Posts tagged ‘censorship’

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Chinese Academic on WSJ Reporters’ Expulsion: Butts have to be spanked

The following is a translation of an opinion article by Yang Hanyi, a regular columnist with the internet newsmagazine Guanchazhe Online (aka “Observer”), and researcher at the Shanghai Spring and Autumn Development Strategy Institute.

Guanchazhe is privately-run, according to this Wiki, and seems to be replacing “Huanqiu Shibao” as a voice for post-1990 fenqings, plus indignant little emperors of all ages.

Yang’s article goes far beyond the WSJ “incident” – and this probably reflects the political motivation behind revoking the three press credentials. It appears to reflect Beijing’s frustration with American sanction policies, the murder of Qasem Soleimani, and the demonstrations in Hong Kong (blamed on the West), among others. It also tries to sketch a roadmap of how to deal with the press in future.

However, Guanchazhe notes that the article’s content is only the opinion of the author, and not written on behalf of the platform.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

On February 19, a spokesman of China’s foreign ministry announced at a press conference that from that day onwards, the credentials of three Beijing reporters of America’s “Wall Street Journal” would be revoked. In peoples’ memory, this is the first time in the decades of reform and opening up that the government has handed down an “edict of expulsion” against several reporters of the same medium at the same time.

2月19日,中国外交部发言人在记者会上宣布,即日起吊销美国《华尔街日报》三名驻京记者证件。在人们的记忆中,这是改革开放几十年来中国政府首次对来自同一家国际媒体的多名记者同时下“逐客令”。

I’d just like to say: “well done”.

对此我只想说“干得漂亮”。

As is well known, this incident started with the “WSJ”‘s publication of a flow of racism and prejudice, “China is the real sick man in Asia”, slandering the Chinese government’s and peoples’ great efforts to resist the new coronavirus epidemic. Once this was published, many netizens rushed forth the the “WSJ”‘s social media accounts and denounced the racism. America’s nationwide broadcaster NBC, in a report, also criticized the “WSJ”‘s headline as it could create fear, anxieties, and a hostile mood. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, on February 6, named the author and criticized his arrogance, prejudice and ignorance. But facing the stern message of the Chinese side, [the WSJ] then turned to summoning the pretense of freedom of the press and of speech. For a while, the author said that the choice of the headline was freedom of editing, for a while they said that they had meant to refer to the Ottoman Empire without malign intentions, and even that [The remaining accusations are beyond my translation skills, but this article may reflect all or some of them]. Do they really believe that people don’t know those things behind western media?

众所周知,这起事件的起因是《华尔街日报》2月3日发表了一篇流淌着种族主义偏见的文章《中国是真正的“亚洲病夫”》,诋毁中国政府和人们抗击新冠疫情的努力。此文一发,大批网民涌至作者和《华尔街日报》社交媒体页面上留言指责种族主义。美国全美广播公司在报道中也批评《华尔街日报》的标题可能制造恐惧、焦虑和敌对情绪。中国外交部发言人华春莹更是于2月6日点名批评该文作者的傲慢、偏见和无知。但面对中方的严正交涉,他们又搬出新闻自由、言论自由的幌子,一会儿作者说起标题是编辑的自由,一会儿说我们没有恶意只是玩了个奥斯曼帝国的梗,一会儿说我们甚至以病夫自黑呢。如今中国采取惩罚措施,《华尔街日报》发行人威廉•刘易斯又甩的一手好锅,说评论部门惹的祸,不好怪到新闻记者头上来哟,真以为人们不知道西方媒体背后那些事呢?

In recent years, everyone has clearly seen America’s so-called great-power competition, not only in correct and fitting words in national defense strategy papers, not only by openly kidnapping the international community with domestic laws*), not only by telling the world with an honest face that we “tell lies, cheat and steal”, not only trampling on international conventions for the protection of diplomats by public assassination, but also by carrying a gun and a stick on a somewhat concealed battlefield which is the battle of public opinion.

近年来大家都看清了美国所谓的大国竞争,不仅名正言顺地写在国防战略报告里;不仅堂而皇之用国内法绑架国际社会;不仅正大光明地告诉世界“我们撒谎、欺骗、偷窃”;不仅践踏保护外交人员的国际公约公然行刺,也包括在另一片略微隐蔽的战场上夹枪带棒,这就是舆论话语的战斗。

Yang’s article describes news media as rather low-cost “mouthpieces of national interests” with a frequently high impact on international public opinion and politics, while America hardly found a way to compete with Huawei. And while an old-style empire’s embarrassing situation was understandable, and while one could even appreciate the comical nature of foreign medias’ blackening of China, butts that deserved a spanking still needed to be spanked (但好笑归好笑,屁股该打还是要打的).

