Posts tagged ‘national minorities’

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Xi Jinping’s Sentimental Tour: How Yellow was my Hometown

1. Li Keqiang, visiting the Poor

The days before Spring Festival are times to be nice: to visit old cadres and to show how much their past work is still cherished, to harmonize human existence with the surrounding environment, to transfer some bad elements to the other side of the cupboard, and to show care for the poor.

The latter two points are particularly important if you are a cadre, or a politician in a wider sense.

Hence, CCP politburo permanent member and Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang (李克强, also referred to as “premier”), reportedly headed to Liping County in Guizhou province on Friday, to visit Pudong (蒲洞村), a village with a share of 43 percent poor people, with an annual net income of 2,160 Yuan RMB, and many housewalls open to the wind from all four directions. Obviously, he didn’t come empty-handed, but handing over salted fish and other goods to a Dong family as new-year gifts – stuff he had bought in a supermarket in the morning, according to Xinhua. The high-ranking visitor tested the quality of drinking water in the village (mindful of his working report in 2014 that had promised to solve the drinking water safety issues of 60 million citizens, visited what might best be translated as the village’s hygiene room (basic medical services), enquired if public subsidies for the village medical services had actually been applied right there, discussed employment opportunities and repayment problems with students who returned to their native village after completing their studies, and worked his way through other ostensibly spontaneous items of inspection.

Xinhua article there, related pictures there, there, there, and there.

2. Xi Jinping’s Fond Memories of the 1960s

However, the task of being folksy has not completely moved from CCP secretary general Xi Jinping to Li Keqiang, who is generally considered ranking second among the members of the politburo’s standing committee. While Li travelled Guizhou, Xi visited Liangjiahe village in Shaanxi province, also on Friday.


Sina coverage: Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan visiting the Yan’an brigade’s old base

At noon, the tranquil village of Liangjiahe suddenly began to simmer with excitement.

Xi Jinping has returned!

The secretary-general has come!

中午时分,安静的梁家河村一下子沸腾了。

“近平回来了!”

“总书记来了!”

You get the picture.

According to biography, Xi Jinping had spent about seven years there, leading a tough, simple life as a teenage worker.

The Xinhua article goes across a number of webpages and describes Xi Jinping’s bittersweet – but above all sweet, in case of a doubt – memories. How he became a real man during those years in Shaanxi. The title chosen by Xinhua: The Son of the Yellow Soil is coming Home.

All that had been part of the Down-to-the-Countryside movement and the “Cultural Revolution”. Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was in jail at the time.

3. 102nd Anniversary of Tibetan Declaration of Independence commemorated

On Friday, Tibetan exiles in North America and Europe commemorate the 13th Dalai Lama’s declaration of Tibetan independence, 102 years ago, reports Voice of Tibet (VoT), a Norway-based website and shortwave radio station. More than sixty exiles and supporters held a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Paris, according to the report. Demonstrations reportedly also took place on Times Square, New York, and in Toronto. The station also reported commemorative activities in Dharamsala, and in New Delhi.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) also covered the activities, and suggests that the 13th Dalai Lama’s declaration initiated a period of almost four decades of self-rule that ended when Chinese troops marched into the Himalayan region in 1949. RFA also mentions the current (and 14th) Dalai Lama’s “middle-way” policy which accepts Tibet’s present status as a part of China while regularly urging greater cultural, religious, and political freedoms for the Tibetan people.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014: “Social Media”, “Little Secretaries”, Blogs, and the big Trend for 2015

1. Getting Started

To get started, here’s one of my most recent sketches:

And if it isn’t self-explanatory, I’ll come back to it under item #4.

2. “Social Media”

I’m not studying the annual WordPress statistics too thoroughly, but what struck me this time is that, compared with 2013, “social media”, i. e. Twitter and Facebook, have become major referring sites to this blog. that said, maybe 2013 was an exception, because in 2012, too, Facebook and Twitter mattered a lot.

That makes me feel kind of sad. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate Tweets that link to this blog, and I appreciate links from Facebook, too, even if I usually won’t find out what you are writing about there (I’m not facebooking). But the trend seems to indicate that the internet turns from a more public into a growingly privatey-run business. That’s probably not the internet the founding fathers dreamed of.

