Posts tagged ‘bombings’

Friday, April 19, 2013

Press and Blog Review: Perfectly Logical Chains

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1. Li Ruihuan: Modest and Scrupulous about every Detail

Main Link: “Just talking won’t do, we need to argue” – Li Ruihuan’s “Views and Statements” / 光讲事儿不行,得讲理儿” ——李瑞环的“看法”与“说法”

Li Ruihuan

In spring 2013, permanent member of the 14th and 15th politburo standing committee and former Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Li Ruihuan has published his fourth book (four volumes) after retirement, “Views and Statements”, writes an intern at Nanfang Weekly who reviews the book. Renmin University (People’s University) president Chen Yulu is quoted as referring to it as authentic history and an encyclopedia of party and government work. The reviewer at Nanfang finds a perfectly logical chain in the opus, which begins with reform and opening up, and carries on with party construction (or building the party), the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, ethnic religion, propaganda and art, ideological and political work, urban construction, etc. Li had been scrupulous about every detail, he had issued 108 issues to deal with, and all had gone through the editorial team’s discussion. Obviously, the book also contains speeches.

Li Ruihuan’s approach had been democratic, Renmin University Publishing chief editor He Yaomin is quoted as saying – Li Ruihuan liked to let the editors discuss, looking on and listening. “He also spoke his views, but in case that he didn’t convince us, he’d let us return home and think things over again.”

Given the encyclopedic nature of the work, party secretary at the Central Institute of Socialism, Ye Xiaowen, was also part of the team of editors. Not missing are remarks about Li’s modest lifestyle, and his awareness of the importance of self-criticism, so as to be aware of problems early on.

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2. Village Teacher: It’s Now or Never

Village Teacher

Main Link: One Explosion after another, and Obama still hasn’t pissed off? / 美国爆炸连连,奥巴马还不滚蛋吗?

A “Farmer Teacher from the Village” (农村老师) also made a statement this week, with a focus on international politics. Chances are that there was no editorial team around to assist him:

These are some of America’s most unlucky days, and this American president is good for nothing. Not only is he black, intelligent and self-confident, but also unable, and all he can do is to show off his eloquence. [...] This decade hasn’t been good for America in military, diplomatic and political terms, and the main reason is the election of a black president. Facts have shown that a black sheep cannot get along well with a bunch of bold lions. One could say that America has gradually become the most unsafe country, with one explosion after another, making Americans question Obama’s ability to govern. Indeed, as the Korean peninsula shows, Obama is one of the most incompetent presidents in American history, which is America’s nightmare, but China’s good luck. From the American president’s incompetence, greater benefits can be drawn, and China needs to do this. It needs to dispatch troops to fishing islands [this apparently refers to the Senkaku Islands in the first place], to make sense [of the fact that] American president Obama just relies on tricks. There is no need to fear this kind of president, but if this president is good for nothing, can we think of ourselves as stronger than him? We need no re-play of the Sino-Japanese War [of 1894/1895], I don’t want to see China sign another Shimonoseki Treaty in my lifetime, because that would be painful. Of course, big countries like China and America won’t simply go to war, but America’s decline is inevitable. They chose a useless president and gradually enter their own era of decline. If China doesn’t seize this opportunity to cripple America now, there will hardly be opportunities later. If in future, America becomes strong again, this won’t be good for China. I said early on that that black devil is useless, that his election is China’s opportunity, but there won’t be too many of such opportunities, [... - unable to translate this - JR.]
Therefore, with one explosion after another in America, why doesn’t Obama piss off? If he doesn’t piss off, the damage will only be America’s, and America will be more and more unluky, and China’s opportunities will get ever greater, but if the opportunity isn’t being seized, there will be a rude awakening.

Only one reader cared to comment so far, and offers some cooling analysis: A president can’t change America’s current situation in a moment.

