Posts tagged ‘cities’

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The KMT’s last Chance: Waste Separation in Shanghai

Main Link: Anyone may criticize the KMT, but not former “honorary member” Terry Gou (王丰:谁都有资格批评国民党,但前“荣誉党员”郭台铭没有)

Wang Feng (王丰), born 1956 in Taichung, Taiwan, to a mother from Jiangsu and a father from Hubei, is president of the China Times Group. He is also an occasional interviewee of Guanchazhe, an online news and commentary portal based in Shanghai. The China Times has been owned by Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), a China-leaning businessman, since 2008. While Taiwan’s pan-green political camp detests the paper and doubts its integrity, in turn, Wang Feng, defending the paper in July this year against accusations that it had been taking “phone calls” from China’s “Taiwan Affairs Office” (TAO), criticized the accusers, saying that freedom, democracy and human rights were Taiwan’s hard-won values, and that a pluralistic and democratic society was the only thing Taiwan had over China.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) criticized the China Times Media Group for filing a lawsuit against the Financial Times’ correspondent Kathrin Hille (who had apparently reported about the alleged link to the “TAO” first), calling the legal action abusive. There doesn’t seem to be any news online about if and how the group’s legal proceedings have continued since.

That wasn’t an issue in Wang Feng’s most recent interview with Guanchazhe (published on Saturday) either. It centers around Foxconn founder Terry Gou‘s (郭台銘) withdrawal from the KMT, which had made him an honorary member only in April.

Based on opinion polling, Gou lost the KMT primaries to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in July this year.

Han Kuo-yu is now the KMT’s nominee, and therefore the KMT’s official challenger of incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen (DPP),  in Taiwan’s presidential elections, scheduled for January 11, 2020. However, his chances to emerge as Taiwan’s next president have faltered, not least since the beginning of large-scale demonstrations in Hong Kong, against a (now apparently scrapped) extradition law draft by the special administrative zone’s government. The Hong Kong events seem to have raised the Taiwanese public’s awareness of what the “one-country-two-system” approach, advocated by China’s party and state leader Xi Jinping as a “model” for Taiwan, would mean in practice, and an apparent unpreparedness by Han Kuo-yu to criticize Beijing has added to his problems on the campaign trail.

Criticizing Beijing, of course, is nothing Wang Feng would do either, nor would it be something Guanchazhe could publish anyway. If the KMT (rather than Taiwan in general) has any advantage over China in Wang’s book, it wouldn’t be “pluralistic and democratic Society” (as stated in his announcement to sue the Financial Times and the Taiwanese media who had referred to the FT’s Coverage), but the KMT’s potential skills in managing waste separation in, say, Shanghai (比如国民党的环保能力非常强,现在上海在搞垃圾分类,国民党可以派人来当顾问,帮大陆做得更方便、更干净). In such fields, the KMT should enter a competition with the Chinese Communist Party, Wang said, not so much in terms of votes (obviously), but in helping Taiwanese compatriots to leave a favorable Impression on mainland compatriots” (争取人心,不是去争取选票,而是要争取大陆同胞对台湾同胞的好感), and in making peoples’ lives easier.

The “big picture” Wang drafts for the KMT in the interview might be summed up as think global, act in China, suggesting that solving China’s (environmental) problems would contribute to solving the world’s problems. His interview can also be seen as part of Guanchazhe’s efforts to prepare the Chinese public (or the share of it that cares) for a (no longer unlikely) re-election of Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s president.

Terry Wang, apparently a very sensitive man when his own professional integrity, or that of his paper, is called into question, doesn’t mince his words about Terry Gou. As a man who had portrayed himself as a principled man who believed in Mazu and Guan Gong, Gou hadn’t done himself a favor by withdrawing  from the KMT, “neither in terms of business nor politically” (换言之,他现今的脱党举动会在他未来不管是企业还是从政的道路上,布下一个非常不好的变数,而所谓的变数就是让人对他的诚信产生根本的否定), Wang says. He also cites Gou’s management style at Foxconn as an example as to how void his recent criticism of the KMT actually were. After all, if Gou – contrary to the KMT old guards – was indeed a modernizer, he could have democratized Foxconn (郭台铭不“迂腐陈旧”,难道鸿海敢搞企业民主、开明治理吗).

As for the state of the KMT’s unity, Wang suggests a numerical game to predict how the Party would fare:

There is a precondition for the KMT being united, and it is that their candidate must be in a safe zone of winning the elections, or moving close to losing. In such situations, there is a likelihood for unity. If Han Kuo-yu’s support rate isn’t more than 30 percent, but 20 percent or lower, the KMT may split.

国民党的团结必须有一个大前提,就是候选人是在胜选的安全区域,或接近落选的危险边缘,这样他们才有团结的可能性。如果韩国瑜今天不是30%多的支持度,而是20%多或更低,那么国民党就会是分裂的。我刚还在想,国民党的这些人跟战国七雄很相似,他们心中永远有个战国心态,就是“老子弱的时候,就臣服于强者;老子强的时候,又蠢蠢欲动想分裂”。

According to Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service on September 12, Gou may register as an independent candidate until September 17. He is widely expected to run for president as an independent now. That, however, could force him to state his positions, much more explicitly than up to now, reckons Frozen Garlic, a blogger who has focused on the topic of Taiwan’s elections for more than nine years. Even though Gou had mostly served platitudes during a visit to Chiayi city council earlier this month (and before withdrawing his KMT honorary Membership),

[e]very time Gou speaks, he gives Tsai [DPP] and Han [KMT] an opening to question him and force him to defend his positions and the implications of those positions.

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Related

“We uphold our principles,” Jan 2, 2019

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Updates/Related

Gou bows out, RTI, Sept 17, 2019

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Xi Jinping’s Beijing-Tianjin-Xiong’an Inspection Tour in the January 18/19 News

The following is a translation of a report on an inspection tour by Chinese party and state leader Xi Jinping, broadcast on January 18 and 19, on CCTV and CPBS. There were extensive takes of Xi speaking himself, which were turned into more reader-friendly lines in CCTV’s report script (as translated here). Errors in translation likely. Links within blockquotes added during translation. Sub-headlines also added during translation.

Anchor: The General Secretary of the CCP, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping has conducted an inspection of Jingjinji, chaired a Jingjinji symposium, and given an important speech. He emphasized that the understanding of and the work on Jingjinji joint development needed to be done from a high degree of comprehensive and long-term consideration, to strengthen awareness, activity and creativity in the administration of joint development, to maintain historical patience and strategic determination, to move steadily and with courage to assume responsibility, to innovate, work well, and to promote Jingjinji joint development’s progress with growing vigor.

央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平近日在京津冀考察,主持召开京津冀协同发展座谈会并发表重要讲话。他强调,要从全局的高度和更长远的考虑来认识和做好京津冀协同发展工作,增强协同发展的自觉性、主动性、创造性,保持历史耐心和战略定力,稳扎稳打,勇于担当,敢于创新,善作善成,下更大气力推动京津冀协同发展取得新的更大进展。

Member of the politburo’s standing committee and deputy chief state councillor Han Zheng accompanied the inspection of Xiong’an New Area in Hebei and Beijing, and attended the symposium.

中共中央政治局常委、国务院副总理韩正陪同考察河北雄安新区和北京市并出席座谈会。

Service-shaped Government, Braving the Weather

Reporter: North China’s depth of winter, cold wind and dripping water turning into ice. From January 16 to January 18, Xi Jinping made a thorough tour of  Hebei Xiong’an New Area, Tianjin, and Beijing, to learn about the situation of Jingjinji’s joint development on the ground. He was accompanied by Hebei party secretary Wang Dongfeng and Hebei governor Xu Qin, CCP politburo member and Tianjin party secretary Li Hongzhong and Tianjin mayor Zhang Guoqing, and CCP politburo member and Beijing party secretary Cai Qi and Beijing mayor Chen Jining respectively [depending on the area visited].

隆冬时节的华北大地,寒气袭人,滴水成冰。1月16日至18日,习近平分别在河北省委书记王东峰和省长许勤,中共中央政治局委员、天津市委书记李鸿忠和市长张国清,中共中央政治局委员、北京市委书记蔡奇和市长陈吉宁陪同下,深入河北雄安新区、天津、北京,实地了解京津冀协同发展情况。

In the morning of January 16, Xi Jinping first came to Hebei Xiong’an New Area’s planning exhibition center, carefully listened to explanations of New Area’s master plan, political system and construction situation, and watched the exhibition of the results of the city design launch and the big projects and main projects that are about to be launched. He emphasized that to build Xiong’an New Area is a millenium project. New Area must first be built as a plan and a building concept, embodying far-sightedness and leadership. The concept of new development needs to be comprehensively implemented, the requirements of high-quality development be maintained, and the new era’s high-quality development’s mark be created with great efforts. Xi Jinping was tele-linked to the Xiong’an railway station construction site by a big screen, and waved greetings to the construction workers. Xi Jinping praised their trailbreaking work and told them to work scientifically, pay attention to safety, to safeguard quality, to keep to deadlines, and he sent them his cordial greetings and best wishes.

16日上午,习近平首先来到河北雄安新区规划展示中心,仔细听取新区总体规划、政策体系及建设情况介绍,察看启动区城市设计征集成果模型和即将启动的重大工程、重点项目展示。他强调,建设雄安新区是千年大计。新区首先就要新在规划、建设的理念上,要体现出前瞻性、引领性。要全面贯彻新发展理念,坚持高质量发展要求,努力创造新时代高质量发展的标杆。习近平通过大屏幕连线京雄城际铁路雄安站建设工地现场,向施工人员挥手致意。习近平称赞他们是雄安新区建设的开路先锋,嘱咐他们科学施工、注意安全、确保质量,按期完成任务,并向他们及全国奋战在一线的劳动者们致以亲切问候和良好祝愿。

Government staff, faithfully listening - click photo for CCTV video

Government staff, faithfully listening – click photo for CCTV video

Investment welcome, provided …

Soon after, Xi Jinping walked to the government service center to look at the service window, to understand the deepening of government institutions reform and the creation of service-shaped government work. Xi Jinping fully affirmed Xiong’an government service center’s carrying out of the “one-seal approval” combined-service method. He pointed out that modern information technology was needed to raise the levels of government services’ connected use of information, improve government services informatization, intelligentification, accuracy, and facilitation, so as to allow the masses to run fewer errands. In the government services central building, Xi Jinping cordially conversed with some of the enterprise representatives present there. He emphasized that the construction of Xiong’an New Area required the participation of a great number of companies. No matter if they were state-owned or private companies, no matter if they were local or Beijing companies, no matter if they were Chinese or foreign-invested companies, we welcome them all as long as they fit into the New Region’s development plan. We hope that many companies will grab this extremely rare historic opportunity and make new splendid achievements.

习近平随后步行来到政务服务中心,察看服务窗口,了解雄安新区深化治理体制机制改革、打造服务型政府工作情况。习近平充分肯定雄安新区政务服务中心推行“一枚印章管到底”全贯通服务的做法。他指出,要运用现代信息技术,推进政务信息联通共用,提高政务服务信息化、智能化、精准化、便利化水平,让群众少跑腿。在政务服务中心大厅,部分进驻企业代表围拢上来,习近平同他们亲切交谈。他强调,建设雄安新区,需要大批企业共同参与。无论是国有企业还是民营企业,无论是本地企业还是北京企业,无论是中国企业还是外资企业,只要符合新区产业发展规划,我们都欢迎。希望广大企业抓住这个千载难逢的历史机遇,创造新的辉煌业绩。

The following paragraph is about the ecology, describing Xi’s visit to a forestation program in Daqinghe. In this context, too, the report emphasizes the importance of “scientific methods” and informatizational tools.

Reporter: […] [Xi Jinping] attentively enquired about the work and income situations of villagers working for the creation and protection of forests, repeatedly urging the active participation of local farmers, to let the farmers benefit from creating and protecting forests.

[…..] 他仔细询问参与造林护林的村民工作和收入情况,叮嘱要吸引当地农民积极参与,让农民从造林护林中长久受益。

Patriotic Education: Individual Selves, Greater Self, Political and Professional Abilities

In the afternoon of January 17, Xi Jinping came to Nankai University in Tianjin for inspection and research. Nankai University was founded in 1919 and is a famous university with a glorious patriotic tradition. Xi Jinping toured the history exhibition, minutely finding out about Nankai University’s historic development, scientific construction, its talented workforce, research, innovation, etc. Xi Jinping pointed out that school is the place of laying down morality and cultivating people. Patriotism is the Chinese nation’s heart and mind, and to cultivate builders and successors of socialism, one needed to cultivate students’ love for their country first. University party organizations needed to take the fundamental function in university administration of party building and ideological political work. Xi Jinping had exchanges with some of the scholars’, experts’ and younger and middle-aged teachers’ representatives. He pointed out that expert teaching staff are a university’s core competitiveness force. Staff with political qualities and mastery and consummate professional abilities had to be built, and teaching staff with a high level of inner qualities for the fundamental work of university building to be educated, with a fast grasp from beginning to end. In the national chemistry critical laboratory, he emphasized the need for first-class university and first-class scientific construction, fundamental research, striving for original and self-reliant innovation with more results, bravely climbing towards the global peak of science and technology. He encouraged teachers and students to blend their concrete goals of learning struggles and the great goal of national rejuvenation together, to integrate their selves into the collective self, determined to make the historic contribution of our generation. Students who had come out of the laboratories and into the square all shouted “Good afternoon, Secretary General”, “Secretary General is working hard”, loudly shouted “Love China, revive China” in chorus, and intoned “I and my China”.*)

17日上午,习近平来到天津南开大学考察调研。南开大学成立于1919年,是一所具有光荣爱国传统的名校。习近平参观了校史展览,详细了解南开大学历史沿革、学科建设、人才队伍、科研创新等情况。习近平指出,学校是立德树人的地方。爱国主义是中华民族的民族心、民族魂,培养社会主义建设者和接班人,首先要培养学生的爱国情怀。高校党组织要把抓好学校党建工作和思想政治工作作为办学治校的基本功。习近平同在现场的部分院士、专家及中青年教师代表进行了交流。他指出,专家型教师队伍是大学的核心竞争力。要把建设政治素质过硬、业务能力精湛、育人水平高超的高素质教师队伍作为大学建设的基础性工作,始终抓紧抓好。在元素有机化学国家重点实验室,他强调,要加快一流大学和一流学科建设,加强基础研究,力争在原始创新和自主创新上出更多成果,勇攀世界科技高峰。他勉励师生们把学习奋斗的具体目标同民族复兴的伟大目标结合起来,把小我融入大我,立志作出我们这一代人的历史贡献。走出实验室,广场上挤满了学生,大家高呼“总书记好”、“总书记辛苦”,齐声高喊“爱我中华、振兴中华”,还唱起《我和我的祖国》。

The following paragraph is about a residential community in Tianjin’s Heping District, with emphasis on services for military retirees, and the work of volunteers in residential communities. According to the report, the community visited by Xi was the birthplace of volunteering in China.

Real Economy

After touching on historic architecture in Tianjin (and its protection), Xi is extensively quoted on the significance of Tianjin Port and on shipping in general, plus some remarks about the real economy:

Reporter: […] Xi Jinping pointed out that the real economy is the foundation of a big country, and the economy must not move into emptiness. the real economy must not be unhanded, the strife be continued unremittingly, and the global peak be reliably reached.

[…..] 习近平指出,实体经济是大国的根基,经济不能脱实向虚。要扭住实体经济不放,继续不懈奋斗,扎扎实实攀登世界高峰。

After leaving Tianjin Port, Xi Jinping came to Tianjin Binhai Zhongguancun Technology Park. At the innovation coordination exhibition center, Xi Jinping attentively watched “Tianhe” supercomputer, Feiteng CPUs, Kylin operating systems, artificial-intelligence robots fitting electrical networks, unmanned vehicles with joint abilities controlling systems, and other products shown. Xi Jinping emphasized that self-reliant innovation is driving high-quality development, the urgent requirement of kinetic energy transformation and its important support. We must create conditions and an atmosphere that mobilize all kinds of enthusiasm for innovation, allow every person with innovative dreams to focus on innovation, and enable all innovative vigor to amply burst forth.

离开天津港,习近平来到天津滨海——中关村科技园。在协同创新展示中心,习近平仔细观看“天河”系列超级计算机、飞腾芯片、麒麟操作系统、人工智能配电网带电作业机器人、无人机集群智能控制系统等产品展示。习近平强调,自主创新是推动高质量发展、动能转换的迫切要求和重要支撑,必须创造条件、营造氛围,调动各方面创新积极性,让每一个有创新梦想的人都能专注创新,让每一份创新活力都能充分迸发。要深化科技园区体制机制创新,优化营商环境,吸引更多在京科技服务资源到园区投资或业务延伸,促进京津两市真正实现优势互补、强强联合。

In the morning of January 18, Xi Jinping went to Beijing sub-center by car, and watched the “City Green Heart” forestation area along the way. At the Municipal Committee Office Building’s main building, Xi Jinping, through a designing model, learned in detail about the major sub-center project and construction. Xi Jinping emphasized that building Beijing City’s sub-center  required to uphold [the principles of] planning in advance and quality first. Buildings and natural landscapes need to be blended into each other, production, life and ecological spaces be arranged scientifically, to shape work, places to live, leisure, traffic, education, medical services etc. as easily accessible organic combinations. There is a need to plan and implement well, to turn the blueprint into a real landscape, making Beijing City sub-center another beautiful business card of this ancient capital.