Woeser found out in December that running an account with Facebook doesn’t make you the owner of that account – well, maybe she knew that all along, but her post came across as somewhat alarmed when she found that what she had reposted on Facebook –  a video of Tibetan Buddhist monk Kalsang Yeshe’s self-immolation that occurred on December 23 […], accompanied by an excerpted report explaining that self-immolation is a tragic, ultimate protest against repression,  had been removed by the company. At any rate, she couldn’t help but suspect that Facebook might be employing “little secretaries”, i. e. censors, just as Sina Weibo does.

Her belief that Chinese dictatorship is manipulating freedom of expression elsewhere, too – i. e. in the West – is understandable, and true to an extent. But internationally, Chinese dictatorship is only one source among several, of censorship and repression, as totalitarian as it may be.

3. Blogs

There’s still a lot of writing going on in the – what was the name again? – English-language Chinese Blogosphere. The nicest surprise this year was the return of EastSouthWestNorth. Obviously, I have no idea if the recent posts, mostly about “Occupy Central”, mark anything more than a stopover, but they are what makes the internet great: raw material, but made intelligible to every user, to work his way through, without easy answers right at his fingertips.

Then there’s Sino-NK. Articles finished and polished, but from a sober perspective, and plowing their way through the past and present of Sino-North Korean relations, rather than leaping at every headline.

Some blogs I used to like are beginning to look like mainstream media, but here is something I’d recommend, to make this three blog recommendations: China Copyright and Media. They do what really needs to be done: they look at the CCP paperwork. That’s no yadayada, that’s the decisions the party is actually taking and never fail to surprise our media when carried out, even though they’ve usually been communicated long before.

I can’t close the blog compartment of this post without a link to that blog post there in Shanghai: the Mother Teresa of the blogosphere, musing about the whereabouts of the legendary Dalai Lama of China blogging.

4. The Big Trend for 2015

It’s not terribly original, but it seems to be obvious. China’s totalitarian skeleton is being refitted with flesh, after a few years of what looks (at hindsight) like a thaw, during the days of the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao collective troupes. This is now turning into a blend of modernization and personality cult. The slaughterhouse scene heading this post refers to the political death of Zhou Yongkang, and the Great and Impeccable Leader who brought it about. To lose your CCP membership is probably worse than death. If you are a truly faithful Communist, anyway.

Happy new year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

VoT: Tibetan Student beaten to Death after Village “Elections”

A young Tibetan student was beaten to death in Dari County, southeastern Qinghai province, earlier this month, according to Voice of Tibet (VoT), a Norwegian-based radio station and website.A two-committee “election” held in Dari County on December 7 reportedly led to clashes, after Communist cadres or employees had forcibly demanded (强制要求) that Tibetans vote a Han Chinese candidate ito office, in accordance with the authorities’ prior arrangements.

Thirteen persons were arrested and interrogated. On December 10, the student was brutally beaten and died on the afternoon of December 11, in the county hospital, according to VoT.

Dari County, which is part of Golog (or Guoluo, 果洛州) Tibetan “Autonomous” Prefecture, is described by VoT as Tibetan territory. Much of Qinghai, a province established by the KMT government in 1928, was once Tibetan.

Contact, a magazine published in Dharamsala, reported on Monday that the student’s name was Karmey, and that he died aged twenty-two.

In September, the International Campaign for Tibet published what appear to be regulations issued by the Chinese authorities. These were said to be in force in Ngari Prefecture, western Tibet. Different ways of “maintaining stability” are apparently taken in different places.

Village-level “elections” are ostensible means of “democratization”, a process apparently started by Chinese central legislation in 1987.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Message from Ilham Tohti: China can do better

Tsering Woeser writes that Li Fangping, a lawyer, has recorded a statement by Ilham Tohti, the Uyghur economist who was sentenced to life inprisonment by the Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi on Tuesday. Tohti made his statement after he was sentenced, and said that he shouts out loudly for his Uyghur nationality, and even more for the future of China. He feels that he can endure his fate, that he will not betray his conscience. If I emerge from jail self-injured or after suicide, this will definitely be false [information].

