Archive for ‘history’

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Wang Yi on American-Chinese Relations: “Bows in a Cup are considered Snakes, every Tree looks like an Enemy Soldier”

The following is a translation of a talk given by Chinese state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi to a “China-US Think Tanks and Media Online Forum” on Thursday, organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association, the Peking University, and the People’s University of China (aka Renmin University).

Links added during translation.

“Sino-American relations’ most serious challenge”

Main link: Unvaveringly defend what is right, keeping up with the times, safeguarding the correct direction of Chinese-American relations

Dear guests, dear friends, hello everyone! First, I would like to convey my sincere best wishes to this forum‘s opening and pay tribute to and thank people from all walks of life who have, for a long time, dedicated their efforts to Sino-American relations. I would also like to thank Dr. Henry Kissinger for supporting this forum. Every time I have a discussion with him, it makes me feel his deep strategic reflections about the world and Sino-American relations.

各位来宾,各位朋友:大家好!
首先,我谨对本次论坛的召开表示热烈祝贺,并愿向长期致力于中美关系的各界人士表示敬意和感谢。我还要感谢基辛格博士对此次论坛的支持,每次同他对话,都让我感受到他对这个世界以及中美关系深入的战略思考。

Today‘s forum is absolutely important, because at just this time, the new corona pneumonia epidemic continues to rage and wreak global havoc, all countries and peoples lives are under serious threat, the global economy is getting caught in a deep recession, global cooperation suffers powerful counter-currents, unilateral bullying behavior is rampant, and the international system is facing the risks of disorder.

今天的论坛十分重要。因为就在此时,新冠肺炎疫情仍在全球肆虐,各国人民生命受到严重威胁,世界经济陷入深度衰退,全球合作遭遇强劲逆流,单边霸凌行径大行其道,国际体系愈发面临失序的风险。

Still more alarming is that Sino-American relations, which are among the world‘s most important bilateral ones, are also facing the most serious challenges since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Some people on the American side, because of ideological prejudice, spare no efforts to make China an opponent or even an enemy, thinking about all kinds of ways to contain China‘s development, and unscrupulously obstruct relations between China and America. During the next steps, the decision about whether or not this huge ship of Sino-American relations which has been sailing for more than fourty years now will stay its correct course isn‘t only closely connected to the interests of these two countries‘ peoples‘ interests, but concerns the world‘s and humankind‘s common future.

更令人警惕的是,中美关系这对世界上最重要的双边关系之一,也面临建交以来最严重的挑战。美方一些人,出于意识形态的偏见,正不遗余力地把中国渲染成对手甚至敌人,想方设法遏制中国的发展,不择手段阻碍中美之间的联系。下一步,中美关系这艘已经航行了四十多年的巨轮能否继续保持正确航向,不仅与两国人民利益密切相连,也关乎世界与人类的共同未来。

How can Sino-American relations bring order out of chaos, return to the right track, and truly achieve long-term healthy and stable development? I would like to focus on three points:
Firstly, neither China nor America should be trying to change the other, but jointly explore the road of peaceful coexistence of different systems and civilizations.

中美关系如何才能拨乱反正、重回正轨,真正实现长期健康稳定发展?我想重点谈三点意见:
首先,中美双方不应寻求改造对方,而应共同探索不同制度和文明和平共存之道。

Every country‘s road is based on the experience it has accumulated in terms of its cultural tradition and history. China stays on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics which corresponds with China‘s national situation and needs. It is the choice of the Chinese people itself. The achievements testify that this road has not only made 1.4 billion Chiese people leave poverty and backwardness behind them, but also made the Chinese nation make another major contribution to the cause of human progress. International polling institutions‘ repeated opinion polls have shown that the Chinese people‘s support for the Chinese Communist Party and government is among the strongest rates worldwide. There isn‘t any force in a position to reject other countries‘ chosen paths, and no country will change its system in accordance with the likes or dislikes of others. Ultimately, system and path, they may be right or wrong, must be decided by a country‘s own people.

每个国家所走的道路,都基于各自文化传统和历史积淀。中国坚持的中国特色社会主义道路,符合中国的国情需要,是中国人民自己的选择。实践已经证明,这条道路不仅使14亿中国人民摆脱了贫困落后,也让中华民族再次为人类进步事业作出了重大贡献。国际民调机构多次民意测验显示,中国人民对中国党和政府的支持都高居全球榜首。任何势力都没有资格去否定其他国家选择的道路,任何国家也都不会按照别人的好恶来改造自己的制度。归根到底,制度和道路是对还是错,应该由本国人民来决定。

In recent years, there have been certain views saying that the success of China‘s path created a shock or threat against the West. This way of putting things is neither factual, nor do we acknowledge it. China, a product of 5,000 years of civilization, has never had the genes of invasion of expansion, we do not copy foreign countries‘ models, we do not export China‘s model, and never require other countries to copy China‘s ways of doing things. In the words of a Chinese sage 2,500 years ago, “all things can coexist without harming each other, and roads proceed in parallel without running counter to each other.” This is the philosophy of how Easterners conduct themselves in society, and until today, it continues to enlighten people.

近年来有种论调,称中国道路的成功将对西方造成冲击和威胁。这一说法既不是事实,我们也不认同。因为5000年文明孕育的中国从来没有侵略扩张的基因,我们不照搬外国模式,也不输出中国模式,从不要求别国复制中国的做法。2500年前的中国圣贤就主张:“万物并育而不相害,道并行而不相悖”。这是东方人的处世哲学,至今仍给世人以启迪。

Americans, too, have always sought for equality, tolerance and pluralism. This world shouldn‘t be seen in colors of black and white, and institutional differences should not lead to zero-sum games. China won‘t and can‘t become another America. The right attitude is to respect one another, mutual appreciation, mutual learning, and mutual success. Ever since reform and opening up, China has learned a lot from the experience of developed countries, just as some of China‘s successful work methods have helped many countries to solve their problems of the moment. In this richly colorful world, China and America, even with different social systems, don‘t need to run counter to one another at all. They can coexist peacefully.

美国人民也历来把平等、包容、多元作为不懈追求。这个世界不应非黑即白,制度差异也不应导致零和。中国不会也不可能变成另一个美国。正确的态度是,彼此相互尊重、相互欣赏、相互借鉴、相互成就。改革开放以来,中国从发达国家学到了很多有益经验。同样,中国的一些成功做法也对许多国家解决当下的问题不无启发。在这个丰富多彩的世界中,中美虽然社会制度不同,但完全可以并行不悖,和平共存。

Secondly, China‘s policy toward America hasn‘t changed. Based on goodwill and sincerity, we still want to develop Sino-American relations further.

第二,中国的对美政策没有变化,我们仍愿本着善意和诚意发展中美关系。

In the wake of China‘s development, some American friends have growing misgivings about China or become even wary of it. I would like to reiterate that China has never intended to challenge America or to replace it, nor to get into comprehensive antagonism with America. What we care about most is the welfare of our own country‘s people, what we attach most importance to is to bring bout the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and our greatest expectation is world peace and stability. To this end, China‘s America policy maintains a high degree of stability and continuity with no desire to clash with America or to get into confrontation with it, and with a desire for mututal respect and mutually profitable cooperation [aka win-win], building a relationship with America on the keynotes of coordination, cooperation and stability.

随着中国的发展,有些美国朋友对中国怀有越来越多的疑虑甚至戒惧。在此我愿重申,中国从来无意挑战或取代美国,无意与美国全面对抗。我们最关心的是提高本国人民的福祉,最重视的是实现中华民族的复兴,最期待的是世界的和平稳定。为此,中国的对美政策保持着高度稳定性和连续性,愿意与美不冲突不对抗、相互尊重、合作共赢,构建以协调、合作、稳定为基调的中美关系。

To achieve this goal, there is a need for China and America to advance by meeting half-way1), each of them respecting international law and rules, and to open an equal dialog and consultations. America shouldn‘t hope to nearly run amok to encircle, block and intercept China on the one hand, create rumors and slander China with almost no bottomline, interfere with China‘s internal affairs without any restraint, and on the other hand expect, and on the other hand demand that china would understand and support America in bilateral and global affairs. China, as an independent sovereign country, has the right to protect its sovereignty, security and development interests. It has the right to safeguard the fruits earned by the Chinese people‘s hard work, and to reject any bullying and unfairness against China.

而要实现这一目标,需要中美双方相向而行,需要各自尊重国际法和国际规则,需要开展平等的对话协商。美国不应指望一方面在全世界近乎疯狂地围追堵截中国、毫无底线地造谣污蔑中国、肆无忌惮地干涉中国内政,另一方面又要求中国在双边和全球事务中给予美方理解和支持。中国,作为一个独立自主国家,我们有权利维护自身的主权、安全和发展利益,有权利保卫中国人民艰苦奋斗获得的劳动成果,有权利拒绝任何对中国的霸凌和不公。

Thirdly, we must view the historical experience of Sino-American relations correctly and adhere to the road of dialog and cooperation.

第三,要正确看待中美关系发展的历史经验,坚持走对话合作之路。

Recently, some people in America have said that the policy of being in touch2) with China has been a failure. And that America has been at a disadvantage. This way of putting things doesn‘t respect history and isn not in accordance with the facts.

近来,美国国内有人提出,过去几十年的对华接触政策是失败了,美国在对华合作中吃亏了。这种说法既不尊重历史,也不符合事实。

China and America were allies, fighting shoulder to shoulder, in World War 2. In the last century‘s 70s, the two sides opened the great door of diplomatic relations again, under the premise of respecting each other‘s different systems. The dialog and cooperation between the two countries has lasted until today, merging the political wisdom and unremittent efforts of several generations of people, and reflect the intrinsic patterns and inevitable trends in the development of the two countries‘ relations.

中美两国二战时曾是并肩作战的盟友。上世纪70年代,双方在尊重彼此不同制度的前提下重新打开建交大门。两国对话合作走到今天,凝聚着几代人的政治智慧和不懈努力,也反映了两国关系发展的内在规律和必然趋势。

Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, China and America have amply given play to their complementary advantages, and they have formed an amalgamated mutually beneficial community. China‘s success has drawn benefit from open cooperation with every country in the world including America, and China‘s development has provided America with force for sustained growth and huge markets. From handling regional hotspots to counter-terrorism and nonproliferation, from reacting to the international financial crisis to epidemic control, Sino-American cooperation has been beneficial to both sides, and to the great global cause.

建交40年来,中美充分发挥互补优势,已经形成相互融合的利益共同体。中国的成功得益于对包括美国在内世界各国的开放合作,而中国的发展也为美国提供了持续增长的动力和巨大的市场空间。从处理地区热点问题到反恐、防扩散,从应对国际金融危机到疾病防控,中美合作已经办成了很多有利于双方、有利于世界的大事。

There are people who say that Sino-American relations are not what they were in the past, but this does not mean that history can be ignored and a new separate kitchen be set up. Even less would it mean that the reality can be ignored and ties be cut forcibly. Instead, we should connect the past and the future3), and keep up with the times. Everyone may notice that despite the current epidemic shock, 74 percent of American companies in China still state plans to expand their investments in China, that 191 farmers‘ organizations, in a joint letter to the American president, have called for continued implementation of the phase-one economic and trade agreement, that many American universities publicly support strengthened Sino-American educational exchange, that the leaders of many countries also call on China and America to strengthen dialog, and to avoid confrontation and division. These are voices China and America should listen to, and even more so the direction of the two countries‘ efforts.

有人说,中美关系已回不到过去,但这并不意味着可以无视历史另起炉灶,更不意味着可以不顾实际强行脱钩。而是应当继往开来,与时俱进。大家可能注意到,即使在当前疫情冲击下,74%的美国在华企业仍表示计划扩大对华投资,191个农业团体联名致信美国总统呼吁继续执行第一阶段经贸协议,多所美国大学公开支持加强中美教育交流,多国领导人也呼吁中美加强沟通对话、避免对抗分裂。这些都是中美双方应当倾听的声音,更是两国共同努力的方向。

Dear friends, Chairman Xi Jinping has emphasized this many times: we have a thousand reasons to do a good job with Sino-American relations, and not one reason to bungle them. As long as both sides have the vigorous desire to improve and develop Sino-American relations, we will be able to get Sino-American relations out of the predicament and put them back onto the right track. I will put forward three suggestions for everyone‘s reference:

各位朋友,习近平主席多次强调:我们有一千条理由把中美关系搞好,没有一条理由把中美关系搞坏。只要双方都有改善和发展中美关系的积极意愿,我们就能够推动中美关系走出困境,重回正轨。我在这里提出三点建议,供大家参考:

One is to activate and open up all dialog channels. Currently, America‘s China policy is based on strategic misjudgement because of lacking factual evidence, full of emotional steam being let off and McCarthy-style bigotry. America‘s completely unfounded suspicion and jealousy of China have reached a stage where bows in a cup are considered snakes and where every tree looks like an enemy soldier. Almost every Chinese investment seems to embody political goals, every overseas student seems to come with an espionage background, and every cooperation proposal seems to have special designs. If America lacks self-confidence, openness and tolerance like this, the artificial kinds of “China threats” are likely to become “self-realized prophecies”.

一是激活和开放所有对话渠道。当前美国的对华政策基于缺乏事实依据的战略误判,充满情绪化的宣泄和麦卡锡式的偏执。美方对中国的无端猜忌已经到了杯弓蛇影、草木皆兵的地步。似乎每一项中国投资都包含政治目的,每一位留学人员都带有间谍背景,每一项合作倡议都别有所图。如果美国如此缺乏自信、开放和包容,人为制造各种“中国威胁”,最终很可能导致“自我实现的预言”。

Only exchange can stop lies, only dialog can avoid misjudgment. Discrediting others is no proof of one‘s own innocence, and invariable fault-finding doesn‘t solve any problems. I would like to reiterate that China‘s great door to dialog is wide open. As long as America is willing, we can always resume and reopen dialog mechanisms on all levels and in every field. Any issue can be put on the table for discussion, and any disagreement be appropriately handled through dialog. At the same time, as long as America sets no limits, we are also willing to actively promote exchange and interaction between all departments, in every place and every field of our two countries, for mutual understanding and acknowledgment between the peoples of our two countries.

只有交流才能阻止谎言,只有对话才能避免误判。抹黑别人证明不了自己的清白,一味指责解决不了任何问题。我愿重申,中方对话的大门是敞开的。只要美方愿意,我们随时可以恢复和重启各层级、各领域的对话机制。任何问题都可以拿到桌面上来谈,任何分歧都可以通过对话寻求妥善处理。同时,只要美方不设限,我们也愿积极推动两国各部门、各地方、各领域的交流互动,让两国人民更加相互了解、彼此认知。

Another point is to sort out and to agree to a list of contacts. All issues between China and America are mutually interwoven, tangled and complicated. The two sides can sit down and smooth out the problems one by one and establish three lists. The first one is about cooperation, with clear-cut items where China and America must and can cooperate in bilateral and global matters. The longer the list becomes, the better it is, and it should not be interfered by other issues. The second one is a dialogue list, with problems that both sides wish to resolve despite differences, to be incorporated into the existing dialog mechanisms and platforms. The third is a control list, with a smaller number of issues on which agreement is difficult to reach, to be used as a control list of issues to be sought common ground upon, while holding back differences, to reduce, to the maximum possible extent, the shocks and damage they can do to the bilateral relationship. As for the three lists, think tanks from both countries can do research on them in advance.

二是梳理和商定交往的清单。中美之间各种问题相互交织,错综复杂,双方可以一起坐下来把问题捋一捋,形成三份清单:第一份是合作清单,把中美在双边领域及全球事务中需要而且能够合作的事项明确下来,这份单子越长越好,而且不应受到其他问题的干扰;第二份是对话清单,把双方尽管存在分歧但有望通过对话寻求解决的问题列出来,尽快纳入现存的对话机制和平台;第三份是管控清单,把少数难以达成一致的难题找出来,本着求同存异的精神搁置并管控好,尽可能减少对两国关系的冲击和破坏。对于这三份清单,两国的智库可以先行研究。

The third is to focus on and to unfold anti-epidemic cooperation. Nothing is more valuable than life, and nothing is more urgent than to save people. We feel deeply for the adversities suffered by the American people, and large quantities of urgently needed medical treatment goods have been supplied to America. As we are facing the epidemic, cooperation must come first. We are willing to share epidemic-control information and experience with America, and unfold still more extensive and thorough communication on diagnosis and treatment plans, vaccine research, and economic recovery. But America should immediately stop the politicization of the epidemic and the virus-labeling, and it should work together with China to promote global anti-epidemic cooperation to rescue more lives worldwide and to shoulder the international responsibility as two major powers should.

三是聚焦和展开抗疫合作。没有什么比生命更宝贵,没有什么比救人更紧迫。我们对美国人民在疫情中遭受的不幸深表同情,已经向美国提供了数量庞大的急需医疗物资。疫情当前,合作为先。我们愿同美方分享防控信息和抗疫经验,在诊疗方案、疫苗研发乃至经济复苏等领域开展更加广泛深入的交流。而美方应当立即停止将疫情政治化、把病毒标签化,并与中方一道推动全球抗疫合作,共同挽救这个世界上更多的生命,共同担负起两个主要大国应当承担的国际责任。

Dear friends, there is a saying in China: “The power of action advances knowledge, and deepening knowledge advances your achievements.“4) With extremely important bilateral relations worldwide, Chinese-American relations must send more positive messages and release more positive energy. Hopefully, America will build a more objective and cool-headed cognition of China, and establish a more reasonable and pragmatic China policy. Doing so is in line with the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American peoples, and also in tune with every country‘s expectations toward both China and America.

各位朋友,中国有句古话,“行之力则知愈进,知之深则行愈达”。作为世界上至关重要的一组双边关系,中美关系有待发出更多的积极信息,释放更多的正能量。希望美方构建更为客观冷静的对华认知,制定更为理性务实的对华政策。这样做,既符合中美两国人民的根本利益,也顺应世界各国对中美双方的期待。

Thank you!

谢谢大家!

[Notes re editors, source, and copyright]

栏目主编:秦红 文字编辑:卢晓川 题图来源:新华社 图片编辑:徐佳敏
©上观 版权所有 所有文章均为上观所有 不得转载 保留所有版权

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Notes

1) According to this Twitter discussion, it should be “meeting half-way”, but that may not be carved in stone either.
2) More frequently referred to as engagement policy among Americans
3) Also used by Deng Xiaoping in 1981: 我国正处在继往开来的重要历史时期
4) It may appear as if China‘s Great Leader appears only once in Wang‘s speech, but that isn‘t so. See footnote 7 there – 『行之力则知愈进,知之深则行愈达』is a classical quote, but also one used by Xi Jinping in 2018.

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Related

FMPRC press conference, July 9, 2020
Greatest Humanitarian Relief Operation, June 10, 2020
Someone has falsified our account, May 26, 2020

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Ko Wen-je discusses his Chances to be elected President, Cross-Strait Relations

The following is a translation of an article by Radio Taiwan International‘s Chinese service.

The article contains interesting quotes from an interview Ko Wen-je gave Next TV, but leaves out critical comments he reportedly made about Xi Jinping‘s Qin-Shi-Huang kind of actions.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Xi Jinping acting like Qin Shi Huang?

Main link: No great chance to be elected president/ there are currently no cross-strait relations

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je said in an interview aired on July 9 that concerning the 2024 presidential elections, he was “taking a preparatory look at the issue” but his own view of the odds for him wasn’t promising, there would be new politicians, and the situation would be different.

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的專訪中表示,對於2024總統「照這樣準備」,但自評勝算很低,且到那時會有新的政治人物出現、也沒有連任問題,戰局會不同。

Ko’s interview was broadcast on July 9 by Next TV. Asked by host Chen Yalin about the participation issue in the 2024 presidential elections, Ko declared for the first time that “I am still looking at such preparations, preparing for the presidential elections, just choosing like that, does it work or doesn’t it.”

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的壹電視專訪中,被主持人陳雅琳問及參選2024總統問題,他首度表態「我還是照這樣準備,準備選總統,就這樣去選,行或不行」。

The host followed up, asking “what is the chance that it would work?”, and Ko answered that if you lean on personal popularity to win, the mobilization abilities of the blue and green camps were both strong, and only if you lead by eight percent from the beginning, “if you ask me at this stage, the chances to get elected would be very low.” “When all media are playing the game like this, it can’t be easy.” Also, there would be new politicians by then, and there wouldn’t be re-election issues, which would make it a different campaign.

主持人追問「你覺得行的比例差不多多少」,柯文哲回應若要靠個人聲望贏,藍綠動員能力強,除非一開始就領先8%,「你問我現階段,選了贏的機會很低」,「所有的媒體這樣打,不容易啦」,且到那時都是新的政治人物、也沒有現在連任的問題,戰局會不同。

Ko Wen-je said that he was in a very calm mood now, with doing his work at the Taipei government, and if it [the presidential opportunities] was there, that would be fine, and otherwise, let it be. There was no need to care.

柯文哲表示現在心情都很輕鬆,正常在北市府開工,行就行、不行就算了,何必那麼在意。

Ko also said that at this stage, there were no cross-strait relations, only a Taiwan issue within the confrontation between China and America, with both China and America having their bottom lines. “Frankly speaking, my conduct and actions wouldn’t differ much from Ying-wen’s [President Tsai].”

柯文哲並表示,現階段沒有兩岸關係,只有中美對抗架構下的台灣問題,中美各有底線,「坦白講,我所作所為跟小英(蔡總統)的做法其實也差不多」。

Asked by the host about the Hong Kong national security law and the cross-strait situation, Ko Wen-je said that China has to reflect on how to deal with the people’s longings for democracy and freedom once arriving at a certain stage of economic development.

主持人問及對香港國安法及兩岸情勢問題,柯文哲表示中國必須思考當經濟發展到一個程度時,該如何處理人民對民主自由的渴望。

Asked what he had to say to China’s chairman Xi Jinping, Ko Wen-je said that [Xi] had better respect Taiwan. Democracy and freedom were the core of Taiwan’s politics, cherished by the Taiwanese, and, more importantly, the Taiwanese would want to retain it. Therefore, [Xi] needed to understand Taiwan’s current situation.

至於對中國國家主席習近平有何話說,柯文哲表示,他還是要尊重台灣。民主自由是台灣政治的核心;台灣人會珍惜它、更重要的是台灣人會去想要保有它,所以他必須了解台灣的現況。

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Updates / Related

Taipei to continue forum with Shanghai (click picture)

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Radio or the Internet? It’s both or neither

Why are “social media” so successful? Seems to me that the most obvious reason is that they give you a chance to speak out publicly, to make a difference in political ways. You can compliment the actress of your choice (ahem), you can shout at your region’s members of parliament, at top politicians, or at industrial managers.

(Those who appoint the managers won’t usually do Facebook or Twitter, though. They may not even bother to hire some ghostwriters.)

Then there may be a need to network. When all people relevant for your career are on Facebook or Twitter, you may have to be there, too. There may be a real need to follow them there, if you want to succeed in your job, or in “smashing the system”, or whatever your mission may be.

If both these motivations – making yourself heard and networking – are important, this could help to explain why “social media” haven’t helped to make our societies more democratic. What they have produced is a crude dialectics, though I’m not sure if there’s a never-ending synthesis, or if synthesis is completely out when sloganeering (with some more or less original variations of peoples’ credos) is the only thing that matters.

Bertolt Brecht doesn’t come across as an optimist. He usually saw the potential in new developments, including radio broadcasting – in 1932 and one year before the Nazis seized control of it. Brecht also knew – or learned – that newly-emerging media wouldn’t necessarily help the cause that he held dear.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a guy who is talking about the Internet, not radio,

writes a headphones guy in California.

Sounds logical, but it isn’t. Just as radio has become a mostly linear medium, so has the internet – at least on its commercial side, i. e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.. Yes, people can voice their opinions there. But I can’t see how they would shape things in a way different from the old days*). No matter if radio or internet, their democratic effectiveness depends on how they are organized, or how people organize themselves while using radio or the internet as their media.

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Note

*) Except for a more intense cultivation of enmity on the internet, maybe.

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Related

My first ten days on Twitter, Jan 30, 2020

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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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Monday, May 4, 2020

The Paper: Youth Day Activities in Weihai, Shandong Province

The following are extracts from an article published by The Paper (澎湃) , Shanghai, on Youth Day activities in Huancui District, Shandong Province. According to Chinese historiography, the transfer of Qingdao to Japan (rather than to China) after WW1 gave rise to the “May-4th Movement”. Therefore, a May-4 related activity in Shandong Province is probably relevant for media elsewhere in China.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Revolutionary deeds shall be rewarded

Main Link: On May-4 Youth Day, Weihai City youngsters greet youthfulness with their struggles!

Middle school Youth League Committees in Huancui District extensively launched online league lessons with the May-4th spirit as an important topic, organized student members’ studies of on-hand disease prevention heroes’ advanced achievements, to follow the role models’ examples, to arouse the membership school children’s patriotic feelings and sense of responsibility, encourage numerous students to inherit and to enhance the Communist Youth League’s glorious tradition, and to perpetuate the student league members’ ideals and faith in following the party.

环翠区各中学团委广泛开展以“五四精神”为主要内容的线上团课,组织学生团员学习身边防疫英雄的先进事迹,引导学生团员向榜样看齐,激发学生团员的爱国之情和责任意识,激励广大学生团员继承和弘扬共青团的光荣传统,坚定学生团员跟党走的理想信念。

[…]

The cadres of the departments, organizations and organs directly under Huancui District [jurisdiction] integrated themselves into the launch of Youth Day activities. Huancui District Comprehensive Administrative Law Enforcement Office and Huancui District Development and Reform Bureau launched “assault fortified positions and build a youthful volunteering industry” volunteer service activities including tree-planting and environment protection, fire-prevention propaganda, Haibei reward points  promotion and other content, helping in building a fine city.

环翠区直部门组织机关干部结合自身职能开展青年节活动。环翠区综合行政执法局、环翠区市场监督管理局、环翠区发展改革局开展“攻坚突破 筑梦青春 志愿同行”青年志愿服务活动,包括植树护绿、防火宣传、公筷文明宣传、海贝积分推广等内容,助力精致城市建设。环翠区机关事务服务中心组织开展了“弘扬‘五四’精神,展青春风采”主题活动,讲述在防疫过程中,干部职工冲锋在前、无私奉献的奋斗故事,传递正能量。

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Related

Cargo cult, Wikipedia (acc May 4, 2020)
Open the Skies, May 5, 2013

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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Obituary: Ji Chaozhu, 1929 – 2020

The following info is based on informal or possibly semi-official obituaries and should be taken with a bit of salt.

Ji Chaozhu was born in Fenyang City, Shanxi Province, in July 1929. Reportedly at times an overseas student in America, he “gave up his studies without hesitation and, overcoming one difficulty after another, returned to the motherland” after the establishment of “New China” (新中国成立后,他追随父亲冀贡泉、兄长冀朝鼎足迹,毅然放弃在美国哈佛大学的学业,克服重重困难,回到祖国). He became a member of the Communist Youth League of China as a Tsinghua University student in May 1951, joined the “People’s Volunteer Army”, and was commended both by China and North Korea for his role in the Korean Armistice negotiations in Kaesong. Beijing Daily (北京日报)*) quotes from his reminiscence:

At times when a breakthrough in the negotiations was impossible, an American artillery shell would fall into our side of the demilitarized zone near Panmunjom or even Kaesong. At such times, there would be a bilateral investigation, usually with one military officer from each side, plus an interpreter and a stenographer. Our side usually dispatched Colonel Chai Chengwen, and I would be the stenographer. A stenographer didn’t only have to keep records of what both sides said, but also to minute all signs and letters on the artillery shells in the place, so as to show that the Demilitarized Zone Agreement had been broken. At a time, an American shell was lying in its crater without having detonated. I jumped into the crater to write down all letters and notations before climbing out again. Comrade Li Kenong, who later became deputy foreign minister and who worked at the Panmunjom negotiations at the time, told my brother Chao Dingshuo: “Your younger brother is unusually brave. He doesn’t fear death, and dares to jump into a crater with an undetonated shell.”

“有时在谈判无法突破时,一发美国炮弹就会落到非军事区我方一边,板门店附近,甚至开城。这时就有一个双方联合调查,一般双方各派一名军官,还配备一名翻译和一名速记员。我方一般派出柴成文上校,我是速记员。速记员的职责不光是记录双方说的话,还要记录落下炮弹上所有的标志和文字,以证明非军事区的协议被破坏了。有一次,一枚美国炸弹落在弹坑里,没有引爆。我跳到弹坑里把炸弹上的所有文字和记号都记下来才爬出弹坑。当时在板门店主持谈判工作、后来的外交部副部长李克农同志有次对我大哥朝鼎说:‘你弟弟非常勇敢,不怕死,敢跳进没有引爆的弹坑里。’”

Also according to Beijing Daily, Ji became chief state councillor Zhou Enlai’s English translator in 1957, and kept the job for 17 years. A year earlier, in March 1956, he had become a member of the Chinese Communist Party. He became a diplomat in March 1973, with a focus on Sino-American relations. Having served as an ambassador to Fiji and Kiribati concurrently in the 1980s, he became ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1987, and was one of the UN deputy secretary generals from January 1991 to 1996.

According to Taiwan’s China Post, “The Paper”, a Shanghai website, was informed by friends and relatives of Ji’s that the diplomatic veteran had died.

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Note

*) Beijing Daily quotes from one of its publishing house’s new media channels, “长安街知事”, which may loosely be translated as “familiar with what’s going on Chang’an Road”.
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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Stun grenades on Zeman’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: Prague and Taipei establish sister-city relations

The following is Taiwanese coverage of city-sister relations between Prague and Taipei. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card, confirming reception of a broadcast on December 30, 1985

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card,
confirming reception of a broadcast
on December 30, 1985

Radio Taiwan International (RTI), December 12, 2019

The Prague city hall assembly unanimously passed a proposal today (December 12) to conclude a sister city agreement with Taipei. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib is likely to sign the agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je next month.

布拉格市議會今天(12日)無異議通過與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,市長賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)預計將在下個月與台北市長柯文哲簽署。

Prague city council discussed the proposal today, and because of a consensus between all governing coalition parties, a vote was taken right after a short explanation by mayor Hřib, with 39 votes in favor of the proposal, zero opposing it, and two abstentions.

布拉格市議會今天討論與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,由於在聯合政府執政的各黨有共識,市長賀瑞普簡短說明後即直接進行表決,結果以39票贊成、零票反對、2票棄權的壓倒性高票通過。

Hřib had said after a city government meeting last week that he would officially sign a sister city agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je in January next year, to strengthen Prague’s cooperation and relations with Taipei in economics and trade, culture, tourism, education and in other fields. Besides, Prague’s Zoological Garden was hopeful to get a pangolin as a gift from Taipei.

賀瑞普上週在市政會議後曾表示,將在明年1月與來訪的台北市長柯文哲正式簽署姐妹市協議,加強布拉格與台北在經貿、文化、觀光、教育等領域的合作關係,此外,布拉格動物園可望獲得台北贈送的穿山甲。

Central News Agency (CNA), December 13, 2019

Zdeněk Hřib only took office last year. In January this year he said that he wanted to remove the clause concerning the one-China policy, and Taiwan being an inseparable part of [China’s] territory, from the sister city agreement with Beijing. He also met with Tibetan exile government leader Lobsang Sangay on his own initiative, openly challenging [Czech] president Miloš Zeman’s pro-China policies with a stun grenade at Czech-Chinese relations.

賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)去年底才上任,今年1月即宣布要廢除前任市長與北京締結的姐妹市協議當中有關一個中國政策和台灣是中國不可分割領土的條款,並在市府主動接見西藏流亡政府首長洛桑森格,公然挑戰總統齊曼(Miloš Zeman)的親中政策,為捷克和中國關係投下震撼彈。

According to Hřib, he had done an internship in Taiwan as a student and got a good impression of Taiwan, referring to himself as a “Taiwan fan”. He also visited Taiwan in March, had a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, and tested the water for concluding a sister-city status.

按照賀瑞普自己的說法,學生時代曾到台灣實習的他對台灣留下好印象,自稱是「台灣迷」。3月他還親訪台灣,晉見總統蔡英文,為締結姊妹市一事試水溫。

In fact, Hřib’s friendly conduct towards Taiwan also reflects, to a certain degree, dissatisfaction among Czech society with China.

事實上,賀瑞普的友台作為,也一定程度反映了捷克社會近年對中國的不滿。

In 2016, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping visited Prague for the first time and pledged large-scale investment. [Czech president] Zeman replied that he hoped the Czech Republic, as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, could “help China expand its investment in Europe”, standing out in Europe’s world of politics by its friendship with China.

2016年,中國國家主席習近平首次訪問布拉格,承諾為捷克帶來大筆投資,齊曼還呼應說希望捷克成為「協助中國在歐洲擴張投資永不沉沒的航空母艦」,對中國的友好在歐洲政壇獨樹一幟。

But several years later, many of China’s investment pledges have not materialized, and Ye Jianming, a mysterious businessman and svengali between the two countries, has suddenly disappeared. Hřib’s plan to remove the one-China clause grabbed the opportunity provided by the misgivings among Czech society, concerning China.

然而,幾年過去了,中國的許多投資承諾都沒兌現,在兩國之間牽線的神秘商人葉簡明還突然消失。賀瑞普打算廢除一中條款,正好抓住捷克社會對中國質疑聲四起的時機。

Also, the Czech Republic which overthrew the communist dictatorship thirty years ago, originally attached importance to the values of democracy and human rights. But in recent years, the Czech Republic has suffered a lot from right-wing populist policies. President Miloš Zeman and prime minister Andrej Babiš have no intention of continuing the spiritual heritage left behind by the Velvet Revolution [of 1989], departing from Vaclav Havel‘s line of humanism and pro-Europeanness.

其次,30年前曾推翻共黨獨裁統治的捷克,原本就特別重視民主和人權的價值。不過,近年來,捷克深受右翼民粹政治所苦,總統齊曼和總理巴比斯(Andrej Babiš)都無意延續絲絨革命留下的精神遺產,背離前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的人道主義和親歐路線。

[…]

As expected, Hřib’s actions were answered with Chinese retaliation. In April this year, at an annual meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, Taiwan’s representative to the Czech Republic was, for the first time, forced to leave the venue under pressure from China’s ambassador.

一如預料,賀瑞普的舉動遭到中方報復。今年4月,捷克貿易工業部為外國使節舉辦年度會議,由於中國大使施壓,我國駐捷克代表首度被迫離席。

Following that, Beijing cancelled Czech Philharmonia’s and another three important Czech ensembles tours of China. And Zeman publicly threatened that China could discontinue direct flights between Chinese cities and Prague, and cut financial assistance for soccer club Slavia Praha.

隨後,中國又一連取消布拉格愛樂(Prague Philharmonia)等4個捷克重要表演團隊在中國的巡迴演出行程。齊曼還公開威脅,中國將中斷中國城市和布拉格的直航和切斷布拉格斯拉維亞足球俱樂部(Slavia Praha)的金援。

Interestingly, China’s retaliation proved counterproductive. After having been forced out of the meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, [Taiwan’s] representative Wang Chung-I was interviewed by a big newspaper, thus greatly improving Taiwan’s visibility. And cultural minister Lubomir Zaoralek has rarely met with China’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, criticizing China’s unilateral cancellation of Czech ensembles’ performances which had “seriously harmed China’s image”.

有趣的是,中國的報復反而造成反效果。駐捷克代表汪忠一被迫離席後,立刻接受大報專訪,大幅提升台灣能見度。文化部長左拉列克(Lubomir Zaoralek)罕見接見中國駐捷克大使,批評中國片面取消樂團演出「嚴重傷害中國形象」。

[…]

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Related

Interview with mayor Hřib, Radio Prague, Aug 16, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Xinhua: Jacques Chirac’s “profound awareness”

Main Link: “Jacques Chirac: a French president’s love for China” (希拉克:一位法国总统的中国情缘)

Xinhua, Paris, Sept 26, 2019 — Jacques Chirac, currently France’s “most popular politician,” was also an important foreign leader with a deep affinity to China. On September 26, his family confirmed that this former French president had died on that day, aged 86. The independent and self-determined diplomatic position and anti-war philosophy he took during his presidency has left France and even Europe with a precious legacy.

新华社巴黎9月26日电 雅克·希拉克,法国当代“最受欢迎的政治家”,也是一位有着深深“中国情缘”的外国政要。9月26日,希拉克的家人确认,这位法国前总统当天上午与世长辞,享年86岁。希拉克担任总统期间的独立自主外交立场和反战理念,是留给法国乃至欧洲的宝贵政治遗产。

That’s the way they liked him (click picture for CCTV video)

Gaining fame by opposing war

反战赢声誉

Jacques Chirac was born on November 29, 1932 in Paris, Corrèze [?]1), his father was a manager at Crédit Commericale de France. [Chirac] graduated at Sciences Po and the École Nationale d’Administration. At a young age, he followed Charles de Gaulle’s policies, and was elected to France’s National Assembly before he was 40 years old. In 1974, he became France’s prime minister. After resigning as prime minister in 1976, he founded the Rassemblement pour la République and became its first chairman. From 1986 to 1988, Chirac took up the post of prime minister again. In 1995 he was elected French president, re-elected in 2002, staying in office until he retired in 2007.

希拉克1932年11月29日生于巴黎科雷兹镇,其父曾为法国商业银行总管。他毕业于巴黎政治学院、法国国家行政学院,年轻时就追随戴高乐从政,不到40岁当选为法国国民议会议员。1974年,希拉克出任法国总理。1976年辞去总理职务后,他创立保卫共和联盟并任主席。1986年至1988年,希拉克再度出任法国总理。1995年他当选法国总统,2002年连任,直至2007年卸任。

photo / caption: on July 14, 1995, just been elected president, Chirac attended the Bastille Day military parade at the Place de la Concorde. (Xinhua)

Despite having lost much of its former economic power, France played the role of a top-ranking power in the field of diplomacy. When British and American-led coalition forces started the Iraq war in 2003, France, led by Chirac, stood at the forefront of the anti-war camp.

在希拉克时代,法国尽管经济实力已大不如前,但在外交领域却一度发挥着一流大国的作用。2003年,以英美军队为主的联军发动伊拉克战争,希拉克率领的法国则站在了反战阵营的前列。

Before the Iraq war began, Chirac clearly said that France would exercise its veto power at the UN security council. One year after the beginning of the war, Chirac predicted that the Iraq war would lead to increasing terrorist activities and make the world more dangerous. The facts have confirmed the truth of Chirac’s warning.

伊拉克战争开始前,希拉克明确表示法国会在联合国安理会行使否决权。开战后一年,希拉克就预言,伊拉克战争将导致恐怖活动加剧,会让世界变得更加危险。事实证明,希拉克的警告是正确的。

Chirac’s firm opposition to the war earned France global fame, but especially in the Arab world. Many French people took pride in Chirac, believing that on a matter of peace or war, of life and death, “he had adhered to French principles and upheld justice and morality.”

希拉克的坚定反战立场,使得法国在全球、特别是阿拉伯世界赢得了声誉。不少法国人以希拉克为荣,认为他在“事关和平与战争,生命和死亡”的时候,“坚持了法国的原则,捍卫了正义和道德”。

As the leader of one of the Western powers, Chirac was very clear-headed about the trend of global multi-polarization and advocated a “strong Europe” for that reason. In 2007, he said at a EU summit that “the world’s biggest transformation is that we are going through a decade of transformation, from global uni-polarity to multi-polarity. He also believed that European diversity and social fusion were important factors in maintaining strength.

作为西方大国领袖,希拉克对世界多极化的趋势非常清醒,并主张为此需要“强大的欧洲”。2007年,他在欧盟峰会上表示,“世界最大的变革在于,我们正经历从单极世界向多极世界转变的年代”。他同时认为,欧洲的多样性和社会融合是保持强大的重要因素。

photo / caption: on April 28, 2002, French president Chirac, at the central French city of Nontron, embraced a baby from the welcoming crowed at a election campaign event. The presidential elections were held on May 5 that year. (Xinhua / Reuters)

2002年4月28日,法国总统希拉克在法国中部城市农特龙进行竞选活动时,从欢迎人群中接抱一个婴儿。法国总统选举当年5月5日举行。(新华社/路透)

In 2009, a survey conducted by opinion pollster IFOP for “Paris Match” found that two years after leaving office, Chirac remained the most popular politician in the French peoples’ opinion.

2009年法国民调机构Ifop为《巴黎竞赛画报》所做一项调查中,卸任两年的希拉克被法国人视为“最受欢迎的政治家”。

Deep love for China

中国情缘深

Chirac wasn’t only a well-known politician and diplomat, but also an elegant connoisseur of oriental culture. He had a particular passion for the long history of Chinese culture, which he had studied a lot. French media have called him a man who ardently loves China”, having a “deep affinity towards China”.

希拉克不仅是著名的政治家与外交家,也是品位高雅的东方文化鉴赏家。他对历史悠久的中国文化情有独钟,且颇有研究。法国媒体称他为“热爱中国的人”,有着深深的“中国情缘”。

As a youngster, Chirac often went to Guimet Museum. At the time, he was particularly attracted to Chinese art, especially ancient bronze devices. Appreciation of ancient Chinese bronze devices became his hobby at the time, at times an obsessive one. According to a diplomat familiar with Chirac, he can even accurately determine the historic age of Chinese bronze relics. In July 2007, while attending a NATO summit was “absent-mindedly” reading a book. The moment was captured on camera by a French reporter who published the news that “president takes a short break, studying Chinese bronze devices.”

希拉克在少年时代经常光顾法国国立吉美亚洲艺术博物馆。当时,他被中国艺术品特别是古代青铜器深深吸引。从此,中国青铜器鉴赏研究成为他的爱好,甚至到痴迷程度。据了解希拉克的外交官介绍,希拉克甚至能准确判断中国青铜器的历史年代。2002年7月,希拉克出席北约首脑会议时“开小差”读书。这一幕被在场的法国记者拍下,登报称“总统忙里偷闲,研究中国青铜器”。

Photo/Caption: on December 4, 2000, Chirac appreciated China Liao dynasty relics on a Chinese cultural relic discoveries exhibition in Paris.

2000年12月4日,希拉克在巴黎举办的中国文物考古发现展上欣赏中国辽代文物。(新华社记者李根兴摄)

In September 1978, Chirac, in his capacity as former French prime minister and as Paris mayor, visited China on invitation. After visiting the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, he was greatly stunned and called the place “the eighth world wonder”.

1978年9月,希拉克以法国前总理、巴黎市市长的身份应邀访华。他在西安参观秦始皇兵马俑后深受震撼,称之为“世界第八大奇迹”。

Jacques Chirac felt emotional links towards Chinese culture and was a major promoter of French cultural exchanges with China. When the Chinese-French cultural year was held from 2003 to 2005, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated in “Chinese red”. This didn’t only pioneer cultural exchange between the two countries, but also played a model role globally.

希拉克情系中国文化,也是法国对华文化交流的主要推动者。2003年至2005年,中法互办文化年,埃菲尔铁塔披上“中国红”。这既是两国文化交流史上的创举,也在世界上具有示范作用。

Chirac left a profound footprint in Sino-French relations and contributed to the “golden decade” of Sino-French” relations. Between the times he assumed and left office as president, he visited China four times, tracking almost half of the country. In the meantime, Sino-French relations kept improving. In 1997, China and France established a comprehensive cooperative partnership, and in 2004, they established a comprehensive strategic partnership.2)

希拉克对中法关系的发展留下了自己的深刻印迹,造就了中法关系的“黄金十年”。1995年出任总统至卸任,希拉克4次访华,足迹几乎遍及半个中国。其间,中法关系不断得到提升。1997年,中法两国建立全面合作伙伴关系,2004年建立全面战略伙伴关系。

In 2006, in an interview with Xinhua reporters before a visit to China, Chirac emphasized that all French people understood the extent to which the prospects of global development depended on China. China and the world were inextricably linked to each other, and this profound awareness was exactly one of Jacques Chirac’s prime motives to vigorously promote Sino-French relations.

2006年,希拉克在访华前接受新华社记者专访时强调,每个法国人都明白,世界的发展前途在很大程度上取决于中国。中国与世界密不可分,这一深刻认识正是希拉克大力推进中法关系发展的原动力之一。

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Note

1) probably a mix-up by Xinhua – Chirac was born in Paris, but many of his ancestors were from Corrèze in central / southwestern France, the department he also represented at the National Assembly from 1967 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1995.
2) Referred to as partenariat global sino-français and partenariat stratégique global respectively, in French-language Chinese publications.

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Related

“Le bruit et l’odeur”, 1991, Wikipedia, acc 20190928
“A completely banal incident”, LA Times, Aug 29, 1987

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