Posts tagged ‘democracy’

Friday, May 6, 2022

Central Asia: Russia’s Restive “Bulk” of Allies

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

In another bid to prove his president’s claim to the global public that you can’t isolate Russia, Russian foreign minister Lavrov wrote in a signed article for Rossiyskaya Gazeta that Russia could see its trade with Central Asia growing dynamically despite “the turbulent geopolitical situation”, and that “the bulk” of Central Asian countries were Russia’s allies.

There’s probably a need to emphasize that, although the Russian government-owned Rossiyskaya Gazeta may not be an ideal communication channel to the Central Asian public.

QSL card from Radio Tashkent, December 1985

That was long ago: a QSL card
from Radio Tashkent, December 1985

But then, security issues aren’t only Russia’s issue. Its allied “bulk” is worried about Moscow’s miltary rampage in Ukraine, and China’s relations with Central Asia may become affected, too.

“Due to its size and geography, China’s role [in Central Asia] will grow [following the war], but the SCO won’t have many success stories to point to”,

RFA/RL quotes Temur Umarov, a fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

“Beijing is also now seen as a supporter of Russia and as a country that isn’t doing much to restrain Moscow when many [SCO members] are seeing it as a potential threat.”

Pengpai News (“The Paper”, Shanghai), by no means a natural critic of Russia, suggested in an article on April 25 that

Since Russia started its “special military operation” againly been upped further, and their immediate and long-term political and economic effects are slowly emerging. In the five Central Asian countries that once belonged to the Soviet region, the Russian-Ukrainian state of affairs has given rise to worries, with their approach becoming more and more subtle.

在刚刚经历过“一月政变”的哈萨克斯坦,从总统托卡耶夫到外交部长和国防部长都在公开表态中与莫斯科保持了一定的距离。哈官方承诺不会成为帮助俄罗斯规避西方制裁的工具,并接待了专程到访的美国副国务卿,两国还宣布拟扩大高水平战略伙伴关系。

Kazakhstan’s regime, despite Russian military dispatches to quell demonstrations against the Tokayev regime only weeks earlier,

officially promised not to become a tool that would help Russia in evading the West’s sanctions, and received a US deputy secretary of state’s special visit. The two countries announced that they would broaden their high-level strategic partnership.

哈官方承诺不会成为帮助俄罗斯规避西方制裁的工具,并接待了专程到访的美国副国务卿,两国还宣布拟扩大高水平战略伙伴关系。

Timur Suleimenov, first deputy chief of Kazakhstan’s Executive Office, is quoted by Pengpai News as saying that his country, while a member of the Eurasian Economic Union,

we are also a member of the international community. We do not want America and the European Union to impose secondary sanctions on Kazakhstan, therefore we have to prove to our European partners that Kazakhstan will not become a tool for Russia to evade America’s and the EU’s sanctions. We will abide by the sanctions.”

“虽然我们和俄罗斯、白俄罗斯一样,是欧亚经济联盟成员,但我们也是国际社会的一员,我们不希望美国和欧盟对哈萨克斯坦实施二级制裁,因此我们必须向欧洲的伙伴证明,哈萨克斯坦不会成为俄罗斯规避美国和欧盟制裁的工具。我们将遵守制裁。”

Kazakhstan’s president, having just been protected from his own people by Russian troops,

presented, in his State of the Nation address on March 16, an entire set of reform plans, and acknowledged frankly that the Russian-Ukrainian state of affairs had made the importance of national independence obvious. He promised to carry out comprehensive political reform.

托卡耶夫在最近一次于3月16日所作的国情咨文中拿出了一整套改革方案,他坦言眼前的俄乌局势凸显了国家独立重要性,并承诺进行全面政治改革。

Uzbekistan is quoted as even telling Russia to stop its “aggressive” behavior (停止“侵略”行为). To find a peaceful solution, Uzbekistan’s foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov is quoted,

“We support the search for a peaceful solution to this state of affairs, and a solution to this conflict by political and diplomatic means”. For this, “(Russia) must first end military activity and its invasion.”

“我们支持寻求和平解决这一局势,并通过政治和外交手段解决这一冲突”。为此,“(俄罗斯)首先必须结束军事活动和侵略”。

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan who are more dependent on Russia, and who have Russian military bases within their borders, kept “prudently silent” after the launch of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To offset the return of many of its migrant workers from Russia, however, Kyrgyzstan negotiated with South Korea and Turkey, apparently to find work for its citizens there, and asked Turkey to ease visa restrictions on migrant workers.

