Posts tagged ‘Communist Party of China’

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

China’s Hate for the Free Flow of Information: Fascism is the absolute Principle

More than fourty years ago, China started policies of reform and opening up. The latter part is often overlooked, but the Chinese authorities had to find new ways to deal with a greater flow of free information, or, as Deng Xiaoping put it, “when you open the window, you can’t stop the flies and mosquitos from coming in, too”.

Despite the ostentatious nonchalance, the party made great efforts to keep the flies out anyway. Really inquisitive international press was only available in international hotels or airports, and shortwave broadcasts from the outside world remained heavily jammed. And to this day, “Uncle Policeman” will take care of the rest of the flies.


Uncensored info, hence harmful

Shut up, we don’t care

What the CPC may not have hoped to achieve though was a fairly successful immunization program against flies. They achieved it anyway. This vaccine’s effect is that it makes most Chinese people ignorant – or nearly ignorant – of information deemed undesirable by the party. Around 2008, “Anti-CNN” propaganda rose – at least partly, it seems – from the Chinese grassroots. On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, Chinese people appeared to be simply fed up with bad news about Tibet or Xinjiang, no matter if true or not, and any lapse in any overseas picture editorial room was gladly taken as proof that news about uprisings in China’s Tibetan or Turkic colonies were fake news.

But the real sources for the willful ignorance lie deeper. For one, there’s a natural desire of people to be proud of their country, even if there is little reason for that, and that seems to be a particularly strong desire in some East Asian countries.

Then there was an actual source of pride: China’s rising economic and political power, and a series of economic crises in the West. In the minds of many, might made right if only it led to even more might for the motherland.

Not all Chinese nationalists deny that Tibetans or Turkics are going through hell. Rather, they believe that they deserve no better, and that “those guys” had been pampered by their Han rulers for too long.

Obviously, that kind of news isn’t fit to print or be broadcast by China’s “Global Times”, or CCTV. It is enough that people know that their party’s “toughness” on “terrorism” knows no limits, and that resistance is futile.
The latter bit is immportant, too, because Han people, too, have grievances. They must not even dream of getting a verdict in their favor, when the party says “no”. The brutal message from the top is targeting “national minorities” for now, but as Rebiya Kadeer said in 2018, “Uighurs’ today is the Han Chinese peoples’ tomorrow”.

For the more general public inside China – the news has to be more subtle.
While the faces of many of the cadres “interviewed” by CCTV about their “ethnic work” speak volumes, the message itself is that the loving care of the party for the masses earns itself enthusiastic reactions.
The essence of these domestic news: resistance is futile, but then, there’s no reason for resistance, anyway, is there? Our cultural massacres are a beautiful garden.

And for audiences outside China, plain denial is the only possible answer – if that turns out unsuccessful, you can still try to sell the camps in East Turkestan as “vocational schools”.

Shut up and join us – you are part of the United Front

What strikes me most is the wide-spread preparedness among overseas Chinese people to take part in Beijing’s disinformation work.
A desire to be proud of the motherland may be one motivation for that, just as it has been among Chinese at home and abroad since 2008.
Intimidation may be another. As Joanna Chiu noted in a recent article for the “Toronto Star”,

Beijing leaders truly feel anyone of Chinese descent is fair game and they have a right to curtail their freedom of speech years or even generations after they settled abroad.

What Joanna Chiu wouldn’t write either, but what has to be said, is that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” isn’t socialism. It’s full-blown fascism.
Let me apply some of Matthew Lyons definition (the link will take you to more paragraphs):

Fascism is a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties. It emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction. To this end, fascism calls for a “spiritual revolution” against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism, and seeks to purge “alien” forces and groups that threaten the organic community. Fascism tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence. Often, but not always, it promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide. At the same time, fascists may embrace a form of internationalism based on either racial or ideological solidarity across national boundaries. Usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race.

When you encounter people on Twitter who dedicate many hours of their days to support Beijing’s disinformation work, they won’t necessarily be paid by Beijing. To think that to be the only explanation underestimates Beijing’s success in immunizing its underlings against unwelcome information. You aren’t necessarily dealing with troll factory products. You may be dealing with real-life fascists.

Shut up – you are doing it, too

To enter discussions beyond a few tweets with them may or may not be worth the trouble. In my view, it can be instructive to debate with them when you are aware that “your” side – the West, Japan, India or what have you – are no foreigners to disinformation either. But you won’t get much out of debates with fascists when you can’t stand justified criticism of racism, injustice or other deficits of the society you belong to (or feel you belong to).

On the other hand, you shouldn’t feel discouraged by such expedient “criticism”. When a reported million of Uyghurs is or was in internment camps, some individual stories that emerge internationally may indeed be fake news. China is “re-educating” its nationalities – Han included – on a massive scale, so obviously, some editor will pick the wrong photo or the wrong person.
What you should be aware of is Beijing’s nihilistic script. “You do it too, so even if we did commit atrocities (which we don’t, it’s all fake news), it would be nothing worth to be reported.”
It’s not the West that is running a massive brainwashing program against its own people, it is China that does so. It isn’t the West that is threatening war on its neighbors; it is China.

And while there are places in the West and elsewhere in the world that are rife with racism and bigotry, those aren’t usually run by the state as they are in China. Even most of the “pro-China” guys you meet on Twitter, whitewashing China’s crimes against human rights, would choose a life as a black person in the U.S., rather than an Uyghur’s life in East Turkestan, if they had to choose.

But they can’t admit that. After “a century of humiliation”, they feel that it is time for some fun. After all, they are consumers, too, and “me, me, me & now” is the absolute principle.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Ethnic Work, enthusiastic Reactions (3)

As reported by China Central Television’s (CCTV) main evening news on August 29, CPC secretary-general Xi Jinping’s speech on ethnic work at the Central Ethnic Work Conference in late August has met with an enthusiastic echo from the masses and cadres of all national ethnicities. The following are translations of some of that enthusiastic echo. Every quote is linked to the news program’s online video.

This is part 3 of my translation. Part two is there.

Link 1, 07′ 05”, Li Lin, deputy county secretary of nationwide-ethnic-unity-and-progress-model-collective Jiangyong County in Yongzhou City, Hunan Province:

History and practice have amply proven that the key for doing ethnic work well lies with the party. Our next steps will be to continue the promotion of the deployment and implementation of the “twelve musts”, pointed out by General Secretary Xi Jinping. into refined measures. Promoting the rejuvenation of Yaoxiang Village and accelerating the momentum in the realization of common prosperity, we will let the ordinary people live even happier and better lives.
全国民族团结进步模范集体 湖南永州市江永县委副书记李林
历史和实践充分证明做好民族工作关键在党。接下来我们将对习总书记指出的「十二个必须」一细化量化持续推动党中央决策部署落到实处。在推动瑶乡乡村振兴,加快实现共同富裕等方面持续发力,让老百姓过上更加幸福美好的生活。

Link 2, 07′ 29”, Zhang Jianming, Yidi poverty alleviation community village first secretary, Guizhou Province, Wangmo County:

Most people living in our neighborhood are ethnic minority masses [who are part of the] poverty alleviation and relocation [program]. Specifically, we have established volunteer teams for ethnic minorities service teams to develop industries of characteristic ethnic customs, so as to put the masses of relocated people into a position to develop in a stable manner and to continuously improve the masses’ sense of happiness and security.
贵州省望谟县易地扶贫搬迁小区住村第一书记 张建明
我们所在的这个社区居住的大多数是少数民族易地扶贫搬迁群众。我们专门成立少数民族群众志愿服务队,发展民俗特色产业,让广大搬迁群众稳得住能发展,不断提高群众的幸福感和安全感。

Link 3, 07′ 48”, Yun Guosheng, Inner Mongolia “autonomous region” ethnic affairs committee deputy director:

Inner Mongolia autonomous region is the first etnic autonomous region established under the party’s leadership, and it has a glorious tradition of ethnic unity. The next stop will continue to be an example of promoting ethnic unity, walk the new path of high-quality development with a priority for the ecology and green development as points of reference. We will promote the common prosperoous development of all ethnicities.
内蒙古自治区民族事务委员会副主任云国盛
内蒙古自治区是党领导下成立的第一个民族自治区,具有民族团结的光荣传统。下一步我们将继续在促进民族团结方面做好表率,走好以生态优先,绿色发展为导向的高质量发展新路子,努力促进各民族共同繁荣发展。

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Ethnic Work, enthusiastic Reactions (2)

As reported by China Central Television’s (CCTV) main evening news on August 29, CPC secretary-general Xi Jinping’s speech on ethnic work at the Central Ethnic Work Conference in late August has met with an enthusiastic echo from the masses and cadres of all national ethnicities. The following are translations of some of that enthusiastic echo. Every quote is linked to the news program’s online video.

This is part 2 of my translation. Part one is there.

Link 1, 05′ 14”, Zhao Wulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee:

Guangxi is the province or region with the most ethnic-minority inhabitants. During the 14th five-year plan we will establish and forge a model region of Chinese national sense of community, refine institutions under which all ethnic minorities live, work, learn and are happy together, promote the high-quality development of the new-era party’s ethnic work.
广西壮族自治区民族宗教事务委员会政策法规处处长赵武林
广西是全国少数民族人口最多的省区,「十四五」期间我们将创建铸牢中华民族共同体意识示范区,完善有利于各民族共居共学共事共乐的体制机制,推动新时代党的民族工作高质量发展。


Link 2, 05′ 32”, Li Xiangsheng, deputy director of Lincang City’s Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, Yunnan province:

Here in Lincang, we have quite a number of ethnic minorities, such as the Yi, the Wa, the Dai and the Lahu Nationality. As a next step, we must build a platform for all ethnicities to associate, communicate and blend with each other, tell the story of the Chinese dream being built together by united ethnicities, and promote all ethnicities embracing each other like pomegranate seeds.
云南临沧市民族宗教事务委员会主任李祥生
我们临沧有彝族,佤族,傣族,拉祜族等十几个少数民族。下一步我们要搭建各民族交往,交流,交融的平台,讲好新时代各民族「同心共筑中国梦」的民族团结故事,促进各民族象石榴籽一样紧紧地拥抱在一起。


Link 3, 05′ 54”

Zhu Li, an aid-for-Tibet English teacher at Lhasa Naqu Middle School*):

Secretary-General Xi has emphasized that to forge a national Chinese sense of community means to guide all ethnicities people to solidly establish an idea of community where happiness, sorrow and public wealth as well as life, death, fate and destiny are shared by all. Our school is the main base to forge the Chinese national sense of community, and I am an aid-for-Tibet English teacher. While teaching cultural knowledge, I need to pay great attention to cultivating a correct national concept, historical concept and ethnic concept, internalize the forging of Chinese national sense of community in teaching people, so as to let the flowers of national unity bloom everywhere on the now plateau.
援藏教师拉萨那曲高级中学英语教师朱丽
习总书记强调铸牢中华民族共同体意识就是要引导各族人民牢固树立,休戚与共荣辱与共生死与共命运与共的共同体理念。我学校是铸牢中华民族共同体意识的主陈地,作为一名援藏教师。我在传授文化知识的同时更要注重培养学生正确的国家观,历史观,民族观,把铸牢中华民族共同体意识内化在教书育人里让民族团结之花开遍雪域高原。

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Part 3 is there.
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Note

*) Probably refers to a student age of 15 to 19

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Ethnic Work, enthusiastic Reactions (1)

As reported by China Central Television’s (CCTV) main evening news on August 29, CPC secretary-general Xi Jinping’s speech on ethnic work at the Central Ethnic Work Conference in late August has met with an enthusiastic echo from the masses and cadres of all national ethnicities. The following are translations of some of that enthusiastic echo. Every quote is linked to the news program’s online video.


Link 1, 03′ 28”, Wang Yanzhong (王延中), head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology:

Secretary General’s important speech is a concentrated and innovative, summarized and purified expression of our ethnic work in the new era. Even more so, we continue to promote the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. It is especially the promotion of new strategic deployment in the building of ethnic affairs management systems and management abilities.
中国社科院民族学与人类学研究所所长王延中:
总书记的重要讲话是我们新时代民族工作在实践中创新,总结,提炼的一个集中表达,更是我们继续推进新时代中国特色社会主义现代化建设。尤其是在民族工作领域推进民族事务治理体系和治理能力建设的新的战略部署。



Link 2, 03′ 50”, Zhang Mou (张谋), head of the National Affairs Commission’s research department:

We will thoroughly study Xi Jinping’s thoughts concerning the strengthening and improvement of ethnic work, profoundly grasp the work rules shown in the “twelve musts”, firmly seize the distinct central theme of a sense of community among China’s ethnicities, and promote the new era party’s high-quality development of ethnic work.
我们将深入学习总书记关于加强和改进民族工作的重要思想,深刻领会「十二个必须」所揭示的工作规律,牢牢把握铸牢中华民族共同体意识这条鲜明主线,推动新时代党的民族工作高质量发展。



Link 3, 04′ 10”, Maulati Yibulayin [phonetic spelling], a vice director of Xinjiang Uighur “autonomous region’s” Ethnic Affairs Commission:

As ethnic workers, we must profoundly understand the spirit of the Secretary-General’s important speech, and, with the forging of a sense of community among China’s ethnicities as the central theme, guide the continuous improvement of the ethnicities’ recognition of the great motherland, the great Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Communist Party of China and socialism with Chinese characteristics.
新疆维吾尔自治区民族事务委员会副主任地力毛拉提‧依布拉音
作为民族工作者,我们要深刻领会总书记的重要讲话精神,以铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线引导各族群众不断增强,对伟大祖国,中华民族,中华文化,中国共产党,中国特色社会主义的认同。

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Part 2 is there.
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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Xi Jinping’s Reply Letter to “Global Young Leaders Dialogue”

An organization named “Global Young Leaders Dialogue” has made it into the number-one headline1) of China People’s Broadcasting Station‘s morning news on Thursday.2) The “Global Young Leaders Dialogue” is, by self-description, a “unique communication, education, and professional development platform for young achievers under the age of 45 with diverse regional, cultural, disciplinary, sectorial, and professional backgrounds across the globe”, “jointly initiated by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies (ACCWS)”.

The “Center for China and Globalization”, in turn, is a “think tank” devoted to the development of “a new narrative system” in track-II diplomacy (possibly not exactly the same, but similar to, “people-to-people diplomacy”.

The project appears to have formed a “partner” organization in Europe, too, the “Europe-Asia Center”, whose colors come across as somewhat EU-China-centered:

"Europe Asia Center" logo

“Europe Asia Center” logo

Fittingly, former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy sent them a “congratulatory letter”, too, dated August 5.

The project is probably some kind of “must-have”, not only among “people-to-people diplomacy” advocates, but in the view of the party leadership, too: cooptation stuff like this forms part of the imperial regalia. After all, the World Economic Forum runs a “Young Global  Leaders” project, too. German Green Party chancellor candidate, Annalena Baerbock, is among them.

But back to the Chinese copy of it.

The following is a translation from a letter reportedly sent by Xi Jinping, to the “Global Young Leaders Dialogue”.

Reply letter
回信

Delegates of the “Global Young Leaders’ Dialogue Project”:
“国际青年领袖对话”项目外籍青年代表:

Hello! I have received your letter. You all study, work, and live in China, and I am very glad that you now have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of China through thorough travels and visits.
你们好!来信收悉。你们都在中国学习、工作、生活,这次有机会到各地深入走访,加深了对中国的认识和了解,我感到很高兴。

Just as you wrote in your letter, the Chinese people rely on their own wisdom and sweat to build a fertile and beautiful homeland on the earth of China, to create a civilization of many forms and colors, and to achieve the life of modest prosperity it has long yearned for. Happiness demands struggle. The most important thing is to be based on the national condition and to take one’s own road. Practice shows that the new Chinese-style road of modernization becomes ever broader and will help to develop better ourselves and thus benefit the world.
正如你们在来信中谈到的,中国人民依靠自己的智慧和汗水,在中华大地上建设富饶美丽的家园,创造多姿多彩的文化,实现了梦寐以求的小康生活。要幸福就要奋斗。中国幅员辽阔、人口众多,要想发展振兴,最重要的就是立足国情、走自己的路。实践表明,中国式现代化新道路越走越宽广,将更好发展自身、造福世界。

