Posts tagged ‘academic’

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Guizhou Donkey: Make Yourself at Home

You can serve lousy food, provided that your guests aren’t used to anything better, or because you are their boss and they can’t choose. In either case, it will help when you serve that stuff in a cozy environment. Your guests can make themselves at home – mum cooks as badly as ever.

The same is true for “Huanqiu Shibao, the Chinese sister paper of the English-language “Global Times”. On July 21, they missed (probably sarcastically) a more innovative Western propaganda approach.

huanqiu_headline

“America draws allies into political manipulation”,
Huanqiu Shibao, July 21

Several academics, the paper said, had stated in interviews that the U.S. and their allies, after failed campaigns concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, or human rights, had now come up with accusations that China was behind cyber attacks. That was the Guizhou donkey’s weak trick.

Here’s the story in English, according to the Chinese online encyclopedia “Baike Baidu”.

Once upon a time, there were no donkeys in Guizhou. Nobody knew what a donkey was. Some day, a man took a donkey to Guizhou. He left it at the foot of a mountain. A tiger in the mountains saw the donkey from afar, heard it braying, and thought: “where does this monster come from? It looks awesome, and I’ll better keep a distance1

Some time passed during which the tiger saw the donkey walk to and fro and bray once in a while. Now the tiger thought: “pretty big pet, I don’t know what it can do, but let me see!”

The tiger approached the donkey unnoticed and touched it. The donkey became angry: “why the hell do you touch me?” Then he kicked with his hooves and missed the tiger two or three times. That’s how the tiger realized: “this donkey*) can’t do anything but kick, he can’t do anything!”

So he opened his mouth to eat the donkey, but the terrified donkey shouted: “don’t get any closer, I can kick you!”

“Kicking people is all you can do,” laughed the tiger, “but I can eat people!” No sooner said than done.

That was turned into a proverb, describing how people manage with makeshift methods that aren’t special. In short: “the donkey’s skills are poor”!

In Chinese, that writes 黔驢技窮 (黔驴技穷, qiánlǘjìqióng), and qián, another word for Guizhou (maybe not exactly the same territory as what it is now), can also be found in a more classical version of the story (Chinese and English there).

So why does “Huanqiu Shibao” use this proverb?
a) “Huanqiu Shibao” skills are poor – they can’t do any better.
b) You mustn’t try to say anything better when it can be said in four characters.
c) It’s cozy (see introduction). No matter how stupid the message is, readers will remember Granny’s bedtime stories and find it trustworthy. They may even feel sort of tiger.


Not the way Granny told it – click picture for video

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Notes

*) That’s what the Baike story says – maybe the tiger has gotten to know the donkey’s name, because he’ll only eat what he knows
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Monday, July 19, 2021

Center for China and Globalization develops “new narrative system”

The following is my translation of an excerpt from a book review by a Chinese think tank named Center for China and Globalization (全球化智库), (re)published by a number of Chinese online media. The book is probably CCG’s own work. The review and the content related there should not be too easily thought of as a possible new trend in Chinese public diplomacy unless it is echoed elsewhere in Chinese politics. An article published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute contains some information about the think tank’s work abroad and its background.

My translation may contain mistakes. Corrections are welcome.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…]

Based on CCG’s practice of track-II diplomacy, this book summarizes the ten experiences CCG went through while developing a new narrative system. Specifically, CCG, in new international narrative exchanges, CCG emphasizes the following aspects.

基于CCG二轨外交的实践,本书总结了CCG打造新叙事体系的十条经验:具体来说,CCG国际交流新叙事注重以下几个方面:

1. Look at China’s topics from a global perspective, talk more about common values and emphasize universality. Let China’s voice in globalization be heard.

第一,全球化视野思考中国问题,多说共同价值,多讲普遍性,向世界发出中国的全球化声音;

2. Less conceptional advocacy1), and more objective and reasonable ways of expression. Use facts and figures. Talk more about China’s contributions to globalization, and tell China’s story from a multilateralist point of view.

第二,少理念倡导,多客观理性表达,用事实与数据说话。多讲中国对全球化的贡献,从多边角度讲中国故事;

3. Be modest but self-confident, tolerant but not without a position of your own. Practice mutual respect and an interlocutory attitude, without an aim of defeating your counterpart, communicate your own ideas and communicate effectively.

第三,谦和而自信,包容而有立场,相互尊重,对话姿态,不以博倒对方为目的,传递自身理念,做有效沟通;

4. Innovate the popularized narrative discourse system, all-embracing, narrating your case multi-levelled and multi-angledly, from the perspectives of politics, diplomacy, trade, human affairs, and individual experience. Above all, analyze the logic of China’s development with inside information about concrete details of Chinese culture.

第四,创新民间化叙事话语体系,兼容并包,从政治、外交、商业、人文、个体经验多层次多角度讲述个案。尤其通过讲述中国文化底蕴分析中国现实发展逻辑;

5. Take interviews from international mainstream media and make yourself heard on international social media.

第五,接受国际主流媒体访问,通过国际社交媒体发声;第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

6. Go out and participate in international mainstream forum platforms, speak out actively and communicate socially.

第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

7. Actively set an agenda and expand the topic’s impact on international mainstream platforms.

第七,主动设置议题,在国际主流平台扩大议题影响力;

8. Be creative in building new types of international exchange platforms. Constructively initiate new types of multilateral international organizations.

第八,创造性搭建新型国际交流平台,建设性发起新型多边国际组织。

9. Take the courage to face different opinions, make contact with a multitude of interlocutors. Establish wide-ranged exchange and dialogue in Chinese and foreign political, business, academic and research circles. Promote track-II diplomacy.

第九,勇于直面不同意见,接触多元交流对象,在中外政商学研界建立广泛交流与对话,促进民间二轨外交。

10. Keep up with international and domestic points of strong [public] interest, be flexible in strengthening the think tank’s2) influence through a multitude of channels and methods.

第十,及时紧跟国际国内热点,灵活通过多渠道多方式传播增强智库影响力。

[…]

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Notes

 1  conceptual advocacy is just my guess for the Chinese term for 理念倡导 – to argue in favor of a topic, approach, or perspective. It may as well be translated as <em>idea advocacy</em>.
  2   the think tank in question here should be CCG.
Friday, June 18, 2021

Xu Yuanchong, 1921 – 2021

Documentaries made during a man’s lifetime often do a better job at describing him, than obituaries. Here’s a good film on Xu Yuanchong (许渊冲) – unfortunately only in Chinese.
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Sunday, June 6, 2021

External Propaganda: Cai Mingzhao’s then, Xi Jinping’s now?

30th_politburo_study_session

Politburo’s 30th study session, Xinwen Lianbo, June 1, 2021

English-speaking Chinese media translate 传播 (chuánbō) as “communication” – as in this English-language rendition of a Xi speech on May 31, to the “30th collective study session of the CPC politburo. I don’t quite trust the translation, because there is a Chinese habit of making Chinese terms more palatable to a foreign audience by using not-quite-the-closest possible translation.

As a shortwave user, the most familiar translation to me would be propagation, which may stand for a process of information flow, “transmissions of impulses (or triggers) to influence the behavior of others” (传播就是某个人传递刺激以影响另一些人行为的过程), or “social information flows and the information of social information systems” (郭庆光定义传播是社会資訊的流动和社会資訊系统的运行). All that, and more, plus propaganda, I suppose.

So, the official Chinese translation for chuánbō would be communication. But China Copyright and Media, in an October 2013 translation of an article by Cai Mingzhao, director of the State Council Information Office’s Foreign Propaganda Office at the time, referred to chuánbō as dissemination. It’s a translation that leaves room for a lot of interpretation.

What strikes me when reading the China Copyright and Media translation of nearly eight years ago is its similarity with Xi’s speech of May 31. Back then, Cai Mingzhao, the State Council of Information Office’s external propaganda bureau at the time, discussed the future priorities in public diplomacy work in the light of Xi Jinping’s recent speech at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference.

While Xi’s national propaganda conference speech in August 2013 had contained some referals to external propaganda, too, most of it had been about propaganda in general, and ideological work within China. In fact, I’m under the impression that in his May 31 speech, which focused exclusively on external propaganda, Xi borrowed heavily from Cai Mingzhao’s 2013 article.

You can contrast these two English renditions: one by China Daily on June 2, i. e. four days ago, reflecting Xi’s speech, and one by China Copyright and Media, in October 2013, translating Cai Mingzhao’s article.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Zhang Kaiyuan, 1926 – 2021

Zhang Kaiyuan (章开沅) was born in Wuhu, Anhui Province, on July 8, 1926, with ancestry mainly in Zhejiang province. According to Xinhua, he studied at Nanjing Jinling University before leaving for the “Zhongyuan Liberated Area”.  Zhongyuan stands for the “Central Plains”, both a geographical and historical term, and particularly contested for its historical aspects. Zhang apparently didn’t complete his studies before leaving Nanjing. He is said to have been a pioneer of Xinhai Revolution research in the 1950s, and of the Nanjing Massacre (1937/38) in the late 1980s, after finding that an American teacher from his alma mater’s history department had saved Chinese citizens during the massacre. He started teaching at Central China Normal University in 1959, and became the university’s president in 1985.

One of his more famous quotes appears to be that

“scholarly research isn’t about charming the talk of our times, but to search real knowledge for later generations. It has become the past with a full stop to it, and a never-ending journey.”

『治学不为媚时语,独寻真知启后人。历史是已经画上句号的过去,史学是永无止境的远航。』

Zhang was a member of the Communist Party of China. He died on May 28, aged 94 (or, by the Chinese way of counting, 95).

Sunday, April 25, 2021

“Age of Awakening” Screenplay Writer Long Pingping faces Heroic Death (at least 20 times)

The following is a translation of a report published by (apparently privately-run) Shanghai news portal “Guanchazhe”, aka “Observer”. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Revolutionary lectures

Main link 1:
page 1

On April 25, the screenwriter of soon-to-be-broadcast “Age of Awakening” and former director of the Party Literature Research Center’s 3rd research department director as well as Tongji University specially appointed professor Long Pingping, and the two young actors Zhang Wanyi and Ma Qiyue who are playing martyr Chen Yannian and martyr Chen Qiaonian, as well as several scores of young Tongji University came to Shanghai Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery to commemorate and to pay tribute to eternally resting Chen Yannian, Chen Qiaonian, Zhao Shiyan and other revolutionary martyrs, and to learn these martyrs’ saga, and to carry forward the heroic spirit.

4月25日,热播剧《觉醒年代》编剧、原中共中央文献研究室第三编研部主任、同济大学特聘教授龙平平,剧中扮演陈延年烈士、陈乔年烈士的两位青年演员张晚意、马启越,以及数十位同济大学青年学子来到上海龙华烈士陵园,缅怀祭奠长眠于此的陈延年、陈乔年、赵世炎等革命烈士,学习先烈们的英雄事迹、弘扬英烈精神。

Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery with its green trees full of life is dignified and solemn. The tomb stones of revolutionary martyrs like Chen Yannian and Chen Qiaonian lie quietly in the warm spring sunshine.

龙华烈士陵园树木葱郁、庄重肃穆。陈延年、陈乔年等革命先烈的墓碑静静地躺在春日暖阳中。

The grave-sweeping ceremony begins, everyone stands tall in silence in a tribute to the revolutionary martyrs who saved the Chinese nation from extinction, and gallantly dedicated their lives to the great cause of salvation and survival of the Chinese nation, and the people’s freedom and happiness.

祭扫仪式开始,现场全体人员肃立,向为实现中华民族救亡图存、人民自由幸福的伟大事业而英勇献身的革命先烈们默哀。

Having completed the moment of silence, “Age of Awakening” screenwriter Long Pingping, the two young actors Zhang Wanyi and Ma Qiyue who are playing martyr Chen Yannian and martyr Chen Qiaonian bow one after another and lay flowers, extending their deeply-felt fond memory and sublime respect.

默哀毕,《觉醒年代》编剧龙平平、剧中饰演陈延年、陈乔年的两位青年演员张晚意、马启越依次鞠躬献花,向长眠于此的革命先烈致以深切缅怀和崇高敬意。

After the ceremony, everyone comes to Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery square for Long Pingping’s vivid party history lesson, reviving the course of the party’s development, giving an account of the two martyrs’ Chen Yannian and Chen Qiaonian heroic feats.

祭扫仪式结束后,大家来到龙华烈士纪念碑广场,龙平平在此给现场的同济青年学子上了一堂生动的党史课,重温党的发展历程,讲述了陈延年、陈乔年两位革命先烈的英雄事迹。

Main link 2:
page 2

In 1927, the KMT reactionaries started the “April-12 counter-revolutionary coup d’état in Shanghai, with rivers of blood from Communists and revolutionaries. In the time of peril, Chen Yannian took the post of Jiangsu and Zhejiang regional party secretary, so as to quickly recover the ravaged party and labor union work by working day and night.

1927年,国民党反动派在上海发动“四·一二”反革命政变,共产党人和革命志士血流成河。危亡之际,陈延年接任中共江浙区委书记,为迅速恢复被摧残的党和工会组织日夜奔忙。

On June 26, Chen Yannian was unfortunately arrested and imprisoned when opening a meeting of the provincial party conference. On July 4, less than ten days after his arrest, Chen Yannian was taken to the Longhua execution ground where he was executed.

6月26日,陈延年在召开省委会议时不幸被捕入狱。7月4日,被捕不到10天,陈延年被押赴龙华刑场行刑。

At the execution, the executioner held high a butcher’s knife and, with intense viciousness, ordered: “kneel down!”

临刑之际,刽子手高举屠刀,恶狠狠地勒令“跪下!”

Chen Yannian held his head high and replied: “Revolutionaries die only while standing and won’t kneel down!”

陈延年昂首回道:“革命者只有站着死,绝不下跪!”

In the end, Chen Yannian died a violent death under the KMT reactionaries’ messy knife, aged 29.

最终,陈延年惨死于国民党反动派乱刀之下,时年29岁。

In 1927, Chen Qiaonian succeeded his elder brother, coming to Shanghai as the Communist Party’s Jiangu and Zhejiang provincial organizational director. He secretly and thoroughly went to factories, places in the countryside, agencies and schools, and contacted comrades to recover and rebuild the party’s grassroot organizations.

1927年冬,陈乔年继承长兄遗志,来到上海,担任中共江苏省委组织部长。他秘密地深入工厂、农村、机关和学校,联络同志,恢复和重建党的基层组织。

On February 16,1928, because of turncoat Tang Ruilin’s betrayal, Chen Qiaonian and other Jiangsu provincial comrades were arrested.

1928年2月16日,由于叛徒唐瑞林出卖,陈乔年等江苏省委机关的负责同志被捕。

After their arrest, Chen Qiaonian’s position was exposed, and he was subjected to all kinds of torture, but didn’t say a word. When he bid farewell to his comrades in prision, Chen Qiaonian said optimistically: “let our offspring, the generations that follow us, enjoy the happiness their forbears who blazed new trails!”

被捕后,陈乔年身份暴露,在狱中受尽种种酷刑,但不发一言。在与狱中同志告别时,陈乔年乐观地说道:“让我们的子孙后代,享受前人披荆斩棘的幸福吧!”

On June 6, 1928, Chen Qiaonian died a martyr’s death, aged 26.

1928年6月6日,陈乔年慷慨就义,年仅26岁。

Talking about the “Age of Awakening” scene where the brothers Chen Yannian and Chen Qiaonian died as martyrs, Long Pingping said that he had seen these fragments for at least twenty times, and every time, he couldn’t stop himself from crying loudly.

谈及《觉醒年代》剧中陈延年陈乔年兄弟两就义的场景,龙平平表示,这个片段自己看了不下20遍,每看一次,就忍不住大哭一次。

He says: These men from 100 years ago are examples for the young people of today. Nobody must forget them. With them as our examples, we must build our country well and fulfill these revolutionary martyrs’ final wishes!”

他说:“100年前的他们,就是今天青年人的楷模和榜样。大家不能忘记他们,要以他们为楷模,把我们这个国家建设好,去实现这些革命烈士的遗愿!”

Long Pingping encouraged today’s young students to continue the martyrs’ fine traditions and fight for the rise of China. He said: “Everyone must surely inherit the martyrs’ spirit, know the importance of truth, display patriotic enthusiasm, and you must contribute your own strengths in our new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics so full of opportunities and vigor.”

龙平平激励当代青年学子要继承先烈的优良传统,为中华之崛起而奋斗。他说道:“大家一定要继承烈士的精神,认识到真理的重要,发挥爱国热情,在我们这样的一个充满着生机和活力的是中国特色社会主义的新时代,贡献出你们自己的力量。”

The students also offered the two martyred heroes hand-painted works jointly signed by young Tongji University representatives, “Socialism will never fail to live up to China” and “A beautiful Era’s Picture Scroll”.

同学们也向两位英烈献上同济青年代表共同签名的“社会主义绝不会辜负中国”和“美好时代画卷”手绘作品,希望以今日之美好生活告慰昨日之牺牲奉献,今后更将继续传承英烈之革命精神,奋进新时代。

After the ceremony and tomb-sweeping activities, makers and staff of “Age of Awakening” came to Guanchazhe Online. Screenplay writer Long Pingping held a lecture titled “‘Age of Awakening’: a rite for the foundations of the great revival.” The two young actors Zhang Wanyi and Ma Qilong also came to the scene and shared the process of thought behind the television play’s production. Guanchazhe Online will bring a detailed report tomorrow.

结束龙华陵园的祭扫活动后,《觉醒年代》主创人员一行来到观察者网。编剧龙平平老师举办了主题为“《觉醒年代》:伟大复兴奠基礼”的讲座,张晚意、马启越两位青年演员也来到现场,和观众分享电视剧创作背后的心路历程。详细报道观察者网将于明日发布。

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Related

The CCP’s 2021 Propaganda Blueprint, China Media Project, April 18, 2021

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Genocide – an adequate Term?

Evidence without much psychological effect?
Click picture for source

In 2018, Adrian Zenz, a Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington D.C., published evidence that Chinese authorities “re-education camps” in East Turkestan. Under the weight of evidence, including leaked documents from within China’s authorities, Beijing doesn’t deny the existence of such camps. Instead, members of China’s political class refer to them as “vocational schools”.

In a show that it takes Zenz’s publications seriously, Beijing included him in a blacklist of ten European scholars and lawmakers, in March 2021.

Zenz and many critics of China’s repression of ethnic minorities say that the policy on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities constitutes genocide. But there’s a catch, at least in Zenz’s case. In an interview with Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zenz said that for exiled Uyghurs, genocide was

… the only word that expresses adequately what they are going through as a people. For what is happening there, there is no adequate category. It doesn’t fit well into existing pigeonholes. Merely in accordance with the UN Convention it is difficult to talk about genocide, because one would have to prove that China intends to annihilate a significant share of the Uyghur population. There is only scant evidence for that.

… das einzige Wort, das richtig ausdrückt, was sie als Volk durchmachen. Für das, was da geschieht, gibt es keine richtige Kategorie. Es passt nicht gut in bestehende Fächer. Rein nach der Uno-Konvention ist es schwierig, von Genozid zu sprechen. Denn man müsste nachweisen können, dass China die Absicht hat, einen bedeutenden Teil der uigurischen Bevölkerung zu vernichten. Da ist die Beweislage jedoch sehr dünn.

Still, Zenz advocates the use of the term “genocide”, because of its “strong psychological effect”.

It is tempting to do so. As Zenz says himself, this could lead to change for the oppressed. But it misleads those under this effect.

China’s “Communist” Party claims to base its policies on science. That’s clearly not the case. But there is also reason to doubt that the West’s worldview is still based on its heritage of Enlightenment. You don’t brainwash people by claiming genocide where it doesn’t exist. But you manipulate them.

As urgent as change for the Uyghurs is, you don’t bring about sustainable change by calling a deer a horse. You don’t bring about change when you leave political decisions to corporations- like Volkswagen’s choice to run a car plant in East Turkestan. You don’t bring about change without informing the public accurately, teaching your children some basic values, and without trying to be truthful. And you don’t bring about change if corporations determine politics, rather than the other way round.

Trying to achieve psychological effects is nothing new. There is no lack of guides and advice about how to “engineer consent”. But doing so has adverse effects on a free society, without helping the oppressed. People are oddly aware when you  cheat them, even if they can’t tell how it is happening.

Such an approach isn’t only ethically questionable, but unpractical, too. Even the best intentions can create low-trust societies. At home, that is – not where the crimes are happening.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Iran, “thanks to a Friendly Attitude and Unique Wisdom”

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif signed an agreement on a strategic partnership for the duration of 25 years, a deal that, the BBC believes, could give Iran more leverage with the US. While Iran is an important trading partner with even more potential for China, Zarif’s bow to Wang Yi (which apparently isn’t reciprocated) might indicate who needs who more urgently.

Washington reportedly evaluates if a $400 billion investment deal also signed by the two sides “will trigger sanctions under American law”. A day after the signing ceremony, Iran’s foreign radio reported that “major American papers and news outlets have warned about decline in the United States’ power and sphere of influence”.

The following is a translation of a commentary by a People’s University scholar in the Beijing Daily (北京日报), published on April 2 local time and UTC. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

SETV (Fujian) coverage – click photo for details

Main Link:
With the Sino-Iranian 25-years comprehensive cooperation agreement, the “road of Mideast diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” is becoming ever broader (中伊25年全面合作协议,“中国特色中东外交之路”越走越宽)

In the past few days, a Sino-Iranian comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement for the duration of 25 years has been officially signed. This is the first time that Iran has signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with any foreign country, and an important milestone in Sino-Iranian relations.

近日,为期25年的中伊全面合作协议正式签署。这是伊朗首次与外国签署全面战略合作协议,也是中伊关系的重要里程碑。

In 2016, China and Iran established a comprehensive strategic partnership. At the time they also jointly confirmed their intention of achieving this kind of comprehensive cooperation agreement. For five years, there have been high-level exchanges of opinion, a strengthening consensus, and finally the achievements as mentioned above. In the author’s view, the two countries’ movement into the same direction is also a microcosm of China’s Mideast diplomacy. Thanks to a friendly attitude and unique wisdom, we have opened a “road of Mideast diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” within the complicated international relations.

2016年,中伊建立全面战略伙伴关系,当时便共同确认了达成这项全面合作协议的意向。五年间,两国高层多次交换意见、强化共识,最终促成了上述硕果。在笔者看来,中伊两国长期的相向而行,也是中国中东外交的一个缩影。凭借友好态度与独特智慧,我们在中东纷繁复杂的国际关系中开辟了一条“中国特色中东外交之路”。

China has always upheld the spirit of the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence”, which has won it the wide-spread recognition of Mideast countries. When China recovered its legitimate seat at the United Nations in 1971, the overwhelming majority of Mideast countries firmly supported China’s legitimate claim. After the “One Belt one Road” initiative had been proposed, the Middle Eastern countries responded positively. During this period, China established comprehensive strategic partnership relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as strategic partnerships with Qatar and Jordan, and an innovative comprehensive strategic partnership with Israel. It can be said that China’s Mideastern “friendship circle” keeps widening.

中国在外交中一直秉持“和平共处五项原则”精神,赢得了中东国家的广泛认可。1971年中国恢复联合国合法席位时,绝大多数中东国家都坚定支持了中国的合法诉求。“一带一路”倡议提出后,中东国家更是积极响应。在此期间,中国与伊朗、沙特阿拉伯、埃及、阿拉伯联合酋长国建立了全面战略伙伴关系,与卡塔尔、约旦建立了战略伙伴关系,与以色列建立了创新全面伙伴关系。可以说,中国的中东“朋友圈”越来越大。

As everyone knows, the Middle East region is located centrally within the Eurasian continent, with numerous countries, complex situations, thickets of contradictions, and traditional interference by foreign powers. Big-power games and internal clashes have kept the Mideast region in war and chaos for a long time, with the economy developing only slowly. Therefore, Mideast countries have a skeptical attitude towards many foreign powers. Why does China have such a good reputation? In its diplomacy, China advocates tolerance and setting mutual example rather than civilizational concepts of bipolar antagonism. China and Mideastern countries, including Iran, have different civilizational backgrounds and political and economic environments, but we have never looked at this as something “other”, but looked at them as those who once established splendid civilizations, and which went through thick and thin with New China, who kept watch and defended one another as good partners. This concept of “goodwill, sincerity and tolerance” as well as China’s diplomatic practice of “non-aligned partnership” has led the politically and geographically troubled Mideastern countries to relax precautions and to develop still deeper and closer development with China.

众所周知,中东地区位于亚欧大陆中心位置,国家众多,形势复杂,矛盾丛生,长期以来频频遭受域外大国的干预。大国博弈和内部冲突让中东地区长期战乱,经济发展缓慢。因此,中东国家对很多域外大国都带有怀疑态度。为什么中国能够做到有口皆碑?正在于我们在外交中倡导包容互鉴而非二元对立的文明观念。中国与包括伊朗在内的中东国家有着不同的文化背景和政治经济环境,但我们从未将其视为“异类”,而是看作曾创立过辉煌文明,又与新中国甘苦与共、守望相助的好伙伴。这种“亲诚惠容”的理念,以及中国“结伴不结盟”的外交实践,让深陷政治地理困境的中东国家可以放下戒备,与中国开展更加深入密切的合作。

The official signing of the agreement is only a beginning, and the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Iran continues to grow stronger. From a wider perspective, China’s Mideast diplomacy also merits expectations: The “One Belt one Road” initiative is advancing steadily, China’s talks on free-trade agreements with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and with Israel are unfolding, Notable achievements have been made in China’s vaccine cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iran and other countries, China plays a growing role in the Syria issue, the Palestine-Israel issue and other Mideast hot spots … We have reason to believe that the “road of Mideast diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” is becoming ever broader.

合作协议正式签署只是一个开始,中伊两国全面战略伙伴关系还在不断加强。以更大视野来看,中国的中东外交也值得期待:“一带一路”倡议稳步推进,中国与海合会六国、以色列的自由贸易协定谈判正在开展,中国与阿联酋、巴林、伊朗等国的疫苗合作取得显著成就,中国正在叙利亚问题、巴以问题等中东热点问题中发挥越来越大的作用……我们有理由相信,“中国特色中东外交之路”将越走越宽。

(The author, Li Kunze, is a doctor at the People’s University’s1) School of International Studies.)

(作者李坤泽系中国人民大学国际关系学院博士)

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Notes

1) aka Renmin University
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