Archive for ‘France’

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

German Chancellor’s first China Visit: Opportunities and Liabilities

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes

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

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

The State of Taiwan

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

taiwanren_are_also_chinese

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

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

A. Image concerns

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

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

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

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

Table 1

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

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

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

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

B. Chinamaths

Table 1

table_one_mainland_china

or the other way round,

Table 2

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

Table 3

table_three_orc

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

Table 4

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

C. Taiwan: one country, two positions

Position 1 (pan-Green, more or less)

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

Position 2 (pan-blue, more or less)

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

“Taiwan Independence”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. Third-government positions

Sample 1: America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample 2: France

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

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

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

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

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

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

E. Some cold hard facts

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

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Note

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

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Related

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

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Émissions Ondes Courtes de Tamsui, Taiwan, en Français

Le retour du service français de Radio Taiwan International aux ondes courtes, printemps 2020 QSL

Le retour du service français de Radio Taiwan International aux ondes courtes, printemps 2020 QSL

Radio Taiwan International’s direct programs from Tamsui Émissions directes de Radio Taiwan Internationale de Tamsui
Shortwave is gaining ground: Radio Taiwan International’s French service will broadcast from its shortwave transmission site in Tamsui this month – every weekend (Fridays through Sundays) from 17:00 to 18:00 UTC on 11995 kHz and from 19:00 to 20:00 UTC on 9545 kHz.
August 05 – 07
August 12 – 14
August 19 – 21
August 26 – 28.
Pour la première fois, il y aura des émissions françaises de Tamsui, Taiwan, pour les regions européennes et nord-africaines. Selon Radio Taiwan Internationale,
Le programme de cette activité radiophonique en français sera diffusé en Ondes Courtes tous les vendredis, samedis et dimanches du mois d’août.
Fréquence 11995 kHz, 17h00-18h00, temps universel (19 h à Paris),
Fréquence 9545 kHz, 19h00-20h00, temps universel (21 h à Paris),
tous les week-ends.

mappemonde des émissions ondes-courtes de Radio Taiwan Internationale

Bonjour le Monde – les émissions réguliers de Radio Taiwan Internationale – source: RTI

Tests were carried out in July in a range of 308 to 325° reportedly, which suggests that both northern Africa and Europe should be good places to listen to the transmissions from Tamsui, northwestern Taiwan. Des émissions testes ont été effectués en juillet, dans un azimut de 308 à 325°.
RTI’s French service usually broadcasts for Europe on 6005 kHz, from 19:00 to 19:30 UTC, via Kostinbrod relay, Bulgaria. Listeners who don’t usually listen to the station’s internet programs (one hour of programming per day) will have a great opportunity to get to listen to programs they wouldn’t usually hear on shortwave. Normalement, il y a une émission par jour de Kostinbrod, la Bulgarie, chaque jour de 19:00 à 19:30 temps universel (21 – 21:30 h à Paris) sur 6005 kHz, pour l’Europe et l’Afrique du nord. En outre, il y a une transmission pour l’Afrique ouest tous les dimanches, en 13835 kHz (apparemment à partir d’Issoudun, Centre-Val de Loire, en France).
Si vous n’écoutez, d’habitude, les programmes français en ligne (il y en a une demie-heure sur les ondes courtes, mais des 30 minutes additionnels en ligne), les émissions de Tamsui vous donneront une belle occasion d’écouter des programmes rares sur les ondes courtes en août, car il y en aura 60 minutes par émission de Tamsui.
Saturday, July 16, 2022

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) 2022 Shortwave Transmissions to Europe, from Tamsui, in French and in German

Taiwan Blue Magpie, aka "long-tailed mountain lady", featured on RTI German Service's 2021 special QSL card

Taiwan Blue Magpie, aka “long-tailed mountain lady”, featured
on RTI German Service’s 2021 special QSL card

Test transmissions led to the choice of 11,955 11995 kHz for broadcasts at 17:00 UTC, and 9545 kHz for broadcasts on 19:00 UTC. All broadcasts in German are one-hour transmissions, and they provide listeners with an idea of the content they don’t usually get to hear on shortwave, as regular broadcasts via Kostinbrod relay, Bulgaria, are only 30 minutes long.
The other half of the program can usually only be found online.
The special summer transmissions at 17 and 19 hours from Tamsui can be heard on 17 and 19 h UTC on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the rest of July.

In August, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be direct transmissions from Tamsui in French, also one-hour programs, at 17:00 on 11,995 kHz and at 19:00 UTC on 9545 kHz.

Reception reports are reliably confirmed with special QSL cards for Tamsui transmissions, and the German and the French services issue QSL cards different from each other – so reporting on both language programs makes a lot of sense for collectors.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) 2022 Shortwave Transmissions to Europe, from Tamsui, in French and in German

Tamsui transmitters site, NW Taiwan, RTI QSL card 2015

Tamsui transmitters site, NW Taiwan, RTI QSL card 2015

Update: weekend transmissions in July and August from Tamsui, Taiwan

RTI German Service

As is tradition at RTI’s German Service, Radio Taiwan International has scheduled one-hour broadcasts directly from Tamsui, NW Taiwan, to Europe. Those are a great opportunity to listen to a wider range of RTI programs. Usually, outside this special summer season, you only get to hear about half of the gems RTI German has in store for its listeners – the other half can only be listend to online. Also, the usual RTI German broadcasting routine goes through a relay transmitting site in Bulgaria, on 5900 kHz from 19:00 to 19:30 UTC.

There will be test transmissions from Tamsui to Europe on Saturday, June 25, at the following times and on the following frequencies:

Time UTC/GMT Frequency
17:00 – 17:10 11995 kHz
17:30 – 17:40 11995 kHz
19:00 – 19:10 9545 kHz
19:20 – 19:30 7240 kHz
19:40 – 19:50 7250 kHz

Your reception reports will probably matter, because Radio Taiwan International  says they are going to choose the two frequencies that are reported to work best for their one-hour broadcasts in July.

Those July broadcasts are scheduled as follows (time only, for now):

Friday, July 08, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Saturday, July 08, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Sunday, July 08, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Friday, July 15, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Saturday, July 16, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Sunday, July 17, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Friday, July 22, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Saturday, July 23, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Sunday, July 24, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Friday, July 29, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Saturday, July 30, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC
Sunday, July 31, 2022; 17:00 – 18:00 UTC & 19:00 – 20:00 UTC

RTI French Service

For the first time, Radio Taiwan International’s French service also broadcasts directly from Tamsui, Taiwan.

They plan to test the same frequencies as RTI German does, but on Saturday, July 2. The times and frequencies for the test transmissions, also ten minutes each, will be the same as the German service’s tests on June 25.

Here, too, listeners’ reception reports will define the choice of frequencies, according to RTI French. Their one-hour broadcasts are scheduled for August, on every weekend from Fridays through Sundays, i. e. the month following the German weekends, also at 17:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC respectively.

Radio Taiwan International reliably confirms reception reports with QSL cards.

Good DX, and happy listening!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Flames of War, deeply felt and lamented by China

The following is my translation of a Xinhua report, republished by the Chinese government (State Council). There’s also a translation by “China Daily”, on their “English-Language Solutions” website. Blend them together as you see fit.

It might be worth mentioning that one of the participants on Xi’s side was Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), the Communist Party’s general office director, although Xi probably took part in the “video summit” in his capacity as China’s head of state.

March 8 Xi-Macron-Scholz "video summit"

Chinese pyramid: That’s the way Xi likes it


Main Link: Xi Jinping holds video summit with French and German leaders
习近平同法国德国领导人举行视频峰会

March 8, 2022, 19:53, Xinhua
2022-03-08 19:53 来源: 新华社

In the afternoon of March 8, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping held a video summit with French president Macron and German chancellor Scholz.
新华社北京3月8日电 国家主席习近平3月8日下午在北京同法国总统马克龙、德国总理朔尔茨举行视频峰会。

Xi Jinping pointed out that in the current world, once-in-a-hundred-years changes and the centennial pandemic situation go hand in hand. They bring global challenges that require global cooperation. China and Europe speak numerous common languages in terms of seeking peace, seeking development, and promoting cooperation. We must shoulder responsibilities to bring more stability and certainty to a turbulently changing world. The two sides must take a continuous and far-sighted approach to strengthen dialogue, maintain cooperation, and promote Chinese-European relations. China’s development will bring more space for Chinese-European cooperation. Based on the principle of mutual benefit and double-win, the two sides must maintain and deepen green and digital partnership relations and pragmatic cooperation in all fieds. The two sides should continue and maintain multilateralism, and advance major global agendas.
习近平指出,当今世界,百年变局和世纪疫情交织,带来很多全球性挑战,需要全球性合作。中欧在谋和平、求发展、促合作方面有很多共同语言。我们要拿出担当,为动荡变化的世界注入更多稳定性和确定性。双方要加强对话,坚持合作,推动中欧关系行稳致远。中国的发展将为中欧合作带来更大空间。双方要继续本着互利共赢原则,持续深化绿色、数字伙伴关系和各领域务实合作。双方要继续坚持多边主义,推进重大全球性议程。