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Related

» Make America collapse, Feb 14, 2010
» Stock Taking, Feb 8, 2013

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bouthaina Shaaban: Opposition Backers invest in Government’s Demise, not in an Alternative Government

Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad‘s political and media adviser, met with Chinese foreign Minister Jiang Jiechi in Beijing on Thursday. A purpose of her visit was to give “the Chinese leadership a real picture of what’s going on in Syria” and to coordinate with China to solve the current crisis that has taken thousands of people’s lives, China Daily quotes her.

During the meeting, Yang – as quoted by the Chinese foreign ministry’s (FMPRC) website – said that the Syrian government should take practical measures to satisfy the people’s pursuit of change, and to protect the people’s personal interests and reasonable demands. The wording is similar to that of foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu in October last year, in terms which have frequently been used by the foreign ministry since 2011. Today’s communiqué on the FMPRC website also quotes Yang as saying that China urged both the Syrian government and all other parties involved [in the conflict] that they should implement outgoing UN and Arab-League envoy Kofi Annan‘s six-points proposal.

Huanqiu Shibao conducted an interview with Bouthaina Shaaban on Wednesday, one day after her arrival, at the Syrian embassy in Beijing.

Q: Mrs Shaaban, what are your expectations during this visit as president Assad’s special envoy?
夏班女士此次作为叙利亚总统特使来华访问,对中国有何期待?

A: We are very grateful for China’s principled stance on the Syrian issue, and hope that China will maintain this position, opposing foreign interference, and letting the Syrian people themselves decide their fate and future. We hope to help China understand the real situation in Syria, a situation which is very different from the one described by Western media.
非常感谢中国在叙利亚问题上保持的原则性立场,希望中国坚持这一立场,反对外来势力干涉,让叙利亚人民决定自己的命运和未来。希望通过此行让中国了解叙利亚的真相,那和西方媒体描述的大有不同。

Q: What’s the situation in Syria right now? According to former prime minister Hijab who defected last week and reappeared for the first time on August 14, the Syrian government only controls 30 percent of the country’s territory now, is this the case?
叙利亚当下局势怎样?据传前总理希贾卜上周叛逃,他14日首次露面,称叙利亚仅3成国土处于政府控制之下,实情是否如此?

A: There are battles in many areas in Syria, and nobody in Syria can avoid getting caught in them. What Syria is facing is the goal of foreign forces to attack, which isn’t directed against the president or any individual, it is directed against the Syria and the Syrian people. Hijab is telling lies, and he knows it.
叙利亚多个地区在激战,所有叙利亚人都无可避免地陷入其中。叙利亚面对的是外来势力有目的的攻击,这种攻击不针对总统或某个个人,它旨在对抗叙利亚和叙利亚人民。希贾卜说的是谎话,他自己心知肚明。

Q: According to news, Hijab and two cabinet ministers defected at the same time. It appears that the organs of state power are under growing pressure from assassinations and defections?
当时有消息说,希贾卜和两名内阁部长共同叛逃。似乎,叙利亚政权越来越受到暗杀及叛逃的困扰?

A: Anyone who doesn’t trust the Syrian organs of state power and its system can leave. However, the [issue of] defections [is] clearly exaggerated. One hour after Western media announced that two ministers had defected, the two of them appeared at a cabinet meeting held by the president. That was really amusing. The outside world has frequently attacked the Syrian organs of state power as rotten and ruthless, suggesting that new organs of state power could provide the Syrian people with a better future. Why then would foreign forces tirelessly provide millions of US dollars to entice anyone within the current organs of state power who may feel tempted, rather than to make efforts to support new organs of state power? This certifies that we are still the best.
任何一个不信任叙利亚政权和体系的人都可以离开。不过,叛逃显然被夸大了。西方媒体宣称两名部长叛逃后1小时,两人就出现在总统召开的内阁会议上,这非常好笑。外界曾多次攻击叙利亚政权腐朽、残忍,暗示新政权能给叙利亚人民更好的未来。那么外部势力为什么持续不懈地拿数百万美元诱惑现政权内任何一个可能被诱惑的人,而不是致力于扶持新政权?这证明我们是最好的。

Q: 90 percent of Syria’s military are reportedly Sunni. They can’t be too staunch in fighting the armed opposition, because the latter may be their brothers and sisters, or neighbors. Has Syria already entered civil war?
据称叙利亚军队基层9成是逊尼派士兵,他们无法坚决地和反对派武装对战,因为后者可能是他们的兄弟或者邻居。叙利亚是否已陷入内战?