I firmly believe that China can do better, and that the constitutional rights will be respected. God gave peace to Uyghurs and Han Chinese, and only when there is peace, good intentions will work in the interests of both.

之五:我虽已离去,但我依然期待阳光、期待未来。我坚信中国会更好、维吾尔人的宪法权利必将得到尊重。
之六:和平是上天赠送给维汉人民礼物,唯有和平、善意才能创造彼此的共同利益。

During the eight months in prison so far, he had only been allowed outside his cell for three hours. He could still count himself lucky, compared to other people accused of separatism, as he could choose his lawyer – a Han nationality lawyer -, in that his family could listen on during the trial, and in that he had been able to say what he wanted to say. He hoped that his case could help to further the rule of law in Xinjiang, even if only a bit.

He slept well last night, for over eight hours, better than anytime during the eight months in prison. He felt strong, but unable to report his situation to his mother. “Just tell her that I’ve been sentenced to five years in prison. That should do.”

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Related

» Dolkar Tso thanks Sandrup’s lawyers, June 26, 2010

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Updates / Related

» Reason and Peace underfoot, Teng Biao / Guardian, Sept 24, 2014

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ilham Tohti sentenced to Life in Prison: “The Price our People have to Pay”

Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木·土赫提), an associate economics professor at Beijing’s Minzu University, has been sentenced to life in prison, reports CNN. The Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi found Tohti “guilty of separatism”, according to CNN. According to the report, the court also ordered the confiscation of all of Tohti’s assets. Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), one of Tohti’s lawyers, reportedly said that he and Tohti had been prepared for a guilty verdict and that they would appeal.

A post by Tibetan poet and blogger Tsering Woeser says that the verdict and sentence were announced at ten in the morning local time. According from a Tweet by Liu Xiaoyuan quoted by Woeser, Tohti said that he would not give in, and that he protested against the verdict. Tohti’s daughter Jewher Ilham who is currently in the U.S. is quoted as tweeting that she, too, protested against the verdict. His wife Guzaili Nu’er (古再努尔) who had followed the trial was in tears.

Wang Lixiong, Woeser’s husband and a tibetologist, wrote that “on September 23, the authorities have created an Uighur Mandela.” However, he did not believe that Tohti would remain behind bars forever, “because the delay of justice won’t last forever.”

Woeser also posted what Tohti had told her in an interview conducted in 2009 – lines that she feels seem to be his answer to the court’s sentence of today:

因言论获罪,因为办了媒体获罪,因为说了真话获罪
Where you can go to jail for what you say, for running a website, for just speaking the truth
我愿意,我觉得是很荣耀的事情
Which for me would be an honor
而且真的那种时刻出现的话
As I’ve said before
我以前就说过,用我卑微的生命呼唤自由
To trade my humble life to call for freedom
这是幸福的事情,骄傲的事情
Gladly, I’d be proud to
所以这不应该是很痛苦的
So this probably won’t hurt much
短期,一听的时候可能紧张,我有过
The thought makes me nervous, but not for long
但可能只持续几分钟,甚至可能是几个小时
A few minutes, or at most a few hours
我唯一的牵挂就是母亲和孩子们
My only concern is for mother and the children
要是判死刑,我有心理准备
I’m even prepared for the possibility of a death sentence
这也许是我们民族的人要付出的代价吧
That just might be the price our people have to pay
我伊力哈木付出代价,虽然把我送进去
When I, Ilham Tohti, pay that price; then though I may have to  go in
可能更能引起对我们民族的关注
Perhaps that will draw more attention to the plight of our people
可能引起更多的思考
People will think more about it
可能引起我们民族内部、还有外边的……
And perhaps more people will know about me
更何况很多汉人、很多外国的朋友、很多不同民族的朋友知道我
Uyghur, Han, foreign friends, people from other ethnic groups
而且知道我的理念
Will learn about me and my ideas
我不是暴力的,我没有任何违法的事情
Learn that I was not violent, hadn’t broken any law
只不过,我真的努力想发表一些声音
And that I only tried  hard to make our voice heard
努力把我们的文化,我们的一些情况…
And to speak about our culture and our situation…
虽然我们做的不好
Although we’ve not been perfect
还有,我认为我不在的话“维吾尔在线”可能搞的更好
And, I think Uyghur Online could be even better run if I weren’t around
将来很多朋友,像你这样的朋友,我相信你们的良知
I believe in the conscience of my friends, friends like you
有人说我是维吾尔的良知,我不够格
Some say I’m the Uyghur people’s conscience, I think that overstates it / I can’t live up to that
我希望维吾尔人的良知在我身上体现
I hope to see the Uyghur people’s conscience in  many others
像在很多人的身上体现
Not just in me.
我尽量成为有良知的人,对民族有良知的人
I’ve done my best to be a person of conscience, conscience toward the Uyghur people
要成为民族的良知是很骄傲的
That’s something to be proud of
我是很幸运的呀
And indeed I am lucky
我很骄傲,若我真的做到的话
And proud, if I can truly be that person
而且我也想,我有生之年要是能创造出某种理论或者模式
And I think, if with the time I have left, I can come up with ideas, with a model
维吾尔人能和平地争取自治的权利,一种抗争的模式
A way for Uyghurs to struggle peacefully for their right to autonomy, a mode of resistance
而且能够取得主流社会的认同,我觉得死了也很幸福的
And win acceptance from mainstream society, my death will have been worth that
我不喜欢暴力,我不会提倡暴力
I don’t like violence and I won’t advocate it
我并不认为汉民族是我们的敌人
And I definitely don’t think the Han are our enemy
哪怕是再这样,仇恨、仇杀发生的时候
Not even if racial hatred or killings should happen again
甚至发生民族屠杀的时候
Even if genocide were to happen
我也会呼吁:汉民族应该是我们的朋友
I would still say: the Han should be our friends!
我也会说出:我们应该成为朋友而不是敌人
I would say: We should be friends, not enemies
但是这个国家什么事都会发生
But in this country anything is possible
所以呢,你都会随时有准备
Which is why I’m already prepared
你没有想过的很惨的事情,也会发生在你的家庭,你的身上…
That the unthinkable could happen, to your family or yourself
我也有疑虑,当把我污名化的时候
I have doubts, like when they smear my name
比如,说我卖白粉、说我卖武器、说我组织过暴力
Say I peddled coke or sold weapons, or organized violence
我是东突恐怖分子,甚至说他去过拉登的基地
Or that I’m an East Turkestan terrorist, or even that I’ve trained with Bin Laden
他是拉登的人,他是美国的特务
That I’m agent of his, or America’s
他是热比亚的人,他是世维会在中国的什么……
Or that I work for Rebiya Kadeer, or I’m the World Uyghur Congress’ man in China, etc…
我不知道,反正各种的东西……
I don’t know, all sorts of stuff…
所以呢,很多东西无所谓,应该勇敢地面对
So whatever happens, we should face it with courage
当然呢,我是很希望到时候依法处理,这是一
Of course, first, I want to see things done according to law
二,很希望不要因为我而和汉民族之间发生仇恨的事情
And second, I don’t want to see any conflicts/tension? with the Han just because of me
当然呢,我也不希望这个时候没有维吾尔人的声音
And I hope when the time comes, we will hear Uyghur
汉人的声音,理性的声音
And Han people speak up, we will hear the voice of reason?
这是我对汉民族的期望,对维吾尔民族的期望
This is my hope for the Han people and for the Uyghurs
对两者的期望
My hope for both peoples
第三呢,我很希望,哪怕出现死亡的事情,把我埋在新疆
Third, I hope that if I do end up dead, I’m buried in Xinjiang
就是维吾尔人的家园
Which is home for Uyghurs
哪怕是冰山上,哪怕在沙漠或是路边
It could be on an iceberg, in the desert, even by the side of the road
我希望别让我的遗体留在新疆之外的地区
I just don’t want my body to be buried outside of Xinjiang
然后,最担心的就是孩子了
Lastly, I worry most about my children
怕他们遭到迫害,因为他们已经遭到了迫害
I’m afraid they’ll face persecution, more than they already have
他们没有学校上,旁听生
Forced to merely audit classes at schools that won’t take them as regular students
我怕到那时候旁听生都没有了
I’m afraid later they won’t even be able to audit classes
小孩儿会很茫然,不知道(怎么办)
My kids will be lost, and there won’t be anything I can do
我相信我女儿的良知,她很不一样
I believe in my daughter, there’s something special about her.
她受我影响很大,我相信她的良知
I have influenced her a lot/Much of what she knows she learned from me, I trust her conscience
她会成为一个有道德,爱自己的民族,爱人的人
I trust that she will grow into a moral person who loves her people, loves all people
我就担心她遭到迫害
But I worry people will go after her
还有一个担心,妻子现在又有孩子了
My other worry stems from my wife, who is now again pregnant
她没有工作,将来回新疆也不可能有工作
She’s unemployed now, and when she returns to Xinjiang she will not be able to find work
就是我将来的孩子……我妈妈也老了
My future child, and my mother who is getting on…
我就担心我家的两个孩子…
I’m worried about my two children…
但可能很残忍的,虽然很担心……明白吧?
It could all end tragically, in spite of my worries, you know what I mean?
但我觉得没有办法,需要付出的代价嘛,虽然你不愿意
But there’s nothing I can do. This is the price to be paid, whether you want it or not
但我现在想,我虽然有各种各样的信息,有各种预感
So I think, in spite of different things I hear, and all that I anticipate
我还是不敢相信
I refuse to believe it
这个国家,真的会把没有危害性的我
That this country might actually do such things to me
真弄成这样?有时候我也怀疑
Me who poses no threat. Sometimes I wonder
但我现在得到的信息、预感就是这样
But what I hear confirms what I suspect
然后呢我就考虑到,我要生存下去
And I think about how I’ll survive
生存然后才能给自己的民族做事儿
And by surviving, what I can do for my people
忍气吞声,是不是啊
So I bite my tongue, right?
所以现在就是这样,什么事儿都可能发生
So that’s what it’s like know:  anything could happen
但有时候也想,不可能吧
But sometimes I think, there’s no way
不可能那么卑鄙,再卑鄙也不能那样吧
Surely, nothing that abhorrent could happen
还是一种,人家说我是幻想吧,对政府
Or, people say it’s just my wishful thinking
哎,它在改变呀有些东西……
That the government could ever change…

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Updates / Related

» 充分保障被告人诉讼权利, CPBS, Sept 23, 2014
» Spokesperson’s Remarks, FMPRC, July 30/31, 2014
» 外交部回应, Sina, Aug 1, 2014
» “与…海外媒体关系甚密”, Huanqiu, Jan 18, 2014

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday/Monday Links: Taiwan’s foreign Trade, Scotland’s Referendum, Ilham Tohti on trial, and Taiwan’s President losing it

Off into another week (a week actually starts on a Sunday)

Off into another week (a week actually starts on a Sunday)

1. Taiwan

William T. Wilson, a researcher with the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, and a regular advocate of “free trade”, warns that bilateral or multilateral international trade agreements tend to lock Taiwan out, and increase Taiwan’s economic dependence on China. Wilson recommends that America should launch formal discussions of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan as soon as possible.

Obviously, Wilson has his eyes firmly set on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a project often described as an impeccable motor of future global economic growth, but also frequently criticised for levering out democratic principles, not least as TPP prescribes a right for foreign companies in member countries to sue national governments under international law (which would make domestic legislation count very little).

2. The usual Suspects

Chinese internet administration has shut nearly 1.8 million user accounts in what is called a pornography crackdown, reports Reuters.

3. Scottish Referendum

Foarp breathes a sigh of relief as the United Kingdom stays united, after days of unease.

The Financial Times had celebrated the referendum as a very civilized struggle (in English on September 12) or as a civilized struggle between unity and independence (in Chinese on September 16). The author was Mure Dickie. That was too much for Beijing – the referendum was, of course, deemed an internal UK matter by official China, but Dickie got a (semi-official – my take of it) reply from Zhi Zhenfeng (支振锋) of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Yes, it was surprising that the UK was willing to let eight percent of the population and about a third of the territory go peacefully, and the consultative, democratic and peaceful procedure deserved praise. In 19th-century America, a referendum had been replied to by war, and the Crimea referendum in March had been carried out under very different circumstances. All that made the British tolerance displayed in the referendum a precious thing.

However, that didn’t make the referendum a great example for the rest of the world. It did reflect particular Western values, which had brought Europe huge technological and economic progress (besides religious wars and separatist chaos), but even in Europe, the referendum was a contested approach, and even within the West, not every referendum and its results had been accepted peacefully. All too often, people in the West had been unable to foresee the long-term effects of their purportedly rational choices.

4. Ilham Tohti on Trial

Ilham Tohti, an Uighur economics professor, is reportedly on trial now, according to China Change, who published excerpts of an account written by Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan writer and a friend of Ilham Tohti. Tohti had been arrested in Beijing in January this year, and his whereabouts had been unknown afterwards.

5. Ma Ying-jeou’s 19th-Plenary-Session speech on September 14

And as this collection of links starts with Taiwan, let’s take a look at what Taiwan Explorer, usually not a terribly “political” blog, has to say about Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s president who has moved into the third year of his second term in office this year.

Ma is president on the KMT ticket, and his party, if his comments during the KMT’s 19th Plenary Session are anything to go by, is quite afraid of the oppositional DPP. But electoral behavior in Taiwan looks somewhat mysterious, at least to me as an outsider. Only four months after having voted Ma into office for a second term, the president’s support and satisfaction rates dropped to numbers between 15 to 22 per cent, and it seems they never really recovered since. Indeed, Ma appears to be completely unable to understand his country’s public.

Nanfang Shuo (aka Wang Hsing-ching / 王杏慶), predicted in summer 2011 that word-games were no solution for the problems that lying ahead if Ma would win a second term as president. Ma’s speech a week ago seems to suggest that he won’t abandon the word games during his remaining time in office – but by now, they appear to have become offensive.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Military Training in the Garden of Growing Imams

Main link: Xinjiang Islamic Institute conducts its First Military Training

China News Service (中国新闻社), China’s second-largest newsagency, published nine photos on Monday, of a military drill at Xinjiang Islamic Institute in Urumqi (Ürümqi), East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang).

Each of the nine photos comes with the same note which reads:

According to PLA Daily‘s microblog on September 15, Xinjiang Islamic Institute invited the political department of Xinjiang Military Region to carry out military training of 80 students who enrolled at the Institute this year. The military region [department] specifically chose eight military-political officers and soldiers of excellent quality [toughness] who speak both Uighur and Chinese. During the ten days of military training, the students learn basic military subjects, take part in defense lectures, and watch ethnic-unity propaganda movies.

据军报记者微博9月15日报道,新疆伊斯兰教经学院邀请新疆军区政治部为 该院今年招收的80名新学员进行军训。军区专门从某红军师抽选了8名维语、汉语兼通、军政素质过硬的官兵担任教官。为期10天的军训中,学员们学习基本军 事课目,参加国防知识讲座、观看民族团结宣传片。

Click the following links for the photos.

Picture 1

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Beijing review, an English-language propaganda paper, referred to the Islamic Institute as a garden of young imams in a 2009 online article.

And in 2008, China Radio International‘s (CRI) German service quoted the Institute’s deputy director as follows:

“My home was very far from the Uighur school. Up to high school, I visited a school of the Han nationality. When I didn’t pass the entrance exam for university, I was very sad. My parents comforted me and said that university wasn’t the only way of further education. We are Muslims, they said. Therefore, you should be in the know about Islam. You should look into your religion and study Islam.”

“Mein Zuhause lag sehr weit von der uigurischen Schule entfernt. Ich besuchte bis zur Oberschule die Schule der Han-Nationalität. Als ich dann später die Aufnahmeprüfung für die Universität nicht bestanden hatte, war ich sehr traurig. Meine Eltern trösteten mich und erklärten mir, dass die Universität nicht die einzige mögliche weitere Ausbildung war. Wir sind Muslime, sagten sie. Daher sollst Du gut über den Islam Bescheid wissen. Du solltest dich also intensiver mit Deiner Religion auseinandersetzen und den Islam studieren.”

The PLA photo story is carried by a number of Chinese websites, including Xinhua newsagency online, CCTV, and, – no surprise – Huanqiu Shibao.

And nothing satisfies a true Chinese patriot, at least not according to the latest comment (from Shenzhen):

Our country puts too much emphasis on the culture of different nationalities and neglects unified cultural education, particularly the education in Chinese culture for national minorities. It seems that there are many races among Americans, but it is the same English language and the same writing form for everyone. Put Chinese ideological and cultural education first, and [put regional ethnic culture [second] as a supplement.

我国太重视各民族文化而忽视了统一文化的教育,尤其是对少数民族的中华文化教育。似乎美国人种族很多,但都是英语,一样的字体。大中华思想文化教育为先,地方民族文化为辅。

But the previous commenter, from Zhejiang Province, dislikes the military component of “education”:

These Muslim students should rather study Chinese language [hanyu] and Confucian thought. To teach military subjects among institute students who aren’t yet mature isn’t quite appropriate. Not even ten percent of Uighur students in Xinjiang speak Chinese, and among the Islamic students from southern Xinjiang, even fewer speak Chinese. The state must vigorously expand Chinese-language and Chinese cultural education among national minorities, to make them recognize that their identity and ideology is Chinese.

这些伊斯兰教的学生更应该学习汉语和中国儒家思想,军训这样带有军事化的东西在一些思想不成熟的宗教学生中开展不是十分妥当。新疆的维族学生中会说汉语的学生不倒百分之十,尤其这些伊斯兰教的学生主要来自南疆地区,会说汉语的为更是稀少。国家应当大力开展对少数民族学生的汉语和中华文化教育,让他们认同他们是中国人的身份和思想。

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Related

» Religion and Peace, People’s Daily, Sep 17, 2014
» Come sigh with us, Aug 17, 2014
» Kunming Attack, March 3, 2014
» Golden vase of unity, Dec 26, 2010

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Deutsche Welle controversies: “a Tendency to influence Content from the Top”

It seems that Germany’s foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is kissing Beijing’s butt like never before – far beyond where it was in 2008, before DW suddenly started aiming at Beijing’s throat. DW director Peter Limbourg is currently travelling in China, according to a New York Times Sinosphere article, published online on Tuesday:

Mr. Limbourg was in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, Deutsche Welle said by telephone on Monday from its headquarters in Bonn. He was to take part in a China-German Media Forum starting on Tuesday in Beijing co-sponsored by Global Times, a nationalist newspaper that is part of the Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily group, the broadcaster confirmed.

The New York Times’ Tuesday article also republishes an open letter by Su Yutong to director Limbourg. Su had been fired by DW on August 19. DW spokesman Johannes Hoffmann had told the New York Times last month that Su Yutong had tweeted about internal (DW) issues in a way that no company in the world would tolerate. We warned her, and she continued to do it.

Su’s open letter suggests a visit by Limbourg to Gao Yu (高瑜), a former contributor to DW who is now under detention in China.

German green-liberal daily tageszeitung (taz) reports about Su Yutong‘s case, the purportedly regular transferral of Chinese department director Matthias von Hein, and about at least two commentaries critical of Israel which had not been published – “they were in the editorial department’s computer system, ready for publication. But at the very last moment, someone put on the emergency brake and stopped publication.

All events combined – censorship of the Israel-related commentaries and the mess in the Chinese department – are causing misgivings, writes taz:

The German Journalists Association [Deutscher Journalisten Verband, DJV] has been asked for advice by several employees. The DJV is seriously worried, and its speaker, Hendrik Zörner, makes no secret of it: “What worries us greatly is that there’s a tendency at Deutsche Welle to influence content from the top.”

[…]

The broadcaster’s statement concerning censorship is curt: a message from chief editor Alexander Kudascheff says that the articles hadn’t met DW’s journalistic standards, and that there had been talks with the authors. The articles are on hand at taz, and while you may disagree with the authors, there is certainly no offense against journalistic standards.

Indeed, “standards” appear to have become a mantra of Deutsche Welle leaders when in fact, they seem to be targeting unwanted content. When a “monitor”, German sinologist Jörg M. Rudolph, was appointed to supervise the Chinese department in 2009, the stated goal had also been to “improve standards”.

In March 2013, the Journalists Association had expressed its hope that Peter Limbourg, who had just been chosen as Deutsche Welle’s new director, would put journalism first (dem journalistischen Auftrag des Senders sei Vorrang einzuräumen). The Journalists Association has also followed the issue of quasi-employees at DW.

 

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