It continues with a tour of American crimes and double standards (perceived or real – you decide from case to case), from a recently announced obligation for China’s state or party media to register as foreign agents or diplomatic missions in the US, to an NBA executive’s support of Hong Kong’s democracy movement (instigating chaos elements in HK / 怂恿乱港分子), the publication of a coronavirus-China-state-flag cartoon in Denmark, the WSJ’s sick-man-of-Asia statement, and inconsistencies in measures against anti-semitic or anti-black messages online while lacking protection of China against being being scolded.

The “Charlie Hebdo” massacre is broached, too, and so is responsibility as the other side of the coin (freedom being the other one).

Has the “WSJ” published free speech which insults Chinese? Yes. Must it be held responsible for publishing such remarks? Yes.

《华尔街日报》有没有发表侮辱中国人文章的言论自由?有。那它需不需要为发表这样的言论负责?需要。

The article then refers to Singapore as a place to learn from, when dealing with “misreporting”, citing a lawsuit by Lee Kuan Yew against the Far Eastern Economic Review‘s editor-in-chief as an example – according to the author, that was in 1989 -, and a case against the Asia WSJ, also in Singapore, in 1991, about contempt of court.

Yang on the other hand cites Beijing’s “unreliable entities list” as a conceivable tool.

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Note

*) There are probably two aspects to this accusation. One could be the US sanctions regime against Iran (and maybe also against North Korea, even if China officially supports those), and another would be a widely held belief that there is a rift between the US and the rest of the West about how to interact with China.

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Related

FMPRC daily briefing online, Febr 19, 2020
Be more Xinhua, Oct 10, 2009

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Excitement without Borders

If you follow the news – even in Europe -, the coronavirus infections that reportedly started in Wuhan features prominently.

This can hardly be explained with the dangers it may pose to individuals, at least for now. Then why the excitement, while climate change (probably) continues and poses a much greater threat?

What becomes news depends on what people can relate to. When a royal couple decides to move to Canada (but not quite, only a bit), it’s news, because it suggests that there must be a VIP family conflict.

When murder occurs in a place where overseas tourists go, media are more likely to report the case than if the same thing happens in Gaborone, or in a tranquil Swiss village off the beaten track.

And when shit happens in China, it becomes an online game: because new statistics and measures are announced every hour, the news seems to suggest that the situation becomes ever more grim.

Besides, because the Chinese authorities earned themselves a bad record  during the SARS epidemic early this century, there are suspicions that the worst news may still be covered up.

And as Wuhan closes down public transport (including trains and flights), this comes across as truly dramatic, particularly in countries where such actions, in modern times, are unheard of.

But then, draconic measures are nothing unusual in China (as many victims of arbitrary police and other state organs can tell, if they dare). And besides, if you live in Wuhan and own a car, you can go wherever you like. I haven’t heard of Wuhan citizens being refused a flight once they have reached, say, Nanjing International Airport.

Life goes on: the South Korean government, only on Monday, published plans for individual travels from South to North, and one of the options includes traveling through China (“or other countries”). Yes, you may still plant an apple tree.

When Wuhan adopts measures the way it does now, there are always two ways of interpreting them: one may think that if things are that bad, they are probably even worse.  But then, maybe the authorities simply want to be efficient this time. It depends on how you look at it.

Time for me to hit the road. And I’m sure that I’m much more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, than by a virus from Wuhan.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Gui Congyou comments on award to Gui Minhai: farce, brutal interference, full of lies, don’t feel at ease, wait and see

The following is an article by Huanqiu Shibao, a Chinese paper and international news website. Links within blockquotes added during translation — JR.

Main Link:
Sweden determined to award Gui Minhai award, China’s ambassador to Sweden says: wait and see

Huanqiu Shibao, November 16, consolidated report

环球网综合报道

On November 11 local time, Sweden’s PEN association an award ceremony in Stockholm. Despite China’s strong opposition, the organizers remained determined to award Gui Minhai a prize, with Sweden’s minister for culture attending that day’s ceremony. China expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition against this.

