Archive for ‘rule of law’

Sunday, February 3, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Service-shaped Government, Braving the Weather

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

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

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

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

Government staff, faithfully listening - click photo for CCTV video

Government staff, faithfully listening – click photo for CCTV video

Investment welcome, provided …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jingjindi Development and Innovation

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Related

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

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Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Headlines (2) – Xi’s First Six Years: the Majestic Journey toward the Highest Common Denominator

The following is the gist (as I see it) of an article published by Xinhua online, on December 16. It centers around events and developments from the past six years, future challenges and intentions, and the role of CCP secretary general Xi Jinping in those events and intentions.

Main Link / original title: The Actual Events of the Party’s Central Committee’s Leading Reform and Opening with Xi Jinping at its Core (以习近平同志为核心的党中央引领改革开放纪实 )
Links within blockquotes added during translation

The article, put together by eleven authors, contains about 10,000 characters, which is unusually long even by Chinese online standards, but will certainly have found interested readers. The length of an article doesn’t deter a Chinese audience. Readers who don’t read Chinese but would like to get the big picture are advised to use Google Translate – it does a surprisingly decent job when translating from Chinese into English.

The paragraphs are interspersed with slogans – such as the most solemn memory is to create more glory, the sincerest commitment to the people is indefatigable struggle (对历史最郑重的纪念,是再创辉煌 / (对人民最真挚的承诺,是不懈奋斗), or reform looks like a problem, and must dare to lead all the more, or this is the resounding call to battle (改革难字当头,更需敢字当先 /  这是高亢激扬的出征号令).

Reform is complicated and sensitive, states the resounding call to battle, so how to prepare a good overall plan for a huge essay?

The project is big indeed: this is a thought (or ideological) innovation unprecedented in history (这是史无前例的观念革新). And you better take this literally, if you are a cadre in China, or wish to score well for other reasons. There is no mention of Deng Xiaoping, let alone Jiang Zemin or Hu Jintao. There isn’t even a mention of Mao (which might be understandable, given that reform and opening wasn’t his main theme anyway). As for Deng, there is a mention of some slogans that became part of his doctrines, but usually reaching further back in history, such as seeking truth in facts or liberating thought, as used in the Deng Xiaoping Theory (邓小平理论).

But there is, of course, a defining trip to the South.

Comrade Xi Jinping’s first inspection destination after taking the position of secretary general was Qianhai, Shenzhen. Facing this homeland where the first “cannon” of reform and opening had rung out, Xi Jinping issued judgment that “our country’s reform has entered the time of storming fortifications and has entered the deep-blue sea areas. He emphasized that “reform does not pause, and opening does not halt. The China of the next forty years is set to make the world feel a whole new level of respect for its new successes!”

2012年12月,习近平同志担任总书记后首赴地方考察,第一站来到深圳前海。
面对这片打响改革开放“开山炮”的热土,习近平总书记作出“我国改革已经进入攻坚期和深水区”的判断,强调“改革不停顿、开放不止步”。下一个40年的中国,定当有让世界刮目相看的新成就!”

Praise is carefully hedged by remarks about a more complicated future, for which new approaches are being developed.

At first, the new requirements are billed.

Having passed several decades of rapid development, China has arrived at a new juncture. The degrees of complexity, hardship and sensitivity have hardly ever been comparable to these years.

经过几十年快速发展,中国又走到了一个新的关口。改革开放的复杂程度、艰巨程度、敏感程度,丝毫不亚于当年。

At home, a number of deep-seated contradictions have continuously amassed during the long period of growth, economic development has entered the new normal, and structural adjustment and kinetic energy conversion are imperative; issues of unbalanced and insufficient development stand out more and more obviously, and the people’s yearning for a fine life becomes increasing urgent.

向内看,经济长期高速增长过程中积累的一系列深层次矛盾不断积聚,经济发展进入新常态,结构调整、动能转换势在必行;发展不平衡、不充分问题日益突出,人民群众对美好生活的向往愈发迫切。

Abroad, the haze of the international financial crisis has not dispersed, regional conflicts occur frequently, the threat of extremism is spreading, international competition under the wave of new technologies revolution and industrial transformation require people to work harder, the dregs of opposition against globalization and protectionism is surfacing, and hyping and mourning [China’s development – this seems to point into this direction] lie in ambush.

向外看,国际金融危机阴霾未散,地区冲突频发,极端主义威胁蔓延;新科技革命和产业变革浪潮下的国际竞争形势逼人,逆全球化、贸易保护主义沉渣泛起,捧杀唱衰中国的论调此起彼伏。

Behind the creation of the “China’s rise” world miracle, premature ideological concepts and institutional malpractice are becoming stumbling blocks for the pace of reform and opening, helping the solidification of barriers, which is all the more an alarm siren, continuously shaking stable social development.

在创造了“中国崛起”的世界奇迹后,不合时宜的思想观念和体制机制弊端正在成为阻碍改革开放步伐的“绊脚石”,利益固化藩篱更是频频触动社会稳定发展的“警报器”。

To meet the challenges, a strong hand is needed – a helmsman who dares to speak inconvenient truths.

To make him speak again, the article revisits an interview Xi gave to Russian television, in February 2014

All the pleasant reforms are completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones.

The answer to these challenges? There are as many answers as questions, and all from the new great helmsman himself.

