Posts tagged ‘negotiations’

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Stun grenades on Zeman’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: Prague and Taipei establish sister-city relations

The following is Taiwanese coverage of city-sister relations between Prague and Taipei. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card, confirming reception of a broadcast on December 30, 1985

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card,
confirming reception of a broadcast
on December 30, 1985

Radio Taiwan International (RTI), December 12, 2019

The Prague city hall assembly unanimously passed a proposal today (December 12) to conclude a sister city agreement with Taipei. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib is likely to sign the agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je next month.

布拉格市議會今天(12日)無異議通過與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,市長賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)預計將在下個月與台北市長柯文哲簽署。

Prague city council discussed the proposal today, and because of a consensus between all governing coalition parties, a vote was taken right after a short explanation by mayor Hřib, with 39 votes in favor of the proposal, zero opposing it, and two abstentions.

布拉格市議會今天討論與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,由於在聯合政府執政的各黨有共識,市長賀瑞普簡短說明後即直接進行表決,結果以39票贊成、零票反對、2票棄權的壓倒性高票通過。

Hřib had said after a city government meeting last week that he would officially sign a sister city agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je in January next year, to strengthen Prague’s cooperation and relations with Taipei in economics and trade, culture, tourism, education and in other fields. Besides, Prague’s Zoological Garden was hopeful to get a pangolin as a gift from Taipei.

賀瑞普上週在市政會議後曾表示,將在明年1月與來訪的台北市長柯文哲正式簽署姐妹市協議,加強布拉格與台北在經貿、文化、觀光、教育等領域的合作關係,此外,布拉格動物園可望獲得台北贈送的穿山甲。

Central News Agency (CNA), December 13, 2019

Zdeněk Hřib only took office last year. In January this year he said that he wanted to remove the clause concerning the one-China policy, and Taiwan being an inseparable part of [China’s] territory, from the sister city agreement with Beijing. He also met with Tibetan exile government leader Lobsang Sangay on his own initiative, openly challenging [Czech] president Miloš Zeman’s pro-China policies with a stun grenade at Czech-Chinese relations.

賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)去年底才上任,今年1月即宣布要廢除前任市長與北京締結的姐妹市協議當中有關一個中國政策和台灣是中國不可分割領土的條款,並在市府主動接見西藏流亡政府首長洛桑森格,公然挑戰總統齊曼(Miloš Zeman)的親中政策,為捷克和中國關係投下震撼彈。

According to Hřib, he had done an internship in Taiwan as a student and got a good impression of Taiwan, referring to himself as a “Taiwan fan”. He also visited Taiwan in March, had a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, and tested the water for concluding a sister-city status.

按照賀瑞普自己的說法,學生時代曾到台灣實習的他對台灣留下好印象,自稱是「台灣迷」。3月他還親訪台灣,晉見總統蔡英文,為締結姊妹市一事試水溫。

In fact, Hřib’s friendly conduct towards Taiwan also reflects, to a certain degree, dissatisfaction among Czech society with China.

事實上,賀瑞普的友台作為,也一定程度反映了捷克社會近年對中國的不滿。

In 2016, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping visited Prague for the first time and pledged large-scale investment. [Czech president] Zeman replied that he hoped the Czech Republic, as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, could “help China expand its investment in Europe”, standing out in Europe’s world of politics by its friendship with China.

2016年,中國國家主席習近平首次訪問布拉格,承諾為捷克帶來大筆投資,齊曼還呼應說希望捷克成為「協助中國在歐洲擴張投資永不沉沒的航空母艦」,對中國的友好在歐洲政壇獨樹一幟。

But several years later, many of China’s investment pledges have not materialized, and Ye Jianming, a mysterious businessman and svengali between the two countries, has suddenly disappeared. Hřib’s plan to remove the one-China clause grabbed the opportunity provided by the misgivings among Czech society, concerning China.

然而,幾年過去了,中國的許多投資承諾都沒兌現,在兩國之間牽線的神秘商人葉簡明還突然消失。賀瑞普打算廢除一中條款,正好抓住捷克社會對中國質疑聲四起的時機。

Also, the Czech Republic which overthrew the communist dictatorship thirty years ago, originally attached importance to the values of democracy and human rights. But in recent years, the Czech Republic has suffered a lot from right-wing populist policies. President Miloš Zeman and prime minister Andrej Babiš have no intention of continuing the spiritual heritage left behind by the Velvet Revolution [of 1989], departing from Vaclav Havel‘s line of humanism and pro-Europeanness.

