Posts tagged ‘business’

Monday, July 19, 2021

Center for China and Globalization develops “new narrative system”

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

My translation may contain mistakes. Corrections are welcome.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

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

第七,主动设置议题,在国际主流平台扩大议题影响力;

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

第八,创造性搭建新型国际交流平台,建设性发起新型多边国际组织。

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

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

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

第十,及时紧跟国际国内热点,灵活通过多渠道多方式传播增强智库影响力。

[…]

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Notes

 1  conceptual advocacy is just my guess for the Chinese term for 理念倡导 – to argue in favor of a topic, approach, or perspective. It may as well be translated as <em>idea advocacy</em>.
  2   the think tank in question here should be CCG.
Sunday, June 6, 2021

Great Matters of the State, Educational Tour

nanhu_red_boat

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo, June 5, 2021

The following is a newsitem from Xinwen Lianbo (CCTV evening news) on June 5. The term 国之大者 (guózhī dàzhě), coined in recent contexts by party secretary general Xi Jinping, appears to have led to some confusion, without anyone within the propaganda department or any CPC interface with the public to clarify the meaning.

The non-communist public figures, commonly referred to dangwai in Chinese politics, appear to be facing higher expectations to be faithful agents of the Communist Party of China in the pursuit of state affairs, or intensified worshippers of the CPC as it  commermorates its 100th founding anniversary.
The Upenn language blog has done some heroic explanatory work for the term guózhī dàzhě, and as I can’t find anything more convincing online, I’ve decided to translate it as great matters of the state.
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Celebrating the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, officials of all non-communist parties’ central committee members and public figures and representatives with no party affiliations went to Shanghai and to Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, for visits and studies.

[视频]庆祝中国共产党成立100周年 各民主党派中央负责人和无党派人士代表赴上海 浙江嘉兴参观学习
来源:央视网2021年06月05日 19:18

CCTV online news (Xinwen Lianbo): with permission from the Communist Party of China’s central committee, the Central United Front organized a trip by members of all non-communist parties’ central committee officials and public figures and representatives with no party affiliations to Shanghai and Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, so as to admire the site of the Communist Party of China’s first congress, and the Nanhu Red Boat. A symposium was also held.

央视网消息(新闻联播):经中共中央批准,中央统战部组织各民主党派中央负责人和无党派人士代表今天(6月5日)赴上海、浙江嘉兴,瞻仰中共一大会址和嘉兴南湖红船,并举行座谈会。

The one-hundred years of struggle have amply demonstrated that without the Communist Party there would be no New China, that without the Communist Party there would be no socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese people wouldn’t have stood up, wouldn’t have prospered, wouldn’t have become stronger. It is hoped that non-communist democratic party public figure will always cherish “great matters of the state”, thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping’s ideology of New Era socialism with Chinese characteristics, firmly develop party history education, always faithfully maintain the leadership of the Communist Party of China, keep to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen the joining of forces of party construction, and unite in the common effort of promoting the development of multi-party cooperation, so as to create a beautiful future for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

中国共产党百年奋斗历程充分表明,没有共产党就没有新中国,没有共产党就没有中国特色社会主义,中国人民就不可能站起来、富起来、强起来。希望各民主党派、无党派人士始终胸怀“国之大者”,深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,扎实开展中共党史学习教育,始终不渝坚持中国共产党的领导,走中国特色社会主义道路,加强中国特色社会主义参政党建设,协力推进多党合作事业发展,共同创造中国人民和中华民族的美好未来。

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Related

Political parties in China, Wiki, last edited June 6

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Long Yongtu’s WTO Accession Commemorative Lecture (1)

Long Yongtu (龙永图), born in Hunan Province in 1943, is a former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and was China’s Chief Negotiator for his country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Long was also an enthusiastic participant in public debate on domestic issues during the first decade of the new century.

The following is part one of my translation of a lecture “recently” given by Long at a seminar in Beijing.

Main link: Since you are all market economies, can you remove “socialism”? – Absolutely not (既然都是市场经济了,能不能去掉社会主义?“绝对不可能”)

As we discuss the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO this year, we should put it into the context of this years biggest thing this year, the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s establishment. The activities of commemorating the 20th anniversary of WTO accession should be a part of learning the party’s 100 years of history. Only in this fashion will our commemorative activities have clear-cut representative meaning and add to its value and importance.

今年我们谈中国入世20周年,应该把它放在今年最大的一件事情——中国共产党建党100周年——背景之下,把纪念入世20周年的活动,作为我们学习党的100年历史的一个组成部分。只有这样才能使我们的纪念活动具有鲜明的时代意义和时代特色,也赋予它更大的价值和重要性。

This isn’t far-fetched, but rather,the histories of our country’s establishment, of reform and opening up are all part of the party’s history. By putting the commemoration of WTO accession 20 years ago into this big context makes it more significant, and it is very relevant in this context.

这样说不是要牵强附会,而是因为我们的建国史、改革开放史,都是百年党史很重要的部分,我们把纪念入世20周年放在这样一个大的背景下更有意义,也是非常相关的。

I think this history can be divided into two areas. One is the fifteen years of accession negotiations from 1986 to 2001. Why didn’t we enter WTO when we recovered our legitimate United Nations’ seat? That was because at the time, our thinking wasn’t sufficiently intellectually liberated. At the time, it was believed that that was a rich countries’ club, without any advantages for us. In fact, according to GATT regulations, we simply could have written an application and we could have joined, without any need for negotiations, because China had been a founding member. Because of restoring its legitimate UN membership, our re-entry into GATT would have been a matter of course. But at the time, we just felt that GATT was a rich countries’ club, and joining wouldn’t have been of any use. It was all dominated by Western countries, so we decided not to join.

关于这段历史,我觉得可以分为两部分:一部分是1986年到2001年中国复关和入世的15年谈判。为什么当年恢复联合国合法席位后,我们没有进入WTO?因为当时思想不够解放,认为那是一个富国俱乐部,对我们也没什么好处。实际上当时根据《关贸总协定》的规定,我们完全可以写一张申请就进去的,那个时候根本不需要谈判,因为我们中国是创始成员,既然恢复了联合国的合法席位,我们复关也是理所当然的。但是当时就觉得关贸是富国俱乐部,我们进去也没有什么用,都是西方国家主导的,就决定不去了。

Later, it took us until 1986 to apply. Why was that? Because after the beginning of reform and opening in 1978, we saw our country’s foreign trade continuously expand, with the need to be granted quotas, especially because at the time, GATT sill had the “Agreement on Textile and Clothing“, and the “Multi Fibre Arrangement“. Because of the need to apply for quotas for textile exports under the “multi-fibre arrangement” framework, it was decided to apply for re-entry into the GATT. So I think that the history from 1986 to 2001 is also something everyone can study.

后来一直到1986年才提出申请,为什么?因为1978年开始改革开放以后,慢慢觉得我们中国的对外贸易在不断扩大,特别是当时《关贸总协定》还有《纺织品协定》《多种纤维协定》要发放配额。当时为了我们中国的纺织品贸易特别是纺织品出口能够借助多边的《多种纤维协定》框架取得配额,决定开始复关了。所以从1986年开始到2001年,我觉得这一段历史,也是大家可以研究的一段历史。

The second area is the twenty years from entering the WTO in 2001, to 2021. How have we fulfilled our promise to the WTO? How has entering the WTO accelerated China’s reform and opening, how has it enhanced its hard power and soft power? This historical period also needs to be well researched.

第二部分是2001年到2021年中国入世这20年。这20年我们是怎么履行对世贸组织的承诺?是怎么样通过入世这件事加快中国的改革开放,提升了中国的硬实力和软实力?这一段历史也是需要好好研究的。

Therefore, the first point of view under such a special historical background this year, is that by regarding the WTO entry of twenty years ago as part of our studies and research of the party’s 100-years history, we stand on a high ground – not just discussing trade or doing research on an academic level. We look at this matter from a perspective of the entire party and the entire country. As part of China’s reform and opening, thereby moving forward promoting China’s reform and opening, this is significant.

所以我的第一个观点,在今年这样一个特定的历史背景之下,我们把纪念中国入世20周年,看成是我们学习和研究党的100年历史的组成部分,这样站位就高了,我们的讨论就不仅仅是在经贸领域,更不是在学术领域这样一个层面上进行研究,而是从全党、全国的角度来看这件事情。它作为中国改革开放史的一部分,从而进一步推动中国的改革开放,这样就有意义了。

The second [point of view] in my view, when learning the history of China’s WTO membership is to comply with Secretary Xi Jinping’s “Sixteen Characters Policy”. This “Sixteen Characters Policy” is connected with studying the entire party’s history, because we make our studies of 20 years of WTO membership a part of studying the party’s history. Of course, the “Sixteen Characters Policy” also suitably guides our 20-years-WTO activity.

第二,对中国入世20年的历史学习,我觉得要遵循习近平总书记提出来的“16字方针”。这“16字方针”是针对整个党史学习,既然我们把入世20周年作为党史学习的一部分,当然这“16字方针”也适合指导我们入世20周年的纪念活动。

The General Secretary’s “Sixteen Characters Policy’s” first article is to study historical fact.1) Studying history can help to understand some principles. From China’s 15 years of WTO accession negotiations and its 20-year membership, which principles are there, which experiences can we summarize and use as reference?

总书记提出的“16字方针”,第一条是学史明理,学习历史能明白一些道理,中国入世谈判15周年、入世20周年,我们有哪些道理、哪些经验可以总结、可以借鉴?

The second article is to enhance faith by studying history – studying history can strengthen our confidence, our continuous promotion of reform and opening, the deepening of reform, and it can expand confidence in opening up.

第二条是学史增信,学习历史可以增强我们的信心,增强我们进一步推动改革开放,深化改革、扩大开放的信心。

The third article is the virtue of studying history. Within the process of the entire history, which spirits are there that can be used? At the time, many comrades actually showed a great sense of responsibility when they completed those [WTO] negotiations.

第三条是学史崇德,我们在整个历史进程当中,有哪些精神是可以发扬的?当时很多同志确实表现了很多的担当精神,来完成这一场谈判。

The third article is to let the studies of history be followed by action which means that the reader must act. To research the WTO’s prospects and China’s role int it actually means to draw from China’s 20 years of membership to promote the solution of the issues that currently need to be solved. We still resolutely support the multilateral trade system represented by WTO and acknowledge the WTO as the core of the entire multilateral trade system. Therefore, the prospect of WTO reform is extremely important, as an important part of China’s participation in global governance.

第四条是学史力行,就是要见诸行动了,今天研究世贸组织前景与中国角色,实际上就是借助中国入世20周年这样一个契机来采取一些行动,推动当前必须解决的问题。我们还是坚决支持以WTO为代表的多边贸易体系,承认WTO是整个多边贸易体系的核心。所以WTO的改革前景就非常重要了,是中国参与全球治理的重要组成部分。这其中,中国发挥什么样的作用,在这里都可以好好地研究。

The third [point of view] is that when we study China’s 20 years of WTO membership, we must know clearly what major problems has WTO entry solved for China? In my view, China’s entry into the WTO has brought China’s reform and opening two major breakthroughs:

第三,我们学习中国加入世贸20年历史的成果,要搞清楚中国入世解决了什么重大问题?我觉得中国入世对于中国改革开放来讲,有两个重大的突破:

The first major breakthrough was that by joining the WTO, we made a promise to the world to practice market economy, which is a major historic turning point in China’s reform and opening, because before 1992, market economy was a restricted area, something you couldn’t discuss because market economy simply was capitalism. But by joining the WTO, we promised to practice market economy.

第一个重大突破是我们通过加入世界贸易组织向全世界承诺我们搞市场经济,这是中国改革开放当中一个重大的历史转折,因为1992年以前市场经济是一个禁区,那是不能谈的,市场经济就是资本主义。但是我们通过入世承诺了搞市场经济。

The second major breakthrough was that, by joining the World Trade Organization, we promised, as a developing country opening its market to the world, relatively big market openings, thus accelerating China’s opening towards the outside world. So, these two breakthroughs are actually two major achievements of China joining WTO, and also crucial points with a certain status.

第二个重大突破是我们通过加入世贸组织,承诺了以发展中国家身份向全球开放市场,在很多领域里做了比较大的市场开放,从而大大促进了中国的对外开放。所以这两个突破实际上是中国入世谈判的重大成果,也是入世在中国改革开放史上具有一定地位的两个关键。

For example, at the beginning, we did not promise a market economy, but came under constant pressure to do so. At the time, this was hard for the participants, taking the measure of saying that while we didn’t recognize market economy, we could still agree to refer to a commodity economy, or a planned market economy, and we could still implement that market-economy rules system of theirs.

比如说市场经济,开始我们是不承认的,后来在谈判当中一直逼着我们要承诺搞市场经济,当时参加谈判的人很痛苦,变着法地想讲我们虽然不承认市场经济,叫商品经济也好,叫有计划的市场经济也好,但是我们能够执行你们那一套以市场经济规则体系为基础的市场经济。

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Notes

1) Not sure how Long arrives at this interpretation – the 16 characters’ first line goes 科学立法 巩固法治根基 – scientifically legislate and solidify the foundations of rule by law.
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Related

Rare public criticism, SCMP, Nov 18, 2018
Milton Friedman’s Misadventures, The American Scholar, Dec 5, 2016
Long and the Smiling Curve, May 17, 2012

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

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

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

Revolutionary lectures

Main link 1:
page 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main link 2:
page 2

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

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

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

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

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

临刑之际,刽子手高举屠刀,恶狠狠地勒令“跪下!”

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

陈延年昂首回道:“革命者只有站着死,绝不下跪!”

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

最终,陈延年惨死于国民党反动派乱刀之下,时年29岁。

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1928年6月6日,陈乔年慷慨就义,年仅26岁。

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Related

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

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Genocide – an adequate Term?

Evidence without much psychological effect?
Click picture for source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Earthly Miracles and Stable Expectations

Just a look at a few headlines, mostly “NPC”-session-related, more or less.

“On its own” – former East German SED paper “Junge Welt”
marvels at socialism with Chinese characteristics

1. Creating and overcoming poverty

Xi Jinping declared victory in the fight against poverty on December 4 last year, writes David Bandurski of the China Media Project (CMP), but also quotes voices that consider Xi’s declaration premature, based on previous “poverty creation”, and the “victory” itself to be possibly unsustainable.

It’s all about the Xi himself, CMP concludes, citing an example from China’s English-language propaganda, and the earthly miracles (人间奇迹) he is doing.

2. State Council’s economic policies

China’s authorities will stick to the “six stabilities” and “six guarantees”, and “put employment first”, chief state councillor Li Keqiang told an international press conference on Thursday afternoon local time. China’s “premiers” traditionally do Q &A with the press once a year, in the wake of the annual “National People’s Congress” sessions.

The “six stabilities” (六稳) include stable employment (稳就业), stable finance (稳金融), stable foreign trade (稳外贸), stable foreign investment (稳外资), stable investment (稳投资 – that would be domestic, it seems), and stable expectations (稳预期).

The “six guarantees” (六保) are about ensuring employment among residents (保居民就业), the people’s basic livelihood (保基本民生), the market as the main part (保市场主体), food and energy security (保粮食能源安全), supply chain stability (保产业链供应链稳定) and grassroots operations  (保基层运转, meaning authorities and measures taken at or near the grassroots level).

While the “six stabilities” state domestic and foreign investment all in a row, Li confirmed the main role for the “domestic cycle as the main body” (国内大循环为主体) of a “dual circulation” system as he answered a question from Singapore’s “Lianhe Zaobao” correspondent. Rather than committing China’s leadership, Li quoted an unspecified entrepreneur as saying that to grasp the domestic cycle meant to develop the domestic market further, and that to grasp the “dual circulation” meant to develop the international markets further, and both markets could still open access.

我在代表团讨论的时候,一位企业家说,抓住内循环就是要开拓国内市场,抓住双循环就是要开拓国际市场,两个市场还可以打通。他说得很朴实,但言简意赅。

3. Quote of the Month

Radio has no memory.

Except yours and mine. Just like Jonathan Marks, I taped many radio broadcasts, and occasionally, I’m digitalizing bits of it. Systematically, but very slowly. It’s going to take years.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Xi – Duda telephone minutes: China is a responsible great power under Xi’s leadership




All the news that’s fit to print

The following is a translation of a news item from CCTV’s main evening news program, Xinwen Lianbo. Links added during translation.

State Chairman Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the evening of March 1.

国家主席习近平日晚同波兰总统杜达通电话。

Xi Jinping pointed out that Poland is a big country in the eastern European area and an important member of the European Union. It is also a comprehensive strategic partner for China in Europe. China has always1 attached great importance to the development of Sino-Polish relations. After the outbreak of the new corona pneumonia pandemic, China and Poland have kept watch of and defended one another2, developed a good cooperation in going back to work and cooperating in pandemic prevention and control, thus writing a new chapter of friendship between the two countries. In the current situation, China and Poland must strengthen their strategic communication even further, deepen pragmatic3 cooperation, and jointly react to any crisis or challenge. China, together with Poland, wants to promote Sino-Polish relations in the new year and get them into a steady mode.

习近平指出,波兰是中东欧地区大国和欧盟重要成员国,也是中方在欧洲的全面战略伙伴。中方一向高度重视中波关系发展。新冠肺炎疫情发生后,中波守望相助,在疫情防控、复工复产等方面开展良好合作,谱写了两国友好新篇章。当前形势下,中波双方更加需要加强战略沟通,深化务实合作,共同应对各种风险挑战。中方愿同波方一道,推动中波关系在新的一年行稳致远。

Xi Jinping emphasized that China wants to continue its exchange with Poland, concerning joint prevention and control and exchanges about experience gained in the process, and resume orderly contacts between the two sides. China wants to provide Poland with vaccines, in accordance with Poland’s needs and what China can do.4 During the pandemic, Travels and freight of Sino-European freight trains between China and Poland reached a historic height, reflecting the high degree of supply-chain interdependence. This also shows the enormous potential of economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. China will, by establishing a Sino-Middle-Eastern-European countries’ cooperation framework with relevant mechanisms, promote the import of more Polish excellent-quality food products. The completion of the Sino-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment negotiations will open up a wider space for Sino-Polish cooperation5.

习近平强调,中方愿继续同波方加强联防联控和疫情防治经验交流,同时稳妥有序恢复人员往来。中方愿根据波方需求,在力所能及范围内向波方提供疫苗。疫情期间,往返于中波的中欧班列开行量和运货量创下历史新高,反映出中波、中欧供应链产业链高度相互依存,也表明双方经贸合作潜力巨大。中方将通过建立中国-中东欧国家合作框架内有关机制,推动进口更多波兰优质农食产品。中欧完成投资协定谈判,将为中波合作开辟更加广阔的空间。

Xi Jinping pointed out that not long ago, the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries6 summit was successfully held. I, with you and other national leaders have comprehensively reviewed the development of China-CEEC relations, thoroughly summarized development experiences, jointly looked ahead to development prospects, reached broad consensus, produced important plans and outlooks for cooperative mechanisms. With the CEEC summit as a new starting point, China wants to make joint efforts with Poland to promote Sino-CEEC and Sino-EU relations to become even more fruitful.

习近平指出,前不久中国-中东欧国家领导人视频峰会成功举行,我同你和其他各国领导人全面回顾中国-中东欧国家合作发展历程,深入总结发展经验,共同展望发展前景,达成广泛共识,为合作机制作出重要规划和引领。中方愿同波方一道努力,以这次峰会为新起点,推动中国-中东欧国家合作和中欧关系收获更多成果。

Duda said that Xi Jinping’s state visit to Poland in 2016 had vigorously advanced the development of Polish-Chinese relations. Not long ago, Chairman Xi Jinping had successfully chaired the CEEC summit which had promoted CEEC countries’ cooperation with China, critically helping CEEC countries to achieve economic recovery after the pandemic. Poland highly appreciated Xi Jinping’s promise that China would work to be a global supplier of new-corona-pneumonia pandemic-related products, and China’s wish to cooperate with CEEC countries, concerning the pandemic. This proved that China, under Chairman Xi’s leadership, was playing a responsible role as a great power. He hoped that both sides would continue to maintain contacts and cooperation in all fields and promote balanced growth of bilateral trade. Poland wnted to continue to contribute to the CEEC countries’ cooperation with China.7 I look forward to visiting China again after the pandemic8, I wish to continue close and friendly contact with Chairman Xi, and to jointly promote Polish-Chinese relations to take further steps.

杜达表示,习近平主席2016年对波兰的国事访问有力促进了波中关系发展。前不久习近平主席成功主持召开中东欧国家-中国领导人视频峰会,这对促进中东欧国家同中国合作、助力中东欧国家实现疫后经济复苏非常重要。波方高度赞赏习近平主席承诺中国致力于将新冠疫苗作为全球公共产品并表示愿同中东欧国家开展疫苗合作。这证明中国在习近平主席领导下发挥着负责任的大国作用。波方愿同中方加强抗疫合作。中欧班列为抗击疫情发挥了重要作用。希望双方继续保持各领域人员往来和合作,促进双边贸易平衡增长。波方愿继续为中东欧国家同中国合作作出贡献。我期待疫情过后再次访华,愿同习近平主席保持密切友好交往,共同推动波中关系迈上新台阶。

Notes

1一向isn’t exactly the usual word for “always” in Chinese speeches and seems somewhat more limited in its reach into the past, but I don’t remember the more frequently used word right now.

2No idea how this Mencius quote used here by Xi was translated to Duda (and what Duda thought when he heard it). Xi attaches great importance to an image as a learned paramount leader, and won’t slow down even when he talks to foreigners.

3Pragmatic cooperation – arguably a signal that Xi tries to take Polish history and the country’s narration of liberty and independence into account while talking to a conservative foreign politician. Poland used to be much more China-skeptical during the earlier rule of Polands governing conservative PIS party.

4According to a spokesman, Duda had brought the issue up “during phone talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a request by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki”.

5During the negotiations last year, Poland was, reportedly, the only EU member country to raise “serious objections to the deal with China, suggesting that earlier consultations with the Biden administration were needed”.

7Such efforts from Poland would certainly be welcome in Beijing. More recently, the Sino-CEEC project hasn’t been as enthusiastically supported as in the past, reportedly, although “chilly” is probably quite an exaggeration.

8Reportedly, Xi invited Duda.

____________

Related

Monument Policies, April 15, 2016

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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.

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