Posts tagged ‘Hainan’

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Win-Win Flattery: Guanchazhe welcomes an Austrian “Supernova”

1. A Historical First (“Guanchazhe” review of Austrian papers)

Main Link: Historical First! Austrian President and Chancellor visiting China same Time in April (奥地利总统总理4月将同时访华)
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Guanchazhe is a Chinese economic magazine from Shanghai, and Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen‘s visit to China isn’t its main issue, of course. That would be how Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Adam Smith would look upon China’s economic reform if they were still alive.

But Van der Bellen – or more specifically: chancellor Sebastian Kurz – is among the top stories on Saturday, as a correspondent from Germany asks what Austria is looking for in China.

And on March 21, the Austrian double-visit earned itself an exclamation mark:

A historical first! Austrian president and chancellor going to visit China at the same time in April.

史上首次!奥地利总统总理4月将同时访华

Well then – that should tell us how Van der Bellen and Kurz look upon China’s economic reform.

In an article based on several sources (综合报道, i. e. several Austrian newspapers), the article reads as follows (links within blockquotes added during translation):

In what is “the biggest Austrian state visit in history”, according to Wiener Zeitung, Austrian president Van der Bellen and chancellor Kurz are visiting China in April. Several Austrian media report this unparalleled same-time visit to another country under the headline of “historical visit”.

“奥地利历史上最大的国事访问”,据奥地利《维也纳日报》报道,奥地利总统范德贝伦 (Alexander Van der Bellen) 和总理库尔茨(Sebastian Kurz)4月将一同访问中国。总统和总理同时出访同一个国家,在奥地利历史上尚属首次,多家媒体都以“历史性访问”为题进行报道。

The reports said that the Austrian president and chancellor announced on Monday [March 19] that they were to conduct Austria’s largest-scale state visit in Austria’s history, from April 7 to 12.

报道称,奥地利总统和总理周一宣布, 将进行奥地利史上最大规模的国事访问,与总理库尔茨在4月7日至12日访华。

It is reported that no less than four ministers, including foreign minister Karin Kneissl, environment minister Elisabeth Köstinger, infrastructure minister Norbert Hofer and economic and digitalization minister Margarete Schramböck.

据报道,随同两人访华的不少于4名部长,包括外交部长Karin Kneissl、农林环境与水利部长Elisabeth Köstinger、基础设施部长Norbert Hofer和经济及数字化部长Margarete Schramböck等。

The delegation will also include the chairman of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, about 170 Austrian entrepreneurs, and dozens of Austrian scientists, cultural workers, and others, some 250 members combined.

此外,代表团还包括奥地利商会主席、约170名奥地利企业家和数十名科学家与文化工作者等,共约250人。

Austrian vice-chancellor Strache will temporarily take care of the government. Austria’s chancellor Kurz said that the vice-chancellor would stand in for him at the weekly cabinet meeting.

由于总统和总理同时访华, 奥地利副总理斯特拉赫(Heinz-Christian Strache)将临时管理政府。奥地利总理库尔茨表示,副总理将代替自己主持每周的部长理事会例会。

According to Austria’s “Kronen-Zeitung”, Van der Bellen said that “we can sign various agreements between Chinese and Austrian companies”, and “the state visit will help to move further in the development of bilateral relations, especially in the areas of economics, science, culture and the environment.”

奥地利《皇冠报》报道称,“我们希望能够签署中奥企业之间的各种协议,”奥地利总统范德贝伦表示,“国事访问将有助于进一步发展双边关系,特别是在经济、科学、文化和环境领域。”

Van der Bellen pointed out that in the fields of environmental protection technology and city planning, Austria had exclusive technologies that could be beneficial for China. “China, too, wants to have clean lakes and rivers.” For example, when hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, Austrian companies could be of help.

范德贝伦指出,奥地利在环境保护和城市规划方面的专有技术可以使中国受益,“中国也希望拥有干净和湖泊和河流”,比如中国承办2022年冬奥会,奥地利企业可以提供许多帮助。

According to China’s embassy in Austria, a Chinese ministry of commerce delegation visited Austria in April last year, took part in the Chinese-Austrian Economic Comittee’s 26th conference, attended the 22nd international alpine ski equipment exhibition, and discussed Sino-Austrian winter sports cooperation activities.

据中国驻澳大使馆介绍,去年4月,中国商务部代表团曾访问奥地利,参加中奥经贸联委会第26次会议,出席第22届国际阿尔卑斯滑雪用品展开幕式、中奥冬季运动合作研讨会等活动。

Also, “Kronen-Zeitung” reported that Austria hopes to participate in China’s very active research and development, and to have negotiations about economic exchange agreements.

此外,《皇冠报》还称,奥地利希望参与中国非常活跃的发展研究领域,还有关于文化交流的协议也希望能够进行商谈。

Chancellor Kurz, who is only 32 years old, is Europe’s youngest head of government, and considered to be a “supernova” in the European world of politcs. As for this visit to China, Kurz said that “China is a country with a huge potential”, and several hundred Austrian companies were already operating in China.