其次,30年前曾推翻共黨獨裁統治的捷克,原本就特別重視民主和人權的價值。不過,近年來,捷克深受右翼民粹政治所苦,總統齊曼和總理巴比斯(Andrej Babiš)都無意延續絲絨革命留下的精神遺產,背離前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的人道主義和親歐路線。

[…]

As expected, Hřib’s actions were answered with Chinese retaliation. In April this year, at an annual meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, Taiwan’s representative to the Czech Republic was, for the first time, forced to leave the venue under pressure from China’s ambassador.

一如預料,賀瑞普的舉動遭到中方報復。今年4月,捷克貿易工業部為外國使節舉辦年度會議,由於中國大使施壓,我國駐捷克代表首度被迫離席。

Following that, Beijing cancelled Czech Philharmonia’s and another three important Czech ensembles tours of China. And Zeman publicly threatened that China could discontinue direct flights between Chinese cities and Prague, and cut financial assistance for soccer club Slavia Praha.

隨後,中國又一連取消布拉格愛樂(Prague Philharmonia)等4個捷克重要表演團隊在中國的巡迴演出行程。齊曼還公開威脅,中國將中斷中國城市和布拉格的直航和切斷布拉格斯拉維亞足球俱樂部(Slavia Praha)的金援。

Interestingly, China’s retaliation proved counterproductive. After having been forced out of the meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, [Taiwan’s] representative Wang Chung-I was interviewed by a big newspaper, thus greatly improving Taiwan’s visibility. And cultural minister Lubomir Zaoralek has rarely met with China’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, criticizing China’s unilateral cancellation of Czech ensembles’ performances which had “seriously harmed China’s image”.

有趣的是,中國的報復反而造成反效果。駐捷克代表汪忠一被迫離席後,立刻接受大報專訪,大幅提升台灣能見度。文化部長左拉列克(Lubomir Zaoralek)罕見接見中國駐捷克大使,批評中國片面取消樂團演出「嚴重傷害中國形象」。

[…]

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Related

Interview with mayor Hřib, Radio Prague, Aug 16, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Gui Congyou comments on award to Gui Minhai: farce, brutal interference, full of lies, don’t feel at ease, wait and see

The following is an article by Huanqiu Shibao, a Chinese paper and international news website. Links within blockquotes added during translation — JR.

Main Link:
Sweden determined to award Gui Minhai award, China’s ambassador to Sweden says: wait and see

Huanqiu Shibao, November 16, consolidated report

环球网综合报道

On November 11 local time, Sweden’s PEN association an award ceremony in Stockholm. Despite China’s strong opposition, the organizers remained determined to award Gui Minhai a prize, with Sweden’s minister for culture attending that day’s ceremony. China expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition against this.

当地时间11月15日,瑞典笔会在斯德哥尔摩举行颁奖仪式。尽管中方强烈反对,主办方仍执意向桂敏海授奖,瑞典文化大臣也出席了当天的颁奖仪式。中方表示对此强烈不满和坚决反对。

According to the website of China’s embassy in Sweden, China’s ambassador to Sweden said that just as we have solemnly pointed out, Gui Minhai is a criminal who committed serious crimes both in China and in Sweden. To give a prize to such a criminal is a complete political farce which incites crime and shelters criminals. This is also a brutal interference against China’s judicial sovereignty. Just as it is said in a Chinese proverb, virtue gets its reward, and viciousness gets its retribution. Sweden’s serious mistake undoubtedly creates serious difficulties for the normally friendly Sino-Swedish relationship and cooperation. No country, organization or individual should hope that the 1.4 billion Chinese people would swallow the bitter fruit of damage to China’s national interest and dignity.

据中国驻瑞典大使馆网站11月16日消息,中国驻瑞典大使馆表示,正如我们严正指出的,桂敏海是在中国和瑞典都犯下严重罪行的罪犯。给这样一个罪犯颁奖是一场彻头彻尾的政治闹剧,是在煽动犯罪,庇护罪犯。这也是对中国司法主权的粗暴干涉。正如中国谚语所说,善有善报,恶有恶报。瑞方的严重错误无疑给中瑞两国正常友好交往与合作造成了严重困难。任何国家、组织和个人都不要指望14亿中国人民会吞下损害中国国家利益和尊严的苦果。

Also, China’s ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, refuted Swedish media lies about the Gui Minhai incident in an interview with Sveriges Radio on November 12. According to the interview records published by China’s embassy to Sweden on November 14, Gui Congyou said that Gui Minhai’s book was full of lies and completely lacking factual foundation. which was why we called him “fabricator of lies”. Sweden’s PEN association propagandizing so-called “freedom of speech” wasn’t only harming other peoples’ feelings and interests, but didn’t allow other people to express their different opinions. This was actually “freedom of lies”.

此外,中国驻瑞典大使桂从友也在12日瑞典电台(Sveriges Radio)对其进行的采访中驳斥了瑞典媒体关于桂敏海事件的谎言。根据中国驻瑞典大使馆11月14日发布的采访记录,桂从友称,桂敏海的书中充满了谎言,完全缺乏事实依据,这就是我们为什么叫他“谎言编造者”的原因。而瑞典笔会宣传的所谓“言论自由”,不仅损害了他人的感情和利益,而且不允许他人表达不同意见,这实际上是“谎言的自由”。

Ambassador Gui Congyou said that China resolutely opposed Swedish PEN’s award to a criminal and propagator of lies, which was just the same thing as advocating “freedom of lies”. China even more opposed any member of Sweden’s government attending the award ceremony. This would have seriously negative effects on the friendly Sino-Swedish cooperation and normal relations, and China would surely take countermeasures.

桂从友大使表示,中国坚决反对瑞典笔会将奖项授予一个罪犯和撒谎者,这与提倡“谎言自由”没有区别。中国更加反对任何瑞典政府官员出席颁奖典礼,这将给中瑞两国的友好合作和正常交往带来严重的负面影响,中方一定会采取对策。

Ambassador Gui Congyou said that “we urge the Swedish PEN association to immediately cancel the award to Gui Minhai, and urge the Swedish government officials not to attend the award ceremony. If they ignore China’s strong opposition and  obstinately stay their course, we have no other choice than to take measures. Certain Swedes should not hope to feel at ease after hurting the feelings and interests.

桂从友大使说,“我们敦促瑞典笔会立即取消对桂敏海的授奖,并要求瑞典政府官员不再出席颁奖仪式。如果他们无视中方的强烈反对而一意孤行,我们将不得不采取措施。某些瑞典人不要指望在伤害了中国人民的感情与利益之后还能够安心(feel at ease)”。

Asked what measures China would take, ambassador Gui Congyou said: “You will see. We demand some basic respect for China and 1.4 billion Chinese people from the Swedish PEN, and stop their wrong action before it is too late. Let’s wait and see.”

当被问及中方将会采取何种措施时,桂从友大使表示:“你会看到的。我们要求瑞典笔会对中国和14亿中国人民表示基本的尊重,并在为时已晚之前停止错误举动。让我们走着瞧( wait and see)。”

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Related

Radio Sweden, Nov 15, 2019
China News Stories, Nov 14, 2019

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Prague committed betrayal, but it was us, because we were faster

According to Guanchazhe, an online news portal in Shanghai quoting from a press conference at China’s embassy in Prague, it was Prague’s city council.

Prague unilaterally ended city friendship agreement1) with Beijing, our embassy’s reaction

布拉格单方面终止同北京市友城协议,我大使馆回应

Question: on October 7, the Prague municipal committee2) decided to end the city friendship agreement it had signed with Beijing. Could you please tell us if the Chinese embassy to the Czech Republic has a comment about this?

问:10月7日,布拉格市委会决定终止布拉格市同北京市签署的友城协议。请问中国驻捷克大使馆对此有何评论?

Answer: We have taken note of Prague’s municipal committee’s decision to unilaterally end the city friendship agreement it had signed with Beijing and to pass this on to the the city assembly for consideration. This kind of behavior can even be called treachery, desctruction of Sino-Czech relations and of the atmosphere of the two countries’ local exchange and cooperation. Beijing city has already filed solemn protest to Prague.

答:我们注意到,布拉格市委会日前决定单方面终止该市同北京市签署的友城协议并提交市议会审议。这种行为可谓背信弃义,破坏中捷关系和两国地方交流合作氛围。北京市已就此向布拉格市提出严正抗议。

Concerning this, I would like to emphasize that the one-China principle is a matter of Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, touches upon China’s core interests, is the foundation and a prerequisite for all of China’s external exchange and cooperation, and also an accepted international relations’ norm and the international community’s general consensus. The Czech government has consistently supported the one-China principle. China wants to continue the work with the Czech government and all walks of life, for the promotion of exchange and cooperation on all levels between China and the Czech Republic, including the strengthening of the two countries’ local friendly exchange and cooperation.

在此我要强调,一个中国原则事关中国主权和领土完整,涉及中方核心利益,是中方开展一切对外交流合作的基础和前提,也是公认的国际关系准则和国际社会普遍共识。捷克政府一贯坚持一个中国原则。中方愿同捷克政府和社会各界一道,持续推进中捷各层级各领域交流合作,包括加强两国地方友好交流合作。

We urge the Prague municipal authorities to correct their course soon, in tune with the great trend of the era and the advancing tide of history, and to get back onto the correct track of promoting the development of bilateral relations. Otherwise, their own interests will be harmed in the end.

我们敦促布拉格市政当局早日改弦更张,顺应时代发展大势和历史进步潮流,回到促进双方关系发展的正确轨道上来,否则最终损害的将是他们自己的利益。

Guanchazhe published the above Q and A on Wednesday.

But according to Beijing News (新京报), a paper from Beijing, republished here by sina.com on Thursday, it was Beijing’s foreign affair’s office (waiban) that took the decision.

Ever since November 2018, the new Prague authorities’ main officials and others, in disregard of accepted international relations’ norm and the international community’s general consensus, despite China’s solemn position and strong opposition, has again and again taken wrong measures and made improper remarks concerning Taiwan, Tibet and other Chinese core interests.

2018年11月以来,捷克布拉格市新一届市政当局主要官员等人,无视国际关系基本准则和国际社会共识,不顾中方严正立场和强烈反对,屡屡在台湾、涉藏等涉及中方核心利益的重大问题上采取错误行动并发表不当言论。

According to Beijing News, Beijing city’s waiban published its statement on October 9, suggesting that it was Beijing that ended the sister partnership.

We hope that the related personnel2) will soon become aware of the mistake and remove the negative effects by practical actions.

希望布拉格市有关人员早日认识错误,以实际行动消除负面影响。

The paper also notes that the two cities had signed the agreement in March 2016. China Radio International quoted then Prague mayor, Adriana Krnacova, as referring to the partnership as a big opportunity to make educational exchanges, for students to travel back and forth and learn from each other.

According to the South China Morning Post, Prague’s city council had voted to end the agreement after current mayor Zdenek Hrib’s unsuccessful efforts to get Beijing to remove a “one China” pledge from the agreement.

Hrib had never been in Beijing’s good books. Probably, the bid to remove the “one-China” clause from the agreement, and a visit to Taiwan, including a meeting with the country’s president Tsai Ing-wen, were major acts of wrong measures and improper remarks by that piece of personnel from Prague.

Either way, a sinologist from Prague, commenting on Radio Prague International on Thursday, didn’t come across as terribly worried about the consequences, while foreign minister Tomáš Petříček was quoted as saying that said threats had no place in diplomacy.

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1) usually referred to as a sister city relationship in Western media
2) What is referred to as “municipal committee” by Beijing News (in accordance with Chinese local government structures) is actually Prague’s city council
3) 有关人员

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Double-Ten 2019: Tsai’s speech, Han’s white paper

1. President’s speech

President Tsai Ing-wen’s national day speech is available

Among other issues, she rejected the “one country, two systems” concept advocated by Beijing.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (2008 – 2016) and former vice president Lü Hsiu-lien (Anette Lü, 2000 – 2008) attended the event.

Han Kuo Yu’s white paper

KMT presidential candidate (and Kaohsiung mayor) Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) gave a speech at a flag-raising ceremony in Kaohsiung on October 9.

Han has also announced a white paper concerning relations with mainland China. The KMT’s “92 consensus” (九二共識) is believed to feature prominently in Han’s policies (as it has in former president Ma Ying-jeou’s), and the paper is also excpected to state “the defense of the Republic of China’s sovereignty”, “under the precondition of “one China with different interpretations” (一中各表).

While the “92 consensus” has long been disputed in Taiwan anyway (including the question if Beijing actually ever recognized such a consensus, or if it has been a KMT fantasy all along), Beijing’s more recent demands – “one country, two systems” to include Taiwan – mean that either way, a KMT president would be at odds with Beijing, just as is the current Tsai administration.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Beijing invites Turkish delegation for fact-finding mission in Xinjiang, says Erdogan advisor

The following is a translation from a short news article on TRT Ankara‘s foreign radio website. On February 4, Amnesty International had published a press release, demanding “an international fact-finding mission to investigate credible allegations that up to one million Turkic Muslims are being arbitrarily detained in ‘political education’ camps across Xinjiang, a region in northwest China”. AI had addressed their demand to the UN Human Rights Council.

TRT World (Chinese), July 4, 2019 — President Erdogan has given a positive response to China’s invitation to examine the Uyghurs’ situation

埃尔多安总统积极回应中方观察维吾尔人状况邀请

Presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said that Beijing had invited a delegation to carry out an on-site observation on Uyghur life in Xinjiang autonomous region.

总统府通讯署署长阿勒屯(Fahrettin Altun)表示,北京邀请一个代表团前往中国对在新疆自治区生活的维吾尔人的状况进行实地观察。

In a statement published on social media concerning President Erdogan’s China trip, Altun said that during Erdogan’s visit to China, all aspects of relations between Turkey and China had been discussed, including the Uyghurs.

通过社交媒体就总统埃尔多安的中国之行发表声明的阿勒屯说,在埃尔多安总统的中国访问期间,包括维吾尔人在内,土耳其和中国关系的所有方面得到全面讨论。

Altun sermonized:

阿勒屯讲道:

“President Erdogan has made it clear that our only wish is that Uyghurs in China live in peace, happiness and prosperity, and to give our opinions and expectations to our counterparts. Also, the Chinese side invited the Turkish side to send a delegation to China to carry out an on-site observation on Uyghur life in Xinjiang autonomous region. The revered President has responded positively to this invitation.”

“埃尔多安总统表明了维吾尔人在中国生活在和平,幸福和繁荣之中是我们唯一的愿望,并将关于这一问题上观点和期待转达给对方。此外,中方还邀请土耳其方面派遣一支代表团前往中国,以对生活在新疆自治区的维吾尔人状况进行实地观察。尊敬的总统对此邀请作出了积极回应。”

Altun also said that President Erdogan and Chinese State Chairman Xi Jinping have reached consensus in the fields of promoting bilateral trade, investment, research and development, science and technology, civil aviation, tourism, and culture. The two leaders also decided to strengthen the ties [provided by] the gateway of the historic silk road between East and West.

阿勒屯还表示,总统埃尔多安和中国国家主席习近平就推进双边贸易、投资、研发、科学技术、民航、旅游和文化领域达成共识,两位领导人还决定加强历史丝绸之路东西大门之间的纽带。”

CCTV’s main evening news broadcast “xinwen lianbo”, on July 2, quoted Xi Jinping as telling Erdogan that

please click picture for video

Practical measures must be taken to promote anti-terrorism cooperation. China appreciates Mr. President’s repeated reiterations not  to allow any forces to engage in anti-Chinese separatist activities from Turkey, and attaches great importance to Turkey’s emphasis on supporting China’s strikes against terrorism. [China] hopes to strengthen cooperation with Turkey in the field of counter-terrorism.

要采取切实行动,推进反恐安全合作。中方赞赏总统先生多次重申不允许任何势力在土耳其从事反华分裂活动,重视土方多次强调支持中方打击恐怖主义,愿同土方加强在国际反恐领域合作。

In summer 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had reportedly referred to Beijing’s policies on Xinjiang as “a genocide. There’s no point in interpreting this otherwise”. Maybe he now sees a point in re-interpreting the situation.

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Updates / Related

“Abschied vom Westen”, Die Welt, July 12, 2019

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

“Trade War”: Doing their Worst, doing their Best

Probably, there would be a (not inevitable yet) moment when nearly everyone realized that the trade conflict between America and China has turned into an economic war. The moment isn’t easy to define in advance. Maybe it’s when China halts its rare-earth exports. But that war would be the first war that might benefit school children’s education as they are running out of smartphones. Can war be war when it makes people smarter?

The Economist, not quite the Great Friend of the Chinese People more recently, tried to sound some more understanding notes than usual last month. Addressing accusations that China had ‘reneged’ on commitments made earlier during the talks, the paper points out that “complicating matters, negotiations have been conducted in English, with the draft agreement […] also in English. As it is translated into Chinese and circulated among more officials, changes are inevitable.”

And Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s prime minister and no Great Friend of the Chinese People either, claims that he doesn’t really care about who’s spying on him or his country: “We have no secrets,” and …

“… let them do their worst.”

Not sure if Malaysian techies would agree. But if they really have no secrets, Mahathir may be right, and Malaysia has nothing to lose, because it has nothing.

For people who still use their 1990-something mobile, Digital Trends offers an instructive overview of what is at stake for Huawei, and the company’s American trade partners and customers.

Not so different from Mahathir, but from a more neutral position,  Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong advocates openness, as this approach has benefitted Singapore since ancient times – no, he didn’t really say that.

But he has a clear message to both sides in the conflict, and an explanation as to why Washington’s unilateral approach is no option for Singapore:

Singapore cannot afford to adopt the same point of view. Being small, we are naturally disadvantaged in bilateral negotiations. We need to reform and strengthen multilateral institutions, not cripple or block them. More fundamentally, confining ourselves to a bilateral approach means forgoing win-win opportunities which come from countries working together with more partners. We need to build a broader regional and international architecture of cooperation. When groups of countries deepen their economic cooperation, they will enhance not just their shared prosperity but also their collective security. With more stake in one another’s success, they will have greater incentive to uphold a conducive and peaceful international order. This will benefit many countries big and small.

Huanqiu Shibao comes up with what they see as their country’s head of delegation‘s role at the summit:

After Lee Hsien-Loong had concluded his speech, He Lei asked the first question in the plenum, a two-fold one: firstly, how can China and America set out from the big picture of maintaining regional and global peace, from the great trend of peaceful development, thus properly settling the current contradictions and problems? And the other question: Singapore’s leader advocates that small countries should not take sides while the big countries’ relations are experiencing contradictions. How can, under the current conditions, a constructive conduct be achieved, and taking sides be avoided? Lee Hsien-Long replied to the first question that China and America needed to talk frankly, at the top levels, about the most fundamental problem, i. e. China’s current development, and the outside world’s need to adapt to China’s development. China and other countries all needed to adjust and adapt to this fact. Under this prerequisite, one by one and by discussing the issues as they stand, we will solve problems. Lee Hsien-Loong believes that in this process, China and America would gradually strengthen trust and make progress. As for the second question, Lee Hsien-Loong replied that “we do our best to be friends with both sides, maintaining relations on all fields, but will actively avoid to choose sides and join teams.”
After the banquet, He Lei’s assessment was that Lee Hien-Loong’s speech had been relatively peaceful and reasonable, and he was satisfied with Lee Hsien-Loong’s answers. He Lei said that Sino-Singapore relations had continuously improved in recent years, with continuous high-level exchange, which had established a good basis for a speech as given by Lee Hsien-Loong that evening. This was also a result of China’s continuous expansion of influence. He Lei, who has attended all of the three most recent Shangri-la meetings, has a profound feel for this.
李显龙演讲结束后,针对李显龙的发言,何雷在全场率先提问,包括两个问题:第一个是中美两国在当前如何能够从维护地区和世界和平的大局出发,能够从和平发展的大趋势出发,妥善解决当前存在的矛盾和问题?另一个问题是,在当前大国关系存在矛盾和问题的时候,新加坡领导主张小国不选边站。在当前这种局势下,如何做到积极作为、避免选边站队?对于第一个问题,李显龙表示,中美两国需要在最高层面开放坦率地接触,讨论两国之间最基本的问题,即中国正在发展,而外界需要适应中国的发展。中国和其他国家都需要调整并适应这一事实。在这一前提下,再逐个地、就事论事地讨论并解决问题。李显龙认为,在这一过程中,中美双方能够逐渐增进信任,取得进展。对于第二个问题,李显龙答道,“我们尽自己所能和两边都做朋友,发展并保持各个领域的关系,但主动地避免选边站队。”

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Related

Surveillance tycoons, Bloomberg, May 22, 2019
America must strike a balance, Nov 7, 2009

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Taiwan’s Representative to Czech Republic: Relations not affected

The following is a translation of a CNA (Central News Agency) article from Taiwan, with some details of an interview Taiwan’s semi-offical ambassador Wang Chung-I (汪忠一, officially his country’s diplomatic “representative”), gave to a Czech newspaper on Tuesday. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Main Link (CNA): Dispute around Taiwan’s Representative having to leave his seat won’t affect relations between the two Countries (被迫離席風波 駐捷克代表:不影響兩國關係)

Central News Agency CNA reporter Lin Yuli, Berlin, April 10 – Taiwan’s Representative to the Czech Republic, Wang Chung-I, who took part in a conference hosted by the Czech ministry of trade and industry, and was removed under Chinese pressure. Czech media published interviews with him, and Wang Chung-I believes that this diplomatic dispute will not lead to bad effects on the two countries’ relationship.

(中央社記者林育立柏林10日專電)駐捷克代表汪忠一上月參加捷克貿易工業部主辦的會議,因中國施壓被迫離席。捷克媒體刊登他的專訪,汪忠一相信這起外交風波不至於影響兩國的關係。

The case of the Taiwanese representative having been forced to leave the venue had led to great controversy in Czech political circles. Forty senators across party lines have sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babis in recent days, demanding that trade and industry minister Marta Novakova should assume political responsibility, and the House of Deputies‘ foreign  affairs committee also met to discuss this diplomatic dispute.

台灣代表被迫離場事件,最近在捷克政壇引起軒然大波。40名跨黨派的參議員日前聯名致函總理巴比什(Andrej Babis)要求貿易工業部長諾娃科娃(Marta Novakova)負起政治責任,眾議院外交委員會也開會討論這起外交風波。

Major Czech paper “Economic Daily” (Hospodarske Noviny) published an entire page of an interview with Wang Chung-I on April 9. Wang Chung-I said that after the incident, the representative office [i. e. Taiwan’s semi-official embassy in Prague] received support from all walks of life in Czechia, also e-mails of encouragement from members of the general public, which made him feel pleasantly surprised.

捷克大報「經濟日報」(Hospodarske Noviny)9日用一整版的篇幅刊出汪忠一的專訪。汪忠一表示,事件發生後,代表處收到捷克各界的聲援,還有民眾寫電子郵件來鼓勵,讓他感到驚喜。

He pointed out that during the past 19 years, Taiwan had always received invitations from the trade and industry ministry, and had always sent someone to take part in the conferences. He knew that the trade and industry ministry was under great Chinese pressure, and had therefore issued no protest to the ministry, and rather held talks with Czech diplomats to make mutually sure that this incident woudl not affect bilateral relations.

他指出,過去19年台灣每年都收到貿工部的邀請,也都派人出席這場會議。他知道貿工部受到中國的強大壓力,因此事後沒有向貿工部抗議,但與捷克外交官員進行了會談,互相保證這件事不至於影響雙邊關係。

Wang Chung-I emphasized that in the past, similar incidents had occured in Czechia, and usually it was the Chinese ambassador opposing the Taiwanese representative being in the place. If the organizing unit maintained its right to invite whom it wanted to invite, the Chinese ambassador would leave his seat, this was his first time to have to leave the place because of Chinese pressure.

汪忠一強調,捷克過去也曾發生過類似的事件,一般而言是中國大使反對台灣代表在場。如果主辦單位堅持有權決定想邀請的人,中國大使會離席,這是他第一次因中國施壓而被迫離場。

In the interview, Wang Chung-I also quoted former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a man with friendly feelings towards Taiwan, as describing in a book why Czech and Taiwanese people had similar lines of thought.

汪忠一在這篇專訪中,還引述了對台灣友好的捷克前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的話,他在一本書中曾描述捷克人和台灣人為何有相同的思維方式。

Wang Chung-I pointed out that both Czechia and Taiwan were rather small countries, both with experience in resisting powerful neighboring countries, and common values of respect for human rights, freedom and democracy.

汪忠一指出,捷克與台灣都是比較小的國家,一樣有與超強鄰國對抗的經驗,而且共享尊重人權和自由民主的價值觀。

Czechia is a major tourist destination in Europe, with its capital Prague attracting particularly many Taiwanese tourists. Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib mentioned in a meeting with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen late last month that he hoped to establish direct flights with Taipei.

捷克是歐洲的觀光重鎮,尤其首都布拉格吸引許多台灣觀光客,布拉格市長賀吉普(Zdenek Hrib)上月底訪問台灣會見蔡英文總統時才提到,希望與台北建立直航。

Wang Chung-I said that last year’s number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Czechia reached up to 190,000, an annual rise by ten percent, and for tourism and commercial exchange between the two countries, he hoped that a direct flight connection between Prague and Taipei would soon materialize. (Editor’s name) Number

汪忠一表示,去年台灣旅客造訪捷克的人數高達19萬,年成長率10%,為了兩國的觀光和商務往來,他也期盼布拉格與台北的直航能早日實現。(編輯:高照芬)1080411

Friday, April 5, 2019

Prague Castle*) incident: “The Minister should have known what to do”

*) Correction, April 11, 2019: not at the Castle, but at the trade ministry in Prague.

Update, April 11, 2019: Reportedly, trade minister Marta Nováková will be replaced, along with transport minister Dan Ťok, in a cabinet reshuffle.

Britain’s Daily Mail quotes a “series of missteps”, the way she dealt with the Chinese ambassador’s “request” to remove Taiwan’s representative from a meeting at the trade ministry among them, but mainly her comments on Czech mobile data prices.

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The top levels of Czech politics may be confused, but civil society stands up to blackmail. While it is true that the world’s leading democracies are falling over themselves to do business with China, the Czech Republic’s tradition is different from that of the London School of Economics.

Beijing doesn’t appear to advertise its ambassador’s implementation of its one-belt-one-road project in Prague, but Zdeněk Hřib, Prague’s mayor and one of the critics of Beijing’s most recent attempt to sideline Taiwan, isn’t an unknown in China anyway. A blogger named Warfare Bureau stationed with Taiwan Special Task Force member no. 666, publishing on a Guanchazhe platform, shows rightful indignation about Hřib’s current visit to Taiwan:

Actually, this mayor of the Czech Republic capital who has just taken office has often before raised his unfriendly voice against China. Early this year, he voiced doubt about the “one-China clause” in the sister city agreement between Prague and Beijing, asserting that he “could not see the need to retain it,” and demanding renegotiation.

其实,这位才上任不久的捷克首都新市长曾经多次发表对华不友好的声音,今年初贺瑞卜在受访时就公然对与北京缔结姐妹城市关系时协定中的“一中条款”表示质疑,他声称,“实在看不出保留的必要性”,要求重新协商。

According to the blog, Hřib said in an interview with Czech media that if the Prague city council demanded to repeal the article from the agreement, he would negotiate with Beijing, and if negotiations failed, Prague would have to withdraw from the agreement.*)

Even worse, the guy, reacting to Beijing’s plans to send a Panda to Prague, had said in 2016, in an interview with Taiwan’s Liberty Times (自由時報), that “human rights are much more important than Panda’s”. (What a shameless lie.)

It might be worth mentioning that Hřib is a member of the Czech Pirate party. A lot of politicians talk about “values”, but some actually have the nerve to practice them.

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Related

Rising Aggression, Jan 28, 2017

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Notes / Updates

*) Prague’s city council decided on January 21 that the article about the “one-China policy” should either be removed, or the partnership with Beijing be terminated, according to Radio Prague‘s German service on that day.

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