Posts tagged ‘business’

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.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Huanqiu Shibao: “Strike the iron while it is hot, Reinforce China’s political self-confidence”

The following are translated excerpts from an unsigned editorial by Huanqiu Shibao. The article was published online on Sunday. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main link:
To take a turn for the better, 2021 will require hard work (2021,好转需经艰苦努力才会发生)

[…]

This year, China has ample capital to continue [the process of] becoming the most outstanding country with its successes in fighting the epidemic and in transforming these achievements into fruits of economic development. To accelerate the expansion of domestic markets, to promote the formation of the dual-circulation pattern and its consolidation is crucial, because the trade wars of the past few years have told us that relying on the international markets alone is highly problematic and the political risks of it are growing. Domestic markets that balance and mutually support each other have become the road to follow.

今年中国有充足资本继续成为抗疫成就最突出的国家,并且将这一成就朝着经济发展的成果转化。加快扩大国内市场、促进双循环格局的形成和巩固至关重要,因为过去几年的贸易战已经告诉我们,仅靠扩大国际市场既困难重重,而且其政治风险也越来越高,国内和国际市场的平衡及相互促进已是必由之路。

Even if the global economy shows some recovery in the new year, it will be weak, and if China’s share in this year’s international recovery is disproportionally high, it will cause more jealousy, and this is something we have to be aware of.

全球经济在新的一年里即使有所恢复,也会是微弱的,如果中国今年的经济增长占据过大国际经济恢复的份额,将会引来更多妒忌,这方面的意识我们切不可缺失。

China’s leadership in controlling the epidemic has provided us with a huge comparative advantage over other major countries, and this summary rather belongs to history. As far as China’s society itself is concerned, especially as far as many individuals are concerned, the impact and challenges the coronavirus epidemic has brought about are more real, and China’s policies of this year must address these practical problems, and they must not lower their problem-solving qualities because of the epidemic.

中国率先控制住疫情,这提供了我们相对其他主要国家的巨大比较优势,但这是一笔国家的宏观账,这份总结更多属于历史。就中国社会自身来说,尤其是对很多个人来说,新冠疫情带来的冲击和困难更为真实,今年中国的各项政策仍需针对这些实际问题,不因疫情降低解决它们的质量。

One of the biggest earnings for China’s society in 2020 is the increase in political self-confidence. The epidemic has provided the Chinese people with a rare glimpse on the efficiency of China’s political system and its people-centered objective. America’s idolistic effect has basically collapsed. But one year is too short. Chinese society’s political self-confidence must be reinforced by striking the iron while it is hot. This year is a critical period during which the Chinese people’s self-acknowledgment of last year must go on.

2020年中国社会最大的收获之一是增加了政治自信,国人通过这场疫情提供的罕见可比性看到了中国政治体制的效率,读懂了它以人民为中心的宗旨,美国的长期偶像效应基本垮掉了。然而一年的时间太短了,中国社会的政治自信需要趁热打铁地加固,今年是延续中国人去年自我认知的关键时期。

[…]

It won’t be easy to make China take another step forward while giving the masses another experience of improvement at the same time, but it deserves China’s efforts. Objectively speaking, the number of Chinese people who have suffered losses in 2020 hasn’t been small, and 2021 must allow this great number of people to “turn losses into gains”, and turn China’s victory into a common triumphal hymn for all the people.

要让国家往前再迈一步与人民群众的收获体验再获改善同时发生,这非常不易,但却是值得中国2021年跳跳脚争取摸到的。客观说,2020年受了损失的中国人还是不少的,2021年要让那些绝大多数个人也都“扭亏为盈”,让中国的胜利成为真正全体国民的共同凯歌。

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Related

A test for our Governance System, Jan 24, 2020
Frugal new year, Febr 10, 2018

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Shangguan: “Anti-corruption campaigns aren’t about wanting to cull all the errant party cadres”

The following is a translation of a “Shangguan” article. Shangguan (“Shanghai Observer”) has been Jiefang Daily‘s (or “Liberation Daily’s”) online news medium since April 1997, according to Wiki Mandarin.

