Archive for ‘Germany’

Thursday, June 4, 2020

June 4 Anniversary and Hong Kong: Broke Horses and Resisting Horses

I think there have been two moments when Chinese people of my age basically told me two things.

a) Yes, they had been among the 1989 protesters, be it in Beijing, be it in other places in China.

b) They had come to understand since how wrong they had been back in 1989, and what a calamity they had all been spared by the crackdown.

In both cases, I listened, nodded, and didn’t argue. I didn’t believe them a word. And I felt I was listening to another chapter from a universal story of human weakness, just as Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago had, again, many decades earlier, and who had said that “it was like listening to a horse describing how it broke itself in.”

I didn’t argue because I felt that I hadn’t been in their place, that I still wasn’t in their place, and because I knew them beyond their (rather pathetic) political point of view. We were friends, or sort of friends. Hadn’t we known each other personally, and had it been an online encounter, we would probably have had a fierce debate.

Work style – CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013.

This comes to my mind when I read triumphant Chinese news articles about how many signatures had been collected by now, in support of the “security law for Hong Kong”. Obviously, I have no way of knowing if the numbers are real – and I don’t know how many bosses have “nudged” their staff to sign, or else.

People have to survive. There seems to be a rule: a majority of people will only be prepared to fight for their freedoms when they see a chance to succeed at it. That hope is waning in Hong Kong. It is, on the other hand, very much there in Taiwan. The rule that bleak situations break morals isn’t universal, as shown by exceptions. But it is often broad enough to work in favor of those who abuse their powers.

I can’t blame anyone. But I’m critical of a certain kind of “self-broke horse”. That’s the horse that denies the pressures and the threats, that argues that it recognized a necessity, acted accordingly, and that those horses that continue to resist the necessity would be obnoxious or dangerous. That’s a likely pattern of argument once the self-broke horse has “seen the light”, because every horse that remains noticeably free – or resisting – challenges, by its mere existence, not only the people in power, but also the broke horse itself.

A society could be more relaxed if broke horses could admit – even if only to themselves or in private – that they simply don’t want to live a – supposedly too difficult or painful – dissident’s life, or that they want to be happy, and that their happiness requires a certain monthly income, i. e. a favorable career. The problems begin to explode when they try to link their rather personal desires to “something greater”, and when freedom and conscience aren’t the “greater things” of choice, it will most probably be “the motherland”.

China’s rulers understood that, and they fostered such tensions. That’s why they pushed “patriotic education” in mainland China in the 1990s – to fill the void left behind by the crushed hopes of 1989, and to cater to nationalist feelings that had been there anyway – among many 1989 protestors, too.

Here in Germany, I have sometimes heard people vent anger about Wolf Biermann, an East German singer and songwriter who was stripped of his citizenship and exiled by the East German authorities in 1976, while he was on a pre-approved tour of  West Germany.

Biermann had been a vocal critic of East Berlin – a dissident. He hasn’t been much of a critic of Western flaws after 1976. In fact, he embraced all the good and bad things the West had to offer – imperialism included.

One should be aware of that. Biermann is no saint. But he has done more than most of us. He opposed a regime. That may not be enough for a lifetime – but it’s more than what most of us would be prepared to do.

So let’s be grateful for the courageous. Not to hate them for their integrity is a good first step into the right direction. To learn from them – within the realms of our abilities – should be a good second step.

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Updates / Related

365 days, Tsai Ing-wen, June 4, 2020
Sacrificed and gained, Sui Muqing, June 2, 2020

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sino-German relations: two Countries, irreconcilable Interpretations, common Ground

The following are excerpts from an article published by Guanchazhe on Friday, written by Huang Ying (黄颖), a researcher with Tongji University’s German Studies Center.

By political turmoil or upheaval, her article refers to the botched attempt of the conservative-liberal parties in Thuringia’s parliament to get to power with support from far-right parliamentarians.

CDU chairperson Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned a few days after she had failed to get her Thuringian partisans back to the federal party line which ruled out cooperation both with the Left Party and the far-right AFD. Huang’s article gives a detailed account of these political events, and then addresses the question about if and how they could affect China’s relations with Germany. The translated paragraphs all deal with this question.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Related: “Enhancing and deepening”, German foreign office article, Febr 13, 2020 (click picture for text)

Main Link: Will Germany’s political turmoil affect Sino-German relations? (德国政坛动荡,会不会给中德关系带来不确定性?) – page 2

[…]

A lot of people will ask if Germany’s political turmoil could bring uncertainty to Sino-German relations. The author believes that basically, Germany’s China policy won’t be greatly affected. Although Sino-German economic relations are close, China’s strategic significance for Germany – in political terms – comes only after the European Union and the United States. Germany’s domestic political turmoil won’t change its fundamental political system. No matter to which degree the structure of its political parties may be in upheaval, Germany won’t stop denouncing China’s political system and human rights issues. China’s economic and political rise makes it a challenger in the eyes of Germany’s political and academic circles, not only a challenger of its economy, but also a possible challenger for the Western democratic political system. The fundamental and insurmountable conflict between China and Germany concerning the political systems and values, and the two countries’ different interpretations of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights etc. remains irreconcilable, no matter which political party is in power.

不少人会问,德国政坛动荡会不会给中德关系带来不确定性。笔者看来,德国对华政策基本上不太会受到影响。虽然中德经济关系日益紧密,但是从政治角度来看,中国对德国的战略重要性次于欧盟和美国,德国内政的动荡不会改变其基本政治制度。无论德国政党格局怎么动荡,德国不会停止对中国制度和人权问题上的诟病。中国经济和政治崛起被德国政界和学界都视为挑战者,不仅挑战其经济制度,还可能挑战西方的民主政治制度。中德之间存在着根本的不可逾越的政治制度和价值观冲突,两国对自由、民主、法治、人权等方面有着不同的解读,无论德国哪个党派执政,这一冲突都不可调和。

However, recent Sino-German relations have become somewhat easier, which can be seen from two things above all. The first is where the German government stands on the issue of allowing Huawei participation in the building of Germany’s 5G network. At the end of January, the British government had made it clear that Huawei would be allowed to participate in the building of non-central components of Britain’s 5G network, but not in the construction of the sensitive sites, such as nuclear power stations or military bases. This matches two demands: it doesn’t endanger national security and won’t damage relations with important allies (America), and it allows Britain to use new technology and to maintain its competitiveness in the markets.

不过,最近的中德关系有所缓和,这主要表现在两件事上。第一件是备受关注的德国政府对是否允许华为参与德国5G网络建设的表态。一月底,英国明确表态:允许华为参与英国5G网络非核心部分的建设,但不能参与核电站和军事基地等重要网络和敏感地点的建设。这一表态实现了两全:一方面不危及国家安全和不破坏与重要盟友(美国)的关系,另一方面又可以使英国使用新技术和保持市场竞争力。

Soon after that, the European Union also suggested that there was no need to keep Huawei out, and member countries should be allowed to use Huawei equipment, provided that these installations were up to mobile net operation standards and that national security was protected, thus avoiding too much dependence on one supplier. After Britain and the EU had made their positions clear, it was no surprise that Germany’s governing coalition reached a consensus on February 12, saying that Huawei shouldn’t be automatically excluded from the 5G network construction, but that Huawei would have to comply with the highest safety standards. This decision still needs to be negotiated and passed with the social democratic coalition partner1). Before, many social democratic members had opposed Huawei’s participation in Germany’s 5G construction. It can basically be safely said that in 5G network construction, Germany won’t exclude Huawei, and this position will also have a positive influence on other EU member states, and will benefit the stable development of Sino-German relations.

随后,欧盟也建议不要一开始就将华为排除在外,允许成员国采用华为的设备,前提是要收紧对移动网络运营商的安全要求,严格实施保护国家安全的设施,避免对一个供应商产生过分依赖。在继英国和欧盟纷纷表态后,果不出意外,德国联盟党议会党团于2月12日便达成一致,表示不应自动将中国的华为排除再5G网络建设之外,但要求华为必须遵守最高的安全要求。这一决定目前还要与执政伙伴社民党协商通过,此前,有不少社民党成员都反对华为参与德国的5G建设。基本上可以确定,在5G网络建设上,德国不会将华为排斥在外,而且德国的表态还会积极影响欧盟其他国家对华为的态度,这将有利于中德两国关系稳定发展。

What also brought about a turn for the better was that when China raised the nationwide strengths to fight the new-type corona virus, Germany gave China essential support and help. In early February, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas expressed admiration for the Chinese government’s public, transparent and cooperative attitude and vigorous and effective measures against the “epidemic”. The plane that took German compatriots back to Germany had also delivered 5.4 tons of aid supplies to China.

另外,给中德关系带来转机的是,在中国举全国之力抗击抗新冠肺炎的时刻,德国给予了中国必要的支持与帮助。2月初,德国外长海科·马斯(Heiko Maas)对中国政府在抗“疫”过程中采取的公开、透明、合作态度以及有力、有效的措施表示钦佩。借撤侨之机,将5.4吨援助物资运抵中国。

When meeting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Berlin on February 13, Merkel said that Germany highly appreciated the firm and vigorous control measures taken by China to resist the epidemic, and would continue to provide China with support and help. […]

2月13日,默克尔在柏林会见王毅外长时表示,德方高度赞赏中国在对抗疫情时采取的果断有力的防控措施,会继续向中方提供支持和帮助。[…]

While Huang Ying argues that there is common ground, the commentariat (or, maybe, just the comments that remain undeleted) are mixed in their views. On the defensive side, demands for esthetic repairs are made:

The title doesn’t fit, it seems to suggest that China is meddling in Germany’s domestic politics. How about changing it into: How does Germany’s multi-party plight affect China,*)

标题不当,好像中国要干涉德国内政
改一下如何:德国的多党困境,对中国有啥影响

or

Just a trade partner. Germany only looks at China’s wallets. Don’t count on anything else.

一个商业伙伴而已。德国只看中了中国的钱包。其他难指望。

Replying to the reader who worries about the title, another commenter suggests that

I think you are too sensitive, elder brother. […] The ambassador to Germany has kept saying that “no Huawei, no Audi”. Isn’t that interference in German domestic politics?

我倒觉得大兄弟你太敏感了 […] 驻德大使直接放话了,不能搞华为,否则就搞奥迪了。这算不算干涉德国内政?

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Note

*) Don’t know if the title has hence been changed.

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Related

德国政治面临何种变局, 澎湃, Dec 7, 2018

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Monday, February 17, 2020

China Media Group and the Coronavirus: Independent Television quotes China Media Group’s inspiring News

The following is a translation of an article published by People’s Daily, on January 29.

A few explanations to make it more readable:

China Media Group is a  state-owned Chinese multi-media, multi-language conglomerate, resulting from a merger of China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI) and China National Radio (CNR, or, in Chinese, Central People’s Broadcasting Station/CPBS). All these flags are still up in the national media landscape, but under the “Media Group’s” more or less centralized control. China Radio International’s last director Wang Gengnian reportedly retired in 2018 from his now obsolete job, and Yan Xiaoming, who used to head the domestic CPBS radio service, became the new organization’s deputy director. Shen Haixiong became China Media Group’s first director (and party secretary).

The level of China Media Group’s international “successes” can’t be measured from the People’s Daily article. However, it may count as an indicator of the pressures under which the state-owned media giant has to justify its budget. The CPC has become more demanding of the propaganda industry after Xi Jinping became the party’s secretary general, and less tolerant of fiefdom’s within the propaganda structures.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link: International mainstream media pay attention to China’s epidemic prevention and control work, widely transmit China Media Group coverage

In the last few days, China Media Group’s coverage of prevention and control work against the new coronavirus viral infection pneumonia epidemic has been widely republished by American, British, German, French and other country’s mainstream media. According to unfinished statistics until January 28, some ninety mainstream media, including Fox Broadcasting Company, the BBC, CNN, Russia National Television, French BFM Business television, German ZDF channel two television, Italian RAI national broadcaster and other have quoted from relevant China Media Group coverage.

连日来,中央广播电视总台有关新型冠状病毒感染肺炎疫情防控报道,受到美英德法等国际主流媒体的广泛转发。据不完全统计,截至28日,包括美国福克斯广播公司、英国广播公司、美国有线电视新闻网、俄罗斯国家电视台、法国BFM BUSINESS电视台、德国电视二台、意大利广播电视公司等近90家主流媒体引用了总台相关报道。

In recent days, American Fox Broadcasting Company news channel, the BBC’s international news channel, America’s CNN international channel have all transmitted relevant China Media Group coverage and presented the measures taken by China in its prevention and control work against the epidemic, and America’s, Asia’s, Europe’s and other regions’ epidemic situation.

近日,美国福克斯广播公司新闻频道、英国广播公司国际新闻频道、美国有线电视新闻网国际频道均转引了总台相关报道,介绍中国在防控疫情方面所采取的措施以及美国、亚洲、欧洲等地疫情情况。

CMG media review: Just look at our incredible propaganda!

On January 28, Russia National Television, Russia Today TV, Independent TV [Dozhd TV]  and other mainstream media continued to pay close attention to China’s new coronavirus epidemic situation, with several television broadcasters using China Media Group coverage on that day. Dozhd TV reported that inspiring news was coming from China, with Chairman Xi Jinping stating that China had full confidence and the ability to win the battle of preventing and controlling the new coronavirus epidemic pneumonia.

28日俄罗斯国家电视台、今日俄罗斯电视台、独立电视台等主流电视媒体继续关注中国新型冠状病毒疫情,多家电视台当天引用了总台报道。独立电视台报道称:从中国传来令人振奋的消息,习近平主席表示中国完全有信心、有能力打赢新型冠状病毒肺炎防控攻坚战。

Also on that day, Russia National Television gave a full rebroadcast of China Media Group reporters’ interview with Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang, reporting the city government’s resolve in handling and overcoming the epidemic.

俄罗斯国家电视台当天全文引用总台记者对武汉市长周先旺的采访,报道武汉市政府处理疫情的考量和战胜疫情的决心。

Russia National Television channel 1’s primetime “Sixty Minutes” live broadcasts at noon and in the evening invited China Media Group reporters and Russian experts to interpret together the epidemic in China and the Chinese government’s active steps against it. An edited video of the program was uploaded to Youtube and viewed there nearly 100,000 times.

俄罗斯国家电视台1频道收视率最高的时事评论节目《60分钟》28日播出的午间和晚间两档直播节目,邀请总台驻站记者与多位俄罗斯专家一同解读中国国内的疫情和中国政府的积极应对。节目视频经过剪辑上传到YouTube平台上后观看量近10万次。

Italy’s biggest privatly-run television station, Mediaset TgCom24 TV, in its live news program “Behind the Incident”, repeatedly contacted China Media Group’s Italian-department reporter(s) to get information about the epidemic’s latest developments, and prevention and control measures, reporting the Chinese people’s confidence in overcoming the epidemic, and China’s desire to actively participate in international cooperation.

意大利最大的私营电视台——梅地亚塞特传媒集团TGCOM24电视台——的新闻直播节目《事件背后》,多次连线总台意大利语部记者,了解中国疫情最新进展及防控措施,报道中国民众战胜疫情的信心以及中国积极参与国际合作的意愿。

France’s BFM Business TV cooperated with China Media Group’s French department on January 23, inviting  Foundation for Strategic Research Antoine Bondaz to invite the in the program’s discussion. He said that “the Chinese government has taken active and fast measures to control the spread of the epidemic. The Chinese government’s quick response deserves recognition.”

法国BFM BUSINESS电视台23日与总台法语部合作,邀请法国战略研究基金会中国问题专家安东尼奥(Antoine Bondaz)参加节目访谈。安东尼奥表示:“中国政府采取了积极迅速的措施,控制了疫情蔓延。中国政府做出的快速反应,值得肯定。”

DRF Deutschland‘s [Germany] “China Info” changed its originally planned program on January 27, quoting from material from China Media Group’s German department, with a focus on the active measures taken by China to fight the epidemic.

德国DRF电视台《中国新闻》栏目27日改变原播出节目,转引转发总台德语部稿件,重点报道中国抗击疫情所采取的积极举措。

Also, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Israel and other countries’ media have amply used China Media Group’s multilingual coverage, informing their countries’ national audiences about the Chinese government’s active measures in preventing and controlling the epidemic, and its work together with the international community to maintain regional and global confidence in public health.

此外,巴西、印度、印尼、泰国、土耳其、以色列等国的媒体也充分采用总台多语种报道,向本国受众及时介绍中国政府在防控疫情方面所采取的积极措施,以及与国际社会一道,共同维护好地区和全球公共卫生的信心。

[…]

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Related

The true story, Montsame, Febr 14, 2020
Borrowed boats, Jichang Lulu, Nov 4, 2015
This content in Swahili, Nov 13, 2014

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

COVID-19, new Diagnostics, statistical Effects, and some Leap of Faith

China’s explanation that a jump in the number of new COVID-19 infections can be explained with new diagnostic methods is meeting with a leap of faith in official Kiev. Radio Ukraine International, via WRMI on February 14 (Febr 13 local time in the US) reported in its “Ukrainian Perspective” program that

[a]s of February 13, 60,331 confirmed cases of the novel corona virus COVID-19, including 1,369 lethal cases, have been registered worldwide. The Ukrainian health ministry attributes the [ .. not readable] increase in the number of COVID-19 cases to a new diagnostic method deployed in the Hubei province. In addition to the test and specific symtoms screening, the method includes computer-assisted lung tomography to help detect pneumonia caused by the virus. So far, there have been no confirmed laboratory cases in in Ukraine, the health ministry reported on Thursday.
[…]

The report in full – with some shortwave background noise – can be found under the following link for a while. Please click the icon.

The report also quotes Ukraine’s prime minister, who addressed the issue of evacuating Ukrainians from Hubei province, and possible health risks for Ukraine that needed to be ruled out when the evacuations were carried out.

German television’s flagship news program “Tagesschau”, with a status in Germany comparable to “Xinwen Lianbo’s” in China, also attributed the rise in statistically recorded cases to the new diagnostic measures in a report on Thursday, but took a more distanced stance in the second part of the report, when addressing “revised diagnostic results” (“überarbeitete” Diagnoseergebnisse) announced by Hubei’s provincial government.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

German embassy to Taiwan reportedly affirms country’s measures against new corona virus disease

Many different worlds

There are so many different worlds …

The German Institute Taipei, i. e. Germany’s embassy there, but it must not be called an embassy because the Chinese don’t like that, has affirmed prevention and treatment work of the new corona virus (COVID-19), according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI). The diplomatic mission published the statement on Thursday (Febr 13).

It reportedly says that although the island was close to the source of the virus, Taiwan had so far managed to keep the number of confirmed cases low, and to avoid a large-scale outbreak of the disease. Given the dangerous situation, the German mission thinks of the measures taken as a model [of how to deal with it].

聲明表示,儘管距離病毒的發源地很近,台灣截至目前仍成功維持較少的確診個案,並且避免疫情的大爆發。針對這樣危險的疾病,台灣所採取的措施,足以為模範。

The statement is also quoted as saying that if Taiwan could be involved with the relevant international organizations, this would be beneficial for the world, as it could obtain important information quickly, and because it could share its experience with other countries.

聲明最後指出,如果將台灣納入相關國際組織,這對全球都有利,一方面能夠迅速獲取重要資訊,另一方面則能與他國分享自身的經驗。

Monday, December 16, 2019

One Territory, two Statements

Apolitical, too? Erdogan in talks hosted by Xi Jinping, July 2019 (CCTV coverage)

Erdogan said that connected by the ancient Silk Road, Turkish-Chinese friendship had a long history and was now strengthened further. Close Turkish-Chinese relations were significant for regional peace and prosperity. Turkey made efforts for the development of relations with China, and for deepening cooperation. Turkey staunchly persued the one-China policy, the happiness of all Xinjiang nationalities in China’s development was also a fact, and Turkey would never allow anyone to incite disharmony in Turkish-Chinese relations. Turkey resolutely opposed extremism, wanted to enhance mutual trust and strengthen security cooperation. Potential for Turkish-Chinese cooperation was huge, Turkey resolutely upheld the construction of “one belt, one road”, and hoped that the two sides would strengthen cooperation on trade, investment, financial, energy, car building, infrastructure, 5G mobile communication, smart cities, etc., and enhance exchanges in the fields of education, culture, research, etc..

埃尔多安表示,通过千年古丝绸之路连接起来的土中友好源远流长,今天得到进一步加强。密切的土中关系对地区和平繁荣有重要意义。土耳其致力于发展对华关系,深化对华合作。土方坚定奉行一个中国政策,中国新疆地区各民族居民在中国发展繁荣中幸福地生活是个事实,土方不允许任何人挑拨土中关系。土耳其坚定反对极端主义,愿同中方增进政治互信,加强安全合作。土中合作潜力巨大,土方坚定支持“一带一路”建设,希望双方在“一带一路”框架内加强贸易、投资、金融、能源、汽车制造、基础设施、第五代移动通信、智慧城市等领域合作,增进在教育、文化、科研等领域交流。

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s statement in July this year, according to the Chinese government’s website

Mesut Özil‘s statement this month, according to “The Guardian”:

His Instagram message read: “East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men.

“But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?”

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Related

Beijing invites fact finding mission, July 9, 2019

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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Shortwave Logs: Science from the South

1. Radio Havana in English: Science from the South

Charles McKelvey, according to the “American Herald Tribune”*), is an emeritus professor at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, USA, and member of the Advisory Council of the Honorary Section of Political Science from the South at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Havana, Havana, Cuba.

One might read his books, or one might happen on “Notes on the Revolution”, a Radio Havana Cuba (RHC) series with 40 columns to date, about “third World socialist revolutions in power”, which would, in his view, include China, Cuba, and Vietnam.

