… counter-revolutionary students in public squares!
The PLA is here to kill, kill, kill you with responsibility!
Remember June 4, 1989.
… counter-revolutionary students in public squares!
The PLA is here to kill, kill, kill you with responsibility!
Remember June 4, 1989.
Life’s hasn’t been nice to China Radio International (CRI). The propaganda juggernaut hasn’t been mentioned in the nation’s chairman’s new year addresses in recent years (as had been a time-honored custom during previous decades), it had been described as a bottomless pit of waste by Keith Perron (a former CRI presenter himself), and the international broadcaster’s borrowed-boats strategy probably caused some chuckles in the industry, too. Other “international” media outlets from the Middle Kingdom aren’t really effective either. Whenever they catch attention, it’s for anchors losing it, or similar not so-work-related reasons – at least in Western countries.
CRI’s German service is a brilliant example of how propaganda on a foreign audience simply can’t work. On the past two Sundays, they broadcast the same edition of their “listeners forum”, with just one listener quoted there (maybe he was the only one who wrote in), and later on, a “report” on electrical power supply in Tibet (also the second time on two consecutive Sundays). That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any listeners – some actually appear to be listening religiously, and Beijing’s propaganda is in no position to abandon these early Christians. But it appears to be a small flock. And given the truthful (and therefore highly unpleasant) representation of Beijing’s attitude towards Tibet, for example, it can’t be a big audience.
If you, as a government or collective dictatorship, can’t bring yourself to destroy some quarters of the state-owned industrial sector (as prescribed by the neo-liberal foreign press), you certainly cannot break an unsinkable aircraft carrier with thousands of jobs up, either. But you can still do two things. Measure number one is to keep the ineffective bathing tub*) in your coastal waters, while venturing into international waters with some international expertise. That, at least, appears to be on Xi Jinping‘s mind – Xi is the guy who hasn’t mentioned CRI in his new-year addresses.
And while the foreign expertise is going to work for you, you can kick all those foreign correspondents out who treat China unfairly. That would be measure number two. In fact, measure number two has been practiced for ages.
(On a private note, I’m not sure if putting lipstick on the pig will really make the pig look nicer, or more convincing. But then, the pig has little to lose – and I’m going to watch the experiment with some curiosity.)
*) Given the wide range of languages and target areas, there may be CRI brances which are a success story, in terms of feedback from the audience, etc.. But I haven’t heard of them yet.
Only some of the (formerly) many links on the masthead to the right have worked in recent months. So I’ve made up my mind and built an extra page – Blogroll, see »there.
The good news is that “regime change” is not a terribly easy business anymore. In the long run, that could serve global peace rather well.
The bad news is legion.
But peace is always possible, as demonstrated in the picture underneath. (Looks kind of contrived, but whoever arranged this, it wasn’t me.)
No big blogging activities here recently, but I wrote a blog in German this weekend, about political rituals in China ahead of Spring Festival.
Japan and the Netherlands have agreed to building a strategic partnership, reports Dutch news website Nu, with ANP material. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte wound up a two-day visit to Japan on Tuesday. In talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Rutte reportedly expressed support for Japan’s legislative authorization for more military involvement in international conflicts.
Both premiers also emphasized the significance of a “peaceful solution” for the conflict in the East China Sea, where both China and Japan claim possession of the Senkaku Isles. Abe and Rutte “share the concerns that unilateral actions such as display of power and rising tensions could lead to in the region.”*)
Beide premiers benadrukken daanraast het belang van een “vreedzame oplossing” voor het conflict in de Oost-Chinese Zee, waar China en Japan beiden het bezit claimen van de Senkaku-eilanden. Abe en Rutte “delen de zorgen die eenzijdige acties, zoals machtsvertoon, en oplopende spanningen met zich meebrengen in het gebied”.
Rutte also complimented Japan for the progress the country had made in the field of human rights, after the Second World War.
Rutte complimenteerde Japan daarnaast met de vooruitgang die het land sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog heeft geboekt op het gebied van mensenrechten.
In addition, the two leaders discussed a number of global issues, such as the war in Syria, the situation in Ukraine, and the nuclear threat in North Korea.
Daarnaast bespraken beide leiders een aantal globale onderwerpen, zoals de oorlog in Syrië, de situatie in Oekraïne en de nucleaire dreiging in Noord-Korea.
Cooperation between the two countries also covers internet security, agriculture and horticulture, the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, and on health- and pension problems with an aging population.
De samenwerking tussen beide landen richt zich ook op internetbeveiliging, land- en tuinbouw, de Olympische en Paralympische Spelen in Tokio in 2020 en op gezondheids- en pensioenproblemen bij een vergrijzende bevolking.
According to Nu, more than 120 companies and research organizations traveled with Rutte’s delegation.
According to a joint statement, published here by Japan’s foreign ministry,
The two leaders share the importance of the rule of law for the international community including the freedom of navigation and overflight over the high seas, and stress the importance to settle disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. They share concerns caused by any unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion, that change the status quo and raise tensions in the East and South China Sea. They support the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the rapid conclusion of the negotiations to establish an effective code of conduct in the South China Sea.
The joint statement also demands that all sides in the Ukraine conflict
fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They remain determined never to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernizing Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. The two leaders reaffirm that those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 must be held to account and that all States should cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability, as demanded by Security Council resolution 2166.
The statement also addresses Syrian and North Korean issues.
Radio Japan reported on Tuesday that [t]he leaders of Japan and the Netherlands have expressed their shared concern about China’s increasing maritime activities.
Radio Japan’s reporting is also quoted by Sina Corp, but apparently only on its Taiwanese website, and drawing on Taiwan’s CNA newsagency:
After holding talks, prime minister Shinzo Abe and visiting Dutch prime minister Rutte issued a joint statement. Although its content doesn’t mention mainland China directly, but is targeted at mainland actions in the East China Sea and South China Sea.
*) For the wording, according to the prime ministers’ joint statement, see para (5) there.
Gee. I’m not young anymore, and I think I’ve seen a bit of the world, but probably nothing as big as this slime trace. Seems to remind me of the old fairytale: if you can’t throw a frog against the wall anymore, start kissing his ass.
Guess where that picture was taken. The landscape might look Tibetan (to untrained eyes like mine, anyway), so does the building, and, obviously, the traditionally-dressed man in front of the building, anyway. But it is a scene from the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the photo is part of a Hampshire College student’s final year project – Tibetan migrants in the USA, and how they maintain their traditional way of life, or aspects of it.
More information about the project there.
Tibetan society and culture is extremely underreported, online and in the printed press. To make things worse, when you want to read Tibetan online sources, Google Translate doesn’t offer translations. Every bit of information in English helps.
Former Chinese consul general to Kolkata, Mao Siwei (毛四维 毛四维) was optimistic about China-India relations in a India Today Global Roundtable event in Beijing in May 2015, suggesting that there was an expectation in China that Modi would usher in a new model of relations: “India-China 2.0”, according to the Daily Mail. While conceding that border issues, including China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh, and Chinese investment in the Kashmiri regions controlled by Pakistan “challenged” the relationship, he expressed hope that during Indian prime minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to China would usher in the second stage where the focus will be on Chinese investment and making in India, thus succeeding the “first stage model” of 1988, which had been about “not letting the border issue getting in the way of overall relations”.
While the Roundtable apparently kept things nice, not everyone in Beijing agreed with Mao.
China’s state paper and website “Global Times” wrote on May 11 that
Modi has been busy strengthening India’s ties with neighboring countries to compete with China, while trying to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities for economic development created by China, as Beijing is actively carrying forward the “One Belt and One Road” initiative.
Due to the Indian elites’ blind arrogance and confidence in their democracy, and the inferiority of its ordinary people, very few Indians are able to treat Sino-Indian relations accurately, objectively and rationally. Worse, some Indian media have been irresponsibly exaggerating the conflicts between the two sides, adding fuel to the hostility among the public.
Modi visited contested areas under Indian control to boost his prestige at home, the “Global Times” wrote, and Delhi was reluctant to admit that a widening trade deficit with China – its biggest trading partner – was its own fault.
The paper’s advice:
The Indian government should loosen up on the limits of cross-border trade with China, reduce the trade deficit, improve the efficiency of government administrations, and relax the visa restrictions, in order to attract more Chinese companies to invest in India.
On June 17, on his personal blog, Mao Siwei wrote about China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. India’s geographical position was a motivation for the initiative and needes a response from India, Mao wrote, and tried to answer the question why India was not taking part in the initiative.
Mao looked at what he sees as at least four views among India’s elites, concerning One Belt, One Road, and he cites four Indian commentators as examples for these views. However, he does not link to their articles in question, even though they are all available online, and of course, he leaves out much of the more controversial content there.
While Mao cites Sino-Indian relations expert Raja Mohan as showing the most constructive opinions of all (quoting an Indian Express article of May 10 this year to prove this point), he writes that there are also a very negative positions, as taken by Brahma Chellaney (in the context of Chellaney, Mao mentions a China-US Focus article of May 11, 2015).
Indeed, Mohan had warned in March that [as] Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his China visit in May, New Delhi can no longer delay the articulation of a coherent strategy to restore the subcontinent’s historic connectivity,
and rejected Indian anxieties as stemming from the error of viewing China’s Silk Road initiative through the narrow prism of geopolitics.
That India needs greater connectivity with its neighbours is not in doubt. All recent governments in Delhi have identified it as a major national objective. If China has economic compulsions of its own in putting money in regional connectivity, it makes eminent sense for Delhi to work with Beijing.
There was no either-or when it came to working with Beijing or – or rather and – with Tokyo and Washington.
Chellaney on the other hand sees colonialism looming from the North:
One example of how China has sought to “purchase” friendships was the major contracts it signed with Sri Lanka’s now-ousted president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to turn that strategically located Indian Ocean country into a major stop on China’s nautical “road.” The new president, Maithripala Sirisena, said on the election-campaign trail that the Chinese projects were ensnaring Sri Lanka in a “debt trap.”
In his election manifesto, without naming China, Sirisena warned: “The land that the White Man took over by means of military strength is now being obtained by foreigners by paying ransom to a handful of persons. This robbery is taking place before everybody in broad daylight… If this trend continues for another six years, our country would become a colony and we would become slaves.”
Besides, Chellaney accuses Beijing of operating a double standard:
China is also seeking to tap the Indian Ocean’s rich mineral wealth, and is inviting India to join hands with it in deep seabed mining there. Yet it opposes any Indian-Vietnamese collaboration in the South China Sea. “Your sea is our sea but my sea is my sea” seems to be the new Chinese saying.
of the ancient Chinese political governing philosophy of tianxia. While the concept has been variously defined over history, at its most basic, it represented the rule over peoples with different cultures and from varied geographical areas by a single ruler.
Practically none of these points are mentioned by Mao; he just writes that Jacob doubts China’s ability or preparedness to understand India’s position in the historical Silk Road, and its practical implications, as well as as India’s interests and sensitivities on the Asian mainland and its waters.
In short, India’s non-participation in the One-Belt-one-Road initiative just reflects the objective fact of a “new bottleneck” in current Sino-Indian relations. The author [i. e. Mao Silwei] believes that as long as the two sides can gradually broaden a consensus concerning the handling of border issues, and pay attention to communication concerning maritime security, there should be hope for finding links between the two countries’ development strategies.总之，印度不参加“一带一路”只是一种表象，它折射出当前中印关系正处于一个“新瓶颈”的客观现实。在笔者看来，只要双方在处理边界问题方面能逐渐增加共识，并在海上安全领域重视沟通、开展合作，中印两国的发展战略相互对接应该是有希望的。
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