Posts tagged ‘Germany’

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Radio Taiwan International Shortwave Test Transmissions 2021 to Europe (updated)


Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service has announced test transmissions from Tamsui transmitter site, northwestern Taiwan, targeting central Europe on July 17 (UTC).

Time (UTC) Frequency
from to
17:00 17:10 11995 kHz
17:15 17:25 11705 kHz
18:00 18:10 9545 kHz
18:15 18:25 7250 kHz
RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan

RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan
中央廣播電臺 QSL卡: 台南 神農街

According to RTI, the two frequencies that do best during the tests will be chosen for one-hour transmissions that start later this month, and continue into August, apparently every week from Friday through Sunday. It sounds like a pretty ambitious schedule, and if lucky, we will get to listen to programs that are usually only available online as those broadcasts will be 60 minutes each.

Normally, Radio Taiwan International’s German service only broadcasts one half-hour program a day on shortwave, but its actual program output (shortwave and online) is about 60 minutes per day.
RTI welcomes reception reports.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Huanqiu Shibao: G7 London Meeting, small-circled cliques and factions

As he said before, it’s you, not us

The following is a translation of an article by Huanqiu Shibao online, published on Tuesday (May 4). Huanqiu’s translations from English do not necessarily reflect what the persons quoted there actually said.

The Reuters article referred to by Huanqiu Shibao can be found here.

Main Link: Evoking the China-Russia threat once again? (又渲染中俄威胁)

Bian Zihao, Huanqiu Online reporter — Hyping another Chinese-Russian threat? The G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Britain’s capital London opened on May 3. According to Reuters, Britain will seek decisive action from the G7 member states to respond to global threats. Reuters says that these so-called “global threats” include China and Russia.

【环球网报道 记者 边子豪】又炒作中俄威胁?七国集团外长会3日在英国首都伦敦开幕,据路透社报道,英国4日将寻求与G7成员国采取果断行动以应对全球威胁。路透社称,上述所谓“全球威胁”包括中国和俄罗斯。

As it holds the G7’s rotating chairmanship this year, Britain also invited Australia’s, India ‘s , South Africa ‘s and South Korea ‘s foreign ministers this week. Reuters says that this is the first time in two years that G7 representatives talk face-to-face and that this is seen as an opportunity to “strengthening support for the international rules-based system.

作为今年七国集团轮值主席国,除了G7成员国外,英国本周还邀请了澳大利亚、印度、南非和韩国等国外长。路透社说,本次会谈是近两年来七国集团代表首次举行面对面会议,被英方视为“加强支持基于规则的国际体系的机会”。

Reuters also quoted Britain’s wording, an evocation of the so-called “China-Russia threat”, saying that China’s economic influence and Russia’s “evil activities” could break that system.

此外,路透社还引述英方说法,渲染所谓“中俄威胁”说,中国的经济影响力和俄罗斯的“恶意活动”可能会破坏上述体系。

The report also mentioned that on May 3 local time, U.S. secretary of state Blinken, after meeting British forign secretary Raab, called for the building of an international alliance. He claimed that although there was no intention to “contain China”, there was a need to make sure that China “acted in accordance with the rules”. In a program broadcast by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Blinken explained his position similarly. He said there, “our goal isn’t to contain China, not to block China, not to inhibit China. (But) it is the protection of order-based rules to which China currently raises challenges …”

报道还提到,当地时间5月3日,在与英国外交大臣拉布会面后,美国国务卿布林肯呼吁组建一个全球联盟,他宣称尽管不想“遏制中国”,但要确保中国“按规则行事”。 而在5月2日哥伦比亚广播公司(CBS)播出的一档节目中,布林肯也曾有过相似表态。当时他说:“我们的目的不是遏制中国,不是阻止中国,不是压制中国。(而)是为了维护基于秩序的规则,(但)中国正在对(这些规则)提出挑战……”

The foreign ministers’ meeting is seen as a warm-up for the G7 summit in June. The G7 consists of Britain, America, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. Russia joined as the eighth country in 1997. In 2014, after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, Russia was excluded.

本次外长会被视为将于6月在英国举行的七国集团峰会的预热。七国集团由英国、美国、法国、德国、意大利、加拿大和日本组成,俄罗斯1997年加入后成为八国集团。2014年乌克兰危机爆发以后,俄罗斯被排除在外。

In reality, concerning talk about the so-called “China threat”, FMPRC spokesman Zao Lijian has previously emphasized that China adheres unswervingly to the road of peaceful development, we have never provoked a war on our own accord, and never violated an inch of another country’s territory, nor have we ever constituted a threat to any country. Facts have repeatedly proven that China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a protector of international order, and that China’s development is an opportunity for the world.