18日上午,习近平乘车前往北京城市副中心,并沿途察看“城市绿心”植树造林地块。在市委办公楼主楼,习近平通过设计模型和展板,详细了解副中心重大工程项目规划建设情况。习近平强调,建设北京城市副中心要坚持规划先行、质量第一。要把公共建筑与山水自然融为一体,科学布局生产、生活、生态空间,使工作、居住、休闲、交通、教育、医疗等有机衔接、便利快捷。要把规划执行好、落实好,把蓝图变为实景,使北京城市副中心成为这座千年古都又一张靓丽的城市名片。

In the conference room of Beijing Municipal Committee Office Building’s main building, Xi Jinping presided over the Jingjinji Coordinated Development symposium. National Development and Reform Commission director He Lifeng, Beijing party secretary Cai Qi, Tianjin party secretary Li Hongzhong, Hebei Provincial party secretary Wang Dongfeng gave speeches, explaining the work on Jingjinji coordinated development, giving opinions and making suggestions.

在北京市委办公楼主楼会议室,习近平主持召开京津冀协同发展座谈会。国家发展改革委主任何立峰、北京市委书记蔡奇、天津市委书记李鸿忠、河北省委书记王东峰先后发言,就京津冀协同发展介绍工作情况、提出意见建议。

Jingjindi Development and Innovation

Having listened to the speeches, Xi Jinping gave an important speech. He fully affirmed the outstanding results that have been achieved since the Jingjinji development’s strategic implementation. He emphasized that Jingjinji coordinated development is a systems project that can’t be done in a stroke. There was a need to do good long-term strategic preparation. During the past five years, the Jingjinji coordinated development had, overall, been through the stages of planning and reasoning, establishing the foundations, and the search for the breakthroughs. Currently, and during the next period, one would enter the key stage of rolling the stone uphill, climbing up the pits, assaulting fortified positions to overcome difficulties, with the need to exert even greater energy to carry the work forward.

听取大家发言后,习近平发表了重要讲话。他充分肯定京津冀协同发展战略实施以来取得的显著成效。他强调,京津冀协同发展是一个系统工程,不可能一蹴而就,要做好长期作战的思想准备。过去的5年,京津冀协同发展总体上处于谋思路、打基础、寻突破的阶段,当前和今后一个时期进入到滚石上山、爬坡过坎、攻坚克难的关键阶段,需要下更大气力推进工作。

Xi Jinping made six demands concerning the promotion of Jingjinji joint development. The first is to grab the oxen by the nose and to keep at it, actively, dependably and orderly easing Beijing’s non-capital functions. Greater attention must be paid to methodology, strict control of increments and mitigating reserves be joint together, internal functional reorganization and externally-directed mitigation shifts be carried out bidirectionally, dependably and orderly promoting implementation. The market system’s role must be developed, marketization and rule by law be adopted, purposeful guiding policies be defined, to take shape as a joint force with Xiong’an New Area and Beijing city sub-center. Based on Beijing’s “four centers” functions, the capitals’s functions must continuously be optimized. Secondly, historical patience and strategic determination and high-quality, high-standards promotion of Xiong’an New Area’s planning and construction must be maintained. Design and results must be fully absorbed into controlled and detailed planning, the solemn and restrained character of planning be maintained, and laws and regulations be used to guarantee a roadmap that is carried out all the way. A number of distinguishing projects that mitigate Beijing’s capital functions must be undertaken, and construction of a number of major traffic and communications, water conservancy, public service and other major underlying supporting facilities must be started, to let members of society of all walks of life and the common people in the new areas see the changes. Ranks of cadres with political mastery, professional mastery, that work hard and a groundbreaking and innovative spirit must be formed, the formation of party style and honest politics be strengthened, and a good environment with clean winds and a positive atmosphere be built. Thirdly, by turning Beijing’s city-level offices relocations into an opportunity, plans and construction of Beijing’s city sub-center must be promoted at high quality. All kinds of situations that may be encountered during the relocation process must be given sufficient consideration, and political measures that are purposeful and operable must be researched and launched, to settle the worries of cadres and staff. Major basic infrastructure construction that allocates education, medical services, cultural and other public service functions must be accelerated, to improve the sub-center’s carrying capacity and attractiveness. The “Old-City reorganization” in Beijing’s city center must be promoted, spatial planning and economic structuring of Beijing be optimized, and Beijing’s administrative efficiency and role for the central authorities’ government affairs and services be upgraded. Fourthly, there is a need for propulsion towards reform and innovation, an original driving role to be played in high-quality development. High-end innovative resources need to be gathered and used, major scientific and technological projects’ cooperation actively be launched, and the main sources for our country’s self-reliant innovation and original innovation  be created. Market integration based on the promotion of key factors like passenger transportation, logistics, flows of information etc. is necessary. Administrative barriers and institutional obstacles that restrain joint development must be eliminated, and systemic guarantees for the promotion of joint and high-quality development be built. Fifthly, the concept of green water and green hills being mountains of gold and silver must be adhered to, and the joint establishment, protection and management of ecological environments be strengthened. Supply of clean energy must be increased, energy consumption structures be adjusted, the ecological construction of the Jingjinji region unremittingly pursued, the formation of the energy-saving and environment-protective spacial structure, industrial structures, production methods and ways of life be accelerated. Sixthly, maintaining [the principles of] the people at the center and promoting the jointly built and jointly shared basic public services. Efforts need to be made to solve the hot problems that common people are concerned about, and that touch upon their vital interests, optimizing the arrangements of education and health resources. Adherence to work in Hebei’s poor areas to lift them out of poverty must be promoted by ever intensifying degrees, bringing into play Beijing’s and Tianjin’s suitable supporting mechanisms, to guarantee that in 2020, impoverished counties in Jingjinji will be completely cleared. Priority for employment must be upheld, and the story of the common peoples’ employment be well written.

习近平对推动京津冀协同发展提出了6个方面的要求。第一,紧紧抓住“牛鼻子”不放松,积极稳妥有序疏解北京非首都功能。要更加讲究方式方法,坚持严控增量和疏解存量相结合,内部功能重组和向外疏解转移双向发力,稳妥有序推进实施。要发挥市场机制作用,采取市场化、法治化手段,制定有针对性的引导政策,同雄安新区、北京城市副中心形成合力。要立足北京“四个中心”功能定位,不断优化提升首都核心功能。第二,保持历史耐心和战略定力,高质量高标准推动雄安新区规划建设。要把设计成果充分吸收体现到控制性详细规划中,保持规划的严肃性和约束性,用法律法规确保一张蓝图干到底。要打造一批承接北京非首都功能疏解的标志性工程项目,新开工建设一批交通、水利、公共服务等重大基础配套设施,让社会各界和新区百姓看到变化。要建设一支政治过硬、专业过硬、能吃苦、富有开拓创新精神的干部队伍,加强党风廉政建设,营造风清气正的良好环境。第三,以北京市级机关搬迁为契机,高质量推动北京城市副中心规划建设。要充分考虑搬迁过程中可能遇到的各种情况,研究出台具有针对性和可操作性的政策举措,解决干部职工的后顾之忧。要加快重大基础设施建设,配置教育、医疗、文化等公共服务功能,提高副中心的承载力和吸引力。要推进北京中心城区“老城重组”,优化北京空间布局和经济结构,提升北京市行政管理效率和为中央政务服务的职能。第四,向改革创新要动力,发挥引领高质量发展的重要动力源作用。要集聚和利用高端创新资源,积极开展重大科技项目研发合作,打造我国自主创新的重要源头和原始创新的主要策源地。要立足于推进人流、物流、信息流等要素市场一体化,推动交通一体化。要破除制约协同发展的行政壁垒和体制机制障碍,构建促进协同发展、高质量发展的制度保障。第五,坚持绿水青山就是金山银山的理念,强化生态环境联建联防联治。要增加清洁能源供应,调整能源消费结构,持之以恒推进京津冀地区生态建设,加快形成节约资源和保护环境的空间格局、产业结构、生产方式、生活方式。第六,坚持以人民为中心,促进基本公共服务共建共享。要着力解决百姓关心、涉及切身利益的热点难点问题,优化教育医疗资源布局。要加大力度推进河北省贫困地区脱贫攻坚工作,发挥好京津对口帮扶机制的作用,确保2020年京津冀地区贫困县全部摘帽。要坚持就业优先,做好当地百姓就业这篇文章。

Summary

Han Zheng said that Secretary General Xi Jinping’s important strategic thinking concerning the joint Jingjinji development needed to be thoroughly studied and understood, that this “oxen” of Beijing’s non-capital functions be firmly grasped, held, and solved, to promote new breakthroughs and results of Jingjinji’s joint development. Policies, robust mechanisms needed to be perfected, and the endogenous propulsion of Beijing’s non-capital functions’ resolution be strengthened. High quality and high standards needed to be maintained, and Beijing’s “two wings” be well planned. Infrastructure construction across regions such as rapid transit needed to be done well, and favorable conditions for the mitigation of Beijing’s non-capital functions be created. The people-centered development ideology must be maintained, basic public services be made uniform, and the people’s masses’ sense of achievement continuously be strengthened.

韩正表示,要深入学习领会习近平总书记关于京津冀协同发展的重要战略思想,牢牢扭住疏解北京非首都功能这个“牛鼻子”,推动京津冀协同发展取得新突破新成效。要完善政策、健全机制,增强疏解北京非首都功能的内生动力。要坚持高质量高标准,规划建设好北京新的“两翼”。要抓好跨区域重大轨道交通等基础设施建设,为疏解北京非首都功能创造便利条件。要坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,推进基本公共服务均等化,不断增强人民群众获得感。

After the meeting, Xi Jinping rode an elevator to the first floor hall, where Beijing Municipal Party Committee and municipal government employees gave the Secretary General warm applause. Xi Jinping frequently waved to everyone and passionately said, you are, by practical activity, implementing the party’s central committee’s important strategic decisions, and have made contributions to Jingjinji’s joint development. […]

会议结束后,习近平乘电梯来到一楼大厅,北京市委和市政府的工作人员对总书记报以热烈掌声。习近平向大家频频挥手,动情地说,你们以实际行动贯彻落实党中央重大决策,为疏解北京非首都功能、推动京津冀协同发展作出了贡献。建设北京城市副中心,是北京建城立都以来具有里程碑意义的一件大事,对新时代北京的发展是一个重大机遇。让我们共同努力把这件大事办好。希望大家以新办公区的新气象,在各项工作中实现新的更大作为!离开时,习近平同大家一一握手,掌声经久不息。

Building Beijing sub-center is a great milestone in the history of Beijing’s city construction, and a major opportunity for Beijing’s development in the new era. Let’s work together to manage this big thing well. Let’s hope that in the new atmosphere of the new office building area, even greater achievements will be made in all projects! As he left, Xi Jingping shook hands with everyone, under long-lasting and ceaseless applause.

会议结束后,习近平乘电梯来到一楼大厅,北京市委和市政府的工作人员对总书记报以热烈掌声。习近平向大家频频挥手,动情地说,你们以实际行动贯彻落实党中央重大决策,为疏解北京非首都功能、推动京津冀协同发展作出了贡献。建设北京城市副中心,是北京建城立都以来具有里程碑意义的一件大事,对新时代北京的发展是一个重大机遇。让我们共同努力把这件大事办好。希望大家以新办公区的新气象,在各项工作中实现新的更大作为!离开时,习近平同大家一一握手,掌声经久不息。

Ding Xuexiang, Liu He, Wang Yong, He Lifeng and Xu Kangdi accompanied parts of the inspection tour [depending on the area visited] and attended the symposium, and comrades in charge at related central departments and state organs, and provincial and municipal comrades in charge, took part in the symposium.

丁薛祥、刘鹤、王勇、何立峰和徐匡迪等分别陪同考察或出席座谈会,中央和国家机关有关部门负责同志、有关省市负责同志参加座谈会。

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Related

*) This is sort of what it should have sounded like.

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Trusty Brothers and Sea Cucumbers melting away

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Daily Economic News (每日经济新闻) online (每经网), from Shanghai. Before and after the translated paragraphs, it addresses more global aspects of the current heatwave.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…]

It is said that the trusty brothers from the Northeast are packing to leave for the South, to avoid the heat …

据说东北的老铁们已经开始收拾去南方避暑的衣服了…..

In Shenyang, the maximum temperature has recently reached 37.6 degrees C., which is the second-highest temperature ever recorded in Shenyang ever since weather recording began. A Liaoning Satellite TV reporter took a thermometer onto a bus without air condition and actually measured 46 degrees C.!

在沈阳,近日气温最高已达到37.6℃,这是有气象记录以来沈阳第二高的温度。辽宁卫视的一位记者拿着温度计到一台没有安装空调的公交车上测了一下,结果发现竟有46℃!

As a result, there aren’t enough air condition installers in the Northeast! Gomei‘s official Weibo channel says that only during the last week of July, sales of air conditioners in the Northeast’s three provinces rose by 1,726 percent, and even by 3,545.4 percent in the Shenyang area, compared with the same period last year, with several tens of thousands of air conditioners waiting to be installed.

结果,东北的空调安装师傅不够用了!国美官方微博显示,仅7月最后一周,东北三省空调销量就同比增长1726%,沈阳地区更是同比增长3545.4%,数万套空调处于待安装状态。

And it’s not only the people who can’t stand it, it’s the sea cucumbers, too!

不光是人受不了,海参也受不了了!

According to Securities Times, Mr. Wang, with a cultivation experience of over ten years of working 240 mu of sea cucumbers on the Jinzhou coast, found in a first assessment that the losses this year are at least 2 million. Mr. Wang told a reporter that the maximum water temperature for sea cucumbers is 32 degrees C., and that once this limit is reached, they won’t last for more than 48 hours. After 48 hours, they will melt, and the high temperatures of this year have already lasted for nearly a week.

根据证券时报的报道,有十多年养殖经验的王先生今年在锦州沿海养了240亩左右的海参,据其初步评估,此次的损失至少得两百多万。王先生告诉记者,海参的水温极限就是32℃,达到32℃不能超过48小时,超过48小时就会自己融化了,而今年的高温已经持续了近一个星期。

Reading this, condescending smiles may appear on the faces of the little Southern companions: Coming to the South to escape the heat? Isn’t it obvious that calorization is normal here?

看到这,南方的小伙伴可能要轻蔑一笑:来南方避暑?难道你们不知道南方的人可都是要热化了吗?

According to Central Meteorological Station statistics, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Zhejiang and the central western areas have seen ten to eighteen days of temperatures of more than 35 degrees C. since July 10.

根据中央气象台统计,从7月10日以来,重庆、湖北、湖南、江西、安徽、浙江中西部等地35℃以上高温日数已达10~18天。

Since the beginning of this year, the number of high-temperature days has exceeded twenty days in parts of Jiangnan and Huanan, with western Huanghai, central Chongqing, eastern Hunan, southern Jiangxi, southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong among the areas where there were the number of high-temperature days exceeded those in other years by ten days.

今年以来,江南、华南部分地区高温日数超过20天,其中黄淮西部、重庆中部、湖南东部、江西南部、福建南部、广东东部等地高温日较常年同期偏多10天以上。

Even an African friend says unreservedly that “China is too hot, I’m going back to Africa to get away from the heat.”

连非洲友人都直言:“中国太热了,我要回非洲避暑。”

According to China Youth Daily, young Sami from Ethiopia who is working in Chongqing took a twenty-day holiday from his company in early July because of the heat and returned to Africa. But on his return to Chongqing, it was still “brutally hot”, making him thinking about a second return home, as in his home town, temperatures were only twenty degrees after all, while it was over 40 degrees in Chongqing …

据中国青年报报道,在重庆工作的埃塞俄比亚的小伙Sami,在今年7月初,因为天气太热,曾向公司请了20多天的高温假,回非洲避暑。但当他再次回到重庆,还是直呼“热哭了”,想再次请假回家,毕竟家乡只有20多度,而重庆已经40多度了……

Xiao Bian, as a Northerner who once worked in Africa, tells everyone here that the East African high plains are really cool, and he would therefore persuade the trusty Northeastern brothers that as the South isn’t welcoming, the East African high plains are a bit more understanding …

小编作为曾经在非洲工作过的北方人,在这里告诉大家,东非高原真的很凉快,所以劝一句东北的老铁们,南方是别来了,东非高原了解一下…..

In fact, it isn’t only China which is being roasted, but the entire northern hemisphere.

其实不光是国内,整个北半球都在经受高温“烤”验。

[…]

The article turns to more serious aspects of the heat from there – global warming – but not without noting that some time in future, the legend of the Mongolian Navy could become true.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Huanqiu Shibao: the Bottomline for maintaining Framework of Sino-NK Relations

The following is my translation of a  Huanqiu Shibao editorial. It is currently not available on the paper’s website, but – main link –  via China News Service (中國新聞網). Links within blockquotes added during translation — JR

Original title: How should China react to North Korea’s latest Nuclear Test?
原標題:社評:中國該如何應對朝鮮新核試

On the afternoon of September 3, following the latest North Korean nuclear test at noon that day, the Chinese foreign ministry said that the Chinese government firmly opposed and strongly condemned the test.

