Posts tagged ‘academic’

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。

____________

Related

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

____________

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)

____________

Notes

1) aka Renmin University
____________

Related

Promising profits, Febr 19, 2018
The Persian paradox, Foarp, Jan 27, 2012
Trusted brothers, Nov 8 2009
Wu Sike corrects biased views, Aug 17, 2009

____________

Monday, January 18, 2021

Zang Tiewei: “The Masses’ Opinions, reflected in National Legislation” since 1954

The following are excerpts from a long China News Service (CNS) interview with “National People’s Congress'” Standing Committee spokesman Zang Tiewei (臧铁伟).

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

“Authoritative answers” (权威回应)

Main link: How does the voice of the people enter national legislation?

[…]

Q: The 13th National People’s Congress’ fourth session will be held in March this year. It will review the outline draft for the 14th five-year plan. We have noticed that in the previous outline draft’s “pooling wisdom” section, the masses’ suggestions were directly absorbed into the draft. We believe there are many such cases. Are there any that impressed you deeply?

中新社记者:十三届全国人大四次会议将于今年3月举行,审议“十四五”规划纲要草案。我们注意到,在此前纲要草案的“开门问策”中,有普通民众的建议,直接被吸收到了草案当中。相信在我们立法过程中,这样的事例也有很多,有没有让您印象深刻的案例?

A: Of course there are. In my legislative work which I have been doing for almost 30 years, there are some cases that impressed me very deeply. The masses’ opinions concerning legislation are reflected in legislative organs’ channels without any impediment. The masses’ opinions are accepted and absorbed into the legislative drafts. That happens frequently. It’s something very normal.

臧铁伟:当然有。我从事立法工作将近30年,有几个事例让我印象非常深刻。普通民众对于立法的意见,反映到立法工作机关的渠道是非常畅通的;普通民众的意见被采纳和吸收到法律草案中,也是经常发生、非常正常的一个事情。

There are mainly two channels to which the masses reflect their opinions. The first one is that drafts are publicly addressed to society to seek input. The first legislation the public’s input was sought was for the constitutional draft in 1954. At that time, the scale of that request for society’s input was very big, and it managed to really orderly let everyone from the peasants in rural areas to the workers in the factories and workshops hear the legislative draft. Since then, the seeking of the entire society’s input has gone through a process of sixty years. It should be said that this is an important way for the masses to participate in legislation.

民众向立法机关反映意见,主要有两个渠道。第一个渠道,法律草案公开向社会征求意见。中国最早一部公开向社会征求意见的法律是1954年的宪法草案,当时向社会征求意见的规模非常大,真真正正做到了从田间地头的农民到工厂车间的工人都能听到这部法律草案。从那时起到现在,法律草案征求全社会意见已经经历了60多年的历程。应当说这是人民群众参与立法的一个重要途径。

For example, as for the civil code which is just being put into practice, in the process of its compilation, has sought opinions from the entire society ten times, with more than one million articles, all of which have been sorted out and studied by the legislative organs’ staff.

比如说刚刚施行的民法典,它在编纂的过程中,先后十次向全社会公开征求意见,有100多万条,每一条意见立法机关的工作人员都进行了梳理和研究。

The second main way goes through the legislative working committee’s contact point. In 2015 and 2020, the legislative working committee has thoroughly implemented the spirit of secretary general Xi Jinping’s instructions and the spirit of the central committee’s fourth plenary session, has established ten legislative contact points nationwide twice, nine of which were grassroot legislative contact points, and one of which was for universities. This truly extends the “eyes” and “ears” of legislative work directly to the rural areas and the factories and workshops, schools, communities [neighborhoods], so that we can directly listen to and gather opinions from the grassroot levels’ front line units and the cadres’ and masses’ opinions about the legislative draft.

第二个主要的途径,是通过法工委的立法联系点。法工委在2015年和2020年,贯彻落实习近平总书记指示精神和党的十八届四中全会精神,先后两次在全国范围内建立了十个立法联系点,九个是基层立法联系点、一个是高校。它确实可以让立法工作机构的“眼睛”和“耳朵”直接延伸到田间地头、工厂车间、学校、社区,能直接听取基层一线的单位和干部群众对法律草案的意见。

Over the past five years to date, we have received more than 4,000 opinions concerning more than 80 legislative drafts and legislative plans, by seeking opinions through the grassroots legislative contact points. Among these, many have been adopted into legislative drafts. It should be said that this has been very helpful to improve the quality of legislation.

迄今5年多来,我们先后就80多部法律草案和立法计划,向基层立法联系点征求意见,收到了4000多条意见,其中很多都在法律草案中予以采纳。应当说对于提高立法的质量非常有帮助。

When the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) was given to the legislative contact points to seek opinions, a group of students from a middle school belonging to the East China University of Political Science and Law put forward many amendment proposals to the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) to Hongqiao legislative contact point, including the issue of extracurricular tuition classes, the issue of teachers authority to discipline, how to prevent minors to get deeply addicted to the internet, and the issue of domestic violence.

在2020年未成年人保护法(修订)向立法联系点征求意见的时候,上海华东政法大学附属中学的一群中学生,向虹桥立法联系点提出了许多对未成年人保护法(修订)草案的修改意见,包括课外补习班的问题、教师惩戒权的问题、如何预防青少年沉迷网络的问题、家庭暴力的问题。

After the opinions put forward by these students had been reflected to the Hongqiao legislative contact point working organs, we researched the articles one by one and adopted some into the final legislative drafts. With regards to this, the legislative working committee especially sent a thank-you letter to the East China University of Political Science and Law’s middle school, thanking them for their participation and support in the legislative work.

这些学生提出的意见经过虹桥立法联系点反馈到立法工作机构之后,我们逐条进行了研究,有一些采纳到了最终通过的法律案中。为此,法制工作委员会还特意给华东附中去了一封感谢信,感谢他们对立法工作的参与和支持。

Apart from these two major channels, there are still many other ways. Citizens may write letters, faxes, make a phonecall, and some expert scholars even give their opinions right at the legislative organs. All these channels can be used without impediment.

除了这两种主要的途径之外,还有许多的途径,公民可以通过比如写信、来传真、打电话,甚至有些专家学者当面到立法机关反映意见,这些渠道都是畅通的。

I can give you another example here. A letter without characters on it. There was one concerning the property law draft without any characters. When this letter was opened by our staff, there were no characters, only numerous densely packed dots. Afterwards, everyone guessed that this was probably a letter using Braille. So they took the letter without characters to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation to ask their help. The China Disabled Persons’ Federation also supported us very much, organizing several Braille experts to translate it on the same day, and it was indeed a Braille letter with an opinion concerning the legislative draft. We also carried out research of this opinion. Later, we heard that this had been someone who suffered from impaired vision in Shandong who wrote this letter in Braille.

这里我还可以再举一个例子——一封没有字的信。群众关于法律草案(物权法草案)提出的意见是一封没有字的信。这封信到了立法机关之后,我们的工作人员拆开一看,没有一个字,只有密密麻麻的针眼。后来大家猜测说这很有可能是一封用盲文写成的信,我们的同事就专门拿着这封没有一个字的信到中国残联求助。中国残联也对我们非常支持,组织了几位盲文专家当天就翻译出来了,确实是用盲文对法律草案提出的意见。我们对每条意见又进行了研究和梳理。后来了解到是山东的一位视力障碍患者,用盲文给立法工作机构写的这封信。

Our students and our patients can all freely express their opinion concerning legislative work and legislative drafts, and every article of their opinion must be conscientiously researched and sorted out by our staff. It can be clearly seen that ordinary masses’ rights to participate in legislative work is fully guaranteed.

我们的学生、我们的患者都可以自由表达他们对立法工作、对法律草案的意见,而且每一条意见我们工作人员必定是认真地研究和梳理过的。可见,普通民众参与立法工作的权利是得到充分保障的。

[…]

Q: We have noticed that in recent years, the US Senate and House of Representatives have often insisted on launching so-called legislative drafts despite the Chinese side’s warnings, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs. You and the National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee spokesperson have published statements many times concerning these matters, expressing strong opposition. May I ask, will our legislative organs also take reciprocal and efficient measures to this, to contain this kind of behavior?

中新社记者:我们注意到,近些年,美国国会参众两院经常不顾中方警告,执意出台所谓法案,从法律的角度粗暴干涉中国内政,您和全国人大外事委员会发言人也多次就此发表谈话,表示强烈反对。请问未来,我们的立法机关是否也会有对等的有效措施,对此类行为进行反制?

A: In recent years, the two American chambers, the US Senate and Congress, have launched many anti-China motions, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs, especially on last year’s December 8, when US Congress, because of its opposition against the National People’s Congress’ Standing Commission’s adoption of the Hong Kong national security law and its decision on Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council qualifications issue, surprisingly adopted so-called sanctions against the leaders of China’s National People’s Congress. This is an undisguised and despicable behavior, to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere with China’s internal affairs. The National People’s Congress Standing Commission spokesperson also issued a statement on December 9, strongly condemning this, and expressing firm opposition.

臧铁伟:近年来美国参众两院出台了多项反华议案,粗暴干涉中国内政,尤其是去年的12月8日,美国国会因为反对中国全国人大及其常委会通过的香港国安法和关于香港特别行政区立法会议员资格问题的决定,竟然针对中国全国人大常委会领导作出所谓的制裁,这是公然借香港问题干涉中国内政的卑劣行径。全国人大常委会发言人也于12月9日发表了谈话,对此予以强烈谴责,表示坚决反对。

We have been consistent in opposing foreign and off-borders forces interfering with China’s internal affairs by whatever means, and we will, just as we have in the past, resolutely fulfill our rightful duties, protect national security, sovereignty, and development interests. Of course, we will also watch the situation and take reciprocal countermeasures. As has been seen, given that the American side has used Hong Kong’s affairs to cruelly interfere with China’s internal affairs and to harm China’s core interests, we have decided to take reciprocal countermeasures against US State Department officials, members of Congress and related NGO people who have shown bad behavior on the Hong Kong issue, and on their closest relatives. We have also cancelled visa-free treatment for visits by holders of American holders of special diplomatic passports.

我们一贯反对外国和境外的势力以任何方式干涉中国内政,我们将一如既往地坚定履行我们的法定职责,维护国家安全、主权和发展利益。当然,我们也会视情况采取对等的反制措施。正如大家已经关注到,鉴于美方借香港事务粗暴干涉中国内政、损害中国核心利益,我们决定对在香港问题上表现恶劣、负有主要责任的美国国务院官员、议会人员和有关非政府组织人员及其他们的直系亲属采取对等反制措施,并且取消美国持外交护照人员临时访问香港和澳门的免签待遇。

[…]

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before you define your next China policy, learn from Lu Xun

Chinese nationalism has had its share of wishful thinking. But in recent decades, the West has fallen into similar traps, although its humiliations – the 2008 financial crisis and the flat-footed reaction of most Western countries to the Covid-19 pandemic – have been comparatively minor humiliations.

True story

But humiliations they have been, and nothing shows this more clearly than the way some of the West’s governments have reacted to China’s handling of the pandemic. To quote one of the more civil criticisms  – by Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party -, “the world would have had more time to prepare for the pandemic if Chinese leaders had been more forthcoming”. No worries, though, he switched into another gear right away:

For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. Once we get clear of this terrible pandemic it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship,” he said.

Politics, that much is true, must never let a crisis go waste, and there are reasons to “rethink” the West’s, and possibly the world’s, relationship with China.

But China only bears a limited share of responsibility for this global crisis. If people in the West don’t understand that, they don’t understand their own political class.

We don’t need to reconsider our relationship with China because its role in the pandemic was questionable.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because we must not tolerate the way Chinese authorities treat Chinese citizens. Human rights violations often hit “national minorities” like Tibetans or Uyghurs hardest, but the political malpractice doesn’t stop there.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in Hong Kong, Beijing has shown complete disregard for the rule of law, within Hong Kong’s autonomy (that’s nothing new, China has never understood the concept of autonomy anyway), and complete disregard of international law.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in the South China Sea and other international waters, China has adopted a policy of annexation.

And we must reconsider our relationship with China, because with his “Resist America, Aid Korea” speech in October, Chinese CPC secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping has made China’s disregard for international law official, by suggesting that Maoist China’s war against the United Nations had been a “war against imperialism”.

There may be some reason to believe that many within the CPC believe that the speech has been a non-starter, because they haven’t dwelled too much on it in the media since, and because the faces of many of the leaders during Xi’s speech appeared to speak volumes. But there is no reason to believe that Xi’s speech wasn’t an honest attempt at rewriting history, at the expense of truth. This attempt must be taken seriously.

All that said, when reconsidering our relationship with China, we must not walk into the Ah-Q trap. This is something we might learn from China indeed: the way Chinese intellectuals used to be self-critical was part of China’s more recent successes, just as China’s more recent pompousness and triumphalism may earn it serious setbacks.

The same is true for us, and especially for those who consider themselves our “elites”. For decades, China has been described as an opportunity too big to miss, and to justify throwing valuable Western-made technology at it. To make this foreign-trade salad more palatable to the general public (and arguably also to the propagandists themselves), China-trade advocates added that trade and engagement with China would lead to improvements in the country’s human rights practice, or its economic and social system.

“The party is over,” a long-forgotten “expert” crowed in the 1990s, in a huge, long-forgotten book. Others suggested that the CPC might become a “social-democratic” party. But nobody seemed to ask the CPC people if they had any such intentions, at least not seriously. And if they did, they only heard the answers they wanted to hear.

There was never a doubt that China’s political system is a dictatorship. And when that dictatorship began to succeed economically and technogically, quite a number of Western intellectuals, and especially business people, began to admire that dictatorship:

I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Don’t get me wrong either. I don’t think Thomas Friedman argued in favor of the introduction of authoritarianism, let alone totalitarianism. But he didn’t apply any logic – and he’s no exception among Western intellectuals. He’s full of ideas and without a plan when it comes to these issues.

Because if we could be China for one day, we could be China every day. And then we would be the kind of society that we now want to reconsider our relationship with. (OK, maybe not Friedman.)

But the worst thing is to think of ourselves as Santa. The guys who only want the best for China, etc.. I’m pretty sure that half of my fellow Germans, in as far as they have misgivings about China, don’t worry about China’s human rights record. They worry about its economic clout, and the preparedness of a lot of Chinese people to work harder, for less income, then we would.

That’s legitimate self-interest, but nobody should confuse this interest with something like international solidarity. To do that, to suggest that “we are nice, we are generous, we’ve done everything for them, and they are bloody ingrats” is typical Ah-Q thought.

No, guys. Our bosses threw our technology at China, technology developed with support of public institutions we paid our taxes for. That’s what our bosses usually do. Sometimes at the Chinese, sometimes at other promising markets. But as our bosses’ greed for profits from China knew no limits, they fooled themselves, too. Occasionally, they complained once it went wrong. But this wasn’t “Chinese” greed – they only picked up what was thrown at them. And even if they never told us that they would make good use of it, with or against the law, daily practice could have shown us in a year that this transactional model wouldn’t work – at least not for the West.

China – not just the CPC, but most of the Chinese people – have always told us that their rightful global place was at the pole position.

They have always told us that they would “re-take” Taiwan, once they had the power to do so.

Every bloke in the street told us that Hong Kong was no stuff to negotiate about – it had been taken by the imperialists, and had to be retaken by China. Besides, those Hong Kongers shouldn’t think of themselves as “special”. Yadayada.

We played along, one year after another. We still do. I’m afraid we’ll continue to do so. Our governments, for example, keep participating in the diplomatic charade to this day that, for some incomprehensible reasons (depending on what individual Western nation’s memoranda with Beijing have made up out of thin air), Taiwan wouldn’t be quite a sovereign country.

In short: it was hard to get China wrong, but we managed anyway. And if we don’t stop suggesting that our intentions in this relationship had always been honest, we won’t get our next China policy right either.

To reshape our relationship with China, let’s learn from Lu Xun first.

Monday, July 20, 2020

A Research Center for the Guiding Role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic Thought

Click “main link” for video

Main Link: Opening Ceremony of Xi Jinping Diplomatic Thought Research Center Establishment held in Beijing

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Xinhua, Beijing, July 20 (Zheng Mingda reporting): Xi Jinping Diplomatic Thought Research Center Opening Ceremony held in Beijing on July 20

新华社北京7月20日电(记者郑明达)习近平外交思想研究中心成立仪式20日在北京举行。

The Xi Jinping Diplomatic Thought Research Center, established by the China Institute of International Studies under the Chinese Foreign Ministry, is intended to plan nationwide research resources, to comprehensively, systematically and thoroughly develop research, interpretation and announcement of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought, to carry out original, theoretical, practical, propagandistic, political and topical research, to develop the guiding role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought for diplomatic practice, to serve the construction of major-country diplomacy with  Chinese characteristics in the new era, the building of institutions and capabilities, to make active contributions to the initiation of China’s new-era major-country diplomacy.

习近平外交思想研究中心由外交部依托中国国际问题研究院设立,旨在统筹全国研究资源,全面、系统、深入开展习近平外交思想的研究、阐释和宣介,对习近平外交思想进行原本性、理论性、实践性、传播性、政策性和专题性研究,发挥习近平外交思想对外交实践的指导作用,服务新时代中国特色大国外交理论建设、体制机制建设和能力建设,为开创新时代中国特色大国外交作出积极贡献。

State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi unveiled the plaque and gave a speech at the Research Center’s opening ceremony.

国务委员兼外交部长王毅为研究中心揭牌并在成立仪式上发表讲话。

Wang Yi said that Xi Jinping’s Diplomatic Thought is a result of epoch-making importance within New China’s diplomatic theory, of a clear-cut scientific, epochal and advanced nature which we ought to study thoroughly and grasp comprehensively.

王毅表示,习近平外交思想是新中国外交理论建设中具有划时代意义的重大成果,具有鲜明科学性、时代性、先进性和实践性,我们应当深入学习,全面领会。

Wang Yi said that Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought is an organic part of Xi Jinping’s new-era Chinese-characteristics socialism thought, the latest gain of Marxism in the field of diplomacy, another innovation to pass on in China’s splendid tradition, a sublimation and transcendence of New China’s diplomatic theory and to the theories of traditional international relations.

王毅表示,习近平外交思想是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的有机组成,是21世纪马克思主义在外交领域的最新成果,是对中华优秀传统文化的传承创新,是对新中国外交理论的继承发展,是对传统国际关系理论的扬弃超越。

Wang Yi emphasized that in the new era of surging forward with great momentum, we should unite even more inseparably around the party central committee with Xi Jinping at its core, strengthen the four consciousnesses, staunchly maintain the four confidences, achieve the two protections, to thoroughly study and conscientiously carry out Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought, to continuously initiate the new situation of major-country diplomacy with  Chinese characteristics, and to make greater contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the cause of humankind’s development and progress!

王毅强调,面对波澜壮阔的新时代,让我们更加紧密地团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,增强“四个意识”,坚定“四个自信”,做到“两个维护”,学深笃行习近平外交思想,为不断开创中国特色大国外交新局面,为实现中华民族伟大复兴和人类发展进步事业作出更大贡献!

____________

Related

Greatest relief operation, June 10, 2020
East Turkestan, deep awareness, May 10, 2020

____________

Monday, July 6, 2020

One Country, our System: all Development comes from the Party

The following are excerpts from a “Xinwen Lianbo” newsitem on Sunday (July 5). It may give you an idea as to why the international response to Beijing’s demolition of Hong Kong’s autonomy has been rather weak. News like this from “Xinwen Lianbo” is addressing two spheres of the global public: mainlanders at home (in awe of their own collective greatness), and business people or people with business interests (at home, in Hong Kong, and abroad).

Notice the extensive use of Xi Jinping‘s party titles: “comrade” or “secretary general”. Xinwen Lianbo presents the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area project as a party feat, rather than as a national or, God forbid, regional achievement.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link: Greater Bay Area Construction of the past three years: promotion of accelerated regional integration
大湾区建设三年来 区域融合加快推进

CCTV news (Xinwen Lianbo): to promote the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area is the major strategic decision taken by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. Secretary General Xi Jinping pointed out that it was necessary to seize the great opportunity of constructing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, to join hands with Hong Kong and Macau to accelerate and promote related work, to create an international front-ranking bay region and a world-class city conglomerate. Since the Greater Bay Area construction had been started, infrastructure of “hard connectivity”, institutional “soft connectivity“, integration and equidirectional advances of the three territories of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau have made the Greater Bay Area enter a new stage.

央视网消息(新闻联播):推进粤港澳大湾区建设,是以习近平同志为核心的党中央作出的重大战略决策。习近平总书记指出,要抓住建设粤港澳大湾区重大机遇,携手港澳加快推进相关工作,打造国际一流湾区和世界级城市群。大湾区建设启动以来,粤港澳三地基础设施“硬联通”、体制机制“软联通”,加快融合、同向共进,大湾区建设步入新阶段。

Recently, the first lane of the Greater Bay Area’s Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge tunnel project and the artificial island’s underwater joints have been successfully completed, making in- and outside communications between the Greater Bay Area cities more convenient and fast.

近日,大湾区重大交通工程——深中通道海底隧道的第一节沉管,顺利完成与人工岛的水下对接,大湾区城市间的内联外通将更加便捷。

Xi Jinping explains how to use a bridge
– click picture for video

The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge connection of some 38 kilometers is the first cooperational construction under “one country, two systems”: – the large cross-seas traffic project of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge. In October 2018, Secretary General Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony. He emphasized that the great bridge had to be applied and managed well, so as to play an important role in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

距深中通道38公里外,就是“一国两制”下粤港澳三地首次合作共建的超大型跨海交通工程——港珠澳大桥。2018年10月,习近平总书记出席了开通仪式,他强调,要用好管好大桥,为粤港澳大湾区建设发挥重要作用。

[…]

The news item continues with examples of “hard connectivity” within the Greater Bay projects, such as Fanhai Bridge, Mingzhu Bay Bridge, and other cross-river connections.

On July 30, 2019, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area’s first research-foundation brought about cross-border free circulation and “cross-border money, cross-border travels, tax balance”. A joint experiment by Tsinghua Research Institute, Pearl River Delta has earned itself the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission’s “Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities”.

2019年7月30日,粤港澳大湾区首笔科研资金实现跨境自由流动,实现了“钱过境、人往来、税平衡”。清华珠三角研究院的一项联合试验,已获得香港创新科技署的“大学科技初创企业资助计划”。

Recently, Shenzhen’s Guangming Science City has welcomed the first batch of province-level laboratories. A large number of top-notch domestic research institutions continue to establish themselves in the Greater Bay Area and have attracted more than 4,000 high-class talents from home and abroad.

近日,深圳光明科学城迎来了首批省级实验室。一大批国内顶尖的科研机构陆续进驻大湾区,已吸引了来自国内外的4000多位高水平人才。

[…]

____________

Related

Unshrinking police, July 3, 2020
Beijing-Tianjin-Xiong’an Inspection, Feb 3, 2019

____________

%d bloggers like this: