Posts tagged ‘countryside’

Sunday, May 10, 2020

East Turkestan: Deep Awareness of the Party Central Committee’s correct Judgment

The following is a comparatively short article from the “Xinjiang United Front” website, a republication of a Tianshan Net article – see “main link” underneath the following screenshots). It does, however, contain a number of slogans.

Links within blockquotes – including some links to explain said slogans – were added during translation.

Please note that if there haven’t been two meetings of the regional party committee’s expanded standing committee (or two consecutive days of one), there seems to be some confusion about the day it was held.

May 6 according to XNTV

… and May 7 according to the press

Anyway, here goes.

Main link: Meeting held by Autonomous Region Party Committee (expanded) Standing Committee

Meeting held by Autonomous Region Party Committee (expanded) Standing Committee

Autonomous Region Party Committee (expanded) Standing Committee conveys the learning of the spirit of Secretary General Xi Jinping’s important speech held at the Central Politburo Standing Committee’s meeting

自治区党委常委(扩大)会议传达学习习近平总书记在中共中央政治局常委会会议上的重要讲话精神

Perfecting and normalizing institutions of prevention and institutions

完善常态化防控体制机制

Continuously improving public health management capabliities

不断提升公共卫生治理能力

Chen Quanguo presides over meeting

陈全国主持会议

Tianshan Net News (All media reporters Yao Tong and Wang Xingrui) — In the afternoon of May 5, the Autonomous Region Party Committee held a Standing Committee’s (expanded) meeting, conveyed the learning of the spirit of Secretary General Xi Jinping’s important speech held at the Central Politburo Standing Committee’s meeting, studied our Region’s suggestions for thorough implementation. The Autonomous Region’s party secretary Chen Quanguo presided over the meeting.

天山网讯(全媒体记者姚彤 王兴瑞报道)5月7日下午,自治区党委召开常委(扩大)会议,传达学习习近平总书记在中共中央政治局常务委员会会议上的重要讲话精神,研究我区贯彻落实意见。自治区党委书记陈全国主持会议。

The meeting pointed out that all the Region’s departments had to learn and implement the spirit of Secretary General Xi Jinping conscientiously, strengthen the “four consciousnesses”, resolutely hold on to the “four confidences”, achieve the “two protections”, redouble the esteem for the major strategic achievements in the fight of preventing, controlling and stopping the epidemic under the forceful leadership of the party central committee with Xi Jinping at the core, develop a deep awareness of the party central committee’s correct judgment of the current epidemic prevention and control situation, conscientiously come up to the central committee’s strategic decision-making and deployment with unity in thought and action, resolutely overcome negligent trains of thought, war-weariness, wishful thinking and negligent attitudes, to put the masses’ life, safety and good health first all along, unvaveringly adhere to preventing the virus from re-entering the country and epidemics flaring up again, move forward to perfecting normalization of prevention and control institutions, adjust implementation of prevention and control measures accurately, sustain improvement of bordercrossing prevention and control capabilities, strengthen prevention and control work in key locations and focal groups of population, guide the masses of all ethnicities to protect themselves well, and resolutely consolidate the hard-won epidemic prevention and control achievements.

会议指出,全区各地各部门要认真学习贯彻习近平总书记重要讲话精神,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,倍加珍惜在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下疫情防控阻击战取得的重大战略成果,深刻认识党中央对当前疫情防控形势的准确判断,切实把思想和行动统一到以习近平同志为核心的党中央决策部署上来,坚决克服麻痹思想、厌战情绪、侥幸心理、松劲心态,始终把维护人民群众生命安全和身体健康放在第一位,牢牢坚持外防输入、内防反弹不动摇,进一步完善常态化防控体制机制,细化落实精准防控措施,持续提升边境口岸防控能力,
强化重点场所、重点人群防控工作,引导各族群众做好必要的自我防护,坚决巩固来之不易的疫情防控成果。

The meeting emphasized the need to focus on repairing the weakest links, stopping leaks, strengthening weak points, strengthening and perfecting major epidemic prevention and control  institutions and emergency response management systems as well as deepening reform of medical care and health institutions, epidemic prevention and control systems, lawful public health guarantees, and prevention, control, rescue and medical treatment, and conscientiously improve abilities to respond to sudden flare-ups of major public health incidents.