事实上,关于所谓“中国威胁论”,中国外交部发言人赵立坚此前曾强调,中国坚定不移走和平发展道路,我们从来没有主动挑起过一场战争,也从来没有侵犯过别国一寸领土,不对任何国家构成威胁。事实一再证明中国始终是世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者,中国的发展是世界的机遇。

Zhao Lijian said that China’s development spells the growth of global peace, that it is the woeld’s opportunity and not a challenge. China has always firmly upheld the international system with the United Nations at the core, based on international law. But that isn’t an international order defined by individual countries to protect their own interests. In the age of globalization, the destruction of international order [happens] for real when lines are drawn along ideology and when countries form small-circled cliques and factions. In the end, this is what really doesn’t enjoy popular support and what doesn’t provide a way out.

赵立坚说,中国的发展是世界和平力量的增长,是世界的机遇而非挑战。中方始终坚定维护的是以联合国为核心的国际体系和以国际法为基础的国际秩序,而不是个别国家为维护自身霸权所定义的国际秩序。在全球化时代,以意识形态划线,拉帮结派,搞针对特定国家的小圈子才是对国际秩序的破坏。这终究是不得人心的,也是没有出路的。

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Related

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, Aug 9, 2020
An unprecedented common cause, June 7, 2013
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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Genocide – an adequate Term?

Evidence without much psychological effect?
Click picture for source

In 2018, Adrian Zenz, a Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington D.C., published evidence that Chinese authorities “re-education camps” in East Turkestan. Under the weight of evidence, including leaked documents from within China’s authorities, Beijing doesn’t deny the existence of such camps. Instead, members of China’s political class refer to them as “vocational schools”.

In a show that it takes Zenz’s publications seriously, Beijing included him in a blacklist of ten European scholars and lawmakers, in March 2021.

Zenz and many critics of China’s repression of ethnic minorities say that the policy on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities constitutes genocide. But there’s a catch, at least in Zenz’s case. In an interview with Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zenz said that for exiled Uyghurs, genocide was

… the only word that expresses adequately what they are going through as a people. For what is happening there, there is no adequate category. It doesn’t fit well into existing pigeonholes. Merely in accordance with the UN Convention it is difficult to talk about genocide, because one would have to prove that China intends to annihilate a significant share of the Uyghur population. There is only scant evidence for that.

… das einzige Wort, das richtig ausdrückt, was sie als Volk durchmachen. Für das, was da geschieht, gibt es keine richtige Kategorie. Es passt nicht gut in bestehende Fächer. Rein nach der Uno-Konvention ist es schwierig, von Genozid zu sprechen. Denn man müsste nachweisen können, dass China die Absicht hat, einen bedeutenden Teil der uigurischen Bevölkerung zu vernichten. Da ist die Beweislage jedoch sehr dünn.

Still, Zenz advocates the use of the term “genocide”, because of its “strong psychological effect”.

It is tempting to do so. As Zenz says himself, this could lead to change for the oppressed. But it misleads those under this effect.

China’s “Communist” Party claims to base its policies on science. That’s clearly not the case. But there is also reason to doubt that the West’s worldview is still based on its heritage of Enlightenment. You don’t brainwash people by claiming genocide where it doesn’t exist. But you manipulate them.

As urgent as change for the Uyghurs is, you don’t bring about sustainable change by calling a deer a horse. You don’t bring about change when you leave political decisions to corporations- like Volkswagen’s choice to run a car plant in East Turkestan. You don’t bring about change without informing the public accurately, teaching your children some basic values, and without trying to be truthful. And you don’t bring about change if corporations determine politics, rather than the other way round.

Trying to achieve psychological effects is nothing new. There is no lack of guides and advice about how to “engineer consent”. But doing so has adverse effects on a free society, without helping the oppressed. People are oddly aware when you  cheat them, even if they can’t tell how it is happening.

Such an approach isn’t only ethically questionable, but unpractical, too. Even the best intentions can create low-trust societies. At home, that is – not where the crimes are happening.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Navel-gazing Rogue in the Broadcasting Room

Why, sure …

 

Canada’s parliament declares China’s persecution of Uighurs a “genocide”? Cool, but who in China cares when Canada doesn’t speak to the world, including China, and explains the declaration?

If the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) critics state their case correctly, that’s the state of Canada’s foreign broadcasting. Not only will CBC, reportedly, violate the Broadcasting Act by cutting Radio Canada International (RCI) down further. It would also be sort of privatizing it, by shifting its focus to domestic minority broadcasting, thus competing with private ethnic radio operators – and, according to the “RCI Action Committee” – to newcomers to our country”, “engaging with its target audience, particularly newcomers to Canada”, and making this new content “freely available to interested ethnic community media”.

The idea that publicly-funded foreign broadcasters (or media platforms) should shift their attention to migrant communities at home, at least to some extent, is nothing new. Germany’s Deutsche Welle has been doing this for a number of years now, and so has (it seems to me) Radio Sweden.

But that’s not RCI’s mandate, writes the Action Committee.

CBC’s supervisors appear to be fast asleep, while there is “a rogue elephant in the broadcasting room”, according to Peter Menzies, a former Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) vice chair.

According to the “RCI Action Committee’s” blog on December 4 last year, RCI, after what CBC calls its “modernization”, won’t run its own website any more, and the Spanish, Arabic and Chinese services will be basically closed – cut from three editors each to only one editor per language remaining, to translate content from the CBC and Radio-Canada websites. And the English and French programs, it seems, will cease to exist completely.

Menzies, a signatory to a letter calling on senior government officials to get CBC executives to put their latest plans on hold and give RCI employees a few weeks to come up with an alternative restructuring plan, also gives a short account of Radio Canada International’s history, from the final days of world war 2 to 2012, when RCI’s budget was cut into by 80 percent, two-thirds of staff laid off and RCI ceased shortwave and satellite transmission, becoming internet only.

Will CBC listen to its critics? Not if its supervisors remain silent. In fact, RCI staff has often put up resistance and creativity against budget and program slashes, but never successfully, at least not in the long run.

Radio Canada International has been a shadow of itself since early this century, and it had seen cuts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, too.

Radio Canada International once ran a German service. It was one of the most popular shortwave programs among German listeners both in East and West Germany until it was closed in late 1989 or early 1990. At the time, new language services such as Arabic or Chinese were said to be the reason for terminating the daily half-hour German programs.

Gunter Michelson, one of the Radio Canada International German service’s editors who had left or retired before the department was closed, said in a telephone interview at the time that

This is a strange issue. The German programs’ termination is explained by the launch of broadcasts in Chinese. The idea of a Chinese service in itself is up-to-date and very good. China will, after all, be one of the world’s greatest markets. But the same logic demands that Canada broadcasts in German, to the European-Community, which is going to be the world’s biggest trading block in the foreseeable future, with 340 million consumers and 60 million people within the EC and 80 million in central Europe speak German. You can’t simply ignore them.[…]*)

Sure thing: you can, just as you can ignore a potential billion-and-a-half Chinese audience. OK – many of them were lost when the shortwave broadcasts from Canada ended, anyway.

Thirty years later, the budget slashes are coming full circle – it’s the Chinese service’s turn to be (nearly) eliminated. To whom is Canada talking when its parliament passes a resolution concerning China?

Probably to itself. Be a human-rights advocate and feel good about it.

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Note

*) Michelson, August 27, 1989: Das ist eine außerordentlich befremdliche Sache. Begründet wird die Einstellung des deutschsprachigen Programms mit der Aufnahme von Sendungen in Chinesisch. An sich ist die Idee eines chinesischen Dienstes aktuell und sehr gut. China wird ja eines Tages einer der größten Absatzmärkte der Welt sein. Aber die gleiche Logik erfordert auch, dass Kanada auf Deutsch ins EG-Gebiet sendet, das ja in zwei oder drei Jahren mit 340 Millionen Verbrauchern den in absehbarer Zeit größten Wirtschaftsblock der Welt darstellen wird. Und über 60 Millionen Personen im EG-Gebiet, um 80 Millionen in Mitteleuropa, sprechen ja Deutsch. Die kann man nicht einfach ignorieren. […]

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Related

RCI “effectively retired”, April 9, 2012
Advocacy journalism not the problem, Jan 26, 2012
Opinion leaders, May 20, 2011

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Happy New Year

railway vision (archive)

 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

China-Germany Friendship Association: “A Rise in unpredictable Factors”

If “people-to-people” organizations are crucial for Beijing’s diplomacy (it didn’t look like that in recent years), former Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, could be facing a rather challenging partial-retirement duty as the new head of the “China-Germany Friendship Association”. As far as the quotes in the following report provide clues, Shi seems to strike a mainly positive note on Sino-German relations, but less so than the overall “Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries'” president Lin Songtian, once “China’s most outspoken ambassador in Africa”.

This was in early August, before foreign minister Wang Yi started his European tour, but Shi, even if using the lot of sugarcoating that we had been used to prior to Xi Jinping‘s Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics, also alluded to some deficits in German-Chinese relations.

The following is a translation of the report on the China-Germany Friendship Association’s conference of August 6 local time. Links added during translation.

china.com.cn (China Net, 中国网) is an online news portal under the Chinese state council’s (i. e. government’s) administration.

China Net photo, click main link underneath for article

Main Link:
Former Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, elected chairman of China-Germany Friendship Association.

China Net, August 7 news (reporter Wang Ran). On August 6, the China-Germany Friendship Association conference was held in Beijing. Senior diplomat and former ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde was elected as the China-Germany Friendship Association’s new president. The conference also elected a deputy president and a secretary-general, passed a sixty-names’ directorate list and a China-Germany Friendship Association statute.

中国网8月日讯 (记者 王冉)8月6日,中国德国友好协会(以下简称:中德友协)换届大会在京举行。中国资深外交官、前驻德大使史明德当选新一届中德友协会长。大会还选出副会长、秘书长,通过了新一届理事60人名单和中德友协章程。

Ambassador Shi Mingde said in his address that ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany 48 years ago, the two countries’ relations of friendly cooperation had reached unprecedented development. The two sides’ joint interests had always outweighed division and contradictions. The two countries’ political relations were well, and economic and trade cooperation had provided substantial mutually beneficial results. But at the same time, German public opinion about China hadn’t seen fundamental improvement, and the foundations of public opinion in the two countries needed further consolidation (两国民意基础有待进一步夯实). German chancellor Angela Merkel would end her political career next year, after 16 years in office. This could lead to a rise in unpredictable factors.

史明德大使在致辞中称,中德建交48年来,两国友好合作关系得到前所未有的发展,双方共同利益始终大于分歧和矛盾。两国政治关系良好,经贸互利合作成果丰硕。但与此同时,德国对华舆论环境没有根本改善,两国民意基础有待进一步夯实。明年德国总理默克尔将结束执政16年的政治生涯,中德关系未来的不可预测因素可能上升。

Shi Mingde said that the China-Germany Friendship Association, in its coming years, would play a leading role in people-to-people [or non-governmental] exchanges with Germany and create a great platform for people-to-people exchange with Germany. [It would] speak out actively and let more German masses understand a real and objective China. It would promote Sino-German regional exchanges and serve regional economic development. He hoped that the China-German Friendship Association could, under the guidance and with the support of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, continuously promote the friendly exchange and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries’ peoples, and the rise of Sino-German friendly cooperation to the next level.

史明德表示,新一届中德友协要在对德民间交往中发挥引领作用,打造对德民间交流大平台;积极对外发声,让更多德国民众了解一个真实、客观的中国;促进中德地方交流,服务地方经济发展。他希望中德友协能在中国人民对外友好协会的指导和支持下,不断推进两国民间友好交流与互利合作,促进中德友好合作更上一层楼。

Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries’ president Lin Songtian said at the conference that China and Germany were both firm supporters of globalization and multilateralism, with common interests and similar positions concerning the protection of world peace and justice. Currently, there were 99 partnerships between Chinese and German provinces, federal states and cities, and 1.5 million visits in either direction per year. He believed that under the new president’s leadership, the China-German Friendship Association would attract broader masses to participation and exchange, promote the mutual understanding between the two countries’ peoples, learning from each other and setting examples for each other, promote closer attachment and connectedness, to contribute more people-to-people wisdom and strengths to the deepening of the Sino-German comprehensive [『 全方位』, not just『全面』 ] strategic partnership.

中国人民对外友好协会会长林松添在换届大会上表示,中德都是全球化和多边主义的坚定支持者,在维护世界和平与正义、促进全球合作与发展繁荣等方面拥有广泛的共同利益和相近立场。目前,中德友好省州和城市有99对,每年有150余万人次互访。他相信,中德友协在新任会长领导下能吸引两国更广泛民众参与交流,促进两国人民相互了解、互学互鉴,实现民相亲、心相通,为深化中德全方位战略伙伴关系贡献更多民间智慧和力量,更好造福两国人民。

After the conference, Shi Mingde gave China Net an interview. He said that on July 1, Germany had taken the European Union’s rotating chairmanship for the current half-year term. This year was a critical period for Sino-European relations, and as the chairing country of the EU, Germany picked up an important role. “I hope for the EU’s and Germany’s joint efforts, to send a positive signal of support for multilateralism and against unilateralism, [a positive signal] of cooperation and mutual profits.”

史明德在会后就中德双边关系接受了中国网采访。他说,7月1日,德国接任欧盟轮值主席国,开启为期半年的任期。今年是中欧关系的关键时期,作为欧盟轮值主席国的德国起着至关重要的作用。“我希望与欧盟和德国一起共同努力,向世界发出坚持多边主义,反对单边主义,合作共赢的积极信号。”

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Related

“It’s not going well,” Washington Post, Sept 2, 2020

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, while Party expects Returns on Investment

Twitter can be fun, but would be a waste of time if all the information you can get passes by without some reflection on it. Learning by repetition. Here goes.

China’s recent diplomacy has been referred to as wolf warrior diplomacy (戰狼外交) in recent months – or in fact for years (as Sweden can tell) -, but it has become a much more frequently used term with the COVID-19 crisis.

As Washington and Beijing traded accusations and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 origins during the first half of 2020, Beijing’s propaganda machine continuously switched gears between angry statements and more or less funny cartoons on “social media” platforms like Twitter, depicting Trump administration officials as dorks or hypocrites. Chinese foreign ministry (FMPRC) spokesman and communications director Zhao Lijian as well as Chinese media outlets like CCTV-English, People’s Daily in English, Xinhua news agency etc. took leading roles in “anti-American” (反美) enunciations.

