Posts tagged ‘hanban’

Monday, December 12, 2022

China-GCC Summit: “Let’s be Partners in our Civilizational Rise”

“The Chinese people see the Arab people as good friends”, then Chief State Councillor Wen Jiabao told his hosts during a visit to the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, thirteen years ago. A few months earlier, then Chinese special representative to the Middle East, Wu Sike, had told a press conference in Beijing that Islamic countries from government to the people, all understand and support the measures the Chinese government took to maintain stability.


To prove that, Xi Jinping held a summit with the Gulf Cooperation Council (in the following: GCC) country leaders in Riyadh on Friday last week. Judging by the faces around the table, only God knows for sure how understanding and supportive the GCC leaders really are, but business is business, and maybe Arab heads of state and govenment never look happy during official appointments anyway. At any rate,

Mohammad Altowaim, a member of the Saudi Chinese Business Council, told the Global Times that he read Xi’s article carefully twice, and the second time he read it to his friends, he read it loud

China’s propaganda usually limits its posts on Twitter to trite feelgood quotes from their great helmsman, but Xi Jinping’s actual “keynote speech” was ambitious. How connective the interfaces of both sides, coined “highly complementary” by Xi, will turn out to be, remains to be seen.  But China’s reference point and litmus test – America – is showing promising signs: Washington is not happy, says CNN.

The following is my translation of Xi Jinping’s keynote speech, given at the China-GCC summit on Friday afternoon local time in Saudi Arabia. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Esteemed Colleagues, Secretary General Nayef, Hello Everyone!

First of all, let me sincerely express my heartfelt gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its efforts in holding the first Chinese-Gulf-Cooperation Council countries’ summit. I’m very glad that we are getting together all at once, to discuss the development of Sino-GCC relations together.

China and the GCC countries share a history of nearly two-thousand years of friendly contacts. China and the GCC countries have maintained and valued peace, harmony, and sought the real knowledge of “Eastern wisdom”, along the ancient Silk Road. Ever since the GCC was established in 1981, China and the GCC have, for more than fourty years, written a brilliant work of unity and mutual help and win-win cooperation.

China and the GCC countries relations have, after all, achieved rapid development rooted in deep mutual trust. China and the GCC countries have always supported each others’ sovereignty and independence, respected each others’ paths of development, equality of big and small countries without exception, and firmly maintained multilateralism. Rooted in highly complementary [economies], with China’s vast consumer market and its perfect industrial system and with the GCC’s rich energy resources and increasingly diversified development, the two sides are natural cooperation partners. Rooted in popular sentiment, China and the GCC both belong to the Eastern civilization, with similar civilizational values and its peoples knowing each other well. Rooted in trials and tribulations lived through together, facing the challenges of international and regional instabilities and the financial crisis, the COVID-19 epidemic situation, and major natural disasters, the two sides have been in the same boat, keeping watch over each other.


Facing a century of turbulent changes, the GCC countries have united in their strife for self-improvement, have overcome the negative epidemic impact and achieved economic growth, actively promoted political solutions for regional hotspots and problems, promoted the GCC to become the Middle Eastern Gulf’s most vital regional organization, which is highly appreciated by China. At a historical crossroads, let’s contintue the good tradition of China-GCC strategic partnership, and substantiate the content of China’s and the GCC’s strategic relationship.

Let’s be partners in unity and continuously solidify mutual political trust, let’s firmly support each others’ core interests. Let’s jointly uphold the principle of non-interference, join hands for a genuine practice of multilateralism, and protect the numerous developing countries’ common interests.

Let’s be jointly-planning1 partners. Let’s strengthen strategic development interfaces, bring complementary advantages into play, and train the kinetic energy of development. China looks forward to cooperating with all parties to promote and implement global development initiatives, to implement the United Nations’ agenda for sustainable development, and to promote regional development and prosperity.

Let’s be partners in building security together. China will continue its firm support for GCC countries’ protection of their security, its support for the region’s countries in solving disagreement through dialogue and consultations, and in building a Gulf security framework. GCC countries are welcome to participate in global security initiatives and in upholding regional peace and stability together.

Let’s be partners in our civilizational rise. We should enhance communication between our peoples, enrich cultural exchanges, learn from each others’ outstanding civilizational products, promote the eastern civilizations’ profound marrows, and make positive contributions to humankind’s civilizational development and progress.

During the coming three to five years, China would like to make efforts with the GCC countries in the following major fields of cooperation:

Firstly, let’s build a new pattern of three-dimensional energy cooperation. China will continue to import great quanitities of crude oil from GCC countries, broaden its imports of liquified natural gas, strengthen upstream oil and gas exploration and exploitation, and cooperation in engineering services and refining logistics. Full use should be made of Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange, and the settlement of accounts in RMB should be developed. Hydrogen power, energy storage systems, wind and solar energy, intelligent electrical networks and other cooperation on clean and low-carbon energy technology as well as localization of new energy source equipment should be developed. A Sino-GCC forum for the peaceful use of nuclear technology as well as a Sino-GCC demonstration center for nuclear safety should be established, and 300 technical talents from GCC countries be educated in the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

Secondly, let’s make headway in financial and investment cooperation. China would like to cooperate with GCC countries to develop financial-supervision cooperation, facilitate GCC countries’ access to the Chinese capital market. establish sovereign wealth funds with GCC countries, and launch cooperation in numerous ways. Let’s explore and hold Sino-GCC industrial and investment cooperation forums. Let’s strengthen cooperation in the fields of investment in the digitized economy and in green development, and establish bilateral mechanisms for investment and economic cooperation. Let’s work on the interchangeability of our own currencies, deepen digitized currency cooperation, and promote the multiple central bank digital currency bridge project.

Thirdly, let’s expand new fields of cooperation on innovative technology. China would like to establish a big-data and cloud-computing center with GCC countries, strengthen 5G and 6G technological cooperation, jointly establish a number of innovation and startup incubators, and ten projects around cross-border e-commerce and communications infrastructure. Let’s establish a cooperation mechanism for meteorological cooperation between China and the GCC and hold research Sino-GCC research forums on climate change.

Fourthly, let’s achieve new breakthroughs in space cooperation. China would like to carry out a series of cooperation projects concerning remote-sensing and communications satellites, space applications, and space infrastructure. Let’s select the best astronauts2 for training. China welcomes GCC austronauts to the Chinese space station, to carry out scientific experiments on flights together with Chinese austronauts. GCC austronauts are welcome to participate in China’s Chang’E, Tianwen, etc. transport cooperation. and in the establishment of a Sino-GCC moon-probing and space-probing center.

Fifthly, let’s build cooperation highlights in language and cultural cooperation. China is going to cooperate with 300 GCC universities, middle- and elementary schools for Chinese-language education to establish 300 Chinese-language classrooms, to provide 3000 “Chinese Bridge” summer (or winter) camps, establish Chinese Learning and Testing Centers and online Chinese classrooms. Let’s hold Sino-GCC language and cultural forums, build humanities exchange and mutual-learning and bilingual data bases.


China and the GCC countries all shoulder their own responsibilities in the mission of rejuvenated national development. The Sino-GCC relations are both old and young. Let’s connect the past and the future, advance hand in hand, and jointly initiate the beautiful future of Sino-GCC relations!

Thank you all!



1 共谋 (gòngmóu) is actually a rather negative verb – to scheme, to conspire, etc.. “Jointly plan” is also a possible translation, but by far the nicest one among a rather nasty lot.
2 Chinese-English nomenclature: taikonaut



How to speak to Pakistan, April 22, 2015


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Learning Chinese with the CCP: Hantui (汉推)

Links within blockquotes added during translation.


Looking back at the past year, our institute has made whole-hearted efforts, has broken new ground for new conditions, and has achieved new successes. Summarizing the past and looking at the future, our institute will, based on the current solid foundations, continue its efforts, to contribute its own strengths to the cause of the motherland’s promotion of the Chinese language.


Mrs Wang Xi (王冏), head of the Confucius Institute in Sibiu, Romania,
as quoted by Radio Romania International (ROI), Dec 20, 2019


Hantui is the abbreviation for the International Han (Chinese) language*) promotion.


With the arrival of the “Chinese language fever”, all countries in the world were in need of a sharp increase in Chinese language teachers. To cope with the situation, the international Chinese Language Promotion , as a field of study,  appeared within China. Different to the training of Chinese teachers [for foreign students], the targets of this field of studies were Chinese language learners abroad, with Chinese language training  crossing the national threshold to carry out Chinese-language education.


Currently, there are about a dozen universities and colleges which have opened related fields of studies, with Beijing Normal University being rather distinctive among them. As the Beijing base for the international promotion of the Chinese language, Beijing Normal University opened the Chinese Language Promotion’s master degree class (abbreviated: hantui ban), using new educational methods to comprehensively train the students’ abitities to satisfy overseas students’ curiosity about Chinese language and culture. Beijing Normal University’s methodology has been positively evaluated by many, receiving the American College Board‘s, the Hanban’s, and other units’ positive evaluation. This field of studies has also become popular. According to people in charge of it, 800 out of Beijing Normal University’s graduate [or post-graduate] students have entered themselves for this field’s examinations in a very intense competition.

目前,国内有十几所高校在汉办的协助下开设了相关专业,其中北京师范大学是比较有特色的。作为汉语国际推广的北京基地,2006年北京师范大学成立了汉语国际推广硕士班(简称汉推班),采用了新的培养模式,全方位培养学生的能力,以满足海外学生对中国语言和文化的好奇。目前北师大模式已经获得了广泛的好评,得到了美国大学理事会(college board),汉办等单位的好评。这个专业也成为热门。据相关负责人介绍,今年北京师范大学的研究生考试中,有800人报考这个专业,竞争十分激烈。

Among the students enrolling at the about a dozen universities and colleges nationwide in 2006, there are currently more than 300 [post] graduate students reading again. The pattern is that the first year is for specialized knowledge training in China, the second is for internships abroad, and the third year is for completing the graduation thesis back in China. If staying abroad during the third year, students in internships can apply for an extension, or complete their graduation thesis abroad.


Baike Baidu, accessed Dec 20, 2019

Tea culture propaganda base

Chinese International Language Promotion’s Tea Culture propagation base (International Tea Culture Base) is one of the Chinese Hanban’s 31 Chinese International Language Promotion’s bases, officially approved and established in December 2014. The base opened at Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University and is currently the only Chinese International Language Promotion base with the specialty of tea culture.

“汉语国际推广茶文化传播基地”(International Tea Culture Base)是国家汉办在全国建立的第31家汉语国际推广基地,于2014年12月正式批准成立。基地设立在浙江农林大学,是全国目前唯一以茶文化为特色的汉语国际传播基地。

The base centers on Chinese culture going global and the “belt and road” national strategy, integrates Confucius Institute development plans, makes ample use of Zhejiang Province’s time-honored tea culture, integrates all the province’s resources, strengthens top-level planning, actively explores contacts with Chinese and global tea culture, benefits from the universality of human health and other issues, establishes a tea quality system and a tea culture experience center as well as a tea culture experience center, builds a high-level international tea culture teaching team, […]


Teachers’ grassroot branch discusses 19th central committee’s 4th plenary session’s spirit

So as to learn the solid promotion of “never forgetting where we started from, holding on to the mission”, the grassroot branch of the Southern base for the international promotion of the Chinese language held a thorough study of the implementation of the Party’s 19th fourth central committee’s plenary session‘s spirit, at Xiamen University’s Xiang’an Campus library B908, as a theme party day activity.


Happening to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the new China, the fourth plenary session of the 19th central committee is a highlight in the party’s and country’s undertaking’s overall situation and strategy. Based on the current and long-term perspective, from persevering with the party’s leadership, the people being the masters in their own affairs, rule according to the law being brought forward by organic unity, from reform and development stability, domestic policy, diplomacy and national defense, the unfolding of governing the party, the country and the army, the Jianling Buildings succinctly show to the inside and outside world the outstanding superiority of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The comrades at the grassroot branch conscientiously studied the central committee’s  “resolution concerning the upholding and perfecting of the socialism with Chinese characteristics system and the promotion of the national governing system’s and governing ability’s modernization” and other learning material and combined their efforts in collective exchanges of views.


The Southern Base of Confucius Headquarters, Xiamen University, Dec 5, 2019



*) When a language is said to be “Chinese”, this usually refers to the Han nationality’s language, not to other languages spoken within the PRC.



向全世界讲好中国茶的故事 (tea propaganda), Zhejiang A&F University, Dec 20, 2019


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shortwave Logs: Radio Romania International (RRI)

If you are looking for a European broadcaster on shortwave, the BBC World Service may come to your mind – or Radio Romania International (RRI). The latter’s range of program languages is quite diverse: English, Chinese, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and German. One a week, on Sundays, there’s a broadcast in Hebrew, too, with a review of the week1).

— Some history

According to the station’s website, first experimental radio programmes for target areas beyond Romania’s borders were aired in 1927. Broadcasting became official on November 1, 1928, on 747 kHz (401.6 meters) – apparently targeted at a domestic audience, in Romanian only. French and English programs followed in 1932, “to inform the diplomatic corps in the Romanian capital city”, and weekly programs in French and German were targeted at central and western Europe. Before the second world war, all foreign broadcasts depended on medium wave transmitters. When the first shortwave transmissions began, the focus appears to have been on the Balkans, and the Middle East. According to RRI, [i] t seems that the first letter received from abroad came from Egypt.

It’s a detailed account of RRI’s history (and that of its preceding organizations, all headquartered in Bucharest’s General Berthelot Street), and will most likely contain some information that is new to the reader.

Olt County's coat of arms, 1985 and post-1989

Olt County’s coat of arms, as depicted on a QSL card of December 1985, and as of these days (click picture for Wiki entry)

— Languages, Programs, Contraditions

RRI provides news, background reports and some cultural coverage. Much of the content is the same in English, German, and Chinese, but focus may differ somewhat. While there is news, some background information and cultural programming in all these languages, listeners’ preferred topics seem to count, too. German listeners frequently enquire about European and social issues – something that appears to be of less interest to Chinese listeners. The scope of Chinese programs may also be somewhat limited by air time: thirty minutes per broadcast in Chinese, rather than sixty, as is the case with some of the broadcasts in English, French, and German.

When it comes to international exchange or openness, RRI certainly can’t be accused of discrimination. The Institut Francais is shown among their partners on the French service’s web pages, and a link to the “Confucius Institute” in Bucharest adorns the Chinese-language main page, side by side with one to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (with no specified status).

According to RRI’s English service’s website, RRI’s Chinese service, which first went on air on October 1, 1999, benefited from […] Chinese language experts […] as well as our colleagues from Radio China International, the Romanian language department […].2)

Given the kind of “news” being broadcast by China Radio International (CRI), this kind of cooperation doesn’t look appropriate.

Some caveats: undue Beijing’s influence isn’t limited to RRI in particular, or to southeastern Europe in general3) (as suspected by some German quarters). A number of German universities have opted for cooperation with the agency from Beijing, for example, and areas of cooperation are hardly less sensitive.

Also, RRI’s news broadcasts in Chinese don’t appear to differ from those of the English or German departments. When Chinese listeners hear about Romanian citizens who take to the street, opposing changes to the country’s legal system, or Japan’s prime minister emphasizing liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as Japan’s and Romania’s shared values and principles, it may be met with more open minds, than if broadcast by a source that is deemed hostile by its audience.

All the same, turning October 1, 1949 into common ground between the audience and the station’s first broadcast in Chinese (October 1, 1994) spells a major contradiction, when suggesting at the same time, on a different history page, that RRI services turned towards the future, towards once again building a bridge between Romania and the democratic world and re-establishing the link between Romanians living abroad and those back home, a link that had been weakened on purpose by the totalitarian regime.

— Audience

RRI doesn’t offer detailed statistics – few international broadcasters do. It seems likely, however, that a presence on shortwave makes a difference for the better. I wouldn’t hear or read much about the country, if its signals didn’t come in handy. I’m suspecting that within Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, you can listen to RRI with a pressing iron (any appliance with spiral coils should do).

What has kept this blogger from giving feedback to the station is their online policy. It seems that everything that is mentioned in their listener’s-feedback programs goes right online, as a transcript. Facebookers probably won’t mind, but more traditional listeners may be a different story.

Either way, RRI certainly has its fans, and its multipliers.

— Shortwave

Shortwave plays an important role, at least when it comes to middle-aged and old listeners. For one, there’s the technical aspect. Nobody is encouraged to disassemble and reassemble his smartphone, or to boost its transmission power or its sensitivity. Use of shortwave, however, involves technical aspects, and people interested in some DIY. And while an app user may brush any source of information away after a few seconds, shortwave listeners’ attention span is likely to be sturdier.

It would seem to me that among a number of other aspects (sound not least – I find digital sound ugly), shortwave broadcasting signals respect for the listeners. It is more costly than web-based communication, it doesn’t provide broadcasters with as much information about how “efficient”, in terms of listener numbers, their productions actually are (which means that even the invisible listener matters), and it doesn’t ask if a listener lives under circumstances that allow for internet access – be it for economic or censorship reasons.

Shortwave is therefore a unique RRI feature. Bulgaria abandoned its shortwave transmissions years ago, so did Radio Poland, Radio Ukraine International, and Radio Prague (except for some airtime on German or American shortwave stations respectively). Radio Budapest, once one of the most popular Eastern European external broadcasters, is history.

— Recent RRI logs

Broadcasts in Chinese, German, and Hebrew
Time UTC Lang. Date Freq. S I N P O
07:00 German Jan21 7345 5 5 5 4 4
13:30 Chinese Jan21 9610 4 5 5 3 4
17:05 Hebrew Jan21 9790 4 5 5 3 4



1) RRI’s website states 19:05 hours as the beginning of the transmission, which is standard time in Romania, and in Israel (17:05 GMT/UTC).
2) The Romanian department at CRI still exists, with an online presence, and medium/shortwave transmissions.
3) The “Spiegel” interview in German.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

“China is Alright”: a Summer Camp for Overseas Chinese students from Laos

China Radio International‘s Mandarin service renders a newslet by China News Service (中国新闻社), China’s second-largest state-owned newsagency after Xinhua, on the field of public diplomacy.

Original title: Ethnic Chinese Laotians go to Yunnan to experience Chinese culture

CRI Online news: according to China News Service, the “2013 China is alright – the perfect Yunnan summer camp” has started in Kunming, with fourty campers and group leaders from Chinese schools in Laos. It is scheduled to go on for ten days. Apart from developing [an awareness or knowledge of, apparently] Yunnan ethnic culture, knowledge of China, and exchange, the overseas Chinese students will also experience Yunnan province’s local conditions and customs.


With Chinese-Laotian cooperation growing closer and the surging “Chinese language fever” in Laos, more and more ethnic Chinese and Laotians want to understand the Chinese way of life and traditional culture. Luo Bailan, a teacher and group leader with the camp, says that the Chinese schools in Laos are continuously adjusting their educational methods, to allow the students to learn by experience.


Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China deputy secretary general Li Xianguo says that “China is alright” is an important part of the foundation’s “Young Ethnic Chinese Chinese Culture Heritage Project”.


Chinese fever, Kunming

Chinese fever – click pictdure for China News Service coverage

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) is more elaborate, adding that most of the students haven’t been to Yunnan before. Even though it has been rainy for days, and temperatures in the spring city [i. e. Kunming] are a bit low, this hasn’t affected the campers’ high spirits in the least. They are reading the course schedules of the camp reader, excitedly discuss the coming lessons and the tourist attractions. A student tells the SCIO reporter that he is most interested in poetry recital and calligraphy, and in touring the Stone Forest, the birthplace of Ashima:

“We also want to experience the culture of national minorities in the Yunnan Nationalities Village I don’t know a lot about national minorities and hope to experience a lot of interesting things”, Lin Yingcai says in fluent Chinese.


Many Laotians and Burmese and Cambodians and North Koreans see China as a promised land, Joshua Kurlantzick wrote in his 2007 book Charm Offensive (p. 137). And America, he warned, had earned itself a bad image in the past, and was still doing so:

For decades, the United States still did not grant Laos normal trading relations, though Laos’s human rights record was no worse than the record of China, with whom America traded vigorously. American sanctions on Laos infuriated Lao officials, who didn’t understand why such a big country like the United Stateswould punish a minnow – especially since during the Vietnam War, America had dropped more bombs on Laos than it dropped on Germany and Japan together during World War II, leaving Laos riddled with unexploded ordnance.

(Kurlantzick, p. 59)

Jiang Zemin visited Laos in November 2000, reportedly the first visit by a Chinese head of state. In November 2006, Jiang’s successor Hu Jintao followed up, and moved China Radio International (CRI) one step ahead of the BBC and the VoA, by pushing a button for a rebroadcasting FM station – the inauguration ceremony was reportedly broadcast live, as the rebroadcaster’s first program ever:

So, Vientiane listeners, for the first time, clearly and vividly heard the the warm voice of state chairman Hu Jintao, a visitor from a friendly neighbor.



A CRI official said that the friendly relations between China and Laos created good conditions for CRI’s operations in Laos. According to the official, the Laotian government’s approval of CRI’s Vientiane frequency was one of only few. Before, the BBC and the VoA had applied for frequencies to the Laotian government, but had received no approval.




Branding China, May 18, 2008
Meeting the Volunteers, CRI, Nov 21, 2006


Friday, October 19, 2012

CRI on Kabul University’s Chinese Faculty: Great Opportunities

The following is a translation of a China Radio International (CRI) article published online on October 12.

These students who are reading Chinese aloud, along with their teacher, are twenty Afghan students who are currently studying in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, at Taiyuan University of Technology’s international exchange institute. Why are so many Afghan students there in Taiyuan, you may ask. Taiyuan University of Technology international exchange institute deputy Dean of Faculty, Professor Zhao Enyuan, explains: “When Afghan president Karzai visited China in 2008, the two sides signed a cultural assistance agreement which included some important content about China helping Kabul University to establish a Confucius Institute, and to build, on that foundation, Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. The Confucius Institute assigned Taiyuan University to do this work. To this end, we started running school at Kabul University in 2008, and these students enrolled in March 2010, and came [to China] in September 2011. You can say that they are third-formers, now in their sixth semester.”

跟着老师朗读汉语的同学是来自阿富汗的20位留学生,他们现就读于中国山西省太原理工大学国际交流学院。您也许会问,这么多阿富汗留学 生为何集中在太原学习中文呢?太原理工大学国际交流学院副院长赵恩源教授介绍说:“2008年阿富汗卡尔扎伊总统访问中国的时候,双方签署了一个文化援助 协议,其中一项重要内容就是中国帮助喀布尔大学建设孔子学院,并在此基础上建设喀布尔大学汉语系。太原理工大学受孔子学院总部的指派承担了这项工作。为 此,我们08年就在阿富汗喀布尔大学开始办学了,这批学生是2010年3月份入学的,2011年9月份过来的,他们算是三年级了,正在进行第六学期的学 习。”

Currently, as the security situation in Afghanistan remains grim, equipment at the university is backward, funding is sparse, and one can imagine that under these circumstances, setting up the first Chinese faculty in Afghanistan’s history  here is difficult. But all along, the enthusiasm among young Afghans to learn Chinese is high. Young Afghan Hu Shan, explaining his reasons to learn Chinese, says: “I have been here in China for a year now. I really love learning Chinese. When I had passed the university entry exam, I chose learning Chinese. I first learned at Kabul University for a year and a half, and through my efforts, I now have the opportunity to study in China. Because our country and China have always maintained friendly relations, I also like Chinese culture, and I am interested in the lives of the Chinese people.”

目前,由于阿富汗国内安全局势依然严峻,大学教学设备落后、资金短缺,在这种情况下开设阿富汗历史上第一个汉语专业的难度可想而知。不 过阿富汗青年学习汉语的热情却始终很高。阿富汗青年胡山在谈到学习汉语的原因时说:“我来中国已经一年了。我很爱学习汉语。考大学以后选择了学汉语。我在 喀布尔大学先学了一年半,通过努力能有这个机会来中国。因为我们的国家和中国一直都保持友好关系,我也很喜欢中国文化,对中国人的生活我也很感兴趣。”

Deputy Dean of Faculty, Professor Zhao Enyuan, explains that when they started recruiting students in Afghanistan, young Afghans who wanted to enroll or asked for information came in an endless stream, their enthusiasm for learning Chinese was unusually high, and surprised the recruiting teachers. Good employment prospects probably also support the interest to learn Chinese. Zhao Enyuan says: “some of our students were asked to do translation work while having just started learning. There were two fourth-formers who did this kind of work. Locals had come straight to the Chinese faculty, and I recommended two students. In one day, they earned 200 US dollars, and they worked for 15 days. They had lessons in the morning, and after lessons, they just ran (off to their work). Locals, once they have business with China, are in need of their translation work. Working for tens of days, these two students earned 2,000 or 3,000 US dollars. One can say that provided that you learn Chinese well, such opportunities are ample there.

赵恩源副院长介绍说,当初在阿富汗招生的时候,前来报名和咨询的阿富汗青年络绎不绝,他们学习汉语的热情异常高涨,让从事招生工作的老 师都感到很吃惊。良好的就业前景应该也是让学汉语在阿富汗受追捧的重要原因。赵恩源说:“我们有的学生上学的时候就被请去做翻译工作。有两个四年级的学生 做过这样的工作。当地人直接找到汉语系,我就推荐了两个人去。一天就是200美元,干了15天。学生上午上课,一下课就跑了(去当翻译)。当地人跟中国公 司有一单生意,所以需要他们这样的翻译。工作了十几天,这两个学生就挣了2、3千美元啊。可以说只要是把汉语学好,这样的机会在当地是非常多的。”

It is understood that because of limited funding, only the minority of the many Afghans who are studying Chinese can really get to China to take further lessons there. But taking Afghanistan’s particular national situation into account and to give more students the opportunity to come to China, the Confucius Institute headquarter does its best to support Kabul University. Zhao Enyuan says: “From this class of 20 Afghan students, eighteen have applied for (Chinese government-provided) scholarships. On average, every Confucius institute only has a quota of two or three scholarships granted.

据了解,由于经费有限,在众多学习汉语的阿富汗青年中,真正能来华进修学习的留学生还只是少数。但考虑到阿富汗的特殊国情,为了让该校 汉语系学生获得更多来华深造的机会,孔子学院总部尽最大可能给予了喀布尔大学以支持。赵恩源说:“现在这班有20个阿富汗学生,其中18个申请到了(中国 政府提供的)奖学金。如果绝对平均的话,每个孔子学院平均只有2到3个奖学金名额。对阿富汗学生来华学习,孔子学院总部是很支持的,让他们尽可能来中国学 习。”

Afghan students are well aware that this opportunity doesn’t come easily, and are therefore hard-working learners. Their diligence deeply touches the teachers. Chang Lili, in charge of organizing the lessons, says: “All in all, I’m in touch with three classes of students. Compared to overseas students from other countries, they are learning diligently, they know how to learn. Many of them even continue studying in the classroom until midnight. They are really hard-working students.”

阿富汗留学生深知这样的机会来之不易,因此平日里学习特别刻苦,而他们的勤奋好学精神也深深打动了学校的老师。负责阿富汗留学生教学安排的常莉丽老 师说:“我一共接触了三批学生,都挺好的。比别的国家来的留学生都努力,很知道学习。他们很多学生来了以后有的甚至到晚上12点还在教室里学习,很刻 苦。”

For the students to learn at ease, the university has done its best to satisfy their various needs. To respect their faith, the university has opened a special prayer room, and to provide them with food they can eat without reservations, a halal canteen has been set up. Not only that: the university also organized [a] form master[s] to take care of their studies and lives. Class monitor Annu Wali says: “As a class monitor representing everyone, I would like to tell Afghans at home that we are fine, that we learn well, and that life is also very good. I hope that Afghan lives will also get better and better.”

为了让阿富汗留学生能够安心学习,校方还尽可能满足他们的各种需求。为尊重留学生的宗教信仰,学校专门开设了祷告室;为了让他们在异国 他乡吃得顺口还特别设立了清真餐厅。不仅如此,学校还安排了班主任照管他们的学习和生活。班长买买提?安努瓦里说:“我作为班长想代表大家对家里的阿富汗 人说,我们在这里很好,学习很好,生活也很好。希望以后阿富汗人的生活也越来越好。”

A comfortable learning environment puts these students who came from afar in a position to focus on learning Chinese, and under the high-level cultivation from their teachers and by their own diligence, most of them will find ideal jobs. Aomar is from the first semester who graduated at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty, and after that, because of his excellent study results, he became a Chinese teacher at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. He says: “I’m now a teacher at Kabul University’s Chinese faculty. My first objective is to teach Afghans at Kabul University Chinese in their own language.”

舒适的学习环境让这些远道而来的留学生可以专注地学习汉语,在中方老师的辛勤培养和他们个人的勤奋努力下,从这里毕业的留学生大多找到 了理想的工作。奥马尔是喀布尔大学汉语系第一期的毕业生,毕业后,他以优异的成绩留校成为了阿富汗喀布尔大学中文系的一名汉语老师。他说:“我现在是喀布 尔大学中文系的一位汉语老师。首先我当老师的第一个目的是因为以前在阿富汗没有人教中文,我是要用我们的语言教阿富汗人学中文。”

Now, the freshmen at Kabul University Chinese faculty in 2012 have enrolled, full of expectations and hoping to learn Chinese well. This is also the wish of professor Zhao Enyuan for these new students. He says: “I hope that the students, no matter if currently in China or in their last semester in Kabul, or those I haven’t met yet, will learn Chinese diligently and skillfully. China is the only neighbor without a war between it and Afghanistan during the past 500 years. Afghans are also extremely friendly towards China. I hope that these students will learn Chinese well, understand Chinese culture, and become bridges and links for Sino-Afghan friendship. I also hope that through their improved dissemination of Chinese language and Chinese culture, more Afghans will understand this friendly, amicable and hard-working Chinese nation.”

目前,喀布尔大学汉语系2012级的新生已经入学,他们对未来充满期待,希望能把汉语学好,这也是赵恩源教授对这些新同学的期望。他 说:“我希望不管是正在中国学习的还是正在喀布尔大学读最后一个学期的,还有我没见过面的学生们,更加勤奋扎实地学习汉语。中国是阿富汗近500年来唯一 没有发生过战争的邻国,阿富汗人对中国也是十分友好的。我希望这些学生把汉语学好,熟悉中国文化,成为中阿友谊的桥梁和纽带。同时我也希望通过他们更好地 传播汉语语言和中国文化,让更多的阿富汗人了解中国这样一个友好、友善、勤劳的民族。”



» Remaking the Watchdog, WSJ, Oct 18, 2012
» The biggest investor, Xinhua, June 6, 2012
» Deutsche Welle director quotes Karzai, Deutsche Welle TV, June 2011
» A Taste of Chinese Life, China Daily, Dec 2, 2009
» Give us Afghanistan, Sep 22, 2009

Sunday, March 11, 2012

No Communists at Deutsche Welle, Please, but they may Train your Future Teachers

A guest post by Tai De

The Great Instructor

The Great Instructor

In February, Mr. Rudolph, who plays or played a role at Deutsche Welle as a “montitor” for the Chinese department,  tackled a thorny issue of German educational politics, which´- out of budget considerations, possibly  –  draws on the services of of an institution  which is operated by the People’s Republic of China,  a totalitarian state. Tackling this issue is commendable. That Deutschlandradio, in an interview with him, dared to pick this hot potato (hot by German standards, anyway) up at all is commendable, too. But the feeling seems to creep over the listener or reader – even a willing one like Tai De -, that Mr. Rudolph views the matter of universities’ cooperation with China’s Hanban from a position of taste, rather than from a matter-of-fact one. The latter would be a matter of constitutionality. When it comes to Hanban activity at the University of Göttingen, for example, neither Mr. Rudolph nor the moderator  address the issue that prospective Chinese-language teachers for Lower-Saxonian schools are trained by this university, in cooperation with Hanban.

A distinctive German feature needs to be highlighted here. Most of these teachers from Göttingen will not become a municipality’s or private school’s employee, but the federal state’s civil servants, in advanced positions. They will vow to be faithful to the federal state, and to the Federal Republic of Germany. From the Lower Saxonian oath’s wording:

I swear to dedicate my efforts to the people and the federal state, in accordance with the republican, democratic and social constitutional state, that I will preserve and defend the Federal Republic of Germany’s basic law and the Lower Saxonian constitution […].

Ich schwöre, dass ich, getreu den Grundsätzen des republikanischen, demokratischen und sozialen Rechtsstaates, meine Kraft dem Volke und dem Lande widmen, das Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und die Niedersächsische Verfassung wahren und verteidigen […] werde.

Trained in cooperation with the Communist Party of China.

The four former contributors to or employees of Deutsche Welle’s Chinese department were no civil servants, and in decisions by a labor court,  at least two of them were reportedly put under suspicion of „Communism“.  Some of these former employees weren’t even working full-time. Noone of them had taken an oath.

And there one has to ask Mr. Rudolph why he would work as a monitor at Deutsche Welle – without the law really exacting that kind of toil on him –, and why he would only tastefully sniff when it’s about colleagues from his own league.

Are these constitutional, or are these power issues, Mr. Rudolph?


