Posts tagged ‘accountability’

Monday, February 17, 2020

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

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

Radio Taiwan International QSL, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes

*) Also referred to as “president” in English

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

COVID-19, new Diagnostics, statistical Effects, and some Leap of Faith

China’s explanation that a jump in the number of new COVID-19 infections can be explained with new diagnostic methods is meeting with a leap of faith in official Kiev. Radio Ukraine International, via WRMI on February 14 (Febr 13 local time in the US) reported in its “Ukrainian Perspective” program that

[a]s of February 13, 60,331 confirmed cases of the novel corona virus COVID-19, including 1,369 lethal cases, have been registered worldwide. The Ukrainian health ministry attributes the [ .. not readable] increase in the number of COVID-19 cases to a new diagnostic method deployed in the Hubei province. In addition to the test and specific symtoms screening, the method includes computer-assisted lung tomography to help detect pneumonia caused by the virus. So far, there have been no confirmed laboratory cases in in Ukraine, the health ministry reported on Thursday.
[…]

The report in full – with some shortwave background noise – can be found under the following link for a while. Please click the icon.

The report also quotes Ukraine’s prime minister, who addressed the issue of evacuating Ukrainians from Hubei province, and possible health risks for Ukraine that needed to be ruled out when the evacuations were carried out.

German television’s flagship news program “Tagesschau”, with a status in Germany comparable to “Xinwen Lianbo’s” in China, also attributed the rise in statistically recorded cases to the new diagnostic measures in a report on Thursday, but took a more distanced stance in the second part of the report, when addressing “revised diagnostic results” (“überarbeitete” Diagnoseergebnisse) announced by Hubei’s provincial government.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

German embassy to Taiwan reportedly affirms country’s measures against new corona virus disease

Many different worlds

There are so many different worlds …

The German Institute Taipei, i. e. Germany’s embassy there, but it must not be called an embassy because the Chinese don’t like that, has affirmed prevention and treatment work of the new corona virus (COVID-19), according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI). The diplomatic mission published the statement on Thursday (Febr 13).

It reportedly says that although the island was close to the source of the virus, Taiwan had so far managed to keep the number of confirmed cases low, and to avoid a large-scale outbreak of the disease. Given the dangerous situation, the German mission thinks of the measures taken as a model [of how to deal with it].

聲明表示,儘管距離病毒的發源地很近,台灣截至目前仍成功維持較少的確診個案,並且避免疫情的大爆發。針對這樣危險的疾病,台灣所採取的措施,足以為模範。

The statement is also quoted as saying that if Taiwan could be involved with the relevant international organizations, this would be beneficial for the world, as it could obtain important information quickly, and because it could share its experience with other countries.

聲明最後指出,如果將台灣納入相關國際組織,這對全球都有利,一方面能夠迅速獲取重要資訊,另一方面則能與他國分享自身的經驗。

Friday, February 7, 2020

Telling the good Li Wenliang Story: the Man for China’s Rise

The following are excerpts form a news article written by Zhang Weiwei (张维为), a professor at Fudan University, and dean of Fudan University’s China Institute.

What the academic says about “a major regional leader” appears to refer directly to Wuhan’s mayor Zhou Xianwang (周先旺) who had explained delays in public warnings with legal requirements. The underlings have apparently become the politburo’s pawns, scheduled to be sacrificed to placate public anger.

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR.

Main Link: Li Wenliang, doctor, rumors, officials, and responsibility

[…]

As far as I have seen, there are basically two communities who like to create rumors. One consists of ignorant communities, like those who spread the idea that “gargling with salted water helps to prevent pneumonia”, adding “as said by Dr. Zhong Nanshen” to it. To handle this community’s problems is comparatively easy. The other community is highly politicized, with a hostile view of the People’s Republic, also often referred to as the “road-leading party”. There was once a man named Qin Huohuo whose motivation was just about creating rumors, to overturn the People’s Republic, and who was later arrested. Such open violators of the law and the constitution must be resolutely fought against.

以我自己的观察,中国喜欢造谣的主要是两个群体,一个是无知者群体,比方这次疫情中传播所谓“用盐水漱口可以防止肺炎”,还要加一句“钟南山大夫的话”。这个群体的问题比较好处理。另一个是高度政治化的、敌视人民共和国的群体,也就是我们常说的西方“颜色革命”在中国的“带路党”,过去有一个叫秦火火的,他的目的就是要造谣,谣翻人民共和国,后来被抓起来了。对这样公开违法违宪的人,要坚决斗争。

Digital numbers suggest that an overwhelming majority of our doctors and of our male communities of science and engineering approve of the path of China’s rise. Maybe it is their scientific and engineer training that makes them more respectful of the facts, and more inclined to seek truth from the facts. As it was in Wuhan, where eight doctors, practically simultaneously, expressed their opinions in circles of friends, about an issue they were rather familiar with. As a major regional leader, you should definitely be alerted. Even if not yet authorized for whatever reason, you need to clarify things. This is how you assume responsibility, to take responsibility for the people, and to be “always together with the people”.

从我们的大数据来看,我们的大夫群体,我们的理工男群体,认同中国道路和中国崛起的比例是压倒多数,可能是理工科的训练使他们更加尊重事实、更加实事求是。像武汉这样,八位大夫几乎同一时间段就一个他们比较熟悉的问题,在朋友圈里发表了自己的看法。作为一个地方的主要领导,一定应该警觉起来,即使由于种种原因,一时还没有得到授权,但也应该把事情搞清楚,这叫做担当,叫做对人民负责,这就是我们讲的“永远与人民在一起”。

[…] Last time, when I discussed the Chinese concept of “seeking truth from facts”, I used the example of General Su Yu. The Huaihai campaign was originally scheduled to start on November 8, 1948. Having gathered intelligence about the enemy, he was as brave as to violate his orders, but he assumed responsibility and both reported to the central military commission and made the necessary deployments, for which Chairman Mao highly praised him.

[…..] 我上次谈中国理念“实事求是”的时候,专门举了粟裕将军的例子,淮海战役本来定于1948年11月8号发动,他研究敌情后认为应该提前两天,这是冒着违反军令危险的,但他有担当,一面上报中央军委,一面就开始做必要的军事部署,后来毛主席高度表扬他。

There are media that say that America took the case of Li Wenliang to turn it into an essay. I say that China’s supreme court made a statement on January 29 about the so-called rumors’ issue, which means that in less than a month, the top level of China rehabilitated Li Wenliang. By contrast, American citizen Edward Snowden spoke some truths, most people worldwide believed it was the truth, but seven years later, America is still hunting him. Assange also said the truth and has suffered persecution in Sweden, Britain, and America for many years.

有媒体说,美国有人拿李文亮事情做文章,我说,中国最高法院1月29号就所谓武汉谣言问题专门发表过一个说明,这意味着在中国中央这一级,不到一个月,就给李文亮他们平反了。反观美国,美国公民斯诺登讲了一些真话,世界上多数人都认为他讲了真话,但7年过去了,美国还在追捕他。阿桑奇也讲了真话,在瑞典、英国、美国都遭受迫害好多年了。

[…]

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Related

Li Wenliang, 1986 – 2020, Febr 7, 2020

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Friday, January 24, 2020

People’s Daily: “A Test for our Governance System, and an Examination for our Ability to Govern”

Xinwen Lianbo coverage, Jan 24, 2020

Xinwen Lianbo coverage, Jan 24, 2020 –
click picture for video

Main LinkPeople’s Daily online editorial: The more difficulties and dangers may unfold, the more the unity of the masses’ will shall form an impregnable wall (人民网评:越是艰难险阻,愈益众志成城)

From ten o’clock on January 23, all the city’s public transport, railways, ferries, long-distance passenger traffic will be suspended, and without particular reasons, city residents must not leave Wuhan. Traffic leaving Wuhan from the airport or train station is suspended.” That night, Wuhan issued an announcement which sent a clear signal: Just now, Wuhan is taking more careful, thorough and tangible preventive action, making every effort to contain the spread of the epidemic situation.

“1月23日10时起,全市城市公交、地铁、轮渡、长途客运暂停运营;无特殊原因,市民不要离开武汉,机场、火车站离汉通道暂时关闭。”武汉市连夜发出公告,传递明确信号:武汉正在采取更细致、更深入、更扎实的防控举措,全力遏制疫情扩散蔓延。

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. This casts light on a fundamental logic, to protect the masses’ lives and safety: don’t be afraid of involving many people, to “use manpower and resources generously”, and don’t be afraid of doing whatever it takes to defend!

非常之时,非常之举。这昭示了一个基本逻辑,为了守护人民群众的生命安全:不怕兴师动众、不怕“劳民伤财”、不怕十防九空!

Prevention and cure of this contagious disease has its complexities, and even more so its regularities, and when the times demand it, extraordinary measures must be taken, and both emotions and reason will lend them firm support. Extraordinary measures must crush routine and affect normality. The lives of Wuhan’s citizens will inevitably be affected, and we send them our respect for this! For winning this fight, every Wuhan citizen deserves grateful admiration, and everyone who is actively involved deserves our respect.

传染病防治有其复杂性,更有其规律性,必要时候必须采取非常之举,这于情于理于法都有坚实支撑。非常之举,必然要打破常规、影响常态。武汉市民的生活将不可避免地受到影响,我们向武汉市民的付出致敬!打赢这场防疫硬仗,每一位武汉市民都值得感佩,每一名积极参与者都值得我们呈上敬意。

Extraordinary measures require even more that government departments follow the principle of wholeheartedly serving the people. To answer the masses reasonable demands and to limit the disadvantageous effects from the measures taken is also a matter of vital importance. This is a test for our governance system, and an examination for our ability to govern. Apart from Wuhan, no city can keep out of this. This is not only so because of the epidemic’s interlinked effects, but to fulfill our solemn promise to the people.

非常之举,更需要政府部门遵循全心全意为人民服务的常理。积极回应民众的合理诉求,最大限度减少应急措施带来的不利因素,也是当务之急。这是对我们治理体系的测试,是对我们治理能力的检验。除了武汉,没有哪一座城市可以作壁上观。这不仅是因为疫情的联动效应,更是因为我们对人民的庄严承诺。

The epidemic has been fast, and now, some places and connections are facing challenges. Supplies with medicine, disinfectants, instruments and other prevention and control goods is urgent. It should be  noted that as the world’s factory, China isn’t short of material and production capacities; and to fill the material gaps is no poses no problems. The shortages that have occurred in some places fall into a structural category, constituting “local mismatches”, even more so as factories being on holiday create further lacks in supplies. We call on the manufacturers of goods such as face masks to respond to the situation and go to full production speed; emergency rescue efforts can be made from all across the country, for mutual support.

疫情来得迅疾,目前一些地方、一些环节面临挑战,做好药品、消毒、器械等防控物资的储备供应,显得迫在眉睫。需要看到,中国作为世界工厂,并不缺少物质生产力,补上物资缺口并非难事。一些地方出现物资短缺属于结构性的,只是“地域错配”,加上春节工厂放假因素而导致缺货。我们呼吁,口罩等物资的相关厂家能急疫情之所急,开足马力生产;全国各地也能紧急驰援、相互支持。

If the whole country stands as one, coordinates its arrangements, and advances in a concerted way, there is reason to be confident that shortage issues can be solved very quickly. At this moment, we must unleash our society’s long-trained abilities to mobilize, and our institutional superiority. Our party cadres must play a pioneering and exemplary role in the face of crisis, and show everyone the way into belief in victory, and into fighting and winning this hard battle!

只要全国一盘棋,统筹安排,协调推进,相信很快就可以解决物资短缺等难题。在这个时候,我们就是要把长期培育的社会动员能力和制度优越性充分释放出来。我们的党员干部在危机面前尤其要发挥先锋模范作用,引领大家增强必胜的信心,打赢这场硬仗!

Go Wuhan, the whole country is with you. The more we face difficulties and dangers, the more the unity of our masses’ will shall form an impregnable wall. This logic of China has constantly been validated by history and reality.

武汉加油,全国人民支持你们。越是遭遇艰难险阻,我们愈益众志成城。这是被历史和现实不断验证的中国逻辑。

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Related

不人道,不统一的, Tweet, Jan 25, 2020

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wuhan “in a State of War”, but without Health Protection Upgrades, says virologist

Main Link: “More than ten times as many infections than during SARS”

Yi Guan, or Guan Yi (管軼), a Chinese virologist who is credited with a crucial role in keeping SARS under control in 2004, is critical of Wuhan’s performance in combating the current coronavirus, according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI), quoting from an interview the professor gave Caixin online. For one, he doubts the efficiency of the restrictions on travels from Wuhan, as many people had already returned home to celebrate the new lunar year. Guan believes that by now, the infection rate is at least ten times as high as SARS was.

香港大學新發傳染性疾病國家重點實驗室主任管軼今天(23日)表示,武漢交通封城實際效果存疑,因為不少人已經回家過年。他又表示,武漢肺炎疫情已經無法控制,保守估計感染規模是嚴重急性呼吸道症候群(SARS)的10倍以上。

Guan also called the city’s less spectacular preventive measures into question. While staying in Wuhan on January 21 and 22, he had been to a vegetable market where sanitary conditions had been poor and where only one person in ten had been wearing a face mask. He also found disinfection at Wuhan airport was unsatisfactory, with only sporadic use of chemicals in the waiting lounges. Guan had also been told by a security officer that superiors, worried about the airport’s image, didn’t allow him to wear a face mask, and that all employees who did had brought their own ones, rather than getting them from their employer.

管軼接受中國大陸「財新網」訪問時說,21日曾到武漢考察兩天,發現一個菜市場衛生狀況惡劣,但只有不到一成人戴口罩,22日機場竟然還有旅行團出遊,機場地面沒有消毒,候機大廳只有零星地方放置消毒液。1名安檢人員對他表示,上級擔心影響形象不准戴口罩,口罩都是自備。管軼形容,武漢已經進入「戰爭狀態」,但衛生防護根本沒有升級。

While Wuhan had now entered “a state of war” (戰爭狀態), even basic health protection measures had not been upgraded.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Excitement without Borders

If you follow the news – even in Europe -, the coronavirus infections that reportedly started in Wuhan features prominently.

This can hardly be explained with the dangers it may pose to individuals, at least for now. Then why the excitement, while climate change (probably) continues and poses a much greater threat?

What becomes news depends on what people can relate to. When a royal couple decides to move to Canada (but not quite, only a bit), it’s news, because it suggests that there must be a VIP family conflict.

When murder occurs in a place where overseas tourists go, media are more likely to report the case than if the same thing happens in Gaborone, or in a tranquil Swiss village off the beaten track.

And when shit happens in China, it becomes an online game: because new statistics and measures are announced every hour, the news seems to suggest that the situation becomes ever more grim.

Besides, because the Chinese authorities earned themselves a bad record  during the SARS epidemic early this century, there are suspicions that the worst news may still be covered up.

And as Wuhan closes down public transport (including trains and flights), this comes across as truly dramatic, particularly in countries where such actions, in modern times, are unheard of.

But then, draconic measures are nothing unusual in China (as many victims of arbitrary police and other state organs can tell, if they dare). And besides, if you live in Wuhan and own a car, you can go wherever you like. I haven’t heard of Wuhan citizens being refused a flight once they have reached, say, Nanjing International Airport.

Life goes on: the South Korean government, only on Monday, published plans for individual travels from South to North, and one of the options includes traveling through China (“or other countries”). Yes, you may still plant an apple tree.

When Wuhan adopts measures the way it does now, there are always two ways of interpreting them: one may think that if things are that bad, they are probably even worse.  But then, maybe the authorities simply want to be efficient this time. It depends on how you look at it.

Time for me to hit the road. And I’m sure that I’m much more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, than by a virus from Wuhan.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Presidential Elections 2nd Debate

A video showing yesterday’s (December 25, 2019) second round of the presidential elections debate between President Tsai Ing-wen (DPP), the KMT’s nominee and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, and James Soong Chu-yu (PFP). (The design doesn’t seem to suggest that the rebroadcaster would be entirely above party lines. Indeed, according to Wikipedia, Sanlih Entertainment Television (SET) “leans heavily to the Pan-Green Coalition.”)

There’s also a transcript on Facebook. – a great chance for us learners of the Chinese language to read along.

No warranty for the completeness and accuracy of either source.

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Update

A third debate is scheduled for December 27 at 7 p.m. Taiwan standard time (that should be 11 a.m. UTC), to be broadcast by Taiwan Television (TTV).

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Related / more Updates

“Real debate” on Dec 29, Taiwan News, Dec 27, 2019

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