The fallout, according to Pengpai News, is there: Both Kazakhtan and Uzbekistan are drawing closer to America. Even Russians flee to Uzbekistan, the Pengpai article says, to avoid military service in Russia. And Uzbek nationals have been warned by their government that they could face five years in prison if they serve in Russia’s military.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

You Sikun: Russian-Ukrainian War a “Great Revelation”

The following is a translation of a speech given by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan’s Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) on Tuesday, opening the national-day preparatory committee. “National day” refers to Taiwan’s double-ten celebrations.
Main link: National Day preparatory committee established – You Si-kun: strengthen the concept of Taiwan consciousness (國慶籌備會成立 游錫堃:強化台灣主體意識概念發想)

UDN coverage, April 19

UDN coverage, April 19

Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun chaired the national-day celebrations peparatory committee’s opening session this morning. He said that the Russo-Ukrainian war is a great revelation for people worldwide and in Taiwan. This year, the general meeting office and the fireworks office1) are asked to actively plan and strengthen Taiwanese subject consciousness2) and cohesion as well as the will of the people to protect the land.

立法院長游錫堃今上午主持「中華民國各界慶祝111年國慶籌備委員會」成立大會。他在致詞時表示,烏俄戰爭對全球和台灣人民都有很大的啟示。今年的國慶活動,將請大會處及焰火處積極規畫,朝強化台灣主體意識及凝聚國人守土為國意志的概念來發想。

[The following paragraph is about technicalities concerning SARS-COVID prevention – left out here]

You Si-kun said that under last year’s rising changes and challenges, the national-day celebrations, besides improving preventive measures against the pandemic, also carved out high-quality celabratory activities. In addition to inviting the heros of the Olympics and Paralympics, those fighting the pandemic, those who defended Taiwan and stabilized society, were part of a heros’ motorcade to be cheered and thanked by people all over the country for their efforts and hard work for Taiwan.

游錫堃表示,去年在疫情升溫的變化與挑戰下,慶籌會除了完善防疫措施外,還能同時規畫出優質的各項慶祝活動,除了邀請奧運、帕運、防疫、捍衛台灣、安定社會、護衛國土的台灣英雄,搭上英雄車隊、出席國慶大會、接受全國人民喝采,感謝他們對台灣的付出與辛勞。

This was combined with work for the overseas compatriots, with the Overseas Community Affairs Council taking overseas compatriots to the national day evening banquets and the national-day gathering in front of the presidential palace. They saw the atmosphere of the Kaohsiung fireworks and the exciting events they brought for the Taiwanese. All celebration activities brought the crowds to many places, improving tourism revenues and earning public praise.

同時,還結合僑胞服務工作,由僑務委員會帶著僑胞到新竹市參加國慶晚會,也到總統府前參加國慶大會,再去高雄觀賞國慶焰火,讓大家感受歡樂的國慶氣氛,為國人帶來那麼多精彩的活動內容,各項慶祝活動也確實為各地帶來非常多的人潮,提高了觀光收益,廣獲社會好評。

You Si-kun said that the Russo-Ukrainian war is a great revelation for people worldwide and in Taiwan. This year, the general meeting office and the fireworks office1) are asked to actively plan and strengthen Taiwanese subject consciousness2) and cohesion as well as the will of the people to protect the land. This year’s national day holiday will be three days, from October 8 to October 10. He believed that the people would certainly the national-day events, hoped that everyone would have fun with combined education and entertainment, and that [the national day celebrations] would be activities with ample vitality, cohesion and consensus-building, and participation.

游錫堃說,烏俄戰爭對全球和台灣人民都有很大的啟示。今年的國慶活動,也請大會處及焰火處積極規劃,朝強化臺灣主體意識及凝聚國人守土為國意志的概念來發想。今年國慶日適逢3天的連續假期(10/8至10/10),相信國人一定會很期待國慶系列活動,希望大家能寓教於樂,讓國慶成為充滿活力、凝聚共識、全民參與的活動。

____________

Notes

1) 大會處及焰火處, the genereal meeting office and the fireworks office, both of them offices under the preparatory committee
2) Subject conciousness may not be the perfect equivalent – sociologists would be in a better position than I to judge -, but I found this term in a paper about Korean self-awareness-building, too
Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun and Facts in Taiwan

Every year, there’s the fun

and the facts.

President Tsai’s 2022 new year’s remarks are also available in English.
____________

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

China didn’t feature prominently in Germany’s 2021 federal election campaign – at least not at the surface.
Somewhat underneath, and not really overreported in the German media, are donations and sponsorships that benefitted the political parties – or one or two of them – in the run-up to the Bundestag elections on September 26.
The picture, according to statista.de (quoting Germany’s federal parliament administration and only recording donations of more than 50,000 Euros):

CDU/CSU (center-right): 3,340,860 Euros
FDP (neoliberal): 2,055,454 Euros
Greens (ecological): 1,790,548 Euros
AFD (right-wing, neoliberal): 100,000 Euros
SPD (social democrats): 50,000 Euros

This is not the full picture, of course. Donations from 10,000 to 50,000 Euros will probably only appear in the political parties’ annual accounts, likely to be published around a year and a half after they happen.
Also, [Update, Oct 8: committed event] “sponsoring” [of party congresses, for example] amounts don’t need to be published in detail – there is no way of knowing who donated, and which amounts.
Still, the above-50,000 statistics give us an idea: the social democrats were considered dead in the water. That, at least, was a general belief into August this year, and that’s as far as the statistics go. Some corporations and lobby organizations may have tried to make up for their negligence when the SPD began to soar in the opinion polls.
Before we get to the China issues, let’s take a look at the 50,000-plus donations in relation to the actual votes for the parties.

Blue: donations >50,000
Red: actual votes
(relations, no numbers)

This doesn’t mean that the SPD wouldn’t like to get donations, and grassroot donations can make a difference too, but it is obvious that the industry didn’t bet on the social democrats and the left party.

China issues in the campaign

Hong Kong’s political activist Ray Wong, now living in German exile, German sinologist David Missal and other activists and human rights groups put a “China elections check” online for those who were interested in the party’s positions concerning China.
They asked each political party represented in Germany’s incumbent federal parliament, the Bundestag, eight questions, and according to the organizers, only the AFD didn’t respond.
That said, the CDU/CSU were “neutral” on seven out of the eight statements.
All eight statements can be considered a demand Missal, Wong and the organizations supporting the project would subscribe to.

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


Political parties by rates of agreement, neutrality or disagreement with / towards the statements, in descending order (respectively)

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

The Greens 6
SPD 4
FDP 3
The Left 3
CDU/CSU 0

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

CDU/CSU 7
FDP 5
SPD 1
The Left 0
The Greens 0

Party / group doesn’t agree with the statements (opposed)

The Left 5
SPD 3
FDP 0*)
The Greens 2
CDU/CSU 1
________
*) corrected (Oct 8), down from 3

Outlook

At least for now, the CDU/CSU’s chances of heading (or even just joining) a government coalition have deminished, as both the FDP and the Greens are currently moving closer to the SPD, with some unfriendly noise especially from the CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party.
This would mean that exactly the three parties that find most common ground with the Wong/Missal statements would be in government.
The picture would become much friendlier for pro-China lobbyists if the tide turned again,in favor of the CDU/CSU.
The proof of the pudding is the eating, and the industry will almost certainly become more generous with its donations to the Social Democrats, but for those who want to see a government with clear-cut positions on Chinese crimes against human rights, the trend isn’t looking bad.
The CDU/CSU didn’t really care, and documented that publicly.
____________

Related

Germany after the federal elections, Sept 27, 2021
Guanchazhe flatters Austrian Supernova, April 7, 2018
____________

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sherman-Xie Tianjin Meeting: “The Eyes of the Chinese Common People are Sharp”

The following is a translation of a rant by China’s deputy foreign minister Xie Feng (谢锋), as rendered by a number of Chinese mainstream media (with Shanghai newsportal Guanchazhe apparently as the original source), in a meeting with U.S. deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman and her delegation in Tianjin on Monday.

The meeting apparently didn’t make it into Monday’s main Chinese telvision newscast, “Xinwen Lianbo”.

Links within blockquotes added during translation. My translation may contain errors, and corrections aind suggestions are welcome.
20210726_dragon_tv_tianjin_sherman_xie
Main Link: Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng’s Tianjin Talks with U.S. Principal Deputy Secretary of State Sherman

(Guanchazhe online news) In the morning of July 26, Chinese vice foreign minister Xie Feng held talks in Tianjin with American deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman.

(观察者网讯)7月26日上午,中国外交部副部长谢锋同美国国务院常务副国务卿舍曼在天津举行会谈。

According to Weibo @玉渊谭天 news1), Xie Feng said during the talks with Sherman that Chinese-American relations were currently in deadlock2) facing serious difficulties, the basic cause of which was that some people in America regarded China as an “imaginary enemy”.

据微博@玉渊谭天 消息,谢锋在和舍曼会谈时表示,中美关系目前陷入僵局,面临严重困难,根本原因就是美国一些人把中国当作“假想敌”。

Xie Feng said that for some time, some people on the American side had embellished Sino-American conflicts as so-called “Pearl-Harbor moments” and “Sputnik moments”. Some experts and scholars stated clearly that America is comparing China to second world wartime Japan and the cold-war Soviet Union, wanting to establish China as an imaginary enemy country, to reignite a sense of national purpose by demonizing China, thus deflecting the American people’s discontent with domestic politics, the economy and society, shifting the blame for deep-seated American structural contradictions onto China.

谢锋表示,一段时间以来,美方一些人在渲染中美冲突和美国面临的挑战时提到所谓“珍珠港时刻”和“斯普特尼克时刻”。一些专家学者明言,美方是在把中国比喻成二战时的日本、冷战时的苏联,想通过树立中国这个“假想敌”,重新点燃国家目标感,通过妖魔化中国,转移美民众对国内政治、经济、社会的不满,把美国内深层次结构性矛盾甩锅到中国身上。

Xie Feng pointed out that the entire American government and society were mobilized to comprehensively contain China, as if America’s domestic and external problems could be easily solved and as if America could become great again, and American hegemony continue, if only China’s development was contained. America readily criticized China, and things looked as if without gossiping about China, nothing could be said and done in America. We urge America to change its current, extremely mistaken, thought and its extremely dangerous China policy.

谢锋指出,美全政府全社会动员,全方位遏制中国,似乎只要遏制住中国的发展,美内外难题就能迎刃而解,美国将重新变得伟大,美国治下的霸权就可以延续。美方动辄拿中方说事,好像不扯上中国,都不会说话做事了。我们敦促美方改变当前这种极其错误的思维和极其危险的对华政策。

Xie Feng said that the eyes of the Chinese common people were sharp. America’s “competition, cooperation, confrontation” trichotomy was just America’s smokescreen. The innate character were confrontation and containment, while cooperation was a stop-gap plan of convenience and competition was the discourse trap. When China is needed, cooperation is demanded; when there’s an advantage [on America’s side], there’s decoupling, blockade and sanctions; and in order to contain China, [America] unscrupulously applies conflict and confrontation. If only matters of concern to America should be solved, if only results wanted by America should be reached, if benefits are unilateral and there’s always leeway for extreme measures [for America], how in the world can that be justified?!

谢锋表示,中国老百姓的眼晴是雪亮的。美方的“竞争、合作、对抗”三分法就是遏制打压中国的“障眼法”。对抗遏制是本质,合作是权宜之计,竞争是话语陷阱。有求于中方时就要求合作;在有优势的领域就脱钩断供,封锁制裁;为了遏制中国,不惜冲突对抗。只想解决美方关切的问题,只想得到美方想要的结果,单方面受益,既要坏事做绝,还想好处占尽,天下哪有这样的道理?!

Xie Feng pointed out that America’s so-called protection of the “rules-based international order” was just about packaging its own and a minority of Western countries’ “lineage rules and gang regulations”, to be used to block and suppress other countries. America is turning away from the international community’s accepted international law and international order, damagaging the international system it once participated in building, [then] building a new stove to throw the so-called “rules-based international order” out. Only in order to play shameless games, to usurp and change rules to restrict others, to strive for its own profit, it wants to execute the “law of the jungle” where you either eat or are eaten.

谢锋指出,美方所谓维护“基于规则的国际秩序”,就是想把自己和少数西方国家的“家法帮规”包装成国际规则,用来规锁打压别国。美方抛弃国际社会广泛接受的国际法和国际秩序,破坏自己曾经参与构建的国际体系,另起炉灶抛出所谓“基于规则的国际秩序”,无非是想耍赖,想篡改规则限制别人、谋利自己,是想施行弱肉强食、以大欺小的“丛林法则”。

Xie Feng said that what the world needed most these days was joint cooperation, rising to the challenges from the same boat3). The Chinese people loved peace, actively promoted the building of a new world order of mutual respect, fairness and justice, cooperation and double-win, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind4). China wanted to interact mutually with America on an equal footing, seeking common ground while keeping differences. America should change its ways5) and choose meeting with China halfway, mutual respect, fair competition, and peaceful coexistence. Healthy and stable Sino-American relations are not only in both sides’ interest but also the international community’s shared expectation.

