Posts tagged ‘calligraphy’

Saturday, July 6, 2013

“China is Alright”: a Summer Camp for Overseas Chinese students from Laos

China Radio International‘s Mandarin service renders a newslet by China News Service (中国新闻社), China’s second-largest state-owned newsagency after Xinhua, on the field of public diplomacy.

Original title: Ethnic Chinese Laotians go to Yunnan to experience Chinese culture

CRI Online news: according to China News Service, the “2013 China is alright – the perfect Yunnan summer camp” has started in Kunming, with fourty campers and group leaders from Chinese schools in Laos. It is scheduled to go on for ten days. Apart from developing [an awareness or knowledge of, apparently] Yunnan ethnic culture, knowledge of China, and exchange, the overseas Chinese students will also experience Yunnan province’s local conditions and customs.


With Chinese-Laotian cooperation growing closer and the surging “Chinese language fever” in Laos, more and more ethnic Chinese and Laotians want to understand the Chinese way of life and traditional culture. Luo Bailan, a teacher and group leader with the camp, says that the Chinese schools in Laos are continuously adjusting their educational methods, to allow the students to learn by experience.


Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China deputy secretary general Li Xianguo says that “China is alright” is an important part of the foundation’s “Young Ethnic Chinese Chinese Culture Heritage Project”.


Chinese fever, Kunming

Chinese fever – click pictdure for China News Service coverage

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) is more elaborate, adding that most of the students haven’t been to Yunnan before. Even though it has been rainy for days, and temperatures in the spring city [i. e. Kunming] are a bit low, this hasn’t affected the campers’ high spirits in the least. They are reading the course schedules of the camp reader, excitedly discuss the coming lessons and the tourist attractions. A student tells the SCIO reporter that he is most interested in poetry recital and calligraphy, and in touring the Stone Forest, the birthplace of Ashima:

“We also want to experience the culture of national minorities in the Yunnan Nationalities Village I don’t know a lot about national minorities and hope to experience a lot of interesting things”, Lin Yingcai says in fluent Chinese.


Many Laotians and Burmese and Cambodians and North Koreans see China as a promised land, Joshua Kurlantzick wrote in his 2007 book Charm Offensive (p. 137). And America, he warned, had earned itself a bad image in the past, and was still doing so:

For decades, the United States still did not grant Laos normal trading relations, though Laos’s human rights record was no worse than the record of China, with whom America traded vigorously. American sanctions on Laos infuriated Lao officials, who didn’t understand why such a big country like the United Stateswould punish a minnow – especially since during the Vietnam War, America had dropped more bombs on Laos than it dropped on Germany and Japan together during World War II, leaving Laos riddled with unexploded ordnance.

(Kurlantzick, p. 59)

Jiang Zemin visited Laos in November 2000, reportedly the first visit by a Chinese head of state. In November 2006, Jiang’s successor Hu Jintao followed up, and moved China Radio International (CRI) one step ahead of the BBC and the VoA, by pushing a button for a rebroadcasting FM station – the inauguration ceremony was reportedly broadcast live, as the rebroadcaster’s first program ever:

So, Vientiane listeners, for the first time, clearly and vividly heard the the warm voice of state chairman Hu Jintao, a visitor from a friendly neighbor.



A CRI official said that the friendly relations between China and Laos created good conditions for CRI’s operations in Laos. According to the official, the Laotian government’s approval of CRI’s Vientiane frequency was one of only few. Before, the BBC and the VoA had applied for frequencies to the Laotian government, but had received no approval.




Branding China, May 18, 2008
Meeting the Volunteers, CRI, Nov 21, 2006


Monday, November 14, 2011

17th Central Committee’s “Culture Document” – 7: Beautiful Melodies

This is the fourth paragraph [d), or (四)] of the “Culture Document’s” (explanation here) chapter four (Comprehensively implement the “Erwei” Direction and the “Shuangbai” Policy, to Provide the People with Even Better and Even More Spiritual Nourishment).

I thought I’d translate all the remaining three paragraphs of chapter four today, but had to look up two slogans or activities within the first paragraph already – see “Notes”.  I prefer to do this translation rather thoroughly than quickly, even if it should take months. My translation’s previous leg can be found here.