会议强调,要聚焦补短板、堵漏洞、强弱项,加快完善重大疫情防控体制机制和公共卫生应急管理体系,深化医药卫生体制、疾病预防控制体系、公共卫生法治保障、重大疫情防控救治等重点领域改革,切实提高应对突发重大公共卫生事件的能力水平。

The meeting pointed out that it was necessary to effectively develop the Patriotic Health Movement, to keep putting prevention first, to combine prevention and treatment, to innovate ways and methods, to increase propaganda and guidance, to perfect the infrastructure, promote normalization of city and countryside environmental integrated regulation and institutionalization, to strengthen, setting out from the different fields of human habitat and environment improvement, eating habits and social and mental health, continuously strengthen all ethnic masses’ health awareness, cultivate good hygiene habits, to continue cultivating civilizational health, and a green and environmentally protective way of life.

会议指出,要扎实开展爱国卫生运动,坚持预防为主、防治结合,创新方式方法,加大宣传引导,完善基础设施,推进城乡环境综合整治常态化、机制化,从人居环境改善、饮食习惯、社会心理健康等多方面入手,不断增强各族群众的健康意识,养成良好卫生习惯,持续培育文明健康、绿色环保的生活方式。

The meeting emphasized that it was necessary to maintain overall planning of epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development, to stick closely to the task to build a moderately prosperous society, maintain the keynote of making progress within stability under the precondition of epidemic prevention and control normalization, do solid and good work at the “six stabilities”, to comprehensively implement the task of the “six guarantees”, to further comprehensively plan economic and social development, escaping poverty, maintaining stability and the other items of work, to resolutely protect the generally stable situation of economic and social development, to ensure the completion of the decisive battle and the determination of victory in escaping poverty and in assaulting fortified positions, and to comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society.

会议强调,要坚持统筹推进疫情防控和经济社会发展,紧扣全面建成小康社会目标任务,在疫情防控常态化前提下,坚持稳中求进工作总基调,扎实做好“六稳”工作,全面落实“六保”任务,进一步统筹做好经济社会发展、脱贫攻坚、维护稳定等各项工作,坚决维护经济发展和社会稳定大局,确保完成决战决胜脱贫攻坚目标任务,全面建成小康社会。

Shohrat Zakir, Shewket Imin, Wang Junzheng, Li Pengxin, Xu Hairong, Erkin Tunyaz, Tian Wen, Sha’erheti Ahan*), Yang Xin and others attended the meeting.

雪克来提 · 扎克尔、肖开提 · 依明、王君正、李鹏新、徐海荣、艾尔肯 · 吐尼亚孜、田文、沙尔合提 · 阿汗、杨鑫等出席会议。

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Note

*) Apparently no Kazakh name available. Sha’erheti Ahan is Kazakh, a member of East Turkestan’s party committee, head of the “autonomous” region’s labor union, and (that’s the way I read it) the union’s acting party secretary.
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Related

Xi chairs symposium with dangwais, CCTV, May 9
党外人士座谈会, 三点希望, People’s Daily, May 8

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

“National People’s Congress” Standing Committee Chairpersons’ Meeting

The scheduled meeting late in April should not be confused with the “National People’s Congress” plenary session. There are reports however that the standing committee’s meeting from April 26 – 29 may decide when to hold the NPC plenary session, and the “Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference”.

Both bodies’ sessions usually take place annually in March, but were postponed this year, because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Links within blockquote added during translation.

Xinwen Lianbo coverage,
click photo for video

Main Link: Li Zhanshu presided over the convention of the standing committee’s vice persons’ meeting, …

Li Zhanshu presided over the convention of the standing committee’s vice chairpersons‘ meeting, 13th NPC standing committee to meet from April 26 to 29

栗战书主持召开十三届全国人大常委会第五十次委员长会议 决定十三届全国人大常委会第十七次会议4月26日至29日在京举行

Xinhua, Beijing, April 17 — the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s 15th chairpersons’ meeting was held in Beijing in the morning of April 17 in the Great Hall of the People. [NPC chairman] Li Zhanshu presided over the meeting. The meeting decided that the 13th National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee’s 17th meeting will be held in Beijing from April 26 to April 29.