谢锋表示,当今世界最需要团结合作、同舟共济。中国人民爱好和平,积极推动构建相互尊重、公平正义、合作共赢的新型国际关系,构建人类命运共同体。中方愿与美方平等相待、求同存异。美方应该改弦易辙,选择与中方相向而行,相互尊重,公平竞争,和平共处。一个健康稳定的中美关系不仅符合双方利益,也是国际社会的共同期盼。

Xie Feng said that America should first solve its own human rights problems. From a historical perspective, racism and genocide against native people; seen from reality, 620,000 people died from inactivity in fighting the virus; from a global perspective, putting all military might into wars of aggression, using lies to provoke wars, bringing the world serious disasters. What is America’s advocacy role for democracy and human rights based on?

谢锋表示,美方应该首先解决好自己的人权问题。从历史看,对土著居民搞种族灭绝;从现实看,消极抗疫造成62万美国人死亡;从世界看,长期穷兵黩武,用谎言挑起战争,给世界带来深重灾难。美国凭什么以全球民主人权自居?

Xie Feng said that America wasn’t qualified to wave around and making indiscreet remarks6) about democracy and human rights in China. If there was no strong and effective leadership of China’s Communist Party, no strong governing system, no appropriate road of development for China, and if the Chinese common people were denied democracy, freedom and human rights, how would the Chinese people be able to release such huge creativity and productivity? How did China, an enormously large country with more than a billion inhabitants, create the two miracles of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability? How was the Chinese nation able to perform the great leap of standing up, prospering and becoming strong within just 100 years? Western opinion polls show that the Chinese masses’ satisfaction with Chinese government exceeds 90 percent – an amazing rate for any country.

谢锋说,美方没有资格在中方面前指手画脚谈民主人权。如果没有中国共产党坚强有力的领导、没有一套行之有效的政治制度、没有一条适合国情的发展道路,如果老百姓都被剥夺了民主、自由、人权,中国人民怎么能释放出如此巨大的创造力和如此巨大的生产力?中国这么一个十几亿人口的超大规模国家怎么能创造经济快速增长与社会长期稳定两大奇迹?中华民族怎么能在短短的100年间迎来从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃?西方民调显示,中国民众对中国政府的满意度超过90%,这在任何一个国家都是惊人的。

Xie Feng said that Chinese culture advocated not to do to others what you don’t want others do to yourself, as it had no hegemonic genes, expansionist moods, or any precedent cases of coercion of any other country. Facing external interference, China had adopted adequate and lawful countermeasures to defend the country’s righteous interests, to protect international fairness and justice, and never ran to other peoples’ doors to pick fights, to reach into other people’s property, let alone occupy other countries’ territory – not even an inch. The patent and intellectual property on coercive diplomacy7) is all belonging to the Americans, as America applies sanctions on a grand scale, long-arm jurisdiction and interference in domestic politics. America’s so-called “interaction with other countries from a position of strength” is really just about bullying others based on one’s power, tyrannize others based on one’s power, [with the idea that] might makes right. It is coercive diplomacy through and through.

谢锋表示,中国文化主张己所不欲、勿施于人,从无霸权基因、扩张冲动,从不胁迫任何国家。面对外来干涉,中方采取的是合理合法反制,捍卫的是国家正当权益,维护的是国际公平正义,从未跑到别人门口挑事,从未将手伸进别人家里,更没占领过别国一寸土地。胁迫外交的发明权、专利权、知识产权,都非美国人莫属,是美国大搞单边制裁、长臂管辖、干涉内政。美方所谓“从实力地位出发与别国打交道”,本质就是仗势欺人、恃强凌弱、强权即公理,是彻头彻尾的胁迫外交。

____________

Notes

1) I’m not familiar with this account, but this way of quoting Xie Feng may intend to carry his message the Chinese public in a less official way than through the Chinese foreign ministry’s website
2) or, in other translations, in a stalemate
3) Please see Adam Cathcart’s great comment with classical background – two antagonized parties, condemned to cooperate
4) More literally translated: a community of common destiny for mankind
5) Literally translated, this could be mounting a new bowstring (or a string on a musical instrument) and change track”. This is sort of loaded, as the saying has also been used in the context of self-criticism and becoming a new man. The memory of that isn’t really cherished by the common people and doesn’t look like a constructive remonstrance to me.
6) literally: pointing fingers and drawing feet
7) more literally: diplomacy that threatens violence

____________

Related

G7, small-circled cliques and factions, May 4, 2021
Anchorage meeting,wise and competent, March 15, 2021

____________

Updates/Related

“Taiwan most important in Tianjin talks”, RTI, July 27, 2021
____________

Monday, October 12, 2020

Japan, Mongolia agree to jointly support Indo-Pacific policy

The following is a news article, originally by “The Paper” 澎湃新闻, republished by sohu.com.

Main link: Japan’s foreign minister to provide 25 billion Yen to aid that country in responding to new coronavirus (日外相访问蒙古国,将提供250亿日元贷款援助该国应对新冠)

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Japan’s foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi visited Mongolia on October 9 saying that a loan of 250 billion Japanese yen (about 1.6 billion RMB) would be provided to help Mongolia respond to the new coronavirus pandemic.

日本外务大臣茂木敏充于9日访问蒙古国,表示将提供250亿日元(约合人民币16亿元)的日元贷款,帮助蒙古国应对新冠疫情。

According to Kyodo news on October 10, at nine local time, Motegi held talks with Mongolia’s prime minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh and Mongolia’s foreign minister Nyamtseren Enkhtaivan in Mongolia’s capital Ulanbataar. In his talks with Motegi, Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support in combatting the new coronavirus epidemic, and Motegi replied by saying that [Japan] wanted to further deepen the development of bilateral relations. While meeting with Enkhtaivan, Motegi said that Japanese loans of 25 billion yen (about 1.6 billion RMB) would be provided to help Mongolia’s economy which was affected by the pandemic.

据日本共同社10日报道,当地时间9日,茂木在蒙古国首都乌兰巴托与该国总理呼日勒苏赫及该国外长恩赫泰旺分别举行了会谈。在茂木与呼日勒苏赫的会谈中,呼日勒苏赫对日本支援抗击新冠疫情的举措表示感谢,茂木则回应称愿进一步深化发展双边关系。在与恩赫泰旺的会谈中,茂木表示为援助受新冠疫情影响的蒙古国经济,将为其提供250亿日元(约合人民币16亿元)的日元贷款。

Motegi and Enkhtaivan said that Japan and Mongolia, as countries with “fundamental values such as democracy and rule of law”, would deepen bilateral relations in broad areas. During the talks, the two sides said that they would join forces to realize the so-called “free and open Indo-Pacific”. The two sides also said that they would continue to work together on the issue of “Japanese people kidnapped by North Korea” and hoped to solve the issue at an early date. “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” reported on October 10 that Mongolia and North Korea had established diplomatic relations in 1948 and had a deep friendship.

茂木与恩赫泰旺表示,日本与蒙古作为共同拥有“民主和法治等基本价值观”的国家,将在广泛领域深化双边关系。双方在会谈中表示,为实现所谓“自由开放的印度-太平洋”将通力合作。双方还称将在“朝鲜绑架日本人”问题上继续合作,愿早日解决该问题。《日本经济新闻》10日的报道称,蒙古国与朝鲜在1948年建立了外交关系,有着深厚的友谊。

After the talks, Motegi held an online press conference and emphasized that “in the future, the strategic partnership between the two countries would be further developed.

会谈后,茂木举行了在线记者会,强调“今后将进一步发展两国间的战略伙伴关系”。

(This article is from “The Paper”. For more information, please download “The Paper’s” app.)

(本文来自澎湃新闻,更多原创资讯请下载“澎湃新闻”APP)

____________

Related

Japan, Mongolia sign loan agreement, news.mn, Oct 12

____________


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Lee Teng-hui, 1923 – 2020

Lee Teng-hui and Nelson Mandela met twice: in 1993, when Mandela visited Taiwan, and in 1994, when Lee attended his inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.

台湾的主张, 台湾,1999,p. 103

They were two 20th-century giants of democracy, and there were a number of experiences they had in common – struggles for emancipation, more or less intensive tries at Communism, and a crucial role in the democratization of their countries, respectively. But while Mandela led a long open struggle, spending many decades of it in jail, Lee rose through the ranks of the nationalist KMT, supported and promoted by Chiang Ching-kuo during the 1970s and 1980s.

Lee probably owed much of his career to Chiang’s intention to co-opt native Taiwanese citizens into the KMT – a party which Lee actually (and secretly) hated. In the end, he owed his presidency to Chiang, to those in the KMT who threw their weight behind him after Chiang’s death in January 1988, and his own skills as a politician and a technocrat.