年仅32岁的奥地利总理库尔茨,是欧洲最年轻的政府首脑,也被认为是欧洲政坛的“超新星”。对于此次访华,库尔茨表示, “中国是一个潜力巨大的国家”,已有九百多家奥地利企业在中国经营。

Kurz said that to put it simply, China had a veto right at the UN, it was a major participant in reacting to climate change and in the North Korean issue, with a GDP growh target of 6.5 percent this year, and also one of the fastest-growing economies. China’s middle class was growing rapidly, and in economic terms, China was “a newly rising superpower.”

库尔茨称,简单地说,中国在联合国拥有否决权,在应对气候变化和朝鲜问题上是主要的国际参与者,中国今年GDP增速目标是6.5%,也是增速最快的经济体之一,中产阶层迅速成长,在经济上是“新兴的超级大国”。

Kurz conceded that apart from mutual win-win, there were also “sensitive issues” between China and Austria. The key was that “the European and Austrian economies must be protected, by defending them against unfair competition and excessive production.”

此外,库尔茨也坦陈,除了互利共赢外,中奥之间也存在“敏感问题”。关键在于,“欧洲和奥地利经济必须受到保护,以防止不公平竞争或过度产能”。

Kurz said that during his visit to China, Austrian participation in China’s “one belt, one road” project would also be discussed. Austria acknowledges China’s “one belt one road” plan, and its government hopes to reach better coordination. In the preparatory process for this visit to China, all departments were actively involved.

库尔茨也表示,访华期间将讨论奥地利参与中国“一带一路”相关项目问题。奥地利认可中国“一带一路”计划,政府希望能做到更好地协调,在此次访华准备过程中,各部门都积极参与。

According to “Wiener Zeitung”, apart from taking part in Beijing events, the Austrian president and chancellor would also take part in the Boao Forum held on Hainan, and visit Chengdu, western China’s metropolis.

2. Counterweight Hopeful (Guanchazhe short bio of Kurz)

MainLink: Austria turns East (奥地利正在向东转)
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The supernova (i. e. the Austrian chancellor) is explained in more detail in today’s Guanchazhe article by the correspondent in Germany:

This youngest chancellor in Austria’s history, 31-year-old Kurz, is certainly known to everyone, for his [young] age and appearance. But many people may not know his nature: aged 29, during his tenure as foreign minister, Kurz showed outstanding boldness, standing up to pressure from all sides. Braving the risk of an early end to his career by shutting the Balkan Route, lived up to the mission, averted Europe’s crisis, which was exactly what made him the victor in the October 2017 parliamentary elections.

奥地利这位欧洲史上最年轻的31岁总理库尔茨,想必借着他的年龄与外貌,已被大家所了解。但很多人可能还不知道,他的内在甚至还要远超其出众的外在:时年29岁的库尔茨在外交部长任上时,曾在难民危机中表现出非凡的气魄,顶住各方压力,冒着职业生涯终结的危险关闭西巴尔干路线,最终不辱使命,使欧洲转危为安,正是这点使得他能够在2017年10月的国会大选中胜出。

The correspondent also expresses esteem for Kurz’ successor in Austria’s foreign ministry, Karin Kneissl: an extremely noteworthy personality (一个极其值得注意的人物), speaking English, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Italian and Hungarian, and author of a book about China.

In her book, “The Change in the World Order” [literally: “On the Way into a Chinese World Order”], Kneissl writes that the process of Austria’s turn to the East actually opened the curtain on [the scene of] the world order entering a “Chinese order”. As for Europe not expressing hopes to take part in the one belt one road plan, this had mainly been the case  because Beijing had not answered to their persistent ideological demands (such as government transparency, human rights and minimum social security issues).

克莱瑟在他的《世界秩序的改变和换岗》一书中写到,奥地利向东转的进程事实上在几年前就已拉开帷幕——世界秩序将要进入一种新的“中国秩序”。而欧盟并未对中国的一带一路的规划表示希望参与,主要是因为北京方面没有回应他们一贯的意识形态要求(如政府透明,人权以及最低社会保障等问题)。

The correspondent then takes aim right at the regional hegemon – Germany. It was Germany that was largely to blame for the loss of contractual reliability among European states, she writes. The country had acted unilaterally in the European debt crisis of 2009 (欧债危机), in the 2015 refugee crisis, thus harming other European partners and third countries, China’s interests among them:

Kneissl writes in her book that “not wanting to acknowledge the methodology of China’s rise will be regarded by future history scholars as ‘a dangerous and silly refusal to adopt realistic action'” – which is exactly the approach of the authorities in Brussels (EU).

克莱瑟在书中说: “不愿承认中国的崛起的做法,恐怕会被将来的历史学家归为‘危险而愚蠢的拒绝接受现实的行为’”——而这却正是布鲁塞尔(欧盟)当局现今的做法。

An important factor in Kurz’ election victory of last year, the correspondent notes, was his opposition against German chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.