当地时间11月15日,瑞典笔会在斯德哥尔摩举行颁奖仪式。尽管中方强烈反对,主办方仍执意向桂敏海授奖,瑞典文化大臣也出席了当天的颁奖仪式。中方表示对此强烈不满和坚决反对。

According to the website of China’s embassy in Sweden, China’s ambassador to Sweden said that just as we have solemnly pointed out, Gui Minhai is a criminal who committed serious crimes both in China and in Sweden. To give a prize to such a criminal is a complete political farce which incites crime and shelters criminals. This is also a brutal interference against China’s judicial sovereignty. Just as it is said in a Chinese proverb, virtue gets its reward, and viciousness gets its retribution. Sweden’s serious mistake undoubtedly creates serious difficulties for the normally friendly Sino-Swedish relationship and cooperation. No country, organization or individual should hope that the 1.4 billion Chinese people would swallow the bitter fruit of damage to China’s national interest and dignity.

据中国驻瑞典大使馆网站11月16日消息,中国驻瑞典大使馆表示,正如我们严正指出的,桂敏海是在中国和瑞典都犯下严重罪行的罪犯。给这样一个罪犯颁奖是一场彻头彻尾的政治闹剧,是在煽动犯罪,庇护罪犯。这也是对中国司法主权的粗暴干涉。正如中国谚语所说,善有善报,恶有恶报。瑞方的严重错误无疑给中瑞两国正常友好交往与合作造成了严重困难。任何国家、组织和个人都不要指望14亿中国人民会吞下损害中国国家利益和尊严的苦果。

Also, China’s ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, refuted Swedish media lies about the Gui Minhai incident in an interview with Sveriges Radio on November 12. According to the interview records published by China’s embassy to Sweden on November 14, Gui Congyou said that Gui Minhai’s book was full of lies and completely lacking factual foundation. which was why we called him “fabricator of lies”. Sweden’s PEN association propagandizing so-called “freedom of speech” wasn’t only harming other peoples’ feelings and interests, but didn’t allow other people to express their different opinions. This was actually “freedom of lies”.

此外,中国驻瑞典大使桂从友也在12日瑞典电台(Sveriges Radio)对其进行的采访中驳斥了瑞典媒体关于桂敏海事件的谎言。根据中国驻瑞典大使馆11月14日发布的采访记录,桂从友称,桂敏海的书中充满了谎言,完全缺乏事实依据,这就是我们为什么叫他“谎言编造者”的原因。而瑞典笔会宣传的所谓“言论自由”,不仅损害了他人的感情和利益,而且不允许他人表达不同意见,这实际上是“谎言的自由”。

Ambassador Gui Congyou said that China resolutely opposed Swedish PEN’s award to a criminal and propagator of lies, which was just the same thing as advocating “freedom of lies”. China even more opposed any member of Sweden’s government attending the award ceremony. This would have seriously negative effects on the friendly Sino-Swedish cooperation and normal relations, and China would surely take countermeasures.

桂从友大使表示,中国坚决反对瑞典笔会将奖项授予一个罪犯和撒谎者,这与提倡“谎言自由”没有区别。中国更加反对任何瑞典政府官员出席颁奖典礼,这将给中瑞两国的友好合作和正常交往带来严重的负面影响,中方一定会采取对策。

Ambassador Gui Congyou said that “we urge the Swedish PEN association to immediately cancel the award to Gui Minhai, and urge the Swedish government officials not to attend the award ceremony. If they ignore China’s strong opposition and  obstinately stay their course, we have no other choice than to take measures. Certain Swedes should not hope to feel at ease after hurting the feelings and interests.

桂从友大使说,“我们敦促瑞典笔会立即取消对桂敏海的授奖,并要求瑞典政府官员不再出席颁奖仪式。如果他们无视中方的强烈反对而一意孤行,我们将不得不采取措施。某些瑞典人不要指望在伤害了中国人民的感情与利益之后还能够安心(feel at ease)”。

Asked what measures China would take, ambassador Gui Congyou said: “You will see. We demand some basic respect for China and 1.4 billion Chinese people from the Swedish PEN, and stop their wrong action before it is too late. Let’s wait and see.”

当被问及中方将会采取何种措施时,桂从友大使表示:“你会看到的。我们要求瑞典笔会对中国和14亿中国人民表示基本的尊重,并在为时已晚之前停止错误举动。让我们走着瞧( wait and see)。”

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Related

Radio Sweden, Nov 15, 2019
China News Stories, Nov 14, 2019

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Friday, March 30, 2018

CCTV, CRI, CPBS: by any other (English) Name

Bloomberg appears to have been the first media company outside China to publish the news, and the Financial Times followed with an article about the creation of “a new broadcasting behemoth”, designed to “broaden [China’s] global news footprint and bolster its soft power abroad,” still on March 21.