The program, to effects unknown to this blogger, is edited by RHC editor and presenter Ed Newman.

Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988

Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988. The project’s prominent role in the QSL series is no concidence: the project is or was run by Ramón Castro Ruz, » the older brother of the two political leaders. Asked by an American journalist in the late 1970s » what he thought about Cuban-U.S. relations, Castro parried the questions “with a shrug and grin: ‘That’s all politics – I leave that to Fidel. All I know about are cows.'”

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*) not to be confused with the “New York Herald Tribune”

2. Radio Ukraine International: reviving 2017

Arne Lietz (SPD, German social democrats) may not have been aware, but he was on the radio on Saturday – on the German program of Radio Ukraine International (RUI, formerly Radio Kiev), that is. And as Russia had already annexed Crimea at the time, and because the Gerhard-Schröder / Martin-Schulz generation have adopted an unnerving pep-talk style*) decades ago which  dominates social dem speeches to this day, I only realized that something was wrong with the broadcast when Lietz referred to Martin Schulz as the the German Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor.  That, after all, was more than two years ago.

There was no news broadcast, and, therefore, no way to find out about the mix-up earlier. Besides, Lietz was a member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019, but lost his seat in the 2019 EP elections.

Similar mix-ups used to happen with Radio Ukraine International’s English service transmissions by WRMI, an American broadcaster in Florida, some three years ago. At the time, WRMI supposed that mistakes in the audio file names sent by RUI had occasionally led to old news going on air. Radio Ukraine International’s German program is currently aired by a shortwave enthusiasts’ association in Northrhine-Westphalia who are operating a shortwave station in Kall-Krekel.

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*) It’s beginning to dawn on me that while there may be other reasons not to vote for the German social democrats, the way they talk may be one of those reasons. They make you feel as if you were ten years old again, and back in sunday school. (God forbid.)

3. Fed Court: Da Silva and Rousseff no part of criminal org

reports Radio Havana. However, a series of legal proceedings concerning alleged bribery continues.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Program Reductions at China Radio International (CRI)

While China Radio International‘s (CRI) airtime remains undampened, program hours appear to be going down, reports Radio Berlin Brandenburg‘s (RBB) media magazine. RBB points to CRI Portuguese as a striking example: the broadcasts have only contained music and references to CRI’s online pages for some time, and the Portuguese-language online pages contain only single articles, but not the usual program packages. Programs in Polish, Serbian and Albanian still contained short news readings, but only music apart from that, according to random checks.

CRI German, April 1 schedule

CRI German, April 1 schedule

The German program seems to have seen some cuts, too. There used to be news broadcasts at the beginning of every transmission, but I haven’t heard any news or current affairs on Saturdays and Sundays recently, and today’s (Monday) two-hour program didn’t carry any news or current affairs either.

CRI’s most recent schedule was published online on April 1 this year, shortly after the beginning of the summer frequency plan. Apparently, it wasn’t updated when the HFCC’s current B19 transmission schedule went into effect a few weeks ago.

According to the April 1 plan, the two-hours German programs, from Monday through Friday, started with a news and current affairs program of 15 minutes, (“CRI Aktuell” / “CRI Aktuell mit Hintergrund”), 35 minutes of feature programs (“CRI Panorama”), followed by a language course of ten minutes, and an hour of cultural programs (“CRI Kulturcollage”).

On Saturdays and Sundays, a five-minutes news program (“CRI Aktuell”) was followed by 45 minutes of “CRI Panorama”, followed by a ten-minutes language course and 55 minutes of “Kulturcollage”.

Today, just as recently on Saturdays and Sundays, there were 50 minutes of “CRI Panorama” and the usual ten-minutes language course. The second hour was a repetition of exactly the same content.

CRI Chinese and CRI English still carry news and current affairs programs.

Back to Radio Berlin Brandenburg’s media magazine. They wonder why the shortwave frequencies which used to carry CRI Portuguese, Polish, Serbian, or Albanian, are still in use.

The answer may be that co-channelling (a slightly more sophisticated way of jamming undesired broadcasters abroad than applying the “Firedrake”) is easier when you have many shortwave frequencies in use. Abandoned frequencies could otherwise be collected by Taiwan, from where both national broadcaster Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and Chinese opposition broadcasters like “Sound of Hope” (希望之聲) are broadcasting to China on shortwave.

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Related

By any other Name, March 30, 2018
Innovative Guidance of Public Opinion, Nov 17, 2015
Rumors about CRI, April 13, 2015

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