It’s a long article, and if someone is interested in how Germany’s image has recently been shaped by Chinese media, he might want to translate all of it. German-Chinese relations are souring, reflected not least by some remarks by Sigmar Gabriel (Germany’s foreign minister until a few weeks ago) in an interview with newsmagazine Der Spiegel in January:

For years, we’ve been constantly hearing about a multi-speed Europe. It would be great if that were the case, because that would at least mean that we were all moving in the same direction, just at different speeds. The truth is that we have long had a multi-track Europe with very different objectives. The traditional differences between the north and the south in fiscal and economic policy are far less problematic than those that exist between Eastern and Western Europe. In the south and east, China is steadily gaining more influence, such that a few EU member states no longer dare to make decisions that run counter to Chinese interests. You see it everywhere: China is the only country in the world that has a real geopolitical strategy.

See also this blog and press review, subheadlines “Central Europe (1)” and “Central Europe (2)“. A global and a regional hegemon – China and Germany – are competing for influence in the region.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Always with You on Shortwave: the “Firedrake”

There are good reasons to believe that in China, international broadcasters are less listened to – and especially less listened to on shortwave – than two decades ago. However, the habit is still very popular, and many posts and websites run by shortwave listening enthusiasts would also suggest that people don’t simply throw (or store) their radio receivers away, only because of the internet being available in their place. The following is a translation of a Chinese blog post, of March 14, 2012.

Sony ICF 2001 D - enemy broadcasters at your fingertips

Sony ICF 2001 D – enemy broadcasters at your fingertips

I’ve added four footnotes, and some further explanations (“further notes”) underneath the footnotes. You will also find a recording there, with a classical case of jamming.

Main Link: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_7799bbd8010120ah.html

China has a long history of jamming international shortwave broadcasts. I remember how I was frequently puzzled when listening to the radio – why were there those strange noises on some shortwave frequencies? It was different from others. It came through on a given frequency. Come rain or shine, this sound was there. It knew no holiday. I asked my grandmother about this, and she gravely replied: “this is to interfere with enemy broadcasters”. At the time, I didn’t understand what a so-called “enemy broadcaster” is. My grandmother told me that these were stations one must never listen to, that it was bad, and that it was something Uncle Policeman might take you away for1). Although I was too young to understand what this meant, apart from the frightening chance of being “taken away”, it certainly raised my interest in the mystery of “enemy broadcasters”.

中国干扰国际短波广播的历史由来已久。记得我上小学时听收音机就经常纳闷,为什么在短波的一些频率上会有一些奇怪的杂音呢?它不同于一般的杂音,是有固定频率的。每天到了那个时候必定会出现,保证风雨无阻且节假日绝对不休息,我问奶奶那是怎么回事,奶奶严肃地说:“那是为了干扰‘敌台’。”那时的我还不太明白什么才是所谓的“敌台”。奶奶只是告诉我,那是绝对不能听的电台,是坏的,听了以后会被警察叔叔抓走的。幼小的我虽说不明白这其中的道理,但是除了对“被抓走”的恐惧之外又多了几分对“敌台”神秘感的兴趣。

Only later I understood that those “enemy broadcasters” were VoA, BBC, NHK, and other countries’ international broadcasting stations. As these countries were fundamentally different from China, in terms of ideology and social systems, their broadcasts carried their own countries’ political colors, and were therefore called “enemy broadcasters” by China. It was sort of an extension from the cold-war years. With the reform and opening, and continuous progress of society, the “enemy broadcasters” weren’t mysteries any more, and an unknown share of Chinese people who listened to the radio would also listen to these [international] stations. Of course, after listening, they weren’t found to be as terrible as legend would have it. They were just ordinary radio stations. From listening to international broadcasters, I learned a lot of things that weren’t to be found in the books, and about other countries’ customs and manners, and most importantly, I learned to look at problems from different perspectives, to think independently, rather than to let the media lead my by the nose. I learned from different surces, and drew my own conclusions. Therefore, I believe that international shortwave broadcasting is very helpful and beneficial.

后来长大了才知道,所谓的“敌台”就是指VOA、BBC、NHK等等别的国家的国际广播电台。由于这些国家在意识形态和社会制度上与中国有着根本的区别,他们的广播又带有本国的政治色彩,所以被中国称之为“敌台”。这是当年冷战思维的一种延续。随着改革开放和社会的不断进步,“敌台”已经揭去了他们神秘的面纱,中国大部分听过收音机的人或多或少的也都听过这些电台。当然,听过后才发现,其实他们并没有传说中的那么可怕。而只是一个普通的广播电台而已。从收听国际广播中我学到了不少书本上学不到的知识,也了解了不少别国的风土人情,最重要的是:我学会了换一个角度去看问题,独立的去思考,而不是被媒体牵着鼻子走,从不同的信息渠道获取信息,最后通过思考得出自己的结论。所以,我觉得短波国际广播对一个人还是很有帮助和益处的。

For various reasons however, China has still not lifted the jamming of the “enemy broadcasters”. It deserves attention that the methods of jamming have become more and more “humanized”. Rather than just producing a big noise, Central People’s Radio interfere with the international stations on the same frequency, and this later evolved into the current “folk music” interference. Obviously, as the cause our country’s modernization moves on, our jamming technology has also improved step by step. It is said that the “folk music” system used is military equipment bought at high costs, from a France. From that you can see that the Chinese authorities in charge of jamming “enemy broadcasters” are willing to make great sacrifices, with unyielding vigor.