While the CCP may have the means to feed more than one propaganda monster, the new organization will apparently be the result of a “merger” of China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI) and China National Radio (CNR, or, in Chinese, Central People’s Broadcasting Station/CPBS).

But this may not have as far-reaching implications for the three organizations as it first seems.
[Update – See bottom of this post for updates – the implications appear to be quite far-reaching, actually.]

Call it a deer: Radio Beijing QSL (1990) – the broadcaster’s current name is China Radio International

“Voice of China”, the planned “merged” organization’s future name, isn’t necessarily an imitation of the “Voice of America”, as supposed by the FT author. Central People’s Broadcasting Station’s first channel (there are nine channels altogether) has long been referred to as “Voice of China” (zhongguo zhisheng), but always in Chinese, while the station’s occasional English-language identification announcements have simply referred to the network, as “China National Radio”. In its “about us”, CPBS/CNR, on their website, refer to their first channel as “zhongguo zhisheng” in Chinese, and as “News Radio” in English.

On shortwave, China’s “voice” frequently co-channels undesired broadcasts from abroad – it kills two birds by with one stone, “telling the good China story” and hooting down less desirable stories.

The document announcing the merger of the three media organizations – Deepening Reform of Party and State Institutions – was released by the CCP’s Central Committee, unabridgedly published by Xinhua newsagency on March 21, and republished, among others, by the Chinese State Council’s website.

The naming of China’s media has been somewhat messy for decades – “China National Radio” for a foreign audience and “Central People’s Broadcasting Station” for the Chinese-speaking audience, a lot of tampering with CCTV (China Central Television) or, in its foreign guise, as CCTV News, or as CCTV 9, or as CCTV English), and (perhaps the messiest bit) China Radio International’s (CRI) strategy of “borrowing boats” abroad.

The Central People’s Broadcasting Station/CPBS) was given the English handle of “China National Radio” in 1998, while in Chinese, it has always remained CPBS (zhongyang renmin guangbo diantai).

According to the Deepening Reform of Party and State Institutions document, the Chinese-English double-naming remains the approach of choice. While all three organizations – CCTV, CRI and CPBS (CNR) are going to retain their traditional names at home, they will be referred to as “Voice of China” in English.

If that means that CRI listeners will listen to the “Voice of China”, die “Stimme Chinas”, la “Voix de la Chine” and to “zhongguo zhisheng” (CRI has a Chinese service, too) remains to be seen.

The China Media Project (CMP) at the University of Hong Kong picked up the merger story on March 22, one day after it had first been reported. They provide a full translation of the portions of the Program dealing with media and public opinion. In the leading in to their translation, the CMP points out that

… China Central Television was previously overseen by the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (previously just SARFT), a department under the State Council. The super-network will now be situated as a state-sponsored institution, or shiye danwei (事业单位), directly under the State Council, and directly under the supervision of the Central Propaganda Department.

The sections of the document (as translated by CMP) also arrange for a transfer of the General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television’s (SARFT) responsibilities to the Central Propaganda Department.

But for CCTV, CRI and CPBS, the biggest (real) changes don’t appear to be about organization. Shen Haixiong, Wang Gengnian and Yan Xiaoming may well keep their jobs and status, provided that they always make the right ideological adjustments.

Update 1 [April 2, 2018]

CRI online, March 21, 2018, editor: Yang Lei

2018-03-21 | 来源:国际在线 | 编辑:杨磊

CRI online news: In the morning of March 21, Central People’s Broadcasting Station, China Central Television, and China Radio International held a mid-level cadre meeting and announced a decision by the Central Committee to establish to form the Central Radio and Television Station  [in People’s Daily’s English translation: Central Radio and Television Network] and its leadership. Comrade Shen Haixiong is to serve as the Central Radio and Television Station’s director and party secretary.

国际在线消息:3月21日上午,中央人民广播电台、中央电视台、中国国际广播电台召开中层干部大会,宣布中央关于组建中央广播电视总台和领导班子任职的决定。慎海雄同志任中央广播电视总台台长、党组书记。

The organization’s deputy director Zhou Zuyi read out the Central Committee’s decision and delivered a speech. Central propaganda department standing vice minister Wang Xiaohui presided over the meeting and delivered a speech.