Jiefang Daily is “the official daily newspaper of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China”. The article translated here probably targets, above all, party cadres.

It mainly contains two messages which – from a totalitarian point of view – probably don’t contradict each other:

  • If you have violated party discipline and the law, you can’t escape the organization
  • If you have violated party discipline and the law, you should trust the organization and turn yourselves in before your offenses are exposed by the organization – the org will then be comparatively lenient.

Links within blockquotes have been added during translation.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes – CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013 (archive).

Main Link:
Secretly returning the money, resisting the organization, fleeing abroad with the money, actively turning oneself in … after breaking discipline and the law, they made entirely different decisions. (悄悄退钱,对抗组织,携款外逃,主动投案……违纪违法后,他们做出了截然不同的选择)

Summary: Under high pressure and awe, political appeals and legal case examples, there will be even more errant cadres who will take the road of actively surrender.

摘要:相信在高压震慑、政策感召和越来越多的案例示范下,还会有更多犯错的党员干部走上主动投案这条路。

Recently, some party cadres who had violated discipline and the law have been exposed. They had gone too far on the wrong road of mistakes, and stood on the edge, facing the abyss. Which path should they take from there?

最近曝光了一些违纪违法的党员干部,他们在错误的道路上走得太远,一直走到了悬崖边,脚下临深渊,该何去何从?

Different people made different choices …

不同人做出了不同的选择——

Some people became anxious and worried, looked around undecidedly, wanting to find a secure lane to safety. They reassured themselves by returning the money they had received. Baotou National Rare Earth Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone People’s Procuratorate’s former inspector Li Shuyao and former Guizhou Province’s Duyun city deputy mayor Liu Shengjun both received money and feared afterwards that the matter could fall through and be exposed. So they returned the money to the briber, as if this would unmake it all.

有人惶惶不安,彷徨四顾,想找到一条安全上岸的小路,于是选择了一个自我安慰的方式——把收来的钱原路退回去。包头市稀土高新技术产业开发区人民检察院原检察官李书耀,贵州省都匀市原副市长刘胜军,都是在收了钱之后感觉事情可能要败露了,又把钱退给行贿人,仿佛这样做,就可以当一切都没发生过。

Some people obstinately persisted in handling things the wrong way. The organization had already discovered their issues and reached out to them, but they kept struggling endlessly. Du Changdi, former Anhui Provincial Investment Group chairman of the board and declared expulsed from the party and the office on September 8, “forged evidence, colluded with others to fabricate a story, and resisted organizational investigation.

有人执迷不悟,组织已经发现了他们的问题,伸手想拉他们一把,他们却还挣扎不休。9月8日被宣布双开的安徽省投资集团原董事长杜长棣,“伪造证据,与他人串供,对抗组织审查”。

Some people chose to flee abroad. On September 7, Heilongjiang Provincial Supervisory Commission announced that Jixi city‘s former deputy mayor Li Chuanliang was suspected of embezzling a large amount of public capital1). accepting bribes, and accumulating money from questionable business over a long period. To avoid investigation, he fled abroad, and diverted some of the stolen funding abroad.2)

还有个别人,选择了外逃。9月7日,黑龙江省纪委监委发布消息,黑龙江省鸡西市原副市长李传良涉嫌贪污巨额国有资金、收受他人贿赂、长期搞钱色交易,为了躲避调查,逃至境外,并向境外转移部分涉案赃款。

But there are more party cadres who choose a different path: promptly braking and turning their heads to seek the organization’s help, taking the initiative to surrender.