但是,由于种种原因。中国目前还没有解除对“敌台”的干扰。不过值得一提的是干扰的方式越来越“人性化”。从当年只是单纯的放大功率的杂音,而改变为中央人民广播电台的同频干扰,后来又进化到现在的“民乐”干扰。可见,随着我国现代化事业的逐步推进,我国干扰国际广播的技术也在一步步提高。据说,现在所用的“民乐”干扰系统,是从法国高价购进的军用电台干扰设备,从这一点也可以看出,中国有关部门在干扰“敌台”这一问题上肯下血本、不屈不挠的精神和干劲。

If you aren’t familiar with how this works, let me give you a short introduction.

可能不熟悉短波国际广播的朋友还不明白干扰是如何实现的,下面我就简单的介绍一下。

All shortwave radio programs are broadcast from their own countries to the target area. Of course, if the distance is rather long, like from America to China, the signal will certainly lose some strength, and therefore, more distant countries will build relay stations closer to the target area. That’s to say, through their stronger signals, listgeners in the target area country can get a clearer signal.Of course, every broadcasting station has its own frequencies, and depending on atmospheric conditions in summer or winter, these frequencies aren’t always the same. So how does China jam them? That’s quite simple. It only needs to interfere on the same frequency, by noise, or by the current “folk music”. As the interfering stations are definitely domestic, and the international shortwave stations are broadcasting from abroad, the interfering signal is stronger, and this makes it easy to brush the foreign signals out of the door2). (Apart from those, even the signals from Taiwan – the inseparable part of our motherland – can’t escape this calamity.)

所有国家的短波电台都是从本国发射信号到所需要覆盖的地区,当然如果距离较远,比如从美国传输信号到中国肯定由于距离远而会衰减,所以这些距离较远的国家会在广播目的国周围设立一些中转站。也就是说,通过他们加大信号的强度,以便使广播目的国的听众能够清晰的收到信号。当然,每个广播电台都有自己的频率,短波频率由于天气的原因一般夏天和冬天不同,所以并不是永远固定的。那么中国是如何进行干扰的呢?其实很简单,只要在需要被干扰的电台的相同频率放杂音或现在所用的“民乐”就可以了。因为国内干扰广播的发射站肯定都在国内,而国际短波广播电台的发射站一般都设在国外,所以,由于国内的干扰信号强,将“国外的声音”挡在国门外也就不是一件很难的事情了。(除了干扰国外的“敌台”,目前连我们祖国不可分割的一部分——“宝岛台湾”的电台都难逃此厄运。)

According to the International Broadcasting Commission’s3) agreement, no signatory country must interfere with or interfere with other countries’ broadcasts. China also signed this agreement, but has not stopped jamming foreign shortwave frequencies. Therefore, every years, it is met with protests from some countries, but those are of no avail. These years, China spends a lot of money to buy advanced and updated equipment to update its jamming system, which is incomprehensible. However, as this is equipment bought from France, it signed an agreement not to jam Radio France Internationale. Therefore, we can listen to a clear Radio France Internationale signal here in China, without any jamming4).

按照国际广播委员会的协议,每个签署的国家都不得干扰或者破坏别国的广播。中国当时也签署了这个协议,但是并没有停止对国外短波广播的干扰。因此,每年都会遭到一些国家的抗议,但似乎这些抗议无济于事。这些年中国反而花大价钱购进法国先进设备更新干扰系统,这不得不让人费解。不过,由于是从法国购进的干扰设备,自然就跟法国签署了只对法国国际广播电台不进行干扰的协议。所以,现在我们在国内能够清晰的收听到完全没有干扰的法国国际广播电台。

It should be said that China doesn’t jam all shortwave broadcasts. Stations without strong political messages, for example, aren’t jammed. Australia’s CVC Chinese programs etc. aren’t jammed.

需要说明的是,中国并不是在干扰所有的短波广播。比如一些政治色彩不浓厚的电台是不进行干扰的。比如澳大利亚的CVC中文广播电台等。

[…]

____________

Footnotes

1) Uncle Policeman may not care anymore, but he probably did until 1976. According to a thesis presented to the Faculty of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, by Erping Zhang in 2003, listening to foreign radio stations was considered a capital crime of treason in those days.

2) The challenge isn’t necessarily that small. As Kim Andrew Elliot pointed out in May last year,

Shortwave arguably remains the medium most resistant to interdiction. It is the only medium with a physical resistance to jamming, because radio waves at shortwave frequencies often propagate better over long than short distances.