新华社北京4月17日电 十三届全国人大常委会第五十次委员长会议17日上午在北京人民大会堂举行,栗战书委员长主持。会议决定,十三届全国人大常委会第十七次会议4月26日至29日在北京举行。

The chairpersons’ meeting suggested that the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s 17th meeting should deliberate solid-wastes pollution prevention law revision amendment drafts, the National People’s Congress Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee’s proposed animal disease prevention law revision draft, the State Council’s proposed copyright amendment draft, and the Central Military Commission’s proposed People’s Military Police Law revision draft.

委员长会议建议,十三届全国人大常委会第十七次会议审议固体废物污染环境防治法修订草案、公职人员政务处分法草案、生物安全法草案;审议全国人大农业与农村委员会关于提请审议动物防疫法修订草案的议案;审议国务院关于提请审议著作权法修正案草案的议案;审议中央军事委员会关于提请审议人民武装警察法修订草案的议案。

The chairpersons’ meeting suggested that the Standing Committee’s 17th meeting should deliberate authorization of the State Council’s China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone temporary adjustment and implementation legislation and regulations draft, deliberate and pass the “PRC and Islamic Republic of Pakistan treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons” proposal, the State Council’s 2019 environment situation and environment protection goals complete situation, handling of water pollution prevention and law enforcement and inspection report, the report on rural collective property rights institutional reform, the [National People’s Congress’] Standing Committee’s Legal Systems and Institutions working committee’s report on strengthening public health legal safeguarding legislation work report, the report on the qualifications of National People’s Congress Standing Committee members’ qualification to examine individual representatives’ qualifications, to deliberate and pass the Central Military Commissions’ proposal to add People’s Liberation Army Election Committee Members, to deliberate related appointments and dismissals, etc..

委员长会议建议,常委会第十七次会议审议国务院关于提请审议关于授权国务院在中国(海南)自由贸易试验区暂时调整实施有关法律规定的决定草案的议案、关于提请审议批准《中华人民共和国和巴基斯坦伊斯兰共和国关于移管被判刑人的条约》的议案;审议国务院关于2019年度环境状况和环境保护目标完成情况与研究处理水污染防治法执法检查报告及审议意见情况的报告、关于农村集体产权制度改革情况的报告;审议全国人大常委会法制工作委员会关于强化公共卫生法治保障立法修法工作有关情况和工作计划的报告;审议全国人大常委会代表资格审查委员会关于个别代表的代表资格的报告;审议中央军事委员会关于提请审议批准增补人民解放军选举委员会成员的议案;审议有关任免案等。

At the chairpersons’ meeting, National People’s Congress Standing Committee secretary-general Yang Zhenwu gave a summary report on the 17th Standing Committee meeting’s agenda draft and schedule arrangements. National People’s Congress Standing Committee relevant deputy secretary-generals, National People’s Congress relevant special committees and people in charge of the Standing committee’s relevant working committees gave summary reports on topics relevant for the 17th Standing Committee’s meeting.

委员长会议上,全国人大常委会秘书长杨振武就常委会第十七次会议议程草案和日程安排等作了汇报。全国人大常委会有关副秘书长,全国人大有关专门委员会、常委会有关工作委员会负责人就常委会第十七次会议有关议题作了汇报。

The chairpersons also deliberated the 2019 National People’s Congress Standing Committee organization staff’s report on contacting the National People’s Congress delegates.

委员长会议还审议了2019年全国人大常委会组成人员联系全国人大代表工作情况的报告。

National People’s Congress Standing Committee vice chairpersons Wang Chen, Cao Jianming, Zhang Chunxian, Shen Yueyue, Ji Bingxuan, Arken Imirbaki, Wan Exiang, Chen Zhu, Wang Dongming, Padma Choling, Ding Zhongli, Hao Mingjin, Cai Dafeng and Wu Weihua attended the meeting.

全国人大常委会副委员长王晨、曹建明、张春贤、沈跃跃、吉炳轩、艾力更·依明巴海、万鄂湘、陈竺、王东明、白玛赤林、丁仲礼、郝明金、蔡达峰、武维华出席会议。

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Related

Non-party members (dangwai), Jan 31, 2011
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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wang Dashan does Agriculture and Countryside Investigation and Research Work

Main Link: https://new.qq.com/omn/20190509/20190509A0IQMU.html

Addional Link: Laoling

Wang Dashan conducts investigation and research work on agriculture and countryside

王大山调研农业农村工作

On May 8, municipal party committee vice secretary and city mayor Wang Dashan went to some of the village and township for investigation and research of agriculture and countryside, rivers and lakes administration, hospital construction and other work. Vice mayors Wu Feng and Zhao Meng took part in the investigation and research.

58日,市委副书记、市长王大山到部分乡镇调研农业农村、河湖清违清障、卫生院建设等工作。副市长吴峰、赵蒙参加调研。

At Yang‘an Town hospital, Wang Dashan minutely enquired about patients‘ medical treatment conditions and mental health stations‘ construction promotion. He emphasized the need for continuous strengthening of management, hospital affairs management and staff management, improvement of professional levels and hospital safety, as well as safeguarding medical treatment safety.

在杨安镇中心卫生院,王大山详细了解病人就医条件及精神卫生场所建设推进情况,他强调,要进一步细化管理,强化医院业务管理和人员管理,提升专业水平和服务水平;要加强医院安全管理,保证医疗安全。

At Kongzhen Zhangqiao Community, Wang Dashan heard [reports about] clearing Majia River and emphasized that, in accordance with necessities, the pace of construction work and removal of illegal constructions on the rivers needed to be accelerated in accordance with the law. There was a need to set up robust mechanisms, to resolutely put an end to the phenomenon of negative repercussions, ensuring the clearance of illegal river course issues, and safeguarding against floodings.

在孔镇张桥尹社区,王大山听取马颊河清违清障工作推进情况,强调,要根据问题台账,按照应拆尽拆的要求,加快工作进度,依法依规对河道违法建筑进行拆除。要建立健全机制,坚决杜绝反弹现象的发生,确保河道违法问题全部清零,保障河道行洪安全。

At Kongzhen‘s Wangmutui Fruit Tree demonstration base, Wang Dashan minutely enquired about the building of cooperatives and operations, emphasizing the need to conscientously bring into play the village party branch‘s model leading role in launching cooperatives, the establishment of village business concepts, creation of own trademarks, successful carrying out of packaging, strengthening of model examples‘ drive [for other projects], giving prominence to distinguishing features, establishing bright spots, striving for radiance and spurring more peasant masses to become rich.

在孔镇王木腿果树示范基地,王大山详细了解合作社建设和运营情况,强调,要切实发挥好村党支部领创办合作社的模范带头作用,树立经营理念,打造自己品牌,做好产品包装;要强化示范带动,突出特色、打造亮点,争取辐射和带动更多农民群众致富。

Having enquired about Kongzhen Fantuncun [or model station village] village and township department “New Village Loudspeaker Project”, Wang Dashan emphasized the need for strengthening everyday administration, deeply penetrating and implementing the party‘s propaganda policy, taking advantage of flat-roofed building and let the farmers obtain tangible benefits.

在孔镇范屯村了解了乡镇村部“新农村大喇叭工程”建设情况后,王大山强调,要加强日常管理,深入落实党的宣传政策,利用平台优势,让农民切实得到实惠。

At Guojia Street‘s Daonan Fucun Scientific Science and Technology Institute, Wang Dashan examined the three-dimensional wheat seedling distribution experimental field supervision and cornfield management, minutely enquiring about the experiment implementation. He hoped the Institute would accelerate the spreading of achievements made there, playing a promotional role in the development of scientific agriculture, strengthen guidance and coverage of the countryside, and let the farming masses gain greater benefits.

在郭家街道南夏村科技小院,王大山现场查看小麦立体匀播实验田管理及麦田管理,详细了解实验实施情况,希望科技小院加快科技实验成果在当地的转化推广,发挥科学技术对农业发展的推动作用,加强对村民的引导,扩大覆盖面,让农民群众获得更大的效益。

Reporter: Wang Yugang

【记者:王玉刚】

 

 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Li Keqiang’s Consolation Tour: addressing Unpaid-Wage issues

The State Council’s (or Chinese government) website carried an article about a visit by Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang to Yunnan Province, some five days ahead of Spring Festival. The article contains a photo, apparently showing Li comforting a migrant worker’s family in their home.

Homestory

Homestory

As usual during the season of hope and goodwill, Li has to take care of the darker sides of China’s economic development.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

On January 23, Li Keqiang came to the newly constructed home of Gan Yonrong’s family, in Ganjiazhai, Ludian County, Yunnan Province. On learning that the young man, who secured a six-person family’s livelihood by working out of town, had seen his wage payments being delayed by more than a year, the chief state councillor became “angry” right away [and said]: He is the family’s main support, and to hurt him means hurting his entire family. This violates market rules, and it violates virtue and conscience even more. There is no way that migrant workers who have to leave their hometown to do hard work should have to add tears to their sweat.