For one, there is the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission (中央全面深化改革委员会), preceded by a leading small group of a similar name () or Leading Small Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (LSGCDR) in December 2013:

Secretary general Xi Jinping held the position of group leader, thus strengthening the central committee’s centralized and integrated leadership in comprehensively deepening reform.

习近平总书记担任组长,加强党中央对全面深化改革的集中统一领导。

There is also the courage to offend thousands, rather than turning your back on the 1.3 billion [得罪千百人、不负十三亿 – thousands of cadres, 1.3 bn Chinese people]: strictly running the party, deepening reform of party discipline and state supervision organization.

Understanding the need to vacate the cage and to replace the old birds with new ones, thus making Phoenix rise from the ashes (腾笼换鸟、凤凰涅槃), to change the way of development, to implement new concepts of development, to deepen supply-side structural reform, an economy that strives into the direction of high quality will be promoted. Also,

bearing future generations in mind, reforming ecological civilization, reforming cadre evaluation, unfolding central environmental protection, we will make the concept of Lucid waters and lush mountains enter deep into peoples’ hearts.

以“为千秋万代计”的视野,深化生态文明领域改革,改革干部考核制度、开展中央环保督察,让绿水青山就是金山银山的理念深入人心;

For whatever reason, the enumeration ends there with ellipses, and turns to another topic – the CCP’s ninteenth national congress.

The article also addresses the “one country two systems” concept (limited to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge), Zhejiang’s one-stop service practice (最多跑一次), multiple-plans integration practice (多规合一) from Hainan and Ningxia, reform of medical care, medical insurance and pharmaceutical industry (三医联动) in Fujian province, and an internet court in Hangzhou, all referred to as innovation from the grassroots.

Reform of State-owned enterprises – a hard bone (硬骨头) – is described as the job of the top dog, and the C919 airliner, the Beidou Navigation system and the Fuxing Train group are presented are presented as state-enterprise achievements in a process of transforming “made in China” (中国制造) into “intelligently made in China” (中国智造).

Countryside development, deliberations on household registration reform (户籍制度改革的意见), and spiritual nourishment are also mentioned. As for the latter,

to let the people have rich spiritual nourishment, social efficiency must come first, unification of social and economic efficiency culture must be institutionalized day by day, modern public cultural services construction be accelerated, and the cultural project for the people [or benefitting the people – 文化惠民工程] be realized;

为让人民拥有丰富的精神食粮,把社会效益放在首位、社会效益和经济效益相统一的文化体制机制日臻完善,现代公共文化服务体系加快构建,文化惠民工程深入实施;

Here, too, an enumeration ends with ellipses (after the following paragraph).

When the people’s yearning for a good life becomes the common goal of the struggle, when everyone’s participation, everyone’s greatest efforts, and everyone sharing in the fruits of these become the highest common denominator, then reform will converge into a profound and majestic power, and continue the composition of a magnificent chapter on a new era.

当人民对美好生活的向往成为共同的奋斗目标,当“人人参与、人人尽力、人人共享”成为社会的最大公约数,改革正汇聚起深沉而磅礴的力量,续写新时代的壮丽篇章。

Now for the conclusions.

Looking at the world, there is no such governing party that can such a long-term plan as the CCP’s, there is no such country that can operate a steady process, step by step, the unremitting move toward reform’s objectives, and certainly not this nation ability to push open this great gate of opportunity, continuously turning the experience of reform into the reality of development.

放眼世界,没有哪个政党能像中国共产党这样作出如此长远的规划,没有哪个国家能像中国这样一步一个脚印,持之以恒地朝向既定改革目标迈进,更没有哪个民族能够一次次推开机遇的大门,把改革的经验不断变成发展的现实。

Confucius Institute says: if the people work 364 days, let them have one day of joy, and quench their spiritual thirst with articles like this one. However, these are solemn, but also sober times. The armed forces’ modernization gets only two paragraphs (and it’s all about what Xi has done to make it happen), and only when the world is doing fine, China can also do fine (and only if China is doing fine, the world can do fine) – 世界好,中国才能好;中国好,世界才更好.

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Related

Xiong’an, Wikipedia, most recent edit Nov 7, 2018
“四梁八柱”论, Baidu, most recent edit Nov 22, 2018

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Xinhua: “Trial opens on former Central Propaganda Department Deputy Director Lu Wei’s Bribery Case”

Main link

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The Intermediate People’s Court in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province held a first-instance public court session on October 19, 2018 to hear the bribery case against former Central Propaganda Department Deputy Director Lu Wei.

2018年10月19日,浙江省宁波市中级人民法院一审公开开庭审理了中共中央宣传部原副部长鲁炜受贿一案。

The Ningbo People’s Procuratorate charge is that from July 2002 to the second half of 2017, the accused Lu Wei had made use of the conveniences and the authority of his posts as Xinhua party branch member, secretary and seputy agency director, as standing member of Beijing’s Municipal Party Committee, propaganda department director, vice mayor, as director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, as deputy director of the State Council’s information office, as director of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, vice director of the propaganda department of the Communist Party of China, of other posts, and favorable conditions shaped by these positions, trying to gain benefits from relevant work units and individuals in internet administration, advancement, and other matters, obtaining property from relevant units or individual’s directly or through others, amounting to 32 million Yuan RMB.