3) This may refer to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which would more frequently be translated as 国际电讯联盟, though. One of the three ITU divisions is in charge of allocating frequencies – both terrestial and satellite frequencies.

4) I can’t verify if there is such an agreement.

____________

Further Notes

The French company accused of having sold jamming equipment to China, Thales,  stated that “standard short-wave radio broadcasting equipment” sold to China by a former subsidiary in 2002 had been designed for civil purposes.

I’ve uploaded a jamming sample to Soundcloud. The broadcaster is Sound of Hope (希望之声), recorded in Northern Germany on June 17, 2011, between 13:20 and 13:32 GMT. The topic covered is the Zengcheng incident, and you can hear how the station’s signal is  beginning to drown in the jamming station’s carrier signal, before the “folk music” chimes in.

Soundcloud logo

Click here for recording

Again, this may not be exactly what listeners in China got to hear on that afternoon or evening – the “Voice of Hope” signal may have still been better there, despite the jamming, or worse, because of the jamming, depending on propagation conditions – see footnote 1 2) above.

A Shortwave America blog post contains some interesting links about Chinese jamming, including a CD quality sample of “Firedrake”, i. e. a jamming tune. The jamming station is supposed to be based on Hainan island.

____________

Update/Related

北京业余无线电爱好者的故事 – Ham Radio, Beijing hobbyists’ documentary with English subtitles (June 2008)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hu Jia: some Time, in an unguarded Moment…

Hu Jia (胡佳), 37, may be released from jail in June next year. Obviously, noone can tell for sure. Even top officials find at times that the judiciary in China frequently lacks “rightful procedures”. When Hu was an environmental activist, but not yet considered guilty by the CCP (and hence by every “legal” mainland Chinese publication) of “libeling the Chinese political and social systems” and “inciting subversion of state power”, a China Youth Daily Freezing Point supplementary journalist named Cai Ping met with him at the newspaper’s venue, and in July 2001, she wrote an article. She was “moved” by Hu Jia’s life, and apparently found much of it disturbing at the same time. The following excerpts of the Freezing Point article quoted here are translations by Black and White Cat.  Cai asked Hu:

“What will you do in the future? You work so hard, how is your health ever going to get better? [Hu had contracted hepatitis several years before he talked with Cai.] How will your girlfriend come back? [*) see “Note” underneath] Do you plan to get married? You can’t depend on your parents your whole life.”
Hu Jia can’t answer this. He sighs deeply and says: “I can’t turn back. I don’t dare think about the future. I know that if I want a family and a career, I need a basic monthly income. […]”

Hu is an exceptional individual in many ways – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be completely indifferent to the way others, including people outside his life, may view him. And even if he still is indifferent – as he apparently was when he was interviewed in 2001 -, he will probably be aware that the state organs who persecute him will use any of his personal problems to make his place in society appear questionable. When he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail in April 2008, Xinhua newsagency referred to him as an unemployed father aged 34 and [..] holder of a college degree. Xinhua’s characterization of Hu seems to correspond to some extent with Cai Ping’s perception, almost seven years earlier, even if less benevolently than hers. Xinhua’s reference to Hu’s place in society carefully recommended the question, “what’s wrong with that man?”, rather than to address any of the problems Hu had pointed out before he was abducted, placed under house arrest, and finally jailed.

A life in accordance with ones own conscience in a country ruled by a party with unlimited powers against the individual can come at any price such a party wants to exact. Life under such circumstances is frequently referred to as kafkaeque once conflicts occur, and it may be a fitting adjective here. In one of her best-known books – Between Past and Presence, Six Exercises in Political Thought (New York, 1961), Hannah Arendt quotes Franz Kafka‘s parable “He”:

He has two antagonists: the first presses him from behind, from the origin. The second blocks the road ahead. He gives battle to both. To be sure, the first supports him in his fight with the second, for he wants to push him forward, and in the same way the second supports him in his fight with the first, since he drives him back. But this is only theoretically so. For it is not only the two antagonists who are there, but he himself as well, and who really knows his intentions? His dream, though, is that some time in an unguarded moment – and this would require a night darker than any night has ever been yet – he will jump out of the fighting line and be promoted, on account of his experience in fighting, to the position of umpire over his antagonists in their fight with each other.

If Hu Jia would wish to be in an umpire’s position is impossible to know. In any case, Arendt’s way of reading Kafka’s  parable wasn’t that “he” would want to become a power that be which could then rule over his antagonists. Rather, “he” would be an umpire in that he could judge the force of the past (that one pushing him from behind) and the force blocking his road, and pushing from, ahead (and, one might assume, to make corresponding, sound decisions for himself, based on his ability to understand the nature of those forces).

But while Hu Jia’s intentions can’t be assessed  (given that he isn’t free to communicate them),  a parable (no matter what it originally intended to say) is free for all kinds of interpretation, and for everyone’s hunches. The Chinese state likes to see itself not in the role of an antagonist to its own people, but in a benevolent and helpful role. Everything that goes wrong must originate from the individual’s faults, not from the state. This applies to its conformist and non-conformist subjects alike. Dissidents – or people who are on their way to become dissidents – are habitually “invited for tea” – to be asked  questions, because the state organs want to know  the dissident’s or nonconformist’s  positions and intentions in advance, to give him or her specific instructions, or to make unveiled threats (but without ever conceding that these threats come from those who are offering the tea – and rather acting as if any trouble ahead stemmed from some kind of natural law, due to the individual’s “mistakes”). The CCP’s first approach to blocking a possible dissident’s road ahead has become “a cup of tea”. Or, as Ronald Reagan, an American president, suggested in 1982, in a speech to the British House of Commons (referring to the Soviet Union then), democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression.

Given the unlimited role of a totalitarian state (even if it voluntarily takes a more refined approach than before when it appears suitable), such a state – in Kafka’s picture – would be a defining factor in both the force pushing the individual from behind (the past), and in the force pushing the individual back from the road ahead (the future). According to Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕) – and confirmed by Cai Ping’s 2001 article -, Hu Jia’s father, of Qinghua University, and his mother, of Nankai University, were both condemned as rightists as students. Hu’s parents may not have condoned the life their only child lead in 2001 – “The people who understand me most are my old girlfriend and my best friend Lin Yi” -, but they wouldn’t let him down. His friends and family, more or less understanding of what he does or who he is, and having been under the party’s rule for most or all of their lifetimes, appear to be forces behind him.

Besides, parents are parents. Cai Ping quoted Hu’s father as saying that “if Hu Jia needs a liver, I’ll give him my own”.

____________

Note
*) Apparently, she wouldn’t come back. Hu Jia and Zeng Jinyan, his wife, became acquainted in 2007.

Related
Kou Yandin: yi qie cong gai bian zi ji kai shi, Hainan Publishing House, 2007

.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Zhao Nianyu’s Three Taiwan Commandments

Mernanny: the South China Sea has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times

MerNanny: Abide by the Three Imperial Commandments

Repeated Chinese navy helicopter flights close to Japan’s Self-Defense Force ships in the East China Sea and the Western Pacific in April were neither professional nor responsible, Japan’s daily Asahi Shimbun quoted the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Patrick Walsh, on Tuesday. Walsh said that China had recently started referring to the South China Sea as its “core interest”, a term it otherwise uses to explain its positions on Tibet and Taiwan. Several states in the region, including Singapore and Vietnam, were now purchasing submarines “as a way of protecting sovereign rights”.

According to Walsh, China detained 433 Vietnamese fishermen in 2009 alone who were working in waters where the territorial claims of the two countries overlap. Walsh has visited several South China littoral states since assuming his position as US Pacific commander last year, among them Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

“These are countries that are interested in a closer relationship with our navy, and I intend to follow up on it”, Asahi Shimbun quotes Walsh.

Japan itself is concerned about Chinese naval traffic. In April this year, two Japanese naval vessels, the Choukai and Suzunami, unexpectedly encountered several Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships, including a pair of submarines and eight destroyers, approximately 140 kilometers west-southwest of Okinawa near the Nansei (Ryukyu) Islands. Reacting to international coverage, Chinese defense ministry spokesman Huang Leiping (黄雪平), also in April, that naval exercises in international waters were common practice, and the countries concerned shouldn’t make arbitrary assumptions (主观臆断) and improper speculations (妄加猜测). To organize exercises in international waters corresponded with international law and was conducted by various other countries, too.

When referring to Chinese core interests on February 26, China’s ambassador to the United States until recently, Zhou Wenzhong (周文重), indeed used the term for describing China’s claim on Taiwan, and US president Barack Obama‘s meeting with the Dalai Lama on February 18. However, the definition has never been quite static. In 2009, Chinese state councillor Dai Bingguo (戴秉国) defined the following three “core interests”, in order of importance:

  • the survival of China’s “fundamental system” and national security,
  • the safeguarding of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and
  • continued stable economic growth and social development.

China increased its arms spending by 10% to an estimated USD 83.9 billion in 2008 as Beijing commenced building of new range of highly sophisticated nuclear submarines, stealth warships, new generation of fighter planes and weaponry to fight “Informationalized warfare”. In its 2010 yearbook, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) wrote that China accounted for most of the Asian and East Asian military spending increases in 2009, with an increase of 15 per cent, and that Taiwan and Singapore showed the largest real increase *) in military spending were at 19 per cent each. Also from SIPRI data, America spent 661 bn US-dollars (4.3 per cent of 2008 GDP) on defense in 2009, while China spent an estimated 100 bn (estd. 2.0 per cent of its 2008 GDP), with France, the UK, Russia, Japan, and Germany following.

As far as core interests are concerned, Zhao Nianyu (赵念渝), the Shanghai Institute for International Studies’ research management and international exchanges, and Shanghai Taiwan Research Association’s director, followed up on a meeting between US president Barack Obama and CCP and state chairman Hu Jintao on April 12 (a meeting with a Chinese focus on properly handling the Taiwan and Tibet issues), and advocated on April 16 that Washington- if sincere and not hypocritical in its hope that Chinese-American relations and cooperation should continue to develop, needed to follow “three prescriptions” – or commandments -**) concerning Taiwan, one of China’s core interests (核心利益).

The first prescription or “Don’t”: (Don’t) go back on your word or contradict yourselves. Quote:

The author’s [i. e. Zhao Nianyu’s — JR] observation of America’s attitude concerning Taiwan hasn’t lasted for a mere one or for two years only. He has read all the documents issued since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and America, has read America’s Congressional Research Department’s ninety documents about cross-strait relations, he has heard previous American leaders’ speeches on the Taiwan problem and every mainstream American think tank’s speech, article, or report on the Taiwan problem, and to put it in an immodest way, he can sum them up in eight characters: they wield their power rather capriciously [翻手为云,覆手为雨, literally: to produce clouds with one turn of the hand, and rain with another turn]. From one wing of the building, an American leader says “One China”, from the other wing, Congress starts saying that ‘Taiwan is a territory without a master’. This wing just agreed to the Three Communiques, that wing says that according to the so-called ‘Taiwan Relations Act’, there was an ‘obligation’ to safeguard Taiwan’s security. This wing just said it would ‘respect China’s core interests’, the other immediately refers to ‘China’s state of mind’ and says that ‘there is no reason to believe that only China has core interests concerning the Taiwan question’. To put it bluntly, when will America’s core interests reach the gates of China, half-a-globespan away from America? The author believes that contradicting themselves on the Taiwan question is a big American characteristic, and there is no need to use ‘separation of powers’ or ‘freedom of speech’ as an excuse here. A big country, and particularly the world’s unique superpower, can’t use any pretext to interfere with another country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when ‘going back on its own words’. America’s government’s position on the Taiwan issue must be unequivocal, clear, and consistent. If they can’t abstain from going back on their own words, this will have an absolutely negative effect on America’s credibility as a responsible big country.

Zhao’s second commandment refers to American arms sales to Taiwan (a pledge to phase out the arms sales), his third one to “word games” – alleging that the American power monopoly or hegemony goes as far as to give an additional meaning to originally unequivocal, innocent phrase – a language trap (语言陷阱, yǔyán xiànjǐng) created by America for use on the Taiwan issue. ***)

Valérie Niquet of IFRI, in October 2007, suggested that the security of SLOC (Sea Lanes of Communications) was closely linked to China’s core interest in Taiwan:

For China the security of SLOC regarding oil supply is rather specific.The issue does not concern the risk of terrorist attacks; Chinese analysts tend to speak of the Malacca dilemma in order to express their own preoccupations with the security of sea lanes. According to Chinese strategists, the main threat of disruption comes from the US and its allies, in the Indian Ocean and along the SLOC in South East and East Asia because of a potential war with Taiwan. One of China’s priorities is to reduce at least part of China’s dependency on SLOC for oil and energy supply and develop land routes and pipelines. For the time being, China’s dependency on SLOC for oil is over 90 %. ****)

Ralf Emmers, in a paper for Nanyang University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of September 2009, notes a growing asymmetry of naval power to the advantage of China in the South China Sea. Besides the opportunities to extract resources from the waters around the Spratley and Paracel Islands, they are also at the center of strategic considerations. If it “ever succeeds in realizing its territorial claims, China will be able to extend its jurisdiction to the heart of Southeast Asia. And besides, Emmers argues, Beijing was aiming at a strategy of sea denial meant at keeping US forces temporarily out of a limited naval zone from where they could support Taiwan *****).

In a reaction to Emmers’ paper, an article by Wang Nannan (王楠楠), apparently a military affairs reporter, first published by Eastday (东方网, Shanghai) and republished by Xinhua Net on October 27,. 2009, noted that Emmers’ “report” pointed out that obviously, China’s military buildup in the South China Sea wasn’t only to be used for avoiding, or by use of armed force (if necessary) eliminate any violation of any territory of which its sovereignty was disputed, but also China’s security at sea, its economic prosperity, and its energy supplies, which required safeguarding the South East Asian shipping lanes – the Strait of Malacca, the Singapore Strait, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait. The Eastday article also reproduces Emmers’ argument about a strategy of sea denial to keep US forces away from Taiwan in case of conflict. It attaches particular importance to this paragraph:

The only power capable of countering the Chinese military would be the United States, particularly through its Seventh Fleet. Yet, Washington has repeatedly stated that the Philippine claimed territories were not covered by the Mutual Defence Treaty of 30 August 1951, which ties the Philippines to the United States. (…) Though following closely the developments in the South China Sea, the United States has consistently limited its interest to the preservation of the freedom of navigation and the mobility of its Seventh Fleet. It is therefore unclear how far the United States would go to support either Taiwan or the Philippines should conflict occur in the South China Sea. *******)

Admiral Walsh’s remarks of this week (see above) could mark a shift in Washington’s policies on the South China Sea – but how exactly Walsh is going to follow up on Vietnam’s, Singapore’s, Malaysia’s, Indonesia’s and other South China littoral states’ apparent interest in closer cooperation with the US Navy remains to be seen.

____________

*) Real increase / decrease usually includes a calculation of general decrease in the value of the amount in question — JR

**) “three prescriptions” – or three things not to do – (三戒) may actually allude to the Three Cautionary Fables (三戒) by Liu Zongyuan (柳宗元), describing the sad endings of the deer of Linjiang, the donkey of Guizhou, and the rats of a certain family at Yongzhou, the three of who (or which) count on other peoples’ human potential (倚仗人势) and look outwardly strong but are inwardly weak (色厉内荏).

***) This third paragraph looks interestingly paranoid to me – but it is also the one I find rather difficult to translate. Here is the Chinese text:
三戒“文字游戏”。笔者精通英语,更精通美国从政府到国会乃至到各大智库所出台的有关台湾的文件和报告,一个总体的感觉就是美国的霸权不但是政治经济军事等方面的,即使在语言表示和语言转换方面,美国通过“文字游戏”手法同样充分表达了自己的话语垄断权和霸权,且不说当年的“承认”和“认识到”的翻译问题,也不说“不支持台独”不等于“反对台独”的强词夺理,就拿最近两年的表述来说,什么“只管过程,不管结果”,什么“承认中国对台湾的主权”的说法在不同的地方有不同的解读,什么在台湾问题上“不采取立场”等等,恕笔者直言,这些全是“文字游戏”,也可以说是美国在台湾问题上制造的“语言陷阱”。长期以来,美国在文字上玩弄的花样够多的了,笔者曾从语言的角度对美国的文字游戏做过小结,此处无须赘言。

****) Niquet quoting E. Downs, “China”, Brookings Foreign policy Studies, “Energy Security Series”, December 2006

*****) Ralf Emmers, “The Changing Power Distribution in the South China Sea: Implications for Conflict Management and Avoidance”, RSIS working paper no. 183, Singapore, September 30, 2009, page 6, based on David Lague, “Dangerous Waters: Playing Cat and Mouse in the South China Sea”, Global Asia, Vol. 4 (2), Summer 2009, p. 59

******) Ralf Emmers, ibid, page 8

____________

Related
Phrasebook: zhū bā jiè dào dǎ yī pá, June 17, 2010
A Division of Labor that can’t Work, Febr 23, 2010
The Stupid Little Mermaid, March 12, 2009

Update/Related
Tempting Russia into Vietnam’s offshore industry, Bangkok Post, June 20, 2010
China’s Growing Transparancy, CFR, June 14, 2010
More Power than Peace, The Age, June 1, 2010

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1: This Day in History

Hermit doesn’t want to repeat himself, so…
super snooper
… here is this old story, and the moral to it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Special Roundup (Brainsaver)

A lot of blogs have weekly roundups of their posts. This one hasn’t. After all, I don’t write more than seven posts a week (rather only half of that or less), and the ten most recent posts can be found to the top right of the main page. So if someone wants a roundup, he or she can click there.

However, I find little time to draw my usual little cartoons lately. What a shame that they are all buried underneath piles of mere text posts!

Judge by yourself:

————————–

1. Net Nanny:

With the following posts –

a) Censorship: Yes we can!

b) Don’t be too appledaily

c) Net Nanny speaks out

————————–

2. Olympic Opening Ceremony…

Public Deceived?

————————–

3. The EP-3 Incident…

picture enlargement »

… and what really happened.

————————–

4. Hermit the Taoist Dragonfly’s latest Invention will help…

to win the Olympics!

————————–

5. And Senator John McCain…

picture enlargement »

speaks the language of the enemy.

————————–

There are some more, but let’s leave it here. Just wanted to make sure that these… umm… masterpieces aren’t missed by anyone. Advice to all bloggers: roundups save you time and mental work.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Scientific: The Hainan EP-3 Incident and what really happened

Hello Children,

Hello Childrenit’s me again. Hermit the Taoist Dragonfly with your daily dose of science. Most of you will be too young to remember this incident in the recent history of the heroic defense of our motherland. It is usually referred to as the Hainan EP-3 incident.

As we all know, on that fateful day on April 1 2001, an aggressive American flying bathing tub full of spying high-tech attacked two of our fighting jets, martyring one of our pilots. However, what is often neglected is a fact of life that has been innate to all the imperialist dogs’ attempts on our beloved motherland’s sovereignty. It was, of cause, all about girls. They try to spot the radars of the daughters of the Yellow Emperor all the time.

So, dear children, and above all, girls: next time you see an American bathing tub violating our sacred airspace, run for cover, pull your mobile phone and call the Hainan Control Tower immediately.

 super snooper

Got to fly now. Stay patriotic.

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