1月23日,李克强来到震后重建的云南鲁甸甘家寨村民甘永荣家。得知小伙子在外打工养活一家6口,却被拖欠一年多工资,总理当即“怒”了:他是家中顶梁柱,伤害他就是伤害他全家。这既违背市场规则,更违背道德良心。决不能让农民工背井离乡流汗再流泪。

On February 3, the first working day after Spring Festival, the State Council’s standing committee was convened, and one of the topics was exactly how to solve migrant workers’ delayed payment with the establishment of an effective system. The meeting decided to launch dedicated regulation and supervision, to focus on exposing typical cases, to seriously investigate illegal behavior of wages arrears, including already recorded cases, and to resolutely strike at the illegal and criminal behavior of evil-intentioned wages arrears. In particular, cases where government project funding delays led to delays in wage payments.

2月3日,春节后的首个工作日,国务院召开常务会议,其中议题之一便是部署建立解决农民工工资拖欠的长效机制。会议决定开展专项整治和督查,集中曝光一批典型案件,严肃查处欠薪违法行为包括欠薪陈案,坚决打击恶意欠薪违法犯罪。尤其要坚决解决涉及政府项目拖欠工程款导致欠薪问题。

[…]

The standing committee’s meeting had been determined by the Chief State Councillor prior to the Spring Festival. On January 23, as Li Keqiang was inspecting post-earthquake reconstruction work in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, several locals from the disaster area working masses had made their problems with delayed wages known to the Chief State Councillor. On the spot, Li Keqiang instructed the accompanying local and departmental officials in charge that they should help [the workers] with their legal wage demands as quickly as possible, and to investigate the problem. After the Chief State Councillor had spoken, the departments and local officials in charge helped the migrant workers within 48 hours to “discuss” an answer to the delayed wage payments.

事实上,此次常务会议的这一议题安排,本身就是总理春节前确定的。1月23日,李克强在云南昭通考察鲁甸地震灾后重建工作时,当地几位外出打工的灾区群众向总理反映他们遭遇欠薪的问题。李克强当场责令随行的地方和部门负责人,要尽快帮他们依法讨薪,并就此问题进行排查。总理发话后,有关部门和地方48小时后帮助农民工“讨”回欠薪。

“We can’t solve only a small number of cases, but we must build a long-term effective system to solve this chronic evil from the roots.” On the three-day meeting, Li Keqiang said, “governments on all levels must catch up with this over and over again, and grasp it completely!”

“我们不能光是解决几个个案就了事了,而要借此建立起一个长效机制,从根本上解决农民工欠薪这个顽症。”李克强在3日的常务会议上说,“这个问题各级政府一定要反复抓、抓到底!”

The second chapter of the article quotes Li as using the words “anger” (愤怒), “pain” (痛心), and “embarrassment (尴尬)” to describe his feelings in his encounter with the petitioners.

In Ludian, I ran into that migrant worker whose wife had been killed in the earthquake, and his family’s farmland had been lost, too. Now, there’s still the old mother, three sons, and one younger brother who attends upper-mediate school. The entire family depends on the money he earns with his work away from home. He is his family’s backbone!” Li Keqiang said: “Where is the conscience of companies who have the nerves to delay the wages of working masses from disaster areas who have to work away from their hometown?”

“我在鲁甸遇到的那位农民工,妻子在地震中遇难,家里的耕地也。现在家里还有老母亲、三个儿子,和一个正在上高中的弟弟。全家生活就靠他一个人外出打工的收入,他是一家人的顶梁柱啊!”李克强说,“这样的地震灾区的群众外出打工,企业也忍心欠薪,良心何在?”

As he was leaving the home of this migrant worker, Li Keqiang asked people at the public square of the village who had encountered problems with “delayed wages” in reconstruction work. On repeated questions from the Chief State Councillor, several migrant workers hesitantly raised their hands. One of them couldn’t hold back his tears after having spoken two sentences.

他询问大家有多少人外出打工,有多少人遇到了欠薪问题。总理反复询问下,有几位农民工犹犹豫豫地举起了手。一位农民工没说两句,忍不住抹起了眼泪。

Their work’s pay is extremely important for migrant workers. If they don’t get their money, that’s a devastating blow to them!”, Li Keqiang said passionately. “Migrant workers are an important supporting force in the several decades of our country’s rapid development. They have made an enormous contribution to the economic and social development. If their efforts don’t get their appropriate remuneration, it will not only do great damage to their families, but will also bring a vile influence on society.”

“打工的钱对于农民工来讲太重要了。拿不到钱,对他们可以说是毁灭性的打击!”李克强动情地说,“农民工是我们国家几十年快速发展的重要支撑力量,为经济社会发展做出了巨大的贡献。如果他们的辛勤付出得不到应有的回报,不仅会给他们的家庭造成巨大的伤害,也会给社会带来恶劣的影响。”

With added emphasis, he said that this issue was about fairness and justice in society. This is a bottomline which must not be crossed!

他加重语气说,这一问题事关社会公平正义。这是社会底线,决不能突破!

The article’s third and fourth chapters are basically more of the same message, but contain an interesting (to me) bit of vocabulary. Li Keqiang’s inspection tour in Yunnan is referred to as a grassroots-level consolation and inspection tour (基层慰问考察), and the issue of “delayed payment” is linked to emloyment and development policies in general (更加积极的就业政策).

Finally, the article quotes Li as advocating (or prescribing) “not only an implementation of the responsibility of governments of all levels, but to build a coordinating network without barriers between local governments”, given that many cases of wage delays among migrant workers occur “at construction projects” outside the workers’ home provinces.

“People’s Daily” republished the government website’s article, although they left out the photo.

While the government website article, designed for a domestic audience, comes across as somewhat wage (as for the actual effects migrant workers may expect from Li Keqiang’s endeavors), foreign broadcaster China Radio International (CRI) presents the State Council standing committee’s decisions in a much more positive way, at least at first glance.

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Related

You name the Problem, Febr 15, 2011
So together with the People, Dec 31, 2010

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Is the Truth losing in Today’s World? (And if Yes: How so?)

That’s what Richard Stengel, currently undersecretary for public diplomacy at the State Department, believes, according to a Washington Post article:

“We like to think that truth has to battle itself out in the marketplace of ideas. Well, it may be losing in that marketplace today,” Stengel warned in an interview. “Simply having fact-based messaging is not sufficient to win the information war.”

And, adds the author of the WaPo article, David Ignatius:

How do we protect the essential resource of democracy — the truth — from the toxin of lies that surrounds it? It’s like a virus or food poisoning. It needs to be controlled. But how?

Fascinating stuff – fascinating, because it feels like a déjà vu to me (and I’m wondering for how many others who have a memory of some decades).

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages in applauding his works.

The Genius leads the spectators: engineering of consent in its early stages.

When I studied and worked in a fairly rural place in China, I had a number of encounters with – probably mainstream – Chinese worldviews. That was around the turn of the century, and these were probably the most antagonistic, and exciting, debates I ever had, as the only foreigner among some Chinese friends. Discussions sometimes ended with the two, three or four of us angrily staring at each other, switching to a less controversial topic, and bidding each other a frosty good-bye.

But there was a mutual interest in other peoples’ weird ideas. That’s why our discussions continued for a number of weekends. At at least one point, I felt that I had argued with overwhelming logic, but my Chinese interlocutor was unimpressed. I blamed Chinese propaganda for his insusceptibility, but apparently, propaganda was exactly his point: “If propaganda helps to keep my country safe, I have nothing against propaganda,” he replied.

I found that gross. The idea that propaganda should just be another tool, something you might volunteer to use and to believe in, so as to keep your country and society stable, was more alien to me than any Chinese custom I had gotten to know.

The idea that truth is, or that facts are, the essential resource of a (working, successful) democracy looks correct to me. Democracy can’t work without an informed public. But when it comes to German mainstream media, I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t trustworthy.

I agree with the WaPo article / Richard Stengel that the US government can’t be a verifier of last resort. No government can play this kind of role. The Chinese party and state have usurped that role, but China is known to be a low-trust society – that doesn’t suggest that they have played a successful role as official verifiers. While many Chinese people do apparently think of their government as the ultimate guardian of national sovereignty and individual safety from imperialist encroachment, they don’t seem to trust these domestic public security powers as their immediate neighbors.

And the ability of any Western government to be a verifier ends as soon as an issue involves state interests, government interests, or governing parties’ interests.

The US government as a verifier of last resort concerning the Syria war? That idea isn’t even funny.

The German government as a verifier of last resort when it comes to foreign-trade issues (within the European Union, or beyond)? Bullshit.

But what about the American media? I don’t have a very clear picture of how they work, but it would seem to me that US television stations usually address the issues that earn them most of the public’s attention. If that is so, it should be no wonder that Donald Trump profited more from media attention, than Hillary Clinton.

But if tweets, rather than platforms, become the really big issues, the media must have abandoned the role that has traditionally been ascribed to them.

German (frequently public-law) media are strongly influenced by political parties, and apparently by business-driven foundations, too.

I don’t know if something similar can be said about American media, but even if only for their attention-seeking coverage, they can’t count as well-performing media either.

What about “social” media? According to Stengel, as quoted by the Washington Post, they give everyone the opportunity to construct their own narrative of reality.

Stengel mentions Islamic State (in 2014) and Russian propaganda campaigns as examples. In the latter’s case, he points to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations during the elections in particular.

I believe that Stengel / Ignatius may have half a point. Russia – provided that they were indeed behind the leaks – only targeted Clinton’s campaign, not Donald Trump’s.

But then, wouldn’t it have been the task of the US media to unearth either campaign’s dirty secrets? Russian propaganda performed, even if only selectively, where US media had failed. It exposed practice in the Democratic Party leadership that was hostile to democracy, but acting under the guise of defending it.

How should citizens who want a fact-based world combat this assault on truth, Ignatius finally asks, and quotes Stengel once again, and addressing the role of “social media”:

The best hope may be the global companies that have created the social-media platforms. “They see this information war as an existential threat,” says Stengel. The tech companies have made a start: He says Twitter has removed more than 400,000 accounts, and YouTube daily deletes extremist videos.

Now, I’m no advocate of free broadcasts for ISIS videos. But if the best hope is the removal of accounts and videos by the commercial providers, it would seem that there isn’t much hope in human power of judgment, after all – and in that case, there wouldn’t be much hope for democracy as a model of government.

Ignatius:

The real challenge for global tech giants is to restore the currency of truth. Perhaps “machine learning” can identify falsehoods and expose every argument that uses them. Perhaps someday, a human-machine process will create what Stengel describes as a “global ombudsman for information.”

Wtf? Human-machine processes? Has the “Global Times” hacked the WaPo?

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Related

Why Wikileaks can’t work, Dec 1, 2010

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Review (3): “People’s Daily” lauds Xi Jinping, the People Person

Those with common aspirations can’t be separated by mountains or seas (志合者,不以山海为远), People’s Daily wrote in an editorial on Thursday, adding that State Chairman Xi Jinping went on travels abroad eight times in 2015, visiting fourteen countries on four continents and attending nine international conferences, meeting 62 state leaders and telling the gospel, or writing articles about, new-type international relations (新型国际关系), the building of one-belt-one-road, maintenance of world peace and development, and other important issues. All that by telling the “China story” (讲述“中国故事”), explaining the “China opportunity” (阐明“中国机遇”), stating the “China Program” (提出“中国方案”), and expressing “China’s attitude” (表达“中国态度”), thus leaving a deep impression on the international community. People’s Daily mentions the Bao’ao Asia Forum in March, the APEC summit in November, the G20 summit, and, also in November, Xi’s visit to Singapore in November.

Obviously, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also features prominently in the People’s Daily’s review.

This the-Chairman-and-the World series also included a review – one day earlier, on Wednesday – of how Xi Jinping told China’s story and how he let the world understand China, how he “told China’s story well, and well disseminated China’s voice” (讲好中国故事,传播好中国声音). This review included quotes from how Xi recognized the role of two-hundred Soviet pilots who had died on the Chinese battlefield, how he published an article in Vietnamese media about how the story of Tu Yoyo’s detection of artesemin and Sino-Vietnamese relations were connected, how the U.S. and China had fought together in World War 2, how, during his visit to Britain, Xi interlinked the lives of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu, and how, generally speaking, Xi Jinping was good at giving friendly, trust-enhancing talks or speeches or writing articles of the same successful kind.