中组部副部长周祖翼宣读中央决定并讲话,中宣部常务副部长王晓晖主持会议并讲话。

According to a Beijing Daily article published online on March 28, Yan Xiaoming, who used to head CPBS, will serve as the new organization’s deputy director, while Wang Gengnian, formerly CRI’s director, has retired.

Wang will reportedly be 62 in May this year. Online encyclopedia Baike says that he joined the CCP in May 1986. He was CRI’s director from 2004 until last month. He was also CRI’s party secretary.

Update 2 [April 5, 2018]

This article by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) puts the merger of domestic and foreign radio and television into perspective: upgrading the CCP’s “leading groups” (领导小组) to commissions, [t]he offices in charge of religious and overseas Chinese affairs now .. under the United Front Work Department, responsible for overseas liaison work, merging the Chinese Academy of Governance with the Central Party School, or the creation of a “central education body” over the education ministry for “improving political education in schools and universities”.

In general, the party takes more direct control in several fields, sidestepping the government (as seems to be the case with the “central education body”). In another article of the same day, March 21/22, the SCMP noted that

China is to broaden the scope of a controversial Communist Party department responsible for its overseas liaison work to include ethnic and religious affairs.

The consolidation of the United Front Work Department is part of a restructure of party agencies announced on Wednesday. It will take over the duties of state agencies overseeing ethnic and religious affairs, as well as the overseas Chinese portfolio.

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Notes

If China Copyright and Media (a great resource if you look for the CCP’s/PRC’s bureaucratic output) isn’t faster, I might summarize the document sometime during Easter.

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Updates / Related

十九届三中全会要点, CD, March 1, 2018
Foreign Experts wanted, May 2, 2016

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Dalai Lama and Barack Obama meeting in New Delhi

Heads of state and government (apparently) can’t always afford to be polite – not if this CS Monitor report of nearly eight years ago is something to go by. In February 2010, the Dalai Lama, as he left the White House after a meeting with then president Barack Obama, was reportedly “awaited” by “a mound of trash”. A White House spokesman contested the interpretation – see same CS Monitor page.

But there were other downgradings, too, at the time. Obama met Tibet’s spiritual leader in the “map room” of the White House, not in the Oval Office. An ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reporter interpreted this – most probably accurately – as a concession to China, which had demanded that the meeting not even go ahead.

Aller, Nov 2017

But a wise man who works to better the lot of the People won’t fear the height of a mountain or the width of a river on his way to gain worldly credit.

It will be left to reason here if Donald Trump is too high a mountain, or if meeting him, just like having met all US presidents from George H. W. Bush to Barack Obama while they were in office, wouldn’t benefit Tibet anyway.

There has been another meeting between the Dalai Lama and Barack Obama last Friday, and when you are travelling on behalf of your foundation that carries your name, meetings with the man Beijing loves to hate appear to make sense. The setting in New Delhi appears to have been nicer, too, than in the White House, in 2010.

The meeting apparently hasn’t generated a splash in the Chinese media. Overseas Chinese Website Duowei News, a news website operated from New York (and blocked in China, according to Wikipedia) points out that just before, Obama had completed a China visit, including a Meeting with Xi Jinping at Diaoyutai Guest House. Xinhua newsagency reported on Thursday that Xi and Obama held talks on November 29.

Duowei also adds some statistics, saying that this was the sixth meeting between the Dalai Lama and Obama, and that the most recent one had taken place at the White House, in July 2016, when Obama was still in office. (According to VoA, that was in June 2016.)

During an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) during a visit to Ottawa, the president of Tibet’s exile government in Dharamsala, Lobsang Sangay, advocated the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” policy.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chairman Xi – the Old Normal Cult

“How did one man come to embody China’s destiny?”, asks the BBC‘s China correspondent, Carrie Gracie. Part of the answer lies in the way the BBC designs her article – The Thoughts of Chairman Xi. Opening it, you feel as if you enter that Yan’an “cave” museum yourself. And as this is a global village, the design also resembles CCTV’s doxology.

Editors and designers – click picture above for CCTV webpage

Now, what made Xi Jingping the man who “embody’s China’s destiny”?

I’m forever a son of the yellow earth,

Gracie quotes Xi.

But the real explanation is much more simple. Xi is his father’s son. That’s not just one aspect of the story – it’s the one that really matters. The rest is useful flattery, written by the man’s hand-picked propagandists.