Youth is always accompanied by dreams. The Communist Party of China has passed the 100-years’ milestone, but our original intentions have only grown stronger as time has passed. After 100 years, you are just in your prime time. On our new journey, we will continue to make the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation happen in an indefatigable struggle, and indefatigably struggle to promote the progress of mankind’s development. We welcome more international young people to come to China for exchange, and hopefully, Chinese and foreign young people, as they learn from each other and set examples for each other, will improve understanding, earn friendship, grow together, and devote youthful power to contribute to the building of a community of common destiny for mankind.3)
青春总是同梦想相伴。中国共产党走过了百年奋斗历程,但我们的初心和梦想历久弥坚。百年恰是风华正茂。在新征程上,我们将继续为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而不懈奋斗,为促进人类发展进步而不懈奋斗。我们欢迎更多国际青年来华交流,希望中外青年在互学互鉴中增进了解、收获友谊、共同成长,为推动构建人类命运共同体贡献青春力量。

I wish you all the best in China!
祝愿你们在华一切顺利!

CPC Secretary General and State Chairman Xi Jinping, August 10, 2021 / Xinhua, August 11
中共中央总书记 国家主席 习近平 2021年8月10日 (新华社北京8月11日电)

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Notes

1) That’s no reason for the “young leaders” to get too exhilarated though. If Xi Jinping had opened a parrot-breeding station the day before, it might have been the number-one headline, too. In national news, it doesn’t matter what is done, but by who it is done.
2) CPBS, August 11, 2021, 22:30 UTC
3) More literally translated: a community of common destiny for mankind.
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Related

Center for China and Globalization’s New Narrative System, July 19, 2021
Enhancing Zhou Enlai’s Convivial Diplomacy, Febr 20, 2012 (re Oct 9, 2009)
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Updates / Related

Xi Jinping schrieb zurück, CRI, Aug 11, 2021
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Monday, July 19, 2021

Center for China and Globalization develops “new narrative system”

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

My translation may contain mistakes. Corrections are welcome.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

第六,走出去主动参与国际主流轮坛平台,积极发言交流;

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

第七,主动设置议题,在国际主流平台扩大议题影响力;

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

第八,创造性搭建新型国际交流平台,建设性发起新型多边国际组织。

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

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

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

第十,及时紧跟国际国内热点,灵活通过多渠道多方式传播增强智库影响力。

[…]

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Notes

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

Great Matters of the State, Educational Tour

nanhu_red_boat

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo, June 5, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Political parties in China, Wiki, last edited June 6

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

External Propaganda: Cai Mingzhao’s then, Xi Jinping’s now?

30th_politburo_study_session

Politburo’s 30th study session, Xinwen Lianbo, June 1, 2021

English-speaking Chinese media translate 传播 (chuánbō) as “communication” – as in this English-language rendition of a Xi speech on May 31, to the “30th collective study session of the CPC politburo. I don’t quite trust the translation, because there is a Chinese habit of making Chinese terms more palatable to a foreign audience by using not-quite-the-closest possible translation.

As a shortwave user, the most familiar translation to me would be propagation, which may stand for a process of information flow, “transmissions of impulses (or triggers) to influence the behavior of others” (传播就是某个人传递刺激以影响另一些人行为的过程), or “social information flows and the information of social information systems” (郭庆光定义传播是社会資訊的流动和社会資訊系统的运行). All that, and more, plus propaganda, I suppose.

So, the official Chinese translation for chuánbō would be communication. But China Copyright and Media, in an October 2013 translation of an article by Cai Mingzhao, director of the State Council Information Office’s Foreign Propaganda Office at the time, referred to chuánbō as dissemination. It’s a translation that leaves room for a lot of interpretation.

What strikes me when reading the China Copyright and Media translation of nearly eight years ago is its similarity with Xi’s speech of May 31. Back then, Cai Mingzhao, the State Council of Information Office’s external propaganda bureau at the time, discussed the future priorities in public diplomacy work in the light of Xi Jinping’s recent speech at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference.

While Xi’s national propaganda conference speech in August 2013 had contained some referals to external propaganda, too, most of it had been about propaganda in general, and ideological work within China. In fact, I’m under the impression that in his May 31 speech, which focused exclusively on external propaganda, Xi borrowed heavily from Cai Mingzhao’s 2013 article.

You can contrast these two English renditions: one by China Daily on June 2, i. e. four days ago, reflecting Xi’s speech, and one by China Copyright and Media, in October 2013, translating Cai Mingzhao’s article.

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