Lee’s career came full circle after his presidency had ended in 2000. The KMT revoked his membership in 2001, citing violation of party rules, not least their former president’s and chairman’s close contacts with the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

The KMT had been a vehicle on which Lee pushed forward Taiwan’s democratization, and the re-emergence of Taiwan’s own identity. This rediscovery is still an ongoing process.

While Mandela’s successes and limits in democratizing South Africa were a matter of wide global concern, attention and respect, Lee’s achievements and setbacks mostly took place in the shadows. The likeliest situations that would make the global public look towards the island was when it was threatened by China, with words or military exercises.

Delivering a lecture to an audience at his American alma mater, Cornell University, in 1995, Lee described Taiwan’s situation this way:

When a president carefully listens to his people, the hardest things to bear are the unfulfilled yearnings he hears. Taiwan has peacefully transformed itself into a de­mocracy. At the same time, its international economic ac­tivities have exerted a significant influence on its relations with nations with which it has no diplomatic ties. These are no minor accomplishments for any nation, yet, the Repub­lic of China on Taiwan does not enjoy the diplomatic rec­ognition that is due from the international community. This has caused many to underestimate the international dimen­sion of the Taiwan Experience.

When Lee retired, he essentially moved from the “pan-blue” (KMT-dominated) political camp into the “pan-green” (DPP-dominated) one. He supported both President Chen Shui-bian, and then current President Tsai Ing-wen. And he was prosecuted by the KMT after Ma Ying-jeou had taken office as president in 2008. Lee apparently wasn’t accused of unjustified enrichment, but of “diverting funds and money-laundering”. In November 2013, he was acquitted.

While Lee was known as a technocrat, especially with a record in agriculture, he also sought for new “spiritual” foundations for Taiwan’s emancipation from the Republic of China, i. E. the Chiang Dynasty’s China, imposed on Taiwan during the 1940s’ second half.

My active advocacy, he wrote in the late 1990s,

for  the “reform of heart and soul” in recent years is based on my hope to make society leave the old framework, applying new thought, face a new era, stir new vigor, from a transformation of peoples’ hearts. This goes deeper than political reform, and it is a more difficult transformation project, but we are confident that we will, based on the existing foundations of freedom and openness, achieve the building of a new Central Plain.

近年来,我积极倡导“心灵改革”,就是希望从人心的改造做起,让我们的社会走出旧有的框架,用新的思维,面对新的时代,并激发出新的活力。这是一个比政治 改革更加深入、也更为艰巨的改造工程,但是我们有信心,可以在社会自由开放的既有基础上,完成建立“文化新中原”的目标。

Zhongyuan (中原, the central plains) is a term charged with a Chinese sense of mission and civilization – in that context, it may appear surprising that Lee, a “splittist element”, would use the term at all. The way Henan party secretary Xu Guangchun (徐光春) referred to the central plains may give you an idea: The history of Henan Province constitutes half of the Chinese history. Two years earlier, Xu had apparently given a talk in Hong Kong, with a similar message. But this wasn’t necessarily what Lee had on mind, in 1996.
From “Taiwanisation – Its Origin and Politics”, George Tsai Woei, Peter Yu Kien-hong, Singapore, 2001, page 19 – 20 (footnotes omitted):

Another anecdote should also be mentioned here. In 1996, Lee Teng-hui declared his ambition to “manage the great Taiwan, and to construct a new Central Plain”. As is known, Central Plain (zhong-yuan) was, and still is, a term usually reserved to describe cultural China. To “manage the big Taiwan” is something easily understood, but to construct a new “Central Plain” is very controversial, to say the least. Some argued that Lee’s aim was to help rebuild China as a “new” central plain, but with his foot firmly on Taiwan. But others rebutted that what really was in Lee’s minds was to build Taiwan as a new Central Plain so that there was no need to unify, or have connections, with the “old” central plain, China.

But while the Taiwan experience hasn’t become as much part of human heritage as South Africa’s has, Lee power to shape his country’s development was probably much greater than Mandela’s to shape South Africa’s.

Lee had become president in extraordinary times. Opposition groups, and “illegally” founded political parties among them, had demanded the lifting of the decades-old martial law for a long time. And when Lee began his second term as president in 1990, after the two remaining years of what had originally been Chiang Ching-kuo’s term, students occupied what is now Taipei’s Liberty Square. Once Lee had been sworn in again, he received a fifty-students delegation and promised Taiwan’s democratization, less than a year after the Tian An Men massacre in China.

When a man follows the leader, he actually follows the mass, the majority group that the leader so perfectly represents,

Jacques Ellul wrote in the 1960s*), and added:

The leader loses all power when he is separated from his group; no propaganda can emanate from a solitary leader.

Lee understood that. Maybe Chiang Ching-kuo understood it, too. But when he made Lee Vice President in 1984, and therefore his heir-apparent, he probably did not know at all how far the “group” – Taiwan’s complex mixture of “ordinary people”, Taiwanese and Chinese nationalists, and, all among them, the islands Indigenous people – would make Lee Teng-hui go.

Taiwan Presidential Office Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka remembers Lee Teng-hui – click photo for Tweet

____________

*) Jacques Ellul: Propaganda, the Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Paris 1962, 2008, New York 1965, S. 97

Friday, July 10, 2020

Ko Wen-je discusses his Chances to be elected President, Cross-Strait Relations

The following is a translation of an article by Radio Taiwan International‘s Chinese service.

The article contains interesting quotes from an interview Ko Wen-je gave Next TV, but leaves out critical comments he reportedly made about Xi Jinping‘s Qin-Shi-Huang kind of actions.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Xi Jinping acting like Qin Shi Huang?

Main link: No great chance to be elected president/ there are currently no cross-strait relations

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je said in an interview aired on July 9 that concerning the 2024 presidential elections, he was “taking a preparatory look at the issue” but his own view of the odds for him wasn’t promising, there would be new politicians, and the situation would be different.

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的專訪中表示,對於2024總統「照這樣準備」,但自評勝算很低,且到那時會有新的政治人物出現、也沒有連任問題,戰局會不同。

Ko’s interview was broadcast on July 9 by Next TV. Asked by host Chen Yalin about the participation issue in the 2024 presidential elections, Ko declared for the first time that “I am still looking at such preparations, preparing for the presidential elections, just choosing like that, does it work or doesn’t it.”

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的壹電視專訪中,被主持人陳雅琳問及參選2024總統問題,他首度表態「我還是照這樣準備,準備選總統,就這樣去選,行或不行」。

The host followed up, asking “what is the chance that it would work?”, and Ko answered that if you lean on personal popularity to win, the mobilization abilities of the blue and green camps were both strong, and only if you lead by eight percent from the beginning, “if you ask me at this stage, the chances to get elected would be very low.” “When all media are playing the game like this, it can’t be easy.” Also, there would be new politicians by then, and there wouldn’t be re-election issues, which would make it a different campaign.

主持人追問「你覺得行的比例差不多多少」,柯文哲回應若要靠個人聲望贏,藍綠動員能力強,除非一開始就領先8%,「你問我現階段,選了贏的機會很低」,「所有的媒體這樣打,不容易啦」,且到那時都是新的政治人物、也沒有現在連任的問題,戰局會不同。

Ko Wen-je said that he was in a very calm mood now, with doing his work at the Taipei government, and if it [the presidential opportunities] was there, that would be fine, and otherwise, let it be. There was no need to care.

柯文哲表示現在心情都很輕鬆,正常在北市府開工,行就行、不行就算了,何必那麼在意。

Ko also said that at this stage, there were no cross-strait relations, only a Taiwan issue within the confrontation between China and America, with both China and America having their bottom lines. “Frankly speaking, my conduct and actions wouldn’t differ much from Ying-wen’s [President Tsai].”

柯文哲並表示,現階段沒有兩岸關係,只有中美對抗架構下的台灣問題,中美各有底線,「坦白講,我所作所為跟小英(蔡總統)的做法其實也差不多」。

Asked by the host about the Hong Kong national security law and the cross-strait situation, Ko Wen-je said that China has to reflect on how to deal with the people’s longings for democracy and freedom once arriving at a certain stage of economic development.

主持人問及對香港國安法及兩岸情勢問題,柯文哲表示中國必須思考當經濟發展到一個程度時,該如何處理人民對民主自由的渴望。

Asked what he had to say to China’s chairman Xi Jinping, Ko Wen-je said that [Xi] had better respect Taiwan. Democracy and freedom were the core of Taiwan’s politics, cherished by the Taiwanese, and, more importantly, the Taiwanese would want to retain it. Therefore, [Xi] needed to understand Taiwan’s current situation.

至於對中國國家主席習近平有何話說,柯文哲表示,他還是要尊重台灣。民主自由是台灣政治的核心;台灣人會珍惜它、更重要的是台灣人會去想要保有它,所以他必須了解台灣的現況。

____________

Updates / Related

Taipei to continue forum with Shanghai (click picture)

____________

%d bloggers like this: