影,其不良的信用将造成严重的后果。

Reportedly, the coastal city of Rongcheng will serve as a testing ground for the “social credit system”. This city hasn’t only established a social credit management structure, but has also defined a social credit standards system, from triple-A to D. If citizens in Rongcheng allow their dog to defecate on public lawns, or if they spread “rumors” on social networks, they will receive punishment by downgrading.

据悉,中国海滨城市荣成市是“社会信用体系”的试点城市。这个城市不仅建立了信用管理机构,还制定了社会信用评价标准体系,等级从“AAA”到“D”不等。在荣成市,如果市民让宠物狗在公共草坪上拉屎,或者在社交网络传播“谣言”,都将受到信用降级惩罚。

According to Chinese plans, the “social credit system” will be implemented nation-wide in 2020. It’s goal, according to the government’s wish: Trustworthy people shall fly freely in the sky, and people with shortcomings in trustworthiness will be “unable to move”.

按照中国的计划,“社会信用体系”将在2020年首次在全国实施。其目标,按照政府的意思:讲信用的人应该自由地在天空下翱翔,而信用缺失的人将“寸步难行”。

Imagine this – in an omniscient, all-perceptive world, a digital system may know you even better than you know yourself.  By means of algorithms, it can help you to do better, and to become more honest. This system will also help you to get loans at lower interest rates, and to get a job at government departments. Isn’t this an honest and harmonious world? (Author: Kai Strittmatter)

想象一下,在一个无所不知、无所不见的世界里,数字机制将比你自己还要了解你。它会通过算法,帮助你做得更好,让你变得更加诚信。这一系统,也助你得到低息贷款,并获得政府部门的工作。难道这不是一个公平、和谐的世界?(作者凯·施特里特马特尔,青木译)

The account by Huanqiu Shibao is no precise reproduction of what Strittmatter wrote – if based on this German-language original. Strittmatter himself based much of his short article on statements by a professor Zhang from Beijing -the  “Imagine-this”-sentence, for example, is originally a quote from the professor, who isn’t mentioned by Huanqiu.

And what is completely left out of the Huanqiu translation is Strittmatters rather succinct roundup: “A dictatorship that reinvents itself, digitally.”

One could think that the translator simply missed the scoff in the original  – but hardly so once the most critical remark is   left out altogether. There must be another plan for even more perfect sincerity at work. Something like this:

If the international press doesn’t work in line with the people’s wishes, the Chinese nation will build itself a more sincere international press review, in line with China’s national conditions.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Is the Truth losing in Today’s World? (And if Yes: How so?)

That’s what Richard Stengel, currently undersecretary for public diplomacy at the State Department, believes, according to a Washington Post article:

“We like to think that truth has to battle itself out in the marketplace of ideas. Well, it may be losing in that marketplace today,” Stengel warned in an interview. “Simply having fact-based messaging is not sufficient to win the information war.”

And, adds the author of the WaPo article, David Ignatius:

How do we protect the essential resource of democracy — the truth — from the toxin of lies that surrounds it? It’s like a virus or food poisoning. It needs to be controlled. But how?

Fascinating stuff – fascinating, because it feels like a déjà vu to me (and I’m wondering for how many others who have a memory of some decades).

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages in applauding his works.

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages.

When I studied and worked in a fairly rural place in China, I had a number of encounters with – probably mainstream – Chinese worldviews. That was around the turn of the century, and these were probably the most antagonistic, and exciting, debates I ever had, as the only foreigner among some Chinese friends. Discussions sometimes ended with the two, three or four of us angrily staring at each other, switching to a less controversial topic, and bidding each other a frosty good-bye.

But there was a mutual interest in other peoples’ weird ideas. That’s why our discussions continued for a number of weekends. At at least one point, I felt that I had argued with overwhelming logic, but my Chinese interlocutor was unimpressed. I blamed Chinese propaganda for his insusceptibility, but apparently, propaganda was exactly his point: “If propaganda helps to keep my country safe, I have nothing against propaganda,” he replied.

I found that gross. The idea that propaganda should just be another tool, something you might volunteer to use and to believe in, so as to keep your country and society stable, was more alien to me than any Chinese custom I had gotten to know.

The idea that truth is, or that facts are, the essential resource of a (working, successful) democracy looks correct to me. Democracy can’t work without an informed public. But when it comes to German mainstream media, I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t trustworthy.

I agree with the WaPo article / Richard Stengel that the US government can’t be a verifier of last resort. No government can play this kind of role. The Chinese party and state have usurped that role, but China is known to be a low-trust society – that doesn’t suggest that they have played a successful role as official verifiers. While many Chinese people do apparently think of their government as the ultimate guardian of national sovereignty and individual safety from imperialist encroachment, they don’t seem to trust these domestic public security powers as their immediate neighbors.

And the ability of any Western government to be a verifier ends as soon as an issue involves state interests, government interests, or governing parties’ interests.

The US government as a verifier of last resort concerning the Syria war? That idea isn’t even funny.

The German government as a verifier of last resort when it comes to foreign-trade issues (within the European Union, or beyond)? Bullshit.

But what about the American media? I don’t have a very clear picture of how they work, but it would seem to me that US television stations usually address the issues that earn them most of the public’s attention. If that is so, it should be no wonder that Donald Trump profited more from media attention, than Hillary Clinton.

But if tweets, rather than platforms, become the really big issues, the media must have abandoned the role that has traditionally been ascribed to them.

German (frequently public-law) media are strongly influenced by political parties, and apparently by business-driven foundations, too.

I don’t know if something similar can be said about American media, but even if only for their attention-seeking coverage, they can’t count as well-performing media either.

What about “social” media? According to Stengel, as quoted by the Washington Post, they give everyone the opportunity to construct their own narrative of reality.

Stengel mentions Islamic State (in 2014) and Russian propaganda campaigns as examples. In the latter’s case, he points to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations during the elections in particular.

I believe that Stengel / Ignatius may have half a point. Russia – provided that they were indeed behind the leaks – only targeted Clinton’s campaign, not Donald Trump’s.

But then, wouldn’t it have been the task of the US media to unearth either campaign’s dirty secrets? Russian propaganda performed, even if only selectively, where US media had failed. It exposed practice in the Democratic Party leadership that was hostile to democracy, but acting under the guise of defending it.

How should citizens who want a fact-based world combat this assault on truth, Ignatius finally asks, and quotes Stengel once again, and addressing the role of “social media”:

The best hope may be the global companies that have created the social-media platforms. “They see this information war as an existential threat,” says Stengel. The tech companies have made a start: He says Twitter has removed more than 400,000 accounts, and YouTube daily deletes extremist videos.

Now, I’m no advocate of free broadcasts for ISIS videos. But if the best hope is the removal of accounts and videos by the commercial providers, it would seem that there isn’t much hope in human power of judgment, after all – and in that case, there wouldn’t be much hope for democracy as a model of government.

Ignatius:

The real challenge for global tech giants is to restore the currency of truth. Perhaps “machine learning” can identify falsehoods and expose every argument that uses them. Perhaps someday, a human-machine process will create what Stengel describes as a “global ombudsman for information.”

Wtf? Human-machine processes? Has the “Global Times” hacked the WaPo?

____________

Related

Why Wikileaks can’t work, Dec 1, 2010

____________

%d bloggers like this: