Posts tagged ‘Hong Kong’

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPC’s 20th National Congress: “The Party will never degenerate”

2,300 delegates were supposed to attend in February, more precisely, according to Li Keqiang (main link) on Saturday morning, the number was 2,296, plus particular invitees (特邀代表), that would be 2,379 delegates, minus 39 delegates having asked for leave because of illness, i. e. 2,340 delegates present there.

“Major-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics to be unfolded in a comprehensive way” was unfolded by Xi Jinping himself in his work report. You should be forgiven if you think that this is about Chinese consuls-general tweeting about how America bombs and China helps Africa, or how their tummies bulged with pride when Xi Jinping told the party’s national congress that Taiwaners had no right to be free when 1.4 million Chinese were not.

But major-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics isn’t a diplomatic market-economy product – it was produced at home in Beijing, by the 19th Central Committee’s Sixth Plenary Session (according to their communiqué in November 2021).

Condensed self-flattery concerning the party’s “zero-Covid” policy (which probably didn’t go down as well with the audience outside the “Great Hall of the People” as other parts of Xi’s speech), and this.

We have kept nailing the nails, thus correcting and punishing the “four winds”, opposed the idea and phenomenon of privileges, stopped some unhealthy trends that hadn’t been brought to a halt for a long time, and investigated and punished obstinate chronic diseases which hadn’t been eliminated for many years. We have fought an unprecedented fight against corruption, and by “offending thousands, and living up to the 1.4 billion” [Chinese people], we have fulfilled our mission to dispel the disease and disorder. The multi-pronged struggle against corruption, by beating the tigers, swatting the flies and hunting the foxes, has achieved an overwhelming victory and overall consolidation, eliminating the serious hidden dangers within the party, the state, and the military. By uncompromising efforts, the party found self-revolution, thus escaping the historical cycle of order and chaos, of rise and fall, for a second time. This has made sure that the party will never degenerate, never change color, never change smell.
我们以钉钉子精神纠治“四风”,反对特权思想和特权现象,刹住了一些长期没有刹住的歪风,纠治了一些多年未除的顽瘴痼疾。我们开展了史无前例的反腐败斗争,以“得罪千百人、不负十四亿”的使命担当祛疴治乱,“打虎”、“拍蝇”、“猎狐”多管齐下,反腐败斗争取得压倒性胜利并全面巩固,消除了党、国家、军队内部存在的严重隐患。经过不懈努力,党找到了自我革命这一跳出治乱兴衰历史周期率的第二个答案,确保党永远不变质、不变色、不变味。

hu_jintao
No offense meant, miserable failure

If Bo Xilai had said that, it would have struck people as populism – but then, Bo never made it into the top ranks.
China’s “Communists” have announced many victories in the past. If this one is as decisive as Xi has claimed will be hard to prove or disprove as long as he remains in control of the narrative.

Just these few sidenotes for now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Guesswork: 20th National Congress of the CPC (1)

Propaganda video, apparently with material from 2017

Propaganda video, apparently with material from 2017

Date: Not specified yet, but most likely in October or November,2022
Location: “Great Hall of the People”, Beijing
Participants: 2,300 delegates from 38 “electoral” bodies.
In charge of “elections”: The CPC organization department.
Candidates are selected in five steps, according to Li Cheng, quoting a organization department press release.
Menu

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Notes

*) “worthy to be called a wise (or brilliant) leader” (不愧为英明领袖) was another trial balloon, released by Cai Qi in 2017.

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

“Korean People’s Army’s” 90th-anniversary: Ever-victorious Feats

The following is a lineup of the Chinese and English translations of Kim Jong-un’s speech on Kim Il-sung Square on April 25, provided by “Voice of Korea”, North Korea’s foreign radio station. Either translation will give you the gist of the other, but the wording is often somewhat different. A simultaneous translation given by Phoenix TV‘s edtitor who covered North Korean television’s live transmission is again, in terms of wording, somewhat different from the Chinese version given by “Voice of Korea”.
Kim made his speech at a nightly parade, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the North Korean army.

North Korean TV coverage

North Korean TV / Phoenix coverage, April 25, 2022

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Main link: 敬爱的金正恩同志在庆祝朝鲜人民革命军建立90周年阅兵式上的讲话 Main link: Speech made by President of State Affairs Kim Jong Un at military parade for celebrating 90th anniversary of KPRA
英勇的朝鲜民主主义人民共和国武装力量全体官兵:
阅兵部队指挥员和战士们:
应邀出席庆祝典礼的参战老兵同志们、模范军人和立功者同志们:
尊敬的平壤市各位市民:
亲爱的同志们:
All the brave officers and men of the armed forces of our Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
Officers and men of the units participating in the military parade,
Comrade war veterans, exemplary soldiers and merited persons invited to this square of celebration,
Esteemed Pyongyang citizens,
Dear comrades,
今天我们举行盛大的阅兵式,庆祝我们伟大的党、国家和人民的意义深远而光荣的纪念日。
此时此刻,长久建军史的荣耀光彩夺目,我们大家都为可靠地保卫党和革命、祖国和人民、和平与稳定的自己的武装力量感到无比自豪。
全国人民看着高举胜利的军旗来到金日成广场的可靠的劲旅,可以估计共和国武装力量的现代化程度,并再一次感受到90年前朝鲜真正的第一支武装力量诞生是在我国革命和民族的历史上以及我们国家和人民未来的发展中具有多么深远而伟大的意义。
Today we are holding a grand military parade in celebration of an anniversary, significant and glorious for our great Party, state and people.
At this moment overflowing with the glory of the long history of our army building, we are all here filled with a great pride in having the armed forces that firmly defend the Party, the revolution, the country and the people and reliably guarantee peace and stability.
Seeing the dependable elite units massed in this Kim Il Sung Square with their victorious colours and feeling, through them, the level of the modern character of the armed forces of our Republic, all the people across the country will realize once again the profound and great significance the birth of their country’s first genuine armed forces 90 years ago had in the history of our revolution and nation and will have in the future development of our state and people.
朝鲜人民革命军的建立,是在民族解放、自力独立的旗帜下宣布反帝决死抗战的全民族性壮举,同时,是依靠强有力的革命武装力量开创主体革命新时代的历史性事件。 The founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army was an event of national significance that declared a death-defying resistance against imperialism under the unfurled banner of winning national liberation and independence by our own efforts, as well as a historic event that ushered in a new era of the Juche revolution that relies on powerful revolutionary armed forces.
这一事件的重大意义不仅仅在于历史风云中遭受侵凌的人民拥有了自己的民族军队,开始有了中兴的希望,更是在于向国内外宣布了朝鲜革命者誓与侵犯我们民族尊严与主权的敌人抗战到底的坚定的反帝革命思想、依靠主体力量一定实现人民的自由与解放以及革命胜利的不屈不挠的意志。 The major meaning of this event is not confined only to the fact that our people, who were forced to live a pitiable life in the turmoil of history, could have their own national army and the hope of their revival; it also lies in the fact that the event declared at home and abroad the steadfast idea of anti-imperialist revolution of the Korean revolutionaries to settle accounts to the end and by force of arms with those who infringed upon the dignity and sovereignty of our nation and their unyielding will to win the people’s freedom and liberation and the revolution’s victory without fail by the internal forces.
历史如实地证明了朝鲜革命者为开拓我国人民的命运与未来而做出的这一抉择和他们的意志是非常正确的。 History has clearly proved that this determination and will the Korean revolutionaries opted for to carve out the destiny and future of their people was absolutely correct.
朝鲜人民的优秀儿女在白头山密林里举起革命武器,那是朝鲜民族独立精神和希望的表现,是伟大团结的旗帜,也是给沾满泪痕的朝鲜人的拳头增添自尊气概与坚强力量的原动力。 The revolutionary weapons the fine sons and daughters of our people held aloft in the forests of Paektu were an expression of the soaring spirit of independence of the Korean nation, their hope and the great banner of their unity, as well as the force that loaded the mettle of self-dependence and Herculean strength in the tear-stained fists of the Korean people.
就在这支武装队伍里酝酿成熟了朝鲜革命的远大构想,造就了战胜帝国主义暴力的不折不挠精神与钢铁力量,奠定了在我国革命发展中具有根本意义和长远意义的伟大传统。 Thanks to these armed ranks, a far-reaching plan of the Korean revolution was matured, the unyielding spirit and formidable strength with which to prevail over the imperialist tyranny were nurtured, and the great traditions, basic and everlasting in the development of our revolution, were created.
从建军初期就具有并传承至今的那一思想、信念与传统成为了我们的革命武装力量的精神力之根底、百战百胜的保证。我们的革命武装力量站在空前激烈的反帝对抗战与阶级斗争的前线,在发生变化的历史环境中牢记自己固有的革命性、阶级性与使命,为保卫党和革命、捍卫领土与人民而发扬不朽的英勇精神和牺牲精神。 The ideology, faith and traditions, which our revolutionary army cherished and succeeded from the outset of its founding, constituted the basis of the spiritual strength and ever-victorious guarantee that made it possible to display an undying heroic and self-sacrificing spirit in defending the Party, the revolution, the territory and the people in the fiercest-ever anti-imperialist confrontation, in the first line of grim class struggle and in the ever-changing circumstances of history, mindful of its intrinsic revolutionary and class nature and mission.
我们的军队开展艰苦卓绝的浴血斗争,完成了祖国解放、民族复兴的伟大事业;发扬大无畏的英勇精神,击退以美国为首的帝国主义联合势力武装侵略,光荣地捍卫了祖国的主权、尊严与安宁;在社会主义革命和建设的整个历史期间,以高洁的牺牲精神保卫自己的执政党、政权、领土与人民,建树百战百胜的伟绩。我们党和我国人民为拥有如此英勇、刚强而忠心耿耿的军队感到无上光荣和骄傲。 This army achieved the great cause of the country’s liberation and nation’s revival through an unprecedented bloody struggle, repulsed the armed aggression by the US-led allied imperialist forces and defended with honour the sovereignty, dignity and safety of the country with an unrivalled heroic spirit; it has recorded ever-victorious feats while defending the ruling Party, the government, the territory and the people throughout the historical course of the socialist revolution and construction with an ennobling self-sacrificing spirit. Our Party and people regard it as a source of their greatest honour and pride to have such a brave, steely and loyal army.
我们决不能忘记我们疆土上的所有胜利果实、所有成就里都凝聚着我们革命军队所立下的首功。 All our priceless gains, plus everything else on this land, are associated, first of all, with the services of our revolutionary army. This we should keep in mind.
我们的革命军队不仅作为国防主体,而且作为国家发展的强大力量,始终遵照党的构想,为实现远大理想投入宏伟的革命事业,忘我奋斗,从而开创社会主义建设的新历史,发扬光大伟大的我们
国家的尊严与荣誉,建树了无与伦比的伟大功勋。
Not only as the main force for national defence but also as a powerful force for national development, our revolutionary army, true to the Party’s intentions, has always made devoted efforts to carry out the ambitious revolutionary undertakings aimed at attaining lofty ideals. By doing so, it has performed such great exploits, which no others could do, in creating a new history of socialist construction and enhancing the dignity and honour of our great state.
过去90年来,我们的革命武装力量把忠于自己的党、政权和人民的精神视为第一生命、最高荣誉,誓死保卫朝鲜革命的血统,坚决拥护朝鲜劳动党的思想和伟业,可靠保证我们国家的存立、发展以及人民的幸福。 Regarding it as its lifeblood and top honour to be faithful to the Party, the government and the people, our revolutionary army has kept the lineage of the Korean revolution safe and sound and defended the ideology and cause of the Workers’ Party of Korea resolutely, and reliably guaranteed the existence and development of our state and the welfare of our people.
由于有了这一不可磨灭的丰功伟绩,长达一个世纪的朝鲜革命历史以胜利和光荣发光生辉。 Thanks to these exploits of lasting value it has performed over the past 90 years, the annals of the Korean revolution spanning a century are resplendent with victory and glory.
我们永远都不会忘记:在艰苦卓绝的各个革命年代,伟大的武装力量始终站在前头开辟了进军道路;我们共和国光荣而豪迈的胜利历史是以革命军队高洁的血汗和牺牲为代价谱写的。 We will remember for all ages that our great armed forces have always opened up the way for advance in the vanguard at each of the difficult revolutionary stages and that the glorious and worthwhile victories of our Republic have been won at the cost of the priceless blood and sweat our revolutionary army shed and the noble self-sacrifice it made.
现在要在这一胜利的阅兵式广场上阔步前进的共和国武装力量的精锐部队官兵们,还有此时此刻也在祖国的陆海空哨所以及社会主义建设各大战区建立殊勋的所有官兵都是我国武装力量光荣历史的当之无愧、引以自豪的继承者和体现者。 The glorious history of our armed forces is embodied in the proud and honourable successors, that is, the officers and men from the elite units of the Republic’s armed forces, who will march in fine array across this square of victors, and all other soldiers standing guard at the air, ground and naval posts and performing feats of labour at sites of grand socialist construction throughout the country.
借此意义深远的机会,我代表我们党和政府向为了祖国的自主独立和人民解放,为了革命武装力量的加强和发展,为了社会主义事业的胜利前进付出宝贵生命的抗日革命先烈和人民军烈士致以崇高敬意,并且向接好革命先烈的班,走着伟大继承之路的朝鲜人民军和共和国武装力量的全体官兵表示热烈祝贺。 Availing myself of this meaningful opportunity, I, on behalf of our Party and government, would like to pay noble tribute to the anti-Japanese revolutionary forerunners and martyrs of the People’s Army, who dedicated their precious lives in the struggle for national sovereignty and independence and the people’s liberation, for the build-up of the revolutionary armed forces and for the victorious advance of the socialist cause. I also offer hearty congratulations to all the officers and men of the Korean People’s Army and all other members of the armed forces of our Republic, who are making a great journey of faithful succession to their revolutionary forerunners.
与此同时,我还要向把心爱的丈夫和儿女送到卫国前线的所有家庭表示由衷的感谢。 In addition, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the families on this land, which have had their dear husbands and children stand at the forefront of national defence.
同志们:
革命武装力量90年来用武装捍卫了祖国的繁荣富强。这一光荣行程要延续一百年、一千年。
Comrades,
The glorious 90-year journey our revolutionary armed forces have made safeguarding the prosperity and development of the country by force of arms, should be continued for another hundred, nay a thousand years.
在接下来的年代里,我们要继续彰显强军的盛誉,以跟过去90年无法比拟的飞快速度变得更强大。 In the era we are living in now, we should continue to exalt the glory of the powerful army and change to be more powerful at a fast speed incomparable with the past 90 years.
在实力对抗激烈的当今世界,国家的尊严和权力以及可靠而真正的和平是由胜过任何敌人的强有力的自卫力量提供保证的。 In the present world where different forces collide fiercely with one another, a nation’s dignity and sovereignty and reliable genuine peace are guaranteed by powerful defence capability that can overpower any enemy.
我们要不断地强起来。 We should continuously grow stronger.
培养保卫自己的力量,不能有满足和终止。不管跟谁对抗,我们必须确保军事强势。 There is no satisfaction or accomplishment in cultivating strength for defending ourselves, and, whoever we confront, our military supremacy should be more secure.
 这是革命的要求,子孙万代的未来也取决于此。 The revolution demands this, and the future of all the generations to come depends upon this.
我们的革命武装力量建设总路线是把人民军造就成为百战百胜的军队。 Our general line of building the revolutionary armed forces is to make the People’s Army an ever-victorious army.
百战百胜的军队,这应该是我们人民军永恒的名称和我国革命武装力量的宝贵声誉。 An ever-victorious army-this must be the eternal name of our People’s Army and shine as a priceless honour belonging only to our revolutionary armed forces.
人民军要狠抓我们党的军队建设方向和总路线,大力开创革命武装力量发展的新阶段。 The People’s Army should hold fast to our Party’s orientation and general line of army building and dynamically open up a new phase of its development.
为此,要把实现政治思想强军化和军事技术强军化定为核心目标,着力加强我国武装力量,使之成为绝对拥护朝鲜劳动党的领导并无限忠于自己革命事业的思想与信念的强军、具有立即应对任何战争和危机的勇气和能力以及自信的最精锐强军。 To do so, it should define it as the core target to strengthen itself politically and ideologically and make itself strong in military technology, and give a stronger impetus to consolidating itself into an army, strong in ideology and faith, which is absolutely loyal to the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea and boundlessly faithful to its revolutionary cause and into an elite force possessed of courage, capability and self-confidence for responding to any type of war and crisis without any hesitation.
政治思想强军化是我们军队建设的核心,是第一大战略任务。 Strengthening it politically and ideologically is the main aspect and first strategic task of our building of the army.
我们的革命军队要作为党和人民的军队、阶级的军队完成好自己的使命,并且要灵活地应对任何形式的战争和危机。在这一方面重要的是军队做好政治思想准备,武装力量的主体——军人群众做好思想精神准备。 The political and ideological preparedness of the army and the ideological and spiritual preparedness of the masses of the soldiers, the motive force of the armed forces, are basic in the effort to make our revolutionary army fulfil its mission as the army of the Party, people and class and actively respond to any type of war and crisis.
我们今后要在军队里进一步培养坚定的革命精神和阶级意识,这在加强我国军队的战斗力和国防力量方面起到决定性作用。 The staunch revolutionary spirit and class awareness of the army we have to further cultivate in the future will play a decisive role in building up the fighting efficiency of our army and defence capabilities of the nation.
革命者一代一代地接替,我们要与日益凶残的帝国主义进行长期的对抗。我国革命的这一特殊性要求我们坚定不移地承接源于白头山的伟大的革命思想和精神的接力棒,以此作为军队建设和反帝斗争中迫切的战略任务。只有把它当作军队建设的核心来狠抓,我国革命武装力量才能坚定地保持和加强质量上的优势。 The unique character of our revolution is that one generation of the revolution is continually replaced by another and we have to face for a long period of time the imperialists who grow ever more ferocious with each passing day. This presents it as a crucial strategic task of army building and anti-imperialist struggle to stoutly carry on the baton of the great revolutionary ideology and spirit which originated in Paektu. When we carry out this task as the core in army building, we will surely be able to maintain and consolidate the qualitative supremacy of our revolutionary armed forces.
人民军的所有党组织和政治机关要继续燃起思想革命烈火,竭尽全力培养军人的革命思想和精神力量。 All the Party organizations and political bodies of the People’s Army should continue to stoke up the flames of the ideological revolution and focus their all-out effort on cultivating the revolutionary ideology and spiritual strength of the soldier masses.
要把建设思想与信念的强军作为最首要的任务,培养所有官兵成为思想的近卫兵,让他们按照党中央的革命思想和意志去战斗,彻底体现阶级觉悟和不屈不挠的战斗精神,丝毫不差地百发百中党中央所指定的靶心。 Regarding it as our top-priority task to develop the People’s Army into an army strong in ideology and faith, we should prepare all the service personnel to be ideological guardsmen who fight only in line with the revolutionary ideology and will of the Party Central Committee, who cherish staunch class awareness and indomitable fighting spirit as part of their mental qualities, and who never allow a single misfire or an inch of deviation from the centre of the target designated by the Party Central Committee.
其次,要大力推进军事技术强军化,以大大提高人民军的战斗力。 We should also strongly push ahead with building it up into an army strong in military technology with a view to radically improving its fighting efficiency.
世界军事力量的发展趋势和急速变化的现代战争模式要求我们军队加快军事技术现代化进程。 The global trend of military development and rapidly-changing style of warfare at present demand that we modernize our army at a faster rate in terms of military technology.
要高举军队现代化的标语,全力以赴地把人民军加强和发展成为具有高新军事技术的强军。 Holding aloft the slogan of modernizing the army, we should strive to the utmost to develop our People’s Army into a powerful army equipped with highly advanced military technology.
要推动军事人才培养体系的现代化,大量培养出机智灵活地指挥各军种、兵种部队的全能指挥员;提高作战战斗训练的现代化水平,以使全军的所有部队和区分队圆满完成任何战斗任务。 By pressing ahead with the modernization of the military talents training system, we should bring up a larger number of officers who are fully capable of commanding units of different arms and services at all levels. And we should make all the units and sub-units of the army fully ready to carry out any combat missions by modernizing their operation and combat training.
国防科学部门和军事工业部门要继续研发和实战部署新一代尖端武器装备,以不断提高人民军的军事震慑力。 The sectors of defence science and munitions industry should continue to develop and deploy for actual combat cutting-edge military hardware of new generations so as to ceaselessly increase the military power of the People’s Army.
尤其是,从质量和数量上加强我们国力的象征、我国军事力量的核心——核武力,以便在任何战争状况下根据各种作战目的和任务以各种手段发挥核战斗能力。 In particular, the nuclear forces, the symbol of our national strength and the core of our military power, should be strengthened in terms of both quality and scale, so that they can perform nuclear combat capabilities in any situations of warfare, according to purposes and missions of different operations and by various means.
当前局势催促我们为持久确保共和国武装力量的现代性和军事技术强势采取更为积极的措施。 The prevailing situation demands that more proactive measures be taken to provide a firm and sustained guarantee for the modern character and military technological supremacy of our Republic’s armed forces.
为应对剧变的政治军事形势和将会面临的各种危机,我们坚持不懈地建设自卫性的、现代化的武装力量。我们要更快、更坚定地走这一条路,尤其是继续采取以最快的速度增强和发展我国核武力的措施。 To cope with the rapidly-changing political and military situations and all the possible crises of the future, we will advance faster and more dynamically along the road of building up the self-defensive and modern armed forces, which we have followed unwaveringly, and, especially, will continue to take measures for further developing the nuclear forces of our state at the fastest possible speed.
我国核武力的基本使命是遏制战争,但如果在我们国土上发生我们不愿意看到的情况,那么,我国核力量的使命不能仅仅局限于防止战争。 The fundamental mission of our nuclear forces is to deter a war, but our nukes can never be confined to the single mission of war deterrent even at a time when a situation we are not desirous of at all is created on this land.
万一任何势力侵犯我们国家的根本利益,那么,我们的核武力不得不义无反顾地履行自己的第二个使命。 If any forces try to violate the fundamental interests of our state, our nuclear forces will have to decisively accomplish its unexpected second mission.
共和国核武力要时刻做好一切准备,以随时完成自己责任重大的使命,动用特有的遏制力。 The nuclear forces of our Republic should be fully prepared to fulfil their responsible mission and put their unique deterrent in motion at any time.
同志们,人民军官兵们:
现在,我们的武装力量做好了一切准备,能应付任何战争。
Comrades, officers and men of the People’s Army,
Our armed forces are now fully prepared for any type of war.
以英勇的朝鲜人民军为核心的朝鲜民主主义人民共和国全体武装力量要始终坚定自己事业必胜的信念,信心百倍地面对一切挑战、迎头痛击;要忠实履行捍卫人民的安宁、尊严与幸福的神圣使命,保持天下无敌的军事强势,可靠地保证我国社会主义发展。 All the armed forces of the DPRK, with the heroic Korean People’s Army as their core, should always firmly believe in their cause, march forward valiantly against all challenges filled with confidence, remain faithful to their sacred mission of defending the safety, dignity and happiness of the people, and securely guarantee the development of our socialism by maintaining their invincible military supremacy.
共和国武装力量的全体官兵:
只要你们心中沸腾着革命先烈的鲜血和高贵精神,革命武装力量作为朝鲜劳动党的思想、意志和我们国家与人民的力量的体现者始终站在革命斗争的前方,我们朝鲜式社会主义事业就永远战无不胜。
All the officers and men of the armed forces of the Republic,
As long as your hearts are pulsating with the precious blood and noble spirit of the revolutionary forerunners and as long as the revolutionary armed forces are always standing at the vanguard of the revolution as the embodiment of the ideology and will of the Workers’ Party of Korea and of the strength of our state and people, the cause of socialism of our own style will be ever-victorious in the future, too.
朝鲜人民军和全体共和国武装力量的指挥员和战士们:
让我们为了伟大的我国人民的安宁和幸福,为了伟大的我们国家的无限光荣和胜利,奋勇前进吧。
伟大的我国革命武装力量万岁!
伟大的我们祖国朝鲜民主主义人民共和国万岁!
Commanding officers and men of the KPA and all other armed forces of the DPRK,
For the safety and happiness of our great people,
For the eternal glory and victory of our great state,
Let us fight vigorously.
Long live our great revolutionary armed forces!
Long live our great country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!

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Related

Xi Jinping’s “Resisting U.S., aiding Korea” speech (1) Nov 2, 2020
Xi Jinping: “A mighty and majestic War” (2) Nov 4, 2020
Xi Jinping: “Pave a bloody road” Dec 14, 2020
Xi Jinping: “Gasps of admiration” Dec 26, 2020
Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun and Facts in Taiwan

Every year, there’s the fun

and the facts.

President Tsai’s 2022 new year’s remarks are also available in English.
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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

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

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

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

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

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

China issues in the campaign

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

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


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

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

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

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

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

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

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

Outlook

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

Related

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

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