Posts tagged ‘business’

Friday, April 8, 2022

SARS-Covid Outbreak: a Meeting with Experts and Entrepreneurs

While the Shanghai lockdown (which must not be called a lockdown) continued, China’s state council held a meeting “with experts and entrepreneurs” on Thursday, to “analyse economic conditions and hear ideas and suggestions about the next steps”, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. Li Keqiang chaired the meeting in his capacities as member of the CPC politburo standing committee and as chief state councillor.

Main Link

Also attending were people representing China Railway Materials and Qingdao AInnovation  Technology company, stating their opinions about economic operation, company situations etc., and making suggestions about safeguarding logistics and rural capital provisions, and about promoting entrepreneurial innovation.

Mentioned as participants were deputy chief state councillor Han Zheng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Yang Zhiyong, Bank of China researcher Guan Tao, and, as party of state officials, Hu Chunhua (politburo member and deputy chief state councillor), Liu He (same functions as Hu), Wang Yong (former SASAC chairman, now a member of the state council in charge of issues faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Xiao Jie (member of the state council and Secretary General of the State Council), Zhao Kezhi (Party Committee Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security and heading the ministry as member of the state council), and He Lifeng (member of the state council in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, NDRC).

Xinwen Lianbo, April 8, 2022, evening broadcast

Xinwen Lianbo, April 8, 2022, evening broadcast

You can probably imagine the importance of Zhao Kezhi’s attendance in the context of the meeting’s hardly-mentioned real topic – but it makes sense to take note of every participant mentioned in communiqués like this one by Xinhua. Their tasks may speak greater volumes than the description of the agenda.

It needs to be said that the article doesn’t exactly emphasize China’s current SARS-Covid outbreak – it is only “casually” mentioned, as one of a number of suddenly emerging factors in international and domestic environment that are confronting the economy with greater uncertainties and challenges.

The obligatory reference to Comrade Xi Jinping is made at the beginning,  although it is technically meaningless. It may, however, indicate the limits of what participants may describe or suggest during such a meeting, and also, you have to mention Xi anyway. With reference to the “sudden domestic Covid outbreak situation” (国内疫情近期多发), a need both  to keep up the faith and to face up to the difficulties is emphasized. More generally, “high-quality development” is restated, and so is a need to deepen reform and individual initiative, and “a flexibility in accepting the challenges” (应变克难). Focus is also given to stable growth, stable employment and stable prices (稳就业, 稳物价).

Li pointed out problems faced particularly by SMEs and self-employed workers & business people. Help and support them pass through the crisis is mentioned, some concrete measures too, but without detailed outlines. Concrete measures are an utmost pace by which to handle VAT rebates, and to make funds arrive at the accounts of those in need.

The primary sector is required to provide ample harvests (farming) and advanced coal production capacities (energy), and “marketization, rule of law and internationalization” are also given a mention.

The meeting ranked fourth as a news item in China’s main evening news broadcast of Xinwen Lianbo” today, after an “important speech” given by Xi Jinping at the end of the Paralympics, a reference to an editorial about the “spirit of the Beijing Olympics”, and news about a telephone conversation between Xi Jinping and the president of the Philippines.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Wang Yi: Minsk II “the only way”

Xinhua MSC coverage, Febr 19

Xinhua MSC coverage, Febr 19

Main link: FMPRC press release, Febr 19

On February 19 in the evening, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on invitation, took part in the 58th Munich Security Conference, gave a keynote speech by video link from Beijing. He answered the conference host’s questions concerning China’s approach and position concerning NATO eastward expansion, European security and the situation in Ukraine.

2022年2月19日晚,国务委员兼外长王毅在北京应邀以视频方式出席第58届慕尼黑安全会议中国专场并发表主旨讲话。王毅现场回答了主持人有关中方对于北约东扩、欧洲安全和乌克兰局势态度立场的问题。

Wang Yi said that the Cold War has long ended. Being a result of the Cold War years, NATO should judge the hour and size up the situation and make necessary adjustments. If NATO blindly expanded eastward, will that be conducive for maintaining long-term peace and stability in Europe? This is a question our European friends should seriously reflect on.

王毅表示,冷战早已结束,北约作为当年冷战的产物,应该审时度势,作出必要调整。如果北约一味东扩,是否有利于维护欧洲的和平稳定,是否有利于实现欧洲长治久安?这是一个值得欧洲朋友认真思考的问题。

Wang Yi emphasized that all countries’sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity ought to be respected and protected as this was a fundamental standard in international relations, reflecting the United Nations Charter’s objectives. It was also a principled position that had always been upheld by China, and Ukraine was no exception. If anyone doubted China’s position on this issue, that was just a hype with ulterior motives, and a distortion of China’s position.

王毅强调,各国的主权、独立和领土完整都应当得到尊重和维护,因为这是国际关系的基本准则,体现的是联合国宪章的宗旨,也是中方一贯秉持的原则立场,对乌克兰也不例外。如果有人在此问题上质疑中方的态度,那就是别有用心的炒作,也是对中方立场的歪曲。

Wang Yi said that as a permanent Security Council member, China had always decided on its position based on the merit of the issue itself, thus handling international matters. China believed that concerning the Ukraine issue, one should get back to the Minsk II starting point. As this agreement was binding,  agreed upon by all parties after negotiations, and obtained the Security Council’s approval, it was the only way to solve the Ukraine issue. According to our understanding, both Russia and the European Union support Minsk II, and when I had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Blinken recently, America also expressed support. As that’s the case, why can’t the parties sit down together for a full discussion, produce a roadmap and a timetable towards a workable protocol? What every party needs to do now is to earnestly assume responsibility, make efforts for peace, rather than blindly pushing up raising tensions, creating panic and make war.

王毅表示,中国作为安理会常任理事国,一贯按照事情本身的是非曲直决定自身立场,处理国际事务。中方认为,在乌克兰问题上,现在应该尽快回到新明斯克协议这一原点。因为这一协议是当事方通过谈判达成的具有约束力的协议,得到了联合国安理会的核可,是解决乌克兰问题的唯一出路。据我了解,俄罗斯、欧盟方面都支持新明斯克协议,前不久我同美国国务卿布林肯通电话时,美方也表示支持。既然如此,为什么各方不能坐在一起进行充分讨论,制定出落实协议的路线图和时间表。当前各方需要做的是,切实负起责任,为和平而努力,而不是一味推高紧张,制造恐慌,甚至渲染战争。

As for the prospects of solving the Ukraine issue, Wang Yi said that Ukraine should become a bridge, connecting East and West, rather than a frontline state in the confrontation of powers. As for European security, all sides could raise their own concerns, with Russia’s reasonable security concerns being respected and taken seriously. China expected that all sides should find a solution through dialog and consultation.

至于乌克兰问题解决前景,王毅表示,乌克兰应当成为东西方沟通的桥梁,而不应该成为大国对抗的前沿。对于欧洲安全,各方都可以提出自己的关切,其中俄方的合理安全关切应该得到尊重和重视。中方期待各方通过对话协商,找到真正有利于维护欧洲安全的解决方案。

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Deutsche Welle Russian Service: Office closed, back to the Shortwaves?


Deutsche Welle (DW) was considering a return to shortwave for its Russian language service and was checking with airtime providers, DARC Radio, a weekly program broadcast on shortwave by Germany’s main ham radio association, reported on Sunday, quoting “first-hand information”.
There appear to be no other reports that would support or confirm this, however, at least not online, and not from DW itself.

Deutsche Welle’s Moscow bureau had closed on February 4, following a ban by Russian authorities, apparently in retaliation for an earlier ban on broadcasts by Russia’s RT in Germany.

Michaela Küfner, a Deutsche Welle reporter, travelled with federal chancellor Scholz’ delegation to Moscow on Tuesday and asked the first question at the Putin-Scholz press conference that followed the talks between the two leaders. The closing-down of DW’s Moscow bureau was also discussed in the Putin-Scholz meeting of several hours.

The German chancellor’s visit was formally considered an inaugural visit, but probably mainly served collective Western efforts to deal with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine and Russia-NATO tensions.

deutsche_welle_qsl_schwerin_motiv

From Nordstream Country with love: a DW QSL card featuring the Cathedral of Schwerin, capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Xi Jinping’s “Inspiring New Year Address” in the Tibetan Media

The following is a translation of a Chinese-language piece by “Tibet Daily”, the CPC’s party organ published in Tibet. It was also broadcast by PBS Tibet, even as late as on January 3.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The 2019 enthusiasm routine (Google search result)

The 2019 enthusiasm routine (Google search result)

Keep in mind what the leadership entrusted you with. Put into practice the originally intended mission. — Chairman Xi Jinping’s new year’s message evokes wide-spread strong reactions among cadres and masses

牢记领袖嘱托 践行初心使命——习近平主席新年贺词在西藏广大干部群众中引发强烈反响

Published on Jan 2, 2022, 09:50:57. Source: Tibet Daily. Authors: Zhang Meng/Shi Jinru/Zhou Tingting

发布时间:2022-01-02 09:50:57来源:西藏日报 作者:张猛 史金茹 周婷婷

“What we experiencing in these flying times is an indomitable and prospering China. You find people here who inspire affection and respect, every day sees new development, and a cause passed on through the generations.” Once Chairman Xi Jinping’s new year’s eve greeting had been published on New Year’s Eve, it immediately evoked enthusiastic reactions among the broad cadreship and the masses. Everyone, one after another, said that Chairman Xi Jinping’s speech had been heartwarming and activating. In the new year, they will unite even more closely around the Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, keep in mind what the leadership entrusted them with, put into practice the originally intended mission, struggle for the construction of a united, well-off, civilized, harmonious and beautiful socialist and modern Tibet, so as to welcome the victorious 20th CPC National Congress with exceptional achievements.

“在飞逝的时光里,我们看到的、感悟到的中国,是一个坚韧不拔、欣欣向荣的中国。这里有可亲可敬的人民,有日新月异的发展,有赓续传承的事业。”新年前夕,习近平主席的新年贺词一经发表,立即在我区广大干部群众中引发热烈反响。大家纷纷表示,习近平主席的话语温暖人心、催人奋进。在新的一年里将更加紧密地团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,牢记领袖嘱托、践行初心使命,为建设团结富裕文明和谐美丽的社会主义现代化新西藏而努力奋斗,以优异成绩迎接党的二十大胜利召开。

“2021 was a special year, with the 100th anniversary of the CPC’s foundation. It was also the second year for me as a teacher.” After graduating from Shaanxi Normal University, “post-95er”1 Huang Jiapei came to Linzhi City 2nd Primary School as a music teacher. He says: “Xi Jinping mentioned that we must not forget the originally intended mission, so that it will carry us through2. We can only succeed with an energetic mind and vigoroous action, by being sincere and conscientious. That’s the only way for us not to betray history, not to betray the era, and not to betray the people. As an educational worker who is both someone who “pursues his dream” and someone who pursues his dream by helping children, I deeply feel the responsibility I’ve taken. In the future, I will work with an energetic mind and vigorous action, sincerely and conscientiously, continuously improve myself, be dedicated and devoted to my work, to be someone who contributes to a beautiful and happy Linzhi and who educates ever more outstanding heirs of socialism.”

“2021年是特殊的一年,是中国共产党成立100周年,也是我正式成为一名老师的第二个年头。”从陕西师范大学毕业就来到林芝市第二小学担任音乐老师的“95后”黄嘉佩说,“习近平主席在新年贺词中提到,不忘初心,方得始终。我们唯有踔厉奋发、笃行不怠,方能不负历史、不负时代、不负人民。作为一名教育工作者,我既是一名‘追梦人’,也是助力孩子们追梦的人,深感肩负重任。未来,我将踔厉奋发、笃行不怠,不断提升自己,敬业奉献,为建设美丽幸福林芝贡献力量,努力培养更多优秀的社会主义接班人。”

“Chairman Xi Jinping said in his New Year’s Eve greeting that comprehensive moderate prosperity and casting off poverty is what the party owes the people. It is also a contribution to the world. To let everyone lead a better life, we can’t be satisfied with the successes we see so far. We still have a long road to go.” Huang Jiabin, first secretary at the Linzhi City rural task force at Beibeng Township‘s Gelin Village says: “To keep up ambition and wisdom is vital to prevent large-scale relapse into poverty. We will combine our advantages in a solid and practical way and do our utmost to help Gelin Village’s development.”

“习近平主席在新年贺词中提到,全面小康、摆脱贫困是我们党给人民的交代,也是对世界的贡献。让大家过上更好生活,我们不能满足于眼前的成绩,还有很长的路要走。”林芝市公安局驻墨脱县背崩乡格林村第一书记、驻村工作队队长黄家斌表示,“扶志扶智是防止规模性返贫及助力乡村振兴的关键因素,接下来他将结合自身优势,扎扎实实、尽心尽力为格林村发展添砖加瓦。”

“Chairman Xi Jinping’s New Year’s Eve message is full of power, inspiring the will of the people, and strengthening our confidence and determination to go forward.” Zhao Wei of a science popularization unit with Tibet Autonomous Region Science and Technology Association says: “During the past year, we have operated mobile science and technology shops in Shigatse, Naqu, Lhasa, Shannan and in other places. The science and technology truck gives basic rural farmers and shephard masses as well as young people an opportunity to experience the fascination of science in a nearby place, providing them with scientific knowledge to help citizens to improve their scientific qualities. Although some villages and townships are far above sea-level and have an adverse climate, we feel that it’s worth our efforts and our hard work when we see the curiousity and happiness in the faces of the masses and the children as they experience the basics of science. We are reviewing the past year and we are looking to the future. In the new year, we will take root in Tibet even more firmly, we won’t betray the era’s determination, we will dauntlessly advance, bravely climb the summits and constantly make new contributions to science and technology popularization in the new era’s Tibet.”

“习近平主席的新年贺词充满力量,激荡人心,坚定了我们砥砺前行的信心与决心。”西藏自治区科学技术协会科普工作队赵伟说,“过去一年,我们在日喀则、那曲、拉萨、山南等地开展流动科技馆、科普大篷车巡展工作,为基层农牧民群众和青少年送去近距离体验科学魅力的机会,为他们送去科学知识,助力公民科学素质提升。虽然有些乡镇海拔高、气候恶劣,可是,每当看到群众和孩子们充满好奇的眼神,以及动手体验科学原理时脸上洋溢着快乐的表情时,就觉得所有的艰苦与付出都是值得的。回顾过去,展望未来。新的一年里,我将更加坚定扎根西藏、不负时代的决心,奋勇向前,勇攀高峰,不断为新时代西藏科普工作作出新的贡献。”

“As we entered the new year, Chairman Xi Jinping’s New Year’s Eve address was most heartwarming. I felt even more inspired after listening to it. Here at Dekang Community, the residents also experienced a boost in their morale, being delighted and excited.” Song Yahang, resident work team member in Dekang Community, Lhorong County in Chamdo City, says: “In a blink of an eye, almost an entire year’s stay in Dekang Community passed by for me. Time and again I have experienced the vivid struggle of the residents by the things I have seen and heard as they were unearthed. I think they are models for the whole Dekang Community. It takes exactly hard-working construction workers like them to make Dekang Community’s future even better.” Song Yahang says that in the next step, it is planned to actively carry out activities to promote investment in the community, to let residents and business people filled with ideas, with the ability and willingness to work, take along those who want to help, to work hard to create a brand-new Dekang Community.

“跨年夜,习近平主席的新年贺词最暖心,聆听之后倍感振奋。我们德康社区居民也备受鼓舞,欢喜雀跃。”昌都市洛隆县德康社区驻村工作队队员宋亚航说,“一转眼,我到德康社区驻村将近一年,我一次次把自己所看到的、听到的、经历过的一个个鲜活的居民奋斗史挖掘出来,我觉得他们是整个德康社区的榜样。正是有了像他们这样勤奋努力的建设者,德康社区的未来和明天才会更加美好。”宋亚航表示,下一步,打算通过优惠的政策积极开展招商引资活动,让真正有想法、能干事、想干事的居民和商人引进社区,实现一人带动一帮人,以点带面的发展模式,为营造一个崭新的德康社区而努力奋斗。

Editor in charge: Li Xia

责任编辑:李霞


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Notes

1 born after 1995
2 While the CPC has put a comprehensive claim on being “the faithful inheritor and advocate of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture” rather recently, traditional sayings have always been part of CPC speech, though probably with varying emphasis through the decades. 不忘初心,方得始终 originally refers to Buddhism – the idea that the original intention is inseparable from the final fruit if the practice continues obliviously (according to “People’s Daily”, anyway).

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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun and Facts in Taiwan

Every year, there’s the fun

and the facts.

President Tsai’s 2022 new year’s remarks are also available in English.
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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Xi Jinping in the Evening News

If you wonder why a discussion of a book about Xi Jinping in Germany was cancelled by the relevant Confucius Institutes, here’s the most likely answer: the book simply didn’t mention Xi frequently enough.
Learn from Chinese televion. The following are the first seven headlines (out of a total of 18) from Tuesday’s main evening news in China.

Already full of confidence: CCTV News anchor Kang Hui

Already full of confidence:
CCTV News anchor Kang Hui

Main Link: CCTV Network News – “Xi Jinping visits National “13th-Five-Year-Plan” Technical Innovation Achievements Exhibition, emphasizes …”

习近平在参观国家“十三五”科技创新成就展时强调 坚定创新自信紧抓创新机遇 加快实现高水平科技自立自强 Xi Jinping visits National “13th-Five-Year-Plan” Technical Innovation Achievements Exhibition, emphasizes need to staunchly innovate and confidently grasp innovation opportunities, and to accelerate the implementation of self reliance in high-level science and technology
习近平对全军装备工作会议作出重要指示强调 全面开创武器装备建设新局面 为实现建军一百年奋斗目标作出积极贡献 Xi Jinping gives the all-army equipment conference important instructions, emphasizing the need for active contributions in the new situation to a comprehensive start into the building of weapons and equipment, to reach the [second]*) two-centenary goal
习近平致信祝贺人民出版社成立100周年强调 赓续红色血脉为推动社会主义文化繁荣发展 建设社会主义文化强国作出新的更大的贡献 Xi Jinping sends a letter to People’s Publishing House at its 100th founding anniversary, emphasizing that continuation of the red blood will drive the development of socialist culture and prosperity, and make new and still greater contributions to the building of a socialist and culturally strong country.
习近平致电祝贺米尔济约耶夫当选乌兹别克斯坦总统 Xi Jinping sends telegram to Shavkat Mirziyoyev to congratulate him on his election as president
习近平同巴基斯坦总理通电话 Xi Jinping has a telephone conversation with Pakistan’s president
习近平同巴布亚新几内亚总理通电话 Xi Jinping has a telephone conversation with Papua New Guinea’s prime minister
携手实现世界永续和平发展——习近平主席在中华人民共和国恢复联合国合法席位50周年纪念会议上的重要讲话引发与会中外人士热烈反响 Joining hands to achieve global sustainable peaceful development – Chairman Xi Jinping’s important speech on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China’s legitimate seat at the United Nations meets with enthusiastic reactions among Chinese and foreign public figures

If this interests you, maybe that (24 hours later) interets you, too – CCTV News Network, Wed, Oct 27:

Xi Jinping has telephone conversation with French president / Xi Jinping has telephone conversation with Uzbek president / Xi Jinping has telephone call with president of Equatorial Guinea / Xi Jinping’s keynote speech, “Staying Connected with the World and Abreast with the Times And Making Big Strides on the Path of Sustainable Development”, held at the opening ceremony of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, now published as a single-volume edition / Under “Xi Jinping’s ideological guidance of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era”, organize the Winter Olympics well, ignite enthusiasm for winter sports, promote participation of three-hundred million people in winter sports / Secetary-general Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter to China Media Group on the launch of the CCTV Olympic Channel and the start of its digital platform meets with enthusiastic response.
(Only the first five, out of a total of 21 items.)
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Note

*) I think that this must be the second “centenary goal”, because according to Xi, the first one has already been achieved.

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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

China didn’t feature prominently in Germany’s 2021 federal election campaign – at least not at the surface.
Somewhat underneath, and not really overreported in the German media, are donations and sponsorships that benefitted the political parties – or one or two of them – in the run-up to the Bundestag elections on September 26.
The picture, according to statista.de (quoting Germany’s federal parliament administration and only recording donations of more than 50,000 Euros):

CDU/CSU (center-right): 3,340,860 Euros
FDP (neoliberal): 2,055,454 Euros
Greens (ecological): 1,790,548 Euros
AFD (right-wing, neoliberal): 100,000 Euros
SPD (social democrats): 50,000 Euros

This is not the full picture, of course. Donations from 10,000 to 50,000 Euros will probably only appear in the political parties’ annual accounts, likely to be published around a year and a half after they happen.
Also, [Update, Oct 8: committed event] “sponsoring” [of party congresses, for example] amounts don’t need to be published in detail – there is no way of knowing who donated, and which amounts.
Still, the above-50,000 statistics give us an idea: the social democrats were considered dead in the water. That, at least, was a general belief into August this year, and that’s as far as the statistics go. Some corporations and lobby organizations may have tried to make up for their negligence when the SPD began to soar in the opinion polls.
Before we get to the China issues, let’s take a look at the 50,000-plus donations in relation to the actual votes for the parties.

Blue: donations >50,000
Red: actual votes
(relations, no numbers)

This doesn’t mean that the SPD wouldn’t like to get donations, and grassroot donations can make a difference too, but it is obvious that the industry didn’t bet on the social democrats and the left party.

China issues in the campaign

Hong Kong’s political activist Ray Wong, now living in German exile, German sinologist David Missal and other activists and human rights groups put a “China elections check” online for those who were interested in the party’s positions concerning China.
They asked each political party represented in Germany’s incumbent federal parliament, the Bundestag, eight questions, and according to the organizers, only the AFD didn’t respond.
That said, the CDU/CSU were “neutral” on seven out of the eight statements.
All eight statements can be considered a demand Missal, Wong and the organizations supporting the project would subscribe to.

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


Political parties by rates of agreement, neutrality or disagreement with / towards the statements, in descending order (respectively)

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

The Greens 6
SPD 4
FDP 3
The Left 3
CDU/CSU 0

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

CDU/CSU 7
FDP 5
SPD 1
The Left 0
The Greens 0

Party / group doesn’t agree with the statements (opposed)

The Left 5
SPD 3
FDP 0*)
The Greens 2
CDU/CSU 1
________
*) corrected (Oct 8), down from 3

Outlook

At least for now, the CDU/CSU’s chances of heading (or even just joining) a government coalition have deminished, as both the FDP and the Greens are currently moving closer to the SPD, with some unfriendly noise especially from the CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party.
This would mean that exactly the three parties that find most common ground with the Wong/Missal statements would be in government.
The picture would become much friendlier for pro-China lobbyists if the tide turned again,in favor of the CDU/CSU.
The proof of the pudding is the eating, and the industry will almost certainly become more generous with its donations to the Social Democrats, but for those who want to see a government with clear-cut positions on Chinese crimes against human rights, the trend isn’t looking bad.
The CDU/CSU didn’t really care, and documented that publicly.
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Related

Germany after the federal elections, Sept 27, 2021
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Monday, September 27, 2021

Germany after the Federal Elections – Arithmetics of Power

Even though the German “Liberals” (the FDP) supported a coalition with the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, they would join an SPD-led “traffic-lights” coalition if the SPD should win the September 26 federal elections, Dr. Zhu Yufang, a researcher at Tongji University’s German Studies Institute wrote on Sunday morning Beijing time, in an assessment for the Shanghai online newsportal “Guanchazhe” (Observer).

Now the Social Democrats appear to have won the elections, and Dr. Zhu’s expectations can perform miracles – if they can. And that’s a big “if”.

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Gains and losses, according to ARD Television / infratest-dimap projection at 21:36 UTC

Germany’s investors immediately went into the process of telling the Greens where to go. In the words of “Wirtschaftswoche”, a German weekly published in the neighborhood of Armin Laschet, the Christian Democrats’ and Bavarian Christian Socials’ (CDU/CSU) candidate for chancellor, the Greens’ path towards Laschet’s party is shorter than the FDP’s path towards the Social Democrats (SPD) and their candidate, Olaf Scholz.

If you go by German ARD television’s / infratest dimap projection published at 21:36 UTC, the CDU/CSU got 24.1 percent of the vote, narrowly beaten by the SPD with 25.8 percent. The far-right AFD would get 10.5 percent, the “Liberals” or FDP are at 11.5 percent, and the Left Party appears to remain under the 5-percent threshold that would bar it from re-entering the Bundestag, but three directly-won mandates (or more) will secure their re-entry with whatever percentage, even with less than 5 percent of the overall vote, they may get.

Basically, any coalition among the parties that obtains a majority of the seats in the Bundestag is conceivable, with the likely exception of the far-right AFD (“Alternative für Deutschland”).

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Infratest dimap / ARD Radio and Television, Sept 26, 21:36 UTC projection

This means that the SPD, the Greens and the Left combined would fall short of a majority by five seats, and this would have been the only safe SPD-led government coalition. The SPD and the Greens alone are – all according to the 21:36 UTC projection – 45 seats short of an overall majority.

The likelihood that the FDP will fill this gap – as expected by Dr. Zhu – is rather small, and the likelihood that the Greens will extract concessions from the CDU/CSU that may enable them to sell a coalition to their grassroots is fairly high. The CDU/CSU will want to remain in government at nearly all costs.

On the other hand, the FDP may try to extract concessions from the SPD which the Social Democrats are unlikely to accept.

Dr. Zhu’s expectation that Laschet will only be a transitional successor of incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel may not hold water either. When Merkel became chancellor in 2005, she looked like the actual loser of the federal elections that still brought her to power. Helmut Kohl, who became chancellor in 1982, was a joke – that didn’t keep him from becoming the longest-serving federal chancellor to date.

If Laschet should indeed be an “transitional” chancellor, it won’t be because of him in the first place, but because of the CDU/CSU. The Christian Democrats’ and their Bavarian sister party didn’t only offer the public the weakest candidate. Their platform is nothing to write home about either. After sixteen consecutive years at the helm of the federal government – all led by Merkel – they are out of ideas and of personnel.

But that has never kept them from running the country in the past.

(OK. Obviously, I hope that I’m wrong, but had to get this out of my system before going to work.)

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