Links within the following blockquote were inserted during translation.

d) More fine works in the fields of literature and art must be provided. Literature, drama, films, television, music, dance, the fine arts, photography, calligraphy, folk musical theater, acrobatics, folklore, literature for the masses and other fields of work in literature and art must actively throw themselves into the creative activities of singing the praises of the era and the people, draw on the material provided by societal life, refine their themes, passionately and vividly create and produce works with beautiful melodies, in moving ways, which are at the same time ideological, artistic, and enjoyable. The fine-works strategy1) must be implemented, the five-one projects2) be well-organized, and major projects on revolution and history, major projects supporting literature and arts, excellent works for children and creations which encourage originality and practicality must constantly be provided as literature and art. Excellent artistic cultivation which represents our country’s standing, with national and regional characteristics, must be actively developed into new styles. Encourage all literary and artistic creations which cultivate noble thoughts and feelings, delight body and mind, and combine teaching and entertainment. Vulgarity must be resisted (or boycotted, 抵制).




1) Fine-Works Strategy (精品战略)

The fine-works strategy dates back to the 1990s. Baike.Baidu refers to it as one of the boldest slogans issued by the Chinese news peoples’ trade at the time (中国新闻界提出的最具魄力的口号之一), developed in close connection with social development at the time, and with the background of the times (,都是与当时社会发展和时代背景所密切相关的):

Under the conditions of a market economy, news are a special commodity, and need to participate in market competition. As the news market matured, the sellers market turned into a buyers market, and the market demands news products of excellent quality. […] Therefore, as a matter of course, the fine-works strategy will be on the agenda. That is the irresistible trend, not a shift which would depend on volition. The target audience is what the media depend upon for their livelihood, and everything the media do is for the target audience. As the recipients have repeatedly encountered many faked, big, empty and non-specific news coverage, they yearn for accurate and excellent news products. It can therefore safely be said that the implementation of news quality strategy is what the times require, what news competition requires, what the broad audience is calling for, and the pressing need for the situation we face.
在市场经济条件下,新闻作为一个特殊商品,也必然参与市场竞争。随着新闻市场的成熟,可以说,新闻市场也已从卖方市场向买方市场转化,市场呼唤品质优良的新闻作品。[…] 因此,新闻精品战略的提出和实施,就自然而然地摆上议事日程,这是大势所趋,不以人的意志为转移。受众是媒体的衣食父母,媒体所做的一切,都是为了受众。而中国广大受众,过去曾几度接触的是较多的假、大、空、泛的新闻报道,他们企盼真实而优秀的新闻作品问世。所以,我们完全可以说,实施新闻精品战略,是时代的需要,是新闻竞争的需要,是广大受众的呼唤,是中国新闻业在新的时代、新的形势下面临的一个意义重大的紧迫

More specific history about the fine-works strategy is welcome. In all likelihood, a party decision preceded the strategy’s adoption by news people, or any other guilds.

2) Five-One Project (五个一工程)

Information about the five-one project is apparently easier to find online. According to Baike.Baidu, it is an annual “public-appraisal activity”, initiated by the CCP propaganda department (中共中央宣传部) in 1992. Every province, “autonomous region” and the municipalities directly under the central government, together with a CCP representative and the PLA political department, selects nominees for a nation-wide finale. The choice includes drama, television productions or films, books on sociology, theoretical articles on sociology, and songs. (I’m reading 限… 方面 as “limited to ..”, not as “.. excluded”). That said, I may as well be wrong, as one of the 2006 winners was a book on how to recognize stars (referring to celestial bodies, apparently).



» The CCP sighs with Emotion, July 17, 2011
» Truthfulness is Everything, April 8, 2011


Continued here »

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tibet: the CCP sighs with Emotion

Main link: Xinhua (via Enorth), July 17, 2011

The article’s main motivation would appear to be the commemoration of May 23, 1951, but it was only published this Sunday (by Enorth, anyway):

The scroll painting of history, the surge forward with great momentum,
let the people of the world sigh with emotion;
the troubles of the past testify the miracle [of today], let the world gasp in admiration.

历史画卷,波澜壮阔,让世人感慨; 岁月沧桑,见证奇迹,让世界赞叹。

Sixty years are only a short moment in the great river of history, but in Tibet, this old and mystical territory, the course of social development has strided across more than a thousand years. New and old Tibet are two different worlds. During the past sixty years, under the care of the CCP’s central committee and the hard work of the Tibetan cadres of all nationalities and masses, a united, democratic, prosperous, civilized and harmonious socialist new Tibet has emerged to a bright future of development, from the darkness to the light, from backwardness to progress, from poverty to prosperity, from isolation to openness.


