Posts tagged ‘一带一路’

Monday, March 16, 2020

New Diplomatic Normal: “Give your esteemed Country’s Voters an Explanation”

Latest diplomatic hero: Zhang Xiao,
ambassador to Kazakhstan

The following is a translation published by Guanchazhe online (观察者网, Shanghai) on Monday, covering a Facebook post written by China’s ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Xiao (张霄).

Diplomats, and especially Chinese diplomats, are usually the last officials who like to become noisy, but the times are changing, and so are the demands on them. The recent behavior of Chinese ambassadors, most notoriously the one to Sweden, Gui Congyou, should probably not be seen as populism, at least not in a classical sense.

Such explosions aren’t temper tantrums. They are attempts to intimidate other stakeholders, preferably smaller countries. Charm offensives aren’t completely out, but mostly restricted to “friendly” countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, or Pakistan.

Therefore, we should probably think of this as beauty contests on Xi Jinping’s catwalk – the new diplomatic normal, prescribed by the center. (A recall of Chinese ambassadors will just lead to another guy doing his best, so waste no time on it.)

Zhang Xiao’s facebook post, and Zhao Lijian‘s Tweet (referred to in the following Guanchazhe article) are somewhat different from Gui Congyou’s in that they apparently aren’t trying to pressurize a smaller country, but rather to excel in a global opinion struggle, and to impress their superiors.

Main link: Ambassador to Kazakhstan shows his dislike for America: a waste of the time won by China (我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使怼美国:浪费中国赢得的时间)

As some of America’s high-ranking officials and members of the House of Representatives have repeatedly talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma, another Chinese diplomat strikes back on social media abroad.

【文/观察者网 齐倩】在美国部分高官、议员多次将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”后,又一中国外交官在国外社交媒体上发出回击。

On March 14, our country’s ambassador to Kazachstan, Zhang Xiao, denounced America of only caring about vilifying and slandering China, wasting precious time that China had earned the world.

3月14日,我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使张霄也在脸书用俄语发声,指责美国在疫情初期只顾诋毁诽谤中国,白白浪费了中方用生命为世界赢来的宝贵时间。

He also pointed straight away at America’s epidemic data as being “too watered-down”, yelling that America’s government should be public and transparent, not politicize the virus, or swing pans around and seek scapegoats!

他还直指美国的疫情数据“掺了太多水”,喊话美国政府要公开透明,不要将病毒政治化,也不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention director previously conceded that Americans who died from influenza had in fact suffered from COVID-19 pneumonia, and after this matter had been exposed, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had written five tweets in a row on Twitter in the evening of March 12, both in Chinese and English, fuming at America that you owe us an explanation!

美国疾控中心主任此前承认美国有流感死者可能实患新冠肺炎,此事被曝光之后,外交部发言人赵立坚12日晚在推特上,用中英双语连发5条推文怒怼美国:欠我们一个解释!

In his tweet, Zhang Xiao shouted at America’s government: In the early stages of COVID-19 pneumonia epidemic, what did you do? Still infatuated with geopolitical games, domestic political agendas and slanders against China. You have wasted precious time that China had earned the countries of the world, including your country.

张霄在贴文中喊话美国政府:新冠肺炎疫情初期你们在干什么?仍醉心于地缘政治游戏、国内政治议程和诽谤中国。你们浪费了中国用生命为世界所有国家,包括你们在内,赢得的宝贵时间。

Zhang Xiao also attacked American data for not being transparent. He said that the American government had been confident that health officials’ warnings were lies, claiming that the situation was under control. By now, the COVID-19 virus had already spread into more than 40 US states, and you are losing your head out of fear right away.

张霄还抨击美国数据不公开透明。他表示,美国政府笃定本国卫生官员的预警是“谎言”,坚称局势已在控制中。而现在,新冠病毒已在美国40多个州蔓延,“你们马上变得惊慌失措”。

According to CNN’s latest reports, combined data from the respective US state governments and the CDC say that in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. had at least 3,482 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of who at least 65 people had died. West Virginia remained the only state without confirmed cases.

据美国有线新闻网(CNN)最新报道,综合各州政府机构和疾控中心(CDC)数据,在49个州、波多黎各、美属维尔京群岛和华盛顿特区至少有3482例新冠肺炎确诊病例,至少65人死亡。西弗吉尼亚州仍然是唯一一个没有确诊病例的州。

It is worth noting that CDC data have stopped as of March 13: 1,629 confirmed cases, 41 deaths. (Guanchazhe online note: US CDC stopped updating updating data on the weekend.

值得注意的是,美国疾控中心(CDC)的数据仍停留在3月13日:确诊病例1629例,死亡41例。(观察者网注:美国疾控中心周末停止更新数据。)

Zhang Xiao said that all the same, American scientists had confirmed themselves that many many people who had died of influenza were really victims of the COVID-19 virus, making the actual number of deaths from COVID-19 much higher,

张霄称,然而美国的科学家自己也证实,许多死于流感的人实际上是新冠病毒的受害者,所以实际死亡人数要多得多。“你们的数据里水分太多,谈何透明?”

[Apparently a caption of the Facebook entry:] The ridiculous thing is that facing an epidemic disease, your esteemed country has not taken emergency measures to mend the leaks, but shifted the responsibility to China, calling it “China virus”. Such a careless conclusion will inevitably raise suspicions among the popular feelings.

“可笑荒谬的是,面对流行病,贵国没有采取紧急措施来弥补和修补漏洞,而是把责任推给了中国,称其为“中国病毒”。如此草率地下结论,不免让人心生怀疑。” [End of caption]

He also continued to call on experts from all countries of the world to carry out research about the origin of the virus, and the truth would eventually come to light [literally: become clear under heaven]. What we must do now is that all countries unite, jointly resist the virus, but not shirk responsibility! There must be no pan-swinging and scapegoating again!

他还继续呼吁,各国专家都在对病毒起源进行研究,真相终将大白于天下。现在我们需要做的事情,就是各国团结一致,共同对抗病毒,而不是推卸责任。不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

With the American epidemic becoming more serious day by day, Zhang Xiao [rhetorically] asked if your esteemed country’s lack of face masks, gloves, test reagents, equipment, and goods supplies and even the stock market crash were also China’s fault? It is time now to give your esteemed country’s voters and the international community an explanation, “what are you actually hiding?”

对于美国日趋严峻的疫情,张霄称,贵国缺乏口罩、手套、测试试剂和设备物资,甚至股市崩盘,这也是中国的错吗?现在是时候给贵国选民和国际社会一个交待了,“你们到底隐瞒了什么?”

Closing, Zhang Xiao explained that America’s government, as a result of its negligence in epidemic prevention, wasted the time China had gained for the world, and urged the US not to continue this kind of meaningless trick, because politicizing the virus would make the situation worse.

最后张霄重申,美国政府在防疫上的粗心大意,导致白白浪费了中国为世界赢得的时间,并敦促美国不要继续这种无意义的把戏,因为将病毒政治化会使情况变得更糟。

The virus is awful, even the strongest countries of the world won’t be able to withstand its blow. We must always remember not to expectorate into the well (not to do stupid things).

“病毒是可怕的,即使是世界上最强大的国家也会不堪一击。我们要永远记住,不要往井里吐痰(不要做蠢事)。”

Earlier,  high-ranking American officials and Members of the House of Representatives had, in disregard of WHO appeals, deliberately talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma. According to a report on the Chinese embassy to Kazakhstan’s website, Zhang Xiao had forcefully stated his dislike of American politicans’ ridiculous statements as early as on March 9, saying that the COVID-19 virus had torn off America’s cold-blooded, hypocritical and arrogant mask.*)

此前,美国部分高官、议员多次无视世卫组织呼吁,故意将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”。据中国驻哈萨克斯坦大使馆网站报道,早在3月9日,张霄就在脸书力怼美国政客的荒谬发言,称新冠病毒撕下了美国冷血、虚伪和傲慢的面具。

Moreover, countering the so-called “virus’ orgin” controversy, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a reply on a regular press conference on March 13 that “we notice that recently, there have been discussions about the source of the virus. Individual high US government officials and Members of Congress are using this as a pretext for all kinds of false and irresponsible remarks to discredit and to attack China, to which we are resolutely opposed. In fact, the international community including America, have different views of the virus’ origin. China has always taken the view that this is a scientific issue and that we need to listen to scientific and professional opinions.”

另外,针对所谓“病毒起源”的争论,外交部发言人耿爽在3月13日召开的外交部例行记者会上回应称,“我们注意到,最近一段时间有一些关于新冠病毒源头的讨论。个别美国政府高官和国会议员借此发表种种不实和不负责任的言论,抹黑攻击中国,我们对此坚决反对。事实上,国际社会包括美国国内,对病毒源头问题有不同看法。中方始终认为,这是一个科学问题,需要听取科学和专业的意见。”

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Note

*) This doesn’t seem to make sense, but it’s how I’m reading it.

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Friday, February 28, 2020

Ukraine between a Rock and a Hard Place: Washington wants to prevent China’s Acquisition of Motor Sich

Huanqiu Shibao quotes foreign media, as usual, without providing links to the specific articles. All links within blockquotes were added during translation. Topic: China’s planned Motor Sich acquisition.

Still Rambo’s favorite target,
the HIND helicopter –
Wikipedia / license CC BY-SA 3.0 –
click photo for source

 

Main Link: Ukraine declines Motor Sich acquisition by Chinese company? Russian media: America dissatisfied with Sino-Ukrainian transactions, has exerted pressure on Ukraine before (乌克兰拒绝中国公司买马达西奇?俄媒:美国不满中乌交易,曾对乌施压)

American website BuzzFeed said on February 25 that an official with the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine had revealed that in March, this commission would publicly announce a ban on Beijing Skyrizon Aviation buying Motor Sich company. There had been news before that in addition to buying shares, the Chinese company had als pledged to invest 250 mn US dollars within two years.

【环球时报综合报道】美国BuzzFeed网站25日称,乌克兰反垄断委员会官员透露,该委员会将在3月宣布,禁止中国的北京天骄航空产业投资有限公司购买乌克兰的马达西奇公司。此前有消息称,除购买股份外,中国公司还承诺在两年内对该工厂投资2.5亿美元。

Sputnik News said that Ukrainian president Zelensky took this decision because of so-called “geopolitical risks”, but Sputnik online  says that Sino-Ukrainian related transactions had caused American dissatisfaction, with the latter exerting pressure on Ukraine. Reportedly, America has plans to let Oriole Capital Group, which isn’t too well-known, become Motor Sich’s buyer. It is said that a penalty to be paid buy Motor Sich for breach of contract is in a range from 500 mn to 2 bn US dollars. As Ukraine’s budget can’t sustain these expenses, it had been hoped that this company would provide the amount. But America didn’t want that, and therefore, it could sanction Motor Sich to force force the Chinese company to abandon the acquisition plan.(Wang Zhen)

俄新社称,乌克兰总统泽连斯基是根据所谓 “地缘风险”做出上述决定的。但俄罗斯卫星网称,中乌的有关交易引起美方不满,后者曾对乌施压。据称,美国打算让一家不太出名的Oriole Capital Group公司成为马达西奇的收购者。据了解,有关马达西奇交易的违约金为5亿至20亿美元。由于乌预算无法负担这一费用,因此希望这家公司提供这笔钱。但美国却不愿意。因此,美方可能会通过制裁马达西奇公司逼迫中国公司放弃收购计划。(王臻)

In an online article, possibly the one referenced by “Huanqiu Shibao”, a BuzzFeed author that President Zelensky would probably prefer to keep the Ukrainian arms manufacturer out of “a larger Washington–Beijing power game” and find an investor “from a country other than the US and China”, but also points out the pressures from Washington, previously concerning “investigating” Biden business in Ukraine, now concerning Motor Sich.

While the Motor Sich saga appears to be continuing, at least until next month, Ukraine’s vice premier Dmytro Kuleba showed interest in economic cooperation with China, saying that the COVID-19 outbreak had delayed such cooperation, Radio Ukraine International reported on Friday morning (UTC).

“We need investment and we have to launch new industrial facilities. We could already be discussing this with China” [hadn’t there been the epidemic outbreak],

Kuleba was quoted as saying.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Chinese Academic on WSJ Reporters’ Expulsion: Butts have to be spanked

The following is a translation of an opinion article by Yang Hanyi, a regular columnist with the internet newsmagazine Guanchazhe Online (aka “Observer”), and researcher at the Shanghai Spring and Autumn Development Strategy Institute.

Guanchazhe is privately-run, according to this Wiki, and seems to be replacing “Huanqiu Shibao” as a voice for post-1990 fenqings, plus indignant little emperors of all ages.

Yang’s article goes far beyond the WSJ “incident” – and this probably reflects the political motivation behind revoking the three press credentials. It appears to reflect Beijing’s frustration with American sanction policies, the murder of Qasem Soleimani, and the demonstrations in Hong Kong (blamed on the West), among others. It also tries to sketch a roadmap of how to deal with the press in future.

However, Guanchazhe notes that the article’s content is only the opinion of the author, and not written on behalf of the platform.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

On February 19, a spokesman of China’s foreign ministry announced at a press conference that from that day onwards, the credentials of three Beijing reporters of America’s “Wall Street Journal” would be revoked. In peoples’ memory, this is the first time in the decades of reform and opening up that the government has handed down an “edict of expulsion” against several reporters of the same medium at the same time.

2月19日,中国外交部发言人在记者会上宣布,即日起吊销美国《华尔街日报》三名驻京记者证件。在人们的记忆中,这是改革开放几十年来中国政府首次对来自同一家国际媒体的多名记者同时下“逐客令”。

I’d just like to say: “well done”.

对此我只想说“干得漂亮”。

As is well known, this incident started with the “WSJ”‘s publication of a flow of racism and prejudice, “China is the real sick man in Asia”, slandering the Chinese government’s and peoples’ great efforts to resist the new coronavirus epidemic. Once this was published, many netizens rushed forth the the “WSJ”‘s social media accounts and denounced the racism. America’s nationwide broadcaster NBC, in a report, also criticized the “WSJ”‘s headline as it could create fear, anxieties, and a hostile mood. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, on February 6, named the author and criticized his arrogance, prejudice and ignorance. But facing the stern message of the Chinese side, [the WSJ] then turned to summoning the pretense of freedom of the press and of speech. For a while, the author said that the choice of the headline was freedom of editing, for a while they said that they had meant to refer to the Ottoman Empire without malign intentions, and even that [The remaining accusations are beyond my translation skills, but this article may reflect all or some of them]. Do they really believe that people don’t know those things behind western media?

众所周知,这起事件的起因是《华尔街日报》2月3日发表了一篇流淌着种族主义偏见的文章《中国是真正的“亚洲病夫”》,诋毁中国政府和人们抗击新冠疫情的努力。此文一发,大批网民涌至作者和《华尔街日报》社交媒体页面上留言指责种族主义。美国全美广播公司在报道中也批评《华尔街日报》的标题可能制造恐惧、焦虑和敌对情绪。中国外交部发言人华春莹更是于2月6日点名批评该文作者的傲慢、偏见和无知。但面对中方的严正交涉,他们又搬出新闻自由、言论自由的幌子,一会儿作者说起标题是编辑的自由,一会儿说我们没有恶意只是玩了个奥斯曼帝国的梗,一会儿说我们甚至以病夫自黑呢。如今中国采取惩罚措施,《华尔街日报》发行人威廉•刘易斯又甩的一手好锅,说评论部门惹的祸,不好怪到新闻记者头上来哟,真以为人们不知道西方媒体背后那些事呢?

In recent years, everyone has clearly seen America’s so-called great-power competition, not only in correct and fitting words in national defense strategy papers, not only by openly kidnapping the international community with domestic laws*), not only by telling the world with an honest face that we “tell lies, cheat and steal”, not only trampling on international conventions for the protection of diplomats by public assassination, but also by carrying a gun and a stick on a somewhat concealed battlefield which is the battle of public opinion.

近年来大家都看清了美国所谓的大国竞争,不仅名正言顺地写在国防战略报告里;不仅堂而皇之用国内法绑架国际社会;不仅正大光明地告诉世界“我们撒谎、欺骗、偷窃”;不仅践踏保护外交人员的国际公约公然行刺,也包括在另一片略微隐蔽的战场上夹枪带棒,这就是舆论话语的战斗。

Yang’s article describes news media as rather low-cost “mouthpieces of national interests” with a frequently high impact on international public opinion and politics, while America hardly found a way to compete with Huawei. And while an old-style empire’s embarrassing situation was understandable, and while one could even appreciate the comical nature of foreign medias’ blackening of China, butts that deserved a spanking still needed to be spanked (但好笑归好笑,屁股该打还是要打的).

It continues with a tour of American crimes and double standards (perceived or real – you decide from case to case), from a recently announced obligation for China’s state or party media to register as foreign agents or diplomatic missions in the US, to an NBA executive’s support of Hong Kong’s democracy movement (instigating chaos elements in HK / 怂恿乱港分子), the publication of a coronavirus-China-state-flag cartoon in Denmark, the WSJ’s sick-man-of-Asia statement, and inconsistencies in measures against anti-semitic or anti-black messages online while lacking protection of China against being being scolded.

The “Charlie Hebdo” massacre is broached, too, and so is responsibility as the other side of the coin (freedom being the other one).

Has the “WSJ” published free speech which insults Chinese? Yes. Must it be held responsible for publishing such remarks? Yes.

《华尔街日报》有没有发表侮辱中国人文章的言论自由?有。那它需不需要为发表这样的言论负责?需要。

The article then refers to Singapore as a place to learn from, when dealing with “misreporting”, citing a lawsuit by Lee Kuan Yew against the Far Eastern Economic Review‘s editor-in-chief as an example – according to the author, that was in 1989 -, and a case against the Asia WSJ, also in Singapore, in 1991, about contempt of court.

Yang on the other hand cites Beijing’s “unreliable entities list” as a conceivable tool.

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Note

*) There are probably two aspects to this accusation. One could be the US sanctions regime against Iran (and maybe also against North Korea, even if China officially supports those), and another would be a widely held belief that there is a rift between the US and the rest of the West about how to interact with China.

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Related

FMPRC daily briefing online, Febr 19, 2020
Be more Xinhua, Oct 10, 2009

Monday, December 16, 2019

One Territory, two Statements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Related

Beijing invites fact finding mission, July 9, 2019

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Prague committed betrayal, but it was us, because we were faster

According to Guanchazhe, an online news portal in Shanghai quoting from a press conference at China’s embassy in Prague, it was Prague’s city council.

Prague unilaterally ended city friendship agreement1) with Beijing, our embassy’s reaction

布拉格单方面终止同北京市友城协议,我大使馆回应

Question: on October 7, the Prague municipal committee2) decided to end the city friendship agreement it had signed with Beijing. Could you please tell us if the Chinese embassy to the Czech Republic has a comment about this?

问:10月7日,布拉格市委会决定终止布拉格市同北京市签署的友城协议。请问中国驻捷克大使馆对此有何评论?

Answer: We have taken note of Prague’s municipal committee’s decision to unilaterally end the city friendship agreement it had signed with Beijing and to pass this on to the the city assembly for consideration. This kind of behavior can even be called treachery, desctruction of Sino-Czech relations and of the atmosphere of the two countries’ local exchange and cooperation. Beijing city has already filed solemn protest to Prague.

答:我们注意到,布拉格市委会日前决定单方面终止该市同北京市签署的友城协议并提交市议会审议。这种行为可谓背信弃义,破坏中捷关系和两国地方交流合作氛围。北京市已就此向布拉格市提出严正抗议。

Concerning this, I would like to emphasize that the one-China principle is a matter of Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, touches upon China’s core interests, is the foundation and a prerequisite for all of China’s external exchange and cooperation, and also an accepted international relations’ norm and the international community’s general consensus. The Czech government has consistently supported the one-China principle. China wants to continue the work with the Czech government and all walks of life, for the promotion of exchange and cooperation on all levels between China and the Czech Republic, including the strengthening of the two countries’ local friendly exchange and cooperation.

在此我要强调,一个中国原则事关中国主权和领土完整,涉及中方核心利益,是中方开展一切对外交流合作的基础和前提,也是公认的国际关系准则和国际社会普遍共识。捷克政府一贯坚持一个中国原则。中方愿同捷克政府和社会各界一道,持续推进中捷各层级各领域交流合作,包括加强两国地方友好交流合作。

We urge the Prague municipal authorities to correct their course soon, in tune with the great trend of the era and the advancing tide of history, and to get back onto the correct track of promoting the development of bilateral relations. Otherwise, their own interests will be harmed in the end.

我们敦促布拉格市政当局早日改弦更张,顺应时代发展大势和历史进步潮流,回到促进双方关系发展的正确轨道上来,否则最终损害的将是他们自己的利益。

Guanchazhe published the above Q and A on Wednesday.

But according to Beijing News (新京报), a paper from Beijing, republished here by sina.com on Thursday, it was Beijing’s foreign affair’s office (waiban) that took the decision.

Ever since November 2018, the new Prague authorities’ main officials and others, in disregard of accepted international relations’ norm and the international community’s general consensus, despite China’s solemn position and strong opposition, has again and again taken wrong measures and made improper remarks concerning Taiwan, Tibet and other Chinese core interests.

2018年11月以来,捷克布拉格市新一届市政当局主要官员等人,无视国际关系基本准则和国际社会共识,不顾中方严正立场和强烈反对,屡屡在台湾、涉藏等涉及中方核心利益的重大问题上采取错误行动并发表不当言论。

According to Beijing News, Beijing city’s waiban published its statement on October 9, suggesting that it was Beijing that ended the sister partnership.

We hope that the related personnel2) will soon become aware of the mistake and remove the negative effects by practical actions.

希望布拉格市有关人员早日认识错误,以实际行动消除负面影响。

The paper also notes that the two cities had signed the agreement in March 2016. China Radio International quoted then Prague mayor, Adriana Krnacova, as referring to the partnership as a big opportunity to make educational exchanges, for students to travel back and forth and learn from each other.

According to the South China Morning Post, Prague’s city council had voted to end the agreement after current mayor Zdenek Hrib’s unsuccessful efforts to get Beijing to remove a “one China” pledge from the agreement.

Hrib had never been in Beijing’s good books. Probably, the bid to remove the “one-China” clause from the agreement, and a visit to Taiwan, including a meeting with the country’s president Tsai Ing-wen, were major acts of wrong measures and improper remarks by that piece of personnel from Prague.

Either way, a sinologist from Prague, commenting on Radio Prague International on Thursday, didn’t come across as terribly worried about the consequences, while foreign minister Tomáš Petříček was quoted as saying that said threats had no place in diplomacy.

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1) usually referred to as a sister city relationship in Western media
2) What is referred to as “municipal committee” by Beijing News (in accordance with Chinese local government structures) is actually Prague’s city council
3) 有关人员

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Beijing invites Turkish delegation for fact-finding mission in Xinjiang, says Erdogan advisor

The following is a translation from a short news article on TRT Ankara‘s foreign radio website. On February 4, Amnesty International had published a press release, demanding “an international fact-finding mission to investigate credible allegations that up to one million Turkic Muslims are being arbitrarily detained in ‘political education’ camps across Xinjiang, a region in northwest China”. AI had addressed their demand to the UN Human Rights Council.

TRT World (Chinese), July 4, 2019 — President Erdogan has given a positive response to China’s invitation to examine the Uyghurs’ situation

埃尔多安总统积极回应中方观察维吾尔人状况邀请

Presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said that Beijing had invited a delegation to carry out an on-site observation on Uyghur life in Xinjiang autonomous region.

总统府通讯署署长阿勒屯(Fahrettin Altun)表示,北京邀请一个代表团前往中国对在新疆自治区生活的维吾尔人的状况进行实地观察。

In a statement published on social media concerning President Erdogan’s China trip, Altun said that during Erdogan’s visit to China, all aspects of relations between Turkey and China had been discussed, including the Uyghurs.

通过社交媒体就总统埃尔多安的中国之行发表声明的阿勒屯说,在埃尔多安总统的中国访问期间,包括维吾尔人在内,土耳其和中国关系的所有方面得到全面讨论。

Altun sermonized:

阿勒屯讲道:

“President Erdogan has made it clear that our only wish is that Uyghurs in China live in peace, happiness and prosperity, and to give our opinions and expectations to our counterparts. Also, the Chinese side invited the Turkish side to send a delegation to China to carry out an on-site observation on Uyghur life in Xinjiang autonomous region. The revered President has responded positively to this invitation.”

“埃尔多安总统表明了维吾尔人在中国生活在和平,幸福和繁荣之中是我们唯一的愿望,并将关于这一问题上观点和期待转达给对方。此外,中方还邀请土耳其方面派遣一支代表团前往中国,以对生活在新疆自治区的维吾尔人状况进行实地观察。尊敬的总统对此邀请作出了积极回应。”

Altun also said that President Erdogan and Chinese State Chairman Xi Jinping have reached consensus in the fields of promoting bilateral trade, investment, research and development, science and technology, civil aviation, tourism, and culture. The two leaders also decided to strengthen the ties [provided by] the gateway of the historic silk road between East and West.

阿勒屯还表示,总统埃尔多安和中国国家主席习近平就推进双边贸易、投资、研发、科学技术、民航、旅游和文化领域达成共识,两位领导人还决定加强历史丝绸之路东西大门之间的纽带。”

CCTV’s main evening news broadcast “xinwen lianbo”, on July 2, quoted Xi Jinping as telling Erdogan that

please click picture for video

Practical measures must be taken to promote anti-terrorism cooperation. China appreciates Mr. President’s repeated reiterations not  to allow any forces to engage in anti-Chinese separatist activities from Turkey, and attaches great importance to Turkey’s emphasis on supporting China’s strikes against terrorism. [China] hopes to strengthen cooperation with Turkey in the field of counter-terrorism.

要采取切实行动,推进反恐安全合作。中方赞赏总统先生多次重申不允许任何势力在土耳其从事反华分裂活动,重视土方多次强调支持中方打击恐怖主义,愿同土方加强在国际反恐领域合作。

In summer 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had reportedly referred to Beijing’s policies on Xinjiang as “a genocide. There’s no point in interpreting this otherwise”. Maybe he now sees a point in re-interpreting the situation.

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Updates / Related

“Abschied vom Westen”, Die Welt, July 12, 2019

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Taiwan’s Representative to Czech Republic: Relations not affected

The following is a translation of a CNA (Central News Agency) article from Taiwan, with some details of an interview Taiwan’s semi-offical ambassador Wang Chung-I (汪忠一, officially his country’s diplomatic “representative”), gave to a Czech newspaper on Tuesday. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link (CNA): Dispute around Taiwan’s Representative having to leave his seat won’t affect relations between the two Countries (被迫離席風波 駐捷克代表:不影響兩國關係)

Central News Agency CNA reporter Lin Yuli, Berlin, April 10 – Taiwan’s Representative to the Czech Republic, Wang Chung-I, who took part in a conference hosted by the Czech ministry of trade and industry, and was removed under Chinese pressure. Czech media published interviews with him, and Wang Chung-I believes that this diplomatic dispute will not lead to bad effects on the two countries’ relationship.

(中央社記者林育立柏林10日專電)駐捷克代表汪忠一上月參加捷克貿易工業部主辦的會議,因中國施壓被迫離席。捷克媒體刊登他的專訪,汪忠一相信這起外交風波不至於影響兩國的關係。

The case of the Taiwanese representative having been forced to leave the venue had led to great controversy in Czech political circles. Forty senators across party lines have sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babis in recent days, demanding that trade and industry minister Marta Novakova should assume political responsibility, and the House of Deputies‘ foreign  affairs committee also met to discuss this diplomatic dispute.

台灣代表被迫離場事件,最近在捷克政壇引起軒然大波。40名跨黨派的參議員日前聯名致函總理巴比什(Andrej Babis)要求貿易工業部長諾娃科娃(Marta Novakova)負起政治責任,眾議院外交委員會也開會討論這起外交風波。

Major Czech paper “Economic Daily” (Hospodarske Noviny) published an entire page of an interview with Wang Chung-I on April 9. Wang Chung-I said that after the incident, the representative office [i. e. Taiwan’s semi-official embassy in Prague] received support from all walks of life in Czechia, also e-mails of encouragement from members of the general public, which made him feel pleasantly surprised.

捷克大報「經濟日報」(Hospodarske Noviny)9日用一整版的篇幅刊出汪忠一的專訪。汪忠一表示,事件發生後,代表處收到捷克各界的聲援,還有民眾寫電子郵件來鼓勵,讓他感到驚喜。

He pointed out that during the past 19 years, Taiwan had always received invitations from the trade and industry ministry, and had always sent someone to take part in the conferences. He knew that the trade and industry ministry was under great Chinese pressure, and had therefore issued no protest to the ministry, and rather held talks with Czech diplomats to make mutually sure that this incident woudl not affect bilateral relations.

他指出,過去19年台灣每年都收到貿工部的邀請,也都派人出席這場會議。他知道貿工部受到中國的強大壓力,因此事後沒有向貿工部抗議,但與捷克外交官員進行了會談,互相保證這件事不至於影響雙邊關係。

Wang Chung-I emphasized that in the past, similar incidents had occured in Czechia, and usually it was the Chinese ambassador opposing the Taiwanese representative being in the place. If the organizing unit maintained its right to invite whom it wanted to invite, the Chinese ambassador would leave his seat, this was his first time to have to leave the place because of Chinese pressure.

汪忠一強調,捷克過去也曾發生過類似的事件,一般而言是中國大使反對台灣代表在場。如果主辦單位堅持有權決定想邀請的人,中國大使會離席,這是他第一次因中國施壓而被迫離場。

In the interview, Wang Chung-I also quoted former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a man with friendly feelings towards Taiwan, as describing in a book why Czech and Taiwanese people had similar lines of thought.

汪忠一在這篇專訪中,還引述了對台灣友好的捷克前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的話,他在一本書中曾描述捷克人和台灣人為何有相同的思維方式。

Wang Chung-I pointed out that both Czechia and Taiwan were rather small countries, both with experience in resisting powerful neighboring countries, and common values of respect for human rights, freedom and democracy.

汪忠一指出,捷克與台灣都是比較小的國家,一樣有與超強鄰國對抗的經驗,而且共享尊重人權和自由民主的價值觀。

Czechia is a major tourist destination in Europe, with its capital Prague attracting particularly many Taiwanese tourists. Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib mentioned in a meeting with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen late last month that he hoped to establish direct flights with Taipei.

捷克是歐洲的觀光重鎮,尤其首都布拉格吸引許多台灣觀光客,布拉格市長賀吉普(Zdenek Hrib)上月底訪問台灣會見蔡英文總統時才提到,希望與台北建立直航。

Wang Chung-I said that last year’s number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Czechia reached up to 190,000, an annual rise by ten percent, and for tourism and commercial exchange between the two countries, he hoped that a direct flight connection between Prague and Taipei would soon materialize. (Editor’s name) Number

汪忠一表示,去年台灣旅客造訪捷克的人數高達19萬,年成長率10%,為了兩國的觀光和商務往來,他也期盼布拉格與台北的直航能早日實現。(編輯:高照芬)1080411

Friday, April 5, 2019

Prague Castle*) incident: “The Minister should have known what to do”

*) Correction, April 11, 2019: not at the Castle, but at the trade ministry in Prague.

Update, April 11, 2019: Reportedly, trade minister Marta Nováková will be replaced, along with transport minister Dan Ťok, in a cabinet reshuffle.

Britain’s Daily Mail quotes a “series of missteps”, the way she dealt with the Chinese ambassador’s “request” to remove Taiwan’s representative from a meeting at the trade ministry among them, but mainly her comments on Czech mobile data prices.

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The top levels of Czech politics may be confused, but civil society stands up to blackmail. While it is true that the world’s leading democracies are falling over themselves to do business with China, the Czech Republic’s tradition is different from that of the London School of Economics.

Beijing doesn’t appear to advertise its ambassador’s implementation of its one-belt-one-road project in Prague, but Zdeněk Hřib, Prague’s mayor and one of the critics of Beijing’s most recent attempt to sideline Taiwan, isn’t an unknown in China anyway. A blogger named Warfare Bureau stationed with Taiwan Special Task Force member no. 666, publishing on a Guanchazhe platform, shows rightful indignation about Hřib’s current visit to Taiwan:

Actually, this mayor of the Czech Republic capital who has just taken office has often before raised his unfriendly voice against China. Early this year, he voiced doubt about the “one-China clause” in the sister city agreement between Prague and Beijing, asserting that he “could not see the need to retain it,” and demanding renegotiation.

其实,这位才上任不久的捷克首都新市长曾经多次发表对华不友好的声音,今年初贺瑞卜在受访时就公然对与北京缔结姐妹城市关系时协定中的“一中条款”表示质疑,他声称,“实在看不出保留的必要性”,要求重新协商。

According to the blog, Hřib said in an interview with Czech media that if the Prague city council demanded to repeal the article from the agreement, he would negotiate with Beijing, and if negotiations failed, Prague would have to withdraw from the agreement.*)

Even worse, the guy, reacting to Beijing’s plans to send a Panda to Prague, had said in 2016, in an interview with Taiwan’s Liberty Times (自由時報), that “human rights are much more important than Panda’s”. (What a shameless lie.)

It might be worth mentioning that Hřib is a member of the Czech Pirate party. A lot of politicians talk about “values”, but some actually have the nerve to practice them.

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Related

Rising Aggression, Jan 28, 2017

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Notes / Updates

*) Prague’s city council decided on January 21 that the article about the “one-China policy” should either be removed, or the partnership with Beijing be terminated, according to Radio Prague‘s German service on that day.

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