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Related

How yellow was my Hometown, Febr 14, 2015
How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Towering, March 18, 2013
Cross-legged on the kang, Jan 13, 2013
How they cried, Dec 24, 2012
Outgoing and incoming dictators, Jan 6, 2012

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Upates

No heir apparent, BBC News, Oct 25. 2017

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hong Kong’s public broadcaster replaces BBC World Service with Mainland Relay

A QDaily article, republished by Fenghuang (Hong Kong) main link – on August 14, 2017. QDaily (好奇心日报) is a news website from Beijing, focusing on commerical news. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

CPBS may be better known as “China National Radio” these days. However, the Chinese name of the station has never changed. CPBS remains the accurate translation of 中央人民广播电台.

Original title: Central People’s Broadcasting Station’s Voice of Hong Kong to replace BBC’S 24-hours broadcast

原标题:中央人民广播电台香港之声,将取代BBC24小时转播

RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) published a notice on its official website on August 11, saying that “on September 3 at 24:00 hours, the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) service will be officially terminated. There will also be new program arrangements, including the BBC World Service being broadcast  on RTHK’s Radio 4 channel every night, from 11 p.m. to seven a.m., and Central People’s Broadcasting station’s Voice of Hong Kong being broadcast on RTHK’s Radio 61) channel.

8月11日,香港电台(Radio Television Hong Kong,缩写RTHK)在官网发布通知,表示“将于9 月3 日午夜12 时正式终止数码声音广播服务”,并会有节目新安排,其中英国广播公司国际频道将于每晚11 时至早上7 时,在港台第四台转播;中央人民广播电台香港之声将于港台第六台转播。

This adjustment has attracted broad attention within Hong Kong society, because this means that Hong Kong’s Radio 6 channel which used to relay the BBC World Service 24 hours a day will be decidated to China People’s Broadcasting Station from early morning on September 4, beginning at 00:00 hours midnight. Besides, the newly-designed airtime will be when most Hong Kongers enter the land of dreams.

这一调整在香港社会引起广泛关注,因为它意味着,原先全日24 小时转播英国广播公司国际频道(BBC World Service)的香港电台第六台,将从今年9 月4 日凌晨零时开始,专属于中央人民广播电台香港之声;同时,更换到港台第四台转播后,BBC World Service 的转播时长将被压缩到8 小时,且新设定的转播时段,是在大多数香港人进入梦乡之时。

This is another step in RTHK’s response to the Hong Kong government’s March 28 notice of “ending digital audio broadcasting”.

这则通知,是香港电台对今年3 月28 日香港政府发布的“本港终止数码声音广播”,做出的进一步回应。

At the time, Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau pointed out that within a short period, three commercial organizations – Fenghuang Uradio, Digital Broadcasting Corporation and Metro Broadcast Corporation – had withdrawn from the market, stating operation problems and insufficient audience numbers as reasons for their withdrawals, showing that the market had lost interest in digital audio broadcasting, leaving RTHK (Hong Kong’s only public broadcaster, and a subordinate agency under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau) as the only provider of digital audio broadcasting services. This meant “a lack of commercial organizations’ participation”, and “no feasibility”. RTHK was therefore required to terminate relevant operations.

当时,香港商务及经济发展局指出,2011年获发数码声音广播的三家商营机构(凤凰优悦、DBC 数码电台及新城电台),“短时间内均以经营困难和没有足够听众群为由退出市场,反映市场对数码声音广播失去兴趣”,而仅剩香港电台(下属商务及经济发展局,香港唯一的公共广播机构)独自提供数码声音广播服务,“缺乏商营机构参与”,“并不切实可行”。因而要求香港电台在六个月内终止相关的服务。

RTHK DAB was officially launched on September 17, 2012. This broadcasting method means “use of digital compression technology for the transmission of various radio program signals, transformed into strings of digital signals.” The advantages [of this procedure] is that a single signal path can cover all of Hong Kong, avoiding interference, improving sound quality, and provide text information service, etc.. In an area like Hong Kong, where up to 70 percent of the territory are mountainous, and high-rise building standing closely to each other, this way of broadcasting is a good choice.

香港电台的数码声音广播在2012年9月17日正式启动,采用数码方式广播电台节目,具体的操作方法是“利用数码压缩技术,把音乐、访问和不同类型的电台节目等信息,转化为一系列数字信号发送”,其优点在于通过单一信道,即可覆盖全香港、避免受到干扰、改善音质、提供文字信息服务等。在山地面积达70% 且高层楼房密集林立的香港,这种广播方式,是一个不错的选择。

To this end, RTHK established dedicated digital channels and five new frequencies, among them Digital-32, broadcasting China People’s Broadcasting Station’s Voice of Hong Kong all day, and Digital-34, broadcasting RTHK’s Channel 6 content, namely the BBC World Service.