浙江省宁波市人民检察院指控:2002年7月至2017年下半年,被告人鲁炜利用担任新华社党组成员、秘书长、副社长,中共北京市委常委、宣传部部长、北京市副市长,国家互联网信息办公室主任,国务院新闻办公室副主任,中央网络安全和信息化领导小组办公室主任,中共中央宣传部副部长等职务上的便利以及职权、地位形成的便利条件,为有关单位和个人在网络管理、职务晋升等事项上谋取利益,直接或者通过他人收受相关单位和个人给予的财物,共计折合人民币3200万余元。

During the trial, the prosecution brought relevant evidence, Lu Wei and his defender(s) carried out cross examinations, prosecution and defense amply expressed their opinions under the court’s presiding, and Lu Wei also made a final statement, pleaded guilty and confessed.

More than sixty people – People’s Congress members from the national, provincial and Ningbo level, members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, People’s Courts special supervisors, news reporters and members of the masses from all walks of life – attended the trial.

庭审中,公诉机关出示了相关证据,鲁炜及其辩护人进行了质证,控辩双方在法庭的主持下充分发表了意见,鲁炜还进行了最后陈述,并当庭表示认罪、悔罪。全国和浙江省、宁波市三级人大代表、政协委员,人民法院特约监督员,新闻记者和各界群众60余人旁听了庭审。

After the court hearing, the court announced a postponement, to determine a prison term.

庭审结束后法庭宣布休庭,择期宣判。

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Related

First tiger, Nov 22, 2017

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Updates

Anti-Lu campaign, SCMP, Sept 26 / Oct 8, 2018

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Argentine Radio to the World: “Universal Topics”

As part of its “National People’s Congress 1rst plenary session” coverage, China Radio International (CRI) also quotes Adrián Korol, director of RAE, Argentine Radio Nacional’s international radio station.

CRI online, Yin Xiaotong and Li Mingqi reporting — On 13th of March, the “People’s Republic of China Supervision Law (draft)” has been proposed for the National People’s Congress first plenary session’s consideration. As an important environment for national legislation against corruption and for deepening the national supervision organizational reform, the supervision law (draft) deliberations haven’t only lead to heated debate at home, but have also attracted foreign media attention.

国际在线报道(记者尹晓通、李明其):3月13日,《中华人民共和国监察法(草案)》提请十三届全国人大一次会议审议。作为国家反腐败立法和深化国家监察体制改革的重要一环,监察法(草案)的提审不仅在国内引发热议,同样也吸引了外国媒体人的关注。

The director of Argentine National Radio’s foreign broadcasting station, Adrían Korol, believes that corruption has become one of the problems faced by all mankind. China’s supervision law offers important experience for Latin American countries to learn from. “I believe that (this proposed draft) is absolutely necessary, and marks another important step by China on its road of fighting against corruption. Undoubtedly, corruption is currently one of the major issues for all humankind to confront.”

阿根廷国家电台对外台台长阿德里昂•克罗尔认为,腐败已成为全人类共同面临的难题之一,中国的监察法对拉美国家具有重要的借鉴意义,“我认为(这项草案提交审议)是非常有必要的,标志着中国在反腐败道路上又迈出了重要的一步。毫无疑问,目前腐败是全人类共同面临的重大问题之一。

“For many years, corruption has pervaded all aspects of life in most Latin American countries. Fighting against corruption is very important, because corruption has globalized. All countries need to learn other countries’ innovative and efficiently carried-out experience, and match these with their own realities. To propose this supervision draft to the Natonal People’s Congress will undoubtedly be influential.  It will become a sample of how to confront, strike and defeat corruption, it offers important experience for Latin America and countries in many other regions to learn from.”

很多年来,腐败问题已经渗透到拉美绝大多数国家的各个领域。反腐败斗争非常重要,因为腐败已经实现全球化,各国需要学习其他国家具有创新性的、行之有效的反腐经验,再与自身实际相结合。提交到全国人大审议的这份监察法草案无疑将产生重要影响,它将被作为如何面对、打击和战胜腐败问题的样本,对拉美地区和很多其他国家都具有借鉴意义。”

Korol visited China and had cooperation talks with China Radio International earlier this month.

RAE programs are broadcast via WRMI (Florida, USA) and Kall-Krekel (Germany), and through the internet. If sent by ordinary mail, reception reports on shortwave broadcasts are confirmed with a special QSL card in Argentina’s national colors – click picture for more info.

RAE carries a short podcast by Korol, as he addresses RAE listeners from Beijing. My Spanish is rather poor – translation errors are therefore not unlikely, and corrections are welcome:

Hello, friends of Radio Argentina to the World, and greetings from China. I’m Adrián Korol and I’m here on invitation by CRI, Radio China International, to talk personally on a cooperation agreement on which we are working, and about our country, its people, and culture. These are important days here in the People’s Republic of China, for what is called the “two sessions”, a series of meetings of the representatives of the people, where proposals on issues are dealt with which are fundamentally important for life in this country. The two sessions also deal with many universal topics, such as the environment, or the struggle against corruption, something very visible in many parts of Latin America and the world. A topic that catches attention, and positively so, is the eradication of poverty, which happens quite rapidly. There’s also the reform of the constitution as another major issue in the two sessions which are taking place here in Beijing.

Korol also refers to cooperation talks already underway between Argentine television and China’s ministry of communications, and points out three major points of (envisaged) cooperation between RAE and CRI:

[…] content, training, and technology. These topics will have an important effect on RAE, our international service, which completes its sixtieth year this year.