Macron and Scholz expressed congratulations regarding the successful holding of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The world is facing many challenges, and fighting alone will only worsen the situation. The European side attaches importance to China’s important and positive role in global affairs and wants to work closeley with China to make common efforts to solve climate change, public health and other important global challenges. The European side wants to work together with theChinese side to  successfully hold a European-Chinese leaders’ meeting, to promote a continuous forward development of French-Chinese and German-Chinese as well as European-Chinese relations.
马克龙、朔尔茨表示,祝贺中方成功举办北京冬奥会。当今世界面临诸多挑战,单打独斗,只会使形势恶化。欧方重视中国在世界事务中发挥的重要和积极作用,愿同中方紧密合作,共同努力解决气候变化、公共卫生等重大全球性挑战。欧方愿同中方一道,办好欧中领导人会晤,推动法中、德中以及欧中关系不断向前发展。

The two sides exchanged views on the current situation in Ukraine.
双方重点就当前乌克兰局势交换意见。

Macron and Scholz explained their opinions and positions concerning the current situation in Ukraine, saying that Europe is facing the most serious crisis since World War 2, and that France and Germany support a negotiated solution of the problem, to give peace a chance. They thanked the Chinese side for advocating humanitarian proposals. They want to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side, mediate peace and promote talks to avoid further escalation of the situation which would create an even more serious humanitarian crisis.
马克龙、朔尔茨介绍了对当前乌克兰局势的看法和立场,表示欧洲正面临二战以来最严重危机,法德支持通过谈判解决问题,给和平一个机会。感谢中方提出人道主义局势倡议,愿同中方加强沟通协调,劝和促谈,避免局势进一步升级,产生更严重人道主义危机。

Xi Jinping emphasized that the current situation in Ukraine is worrying. The re-ignition of the flames of war on the European continent is deeply felt and lamented by China. The Chinese side advocates that all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected, that the United Nations’ charter’s objectives and principles should be complied with, that all countries’ reasonable concerns should be attached importance to, and all efforts directed at the peaceful solution of the crisis should be supported. The top priority job now is to avoid further escalation, let alone loss of control, in the tense situation. The Chinese side appreciates the French and the German efforts to mediate in the Ukrainian situation and wants to maintain communication and coordination with the French, German and European side to play a positive role together with the international community in accordance with any side’s requirements in this matter.
习近平强调,当前,乌克兰局势令人担忧,中方对欧洲大陆重燃战火深感痛惜。中方主张,各国主权、领土完整都应该得到尊重,联合国宪章宗旨和原则都应该得到遵守,各国合理安全关切都应该得到重视,一切有利于和平解决危机的努力都应该得到支持。当务之急是避免紧张局势升级,甚至失控。中方赞赏法德为斡旋乌克兰局势所作努力,愿同法方、德方和欧方保持沟通和协调,根据当事各方需要,同国际社会一道发挥积极作用。

Xi Jinping emphasized that we must jointly support Russian-Ukrainian peace talks, maintain momentum in the two sides’ negotiations, overcome difficulties to keep the talks going, and to arrive at results and peace. We would like to call for the greatest degree of limits and restraint to avoid a large-scale humanitarian crisis. China has put forward a six-point initiative concerning the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and would like to provide Ukraine with further humanitarian material aid. We want to work together to reduce the negative impact of the crisis. The relevant sanctions are creating shocks for the stability of global finance, energy, transportation and supply chains, create burdens for the global economy already under the negative impact of the pandemic, and are disadvantageous for all sides. We must actively advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concepts. The Chinese side supports France and Germany setting out from Europe’s own interests, giving thought to lasting security in Europe, maintaining strategic independence and promoting the building of an equal, effective and sustainable European security framework. The Chinese side also views an equal dialogue between Europe, Russia, America and NATO with optimism.
习近平强调,我们要共同支持俄乌和谈,推动双方维护谈判势头,克服困难谈下去,谈出结果、谈出和平。我们要呼吁保持最大限度克制,防止出现大规模人道主义危机。中方提出了关于乌克兰人道主义局势的六点倡议,愿向乌克兰进一步提供人道主义物资援助。我们要一起努力减少危机造成的负面影响。有关制裁对全球金融、能源、交通、供应链稳定都会造成冲击,拖累疫情下负重前行的世界经济,对各方都不利。我们要积极倡导共同、综合、合作、可持续的安全观。中方支持法德两国从欧洲自身利益出发,为欧洲持久安全着想,坚持战略自主,推动构建均衡、有效、可持续的欧洲安全框架。中方也乐见欧俄美及北约开展平等对话。

The two sides also exchanged views about the Iran nuclear issue.
双方还就伊朗核问题交换了意见。

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others took part in the meeting.
丁薛祥、杨洁篪、王毅、何立峰等参加会议。

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, 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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