The editorial’s summary:

Interaction between countries depends on peoples‘ attachment to each other, and the peoples‘ attachment to each other depends on communication from heart to heart. Xi Jinping makes use of vivid stories, catches foreign audiences‘ interest, and sparks strong sympathetic responses. At the same time, he unobtrusively and imperceptibly changes listeners‘ stereotypes about China, dispels some existing misunderstandings, showing brilliant diplomatic wisdom.

国之交在于民相亲,民相亲在于心相通。习近平用生动的故事,抓住了国外听众的兴趣点,引发强烈的共鸣。同时,他使国外听众在潜移默化中,改变了对中国的刻板印象,消除了一些曾经的误解,展现出卓越的外交智慧。

An unobtrusive and imperceptible (潜移默化, see quote above) moral influence had been an issue close to Xi Jinping’s heart since January 2012 – if not much earlier.

There can be no other summary concerning Xi Jinping’s communicative skills, than the stuff composed by People’s Daily this week – it’s a long-term script. It would seem that the outgoing and incoming politburos, during summer and fall 2012, agreed that the CCP’s grip on power in China needed some of the personality cult that had accompanied Mao Zedong, but – for different reasons – Deng Xiaoping, too.

The good story of Xi Jinping’s people-person virtues probably started around winter 2012/13, with stories the party’s secretary-general (but not yet state chairman) Xi Jinping sat cross-legged on the farming family’s kang, how he blessed rural China in the 1970s, whereever he went as a young cadre, and how villagers were in tears when he left from there.

And once Xi was “elected” state chairman in March 2013,

Wearing a dark-blue suit and a red tie, the membership [badge] hanging on his chest, Xi Jinping, tall of stature, stood smiling, calmly and self-confident. His voice clear, bright and vigorous, looking frank and honest, resolute and steadfast, he revealed the power of stirring people to action.

身着深色西装,佩带红色领带,胸挂出席证,身材高大的习近平微笑站立,从容自信。清朗而浑厚的声音,坦诚而刚毅的目光,透出激奋人心的力量。


“The Xi Factor”, BBC short documentary

Stay tuned for more great deeds in 2016. The CCP script is demanding it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Endless Era of Propaganda

It begins to dawn on me that this won’t be a peaceful world, or even a world of armistices, as long as a fairly big number of people refuse  to think for themselves, about some fundamental things of love and hate, especially collective feelings of love and hate.

This is a great story, pretty short, but as good as many books about similar issues – The Unwelcome Villager, by Karoline Kan.

Hatred is no monopoly of any particular nation, even if at different times, different nations may be more or less prone to it, and especially those ruled by totalitarianism.

But you will find incredibly stupid quotes from any place, anyway. Words like entertaining the idea that PRC China is a cancer/virus to the world. Words so hopelessly goofy, underexposed, and brutal, that any argument would be a waste of time.

That’s what propaganda is doing to people.

Monday, February 3, 2014

CCTV Chunwan Gala: Probably not Doing as Bad as Reported

Global Voices had an article a few days ago, on Chinese TV’s (CCTV) New Year’s Gala show, broadcast last Thursday night local time. It’s often been said that the show is losing its former luster. That may be true. But I seem to be getting some hunches that the decline of the show is often overstated.

For one, views expressed on the internet are overstated. The Global Voices article suggests that, according to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of the viewers were extremely disappointed in the program this year. True, but these sixty percent of viewers expressed their view on the internet, according to the source quoted there. 21,721 people apparently participated in the online survey, and they judged not the show itself, but rather the list of scheduled events during the show.

That said, the show, first broadcast on New Year’s Eve in 1983, is losing appeal, even according to a survey quoted by China Radio International (CRI). The poll in question is said to have been conducted by China Youth Daily on February 28 – i. e., also a vote on the schedule than on the show as aired. 55.4 percent found that the show was outdated. 102,791 people reportedly participated in the China-Youth-Daily survey.

I’m even suggesting that many of the young today who detest the show may get to like it as they grow older and become more conservative. From a demographic perspective, China isn’t a young country anymore, and it is greying rapidly.

All the same, Global Voices offers a summary of the gala which is worth reading. The intentions behind the production are probably interpreted fairly accurately, and two videos are included as samples.

The complete show will be somewhere on the internet.

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Related

» An estimated 700 mn, BBC blog, Jan 31, 2014
» How boring, “Global Times”, Jan 28, 2014
» No toothless Rocker, Jan 18, 2014

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