朝鮮於3日中午進行新的核試驗,中國外交部當天下午表示,中國政府對此表示堅決反對並予以強烈譴責。

China’s, South Korea’s and America’s seismic monitoring networks simultaneously measured an earthquake in North Korea’s Punggye-ri area, at 11:30 Beijing time. The magnitude reported by China Earthquake Networks Center was 6.3 on the Richter scale. North Korea announced on the afternoon of September 3 that North Korea’s highest leader, Kim Jong-un, had ordered conducting a hydrogen bomb test, and that the test had been successful.

中國、韓國、美國的地震台網於北京時間3日11時30分同時測定,朝鮮豐溪里一帶發生地震,中國地震台報的震級是里氏6.3級。朝鮮於3日下午宣布,朝最高領導人金正恩下令進行了氫彈試驗,試驗取得成功。

This is another mistake made by North Korea, directed against the UN security council’s and the entire international community’s will. This test will lead to another serious escalation of the tense situation on the Korean peninsula, and to the risk of the East Asian strategy [or strategies] collapsing, increasing the risk of any party misjudging the situation and leading to a situation spinning out of control.

這是平壤逆聯合國安理會和整個國際社會的意志做出了又一次錯誤選擇。這次核試驗將嚴重導致半島緊張局勢新的升級,並有導致東亞戰略出現坍塌的風險,推高各方產生誤判而導致局勢失控的危險。

As for China now, the most important thing is to strengthen monitoring, ensuring that if North Korea’s latest test has produced nuclear leaks, we can detect it at first appearance, timely inform the masses in the Northeastern region, and take all kinds of responsive measures. In fact, analysts have predicted the possiblilty of a new nuclear test by North Korea in recent days, so the [Chinese] government has undoubtedly made emergency preparations in advance, and will launch these mechanisms rapidly.

對中國來說,目前最重要的是加強監測,確保一旦朝鮮這次核爆出現核泄漏,我們能在第一時間發現,及時通報東北地區民眾,並採取各種緊急應對措施。事實上,在這之前分析界對朝鮮可能於近日搞新的核試驗已有預測,政府無疑提前做好了應急準備,而這一機制相信已經迅速啟動。

There were obvious tremors in northeastern regions near North Korea on September 3, with buildings clearly shaking, triggering a great deal of discussion among people. During North Korea’s prior five nuclear tests, there have been no nuclear leakages, and Pyongyang has solemnly vowed that its underground nuclear tests wouldn’t create any such leakage. Pyongyang also said it would be responsible for the North Korean masses. We hope that this isn’t just talk.

3日中午,東北靠近朝鮮的地區多地有明顯震感,建築物搖動明顯,民間出現大量議論。在這之前朝鮮5次核試沒有造成核泄漏,平壤信誓旦旦地宣稱它的地下核試驗不會造成任何泄漏,還表示它會為離核試驗場更近的朝鮮民眾負責。我們希望朝鮮這不僅僅是說一說。

No matter what North Korea says, we believe the Chinese government will be on high alert, and that at this moment, there won’t be the faintest bit of relaxation or taking of chances. “Huanqiu Shibao” has learned that in Baishan (Jilin Province), Mudanjiang (Heilongjiang Province), and other regions. There were wind speeds of 1 from West or Northwest on midday of September 3, blowing from China to outside its borders.

無論朝方如何表示,我們相信中國政府都會提高警惕,在這個時刻不會有一絲一毫的鬆懈和僥倖。據《環球時報》了解,吉林白山、黑龍江牡丹江等地3日中午刮的是1級西風或西北風,風小,且風向是從中國邊境地區向外吹的。

North Korea’s latest nuclear explosion and its recent series of medium- and long-range missile tests have made it clear that Pyongyang, unmoved by force or persuasion, is determined to obtain nuclear strike capability over medium and long ranges. It won’t yield to pressure from outside, and the North Korean nuclear issue is on the brink of becoming intractable.

朝鮮最新核試爆和最近的一系列中遠程導彈試驗顯示,平壤軟硬不吃,它決心獲得中遠程核打擊能力,不會向任何外來壓力屈服,朝核問題幾近成為死結。

Facing this complicated situation, China needs to maintain a high degree of cool-headedness, , take measures based on its national interests, and to limit the risks faced by Chinese society to the greatest possible degree.

中國需面對這一複雜態勢保持高度冷靜,從中國的國家利益出發採取措施,最大限度地減輕中國社會從中面臨的風險。

The safety of China’s Northeast comes first. We need to tell Pyongyang through all kinds of channels that its tests must not contaminate the Northeast of China. China’s strategic and environmental safety is the bottomline for China up to where it will exercise restraint. It has to be hoped that this can be clearly communicated between China and North Korea, and helps North Korea to understand the solemnity and seriousness of China’s approach. If North Korea doesn’t keep to this bottomline, and if its own territory and the involved areas of China’s northeast will suffer contamination, the current framework of Chinese-North Korean relations will no longer exist.

中國東北的安全是第一位的,我們需要通過各種管道明確告訴平壤,它的核試驗不能污染中國東北。中國的戰略安全與環境安全是中國對其採取克制行動的底線。希望中朝之間能夠通過溝通將這一點講清楚,讓朝方充分了解中國這一態度的嚴肅性、嚴重性。如果朝方守不住這條底線,它自己的國土連帶中國東北遭到污染,那麼中朝關係目前的框架將不復存在。

North Korea’s latest test will inevitably lead to new discussions at the [UN] security council, revolving around new sanctions, and adding sanctions will be unavoidable. But we believe that although Chinese society is very angry about this new test, we need to avoid impulsiveness. China must not lightly agree to extreme measures that would be similar to an all-around embargo.

朝鮮的最新核導活動必將導致安理會圍繞對它進行新制裁開展討論,增加制裁將不可避免。但我們認為,儘管中國社會對朝鮮舉行新的核試驗很生氣,我們還是要避免衝動,中國不應輕易同意對朝鮮採取類似全面禁運的極端制裁手段。

In the case that China completely cut off oil supplies to North Korea, and even closed the Chinese-North Korean border, it would remain uncertain if this could block North Koreas’s activities. However, there would be, in all likelihood, open antagonism between China and North Korea. If that happened, the contradictions between China and North Korea would become, at least for some time, the most outstanding contradictions around the Korean peninsula. it would push down and absorb much of the tense energy of the American-North Korean antagonism, Washington and Seoul would achieve their goalof  “outsourcing” the North Korean nuclear issue to China, and this wouldn’t be in line with China’s national interest at all.

一旦中國完全切斷對朝鮮的石油供應,甚至關閉中朝邊界,能否做到阻止朝鮮核導活動尚不確定,但中朝全面、公開的對立將很可能發生。那樣的話,中朝矛盾就將至少成為一段時期內圍繞朝鮮半島最突出的矛盾,中朝對立將壓過美朝對立吸走高度緊張局勢的大部分能量,華盛頓和首爾也就實現了將朝核問題「外包」給中國的目的,這完全不符合中國的國家利益。

Therefore, so long as North Korea’s nuclear activities won’t pollute China’s Northeast, China’s approach to sanctioning North Korea should not avoid the radicalism of America’s or South Korea’s. The origins of the North Korean nuclear issue lie in the military suppression which created Pyongyang’s serious insecurity. Pyongyang erroneously sees the possession of nuclear capability as the only guarantee for government power’s survival, and nuclear striking capability against America’s soil as the key to reaching safety for itself. In this complicated and acute game, China must not run into a position of “charging and breaking through enemy lines”.

所以,在朝鮮核活動沒有污染中國東北的情況下,中國制裁朝鮮的態度應避免像美韓那樣激進。朝核問題的根源是美韓同盟的軍事打壓造成了平壤的嚴重不安全感,平壤錯誤地將擁核看成是政權生存的唯一保障,並且認定獲得對美國本土的核打擊能力是自己安全突圍的關鍵。中國不能在這場複雜、尖銳的博弈中跑到「衝鋒陷陣」的位置上。

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Related

“No Leakage”, Voice of Korea, Sept 4, 2017

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

International Press Review: Huanqiu Shibao “quotes” German newspaper on Social Credit System

Main Link / Headline – German media: “Social Credit System” plan will change Chinese Peoples’ Sincerity for the Better

The following is a translation from Huanqiu Shibao‘s international press reviews. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Germany’s “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in an article on May 23, titled digital plan will change Chinese for the better. China is trying some new things. One of these is social credit digitalization. In the coming three years, China will carry out the “social credit system” plan. Social credit rating will change Chinese peoples’ sincerity for the better.

德国《南德意志报》5月23日文章,原题:数字计划让中国人变得更好  中国正尝试一些全新的事物。社会信用数字化就是其中之一。在未来3年里,中国将实施“社会信用体系”计划。信用评价将让中国人的诚信变得更好。

This means that in the future, there will be a “social credit office” and a sincerity app, assessing if a citizen is honest. Based on the social credit data it will be decided if a citizen can board a plane. Those who always cross the street on a crosswalk and pay their bills in time will be rewarded. For others, who cheat in the higher education exams, or download bootleg movies, their bad social credit will lead to serious consequences.

这意味着未来将有“信用办公室”和诚信App,来评估一个公民是否诚实。而信用电子数据将决定一个公民是否可以登机。那些总走斑马线、及时支付所有账单的人,将得到奖励。而另一些人,如果他们在高考上作弊,或下载盗版电影,其不良的信用将造成严重的后果。

Reportedly, the coastal city of Rongcheng will serve as a testing ground for the “social credit system”. This city hasn’t only established a social credit management structure, but has also defined a social credit standards system, from triple-A to D. If citizens in Rongcheng allow their dog to defecate on public lawns, or if they spread “rumors” on social networks, they will receive punishment by downgrading.

据悉,中国海滨城市荣成市是“社会信用体系”的试点城市。这个城市不仅建立了信用管理机构,还制定了社会信用评价标准体系,等级从“AAA”到“D”不等。在荣成市,如果市民让宠物狗在公共草坪上拉屎,或者在社交网络传播“谣言”,都将受到信用降级惩罚。

According to Chinese plans, the “social credit system” will be implemented nation-wide in 2020. It’s goal, according to the government’s wish: Trustworthy people shall fly freely in the sky, and people with shortcomings in trustworthiness will be “unable to move”.

按照中国的计划,“社会信用体系”将在2020年首次在全国实施。其目标,按照政府的意思:讲信用的人应该自由地在天空下翱翔,而信用缺失的人将“寸步难行”。

Imagine this – in an omniscient, all-perceptive world, a digital system may know you even better than you know yourself.  By means of algorithms, it can help you to do better, and to become more honest. This system will also help you to get loans at lower interest rates, and to get a job at government departments. Isn’t this an honest and harmonious world? (Author: Kai Strittmatter)

想象一下,在一个无所不知、无所不见的世界里,数字机制将比你自己还要了解你。它会通过算法,帮助你做得更好,让你变得更加诚信。这一系统,也助你得到低息贷款,并获得政府部门的工作。难道这不是一个公平、和谐的世界?(作者凯·施特里特马特尔,青木译)

The account by Huanqiu Shibao is no precise reproduction of what Strittmatter wrote – if based on this German-language original. Strittmatter himself based much of his short article on statements by a professor Zhang from Beijing -the  “Imagine-this”-sentence, for example, is originally a quote from the professor, who isn’t mentioned by Huanqiu.

And what is completely left out of the Huanqiu translation is Strittmatters rather succinct roundup: “A dictatorship that reinvents itself, digitally.”

One could think that the translator simply missed the scoff in the original  – but hardly so once the most critical remark is   left out altogether. There must be another plan for even more perfect sincerity at work. Something like this:

If the international press doesn’t work in line with the people’s wishes, the Chinese nation will build itself a more sincere international press review, in line with China’s national conditions.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Populism in China (1): The Downfall of Bo Xilai

There is no Weltinnenpolitik yet, but there are cross-civilizational trends.

The City of Red Songs

There would be no second chance. Gerhard Schröder, former chancellor of Germany, was in a hurry in June 2011, on the sidelines of a forum in southwestern China’s metropolis of Chongqing. He was therefore lacking the time to attend one of the red-song nights that were customary there. But he still pleased his interlocutors with a German proverb: Where people sing, you can settle down – wicked people sing no songs.

In full, the red-songs custom advocated by Chongqing’s party chief Bo Xilai was Singing revolutionary songs, Reading classic books, telling stories and spreading mottos. There would be nine more months of that before Bo Xilai was toppled by his CCP comrades.

A Hudong article explained the activity at the time. It was a mass concept, started in Chongqing in 2008, which was greeted with enthusiasm there, and elsewhere in China. The concept wasn’t outdated, because

if a country and a nation have no correct thought and advanced culture, it will lose its backbone. The current deep changes of the economic system, the structure of society, and the profound adjustment of interest patterns must be reflected in the ideological field. There is diversity in peoples’ minds, and although the mainstream is positive and healthy, while some peoples’ material life conditions have improved, spiritual life is somewhat empty. To change that condition, and to ensure a safe passing of the torch in the cause of the party and the country, the red flag must be righteously upheld, the ideology of Marxism must be consolidated in its guiding position within the ideological field, and the attractiveness and the cohesive power of socialist ideology must be strengthened.

一个国家和民族没有正确的思想、先进的文化,就会失掉主心骨。当前,经济体制深刻变革、社会结构深刻变动、利益格局深刻调整,必然反映到意识形态领域。人们的思想日趋多元多变多样,虽然主流积极健康向上,但一些人物质生活改善了,精神生活却有些空虚。为了彻底改变这种状况,保证党和国家的事业薪火相传,必须理直气壮地举红旗,不断巩固马克思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位,增强社会主义意识形态的吸引力和凝聚力。[Links within these lines omitted.]

According to the HuDong article, CCP politbureau member and Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来) had deplored the phenomenon of young people who sang decadent songs (唱 .. 靡靡之音, chàng mímí zhī yīn), who were reading “fast-food” kinds of literature (读 .. 快餐文化, dú kuàicān wénhuà), told “low and vulgar stories” (讲 .. 低俗故事, jiǎng dīsú gùshì), and “spread pornographic or dull scripts/pieces” (传 .. 黄段子、灰段子, chuán huáng duànzi, huī duànzi).

So, apparently, there were dirty songs, too. Maybe things weren’t as simple as Schröder had believed. At least one  reader and forum commenter of China’s Huanqiu Shibao didn’t trust Schröder’s expertise and wrote:

OK, listen [to the red songs], you won’t comprehend them anyway. It will be as if you were listening to folk songs.

听吧,反正听不懂,就当听民歌了

The “Chongqing Model” was controversial, at least in the perceivable medial public of China. The party elite wasn’t entirely in love with Bo’s pretentious neo-Maoism. A vice president of Law School at China University of Political Science and Law was quoted by the English-language party mouthpiece “Global Times”:

There have been 104,000 “Red Song Concerts” in Chongqing, with 80 million participants. It cost 1,500 yuan ($231) per person for onsite renting and costume expenses, 210 million yuan in total. Adding in the offwork compensation and transportation the final cost is 270 billion [sic – probably means million – JR] yuan. Why don’t they use the money for health insurance?

Bo Xilai’s “Populism”, 2007 – 2012

At the grassroots, however, Bo’s leadership style appears to have worked (maybe it still does). The Chongqing Model wasn’t just about folklore, red or otherwise.

Chongqing (Sichuan province) residents set off firecrackers today, celebrating the execution of the provincial-level city’s former chief justice Wen Qiang (文强), cqnews.net reported in July 2010. The Wall Street Journal explained:

Wen Qiang was put to death following the rejection in May by China’s Supreme Court of an appeal of his conviction on charges including bribery, shielding criminal gangs, rape and inability to account for millions of dollars in cash and assets, according to Xinhua news agency. Xinhua didn’t say how Mr. Wen was executed.

Punching black crime and uprooting vice (拳打黑除恶) was the name of the campaign that cost Wen his life – according to the historical records as Bo would have it, he and his police chief Wang Lijun not only battled against gangs, but infiltrated cadres, too.

The now defunct website Chinageeks published an English translation of Zhang Wen, a former chief editor of the Xinhua magazine Globe:

Bo Xilai and the “northeast tiger” Wang Lijun entered Chongqing and started a war and began a “battling corruption and evil” movement that has gradually begun to spread nationwide and worldwide. This action is in line with the people’s wishes, and at the same time, also in line with what central authorities wish.

At first, the public opinion was very one-sided; no one could find any fault with Bo. The controversy and difference of opinions came with the case of Li Zhuang. Proponents of the democratic rule of law questioned and criticized the legality of Chongqing [court] proceedings, but Bo Xilai’s supporters hold that punishing lawyers who defend “bad people” is appropriate.

Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai is a high-level lawyer who has been working for many years. The two have been together for many years and Bo himself was once the head of the Ministry of Commerce, and thus often negotiated international legal issues with foreign opponents. Because of this, Bo Xilai should have a solid conception and knowledge of the law.

But in the end, in the Li Zhuang case, the organs of justice in Chongqing left a bad impression that they might violate legal procedures. Precisely because of this, some people’s opinions on Bo Xilai changed dramatically. I myself once wrote an essay expressing pity that Bo Xilai hadn’t turned out to be the sort of high-quality modern politician [we had hoped].

Chongqing was a small pond for a big fish – Bo Xilai appeared to have hoped for a permanent seat in the CCP’s central politburo, but landed the job as party secretary of Chongqing instead. Chongqing wasn’t an insignificant city, but it was far from where central Chinese power was. Only an alernate politburo membership linked him to Beijing. From 2008, his Maoist song events raised nationwide attention, and even beyond China – Henry Kissinger apparently leapt at the chance Schröder had missed.

In 2011, Bo Xilai started his second campaign for a permanent seat at the CCP’s top table. While the Economist found Bo’s style refreshing, it noted nervously that

The region’s party chief, Bo Xilai, is campaigning for a place on the Politburo Standing Committee in next year’s leadership shuffle. He looks likely to succeed. Like every other Chinese politician since 1949, he avoids stating his ambitions openly, but his courting of the media and his attempts to woo the public leave no one in any doubt. Mr Bo’s upfront style is a radical departure from the backroom politicking that has long been the hallmark of Communist rule and would seem like a refreshing change, were it not that some  of his supporters see him as the Vladimir Putin of China. Mr Bo is a populist with an iron fist. He has waged the biggest crackdown on mafia-style gangs in his country in recent years. He has also been trying to foster a mini-cult of Mao, perhaps in an effort to appeal to those who are disillusioned with China’s cut-throat capitalism.

Bo didn’t appear to aim for the top job as secretary general, the Economist noted, as that position appeared to have been reserved for Xi Jinping. Indeed, Xi succeeded Hu Jintao as party secretary general in autumn 2012, and as state chairman in March 2013.

Bo Xilai’s plans didn’t work that smoothly. In November 2011, a British citizen, Neil Heywood, died in a hotel in Chongqing. Given that Chinese courts don’t work independently from the party, the circumstances of his death can’t be considered resolved. A Chinese court found Gu Kailai, Bo Xilai’s wife, guilty of killing Heywood, and after only one day in court, she got a suspended death sentence.

The BBC‘s China editor Carrie Gracie tried to shed light on the circumstances of Bo Xilai’s rise and fall, and the role Heywood’s death played in the latter, but didn’t find too many interlocutors. Instead, she presented a Rocky Horror Picture Show of elite power struggles with Chinese characteristics. Bo Xilai as the avenger of the common man, a crashing, media-savvy scourge of organized crime, who addressed the public directly, without party media filtering. That hadn’t happened since Mao’s days – “think Donald Trump”.

With support from local police chief Wang Lijun, who fancied leading roles in martial-arts television, too, Bo had exercised a regime that labeled opponents as mafiosi and not only jailed them, but expropriated them too, in favor of Chongqing’s budgets.

It isn’t contested that Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun prosecuted the real or supposed gangsters’ advocates, too, with questionable means. Gracie quotes one of these advocates, Li Zhuang (see above, Zhang Wen’s criticism of Bo Xilai), as Li describes how he was arrested by Wang Lijun personally:

The scene was so over-the-top, loads of police cars surrounding the plane, riot police in helmets and camouflage, armed with submachine guns. I asked, “Why the big show? Is it Obama’s state visit or are you capturing Osama Bin Laden?”

We were surrounded by a huge scrum of reporters. He wanted to show his authority on camera. He was in a trench coat, hands in his pockets. He said: “Li Zhuang, we meet again.”

There were admirers of Bo and Wang, there were critics and enemies, and there were people who detested the two. But at the grassroots, the fans appeared to be numerous. According to Gracie, there are still many.

Making inconvenient lawyers disappear was no unique feature of Bo Xilai, however. The party leadership with Xi Jinping at the core has been proving for years that to them, the rule of law is a theroretical nicety they may or may not care about.

Gracie reduces the causes of conflict between the noisy polit-soloist Bo Xilai and the basically “collectivist” leadership in Beijing on a personal rivalry between princeling Bo and princeling Xi.

Certainly, top politicians’ egos can hardly be overestimated, and when they are Chinese, ostentatious modesty shouldn’t fool anyone.

But Xi alone wouldn’t have gotten Bo under control. Neither with the sudden Neil-Heywood scandal – that became known as the Wang-Lijun incident in China after the police chief fled into the next US consulate and being passed on to the central authorities from there (but only after having spilled the beans). Nor otherwise.

The question suggests itself if Bo Xilai’s career wasn’t finished in summer 2011 anyway, given wide-spread disapproval among the party elite, of his egotistic leadership style in Chongqing.

“Unity is strength” was one of the “red songs” Bo Xilai had them sing in Chongqing (above: October 8, 2009). But it wasn’t only the Xi faction that saw a lack of just that on Bo’s part. Bo was putting himself forward, and that had been a taboo during all the post-Mao years.

He didn’t denigrate his leading comrades – appearances like that of Donald Trump as a campaigner, cursing fellow members of his political class, would have been inconceivable. But putting himself into the limelight (and casting it away from others) amounted to the same thing, by Chinese standards. Besides, given his anti-corruption renown, sanctimonious as it may have been, could have threatened his “comrades”. A tribun within their ranks – that couldn’t work.

Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao are said to be rivals. But within the Hu camp, Bo’s populism didn’t seem to resonate either. On the contrary: Wen Jiabao, chief state councillor (aka “prime minister”) during the Hu Jintao era, had been a tireless, even if unsuccessful, advocate of political reform, way beyond economics or technology.

At a press conference in March 2012, after the closing ceremony of the annual “parliament” plenary sessions, Wen warned that China wasn’t immune against another cultural revolution. That John Garnaut, an Australian correspondent in Beijing, got the opportunity to talk with Hu Dehua, one of Hu Yaobang’s sons, may also count as an indication that the comparatively liberal factions in the party leadership were at least as sick of Bo Xilai’s revolutionary operas, as were the Xi supporters.

Garnaut, two weeks after Wen’s press conference, in an indirect account of his conversation with Hu Dehua*):

Hu Dehua told his father how pessimistic he felt about his country’s future. Hu Yaobang agreed that the methods and ideologies of the 1987 anti-liberalization movement came straight from the Cultural Revolution. But he told his son to gain some historical perspective, and reminded him that Chinese people were not joining in the elite power games as they had 20 years before. He called the anti-liberalization campaign a “medium-sized cultural revolution” and warned that a small cultural revolution would no doubt follow, Hu Dehua told me. As society developed, Hu Yaobang told his son, the middle and little cultural revolutions would gradually fade from history’s stage.

From there, everything went fast. Still in March, Bo was dismissed as Chongqing’s party chief. He also lost his alternate membership in the politburo. In summer 2012, his wife Gu Kailai got her commuted death sentence, and in September 2013, Bo was sentenced to life in prison – based on the usual charges for unrigged politicians: corruption.

Is there a Chongqing Heritage?

At first glance, Bo Xilai’s “populism” or “Maoism” is finished. But Bo counted as a champion of many Chinese from the political left. A comment in German weekly Die Zeit, in September 2013, saw the verdict against Bo as a signal from the top that resistance against economic reform was futile.

To assess Bo Xilai’s political heritage objectively. The CCP may be beyond the era when beaten opponents were airbrushed from all photos and records. But the question about how publicly or privately-owned China’s economy should be might impose itself with any questions about Bo Xilai, and the now seven-member standing committee of the politburo can’t use such questions.

A political scientist of Beijing University, He Weifang (贺卫方), hinted at problems in assessing the Chongqing Model’s performance, from 2007 to 2012:

It is generally believed that the so-called “Chongqing Model” is mainly shaped by three aspects: “red culture” on the political level, “targeted actions against dark and evil forces in Chongqing“, and the reduction of the income gaps between the poor and the rich. The most criticized aspects are the former two, although there is support for the two of them in Chongqing and elsewhere. The third aspect isn’t that controversial. However, all data published concerning the efficiency of the measures taken to narrow the income gap are actually issued by the Chongqing authorities, and therefore lacking neutral assessment. Also, we can see that the whole process is strongly government-led, whose focus isn’t on creating a market logic of equal opportunities. If this approach will or will not lead to mistakes in financial policies, including the rural land policies‘ impartiality, is also questionable. And then there are concerns about life today being lead on future earnings, short-term inputs being made to curry favor with the public, which may come at high future costs.

答:一般认为,所谓的重庆模式主要由三方面内容构成:政治层面上的红色文化,执法层面上的“打黑除恶”以及民生方面的缩小贫富差距。最受诟病的是前两者,虽然在重庆和其他地方,似乎也有一些人人对于“唱红”和“打黑”表达支持。第三方面内容相对较少争议。不过,那些举措究竟对于缩小贫富差距产生了怎样的效果,目前得到的信息都是由重庆当局发布的,缺少中立的评估。另外,我们可以看到整个过程是在政府强势主导下进行的,其重点并非创造机会均等的市场逻辑。这种做法是否会带来财政决策中的失误,包括重庆所推行的农村土地政策的公正性,都是大可怀疑的。还有寅吃卯粮的隐忧,短期内的高投入讨好了民众,但是却需要未来付出巨大的代价。

If Bo Xilai was a populist, one of Donald Trump’s kind, or Putin’s, or Neil Farage’s, or whoever, one has to ask oneself how much influence he has maintained over Chinese politics to this day. After all, populists like Geert Wilders aren’t ineffective, merely because they can’t lay their hands on the imperial regalia.

