Posts tagged ‘Hong Kong’

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

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

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

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

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

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

China issues in the campaign

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

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


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

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

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

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

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

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

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

Outlook

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

Germany after the federal elections, Sept 27, 2021
Guanchazhe flatters Austrian Supernova, April 7, 2018
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Monday, March 15, 2021

Anchorage Expectations: “The Chinese and American people are wise and competent”

The following is a translation of a news article by “Chinanews Service” newsagency (中国新闻社). Statements quoted by the newsagency have been translated from Chinese into English without checking back what actually has been the original English-language wording.

Main Link: Four Highlights of the Sino-US High-Level Meeting in Anchorage

Four Highlights of the Sino-US High-Level Meeting in Anchorage

中美高层安克雷奇会晤的四大看点

Chinanews, Beijing, March 13, reporter Ma Jiajia

中新社北京3月13日电 / 中新社记者 马佳佳

On March 11, Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China [FMPRC from here] spokesman Zhao Lijian announced that following an American invitation, Central Committee Standing Committee member and Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi and State Council member and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold a high-level Sino-US strategic dialogue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Presidential National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Anchorage, on March 18 and 19. This being the first high-level face-to-face meeting since the Biden administration took office, international media have predicted that this meeting will be “open and difficult” and may well determine the future direction of the two countries’ relations. Which points are there to watch for better or worse in this widely observed meeting?

3月11日,中国外交部发言人赵立坚宣布,应美方邀请,中共中央政治局委员、中央外事工作委员会办公室主任杨洁篪,国务委员兼外长王毅将同美国国务卿布林肯、总统国家安全事务助理沙利文于3月18日至19日在安克雷奇举行中美高层战略对话。作为美国拜登政府执政以来,中美高层的首次面对面会谈,有国际媒体预测,此次会晤将“坦率而艰难”,或将决定两国关系的未来走向。此次备受关注的会晤有哪些看点?

Point 1: Where is Anchorage?

看点一:安克雷奇在哪里?

Anchorage is located at the center of US State Alaska’s mid-south, it is Alaska’s biggest city and also a transit hub for some flights from America to Asia. In 2017, this city’s number of inhabitants was 400,000, more than 54 percent of the entire state’s population, and only New York is another city in the United States whose population exceeds its state’s entire population by more than 40 percent.

安克雷奇位于美国阿拉斯加州中南部,是阿拉斯加州最大的城市,也是一些美国到亚洲航班的中转站。2017年这座城市的人口为40万人,超过全州人口的54%,是除了纽约市以外,全美另外一个人口超过了所在州总人口40%以上的城市。

Anchorage’s connections are convenient. It is an important harbor in Alaska with more than 95 percent of goods entering the state here, and it is also Anchorage’s railways hub.

安克雷奇交通便利,是阿拉斯加州的重要港口,超过95%的货物从这里进入阿拉斯加州,也是安克雷奇铁路的汇集地。

Also, Anchorage is situated at the center of the arctic circle’s air routes, connecting Asia’s, northern Europe’s and northern America’s aviation routes. Anchorage International Airport is the world’s fifth-largest cargo airport.

此外,安克雷奇位于北极圈航空线路的中心,连接亚洲、北欧及北美的航线。安克雷奇国际机场是全球排名第五的货运机场。

Climate in Anchorage is subarctic, with long winters and short summers. There are lots of tourism resources, from Anchorage to Seward in the South, some of the highways built along the coastline are considered to be among the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

安克雷奇属于亚寒带气候,冬季漫长而夏季短暂,旅游资源丰富,从安克雷奇向南到西沃德的公路沿海岸线修建,被评为世界上风景最美的公路之一。

Point 2: Why Anchorage?

看点二:为什么是安克雷奇?

The reasons why Anchorage was chosen as the place to meet also deserves attention. Analysts believe that there are historic and practical considerations.

为什么选择安克雷奇作为会晤地点,同样值得关注。分析认为,这其中既有历史渊源也有现实考量。

As far as practicability is concerned, there is, first of all, geographical deliberation. Alaska is at America’s northwesternmost point, not connected with the American landmass, and Anchorage is quite the same distance from Beijing and Washington [D.C.]. Another point is that with the background of the global new Covid pneumonia pandemic, Alaska is among America’s states which control the pandemic situation comparatively well. According to “New York Times” reporting, 16 percent of Alaska’s population have been completely vaccinated which is the best rate of all the USA. In some of Alaska’s regions, the rate of old people having vaccinated has reached 90 percent.

就现实层面而言,首先从地理位置上考虑,阿拉斯加州位于北美大陆西北端,不与美国本土相连,安克雷奇与北京和华盛顿的距离相当。其次在新冠肺炎全球大流行的背景下,阿拉斯加州属于全美疫情控制较好的州。据《纽约时报》报道,阿拉斯加州16%的人口已经完成了疫苗接种,这一比例居全美之首。在阿拉斯加州部分地区,老年人群体的疫苗接种率已达90%。

As far as contacts with China are concerned, Anchorage has plenty of relations with China. As for the national level, in April 2017, State Chairman Xi Jinping made a technical stop on his route back to China, after the Sino-American summit, and met Alaska’s governor Bill Walker. During the meeting, Xi Jinping pointed out that “local cooperation is one of the most vibrant component of Sino-American relations. Alaska and Anchorage are participants and witnesses of the growth in Sino-American relations’ development.”

就对华往来而言,安克雷奇与中国颇有渊源。从国家层面来看,2017年4月,中国国家主席习近平在中美元首会晤后回国途中在安克雷奇作技术经停,会见了时任阿拉斯加州州长沃克。习近平在会见中指出,“地方合作是中美关系中最具活力的组成部分之一。阿拉斯加州和安克雷奇市是中美关系发展历程的参与者和见证者。”

Under the aspect of regional exchange, China’s heilongjiang provincial capital Harbin and Anchorage are friendship cities. Harbin is mainland China’s closest big city in terms of distance to North America, with 5,500 kilometers. The two cities have a history of 30 years of friendly exchanges. Apart from that, Alaska also used to be a refuelling stop when China and America opened direct flights, because technological limits made a refuelling station necessary which was of special significance in Sino-American interaction.

从地方交流来看,中国黑龙江省省会哈尔滨与安克雷奇是友好城市。哈尔滨在地理上是中国大陆飞北美距离最近的大城市,距离安克雷奇市5500公里,两座城市有着30多年的友好交往历史。此外,阿拉斯加也是当年中美开通直航时,因飞行技术限制中途必须经停加油的一站,就中美交流而言,意义特殊。

Point 3: Which issues will the meeting touch upon?

看点三:会晤将涉及哪些议题?

Concerning the range of topics to be touched upon, both China and America have issued explanations. White House speaker Jen Psaki told a press conference on March 11 that at the Anchorage dialogue, America would mention Hong Kong, Xinjiang, th3e economy and other challenges and concerns, issues like the new corona pandemic transparency; the two sides would also discuss opportunities to cooperate. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian emphasized on a press conference on March 12 that specific topics at this dialogue were bilaterally agreed, and it was hoped that the two sides would be able to have a frank dialogue. China would also clarify its position in this dialogue. The two sides should accurately grasp each other’s policy intentions, enhance mutual understanding, control disagreements, and promote the return of Sino-US relations onto the right track.

对于此次会晤中将会涉及哪些议题,中美双方都作出了表述。白宫发言人普萨基11日在记者会上表示,此次在安克雷奇举行的对话,美方将提到香港、新疆、经济等方面的挑战和关切、新冠疫情透明度等议题;双方也会讨论有合作机会的领域。中国外交部发言人赵立坚12日也在记者会上强调,此次对话的具体议题有待双方商定,希望双方能够就共同关心的问题坦诚对话,中方也将在此次对话中表明立场。双方应该准确把握彼此政策意图,增进相互了解,管控分歧问题,推动中美关系重回正轨。

This being the first high-level meeting in the Biden administration’s term, combined with the current state of Sino-American relations, its issues could be more open and could provide possibilities of the two sides expounding their positions and deep concerns.

作为拜登政府任内中美高层首次会面对话,结合中美关系的现状,在当前时间点上,此次讨论的议题或更具有开放性,而这场对话也为双方阐明立场,表达关切提供了可能。

Point 4: How much influence will [the meeting] have on Sino-American relations?

看点四:对中美关系影响几何?

As a practical move after the lunar New Year’s Eve telephone conversation between the two countries’ heads of state, with the two countries’ high-level diplomacy managers carrying out face-to-face exchanges, it could be said that this could be the two sides’ “first step” in the process of rebuilding Chinese-American relations. A Reuters commentary said that this dialogue means that the world’s two biggest economies are now working to handle the relations which had dropped to “freezing point” during Donald Trump’s term. And according to the “Washington Post”, Blinken said on March 10 that this time’s Sino-American high-level strategic dialogue was “an important opportunity”, the two sides should “frankly declare their positions” and explore if there was space for cooperation between China and America.

作为中美两国元首除夕通话之后的落实行动,两国高层外交主管官员展开面对面交流,可谓双方在重建中美关系的过程中迈出的“第一步”。路透社评论称,这场对话意味着世界上最大的两个经济体正在努力处理双方在特朗普任期内跌至“冰点”的关系。另据《华盛顿邮报》报道,布林肯10日也指出,此次中美高层战略对话是“一个重要的机会”,双方将就关切问题“坦率表态”,并探讨中美间是否有合作的空间。

Although one dialogue can’t solve all problems, opening a dialogue is still an important beginning, and exploring the reconstruction of dialogue mechanisms to control differences is in itself significant. History of Sino-American relations certifies that as long as both sides walk in the same direction and make efforts, the two countries absolutely can solve contradictions and differences through dialogue and broaden mutual benefit through cooperation. The Chinese and American people are wise and competent. The two sides should carry out dialogue by respecting each other and treating each other as equals. Hopefully, China and America have a multi-level dialogue in many fields, and even if a consensus can’t be reached for now, opinions can be exchanged, trust be increased and doubts be dispelled, and this is beneficial to controlling and resolving differences.

虽然一次对话不能解决所有问题,但展开对话即是一个重要开端。通过对话增加相互了解、探索重建对话机制来管控分歧,本身就具有重要意义。中美关系的历史证明,只要相向而行,付出努力,两国完全可以通过对话化解矛盾分歧,通过合作扩大共同利益。中美两国人民是有智慧、有能力的,双方还是要相互尊重、平等相待地进行对话沟通。希望中美有多领域、多层次的对话,即便一时达不成共识,也可以交换意见、增信释疑,这有利于管控和化解分歧。(完)

Editor: Guo Mengyuan

【编辑郭梦媛】

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Related

China wants pre-Trump era back, Taipei Times, Mar 15 (UTC)
“Objective, rational manner”, Xinhua, Mar 15, 2021
The Essence of Big-power relations, Jun 11, 2013

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Updates/Related

Angry words, BBC, Mar 19, 2020
In America, not in China, Die Welt, March 18, 2021

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Zang Tiewei: “The Masses’ Opinions, reflected in National Legislation” since 1954

The following are excerpts from a long China News Service (CNS) interview with “National People’s Congress'” Standing Committee spokesman Zang Tiewei (臧铁伟).

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

“Authoritative answers” (权威回应)

Main link: How does the voice of the people enter national legislation?

[…]

Q: The 13th National People’s Congress’ fourth session will be held in March this year. It will review the outline draft for the 14th five-year plan. We have noticed that in the previous outline draft’s “pooling wisdom” section, the masses’ suggestions were directly absorbed into the draft. We believe there are many such cases. Are there any that impressed you deeply?

中新社记者:十三届全国人大四次会议将于今年3月举行,审议“十四五”规划纲要草案。我们注意到,在此前纲要草案的“开门问策”中,有普通民众的建议,直接被吸收到了草案当中。相信在我们立法过程中,这样的事例也有很多,有没有让您印象深刻的案例?

A: Of course there are. In my legislative work which I have been doing for almost 30 years, there are some cases that impressed me very deeply. The masses’ opinions concerning legislation are reflected in legislative organs’ channels without any impediment. The masses’ opinions are accepted and absorbed into the legislative drafts. That happens frequently. It’s something very normal.

臧铁伟:当然有。我从事立法工作将近30年,有几个事例让我印象非常深刻。普通民众对于立法的意见,反映到立法工作机关的渠道是非常畅通的;普通民众的意见被采纳和吸收到法律草案中,也是经常发生、非常正常的一个事情。

There are mainly two channels to which the masses reflect their opinions. The first one is that drafts are publicly addressed to society to seek input. The first legislation the public’s input was sought was for the constitutional draft in 1954. At that time, the scale of that request for society’s input was very big, and it managed to really orderly let everyone from the peasants in rural areas to the workers in the factories and workshops hear the legislative draft. Since then, the seeking of the entire society’s input has gone through a process of sixty years. It should be said that this is an important way for the masses to participate in legislation.

民众向立法机关反映意见,主要有两个渠道。第一个渠道,法律草案公开向社会征求意见。中国最早一部公开向社会征求意见的法律是1954年的宪法草案,当时向社会征求意见的规模非常大,真真正正做到了从田间地头的农民到工厂车间的工人都能听到这部法律草案。从那时起到现在,法律草案征求全社会意见已经经历了60多年的历程。应当说这是人民群众参与立法的一个重要途径。

For example, as for the civil code which is just being put into practice, in the process of its compilation, has sought opinions from the entire society ten times, with more than one million articles, all of which have been sorted out and studied by the legislative organs’ staff.

比如说刚刚施行的民法典,它在编纂的过程中,先后十次向全社会公开征求意见,有100多万条,每一条意见立法机关的工作人员都进行了梳理和研究。

The second main way goes through the legislative working committee’s contact point. In 2015 and 2020, the legislative working committee has thoroughly implemented the spirit of secretary general Xi Jinping’s instructions and the spirit of the central committee’s fourth plenary session, has established ten legislative contact points nationwide twice, nine of which were grassroot legislative contact points, and one of which was for universities. This truly extends the “eyes” and “ears” of legislative work directly to the rural areas and the factories and workshops, schools, communities [neighborhoods], so that we can directly listen to and gather opinions from the grassroot levels’ front line units and the cadres’ and masses’ opinions about the legislative draft.

第二个主要的途径,是通过法工委的立法联系点。法工委在2015年和2020年,贯彻落实习近平总书记指示精神和党的十八届四中全会精神,先后两次在全国范围内建立了十个立法联系点,九个是基层立法联系点、一个是高校。它确实可以让立法工作机构的“眼睛”和“耳朵”直接延伸到田间地头、工厂车间、学校、社区,能直接听取基层一线的单位和干部群众对法律草案的意见。

Over the past five years to date, we have received more than 4,000 opinions concerning more than 80 legislative drafts and legislative plans, by seeking opinions through the grassroots legislative contact points. Among these, many have been adopted into legislative drafts. It should be said that this has been very helpful to improve the quality of legislation.

迄今5年多来,我们先后就80多部法律草案和立法计划,向基层立法联系点征求意见,收到了4000多条意见,其中很多都在法律草案中予以采纳。应当说对于提高立法的质量非常有帮助。

When the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) was given to the legislative contact points to seek opinions, a group of students from a middle school belonging to the East China University of Political Science and Law put forward many amendment proposals to the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) to Hongqiao legislative contact point, including the issue of extracurricular tuition classes, the issue of teachers authority to discipline, how to prevent minors to get deeply addicted to the internet, and the issue of domestic violence.

在2020年未成年人保护法(修订)向立法联系点征求意见的时候,上海华东政法大学附属中学的一群中学生,向虹桥立法联系点提出了许多对未成年人保护法(修订)草案的修改意见,包括课外补习班的问题、教师惩戒权的问题、如何预防青少年沉迷网络的问题、家庭暴力的问题。

After the opinions put forward by these students had been reflected to the Hongqiao legislative contact point working organs, we researched the articles one by one and adopted some into the final legislative drafts. With regards to this, the legislative working committee especially sent a thank-you letter to the East China University of Political Science and Law’s middle school, thanking them for their participation and support in the legislative work.

这些学生提出的意见经过虹桥立法联系点反馈到立法工作机构之后,我们逐条进行了研究,有一些采纳到了最终通过的法律案中。为此,法制工作委员会还特意给华东附中去了一封感谢信,感谢他们对立法工作的参与和支持。

Apart from these two major channels, there are still many other ways. Citizens may write letters, faxes, make a phonecall, and some expert scholars even give their opinions right at the legislative organs. All these channels can be used without impediment.

除了这两种主要的途径之外,还有许多的途径,公民可以通过比如写信、来传真、打电话,甚至有些专家学者当面到立法机关反映意见,这些渠道都是畅通的。

I can give you another example here. A letter without characters on it. There was one concerning the property law draft without any characters. When this letter was opened by our staff, there were no characters, only numerous densely packed dots. Afterwards, everyone guessed that this was probably a letter using Braille. So they took the letter without characters to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation to ask their help. The China Disabled Persons’ Federation also supported us very much, organizing several Braille experts to translate it on the same day, and it was indeed a Braille letter with an opinion concerning the legislative draft. We also carried out research of this opinion. Later, we heard that this had been someone who suffered from impaired vision in Shandong who wrote this letter in Braille.

这里我还可以再举一个例子——一封没有字的信。群众关于法律草案(物权法草案)提出的意见是一封没有字的信。这封信到了立法机关之后,我们的工作人员拆开一看,没有一个字,只有密密麻麻的针眼。后来大家猜测说这很有可能是一封用盲文写成的信,我们的同事就专门拿着这封没有一个字的信到中国残联求助。中国残联也对我们非常支持,组织了几位盲文专家当天就翻译出来了,确实是用盲文对法律草案提出的意见。我们对每条意见又进行了研究和梳理。后来了解到是山东的一位视力障碍患者,用盲文给立法工作机构写的这封信。

Our students and our patients can all freely express their opinion concerning legislative work and legislative drafts, and every article of their opinion must be conscientiously researched and sorted out by our staff. It can be clearly seen that ordinary masses’ rights to participate in legislative work is fully guaranteed.

我们的学生、我们的患者都可以自由表达他们对立法工作、对法律草案的意见,而且每一条意见我们工作人员必定是认真地研究和梳理过的。可见,普通民众参与立法工作的权利是得到充分保障的。

[…]

Q: We have noticed that in recent years, the US Senate and House of Representatives have often insisted on launching so-called legislative drafts despite the Chinese side’s warnings, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs. You and the National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee spokesperson have published statements many times concerning these matters, expressing strong opposition. May I ask, will our legislative organs also take reciprocal and efficient measures to this, to contain this kind of behavior?

中新社记者:我们注意到,近些年,美国国会参众两院经常不顾中方警告,执意出台所谓法案,从法律的角度粗暴干涉中国内政,您和全国人大外事委员会发言人也多次就此发表谈话,表示强烈反对。请问未来,我们的立法机关是否也会有对等的有效措施,对此类行为进行反制?

A: In recent years, the two American chambers, the US Senate and Congress, have launched many anti-China motions, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs, especially on last year’s December 8, when US Congress, because of its opposition against the National People’s Congress’ Standing Commission’s adoption of the Hong Kong national security law and its decision on Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council qualifications issue, surprisingly adopted so-called sanctions against the leaders of China’s National People’s Congress. This is an undisguised and despicable behavior, to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere with China’s internal affairs. The National People’s Congress Standing Commission spokesperson also issued a statement on December 9, strongly condemning this, and expressing firm opposition.

臧铁伟:近年来美国参众两院出台了多项反华议案,粗暴干涉中国内政,尤其是去年的12月8日,美国国会因为反对中国全国人大及其常委会通过的香港国安法和关于香港特别行政区立法会议员资格问题的决定,竟然针对中国全国人大常委会领导作出所谓的制裁,这是公然借香港问题干涉中国内政的卑劣行径。全国人大常委会发言人也于12月9日发表了谈话,对此予以强烈谴责,表示坚决反对。

We have been consistent in opposing foreign and off-borders forces interfering with China’s internal affairs by whatever means, and we will, just as we have in the past, resolutely fulfill our rightful duties, protect national security, sovereignty, and development interests. Of course, we will also watch the situation and take reciprocal countermeasures. As has been seen, given that the American side has used Hong Kong’s affairs to cruelly interfere with China’s internal affairs and to harm China’s core interests, we have decided to take reciprocal countermeasures against US State Department officials, members of Congress and related NGO people who have shown bad behavior on the Hong Kong issue, and on their closest relatives. We have also cancelled visa-free treatment for visits by holders of American holders of special diplomatic passports.

我们一贯反对外国和境外的势力以任何方式干涉中国内政,我们将一如既往地坚定履行我们的法定职责,维护国家安全、主权和发展利益。当然,我们也会视情况采取对等的反制措施。正如大家已经关注到,鉴于美方借香港事务粗暴干涉中国内政、损害中国核心利益,我们决定对在香港问题上表现恶劣、负有主要责任的美国国务院官员、议会人员和有关非政府组织人员及其他们的直系亲属采取对等反制措施,并且取消美国持外交护照人员临时访问香港和澳门的免签待遇。

[…]

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before you define your next China policy, learn from Lu Xun

Chinese nationalism has had its share of wishful thinking. But in recent decades, the West has fallen into similar traps, although its humiliations – the 2008 financial crisis and the flat-footed reaction of most Western countries to the Covid-19 pandemic – have been comparatively minor humiliations.

True story

But humiliations they have been, and nothing shows this more clearly than the way some of the West’s governments have reacted to China’s handling of the pandemic. To quote one of the more civil criticisms  – by Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party -, “the world would have had more time to prepare for the pandemic if Chinese leaders had been more forthcoming”. No worries, though, he switched into another gear right away:

For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. Once we get clear of this terrible pandemic it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship,” he said.

Politics, that much is true, must never let a crisis go waste, and there are reasons to “rethink” the West’s, and possibly the world’s, relationship with China.

But China only bears a limited share of responsibility for this global crisis. If people in the West don’t understand that, they don’t understand their own political class.

We don’t need to reconsider our relationship with China because its role in the pandemic was questionable.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because we must not tolerate the way Chinese authorities treat Chinese citizens. Human rights violations often hit “national minorities” like Tibetans or Uyghurs hardest, but the political malpractice doesn’t stop there.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in Hong Kong, Beijing has shown complete disregard for the rule of law, within Hong Kong’s autonomy (that’s nothing new, China has never understood the concept of autonomy anyway), and complete disregard of international law.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in the South China Sea and other international waters, China has adopted a policy of annexation.

And we must reconsider our relationship with China, because with his “Resist America, Aid Korea” speech in October, Chinese CPC secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping has made China’s disregard for international law official, by suggesting that Maoist China’s war against the United Nations had been a “war against imperialism”.

There may be some reason to believe that many within the CPC believe that the speech has been a non-starter, because they haven’t dwelled too much on it in the media since, and because the faces of many of the leaders during Xi’s speech appeared to speak volumes. But there is no reason to believe that Xi’s speech wasn’t an honest attempt at rewriting history, at the expense of truth. This attempt must be taken seriously.

All that said, when reconsidering our relationship with China, we must not walk into the Ah-Q trap. This is something we might learn from China indeed: the way Chinese intellectuals used to be self-critical was part of China’s more recent successes, just as China’s more recent pompousness and triumphalism may earn it serious setbacks.

The same is true for us, and especially for those who consider themselves our “elites”. For decades, China has been described as an opportunity too big to miss, and to justify throwing valuable Western-made technology at it. To make this foreign-trade salad more palatable to the general public (and arguably also to the propagandists themselves), China-trade advocates added that trade and engagement with China would lead to improvements in the country’s human rights practice, or its economic and social system.

“The party is over,” a long-forgotten “expert” crowed in the 1990s, in a huge, long-forgotten book. Others suggested that the CPC might become a “social-democratic” party. But nobody seemed to ask the CPC people if they had any such intentions, at least not seriously. And if they did, they only heard the answers they wanted to hear.

There was never a doubt that China’s political system is a dictatorship. And when that dictatorship began to succeed economically and technogically, quite a number of Western intellectuals, and especially business people, began to admire that dictatorship:

I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Don’t get me wrong either. I don’t think Thomas Friedman argued in favor of the introduction of authoritarianism, let alone totalitarianism. But he didn’t apply any logic – and he’s no exception among Western intellectuals. He’s full of ideas and without a plan when it comes to these issues.

Because if we could be China for one day, we could be China every day. And then we would be the kind of society that we now want to reconsider our relationship with. (OK, maybe not Friedman.)

But the worst thing is to think of ourselves as Santa. The guys who only want the best for China, etc.. I’m pretty sure that half of my fellow Germans, in as far as they have misgivings about China, don’t worry about China’s human rights record. They worry about its economic clout, and the preparedness of a lot of Chinese people to work harder, for less income, then we would.

That’s legitimate self-interest, but nobody should confuse this interest with something like international solidarity. To do that, to suggest that “we are nice, we are generous, we’ve done everything for them, and they are bloody ingrats” is typical Ah-Q thought.

No, guys. Our bosses threw our technology at China, technology developed with support of public institutions we paid our taxes for. That’s what our bosses usually do. Sometimes at the Chinese, sometimes at other promising markets. But as our bosses’ greed for profits from China knew no limits, they fooled themselves, too. Occasionally, they complained once it went wrong. But this wasn’t “Chinese” greed – they only picked up what was thrown at them. And even if they never told us that they would make good use of it, with or against the law, daily practice could have shown us in a year that this transactional model wouldn’t work – at least not for the West.

China – not just the CPC, but most of the Chinese people – have always told us that their rightful global place was at the pole position.

They have always told us that they would “re-take” Taiwan, once they had the power to do so.

Every bloke in the street told us that Hong Kong was no stuff to negotiate about – it had been taken by the imperialists, and had to be retaken by China. Besides, those Hong Kongers shouldn’t think of themselves as “special”. Yadayada.

We played along, one year after another. We still do. I’m afraid we’ll continue to do so. Our governments, for example, keep participating in the diplomatic charade to this day that, for some incomprehensible reasons (depending on what individual Western nation’s memoranda with Beijing have made up out of thin air), Taiwan wouldn’t be quite a sovereign country.

In short: it was hard to get China wrong, but we managed anyway. And if we don’t stop suggesting that our intentions in this relationship had always been honest, we won’t get our next China policy right either.

To reshape our relationship with China, let’s learn from Lu Xun first.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click picture for video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________

x

Friday, July 24, 2020

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

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

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

“Positive and constructive attitude”

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

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

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

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤。

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Updates / Related

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

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Friday, July 10, 2020

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

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

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

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Xi Jinping acting like Qin Shi Huang?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Updates / Related

Taipei to continue forum with Shanghai (click picture)

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Monday, July 6, 2020

CCTV News Anchor on “national security” legislation: “The Red Line must be inscribed in the Hearts”

Hai Xia, CCTV “Xinwen Lianbo” news anchor, July 5

Transcript

These two days our CCTV series “China emotionally touched”, with “Filled with Emotions like a Fragrant River”, led to passionate debates among netizens.

这两天央视播出的《感动中国》特别节目《情满香江》引发网友热议,

The film included a description of many motherland-loving, Hong Kong-loving people straightened their backs and defended Hong Kong‘s story.

片子里讲述了很多爱国爱港人士挺身而出守护香港的故事。

Among them, and that impressed us most deeply, there was a Hong Kong citizen at a plaza facing the “black violence” threat,

其中让我印象很深的是,有一位香港市民在商场里面对“黑暴”威胁,

responding by bringing his child and singing the national anthem aloud. His only a few year-old daughter said that someone who doesn‘t love his own country is useless.

他回应的方式是带着自己的孩子高唱国歌。他年仅几岁的女儿还说,一个人不爱自己的国家就没用了。

This little friend really must be praised. So young, she knows good from bad. Of course, this has to do with her father educating her,

真要为这位小朋友点赞,小小年纪就能明是非。这当然与父母的教育有关,

and we have also seen news today which says that Hong Kong‘s libraries have removed some “HK independence” books from the shelves which is beautifully done, but it is not enough.

今天也看到一个消息说,香港有图书馆已经将一些“港独”书籍下架,干得漂亮,但这还不够。

Many people know that some basic educational material in HK comes with “poison”, and this “poison” must be cleaned away to clean the source.

很多人都知道香港的一些教材、基础教育领域都带有“毒”,把这里的“毒”排排干净,才是真正的正本清源。

With HK security law in force, the law must genuinely take effect. Besides seriously applying the law, universal law knowledge must be taught well.

香港国安法已经落地生效,法律要真正发挥效用,除了严格执法之外,普法教育工作也一定要做好。

The red line is not only a legal red line, but must be inscribed in the hearts.

红线不仅是划在执法一线,也是划在心里。

The poison must vanish from the source, and only from there can the pernicious influence that brings calamity to HK be blocked at the roots.

源头消了毒,祸港的流毒也才能从根上堵住。

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Related

One country, our system, July 6, 2020
Unshrinking Police, July 3, 2020

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