Previously by Tai De:

» Helmut Schmidt and the Korean War, March 1, 2012


Sunday, October 30, 2011

17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture Document” – 3

« Part 1
« Part 2

The CCP’s 17th central committee announced a decision on cultural reform earlier this month; the Chinese media began reporting on the – then still unknown – document soon after, and it was published in full early this week. The following is part 3 of my translation of it; part 1 and 2 can be accessed through the links above. Links within blockquotes  were added during translation.

To achieve these goals, we must abide by the following guidelines.

  • Hold on fast to the guidance of Marxism, promote the sinicisation, modernization, and popularization, use the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm our minds, guide its implementation, promote work, and guarantee that the reform and development of culturekeep advancing  on the correct path.
  • Maintain the progressive direction of advanced socialist culture, adhere to serving the people, to serve socialism, let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend1), adhere to the unity of inheritance and innovation, unfurl [or expand, 弘扬] the theme, promote diversity, arm people with scientific theory, guide the people by a correct public opinion, model the people by a lofty will, use excellent works to inspire the people, form a positive and upward spirit which pursues a healthy and civilized way of life.
  • Maintain a people-oriented, close-to-reality, close-to-life, close-to-the-masses factor with the people playing a central role in building culture, adhere to cultural development for the people, cultural development leaning on the people, the fruits of cultural development for the common use of the people, promotion of comprehensive development, the cultivation of ideals, with citizens of virtue, culture, and discipline.
  • Adhere to putting social efficiency2 first, maintain the organic unity between social and economic efficiency, abide by the law [or regular pattern, 规律] of cultural development, adapt to the socialist market economy’s requirements, strengthen the building of a cultural and legal system, manage to achieve prosperity as well as mastering management, promote the cause of culture and the cultural industry in comprehensive coordination, for sustainable development.
  • Maintain reform and opening, put forth efforts to the promotion of the cultural system’s mechanical innovation, use reforms to promote development, prosperity, incessantly liberate and develop the development of cultural productive power, increase the level of cultural openness, promote Chinese culture’s path toward the world, actively absorb outstanding civilizational achievements from all countries, and cogently defend the safety of national culture.

The first page of China Radio International’s (CRI) online publication ends here; the following link points to the CRI publication’s second page.

3) Promoting the Building of a System of Socialist Core Values, Consolidating the Common Ideological and Moral Foundations of Party and National Unity for the United Battle of all Nationalities


Socialist core values are the spirit [or soul] of the country’s rejuvenation, the essence of advanced socialist culture, and determine the direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ development. Guidance of education must be strengthened, consensus within society be furthered, innovative means ways and means, comprehensive protection of the system, and the system of core socialist values be blended into national education, the building of cultural and ideological progress [精神文明, also frequently translated as spiritual civilization – JR], and the complete process of building the party, [it needs to] penetrate every field of reform and opening and socialist modernization, materialize in the spirit and the creation of cultural products, and to spread into every field, [it is necessary to] adhere to the guidance of society’s ideological trends by the system of socialist core values, to form a unified ideology throughout the party and society, common ideals and beliefs, to strengthen the power of consciousness, and the basic moral [or virtuous] norms.


a) Adhere to the guiding position of Marxism. Marxism profoundly revealed the laws of human development,  firmly safeguarded and developed the people’s fundamental interests, it guides people to promote society’s progress, and creates a good life’s scientific theory. We must unswervingly adhere to the fundamental theorems of Marxism, closely link China’s reality with the characteristics of our times, the wishes of the people, and by developing Marxism to guide into a new practice. Unremittingly persevere  in the use of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm the party, to educate the people, to promote the learning and practice of the scientific develoopment concept to be deepened and broadened, to guide the party members and cadres to to learn and to implement the party’s fundamental theories, fundamental line, principles, experiences, to learn the classical Marxist works, to systematically master the Marxist positions, views, and methods. Scientifically analyze the world situation, the country’s situation, the situation and changes of the party, closely study and solve the new problems of reform and opening and the construction and modernization of socialism, incessantly deepen the understanding of the party’s rule’s regular patterns, the regular patterns of socialist construction, the understanding of human society’s development’s regular patterns, and, at every moment, turn the experience of the party’s guidance in the people’s achievements into theory.  Continuously bestow distinct practice and distinguished features, national characteristics, and characteristics of our times on Chinese Marxism. Adhere to the leading staff’s and leading cadres’ as the key for increasing the capacity for political accomplishments, by building the party as a model for the organization of skills, make all efforts to promote the learning of Marxism to shape the building of the party. Deepen and promote the process of Marxist theoretical research and construction, implement a universal plan for the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen the building of key scientific systems and teaching systems, promote the introduction of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics into teaching materials, into the classrooms, minds [or brains, 头脑], strengthen and improve ideological and political education in schools.

(一)坚持马克思主义指导地位。马克思主义深刻揭示了人类社会发展规律,坚定维护和发展最广大人民根本利益,是指引人民推动社会进步、创造美好生活的科学 理论。要毫不动摇地坚持马克思主义基本原理,紧密结合中国实际、时代特征、人民愿望,用发展着的马克思主义指导新的实践。坚持不懈用中国特色社会主义理论 体系武装全党、教育人民,推动学习实践科学发展观向深度和广度拓展,引导党员、干部深入学习贯彻党的基本理论、基本路线、基本纲领、基本经验,学习马克思 主义经典著作,系统掌握马克思主义立场、观点、方法。科学分析世情、国情、党情新变化,深入研究解决改革开放和社会主义现代化建设新课题,不断深化对共产 党执政规律、社会主义建设规律、人类社会发展规律的认识,不断把党带领人民创造的成功经验上升为理论,不断赋予当代中国马克思主义鲜明的实践特色、民族特 色、时代特色。坚持以领导班子和领导干部为重点,以提高思想政治素养为根本,以建设学习型党组织为抓手,大力推进马克思主义学习型政党建设。深入推进马克 思主义理论研究和建设工程,实施中国特色社会主义理论体系普及计划,加强重点学科体系和教材体系建设,推动中国特色社会主义理论体系进教材、进课堂、进头 脑,加强和改进学校思想政治教育。

Continued (Nov 1) –
part 4 »



1) This probably refers to the original poem, rather than to its use during the Mao era, as the way Mao invoked and “practised” the line as a slogan can hardly be considered a success story.

2) Social efficiency could be seen as an optimal allocation of resources, and there have been several initiatives or concepts outside China which advocated or discussed such concepts, but in the context of the CCP central committee decision, this article on Ezine seems to characterize the term quite neatly. However, I’m not implying that this is exactly what the decision wants to prescribe. Just do your own search of this term – 社会效益 – online, and let me know what you find. It is also possible that there is no clear-cut definition at all, as a document like the decision may need to satisfy more than one viewpoint within the politbureau’s standing committee.



» Reinforcing Party’s Guidance, Oct 19, 2011
» Science in Action, Sept 26, 2011
» Patriotic Essays, September 1, 2009


Friday, October 28, 2011

17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture Document” – 2

« part 1

This post is the second one about the 17th CCP central committee’s 6th plenary session’s resolution (or decision), and a continuation to that post (with some links to related topics). Contrary to the first post, I tried to translate all these following paragraphs here in full. Still a lot of translation to do; the previous and this post may amount to a quarter of the entire document.

If anyone who is reading this has translated some or all of it, or knows of a translation elsewhere, please let me know, and I’ll link there, for complementation, or for comparison.

The entire party must come to recognize that the advanced socialist culture is the banner above the Marxist political party’s thoughts and spirit, and the building of a socialist culture is an important part of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ overall design. Without the vigorous cultural guidance, there is no richness in the spiritual world of the people, the power of national spirit won’t fully unfold,  and a country, a nation, cannot stand towering the forest of the world’s nations. Material insufficiency isn’t socialism, and spiritual emptiness isn’t socialism. If socialist culture doesn’t flourish, there will be no socialist modernization. In the deepening of the reform of the cultural system at this new historical starting point, the promotion of the development and thriving of socialist culture concerns the realization of comprehensive development of a society with modest prosperity, the maintenance and development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We must correctly grasp our country’s new economic and social requirements, correctly grasp the current era’s new trend of cultural development, correctly grasp all the people’s nationalities’ expectations to spiritual and cultural life, strengthen the sense of responsibility and urgency, emancipate our minds, transform our concepts, seize our opportunities, harness the momentum, and, in the process of building a society of modest prosperity, on the road of scientific development, struggle for the creation of socialist culture, and for a new state of affairs.


2) Adhering to the Path of Development of a Culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Striving to Build a Strong Country of Socialist Culture


To adhere to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to deepen the reform of the cultural system, to promote the development and flourishing of socialist culture, it is essential that we fully implement the essence of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, that we uphold the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and, under the guidance of the important thoughts of Marxism and Leninism, the Mao Zedong thoughts, the Deng Xiaoping theories, and the “Three Represents”*), deepen the scientific development concept’s thorough implementation, maintain the progressive direction of advanced socialist culture, and by scientific development as the key subject, by building a system of socialist core values as the fundamental task, and with the people’s spiritual cultural needs as the starting point and the final destination, with reform and innovation as the driving forces, develop towards modernization, towards the world, towards the future and the nation’s scientific and the masses’ socialist culture, cultivate a high degree of cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence, improve the entire nation’s civilizational quality, enhance the country’s cultural soft power, unfold Chinese culture, and strive to build a strong socialist country.


To build a strong country with a socialist culture means to put forth effort on the promotion of an advanced socialist culture going deeper into the peoples’ hearts, to promote the comprehensive development of a socialist spirit and civilization and material civilization, to start, at every moment, the whole nation’s continuous gush of cultural creativity and vitality, a richer and more colorful and  socialist culture’s life, better protection of the people’s basic cultural rights, the comprehensive improvement of the people’s ideological and moral qualities’ and of scientific cultural qualities, and the building of an overall spiritual home for the Chinese nation, to make greater contributions to human civilization’s progress.


In accordance with the new needs for succeeding in the strife of building a moderately prosperous society, the goals in striving for the cultural reform and development until 2020 are: to further promote the building of a system of socialist core values, to further unfold good ideological and moral customs, to significantly improve the quality of citizens, to accomodate the people’s needs for richer cultural products, to make quality works emerge in large numbers, to make the cause of culture prosper comprehensively, to built a basic public cultural services system which covers the entire society, to evenly spread accessibility to these basic services, to turn the cultural industry into a pillar of the national economy, to comprehensively and significantly strengthen its competitiveness with the international cultural industry, with public ownership as the predominant pattern developing comprehensively together with various other forms of ownership, to amply invigorate the cultural management system and cultural production operation system, and to turn them highly efficient, to attract, with the national culture as the principal part, beneficial culture from abroad, to ever further promote the pattern of an open Chinese culture’s stepping towards the world; to develop [existing] high-quality talents further, and guarantee more vitality for the development of flourishing developing talents. The entire party and the entire country must work together to make these goals happen, they must incessantly improve the scientification level of developing culture, in order to lay the foundation on which to build our country into a strong country of socialist culture.


Continued (Oct 30) –
part 3 »



*)  The buzzword “Leninism” was missing in the original’s third paragraph (see earlier post for a quick review of that paragraph)  – but it’s appearing here, along with Marxism, and every Chinese party or paramount leader since Mao (except for Hua Guofeng, who bequeathed no spiritual legacy of his own to humankind),  just as  they were referred to by Wu Bangguo in March this year.


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