After the poetic “scroll painting of history”, another appetizer (via Enorth) begins with a short collection of “oral history”, from a former “local government chief plenipotentiary” and/or his wife who witnessed the signature of an agreement which “safeguarded the dignity and reunification of the motherland”, on May 23, 1953. The plenipotentiary was Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme (ང་ཕོད་ངག་དབང་འཇིགས་མེད་, 阿沛·阿旺晋美). The history of his authorization is contested.

The rest of the article is history as authored by the CCP, including anecdotes like this one:

The people will not forget the scene of 19 years ago: early in 1992, comrade Deng Xiaoping (邓小平) inspected Wuhan, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai and other places. [Standing in front of the Potala Palace model at Shenhen’s “Splendid China” park,] he stood for some time, and with an emotional sigh he said: “I won’t make it to Tibet in this life – just to take a picture in front of this “Potala Palace” will have to count as a souvenir.”

The anecdote follows many paragraphs devoted to Mao Zedong’s (毛泽东) care for Tibet, and leads into the paragraphs devoted to Deng’s. After that, it’s Jiang Zemin’s (江泽民) turn, who, despite being in his sixties and despite the territory’s high altitude, immersed himself in factories, rural and pastoral areas, schools, hospitals, and “People’s Liberation Army” and police barracks and stations there.

Picture 1: party and state chairman Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) speaks on the “fifth meeting on the work of Tibet” in January 2010.

Picture 2: a Xinhua interview with Padma Choling (པདྨ་འཕྲིན་ལས་།, 白玛赤林), chairman of the government of the “Tibet Autonomous Region”, on June 8 this year, with Xinhua.



» Obama meets with Dalai Lama, The Age, July 17, 2011
» “Legal Education”, Arrests and Sentences, July 14, 2011
» NPC Tibetan Delegates visit U.S., March 20, 2009


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kim in the Computer Room

Comrades: I will dictate, and you’ll write after me.

A good education is what a country rises and falls with. This must be given great attention. Every school must train its students to become qualified personnel, to complete the task of building a prosperous country. And the students must study diligently. Starting with primary and secondary school, computer education must also be strengthened, to enable the students to skillfully use computers.

Kim in the Computer Room

Kim in the Computer Room

According to Xinhua, North Korea’s KCNA news agency didn’t inform about the time and day Kim Jong-il inspected. The place apparently was a middle (high) school in Munchon, Kangwon-do. News published by KCNA on August 29 / by Xinhua on August 30.


Kim Jong-il, Pancreatic Cancer? – July 13, 2009
Profile Kim Jong-il, BBC News, January 16, 2009

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hai Han: In Memory of Chairman Hua

(Excerpts, translation)

(…) His first great contribution was that he resolutely smashed the “Gang of Four” and avoided China falling into chaos after the death of Mao Zedong. (…)

His second great contribution was that he freed Deng Xiaoping and peacefully retired from his own position.

No great leaders without beautiful characters

No great leaders without beautiful characters

After his retirement, he lived in Beijing’s Xihuang Chenggen (西皇城根), within a very big courtyard house, a former Qing Dynasty palace. Inside this courtyard house, there were several more small courts that were actually not small either. Except him, there were other leaders. He used two of the courts. He and his wife lived in one of them; his secretary and other staff lived in the other one. In and outside the court, on the feet of the walls, they planted a lot of trees, and there were cabbage, grapevines, cherry-apple trees, peach trees, all of these growing well. Hua Guofeng and his wife Han Zhijun took care of the trees and fruits. (…)

His life was mainly about small inspections at villages, travelling to famous sightseeing spots, and devoting himself to calligraphy.

On every September 9, the anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death,  and on every December 26, the formal commemoration days of Mao Zedong’s birthday, he went to the Mao mausoleum to pay his respects.

He spoke very calmly, composed and generously about his own retirement from his position – something rare among Chinese politicians. As a civilian, in a calm state of mind, in an unexciting environment, he spent his years of retirement peacefully.

He is no longer with us, and we will always remember him.

Hai Han Blog entry of 1 September 2008

Related: Hua Guofeng: 1921 – 2008

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