Archive for ‘South-East Asia’

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun and Facts in Taiwan

Every year, there’s the fun

and the facts.

President Tsai’s 2022 new year’s remarks are also available in English.
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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Russia in the Indo-Pacific

The following is a translation of an introduction by Radio Taiwan International’s (RTI) Mandarin program “Serving the People” (為人民服務), discussing Russia’s role in the region loosely defined as the “Indo-Pacific”.

russian_built_gepard_3_9_frigate_quang_trung

Russian-built Gepard 3.9 frigate Quang Trung,
public domain

Lu Ssu-pin (魯斯濱), a columnist on Russian military affairs, discusses Russia’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific, and especially its ties with ASEAN, in “Serving the People’s” December 23 edition. The discussion can be listened to there (button top right).

No great secrets are revealed there, but while Russia’s business in the region doesn’t go unreported by Western media, it may often be underestimated. This includes areas of conflict with China.

Ssu also touches on the revival of the Russian language in Vietnamese lesson plans. The numbers don’t look overwhelming, but according to Ssu, Russian technology (such as military technology or its Global Navigation Satellite System) can be rather well absorbed by ASEAN countries, and is affordable, while a lot of Western technology isn’t.

Main link:
Russia also gets involved in Indo-Pacific, Russia and China singing different tunes (俄羅斯也插手印太 俄中各唱各的調)

The statement issued on December 12 after the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Liverpool emphasized that the G7 member states wanted to establish an investment and trade circle democracies so as to respond to China’s coercive economic policies more unitedly. Russia was also warned not to rashly use force against Ukraine as [Moscow] would face serious economic costs. U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken travelled right on for visits to Southeast Asia, with the clear intention to draw in allies to crowd around China.

12月12日在英國利物浦落幕的G7外長會議發表聲明,強調G7成員國要在民主國家間建立投資圈經貿圈,以便團結應對中國的脅迫性經濟政策,而且還警告俄羅斯不要輕易對烏克蘭動武,否則將面對沉重經濟代價。美國國務卿布林肯在會後更直奔東南亞訪問,拉近盟友圍攏中國的意圖非常明顯。

This G7 foreign ministers’ meeting’s main emphasis appears to be on building a united front in response to China and Russia. However, if the Chinese friendship with Russia is what it appears to be is a different story. Concerning the South China Sea, for example, Russia’s approach is rather indistinct. It does, by no means, support China as imagined by the outside world when it comes to the South China Sea.

這次G7外長會議,統一陣線應對中國與俄國,顯然是最大重點。不過,中國與俄羅斯之間是否如表面的友好,又是另當別論。比方在南海,俄羅斯的態度就非常模糊,並不像外界所想像的那樣在南海事務上支持中國。

A confrontation erupted in waters disputed between China and Indonesia not long ago. Beijing accused Indonesia of building exploratory wellheads in oil and gas fields delimited by China. A Russian state-owned energy giant happens to be this oil and gas field’s owner1. Before that, Russia also helped Vietnam with oil and gas extraction work, among them some fields also delimited by China in accordance with its so-called nine-dash line2. This lead to Chinese dissatisfaction.

中國與印尼不久前在南海有爭議水域爆發爭執對峙。北京指責印尼在中國所劃定的海疆線內為一處油氣田區塊開鑿探井。俄羅斯國有能源巨頭恰好是這塊油氣田的所有人。而在印尼之前,俄羅斯也幫越南從事油氣開採,其中的一些油氣田區塊因為同樣位於中國所劃定的所謂「九段線」內而導致中國不滿。

All the same, Russia’s cooperation with Indonesia and Vietnam has continued.

儘管中國不滿,俄國與印尼和越南的能源合作一直在進行中 。

Also, early in December, ASEAN carried out the first joint maritime exercise with Russia. In the southeast Asian region As relations between the southeast Asian region and China continue to intensify, the question against who these may be directed is also up to the outside world’s imagination.

另外,12月初, 東南亞國家協會(ASEAN)也跟俄羅斯舉行了第一次聯合海上軍事演習。在東南亞地區和中國的緊張關係不斷升溫的同時,聯合軍演到底針對誰,也令外界有無限想像空間。

We have asked Lu Ssu-pin to discuss his observations with us.

今天節目我們請魯斯濱談談他的觀察。

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Notes

1     Zarubezhneft, according to reports
2     Wikipedia, accessed Dec 24

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Related

America, Japan: a more equal Relationship, May 22, 2016
Gas Deal, but no Military Alliance, May 23, 2014
“Like Polar Bears, no bit of humanity”, July 22, 2012
Indonesia-Russia Relations, Wikipedia
Russia-Vietnam Relations, Wikipedia
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Taiwan: COA Relief Efforts for Pork Industry

The following is a translation of a news item published by Fishery Radio Station (渔业广播电台, FRS), in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on March 17, 2020. Links within blockquotes added during translation. FSR operates a medium transmitter in Baisha, Penghu main island (the Penghu Islands are also known as Pescadores Islands). FSR reportedly also retransmits programs from Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) Indonesian service.  As of 2019, 22,000 Indonesians reportedly worked on Taiwanese fishing boats, often under violations of their rights as employees.

Main link: In response to pneumonia situation, Council of Agriculture will help pork producers with financial relief (因應肺炎疫情,農委會多管齊下助養豬業紓困)

Affected by the Wuhan pneumonia virus, demand for pork in the market has recently fallen, and pork prices have been sliding. The Council of Agriculture pointed out on a press conference on the topic of providing financial relief in the epidemic situation that the weekly supply quantity on the live pig market was 143,000 heads, an increase of 11,000 heads compared with the same seasons of the past five years, and an auction price of 5,886 Yuan [New Taiwan dollars], a decline of 14.5 percent compared with the same season of the past five years. The Council of Agriculture said that in connection with the factors of live pig prices’ drops, it is speculated that besides the rise in production of live pigs compared with the same season last year, the epidemic situation has created a situation where the populace ate out less frequently, making pork prices drop. Toward this, the Council of Agriculture suggested more financial relief measures, hoping pig farmers to get through the difficulties. Deputy commissioner Chen Junne-jih said that in the current situation of overproduction, the elimination of low-reproducing sows will speed up, and then spur the entire structural industrial adjustment. The Council of Agriculture will also subsidize livestock farmers with low-interest loans, and encourage industrial organizations to promote the sales of home-made pork. The Council of Agriculture will also follow the example of short-term sales of leafed vegetables in the domestic market, popularize the use of home-grown pork in rural schools’ lunches, and increase unscheduled supplies of home-grown pork to the army, starting on March 16. Deputy commissioner Chen also pointed out that currently, the Council of Agriculture was also coordinating a reduction in pigs supplies by Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and a stop in supplies to the meat market*), to let prices rise again. He also hoped for the current epidemic situation crisis to take a turn for the better, so that the industrial structure would be able to consolidate and to rise again. (Chin Ching)

受武漢肺炎疫情影響,近期市場豬肉需求量下降、豬價下滑。農委會在13日的肺炎紓困疫情記者會上指出,目前毛豬市場每周供應量14.3萬頭,較近5年同期增加1.1萬頭;拍賣價格5,886元,較近5年同期下跌14.5%。農委會表示,針對毛豬價格下滑的因素,目前推測除了因為毛豬較去年同期增養外,也可能是受疫情影響造成民眾外食減少、豬肉需求下降。對此,農委會也提出多項紓困措施,期盼幫助豬農度過難關。副主委陳駿季表示,針對目前超養的現況,會加速低產種母豬淘汰,進而帶動整體產業結構調整。農委會也會補助畜牧業者低利貸款,並獎勵產業團體辦理推廣國產豬肉促銷活動。另外,農委會也會比照短期葉菜類內銷方式,推廣偏鄉學校營養午餐使用國產豬肉,並自16日起不定期對國軍增加供應國產豬肉。陳副主委指出,目前農委會也協調台糖公司做豬隻減供,自16日起至3月底停供肉品市場,讓價格能逐漸回升。他也期許這次疫情能化危機為轉機,讓產業結構能調整並再升級。(秦晴)

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Note

*) Can’t tell if this applies only to Taiwan Sugar Corporation or to the entire industry.

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Related

Penghu mass media, Wiki, acc March 18

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Raising Taiwan’s Profile: RTI’s French Programs return to Shortwave

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) has – at least partly – reversed a decision announced early in 2018, which had cut the French department’s shortwave programs. To prepare the French programs’ return to the airwaves, test transmissions will be carried out on several days this month, and on March 1 – details there.

Radio Taiwan International QSL, 2018

The transmitter site used by RTI will be Kostinbrod, Bulgaria, which already airs RTI programs in German and in Russian. The transmissions in French will target both western Europe and northern Africa, according to the French service’s mailbag program of February 15. They quote the new management of RTI as stating that the station needs to use all means of communications available to raise Taiwan’s profile. Spanish was also mentioned as a candidate to return to shortwave, but I couldn’t make out if this referred to a firm decision (my French isn’t very good).

As far as the new management is concerned, RTI published some information in 2019, and so did other Taiwanese media.

According to Focus Taiwan (CNA English), the new director-general*) is Chang Cheng (張正), a media worker and broadcasting host, and founder of “4-way news”, an online and once-a-month paper publication with a focus on Taiwan’s migrant communities. He was voted in for RTI during the first half of 2019, after “a public selection process,” conducted by the external broadcaster”for the first time.” According to them, they sort of called for bids:

Radio Taiwan International’s previous director-general Shao Li-chung left office on January 31 [2019], and RTI carried out a public bidding and formed an assessment and selection team, including former government information office chief Su Cheng-ping, professor Hu Yuan-hui and Lo Shi-hung of National Chung Cheng University, assistant professor Wang Yae-wei of Chengchi University’s College of Communication, Upstream-Downstream webpage founder Feng Hsiao-fei, Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare secretary-general Yeh Ta-hua, RTI board of directors’ chairman, as well as seven experts who were members of the board of directors.

中央廣播電台前總台長邵立中於今年1月31日卸任總台長,央廣第一次採取公開徵選,並組成總台長審薦小組,成員組成包括:前新聞局長蘇正平、中正大學傳播學系教授胡元輝與羅世宏、政大廣電系助理教授王亞維、上下游網站創辦人馮小非、台少盟秘書長葉大華,以及央廣董事長路平等7位具備央廣董事身分的專家學者組成。

RTI made the decision public on June 11, but at the time, the decision was still awaiting approval from the board of directors and the Executive Yuan (i. e. Taiwan’s government).

I find it confusing that there would still be a director-general at all, plus a board of directors, because about a year and a half ago, plans for RTI (plus CNA and Public TV) seemed to point into a different direction.

But what matters most to listeners like me is the opportunity to switch on the radio and to listen.

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Notes

*) Also referred to as “president” in English

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Huanqiu: South China Sea “a testing point for China’s strategic-opportunity development”

The following is a translation of an editorial, published by Huanqiu Shibao on May 31.

Original headline / main link: America’s increased Patrolling of the South China Sea is doomed to be transitional (美国巡航南海再多,也注定是过客)

A similarly-worded, but less detailed, editorial was also published by the English-language “Global Times”. Neither version was signed.

Links within blockquotes added during translation, not part of the Chinese article. Translations and links may not always reflect the accurate judicial terms – this is a newspaper reader‘s translation, not a lawyer’s — JR

Under the American machinations, the South China Sea issue has heated up somewhat. American defense secretary Mattis said on May 29 that America would continue to unfold “freedom of navigation activities”, and that the American navy would also take other action.

在美国的策动下,南海问题近来有所升温。美国防长马蒂斯29日表示,美国将继续在南海具有争议的岛屿附近开展“航行自由行动”,此外美军还会采取其他行动。

Just as Mattis said the words above two days ago, two American navy vessels entered China Paracel islands’ [Xisha] and reefs’ territorial waters. Australian senator Jim Molan was an even more ear-piercing voice, asserting that only all-out war would expel China from the Spratlys.

就在马蒂斯发表上述谈话的两天前,美国两艘军舰进入了中国西沙群岛的领海。澳大利亚参议员莫兰发出更加刺耳的声音,宣称只有一场全面战争,才能将中国逐出南沙岛屿。

Also, some Philippine media and Western media have hyped Philippine foreign minister Cayatano’s talk to days ago. That foreign minister said that Philippine president Duterte had defined a red line concerning the South China Sea, and to prepare to “fight for the South China Sea”. However, when you read Cayetano’s complete talk carefully, you find that his and Duterte’s attitude are not that extreme.

此外,一些菲律宾媒体和西方媒体炒作菲律宾外长卡耶塔诺的一次讲话,这位外长说菲律宾总统杜特尔特已经为南海问题划设了红线,并且准备好“为南海而战”。然而仔细阅读卡耶塔诺的讲话全文,可以发现他和杜特尔特的态度远非那么激进。

Seen from the perspective of the countries within the South China Sea zone, the situation here remains stable, the differences receive control. But the exercise of American strength in the South China Sea begins to show an increasing frequency. This shows in America’s revoking the invitation of China to the RIMPAC exercises under the pretext of opposing China’s “militarization” of the South China Sea, and by two US Navy vessels dashing into the Paracel Islands’ twelve-nautical-miles zone and similar declarations that seem to foretell more active American provocations.

从南海域内国家的关系角度看,这里的局势继续保持平稳,分歧得到管控。但是美国在南海问题上的发力开始呈现增加之势,标志是美以反对中国在南海搞“军事化”为名取消对中国参加环太平洋军演的邀请,美海军两艘军舰一起闯西沙岛屿12海里以及相关表态似乎在预示美更活跃的挑衅。

The South China Sea’s serving as America’s strategic game point can’t be cooled down in the short term. In the future, its continuous heating up will probably occur with a rising frequency. China needs to prepare well psychologically and make tactical arrangements, with the goal of dealing with America in an orderly and methodical way in the South China Sea.

南海作为中美的战略博弈点很难在短时间内冷却下来,它在今后进一步升温看来是高概率趋势。中国必须对此做好充分的心理准备和策略安排,与美在南海有条不紊地长期周旋。

China needs, first of all, to stabilize relations with the claimant countries, especially Vietnam and the Philippines and so on, it needs to continue control of divisions with these countries, avoid the eruption of sharp conflict with any of these countries, [unable to read]. In this way, America’s and its overseas allies excuses for meddling can be greatly reduced, and it will help to let them understand that giving cause to quarrels and manufacturing tense situations are not welcomed.

中国首先需要稳定好与南海声索国,尤其是与越南、菲律宾等的关系,继续管控好同这些国家的分歧,争取不出现同某一个声索国的尖锐冲突,维系发展作为这一地区主题的局面。这样可以大幅减少美国及其南海域外盟友在这里开展干预行动的借口,也会让它们在南海通过搬弄是非制造紧张局势不受欢迎。

Secondly, China must maintain a bottomline concept, strengthen its ability to serve powerful responses, should extreme US intervention in the South China Sea occur. Apart from the deployment of defensive weaponry on the Spratly islands and reefs, China also needs to build a powerful deensive system that includess naval mobile forces and land-based ans air-borne forces, making sure that, if by any chance, the situation in the South China Sea heatens, we are able to meet the situation head-on and fight back at any level of challenge, and any deck of cards.

第二,中国必须保持底线思维,加强对美国一旦在南海采取极端干预进行强有力反制行动的实力建设。除了在南沙岛礁上部署防御性武器,中国还需构建包括海军移动力量和陆基、空基力量组成的强大威慑系统,确保在万一南海局势升级时我方能够迎头回击任何级别的挑战及摊牌。

Thirdly, with ample strength serving as a backup, China will confidently deal with routine military provocations from America, with the principle of each to their own. American declarations of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea don’t touch China; it goes without saying that navigation is free in South China Sea regular territorial waters, and the psychological pressure America can create with this method is decreasing, and its significance diluted. Time in the South China Sea is measured in Chinese and local time, not in American time.

第三,有充足的实力做后盾,中国要自信地与美国一般性军事挑衅耐心周旋,原则应当是它搞它的,我搞我的。美国在南海宣示航行自由奈何不了中国,南海正常水域的航行本来就是自由的,美方这样做所能施加的心理压力一直在递减,其意义不断被冲淡。南海上记录这个时代的钟表使用的一定是中国和当地时间,而决不会是美国时间。

Sovereignty issues concerning the islands and reefs in the South China sea, and maritime rights and interests, are also a testing point for China’s strategic-opportunity development. China must balance these two issues well, and maintain China’s territorial position, and also, it must avoid taking military measures to achieve this position.

南海存在岛礁主权和海洋权益之争,这里同时是中国发展战略机遇期的一个考验点。中国一定要做好这两个问题的平衡,即坚持中国的领土主张,也决不为实现这一主张采取军事手段。

To solve disputes through talks has long been our stable approach. China must strenghten communication with the claimant countries on the South China Sea sovereignty issue, shape mutual understanding, make all sides feel at ease, make regional countries’ development cooperation build on foundations of emerging and solidifying strategic mutual trust. To this end, it is important to implement the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea”, to build consensus on standards of negotiations.

通过谈判解决纷争早已是我们的稳定态度,中国要就此与南海主权声索国家加强沟通,形成默契,让各方都安心,使得域内国家的发展合作建立在不断形成并且巩固的战略互信基础之上,为此落实《南海各方行为宣言》,就南海行为准则谈判构建共识都非常重要。

Obviously, navigation in the South China Sea is free, but the South China Sea isn’t a place for countries outside the area to wave about and issue orders, and to show off their military strength. The South China Sea is an important international thoroughfare, but also China’s gate. This means that to China, it needs to be all the more unimpeded. China won’t allow any outisde power to build hostile screenwalls against it here, we have sufficient strength and resolve to persevere until they abandon their harmful attempts against us.

显而易见,南海航行是自由的,但南海不是域外国家指手画脚、耀武扬威的地方。南海是国际大通道,但它同时是中国的家门口,这意味着它对中国来说更必须是畅通的。中国不会允许任何域外力量在这里构建针对中国的敌对性屏障,我们有足够的实力和坚定的意志与任何那样的企图坚决博弈下去,直到它们放弃针对我们的不良企图。

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Notebook: Tsai’s recent Speeches

Focus Taiwan (CNA newsagency’s English-language website) has President Tsai Ing-wen‘s full  Double-Ten address, (the original script can be found on the presidential website), and on October, she gave a speech in English, to the Yushan Forum, an “Asia Innovation and Progress Dialogue”, including remarks about the “New Southbound Policy”.

Yushan Forum, Oct 2017 – please click picture for video

Tsai Ing-wen’s approval ratings have recently seen a modest surge – or a significant one, when looking at where they have come from, since summer this year.

In July, an L. A. Times correspondent reported the nasty numbers of that month – an approval rating of 33 per cent -, but added that this didn’t necessarily mean that her supporters were abandoning her.

Indeed, it has become a Taiwanese tradition to keep presidents under the opinion-poll waterline most of the time – when Ma Ying-jeou, Tsai’s predecessor, was re-elected early in 2012, four years of submergence lied behind him, with another four years waiting.

Monday, October 31, 2016

German FM Vietnam Visit: Counter-Balancing China?

“Vietnam is Germany’s important strategic partner”, Nhan Dan‘s Chinese edition quoted German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, in one of its headlines on October 29. Nhan Dan is the organ of Vietnam’s Communist Party central committee.

German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier left Berlin on October 29 to begin a trip intended to strengthen the two countries’ strategic partnership.

德国外交部长弗兰克-瓦尔特·施泰因迈尔10月29离开柏林,开始启程对越南进行访问,旨在加强两国战略伙伴关系。

German foreign minister Steinmeier is leading a delegation with members in charge of economic and cultural affairs.

德国外长施泰因迈尔率领负责经济和文化事务代表团对越南进行为期三天的访问。

The German foreign minister sees Vietnam as Germany’s important economic, political, cultural and strategic partner. The head of Germany’s federal parliament, Norbert Lammert, visited Vietnam in March 2015, and Vietnam [then] state chairman Trưong Tan Sang’s visit to Germany in November 2015 strengthened the two countries’ relations further.

德国外交部将越南是为德国重要的经济、政治、文化战略伙伴。德国联邦议院议长诺贝特·拉默特2015年3月对越南进行访问和越南国家主席张晋创2015年11月对德国进行访问为两国关系增添了新动力。

In the framework of the two countries’ strategic-partnership action plan, Germany’s and Vietnam’s cooperation activities are developing further, in a variety of fields, with new projects being added every year. One of these important projects is the “German House”, under construction in Ho Chi Minh City, which is going to be a headquarter for German organizations and companies in Ho Chi Minh City.

在两国战略伙伴行动计划框架内,德国与越南合作活动在各领域上继续向前发展,每年都有新的合作项目。两国重要合作项目之一是在胡志明市兴建 “德国屋”,这里将成为在胡志明市德国组织和企业的总部。

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Germany amounted to 10.3 billion USD in 2015, with German imports from Vietnam at eight bn, and exports to Vietnam at 2.3 bn USD. Major export products from Vietnam are footwear, textiles, farming and seafood products, electronic components, wooden furniture, etc.. Major import products from Germany are machinery, transport, vehicles, chemical products, and measurement instruments, etc..

越德两国2015年双边贸易金额达103亿美元,德国自越南进口80亿美元、对越南出口23亿美元。越南对德国主要出口产品是鞋类、纺织品、农海产品、电子零件和木家具等;越南自德国进口主要产品是机械、运输车辆、化学物品和化学仪器等。

On Sunday, Nhan Dan reported a visit by Steinmeier to a German company’s investment site in Haiphong. According to the newsarticle, the gypsum production site, built by German gypsum producer Knauf, is one of the biggest investment projects in Haiphong.

Vietnam’s foreign broadcaster Voice of Vietnam‘s (VoV) German service adds a short description of the Phu Lac wind farm.

Betram Lang, a MERICS researcher, wrote earlier this month that

[i]n times of rising diplomatic tensions in the South China Sea, the European Union (EU) tries to bolster the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a counterweight to China in the region. To this end, the EU has offered generous financial support to foster the regional integration process and sponsor the still politically toothless ASEAN secretariat. It almost tripled previous financial commitments to 196 million EUR between 2014 and 2020.

That however was proving difficult: While Cambodia has been positioning itself as China’s closest ally in South East Asia since at least 2001, other ASEAN countries have recently sought their own kind of ‘privileged relationship’ with the PRC as well.

China’s online media apparently don’t report Steinmeier’s Vietnam visit – most of the Chinese-language coverage appears to be from Vietnamese sources.

Before heading for Vietnam, Steinmeier reportedly called on Vietnam’s leadership for political reforms in Vietnam, an issue that Vietnam’s state-controlled media didn’t cover (not in Chinese, anyway).

In a speech at the opening ceremony for a German and European Law program of study at Hanoi Law University, Steinmeier came back to the topic of political reforms. Successful modernization required the rule of law, and a strong civil society, he said.

Steinmeier also addressed the South China Sea conflict – in a diplomatic way -, plus ASEAN:

For us, but for Vietnam with its important and further growing role in ASEAN and the United Nations, one thing is clear: Peace can only be secured when international law and politics work together. International law aims at guide power within tracks, and the powerful in politics must accept these tracks. The latest decision, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, was an important legal step. What matters now is that the groundbreaking elements of the decision will gradually be turned into practice of international law.

Für uns, aber auch für Vietnam mit seiner wichtigen und weiter wachsenden Rolle in ASEAN und in den Vereinten Nationen ist jedenfalls eines klar: Frieden wird nur gesichert, wenn Völkerrecht und Politik zusammenspielen. Das Völkerrecht zielt darauf ab, Macht in Bahnen zu lenken, und die Mächtigen in der Politik müssen diese Bahnen akzeptieren. Der jüngste Schiedsspruch, basierend auf der Seerechtskonvention der Vereinten Nationen, war ein wichtiger rechtlicher Schritt. Jetzt kommt es darauf an, dass die wegweisenden Elemente des Schiedsspruches Schritt für Schritt auch völkerrechtliche Praxis werden.

Vietnam’s opposition to China’s naval strategy in the South China Sea has been stronger than that of other ASEAN nations. But geostrategic considerations are only one aspect of Germany’s Vietnam policy. Vietnam’s economy keeps growing fast, and East Germany and Vietnam in particular share a history of economic cooperation.

Deutsche Welle, once Germany’s foreign radio station, in a March 2015 report, commemorating fourty years of German-Vietnamese ties:

When that country [East Germany] collapsed, almost all its Vietnamese workers suddenly lost their jobs. They did not want to return to Vietnam because the employment prospects in their home country were very poor. The Vietnamese economic boom was yet to come.

Even so, the majority of these Vietnamese were still repatriated because they did not have a residence permit.

The conflict over contract workers and the regulation of old debts strained the German-Vietnamese ties for several years, according to Gerhard Will. “Only during the course of negotiations, it became clear to both countries what they could offer a lot to each other,” writes Will, who has been a Vietnam expert and worked at the German Institute of International and Security Affairs in Berlin.

[…]

In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed the “Hanoi Declaration” to establish a “strategic partnership” between the two countries. The two leaders expressed the desire to continue economic partnership and cooperate in the areas of development policy, environment, education and science. The German-Vietnamese University in the city of Ho Chi Minh, founded in 2008, is considered a model project in terms of bilateral cooperation.

There is also a West German-Vietnamese history. 33,000 immigrants may not sound like a big number these days, but it did in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Duterte’s China Visit: We need your Help, Son of a Whore

Guanchazhe quotes “German media” (read: Deutsche Welle‘s (DW) Mandarin website) as reporting that Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, wants to gain distance from America and become close to China (疏美亲中). The second part quotes extensively from the DW article (with credits), but leaves out the more pointed remarks (“this president”, “closely observing”).

Deutsche Welle, on Wednesday:

Philippines president Duterte said on Wednesday (October 19) that it was time to say Good-bye to America. He told Filipinos living in Beijing that an alliance with America that had lasted for many years had brought the Philippines extremely little profit.

菲律宾总统杜特尔特周三(10月19日)在北京表示,是时候和美国说再见了。他对生活在北京的菲律宾团体说,菲律宾从多年的美菲同盟中获利甚少。

Discussing American criticism of how he had drug dealers executed extrajudicially, Duterte said, “I’m really angry. If you do that, you are insulting the people of a country.” He said that just as he didn’t want American interference, he didn’t want American military exercises. The reason for you to stay in our country is for your own interest, therefore, it’s time to say good-bye, friend,” he ostensibly shouted into Washington D.C.’s direction.

在谈到美国批评他法外处决毒贩时,杜特尔特说,”我真的很生气。如果你们这样做,你们是在侮辱一个国家的人民”。他表示,再也不要美国的干预,再也不要美国的演习。”你们留在我的国家是为了你们的自身利益,所以是时候说再见了,朋友”,他似乎在向华盛顿喊话。

“I won’t go to America again, I would only be insulted there,” said Duterte, as he once again denounced US president Obama as “raised by a whore”.

“我不会再去美国,在那里我只会受侮辱”,说完杜特尔特又再次骂美国总统奥巴马是”婊子养的”。

This Philippines president also said he had enough of foreign-policies arranged by the West and said that “in the past, they made us stay distant from China, but that wasn’t our own wish, and I will open a new road.”

这位菲律宾总统还表示,他受够了菲律宾受西方摆布的外交政策,并说,”以前让我们远离中国,并非是我们自己的意愿,我会开始新路线”。

Since the beginning of his presidency in June, Philippine foreign policy has taken a big turn, contrasting with previous president Aquino III policies, distancing the Philippines from Washington, the old ally, and expressing goodwill to China.

自从杜特尔特今年6月底上台以来,菲律宾的外交政策相比前任阿基诺三世时期发生了大转弯,开始疏远多年来的盟友华盛顿,向北京示好。

Duterte, who is currently in China, has praised the country. According to AFP, he said on Wednesday that China was “good”, and hasn’t invaded any place in our country for generations”; thus hinting at America’s colonial history in the Philippines. “During the Cold War, China was described as the bad guy. At that time, our schoolbooks were full of Western propaganda.”

目前身处中国的杜特尔特对中国大加赞赏。据法新社报道,他在周三说中国”不错”,”世世代代以来,从没有侵略过我们国家的任何地方”,影射美国对菲律宾的殖民历史。 “在冷战时期,中国被描述成坏人。那些年里,我们的教科书中都是西方制造的政治宣传”。

China is closely observing Manila’s expressions of goodwill, of course. Foreign-ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Wednesday’s regular press conference that China “expressed admiration” for Dutertes strikes against drug criminality”, and said that “China supports Dutertes leadership in the construction of his country by the Philippine people, their efforts for economic development, and we are willing to actively participate in economic and social construction. China is willing to cooperate with the Philippines in trade, production capacity, infrastructure building and in other fields.”

对于马尼拉的示好,中国方面自然看在眼里。中国外交部发言人华春莹在周三的例行记者会上表示,中方对杜特尔特打击毒品犯罪”表示赞赏”,同时称,”中方支持杜特尔特总统领导菲人民建设国家、发展经济的努力,愿积极参与菲经济社会建设,同菲方在包括经贸、产能、基础设施建设等领域开展合作。”

There are doubts within the Philippines however, regarding Dutertes position towards China. Richard Heydarian, political scientist of De La Salle University in Manila, told AP that the Philippines’ mainstream media felt that “it can’t be right to be show that much respect for a country that invaded Philippine territory.”

不过,杜特尔特的对华立场在菲律宾国内受到了一些质疑。马尼拉德拉萨大学的政治学教授海德林(Richard Heydarian)对美联社说,菲律宾的主流媒体认为,”对于这个侵占菲律宾领土的国家如此恭敬,这让人感觉不对”。

The initiator of the Hague arbitration case concerning the South China Sea, former foreign minister Albert del Rosario, said that the Philippine’s foreign policy shouldn’t be contemptuous of America as a long-standing ally, or replace it with another country (China).

南海海牙仲裁案的发起者、前菲律宾外长罗萨里奥(Albert del Rosario)也表示,菲律宾的外交政策不应该唾弃长期的盟友美国而取悦另外一个国家(中国)。

That, however, doesn’t appear to be on Duterte’s mind. In a CCTV interview, he said that he wanted to extend a fraternal and friendly hand, ask for Chinese help, and, looking right into the camera, “frankly said, we need your help.”

然而这些,似乎并不在杜特尔特的考虑之中。在接受央视采访时,杜特尔特称,自己要伸出兄弟友谊之手,向中国寻求帮助,他直面镜头说:”坦率地说,我们需要你们的帮助。”

The DW article comes across as slightly sardonic. Guanchazhe, obviously, ignores that. It does, however, quote “foreign media” as reporting doubts from within the Philippines. Guanchazhe also seeks and finds an answer to such voices of doubts, delivered by foreign-ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, on the same press conference as quoted further up.

Some reporters at the foreign ministry’s regular press conference on October 19 asked: Western media follow Duterte’s China visit closely, but there are voices among them who “pour cold water” on the enthusiasm. How does the foreign ministry comment on this?

Foreign-ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the Chinese and Philippine people were all very happy and full of hope concerning Duterte’s visit, but in fact, there were also people with anxious, disappointed or complex feelings. The return of Sino-Philippines relations to the tracks of a more healthy and stable development was, however, good news, both for China and the Philippines, and for regional peace and stability. I believe that provided that they hope for peaceful and stable development of the Asia-Pacific region, people will welcome this.

10月19日外交部例行记者会上,有记者问到,西方媒体非常关注杜特尔特访华一事,但其中有“泼冷水”的声音,中方对此有何评论?

外交部发言人华春莹就此回应,对于杜特尔特此访,中菲两国人民都很高兴并抱有期待,但的确也有人焦虑、失落,五味杂陈。中菲关系重回健康稳定发展的正确轨道,无论对于中菲两国,还是地区和平稳定,都是利好消息。我想,只要是真正希望亚太地区和平稳定发展繁荣的人,对此都会持欢迎态度。

Guanchazhe quotes Mainila Commercial Times as reporting that China Railway Group Ltd was going to invest three billion USD in Philippines infrastructures in the future.

The Guanchazhe article’s effect on the readership, if uncensored, is handsome. The “overjoyed” button was clicked 321 times by 07:15 UTC, 41 clicks went to the button “timely”, and only five clicks hit the “absurd” or “sad” button.

We can sign a contract with Old Du, for step-by-step investment, thus ensuring Chinese interests, but also the stability of Old Du’s political power, how about that,

我们可以和老杜签个合同,投资分段进行,既保证中国利益,又保证老杜政权的稳定,怎么样?

suggests The Little Venerable, and Clear Spring from a Rock serenely declares:

If you say good-bye to America or not doesn’t matter. what matters is an independent and self-determined foreign policy, without being used by others.

与美国再不再见的不太要紧,关键是要独立自主的外交政策,别被人利用了

According to Radio Japan‘s Mandarin service, Duterte meets Chinese party and state chairman Xi Jinping on Thursday.

Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China editor, suggested two days ago that

a clear-cut courtroom win against China, coming just after Mr Duterte took up office, has created opportunities for a new approach. China cannot take that legal victory away. And meanwhile in the nearly four years since the Philippines began its legal case, it has suffered economically as Beijing has frozen Manila out of the benefits of Chinese wealth. China has actively discouraged tourists, investors and importers from looking to the Philippines. With the legal card in his back pocket, Mr Duterte wants that economic chill to end. He sees no reason why the Philippines shouldn’t, just like most other countries in the region, have its cake and eat it – enjoy the economic benefits of China’s growth at the same time as sheltering under the US security umbrella.

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Related

Inherent Territory, May 13, 2012

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Updates/Related

Indonesia detains Taiwan vessel, RTI, Oct 20, 2016

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