When looking at European populism – that’s only a snapshot, of course -, one can get the impression that populists may not be elected, but they do leave marks on politics, from Merkel’s Willkommenskultur back to the traditional Christian Democrats’ policies, and Britain’s Brexit, implemented not by its original proponents, but by Theresa May, who had used to be a lukewarm supporter of Britain’s EU membership.

Populism is hardly ever the common peoples’ business, but that of the elites. The battles are fought within the political class, as observed by Hu Yaobang in the late 1980s. That is about as true in Europe. However, these battles within the superstructure may create or intensify certain trends in the public mood – and once policies have moved sufficiently into the “populist” direction, the support for these parties wanes, and the electorate turns back to the long-established parties. After all, Joe Blow doesn’t want to look like an extremist.

When Xi Jinping announced China’s new role as a guardian of free trade at the Davos forum in January, German Handelsblatt China correspondent Stephan Scheuer hailed the party and state leader’s “dressing-down for populists”. In Davos, Xi had become “a pioneer of fair-minded globalization”.

What could be beginning to show in China is a comparatively strong Maoist component in propaganda, as long as this doesn’t come at the cost of China’s privileged, and as long as this doesn’t require substantial reallocation of means or wealth to poor classes of population, or laggard regions. But whenever the name “Bo Xilai” should appear in any token event, the exorcists will be just around the corner.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sun Zhengcai: “Eliminate Bo Xilai’s Poisonous Ideological Legacy”

Main Link: Chongqing Party Chief demands Elimination of Bo Xilai’s and Wang Lijun’s ideological legacy

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR

Lianhe Zaobao news – Chongqing’s Communist Party municipal committee secretary Sun Zhengcai pointed out publicly yesterday (March 21) that the municipal committee must strictly follow political discipline and political standards. They also needed to strengthen political keenness and political discriminability, “comprehensively and thoroughly eliminate the ideological poison left behind by Bo and Wang (Bo Xilai, Wang Lijun).

(联合早报网讯)中共重庆市委书记孙政才昨天(21日) ,重庆市委必须严格遵守政治纪律和政治规矩,而且要增强政治敏锐性和政治鉴别力,“全面彻底清除薄、王(薄熙来、王立军)思想遗毒”。

According to a report by the “Chongqing Daily”, Sun Zhengcai also said that in recent years, work in Chongqing had “achieved some success”, and the most important, the key point was “to maintain, at all times, a high degree of unanimity with the party central committee and (Communist Party secretary general) Xi Jinping at its core”.

据《重庆日报》报道,孙政才也说,近年来重庆工作“取得的一些成绩”,最重要、最关键的一点,就在于“始终同以(中共总书记)习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致”。

Reportedly, the CCP municipal committee’s standing committee held a “special Democratic Life Meeting” to discuss feedback concerning the rectification and implementation of central committee inspections. Sun Zhengcai made the above remarks on that meeting.

据报道,中共重庆市委常委会21日召开“专题民主生活会”,就整改落实中共中央巡视“回头看”的回馈意见进行讨论。孙政才在会中作上述表示。

Sun Zhengcai said that the municipal committee must “take a clear-cut position in explaining politics”, firmly build “political ideology, awareness of the general situation, core awareness and a preparedness to follow [correct] examples”, and to maintain a high degree of unanimity with the party’s central committee and Xi Jinping at its core”, concerning ideology, politics, and action.

孙政才也说,重庆市委必须“旗帜鲜明讲政治”,牢固树立“政治意识、大局意识、核心意识、看齐意识”,在思想上、政治上、行动上,与“以习近平同志为核心的党中央”保持高度一致。

He said that Chongqing municipal committee must strictly follow political discipline and political standards, resolutely defend the CCP’s central authority and its focused, united leadership, and resolutely and thoroughly implement the party central committee’s dispositions. Awareness needed to be truly increased, political keenness and political discriminability be strengthened, and “the ideological poison left behind by Bo and Wang comprehensively and thoroughly be eliminated”. (Lianhe Zaobao online editor Wang Weiwen)

他说,中共重庆市委须严格遵守政治纪律和政治规矩,坚决维护中共中央权威和集中统一领导,坚决贯彻落实党中央决策部署。要确实提高认识,增强政治敏锐性和政治舰别力,“全面彻底清除薄、王思想遗毒”。(联合早报网编辑:王纬温)

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Related

Der Sturz des Bo Xilai, dFC, March 24, 2017
Murder at the Lucky Holiday Hotel, BBC, March 17, 2017

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Friday, December 9, 2016

An Afternoon on a Tower Crane in Hebei Province

The following is a report by Shijiazhuang Daily’s online edition (石家庄日报), published online on Thursday, concerning an incident on Tuesday local time.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link: http://www.sjzdaily.com.cn/newscenter/2016-12/08/content_2514271.htm

County deputy principal and fire brigade officer-in-charge climb crane to talk him out of it

副县长、消防大队长爬上塔吊相劝

This paper’s report (reporter: Ding Baojun) — On December 6 at about 13 hours, on a building construction site in Wei County, Xingtai City, a man climbed a more than forty-meters tall tower crane, intending to jump from there to commit suicide. Towards six in the evening, by the local government’s and the fire brigades joint rescue, the man voluntarily climbed down the crane.

本报讯(记者 丁宝军)12月6日13时许,在邢台威县一建筑工地内,一名男子爬上近40多米高的施工塔吊欲跳塔轻生,傍晚6时许,经当地政府、消防联合营救,该男子主动爬下塔吊。

At about 13:32, after receiving the alarm, Wei County fire sub-brigade sent a fire truck, an emergency and support vehicle, an aerial ladder truck, with fifteen staff to the site. The scene of the case was a construction site, where a man was moving back and forth on a tower crane with a suspension height of more than forty meters and a width of about one meter. The man was in an extremely excited state of mind. In addition to this, there was a wind force of four which made the entire crane sway back and forth. Just a bit of attention lacking, there was a danger of falling down, which caused an extraordinarily tense atmosphere.

13时32分许,接到报警后,威县消防中队出动一部水罐车、一部抢险救援车、一部登高平台车、官兵15人赶赴现场。事发现场为一在建工地,一名男子在施工塔上来回走动,塔吊高约40余米,宽度约1米左右,该男子情绪非常激动,加上当时现场伴有4级左右的风,整个塔吊被吹得来回晃动,稍有不慎就有掉落的危险,现场气氛非常紧张。

The fire brigade immediately put air cushions and coordinated efforts into a life-saving network with the construction unit. At the same time, the construction unit organized a group of people in charge who went onto the crane to talk with the man in question, but no matter what they said to persuade him, the man remained unwilling to climb down the crane. At about 15:20, Wei County deputy principal Zhang Lichao also came to the scene and climbed the crane together with fire brigade officer-in-charge Chen Lei and talked with the man face to face to persuade him, to stabilize his state of mind. At the same time, Public Security civil police actively contacted the man’s family people and friends, hoping to disperse his suicidal intention with their help.

消防官兵立即在塔吊下方铺设救生气垫,并协调施工单位合力设置救生网。同时,施工单位组织负责人登上塔吊与该男子进行交谈,然而任凭如何劝说该名男子一直不肯下来。15时20分许,威县政府副县长张力超也来到救援现场,同威县消防大队大队长陈雷一起爬上施工塔顶,接近该男子进行面对面劝说,稳定其情绪,同时,公安民警积极联系男子的家人和亲戚朋友,希望他通过与家人、朋友的沟通消除轻生念头。

At about 18:30, after Zhang Lichao’s and Chen Lei’s patient persuasion, the man’s state of mind stabilized and he agreed to climb down. He then climbed down the cranes ladder step by step, under the protection of the firebrigade staff, and finally reached the ground safely.

18时30分许,经过张力超、陈雷的耐心劝说,该男子情绪稳定并同意下塔。随后,在消防官兵的保护下,男子从塔吊爬梯上一步步地往下爬,最终安全抵达地面。

The man reportedly developed his suicidal intention because of family quarrels, and chose the construction site for suicide because he had worked construction in this area two years ago. Fortunately, after persuasion from several sides, he gave up suicide.

据了解,该男子因家庭纠纷产生轻生念头,由于两年前曾在这个小区建筑工地打工,所以选择爬上施工塔吊意欲轻生,所幸,在多方劝说下放弃轻生。

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