But wolf warrior diplomacy apparently didn’t lead to results that would have satisfied Beijing after all. On Tuesday (August 4), China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, told an NBC anchor and a wider online public that

The normalization of relations between our two countries and the growth of this relationship over the decades has served the interests of both countries and the world very well. It’s quite clear to all of us are still enjoying the positive outcome, the benefit of this growth of relationship. Nobody can really deny this.

Societal differences should provide opportunities for mutual learning, Cui suggested.

Cui himself didn’t have to make a u-turn to emphasize the “positive outcomes” of Sino-US relations – he had never been a wolf warrior diplomat anyway, and Washington wouldn’t have been the place to test these fruits of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era / Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy anyway. And when he made the essential swipe – there needs to be one in every Chinese representation to Americans these days, to show that the speaker is not afraid of his audience -, he smiled as if he wanted to apologize for what he was saying.

Click picture for video

His boss, foreign minister Wang Yi, didn’t have to turn everything upside down either. But to show that Xi has always been a great supporter of dialogue, he inaugurated a Research Center for the Guiding Role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic Thought at the FMPRC on July 20.

According to “Radio Free Asia” (apparently not safely verified), fifty-centers have been told to switch their messages from “anti-American” to “double-win” (click picture for details)

Thusly illuminated, foreign minister Wang addressed an online forum of American and Chinese think tanks (including Henry Kissinger and Kevin Rudd, apparently) on July 9, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas in a video conference on July 24 (not without informing his colleague in Berlin that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America), and, most recently, the readers of Communist Party organ “People’s Daily”.

Chances are that US secretary of state Pompeo and his network have struck the right note in communication with Beijing during the past months, and distancing from China could become a bipartisan American policy. However, the Trump administration may not be able to take traditional allies as far along in their cause as they would like to.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told a press conference with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo that “we make our own decisions and we use our own language”, and that “the relationship with China is important and we have no intention of injuring it”.

Sydney Morning Herald correspondents wrote on August 1 that Joe Biden, the US Democrats’ presidential nominee, was

expected to be closer to what Australia is trying to do: transition to a multipolar region where Beijing is accommodated but counterbalanced by regional powers including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the US.

At times, Trump and Pompeo’s approach seems to be an attempt to maintain the US as regional hegemon – something Canberra quietly gave up on a few years ago.

[Lowy Institute executive director] Fullilove says in some ways a Biden administration would be tougher on China and may make requests of Australia which are harder to refuse.

The correspondents also pointed out that both Japan and New Zealand, while basically following the US / Australia lines, had kept a rather low profile, thus protecting their trade interests with China.

Germany wasn’t exactly the first country either to throw a gauntlet at Beijing, or to publicly take note of China’s internment policies in East Turkestan, or its breach of international law by imposing its “national security law” on Hong Kong. Berlin’s position was further complicated as Germany’s leadership currently chairs the EU in a rotational arrangement, having to find as much common ground among Beijing-leaning EU member states and more resilient members.

Only when Hong Kong’s government announced a “postponement” of Legislative Council elections by a year, ostensibly because of the special administrative region’s COVID-19 crisis, Germany joined other countries and suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. On August 3, French foreign ministry sharply criticized Beijing’s “national security law”, and halted ratification of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which had been in process since 2017.

A few days earlier, and five days after his conversation with Germany’s foreign minister, Wang Yi had been on the phone with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian,

Austrian public radio ORF‘s China correspondent Josef Dollinger arguably provided one of the more succinct summaries of European policies. Asked on July 29, the morning when the EU governments presented their agreed reaction to Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, if Washington’s chances of isolating Beijing could be successful, he said that conflicts with China could not be painless, and that while

you can ride a tiger gone wild without getting bucked off – difficult as that may be -, you shouldn’t keep shouting “I’ve got him, I’ve got him.”

Man kann zwar auf einem wild gewordenen Tiger reiten, ohne abgeworfen zu werden – auch wenn’s schwierig ist -, aber man sollte dabei nicht ständig rufen, “ich hab’ ihn, ich hab’ ihn”.

In the EU, disappointment about stalling talks on a comprehensive investment treaty with China have likely added to a hardening position.

And while America’s allies have resisted Pompeo’s calls to join them on the warpath, it does appear that China underestimated the impact of its Hong Kong policies, at least in democratic countries.

All the more, Wang Yi himself, too, tries to stick to a script that would paint China as the natural and predetermined victor to emerge from the beginning struggle. Among some double-win promises, he also threatened America with history’s pillar of shame (恥辱柱).

No matter how much, or little, pressure China may feel as a whole, Beijing’s diplomats are having a tough time of it. It is one thing to open a Xi-Jinping shrine at the FMPRC. To deliver on hard issues is another. The leadership and its personality core have significantly raised investment in diplomacy. They will expect more than just damage control in return.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

“Pragmatic Cooperation”: German and Chinese foreign ministers hold videoconference

The following are three off-the-cuff translations of the news articles published by the FMPRC and the German foreign office earlier today, after a videoconference between the two countries’ foreign ministers. These translations are by no means authoritative and may contain errors – in case of the doubt, look at the originals. If either of them is a comprehensive description of the conference is, of course, impossible to tell.

Wang Yi also presented the Chinese version of his country’s conflict with the US, but this was published in an extra article by the FMPRC – please refer to the third translation.

“Positive and constructive attitude”

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The following is a translation of the news article published by China’s foreign ministry.

On July 24, 2020, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video conference with German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤。

Wang Yi said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, China and Germany had both upheld close communication through telephone, video and other means, to plan for the next step in the development of Chinese-German and Chinese-European relations. We must actively  implement the political consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, ensure the sound and stable development of Chinese-German relations, advocate multilateralism together, reject unilateral behavior, and provide more stability and correct energy for the world:

王毅表示,疫情发生以来,中德两国领导人通过通话、视频等方式保持密切沟通,为下一步中德、中欧关系发展作出规划。我们要积极落实两国领导人达成的政治共识,确保中德关系健康稳定发展,共同倡导多边主义,抵制单边行径,为世界提供更多稳定性和正能量:

Firstly, to newly start Chinese-German dialog on all levels and in all fields, actively plan and carry out dialog and consultation mechanisms in a flexible way, with the two foreign ministries taking a role in the resumption of exchanges.

一是要让中德各层级、各领域对话重新启动起来,以灵活方式积极规划实施好各种对话磋商机制,两国外交部可在恢复交往方面发挥作用。

Secondly, to let Chinese-German pragmatic cooperation resume as soon as possible, to jointly maintain international supply chains and their stability. The two countries have already taken the lead in the implementation of “fast-lane travels”, with the need to create better conditions by strengthening prevention and expanding bilateral staff contacts and increasing the numbers of flights.

二是要让中德务实合作尽快恢复起来,共同维护国际产业链、供应链稳定。两国已率先实行“快捷通道”,要通过加强联防联控,为扩大双方人员往来和增加航班创造更好条件。

Thirdly, to let Chinese-German interaction and coordination on multilateral matters, strengthen cooperation on United Nations matters, implement the G20 summit countries’ consensus and promotion of international epidemic prevention, including help for African and other less-developed regions in fighting the epidemic, and strengthen vaccine research and development and sharing.

三是要让中德在多边事务中的互动与协调活络起来,加强在联合国事务中的合作,落实好二十国集团峰会共识,推动国际抗疫合作,包括帮助非洲等欠发达地区抗击疫情,加强疫苗研发合作和分享。

Wang Yi emphasized that China has always looked at the EU and Chinese-EU relations with a positive and constructive attitude, always supported the European integration process, supported the EU’s growth and expansion, and happily watched the EU’s development of a greater international role. To develop Chinese-European relations well, comprehensive, objective and accurate knowledge of each other is the key. Wang Yi reiterated that Chinese-European consensus was much greater than their divisions, and cooperation much greater than competition. The two sides’ contacts should be positive and win-win, not a you-lose-I-win zero-sum game. China and Europe are cooperation partners, not systemic rivals. China expects the term of Germany’s rotating EU presidency to promote the realization of still bigger upgradings of Chinese-European relations and is willing to work with Europe to plan and prepare the next stages of the Chinese-European political agenda, to deepen cooperation on climate change, and to send a positive signal that China and Europe join hands to cooperate in safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governance.

王毅强调,中国始终以积极、建设性心态看待欧盟和中欧关系,始终支持欧洲一体化进程,支持欧盟发展壮大,乐见欧盟在国际上发展更大作用。发展好中欧关系,全面、客观、准确的相互认知是关键。王毅重申,中欧共识远大于分歧,合作远大于竞争。双方的交往应当是互利共赢的良性互动,而不是你输我赢的零和博弈。中欧是合作伙伴,而不是制度性对手。中方期待德国担任欧盟轮值主席国期间推动中欧关系实现更大提升,愿同欧方一道,筹划好下阶段中欧重大政治议程,深化气候变化国际合作,对外释放中欧携手合作,维护多边主义、完善全球治理的积极信号。

Maas first expressed sympathy to the Chinese people suffering the flood disaster. Maas said that Germany places great attention on German-Chinese relations. Close German-Chinese communication, dialog and cooperation in the face of the epidemic challenge had led to good results. Germany highly appreciated China’s pledge to  turn a successfully developed vaccine into an international product after successful development. [Germany] wanted to strengthen cooperation with China in vaccine R & D, and in improving accessibility to such a vaccine. Germany firmly supported multilateralism and supported the WHO. It would substantially increase financial support for the WHO. Germany was willing to make ample use of existing dialog and consultation mechanisms, to strengthen strategic dialog and communication, to cooperate on post-epidemic economic recovery, increase the numbers of business and chartered flights while doing a good job at prevention and control, and promote essential contacts. As rotating president of the EU, Germany placed great attention on European-Chinese relations, was willing to plan the next stages of European-Chinese high-level exchanges, to deepen cooperation on climate change, strengthen third-party cooperation in Africa, and contribute efforts to the promotion of European-Chinese relations’ development.

马斯首先向遭受洪涝灾害的中国民众表示慰问。马斯表示,德方高度重视德中关系。面对全球疫情挑战,德中保持密切沟通,对话与合作富有成果。德方高度赞赏中方承诺在疫苗研发成功后将作为国际公共产品,愿同中方加强疫苗研发合作,提高疫苗的可及性。德方坚定支持多边主义,支持世卫组织,将大幅提高对世卫组织的资金支持。德方愿充分利用现有各种对话磋商机制,加强战略对话与沟通,就疫后经济复苏开展合作,在做好防控的同时,增加商业航班和包机数量,促进必要人员往来。作为欧盟轮值主席,德方高度重视欧中关系,愿同中方共同规划好下阶段欧中重要高层交往,深化应对气候变化协作,加强在非洲第三方合作,为促进欧中关系发展贡献力量。

The two sides exchanged opinions about the China-EU investment agreement negotiations, concurred that with the background of unilateralism and protectionism, efforts to meet half-way and to negotiate needed to be increased, so as to strive for the attainment of a comprehensive, balanced and high-class Chinese-European investment agreement at the earliest possible date.

双方就中欧投资协定谈判交换了意见,一致同意在当前单边主义、保护主义抬头背景下,应加快相向而行,加大谈判力度,争取尽早达成一项全面、平衡、高水平的中欧投资协定。

The following is a translation of the news article published by Germany’s foreign ministry.

Since early June, the worst rains ever since the beginning of keeping records have caused massive floods in China. We are aghast of the pictures and reports about the flood disaster. On behalf of the federal government, I have expressed our deepest sympathy and our solidarity with the population affected by the floods.

Seit Anfang Juni sorgen die schlimmsten Regenfälle seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen für massive Überschwemmungen in China. Wir sind bestürzt über die Bilder und Berichte der Flutkatastrophe. Im Namen der Bundesregierung habe ich der chinesischen Seite unser tiefstes Mitgefühl und unsere Solidarität mit der von den Fluten betroffenen Bevölkerung ausgedrückt.

For us, China is an important partner, but a competitor and systemic rival, too. Maintaining cooperation matters to us. However, it is also crucial that we keep up dialog especially about critical topics.

China ist für uns ein wichtiger Partner, aber auch Wettbewerber und systemischer Rivale. Für uns ist der Erhalt der Zusammenarbeit wichtig. Gleichzeitig ist es aber auch entscheidend, dass wir im Dialog insbesondere auch zu kritischen Themen bleiben.

The most An important topic of my discussion with Wang Yi was the situation in Hong Kong – as has been in my talks with Great Britain this week, and in EU circles last week. I have presented the common European position and reflectins among EU partners, concerning the treatment of the new legal situation, once again. There, too, there is need for action. To us, it is and remains important that, in accordance with international law entered by China, Hong Kong’s autonomy and the liberties guaranteed by the Basic Law, including freedom of opinion, remain guaranteed. That is why we are watching closely now how the law will be applied in practice, also with reference to the Legislative Council elections. If the principle of “one country, two systems” gets eroded by the security law, there will be consequences for our relations with Hong Kong and China. The human rights situation in China was also a topic in our discussion.

Wichtiges Thema meines Gesprächs mit Wang Yi war die Situation in Hongkong – wie im Übrigen auch schon bei meinen Gesprächen mit Großbritannien diese Woche und im EU-Kreis in der vergangenen Woche. Ich habe Wang Yi nochmals die gemeinsame europäische Haltung und die Überlegungen unter den EU-Partnern zum Umgang mit der neuen Rechtslage dargelegt. Denn auch dort gibt es Handlungsbedarf. Für uns ist und bleibt es wichtig, dass gemäß der völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen, die China eingegangen ist, die Autonomie Hongkongs und die im Basic Law garantierten Freiheiten, einschließlich der Meinungsfreiheit, gewährleistet bleiben. Deshalb beobachten wir jetzt genau, wie das Gesetz in der Praxis angewandt wird, auch mit Blick auf die Wahlen zum Legislative Council. Wenn das Prinzip „Ein Land, zwei Systeme“ durch das Sicherheitsgesetz ausgehöhlt wird, hat das auch Folgen für unser Verhältnis zu Hongkong und China. Auch die Menschenrechtslage in China war Thema unseres Gesprächs.

As the EU’s presidency, we also still hope that the EU-China summit, originally planned for mid-September, can soon be catched up with. It is important that we finally reach substantial steps in the EU-China investment agreement.

Als EU-Ratspräsidentschaft hoffen wir nach wie vor, dass der ursprünglich für Mitte September geplante EU-China-Gipfel bald nachgeholt werden kann. Es ist wichtig, dass wir endlich substantielle Schritte beim EU-China-Investitionsabkommen erreichen.

G5 network development was a topic in our discussion, too. I explained that strengthening Europe’s digital sovereignty is an important concern for the German EU presidency. We have a strategic interest in our critical infrastructur’s security. To this end, security criteria will be established that all companies have to fulfill if they want to take part in 5G network development.

Auch der 5G-Netzwerkausbau war Thema unseres Gesprächs. Ich habe erläutert, dass die Stärkung der digitalen Souveränität Europas ein wichtiges Anliegen der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft ist. Wir haben ein strategisches Interesse an der Sicherheit unserer kritischen Infrastruktur. Dafür werden Sicherheitskriterien aufgestellt, die von allen Unternehmen zu erfüllen sind, wenn sie am 5G Netzwerkausbau beteiligt sein wollen.

In the area of climate change, the EU wants to work closely with China. Without China, we will not be able to achieve sustainable results here. Therefore, it was important that here, too, we remain in a close dialog.

Im Bereich Klimaschutz wollen wir als EU den engen Schulterschluss mit China suchen. Ohne China werden wir hier keine nachhaltigen Ergebnisse erzielen können. Deswegen war es wichtig, dass wir auch hierzu im engen Dialog bleiben.

We have also addressed the situation in Libya and Iran. If we want progress, we need China as a responsible actor in international politics. I have once again made a case for more Chinese support about Libya in the UN Security Council, and for constructive cooperation about Iran. Here, it has to be our main goal to preserve the JPCOA.

Wir haben auch die Situation in Libyen und dem Iran angesprochen. Wenn wir Fortschritte erzielen wollen, brauchen wir China als verantwortungsvollen Akteur in der internationalen Politik. Ich habe mich nochmals stark gemacht für eine weitere Unterstützung durch China zu Libyen im Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen und für eine konstruktive Mitarbeit zum Iran. Hier muss es unser oberstes Ziel bleiben, das JCPoA zu erhalten.

Of course, we also discussed COVID-19. The pandemic appears to be under control in our two countries for now – a success of our cooperation and solidarity. We agreed that this creates the opportunity for gradual development of travel connections between our countries.

Selbstverständlich haben wir auch über COVID-19 gesprochen. Die Pandemie scheint in unseren beiden Ländern vorerst unter Kontrolle zu sein – ein Erfolg unserer Zusammenarbeit und Solidarität. Wir waren uns einig, dass dies die Möglichkeit schafft, gemeinsam am schrittweisen Ausbau von Reiseverbindungen zwischen unseren Ländern zu arbeiten.

However, we must not relent in our efforts in fighting Corona. The pandemic continues to require international solidarity, especially in a globally fair distribution of a future vaccine. However, it is also important in our view that there will be scientific research [or investigation] of the virus’ origins. Therefore, we also discussed an invitation to the WHO, concerning the deployment of an expert commission.

Wir dürfen in unseren Bemühungen im Kampf gegen Corona aber keinesfalls nachlassen. Die Pandemie erfordert nach wie vor internationale Solidarität, gerade auch bei der global gerechten Verteilung eines künftigen Impfstoffes. Wichtig ist aus unserer Sicht allerdings auch eine wissenschaftliche Untersuchung der Herkunft des Virus. Daher haben wir auch über eine Einladung an die WHO über die Entsendung einer Expertenmission gesprochen.

The following is a translation of Wang Yi’s version of China’s conflict with the US.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a video meeting with German foreign minister Heiko Maas on July 24, 2020, introduced [Maas] to the current [state of] Chinese-American relations on request.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤时,应询介绍了当下的中美关系。

Wang Yi said that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America, their objective is to try to interrupt China’s development progress, by means fair or foul, and even with a lack of any bottom line. Recently, some American anti-China forces also deliberately created ideological antagonism, openly forced other countries to choose the side to stand on, to get into confrontation with China for America’s selfish interest, but no country with an innate sense of right and wrong and an independent spirit would keep that kind of company.

王毅表示,中美关系目前面临的困难完全是美方一手造成的,其目的就是企图彻底打断中国的发展进程,为此可以不择手段,甚至毫无底线。最近美方一些反华势力还蓄意制造意识形态对立,公开胁迫别国选边站队,为了美方的私利与中国对抗,但任何有良知和独立精神的国家都不会与之为伍。

Wang Yi said that China still hopes that non-conflict with America can be reached, without confrontation, with mutual respect, mutually profitable cooperation, but that we will inevitably and resolutely defend national sovereignty and national dignity, resolutely defend our own just development rights, and the principles of international relations. China will not behave like America, but won’t tolerate American trouble-making either.

王毅表示,中国仍希与美国实现不冲突、不对抗、相互尊重、合作共赢,但我们必将坚定维护国家主权和民族尊严,坚定维护自身正当发展权利,坚定维护国际关系基本准则。中国不会随美方起舞,但也绝不容美方胡来。

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Updates / Related

Crunch time, SCMP, July 23, 2020
Subsidies beyond reach, SCMP, July 24

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