According to some written context added to the podcast, RAE writes that Radio Nacional’s executive director Ana Gerschenson appointed Korol to try to get RAE included into Argentine Television’s (RTA) cooperation with China Central Television (CCTV).

Korol was also quoted by China Daily‘s Chinese online edition (中国日报网), along with media workers from Angola, Australia, and Pakistan:

In an interview, Argentine National Radio’s reporter Adrián Korol said: “I’m from Argentina, and therefore very interested in the direction of relations between China and Latin America. China has left a deep impression on me, and I want to understand the future development between China and Argentina.”

阿根廷国家广播电台记者阿德里昂克罗尔在接受采访时说:“我来自阿根廷,所以我非常关心中国和拉丁美洲的关系走向。中国给我留下深刻印象,我想了解中阿的未来发展方向。”

Asked about his impression of foreign minister Wang Yi, Adrián Korol said that he liked him.

在被问到对外交部长王毅的印象时,阿德里昂克罗尔表示,自己很喜欢他。

Adrián Korol also said that he liked China, and even though he had only come from the other side of the world for the first time, he felt a warmth as if he was at home.

阿德里昂克罗尔进一步表示,他很喜欢中国,虽然是第一次从地球的另一端来到这里,但就感觉跟待在家里一样温暖。

Huanqiu Shibao also carried the story.

Korol’s remarks to CRI about the “two sessions” (see beginning of this post) were duly posted under CRI’s “Our new Era – NPC and CPPCC’s 2018 All-China Two Sessions” category. China’s media habitually collect favorable foreign commentary on events in China, while suggesting that China doesn’t care when reactions abroad are less favorable.

On Wednesday, Xinhua newsagency also quoted extensively from foreign punditry (which can probably best be summed up as “strong China, sunny world”). The report quotes a Japanese professor, a Palestinian economist, an Indonesian think tank’s chairman, a global security expert from South Korea, an Argentine China researcher, another Japanese professor, a researcher at Russia’s “Valdai Club”, a publisher from the US, a Cuban international politics researcher, another researcher from Russia, and a French China expert.

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Note

RAE programs are broadcast on shortwave via WRMI (Florida, USA) and Kall-Krekel (Germany), and streamed on the internet. If sent by ordinary mail, reception reports on shortwave broadcasts are confirmed with a special QSL card in Argentina’s national colors.

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Related

Entrevista al embajador de Argentina, CRI, March 6, 2018

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Chairman Unlimited

Xi Jinping‘s speech at the 19th central committee’s fourth collective study session on Sunday, rendered there by Xinhua newsagency, contained the usual buzzwords from building a modern socialist country, making the great regjuvenation of the Chinese nation real, a country ruled according to the law (依法治国), and the moderately prosperous society (小康社会). Apart from that, Xi reportedly also pointed out that “the constitution is the superstructure and must therefore suit the changes at the economic base (宪法作为上层建筑,一定要适应经济基础的变化而变化).

Xi also seems to have gone to some length to emphasize the legitimacy derived from the constitution, and from constitutional behavior. No wonder: the CCP’s politburo has sent a draft of constitutional changes to the “National People’s Congress'”  standing committee, according to the second Xinwen Lianbo newsitem last night.

The amendment that has caught most of the international attention on Sunday is actually a reduction:

14. Article 79, para 3, “The People’s Republic of China chairperson’s and vice chairperson’s terms in office are identical with the terms of each National People’s Congress, and must not exceed the duration of two terms.” The amendment reads: “The People’s Republic of China chairperson’s and vice chairperson’s terms in office are identical with the terms of each National People’s Congress.”

十四、宪法第七十九条第三款“中华人民共和国主席、副主席每届任期同全国人民代表大会每届任期相同,连续任职不得超过两届。”修改为:“中华人民共和国主席、副主席每届任期同全国人民代表大会每届任期相同。”

With me in charge, you are at ease, are you not? – click photo above for Xinwen Lianbo video

At the central committee’s collective study session, Xi, the beneficiary (and arguably author) of this amendment, was keen on pointing out how important a constitution is, provided that it contains the correct amendments:

Xi Jinping emphasized that the constitution has the highest legal status, legal authority, and legal force. Above all, our party must set an example in venerating and implementing the constitution, and by leading the people in drawing up and implementing constitutional law, and [by leading the people in] persisting in unified action with the party within the scope of constitutional law. No organization or individual must have prerogatives beyond the law. All acts that violate constitutional laws must be investigated. […]

习近平强调,宪法具有最高的法律地位、法律权威、法律效力。我们党首先要带头尊崇和执行宪法,把领导人民制定和实施宪法法律同党坚持在宪法法律范围内活动统一起来。任何组织或者个人都不得有超越宪法法律的特权。一切违反宪法法律的行为,都必须予以追究。 […..]

The constitution is a matter for the “National People’s Congress”, China’s ersatz parliament. As for Xi’s function as CCP secretary general and head of the central military commission (officially, there is one CMC by the state, and one by the party, but they are in fact identical), there appear to be no term limits anyway.

Foarp has started a discussion on his blog.

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Related

How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Xi Jinping’s first time, Nov 29, 2012
你办事,我放心, People’s Daily, July 4, 2012

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Cybercrime Report: “Major targets”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes

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

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

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Monday, August 21, 2017

In the News & Blogs (Aug 1 – 21): Beijing’s Little Helpers abroad

“China Quarterly” cooperates with China censors / Taiwan hosts 2017 Summer Universiade / Kim spoils Fun for Chinese Guam Visitors / Red-noticed police / The First “Five Marvellous Years” / Want to be Chinese?