不过,有更多党员干部,选择了另一条路:及时刹车,回头寻求组织的帮助,主动投案。

Recently, among those who actively surrendered, there were high-ranking party cadres – Qinghai Province deputy governor Wen Guodong, staff with ordinary public posts at Henan Province, Xinyang No. 1 Hospital’s payment counter. There were cadres who had been retired for five years like Chen Xiaohua, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture former consultative conference deputy chairman Chen Xiaohua, Changchun Municipal People’s Congress standing committee deputy director Shi Changyou, and Handan municipal party secretary Gao Hongzhi

最近主动投案的人当中,有党的高级领导干部——青海省副省长文国栋;有普通的公职人员——河南信阳一医院收费室的工作人员;有退休五年的老干部——云南省文山州政协原副主席陈晓华;还有长春市人大常委会副主任史长友、邯郸市委书记高宏志……

Secretly returning the money, resisting the organization, fleeing abroad with the money, actively turning oneself in – what is the correct way out?

悄悄退钱,对抗组织,携款外逃,或者主动投案……到底哪条路,才是正确的出路?

Let’s take a look at the quiet return of the money. If the money has been returned before the opening of a case, everything is fine?

先来看悄悄退钱的。案发前把钱退给行贿人,就万事大吉了?

According to the law, when there is the subjective intention to take a bribe, and the office is used to accept others’ property, and this is for the benefit sought by the others, the power for money exchange has been completed, and so is the crime of taking bribes. What’s more, many cadres, when returning the money, their main concern is to conceal the fact that they took bribes. There has been no sincere regret at all.

根据法律规定,主观上有受贿故意,在客观上利用职务上的便利收受了他人财物,并且是为他人谋取利益,权钱交易已经达成,受贿罪就既遂了。何况很多干部案发前退钱,心中主要是想掩盖受贿事实,根本不是真心悔过。

When people enter the stage of investigation and they still resist the organization, adding one mistake to the other, adding another violation of political discipline to their record, what is awaiting them will be even more serious consequences.

而那些进入审查调查阶段还在对抗组织的人,错上加错,给自己徒增一条违反政治纪律的情形,等待他们的将是更加严重的后果。

To flee with the money is even more of an impasse.

携款外逃,那就更是绝路一条。

China has lots of practical experience in tracking and recovering stolen goods internationally, with more and more mature mechanisms, and the key: “what escapes must be pursued, what’s pursued must be pursued to the last”. No matter who, those who fled to the end of the earth3) won’t get away. They will not only be brought back, but the money must be reclaimed, too. From 2014 to June 2020, China got back 7,831 people from 120 countries, and 19.65 billion Yuan. China initially built an anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation network that covered all continents and key countries, concluded new extradition treaties with 28 countries, judicial assistance treaties, property restitution and sharing agreements. The National Supervisory Commission has concluded agreements with ten countries’ anti-corruption law enforcement institutions and international organizations …

在国际追逃追赃方面,中国已经有丰富的实战经验,有越来越成熟的机制,关键还有“有逃必追、一追到底”的坚定决心,不管是谁,逃到天涯海角都不会放过,不光把人追回来,还要把钱追回来。2014年至2020年6月,中国共从120多个国家和地区追回外逃人员7831人,追回赃款196.54亿元。中国初步构建起一张覆盖各大洲和重点国家的反腐败执法合作网络,与28个国家新缔结引渡条约、司法协助条约、资产返还与分享协定,国家监委与10个国家反腐败执法机构和国际组织签订了合作协议……

Under such a big net, even if he escapes, chasing and returning him is just a matter of time. Many of those on the interpol list who had escaped, have, one after another, returned and turned themselves in.

在这样一张大网下,就算逃出去,被追回来也只是迟早的事儿。之前那些逃出去的“红通”人员,很多都陆陆续续回国投案了。

So, the only remaining thing is to turn oneself in on ones own initiative. That’s the only correct way out. That has also become the practice of more and more errant party cadres. Why do they make this choice?

那么,只剩下主动投案,是唯一正确的出路,也是现如今越来越多犯错误党员干部的做法。他们为什么要作出这样的选择?

After the supervision law had been issued and implemented, Ai Wenli, the first provincial-level cadre who turned himself in on his own initiative said: “After the 19th National Congress, when one after the other fell of the horse, I had to sort things out. I felt that I couldn’t run, or keep up my wishful thinking. … I’m feeling more and more that this path I’ve taken is the right one, that I must trust the organization …”

监察法颁布实施后首个主动投案的省部级干部艾文礼曾说:“十九大之后,落马的一个接一个,我也把我自己的这些事儿捋了捋,我觉得跑不了,不能再有侥幸心理了。……越来越感到我这条路走的是对的,要相信组织……”

“Trust the organization”, these are the true feelings of many surrenderers. To turn oneself in on one’s own initiative spells trust in the party organization, to submit the issue to the party on one’s own initiative is of political significance. Party members and cadres suspected of a lack of discipline and breaking the law or committing crimes in office will be leniently dealt with in accordance with the regulations, discipline, and the law.

“相信组织”,是很多主动投案者说过的心里话。主动投案,选择的是相信党组织,主动向党组织交代问题,这其中是有政治内涵的。对涉嫌违纪、职务违法、职务犯罪的党员干部和公职人员,如果主动投案,将依规依纪依法从宽处理。

In July this year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission announced the issue of former Hebei Provincial party committee standing committee member and deputy provincial governor Zhang He having violated discipline and the law. He seriously violated party and organizational discipline. Violating discipline also constituted breaking the law on duty. This was of a serious nature with bad effects and something to be dealt with severely. But considering that that he submitted his offenses against discipline and the law voluntarily, issues which had not been known by the organization, and handed over all the illegal income, showing a rather good attitude of acknowledging his mistakes and regretting them, the organization decided to deal with him leniently, in accordance with the principle of “punishing past things to prevent them from happening again”, punished him by expelling him from the party and [This appears to be something related to Zhang He’s pension rights].

今年7月,中央纪委国家监委公布了河北省原省委常委、副省长张和的违纪违法问题。他严重违反党的组织纪律、廉洁纪律并构成职务违法,性质严重,影响恶劣,应予严肃处理。但考虑到他主动交代组织未掌握的违纪违法问题,上交全部违纪违法所得,认错悔错态度较好,按照“惩前毖后、治病救人”的原则,组织决定对他从宽处理,给予开除党籍处分,按四级调研员确定退休待遇。

In August, Yao Yinqi, a state employee suspected of crimes on duty, was the first case to be extradited by a EU member state4). He was sentenced by a first-instance court. Because Yao Yingqi actively cooperated in the extradition procedures, truthfully submitted the case as it was and actively and restituted both the stolen value plus interests, he was given a reduced prison sentence of three years and fined 3 mn RMB.

8月,我国首次从欧盟成员国引渡回来的涉嫌职务犯罪的国家工作人员姚锦旗,受到了一审判决。由于姚锦旗在引渡过程中积极配合,如实交代案件事实,并主动退缴全部赃款及其孳息,依法被减轻处罚,判处有期徒刑六年,并处罚金人民币三百万元。

Honest-practice and anti-corruption campaigns aren’t about wanting to cull all the errant party cadres, but to help them to admit their mistakes and to repent. The goal of these campaigns is to achieve the punishment of the past while curing the sickness to save the patient. Previous lessons have shown time and again that getaways and concealment doesn’t make the past go away, so why not face up to one’s own issues and accept the organization’s remedies?

正风肃纪反腐,不是要把犯错的党员干部都一棒子打死,而是要帮助他们认错悔悟,实现惩前毖后、治病救人的目的。前车之鉴已经反反复复地证明,逃来逃去、藏来藏去还是躲不过去,为什么不正视自己的问题,接受组织挽救呢?

There is reason to believe that under high-pressure awe, inspiring policies and more and more model cases, even more errant party cadres will take this road of turning themselves in voluntarily.

相信在高压震慑、政策感召和越来越多的案例示范下,还会有更多犯错的党员干部走上主动投案这条路。

To remain updated about next week’s major events, see how the next chapter evolves. (Zi Buke)

欲知下周大事,且听下回分解。(子不歇)

Column editor: Gu Wanquan. Text editor: Song Hui. Title picture: Shangguan. Picture service: Zhu Li.

栏目主编:顾万全 文字编辑:宋慧 题图来源:上观图编 图片编辑:朱瓅

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Notes

1) Literally: state-owned capital. Not sure if this reflects the linked definition of “public-owned capital”.
2) The Epoch Times has a different version of the story.
3) In Chinese words: to Cape Haijiao in Sanya (as if the South China Sea hadn’t been full of Chinese islands since ancient times)
4) This probably refers to Bulgaria, where Yao was reportedly arrested in October 2018, and extradited to China about a month (and a few days) later.

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Related

Shanghai police chief investigated, SCMP, Aug 18, 2020
How the fly roared back, Jan 25, 2013
Three Self-Control, April 19, 2009

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

China-Germany Friendship Association: “A Rise in unpredictable Factors”

If “people-to-people” organizations are crucial for Beijing’s diplomacy (it didn’t look like that in recent years), former Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, could be facing a rather challenging partial-retirement duty as the new head of the “China-Germany Friendship Association”. As far as the quotes in the following report provide clues, Shi seems to strike a mainly positive note on Sino-German relations, but less so than the overall “Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries'” president Lin Songtian, once “China’s most outspoken ambassador in Africa”.

This was in early August, before foreign minister Wang Yi started his European tour, but Shi, even if using the lot of sugarcoating that we had been used to prior to Xi Jinping‘s Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics, also alluded to some deficits in German-Chinese relations.

The following is a translation of the report on the China-Germany Friendship Association’s conference of August 6 local time. Links added during translation.

china.com.cn (China Net, 中国网) is an online news portal under the Chinese state council’s (i. e. government’s) administration.

China Net photo, click main link underneath for article

Main Link:
Former Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, elected chairman of China-Germany Friendship Association.

China Net, August 7 news (reporter Wang Ran). On August 6, the China-Germany Friendship Association conference was held in Beijing. Senior diplomat and former ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde was elected as the China-Germany Friendship Association’s new president. The conference also elected a deputy president and a secretary-general, passed a sixty-names’ directorate list and a China-Germany Friendship Association statute.

中国网8月日讯 (记者 王冉)8月6日,中国德国友好协会(以下简称:中德友协)换届大会在京举行。中国资深外交官、前驻德大使史明德当选新一届中德友协会长。大会还选出副会长、秘书长,通过了新一届理事60人名单和中德友协章程。

Ambassador Shi Mingde said in his address that ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany 48 years ago, the two countries’ relations of friendly cooperation had reached unprecedented development. The two sides’ joint interests had always outweighed division and contradictions. The two countries’ political relations were well, and economic and trade cooperation had provided substantial mutually beneficial results. But at the same time, German public opinion about China hadn’t seen fundamental improvement, and the foundations of public opinion in the two countries needed further consolidation (两国民意基础有待进一步夯实). German chancellor Angela Merkel would end her political career next year, after 16 years in office. This could lead to a rise in unpredictable factors.

史明德大使在致辞中称,中德建交48年来,两国友好合作关系得到前所未有的发展,双方共同利益始终大于分歧和矛盾。两国政治关系良好,经贸互利合作成果丰硕。但与此同时,德国对华舆论环境没有根本改善,两国民意基础有待进一步夯实。明年德国总理默克尔将结束执政16年的政治生涯,中德关系未来的不可预测因素可能上升。

Shi Mingde said that the China-Germany Friendship Association, in its coming years, would play a leading role in people-to-people [or non-governmental] exchanges with Germany and create a great platform for people-to-people exchange with Germany. [It would] speak out actively and let more German masses understand a real and objective China. It would promote Sino-German regional exchanges and serve regional economic development. He hoped that the China-German Friendship Association could, under the guidance and with the support of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, continuously promote the friendly exchange and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries’ peoples, and the rise of Sino-German friendly cooperation to the next level.

史明德表示,新一届中德友协要在对德民间交往中发挥引领作用,打造对德民间交流大平台;积极对外发声,让更多德国民众了解一个真实、客观的中国;促进中德地方交流,服务地方经济发展。他希望中德友协能在中国人民对外友好协会的指导和支持下,不断推进两国民间友好交流与互利合作,促进中德友好合作更上一层楼。

Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries’ president Lin Songtian said at the conference that China and Germany were both firm supporters of globalization and multilateralism, with common interests and similar positions concerning the protection of world peace and justice. Currently, there were 99 partnerships between Chinese and German provinces, federal states and cities, and 1.5 million visits in either direction per year. He believed that under the new president’s leadership, the China-German Friendship Association would attract broader masses to participation and exchange, promote the mutual understanding between the two countries’ peoples, learning from each other and setting examples for each other, promote closer attachment and connectedness, to contribute more people-to-people wisdom and strengths to the deepening of the Sino-German comprehensive [『 全方位』, not just『全面』 ] strategic partnership.

中国人民对外友好协会会长林松添在换届大会上表示,中德都是全球化和多边主义的坚定支持者,在维护世界和平与正义、促进全球合作与发展繁荣等方面拥有广泛的共同利益和相近立场。目前,中德友好省州和城市有99对,每年有150余万人次互访。他相信,中德友协在新任会长领导下能吸引两国更广泛民众参与交流,促进两国人民相互了解、互学互鉴,实现民相亲、心相通,为深化中德全方位战略伙伴关系贡献更多民间智慧和力量,更好造福两国人民。

After the conference, Shi Mingde gave China Net an interview. He said that on July 1, Germany had taken the European Union’s rotating chairmanship for the current half-year term. This year was a critical period for Sino-European relations, and as the chairing country of the EU, Germany picked up an important role. “I hope for the EU’s and Germany’s joint efforts, to send a positive signal of support for multilateralism and against unilateralism, [a positive signal] of cooperation and mutual profits.”

史明德在会后就中德双边关系接受了中国网采访。他说,7月1日,德国接任欧盟轮值主席国,开启为期半年的任期。今年是中欧关系的关键时期,作为欧盟轮值主席国的德国起着至关重要的作用。“我希望与欧盟和德国一起共同努力,向世界发出坚持多边主义,反对单边主义,合作共赢的积极信号。”

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Related

“It’s not going well,” Washington Post, Sept 2, 2020

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, while Party expects Returns on Investment

Twitter can be fun, but would be a waste of time if all the information you can get passes by without some reflection on it. Learning by repetition. Here goes.

China’s recent diplomacy has been referred to as wolf warrior diplomacy (戰狼外交) in recent months – or in fact for years (as Sweden can tell) -, but it has become a much more frequently used term with the COVID-19 crisis.

As Washington and Beijing traded accusations and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 origins during the first half of 2020, Beijing’s propaganda machine continuously switched gears between angry statements and more or less funny cartoons on “social media” platforms like Twitter, depicting Trump administration officials as dorks or hypocrites. Chinese foreign ministry (FMPRC) spokesman and communications director Zhao Lijian as well as Chinese media outlets like CCTV-English, People’s Daily in English, Xinhua news agency etc. took leading roles in “anti-American” (反美) enunciations.

But wolf warrior diplomacy apparently didn’t lead to results that would have satisfied Beijing after all. On Tuesday (August 4), China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, told an NBC anchor and a wider online public that

The normalization of relations between our two countries and the growth of this relationship over the decades has served the interests of both countries and the world very well. It’s quite clear to all of us are still enjoying the positive outcome, the benefit of this growth of relationship. Nobody can really deny this.

Societal differences should provide opportunities for mutual learning, Cui suggested.

Cui himself didn’t have to make a u-turn to emphasize the “positive outcomes” of Sino-US relations – he had never been a wolf warrior diplomat anyway, and Washington wouldn’t have been the place to test these fruits of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era / Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy anyway. And when he made the essential swipe – there needs to be one in every Chinese representation to Americans these days, to show that the speaker is not afraid of his audience -, he smiled as if he wanted to apologize for what he was saying.