A: Our troops don’t want to fight against their own people. The armed groups within our borders terrorize the people, take hostages, plant bombs, and what the troops do is that they restore order and peace for society.
我们的军队不愿意和自己的人民战斗,武装团伙在境内恐吓民众、挟持人质、制造爆炸,军队所做的是为社会重建秩序和安宁。

Q: Even after 18 months, the power of the opposition doesn’t seem to be weakening, does it?
可18个月过去了,反对派力量似乎未被削弱?

A: Maybe we can look at it from a different perspective: eighteen months have passed, and all those who kept announcing that the Syrian government would be in total disintegration within a week or a month should eat their lies. I hope there will be a time when the armed organizations and the regional and Western forces behind them will choose dialog, and end the bloodshed and violence.
是否可以换个角度,18个月过去了,那些曾经宣称叙利亚政府会在1周、1个月内土崩瓦解的人该收回谎言了。我想是时候,武装组织及其背后的地区势力和西方势力选择对话、结束流血和暴力。

Q: President Assad has called for dialog on different occasions, but the opposition says it has no confidence and resolutely declined. Why is that?
巴沙尔总统曾在不同场合呼吁对话,但反对派对此表示不信任,坚决拒绝,为什么?

A: The oppositional armed organizations aren’t united; they belong to different factions. They get funding from different sources. They have been instructed to refuse dialog, because the target of those who fund them is Syria.
反对派武装组织并非一体,他们分属不同派别,每个背后都有不同的资助者,他们接到的指示是拒绝对话,资助者的目标是叙利亚。

Q: Some countries have held three “Friends of Syria” sessions. Last week, Iran took the lead in organizing a conrary axis, supporting the Syrian government. Do you believe that Russia, Iran and other powers will support the Syrian government militarily if political means show no effect? And at the moment of crisis, would the Syrian army use biological or chemical weapons?
一些国家开了3届“叙利亚之友”大会,上周伊朗牵头组织反抗轴心,支持叙政府,您认为俄伊等大国是否会在政治手段无效的情况下,军事支持叙政府?到危急时刻,叙军有没有可能使用生化武器?

A: Those you mentioned first are the “Enemies of Syria”. If outsiders intervene militarily, we hope that Russia, Iran and China will help Syria to find a solution. If the Russian and Chinese adherance to dialog and avoidance of bloodshed gets unanimous approval from the international community, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a solution. The Syrian government is responsible and maintains the proscription of weapons of mass destruction’s proliferation in the Middle East. It isn’t president Assad’s determination to fight to the last; it is the Syrian people who make the decision.
前者是“叙利亚之敌”。外界若军事介入,希望俄罗斯、伊朗、中国帮叙利亚找到解决之道。如果俄中秉承的对话与不流血能够得到国际社会一致认同,解决之道不会太难。叙利亚政府是一个负责任的、坚持抵制大规模杀伤性武器在中东扩散的政府。不是总统巴沙尔决意战斗到最后,做决定的是叙利亚人民。

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Related

» At a lesser frequency and scale, Independent, Aug 15, 2012

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obituary: Muammar Gaddafi, 1942 – 2011

Fourty-two years of rule are a very long time. No matter if historians will explore Middle Eastern or African matters, they will encounter the Gaddafi factor, time and again. When exploring European matters, they will, to some degree, happen on his traces, too. When he or his clan opened their big wallets, European institutions were happy recipients.

No room here for the ways European and other leaders celebrate the death of a bad man today. No matter on which side they stood in March this year – there are too many big mouths in Europe on both sides.