Doing Beijing’s Dirty Work (1): Academic Institutions

Update: Cambridge University Press restores articles, Washington Post, Aug 21, 2017

China Quarterly apparently cooperates with Beijing by blocking access to articles and e-books on their website.

Can we expect them to do better? I have my doubts. Their topic is China – and if they don’t cooperate, others will, and might replace the renowned magazine. That’s no excuse, of course, and they could still display character rather than opportunism, but one has to admit that they are facing a tough choice. If they decided otherwise, there would be no academic solidarity – alternative opportunists would chum up to Beijing.

What is therefore needed is a political answer. British legislators will need to make censorship cooperation of this kind illegal, and legislators in other free societies will need to do likewise.

You can’t do Beijing’s dirty work yourself, and remain democratic, liberal, or free.

The public needs to push a political decision. People who care about human rights (those of others, and of their own), should consider to join or support relevant pressure groups, rather than political parties.

If Chinese readers can be blocked from servers in free countries, there is no good reason why we, people who live in (still) relatively free societies, should keep access to them, when Beijing demands otherwise.

This scenario may appear far-fetched now – but what happens at Cambridge now would have been unfathomable two or three decades ago, too.

Besides, no man or woman in a free country should vote for political parties who are prepared to tolerate this kind of practice. Totalitarian challenges must be met with political answers.

Taiwan’s Twelve Days of International Fame

The 2017 Summer Universiade started in Taipei, on Saturday.

Chinese Holidaymakers: Kim spoils the Fun

Huanqiu Shibao (the Global Times‘ Chinese-language sister paper) worried about unwelcome side effects of the US-North Korean war of words during the first half of the month: More than 26,000 Chinese tourists had travelled to Guam in 2016, the paper noted in an article published online on August 11 – an increase by 11 percent compared to 2015. Huanqiu numbers reportedly provided by the Guam Visitors Bureau‘s China Representative Room, an organization that runs offices in mainland China and in Hong Kong.

Guam is an island in the western Pacific. It is U.S. territory, reportedly within reach of North Korean missiles (provided that the missiles are lucky), it hosts a naval base, an air base, a religious shortwave broadcasting station, and thousands of tourists annually.

The Huanqiu Shibao article also quotes from “Sina Weibo” exchanges between Chinese netizens and the Guam Visitors Bureau, where Bureau staff reportedly posted reassuring replies to questions like “will you soon be hit by missiles?”

Probably given the incomplete state of North Korea’s striking force (God knows where the missiles would actually go if the army tried to fire them into Guam’s adjacent waters), or Donald Trump‘s notoriety as a bigmouth with little consistency, no travel warning appears to have been issued by Chinese authorities. According to the BY article, the China Youth Travel Agency told reporters that

the company hadn’t received a political-risks warning notice to suspend departures to Guam until then, and reminded journalists to monitor the China National Tourism Administration’s travel risk reminders.

….. 公司还没有接到因政治风险暂停前往关岛的旅游团的通知,他提醒记者应及时关注国家旅游局的旅游风险提示。

According to statistics quoted by the article, most tourists visiting Guam are from Japan and South Korea, with rapidly rising numbers from mainland China.

Doing Beijing’s Dirty Work (2): Red-noticed Police

The arrest of a German citizen of Turkish origin, Dogan Akhanli, made it into German news during the weekend. According to GfbV, a German organization that keeps track of cases where authoritarian regimes use Interpol to harrass critics abroad, Akhanli was arrested by Spanish police in the city of Granada. Reportedly, Turkey had requested Interpol  to issue a read notice to Spain. The dust appears to settle now, and Akhanli is free again, but the organization calls for reforming Interpol and to make sure that it doesn’t become (or remain) a tool for silencing regime critics abroad.

In the same press release, GfbV notes that Dolkun Isa, secretary general of the World Uyghur Congress, had been arrested in Rome, on July 26 this year. Isa was on his way into the Italian senate when he was arrested. According to GfbV, Chinese authorities are now using Interpol’s “red notice” mechanism systematically, to restrict movement of the regime’s critics abroad, and thus creating a de-facto occupational ban against them (Chinas Behörden nutzen die „Red Notice“ inzwischen systematisch, um die Bewegungsfreiheit von im Ausland lebenden Menschenrechtlern einzuschränken und de facto ein Berufsverbot gegen sie zu verhängen).

It certainly wasn’t the first time that Isa had been arrested. In 2009, South Korea arrested him, apparently on arrival at the airport, and refused him entry into the country. Previously, he had been arrested by the UN security service when visiting the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

The First Five “Marvellous Years”

China’s state television (CCTV) website reminds the public of CCP secretary general Xi Jinping‘s feats during his first five marvellous years (不平凡五年) in office. On August 14, the media organization published statistics of Xi’s speeches on foreign policy.

So: Want to be Chinese?

Given that under the secretary general’s correct leadership, China is becoming the marvel of the world (an unscientific condensed international press review by JR with no further sources), it should be no surprise that Daniel Bell wants better international access to Chinese citizenship, for meritorious citizens of the world who would like to share in that glory.

Ji Xiang posted some thoughts on that, early this month.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Populism in China (1): The Downfall of Bo Xilai

There is no Weltinnenpolitik yet, but there are cross-civilizational trends.

The City of Red Songs

There would be no second chance. Gerhard Schröder, former chancellor of Germany, was in a hurry in June 2011, on the sidelines of a forum in southwestern China’s metropolis of Chongqing. He was therefore lacking the time to attend one of the red-song nights that were customary there. But he still pleased his interlocutors with a German proverb: Where people sing, you can settle down – wicked people sing no songs.

In full, the red-songs custom advocated by Chongqing’s party chief Bo Xilai was Singing revolutionary songs, Reading classic books, telling stories and spreading mottos. There would be nine more months of that before Bo Xilai was toppled by his CCP comrades.

A Hudong article explained the activity at the time. It was a mass concept, started in Chongqing in 2008, which was greeted with enthusiasm there, and elsewhere in China. The concept wasn’t outdated, because

if a country and a nation have no correct thought and advanced culture, it will lose its backbone. The current deep changes of the economic system, the structure of society, and the profound adjustment of interest patterns must be reflected in the ideological field. There is diversity in peoples’ minds, and although the mainstream is positive and healthy, while some peoples’ material life conditions have improved, spiritual life is somewhat empty. To change that condition, and to ensure a safe passing of the torch in the cause of the party and the country, the red flag must be righteously upheld, the ideology of Marxism must be consolidated in its guiding position within the ideological field, and the attractiveness and the cohesive power of socialist ideology must be strengthened.

一个国家和民族没有正确的思想、先进的文化,就会失掉主心骨。当前,经济体制深刻变革、社会结构深刻变动、利益格局深刻调整,必然反映到意识形态领域。人们的思想日趋多元多变多样,虽然主流积极健康向上,但一些人物质生活改善了,精神生活却有些空虚。为了彻底改变这种状况,保证党和国家的事业薪火相传,必须理直气壮地举红旗,不断巩固马克思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位,增强社会主义意识形态的吸引力和凝聚力。[Links within these lines omitted.]

According to the HuDong article, CCP politbureau member and Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来) had deplored the phenomenon of young people who sang decadent songs (唱 .. 靡靡之音, chàng mímí zhī yīn), who were reading “fast-food” kinds of literature (读 .. 快餐文化, dú kuàicān wénhuà), told “low and vulgar stories” (讲 .. 低俗故事, jiǎng dīsú gùshì), and “spread pornographic or dull scripts/pieces” (传 .. 黄段子、灰段子, chuán huáng duànzi, huī duànzi).

So, apparently, there were dirty songs, too. Maybe things weren’t as simple as Schröder had believed. At least one  reader and forum commenter of China’s Huanqiu Shibao didn’t trust Schröder’s expertise and wrote:

OK, listen [to the red songs], you won’t comprehend them anyway. It will be as if you were listening to folk songs.

听吧,反正听不懂,就当听民歌了

The “Chongqing Model” was controversial, at least in the perceivable medial public of China. The party elite wasn’t entirely in love with Bo’s pretentious neo-Maoism. A vice president of Law School at China University of Political Science and Law was quoted by the English-language party mouthpiece “Global Times”:

There have been 104,000 “Red Song Concerts” in Chongqing, with 80 million participants. It cost 1,500 yuan ($231) per person for onsite renting and costume expenses, 210 million yuan in total. Adding in the offwork compensation and transportation the final cost is 270 billion [sic – probably means million – JR] yuan. Why don’t they use the money for health insurance?

Bo Xilai’s “Populism”, 2007 – 2012

At the grassroots, however, Bo’s leadership style appears to have worked (maybe it still does). The Chongqing Model wasn’t just about folklore, red or otherwise.

Chongqing (Sichuan province) residents set off firecrackers today, celebrating the execution of the provincial-level city’s former chief justice Wen Qiang (文强), cqnews.net reported in July 2010. The Wall Street Journal explained:

Wen Qiang was put to death following the rejection in May by China’s Supreme Court of an appeal of his conviction on charges including bribery, shielding criminal gangs, rape and inability to account for millions of dollars in cash and assets, according to Xinhua news agency. Xinhua didn’t say how Mr. Wen was executed.

Punching black crime and uprooting vice (拳打黑除恶) was the name of the campaign that cost Wen his life – according to the historical records as Bo would have it, he and his police chief Wang Lijun not only battled against gangs, but infiltrated cadres, too.

The now defunct website Chinageeks published an English translation of Zhang Wen, a former chief editor of the Xinhua magazine Globe:

Bo Xilai and the “northeast tiger” Wang Lijun entered Chongqing and started a war and began a “battling corruption and evil” movement that has gradually begun to spread nationwide and worldwide. This action is in line with the people’s wishes, and at the same time, also in line with what central authorities wish.

At first, the public opinion was very one-sided; no one could find any fault with Bo. The controversy and difference of opinions came with the case of Li Zhuang. Proponents of the democratic rule of law questioned and criticized the legality of Chongqing [court] proceedings, but Bo Xilai’s supporters hold that punishing lawyers who defend “bad people” is appropriate.

Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai is a high-level lawyer who has been working for many years. The two have been together for many years and Bo himself was once the head of the Ministry of Commerce, and thus often negotiated international legal issues with foreign opponents. Because of this, Bo Xilai should have a solid conception and knowledge of the law.

But in the end, in the Li Zhuang case, the organs of justice in Chongqing left a bad impression that they might violate legal procedures. Precisely because of this, some people’s opinions on Bo Xilai changed dramatically. I myself once wrote an essay expressing pity that Bo Xilai hadn’t turned out to be the sort of high-quality modern politician [we had hoped].

Chongqing was a small pond for a big fish – Bo Xilai appeared to have hoped for a permanent seat in the CCP’s central politburo, but landed the job as party secretary of Chongqing instead. Chongqing wasn’t an insignificant city, but it was far from where central Chinese power was. Only an alernate politburo membership linked him to Beijing. From 2008, his Maoist song events raised nationwide attention, and even beyond China – Henry Kissinger apparently leapt at the chance Schröder had missed.

In 2011, Bo Xilai started his second campaign for a permanent seat at the CCP’s top table. While the Economist found Bo’s style refreshing, it noted nervously that

The region’s party chief, Bo Xilai, is campaigning for a place on the Politburo Standing Committee in next year’s leadership shuffle. He looks likely to succeed. Like every other Chinese politician since 1949, he avoids stating his ambitions openly, but his courting of the media and his attempts to woo the public leave no one in any doubt. Mr Bo’s upfront style is a radical departure from the backroom politicking that has long been the hallmark of Communist rule and would seem like a refreshing change, were it not that some  of his supporters see him as the Vladimir Putin of China. Mr Bo is a populist with an iron fist. He has waged the biggest crackdown on mafia-style gangs in his country in recent years. He has also been trying to foster a mini-cult of Mao, perhaps in an effort to appeal to those who are disillusioned with China’s cut-throat capitalism.

Bo didn’t appear to aim for the top job as secretary general, the Economist noted, as that position appeared to have been reserved for Xi Jinping. Indeed, Xi succeeded Hu Jintao as party secretary general in autumn 2012, and as state chairman in March 2013.

Bo Xilai’s plans didn’t work that smoothly. In November 2011, a British citizen, Neil Heywood, died in a hotel in Chongqing. Given that Chinese courts don’t work independently from the party, the circumstances of his death can’t be considered resolved. A Chinese court found Gu Kailai, Bo Xilai’s wife, guilty of killing Heywood, and after only one day in court, she got a suspended death sentence.

The BBC‘s China editor Carrie Gracie tried to shed light on the circumstances of Bo Xilai’s rise and fall, and the role Heywood’s death played in the latter, but didn’t find too many interlocutors. Instead, she presented a Rocky Horror Picture Show of elite power struggles with Chinese characteristics. Bo Xilai as the avenger of the common man, a crashing, media-savvy scourge of organized crime, who addressed the public directly, without party media filtering. That hadn’t happened since Mao’s days – “think Donald Trump”.

With support from local police chief Wang Lijun, who fancied leading roles in martial-arts television, too, Bo had exercised a regime that labeled opponents as mafiosi and not only jailed them, but expropriated them too, in favor of Chongqing’s budgets.

It isn’t contested that Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun prosecuted the real or supposed gangsters’ advocates, too, with questionable means. Gracie quotes one of these advocates, Li Zhuang (see above, Zhang Wen’s criticism of Bo Xilai), as Li describes how he was arrested by Wang Lijun personally:

The scene was so over-the-top, loads of police cars surrounding the plane, riot police in helmets and camouflage, armed with submachine guns. I asked, “Why the big show? Is it Obama’s state visit or are you capturing Osama Bin Laden?”

We were surrounded by a huge scrum of reporters. He wanted to show his authority on camera. He was in a trench coat, hands in his pockets. He said: “Li Zhuang, we meet again.”

There were admirers of Bo and Wang, there were critics and enemies, and there were people who detested the two. But at the grassroots, the fans appeared to be numerous. According to Gracie, there are still many.

Making inconvenient lawyers disappear was no unique feature of Bo Xilai, however. The party leadership with Xi Jinping at the core has been proving for years that to them, the rule of law is a theroretical nicety they may or may not care about.

Gracie reduces the causes of conflict between the noisy polit-soloist Bo Xilai and the basically “collectivist” leadership in Beijing on a personal rivalry between princeling Bo and princeling Xi.

Certainly, top politicians’ egos can hardly be overestimated, and when they are Chinese, ostentatious modesty shouldn’t fool anyone.

But Xi alone wouldn’t have gotten Bo under control. Neither with the sudden Neil-Heywood scandal – that became known as the Wang-Lijun incident in China after the police chief fled into the next US consulate and being passed on to the central authorities from there (but only after having spilled the beans). Nor otherwise.

The question suggests itself if Bo Xilai’s career wasn’t finished in summer 2011 anyway, given wide-spread disapproval among the party elite, of his egotistic leadership style in Chongqing.

“Unity is strength” was one of the “red songs” Bo Xilai had them sing in Chongqing (above: October 8, 2009). But it wasn’t only the Xi faction that saw a lack of just that on Bo’s part. Bo was putting himself forward, and that had been a taboo during all the post-Mao years.

He didn’t denigrate his leading comrades – appearances like that of Donald Trump as a campaigner, cursing fellow members of his political class, would have been inconceivable. But putting himself into the limelight (and casting it away from others) amounted to the same thing, by Chinese standards. Besides, given his anti-corruption renown, sanctimonious as it may have been, could have threatened his “comrades”. A tribun within their ranks – that couldn’t work.

Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao are said to be rivals. But within the Hu camp, Bo’s populism didn’t seem to resonate either. On the contrary: Wen Jiabao, chief state councillor (aka “prime minister”) during the Hu Jintao era, had been a tireless, even if unsuccessful, advocate of political reform, way beyond economics or technology.

At a press conference in March 2012, after the closing ceremony of the annual “parliament” plenary sessions, Wen warned that China wasn’t immune against another cultural revolution. That John Garnaut, an Australian correspondent in Beijing, got the opportunity to talk with Hu Dehua, one of Hu Yaobang’s sons, may also count as an indication that the comparatively liberal factions in the party leadership were at least as sick of Bo Xilai’s revolutionary operas, as were the Xi supporters.

Garnaut, two weeks after Wen’s press conference, in an indirect account of his conversation with Hu Dehua*):

Hu Dehua told his father how pessimistic he felt about his country’s future. Hu Yaobang agreed that the methods and ideologies of the 1987 anti-liberalization movement came straight from the Cultural Revolution. But he told his son to gain some historical perspective, and reminded him that Chinese people were not joining in the elite power games as they had 20 years before. He called the anti-liberalization campaign a “medium-sized cultural revolution” and warned that a small cultural revolution would no doubt follow, Hu Dehua told me. As society developed, Hu Yaobang told his son, the middle and little cultural revolutions would gradually fade from history’s stage.

From there, everything went fast. Still in March, Bo was dismissed as Chongqing’s party chief. He also lost his alternate membership in the politburo. In summer 2012, his wife Gu Kailai got her commuted death sentence, and in September 2013, Bo was sentenced to life in prison – based on the usual charges for unrigged politicians: corruption.

Is there a Chongqing Heritage?

At first glance, Bo Xilai’s “populism” or “Maoism” is finished. But Bo counted as a champion of many Chinese from the political left. A comment in German weekly Die Zeit, in September 2013, saw the verdict against Bo as a signal from the top that resistance against economic reform was futile.

To assess Bo Xilai’s political heritage objectively. The CCP may be beyond the era when beaten opponents were airbrushed from all photos and records. But the question about how publicly or privately-owned China’s economy should be might impose itself with any questions about Bo Xilai, and the now seven-member standing committee of the politburo can’t use such questions.

A political scientist of Beijing University, He Weifang (贺卫方), hinted at problems in assessing the Chongqing Model’s performance, from 2007 to 2012:

It is generally believed that the so-called “Chongqing Model” is mainly shaped by three aspects: “red culture” on the political level, “targeted actions against dark and evil forces in Chongqing“, and the reduction of the income gaps between the poor and the rich. The most criticized aspects are the former two, although there is support for the two of them in Chongqing and elsewhere. The third aspect isn’t that controversial. However, all data published concerning the efficiency of the measures taken to narrow the income gap are actually issued by the Chongqing authorities, and therefore lacking neutral assessment. Also, we can see that the whole process is strongly government-led, whose focus isn’t on creating a market logic of equal opportunities. If this approach will or will not lead to mistakes in financial policies, including the rural land policies‘ impartiality, is also questionable. And then there are concerns about life today being lead on future earnings, short-term inputs being made to curry favor with the public, which may come at high future costs.

答:一般认为,所谓的重庆模式主要由三方面内容构成:政治层面上的红色文化,执法层面上的“打黑除恶”以及民生方面的缩小贫富差距。最受诟病的是前两者,虽然在重庆和其他地方,似乎也有一些人人对于“唱红”和“打黑”表达支持。第三方面内容相对较少争议。不过,那些举措究竟对于缩小贫富差距产生了怎样的效果,目前得到的信息都是由重庆当局发布的,缺少中立的评估。另外,我们可以看到整个过程是在政府强势主导下进行的,其重点并非创造机会均等的市场逻辑。这种做法是否会带来财政决策中的失误,包括重庆所推行的农村土地政策的公正性,都是大可怀疑的。还有寅吃卯粮的隐忧,短期内的高投入讨好了民众,但是却需要未来付出巨大的代价。

If Bo Xilai was a populist, one of Donald Trump’s kind, or Putin’s, or Neil Farage’s, or whoever, one has to ask oneself how much influence he has maintained over Chinese politics to this day. After all, populists like Geert Wilders aren’t ineffective, merely because they can’t lay their hands on the imperial regalia.

When looking at European populism – that’s only a snapshot, of course -, one can get the impression that populists may not be elected, but they do leave marks on politics, from Merkel’s Willkommenskultur back to the traditional Christian Democrats’ policies, and Britain’s Brexit, implemented not by its original proponents, but by Theresa May, who had used to be a lukewarm supporter of Britain’s EU membership.

Populism is hardly ever the common peoples’ business, but that of the elites. The battles are fought within the political class, as observed by Hu Yaobang in the late 1980s. That is about as true in Europe. However, these battles within the superstructure may create or intensify certain trends in the public mood – and once policies have moved sufficiently into the “populist” direction, the support for these parties wanes, and the electorate turns back to the long-established parties. After all, Joe Blow doesn’t want to look like an extremist.

When Xi Jinping announced China’s new role as a guardian of free trade at the Davos forum in January, German Handelsblatt China correspondent Stephan Scheuer hailed the party and state leader’s “dressing-down for populists”. In Davos, Xi had become “a pioneer of fair-minded globalization”.

What could be beginning to show in China is a comparatively strong Maoist component in propaganda, as long as this doesn’t come at the cost of China’s privileged, and as long as this doesn’t require substantial reallocation of means or wealth to poor classes of population, or laggard regions. But whenever the name “Bo Xilai” should appear in any token event, the exorcists will be just around the corner.

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