Click picture for video

His boss, foreign minister Wang Yi, didn’t have to turn everything upside down either. But to show that Xi has always been a great supporter of dialogue, he inaugurated a Research Center for the Guiding Role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic Thought at the FMPRC on July 20.

According to “Radio Free Asia” (apparently not safely verified), fifty-centers have been told to switch their messages from “anti-American” to “double-win” (click picture for details)

Thusly illuminated, foreign minister Wang addressed an online forum of American and Chinese think tanks (including Henry Kissinger and Kevin Rudd, apparently) on July 9, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas in a video conference on July 24 (not without informing his colleague in Berlin that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America), and, most recently, the readers of Communist Party organ “People’s Daily”.

Chances are that US secretary of state Pompeo and his network have struck the right note in communication with Beijing during the past months, and distancing from China could become a bipartisan American policy. However, the Trump administration may not be able to take traditional allies as far along in their cause as they would like to.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told a press conference with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo that “we make our own decisions and we use our own language”, and that “the relationship with China is important and we have no intention of injuring it”.

Sydney Morning Herald correspondents wrote on August 1 that Joe Biden, the US Democrats’ presidential nominee, was

expected to be closer to what Australia is trying to do: transition to a multipolar region where Beijing is accommodated but counterbalanced by regional powers including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the US.

At times, Trump and Pompeo’s approach seems to be an attempt to maintain the US as regional hegemon – something Canberra quietly gave up on a few years ago.

[Lowy Institute executive director] Fullilove says in some ways a Biden administration would be tougher on China and may make requests of Australia which are harder to refuse.

The correspondents also pointed out that both Japan and New Zealand, while basically following the US / Australia lines, had kept a rather low profile, thus protecting their trade interests with China.

Germany wasn’t exactly the first country either to throw a gauntlet at Beijing, or to publicly take note of China’s internment policies in East Turkestan, or its breach of international law by imposing its “national security law” on Hong Kong. Berlin’s position was further complicated as Germany’s leadership currently chairs the EU in a rotational arrangement, having to find as much common ground among Beijing-leaning EU member states and more resilient members.

Only when Hong Kong’s government announced a “postponement” of Legislative Council elections by a year, ostensibly because of the special administrative region’s COVID-19 crisis, Germany joined other countries and suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. On August 3, French foreign ministry sharply criticized Beijing’s “national security law”, and halted ratification of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which had been in process since 2017.

A few days earlier, and five days after his conversation with Germany’s foreign minister, Wang Yi had been on the phone with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian,

Austrian public radio ORF‘s China correspondent Josef Dollinger arguably provided one of the more succinct summaries of European policies. Asked on July 29, the morning when the EU governments presented their agreed reaction to Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, if Washington’s chances of isolating Beijing could be successful, he said that conflicts with China could not be painless, and that while

you can ride a tiger gone wild without getting bucked off – difficult as that may be -, you shouldn’t keep shouting “I’ve got him, I’ve got him.”

Man kann zwar auf einem wild gewordenen Tiger reiten, ohne abgeworfen zu werden – auch wenn’s schwierig ist -, aber man sollte dabei nicht ständig rufen, “ich hab’ ihn, ich hab’ ihn”.

In the EU, disappointment about stalling talks on a comprehensive investment treaty with China have likely added to a hardening position.

And while America’s allies have resisted Pompeo’s calls to join them on the warpath, it does appear that China underestimated the impact of its Hong Kong policies, at least in democratic countries.

All the more, Wang Yi himself, too, tries to stick to a script that would paint China as the natural and predetermined victor to emerge from the beginning struggle. Among some double-win promises, he also threatened America with history’s pillar of shame (恥辱柱).

No matter how much, or little, pressure China may feel as a whole, Beijing’s diplomats are having a tough time of it. It is one thing to open a Xi-Jinping shrine at the FMPRC. To deliver on hard issues is another. The leadership and its personality core have significantly raised investment in diplomacy. They will expect more than just damage control in return.

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