La Belle, Roxy Palast memorial plaque

Berlin Friedenau, memorial plaque: "In this house on the 5th of April, 1986, young people were murdered by a criminal bomb attack" (Wikimedia Commons, click photo for source)

There isn’t much reason to listen to those who mourn Gaddafi either.

But there are people who should be remembered – people like those who were killed by assassins from the orbit of Libya’s East Berlin embassy, or Yvonne Fletcher, who died from shots from inside the Libyan embassy in London.The victims of the Lockerbie bombing – with some likelihood, they were victims of Gaddafi’s government, too.

And that would only be those killed in Europe.

“Tunisia now lives in fear”, The Economist quoted Gaddafi in January:

Families could be raided and slaughtered in their bedrooms and the citizens in the street killed as if it was the Bolshevik or the American revolution.

That would have been too high a price to pay for Tunisian democracy, but not when it came to the defense of Gaddafi’s own rule. In February, the brother-leader reportedly vowed to kill Libyan protesters house by house.

What was, or will be, the price for Libyan democracy? Some sources put the number of deaths as a result of civil war as high as thirty-thousand, in April. If there will be democracy, remains to be seen.

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Related

» Relocating from LSE, March 3, 2011
» A Celebrity and a Politician, Tai De, Nov 27, 2009

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feelgood for the Day: Margot Christ Superstar

Margot Käßmann was the leading Lutheran bishop from 2009 to 2010.

On the Shining Path of Protestant Virtue

On the Shining Path of Protestant Virtue, there's no Room for Subtleties

Kirchentage – a traditional, now biennial lay-movement event,  – are something some of my family and friends love, and what others of us – me included, aren’t fond of at all. Controversy is a good thing – but sometimes, there seems to be too little controversy when the Kirchentag mainstream – yes, such a thing does exist – kicks in. In short, I distrust the atmosphere. That said, church congresses aren’t exactly what they appear to be on television. There are many small workshops coexisting, and somewhere, once in a while, you might get food for thought after all.

It seems that former bishop Margot Käßmann has managed to trigger second thoughts among some of the usually more happy Kirchentag goers though. That’s not because they wouldn’t be practising Christians. But it seems that they take their religion too serious to have it sliced into moralistic canapés.

“Frankly, I think this is a much better idea than to bomb road tankers in Kundus.”
Margot Käßmann, reacting to sarcastic advice to sit down in a tent with the Taliban and candles, and to pray.
Quoted by evangelisch.de

For Margot Käßmann, too, Dolly Parton’s wisdom applies – in the make-up room, to make oneself look natural takes longer than anything else.
Jan Feddersen, in an article for taz

taz is no likely paper to advocate war, but Feddersen appears to be thoroughly pissed-off. So seem several other editorialists. Lutheran theologicans may don simpler robes than Catholics, but that’s no all-around protection against hypocrisy and moralistic superelevation.

I thought about leaving church for some time during the 1980s,  which were similar times in wonderland. I took offense then, because I do have a sense of belonging to my denomination, even if a faithless one. But meantime,  I seem to take things easier. Käßmann’s platitudes don’t anger me the way similar 1980s simplifications did. Rather, they inspire the cartoonist inside me.

The real treasures of thought lie much deeper than the plebeian donnybrooks around Käßmann, or Eugen Drewermann.

That I’m too lazy myself to dive into them more frequently shouldn’t lead me to believe that there would be nothing but  “intellectual fast food” (Feddersen on Käßmann’s sermons) on offer.

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Related
» My Fearful Country, March 19, 2011
» “Wild Justice”, Philosophy Now, 2010
» An Exclamation of Joy, Urban Dictionary, July 9, 2007

Friday, March 25, 2011

Libya: the Reporter in the Rye

Qiu Yongzheng (邱永峥), senior war correspondent (资深记者) in Libya for Huanqiu Shibao (the reporter in the rye, pictured at the top left of his Huanqiu blog mainpage, observing the war from a botanic harbor), has found that many media and websites were using his articles and photos without asking his permission. He therefore re-iterates that articles and photos used in his blog are his own original works, and that without his permission, none of those may be reproduced or published.