香港电台为此专门设立了香港电台数码台,并开发了5个新频道,其中数码32 台全日转播中央人民广播电台香港之声,而数码34 台全日转播香港电台第六台的内容,即BBC World Service。

Voice of Hong Kong is the Central People’s Broadcasting Station’s 14th program. It uses standard Chinese and Mandarin broadcasting news, arts and cultral programs, financial news and life services, whereas the BBC World Service has been relayed on RTHK’s Radio 6 since December 3, 1989, and before it was relayed from five in the afternoon until early next morning, on RTHK’s Radio 5 (stablished in 1978).2)

香港之声是中央人民广播电台的第十四套节目,使用普通话、广东话全日24小时播放新闻、文化艺术、财经、生活服务等内容;而BBC World Service,在1989年12月3日于香港电台第六台开始转播之前,均在每日下午5点至翌日清晨,在香港电台第五台(1978年创立)转播。

Closing RTHK’s digital radio spells the need to newly adjust the content of the originally five channels. The results of this readjustment has been described at the beginning of this article.

关停香港电台数码台,意味着原先5个频道的内容要做新的调整。调整的结果,在本文开头已指出。

RTHK’s communications director Amen Ng Man-yee believes that to maintain Central People’s Broadcasting Station’s Voice of Hong Kong is essential: “this channel was tailor-made at the time of RTHK’s DAB launch, and it can strengthen the cultural exchange between mainland China and Hong Kong.”

香港电台机构传讯总监伍曼仪认为,保留中央广播电台香港之声是必要的:“该频道是为香港电台推出数码广播时度身打造,而且可以加强大陆与香港间的文化交流。”

She also said that the compression of the BBC World Service relay broadcasts to eight hours had been made because listeners could listen directly to the BBC’s website for releveant content. As for the choice of the airtime [from eleven p.m. to seven a.m.], her answer was that because of the time difference, there would be more news updates during the night [by relaying the BBC programs at that time].

她还表示,将BBC World Service 压缩到每日8小时,是因为听众可以直接在BBC 网站收听到相关的内容;至于播放时段的选择,她的回应是,由于时差缘故,在香港深夜时会有较多的新闻资讯更新。

The BBC’s high-ranking publicity commissioner Helen Deller said in an interview with the “Guardian” that they were disappointed about the adjustments, and encouraged listeners to continue listening to the BBC programs through the internet.

BBC 的高级宣传专员Helen Deller 在接受《卫报》采访时表示,他们对这一调整感到失望,并鼓励听众通过互联网服务继续收听BBC 的节目。

____________

Notes

1) Radio 6 refers to the 675 kHz medium wave transmission (reportedly at 1 kilowatt) which can be heard all over Hong Kong (and in parts of Guangdong province, particularly at nighttime).
2) This seems to deviate from RTHK’s statement which says that [t]he BBC World Service has been broadcast live on RTHK’s Radio 6 on AM675 since 1978.

____________

Related

Highly symbolic, The Guardian, Aug 13, 2017
DAB no longer realistic, SCMP, March 28, 2017
RTHK Radio and TV, Wikipedia, acc Aug 26, 2017
DAB, Wikipedia, acc Aug 26, 2017

____________

Monday, August 21, 2017

In the News & Blogs (Aug 1 – 21): Beijing’s Little Helpers abroad

“China Quarterly” cooperates with China censors / Taiwan hosts 2017 Summer Universiade / Kim spoils Fun for Chinese Guam Visitors / Red-noticed police / The First “Five Marvellous Years” / Want to be Chinese?

Doing Beijing’s Dirty Work (1): Academic Institutions

Update: Cambridge University Press restores articles, Washington Post, Aug 21, 2017

China Quarterly apparently cooperates with Beijing by blocking access to articles and e-books on their website.

Can we expect them to do better? I have my doubts. Their topic is China – and if they don’t cooperate, others will, and might replace the renowned magazine. That’s no excuse, of course, and they could still display character rather than opportunism, but one has to admit that they are facing a tough choice. If they decided otherwise, there would be no academic solidarity – alternative opportunists would chum up to Beijing.

What is therefore needed is a political answer. British legislators will need to make censorship cooperation of this kind illegal, and legislators in other free societies will need to do likewise.

You can’t do Beijing’s dirty work yourself, and remain democratic, liberal, or free.

The public needs to push a political decision. People who care about human rights (those of others, and of their own), should consider to join or support relevant pressure groups, rather than political parties.

If Chinese readers can be blocked from servers in free countries, there is no good reason why we, people who live in (still) relatively free societies, should keep access to them, when Beijing demands otherwise.

This scenario may appear far-fetched now – but what happens at Cambridge now would have been unfathomable two or three decades ago, too.

Besides, no man or woman in a free country should vote for political parties who are prepared to tolerate this kind of practice. Totalitarian challenges must be met with political answers.

Taiwan’s Twelve Days of International Fame

The 2017 Summer Universiade started in Taipei, on Saturday.

Chinese Holidaymakers: Kim spoils the Fun

Huanqiu Shibao (the Global Times‘ Chinese-language sister paper) worried about unwelcome side effects of the US-North Korean war of words during the first half of the month: More than 26,000 Chinese tourists had travelled to Guam in 2016, the paper noted in an article published online on August 11 – an increase by 11 percent compared to 2015. Huanqiu numbers reportedly provided by the Guam Visitors Bureau‘s China Representative Room, an organization that runs offices in mainland China and in Hong Kong.

Guam is an island in the western Pacific. It is U.S. territory, reportedly within reach of North Korean missiles (provided that the missiles are lucky), it hosts a naval base, an air base, a religious shortwave broadcasting station, and thousands of tourists annually.

The Huanqiu Shibao article also quotes from “Sina Weibo” exchanges between Chinese netizens and the Guam Visitors Bureau, where Bureau staff reportedly posted reassuring replies to questions like “will you soon be hit by missiles?”

Probably given the incomplete state of North Korea’s striking force (God knows where the missiles would actually go if the army tried to fire them into Guam’s adjacent waters), or Donald Trump‘s notoriety as a bigmouth with little consistency, no travel warning appears to have been issued by Chinese authorities. According to the BY article, the China Youth Travel Agency told reporters that

the company hadn’t received a political-risks warning notice to suspend departures to Guam until then, and reminded journalists to monitor the China National Tourism Administration’s travel risk reminders.

….. 公司还没有接到因政治风险暂停前往关岛的旅游团的通知,他提醒记者应及时关注国家旅游局的旅游风险提示。

According to statistics quoted by the article, most tourists visiting Guam are from Japan and South Korea, with rapidly rising numbers from mainland China.

Doing Beijing’s Dirty Work (2): Red-noticed Police

The arrest of a German citizen of Turkish origin, Dogan Akhanli, made it into German news during the weekend. According to GfbV, a German organization that keeps track of cases where authoritarian regimes use Interpol to harrass critics abroad, Akhanli was arrested by Spanish police in the city of Granada. Reportedly, Turkey had requested Interpol  to issue a read notice to Spain. The dust appears to settle now, and Akhanli is free again, but the organization calls for reforming Interpol and to make sure that it doesn’t become (or remain) a tool for silencing regime critics abroad.

In the same press release, GfbV notes that Dolkun Isa, secretary general of the World Uyghur Congress, had been arrested in Rome, on July 26 this year. Isa was on his way into the Italian senate when he was arrested. According to GfbV, Chinese authorities are now using Interpol’s “red notice” mechanism systematically, to restrict movement of the regime’s critics abroad, and thus creating a de-facto occupational ban against them (Chinas Behörden nutzen die „Red Notice“ inzwischen systematisch, um die Bewegungsfreiheit von im Ausland lebenden Menschenrechtlern einzuschränken und de facto ein Berufsverbot gegen sie zu verhängen).

It certainly wasn’t the first time that Isa had been arrested. In 2009, South Korea arrested him, apparently on arrival at the airport, and refused him entry into the country. Previously, he had been arrested by the UN security service when visiting the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

The First Five “Marvellous Years”

China’s state television (CCTV) website reminds the public of CCP secretary general Xi Jinping‘s feats during his first five marvellous years (不平凡五年) in office. On August 14, the media organization published statistics of Xi’s speeches on foreign policy.

So: Want to be Chinese?

Given that under the secretary general’s correct leadership, China is becoming the marvel of the world (an unscientific condensed international press review by JR with no further sources), it should be no surprise that Daniel Bell wants better international access to Chinese citizenship, for meritorious citizens of the world who would like to share in that glory.

Ji Xiang posted some thoughts on that, early this month.

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