[Update, Oct 27, 2011: the blog with the photo apparently doesn't exist anymore. Now defunct link: http://blog.huanqiu.com/?uid-121921-action-viewspace-itemid-2005244. Please find a screenshot below]

Reporter in the Rye

Reporter in the Rye

In a blog entry of Thursday he wrote:

US military explained an American F-15E jet’s crash with “mechanical failure” (机械故障), but the reporter [i. e. Qiu] believes that the armed forces of Libya’s government are probably capable of shooting down American warplanes (记者认为利比亚政府军应该具有击落美国战机的可能性). Earlier, the reporter saw a group of destroyed tanks while on the road, but without loss of their radar equipment. Since they were equipped with air defense radar, the Libyan government’s more advanced troops (更精锐的部队) were certainly using air defense weapons.

To protect their tank units, Libya’s government troops equipped many of them with former Soviet-made air-defense missiles. These can be taken away and quite possibly be launched against US warplanes from hidden places. But this conclusion is only a guess, and has not been confirmed.

Commenter Sweet Song (甜歌) expressed his respect for Qiu’s war reporting spirits today (我对你战地报道精神表示敬意!希望能看到更精彩的前方报到,同时祝你平安!), and wished him peace.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Xinhua Coverage from Tripoli

[Main link: Beijing Youthnet (Beiqing Wang), March 22, 2011. Links inserted during translation.]

Beiqing Wang frontpage (photo to the left alternating with several other topics). The second headline is about Fukushima power plant rescue work having been interrupted.

Beiqing Wang frontpage (photo to the left alternating with several other topics). The second headline is about Fukushima power plant rescue work having been interrupted.

Xinhua Net, Tripoli, March 21 (message, reporters Xin Jianqiang, Li Teng) — Several targets in Libya’s capital Tripoli suffered airstrikes from Western countries’ fighter planes. Since the beginning of military strikes against Libya by Western countries on March 19, this is the third time that fighter planes struck at targets in Tripoli. Eyewitnesses told Xinhua’s reporters that a naval base in the eastern quarters of Tripoli, near the coastal line, had been attacked first. The barracks are located near the radio and television station building. Then, about two kilometers away from the barracks, two oil pipelines near 沙阿卜 harbor exploded in an airstrike, which the witnesses said led to a fire. Also, a governmental military camp had suffered bombings from the fighting planes.

On March 21 at about 21 p.m., Western fighting planes launched strikes again. The reporter(s) heard a huge explosion in the city. After that, Tripoli air defense forces immediately struck back with highly concentrated shellfire.

After the bombings, Libyan government spokesman Ibrahim Moussa (穆萨·易卜拉欣) held an emergency press conference and expressed strong protest against the bombings. He said that Western countries had launched air strikes against Libya for three consecutive days, and this had happened after Libya’s armed forces had already announced a comprehensive ceasefire, and stopped all military operations. Most of Libya’s civil airports and seaports had suffered destruction during the attacks.

Moussa said that the military strikes by Western countries had led to many civilian casualties (平民的伤亡).  In the March 19 attacks alone, 46 civilians had died.

Official statistics published on March 20 say that Western airstrikes had led to 64 people killed and 150 injured so far.

A second Xinhua dispatch on the same web page, also dated March 21, quotes from a press conference by United States Africa Command‘s combatant commander Carter F. Ham (卡特·哈姆), near Stuttgart, Germany. Human relief missions would become possible once the no-flight zone had been extended, Ham is quoted as saying.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Libya: Chinese Government deplores Military Strikes

Q: Multinational armed forces have begun to carry out military strikes against Libya, how does the Chinese side view this?

问:多国部队已开始对利比亚实施军事打击,中方对此有何评论?

A: The Chinese side is following the latest developments in Libya closely, and deplores the military strikes against Libya. The Chinese side has never  been in favor of using military force in international relations, has stood for adherence to the UN Charter’s purposes and principles, as well as the relevant standards of international law, respect for Libya’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity.

答:中方注意到利比亚局势的最新发展,对向利进行军事打击表示遗憾。中方一贯不赞成在国际关系中使用武力,主张遵循《联合国宪章》的宗旨与原则以及相关国际法准则,尊重利主权、独立、统一和领土完整。我们希望利局势尽快恢复稳定,避免武装冲突升级造成更多平民伤亡。

Jiang Yu (姜瑜), Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, in reply to a journalist’s question on Sunday.

Update / Related
India, Russia oppose Air Strikes, Deccan Herald, March 20, 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Beijing-Pyongyang: Say it through the Papers

China’s mainstream media carry short reviews of the North Korean press once in a while, frequently compiled by Xinhua. The following was republished by Enorth (Tianjin) on Saturday.

[North Korean] paper Democratic Korea (民主朝鲜) says in an article that North Korea’s self-restraint and determination and love for peace averted an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula which would have triggered all-out war. North Korea’s actions received neighboring countries’ and the international communities support, and at the same time made the international community see clearly who on the Korean peninsula was the guardian of peace, and who was the real provocateur.

Labor News (劳动新闻) says in an article that the fact that the US-South Korean provocations hadn’t turned into a all-out conflict was merely the result of  North Korea’s “self-restraint and courage”, and its “determination to maintain peace”.

Another boring Day at the Supreme Commander's Office

Another boring Day at the Supreme Commander's Office

The point about “restraint” refers to live ammunition exercises by South Korean troops on Monday, to which Pyongyang had initially threatened retaliation, but then chose to adjourn. Xinhua previously provided a North Korean press review on Tuesday, also about the current conflict and a statement that the North wouldn’t react to imperialist provocations (yet).

Adam Cathcart wondered on Monday if some of the Chinese press – which in his view is clearly more critical of Pyongyang than the China’s English-language press for foreigners’ consumption, may also aim at readers at the North Korean embassy in Beijing, i. e. if they were written for the eyes of the North Korean leadership, too.

For sure, objectives other than mere information for the general public will be ample in the Chinese press. The press may also work to make Beijing’s alliance with North Korea look more acceptible to Chinese readers. Also today, china.com (中华网) carries a short review of the Western press, citing the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times as attributing North Korean restraint to Beijing. Such reviews of the foreign press by Chinese media aren’t necessarily reliable. But quoting the WSJ and the FT sets the scene for foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, and for quoting from her statements on a press conference on Thursday:

[...] spokeswoman Jiang Yu remained low-keyed (保持低调) vis-à-vis Western media claims about a Chinese role, saying that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula was in the interest and to the benefit of both the northern and southern sides, that it was hoped that all sides involved would keep cool minds and self-restraint, and promote the way of resumption of dialog, concerning the issues.

Classy understatement suits a relative superpower best. Which reminds me of a not so wide-spread view, according to which North Korea may really be Beijing’s mad little cop, waving around a loaded and unlocked gun, and making China look good in contrast. One probably has to turn to the Epoch Times to find that idea. The company’s barbarian, D. J. McGuire, advises his readers to fish for some more explanations for Pyongyang’s behavior.

As much as people would like to think the regime in charge of Northern Korea is a lone wolf, one is unable to control or even understand that regime is wholly dependent on the Chinese Communist Party for its survival.
Moreover, the CCP prefers its allies and satellites take full blame or credit for their antics, as it turns Beijing into the “good police state” and enables them to extract more concessions from the democratic world.

There are good reasons to doubt that China’s leaders, if there were no such North Korean regime, would tinker themselves one there. But of course, the regime in Pyongyang has its useful aspects, just as well as its downsides.

Here, too, Cathcart has a different interpretation of domestic Chinese press coverage on North Korea, and again, the target readership would be the leadership in Pyongyang: just stop the nonsense and make some money.

Meanwhile, a number of festive activities are marking the 19th anniversary of General Secretary Kim Jong Il as supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army.
And news just in: South Korea frees three Chinese fishermen.

Merry Christmas.

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