Posts tagged ‘oil’

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Huanqiu Editorial on Hague ruling: “The Chinese People will inevitably support the Government”

The following is a translation from an editorial published online by Huanqiu Shibao. It refers to today’s (Tuesday’s) decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The terms used in this translation may not be accurate legal language, be it because of my limited translation skills, be it because of the nature of the article which may be more about purposeful agitation and reassurance, than about legal issues.

Links within the blockquote were added during translation.

The arbitration court’s result on the South China Sea arbitration case, announced in the afternoon Beijing time, is even more extreme, more shameless, than predicted by many, and may be rated as “the worst version” people could imagine, and we believe that Chinese people in their entirety will resent this illegal ruling, and the peace-loving global public will also be absolutely astonished about the arbitration court’s seriously partial approach which will very likely add to regional tensions.

南海仲裁案仲裁庭北京时间12日下午公布了仲裁结果,它比之前很多人预测的更加极端、无耻,堪称是人们可以想象的“最坏版本”,相信全体中国人都会为这一非法裁定感到愤慨,世界爱好和平的公众也会对仲裁庭这一严重偏袒一方,并且很可能加剧地区局势紧张的做法而十分诧异。

According to an unofficial translation, this arbitration result, by denying the nine-dotted line, acts drastically against China’s sovereignty within [this line], and also denies its historical foundation. It denies that there were any exclusive economic zone around any of the Spratly Islands which amounts to denying the Taiping Island its due status. It also openly claims that the [artificial] extension of the islands were without legal legitimacy, denouncing China for obstructing the Philippines’ economic activities within the nine-dotted line, and denouncing China’s interception of Philippine vessels can only exacerbate maritime tensions.

根据一个非官方的中文翻译版本,这一仲裁结果借助否决南海九段线内中国主张权益来对其做了釜底抽薪,而且否定它的历史依据。它否定南沙群岛中任何一岛有专属经济区,这等于否定了太平岛的应有地位。它还公然宣称中国在南沙扩建岛礁不具有合法性,指责中国拦阻菲律宾在九段线内开展经济活动,指中国拦截菲律宾船只加剧了海上紧张。

If one goes by this ruling, the maximum that would remain for China in the Spratly Islands would be a few isolated spots, no exclusive economic zones, and even some territorial waters linking the islands and reefs could be denied. In large part, the Spratlys would be covered by Philippine and Vietnamese exclusive economic zones.

如果按照这一裁决,中国在南沙群岛最多只剩下一些孤立的点,既无专属经济区,甚至可能连岛礁周围的一些领海都将被剥夺。而南沙海域大部分将被菲律宾和越南的专属经济区覆盖。

It would also mean that Chinese construction on these islands and reefs could not be continued, and if the Philippines and Vietnam had sufficient power, they could carry out “demolitions” of already existing Chinese construction. From here on, all maritime resources would be the Philippines’ and Vietnam’s; China’s economic activities and all other activities would have to withdraw from that area.

它还意味着,中国的岛礁建设无法持续,如果菲越有足够的力量,甚至可以对中国已建的岛礁搞“强拆”。今后那片海域的资源将归菲越所有,中国的经济活动和其他活动都要退出那个区域。

This is a brazen denial of China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime interests. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea doesn’t apply for the standards and adjustments of territorial sovereignty – this should be one of the main principles of international conventions and treaties. Now, by this contentious redefinition [my understanding of the line – may be wrong – JR], this comes full circle by delimiting the dispute with this forcible ruling, this is shameless overstepping of authority and abuse of authority, and cruel trampling on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and for the entire international law system.

这是对中国领土主权和海洋权益的悍然否定。联合国海洋法公约不适用于领土主权的调整和规范,这是该公约缔约时的首要原则之一。现在仲裁庭通过对这些争端的再定义,兜了个圈子对中菲领土和海洋划界争端强行裁决,这是无耻的越权和滥权,是对海洋法公约以及整个国际法体系的粗暴践踏。

Not only China’s government, but the entire Chinese society will never accept this “arbitration result”. We will show an unwavering attitude of non-participation and non-acceptance, and nobody should think that anything would shake us.

不仅中国政府,整个中国社会都决不可能接受这一“仲裁结果”,我们对仲裁“不接受、不参与”的态度坚定不移,谁都休想撼动我们。

The so-called “arbitration result” is wasted paper, but if America, Japan and other countries will use it to exert actual military and political pressure on China, the Chinese people will inevitably support the government as it fights back. We firmly believe that when China’s law enforcement is embattled, China’s military force will not remain silent when their appearance is needed.

所谓“仲裁结果”就是废纸一张,但美日等国如果利用它向中国施加现实军事政治压力,中国人民必将支持政府予以针锋相对的回击。相信中国的执法力量严阵以待,中国的军事力量同样不会在需要他们站出来时沉默。

We hope that China’s reasonable activities of all kinds will not be affected in any way, and we also hope that Chinese society, in the face of all storms and waves, including geopolitical provocations, will maintain their determination, and let the daily affairs of this country continue as normal. We believe that the government is able to meet these challenges and to make us believe in this country’s strength will guarantee the unmoved continuation of our correct path.

我们希望看到,中国在南沙地区的各种正当活动不受任何影响,也希望看到中国社会在各种包括地缘政治挑衅在内的各种风浪面前保持定力,让这个国家的运行节奏一如往常。相信我们的政府有能力应对这些挑战,也让我们相信这个国家的实力能够确保我们岿然不动。

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Related/Updates

» Beijing engineers coverage, BBC, July 12, 2016
» Why we cover our Ears, BBC, July 10, 2016

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chinese Press Review: Syria, very clever

At a moment when everything had seemed to be set for a showdown, things changed dramatically, writes People’s Daily. Yesterday night, Syria officially responded to the international community and said it was willing to hand over all its chemical weapons so as to avoid American attack.  (叙利亚危机剑拔弩张的气氛出现戏剧性变化。
昨日晚间,叙利亚正式回复国际社会,叙利亚愿意交出全部化学武器以换取免遭美国打击。)

After a short account of Kerry’s sudden suggestion on a press conference in London that Syria could only avoid U.S. military strikes by handing over its chemical weapons, and Russian foreign minister Lavrov’s and Syrian foreign minister Mouallem’s statements, amounting to a Syrian willingness to do just that, plus Obama’s ABC interview, People’s Daily quotes an old diplomat and professor, Zhou Zunnan (周尊南) of the Chinese Foreign Affairs University, in an interview with the “International Financial Journal”:

Russia is very clever. They have successfully used diplomatic techniques, and the important thing is that in the current situation, with all the different parties’ interveaved interests, this is a “good move” [in a game of chess].  On the one hand, America gets under international pressure by gradually lowering other countries’ support for unilateral American war, and on the other, objectively, Russia showed support for Syria, perhaps implicating that “no matter if you use force or if you don’t, we will stand on Syria’s side.”

“俄罗斯很聪明,他们成功利用了外交技巧,重要的是,在目前各方面利益交织的格局下,这是一步‘好棋’。”老外交官、外交学院教授周尊南对《国际金融报》记者表示,“一方面,美国会陷入国际压力,进一步压低其他国家对美国单方面发动战争的支持度;另一方面,俄罗斯客观上表达了对叙利亚的支持,言外之意可能是‘不管你动不动武,我都会站在叙利亚’这边。”

People’s Daily is hedging its bets, regarding the likelihood of open American military intervention. From the Third Middle-East War (meaning the Six-Day War) to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon in 1976, and to Syria’s “flirting glances” (与伊朗保持“眉来眼去”的关系) with Iran, things had put this Middle-Eastern country’s relations with Western countries “out of sorts”, the paper writes. In the latest stage of the Syrian conflict, America had sought an “pretext” (quotation marks by People’s Daily), which was the chemical weapons.  There were several indications, People’s Daily quotes Zhou Zunnan (周尊南), still from the “International Financial Journal”, that the issue of chemical weapons was just an excuse. It would have looked bad to take military action against Syria before the UN inspectors delivered their findings, and besides, Russia had borrowed the position Kerry stated in London, Syria had cleverly strengthened its alliance with Russia, thus putting America into a difficult position. A third problem was American public opinion, according to Zhou.

And after all, the situation was complicated: Turkey would have to forget about a four-country economy including Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, if the Assad stepped down. And Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean was Tartus, in Syria. Syria was at the center of solving or mishandling the big Middle-Eastern issues.

Referring to further sources, People’s Daily suggests that oil prices had to be critical factors in Washington’s deliberations, too – with repercussions for the U.S economy. And still, this could also help America to replace the Middle East as the world’s center of energy sources, with an impact on countries depending on those, such as China and India. Therefore, the possibility of military action could not be ruled out. People’s Daily quotes a Russian political scientist (波利卡诺夫) who was also quoted by Xinhua a day earlier as suggesting that the military strikes were only delayed, but had not been stopped by Moscow’s and Damascus’ decisions.

Even China wasn’t on the sidelines in Syria, writes People’s Daily.  Syria had maintained close oil trade with China, and Chinese state-owned energy companies had business in Syria. A SINOPEC spokesperson is quoted as saying (again from “International Financial Journal”) that his company had temporarily closed their branch company in Syria, with most of the staff returning to Beijing, and some staying in Lebanon. Despite all the emphasis on diversification, about fifty percent of China’s crude oil imports were still coming from the Middle East, an expert from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is quoted.

Economics aside, People’s Daily concludes, there had also been a close Sino-Syrian relationship in other fields. Reports say that when China was treated unfairly in the international arena, it could always count on Syrian support.

This is about as far as official Chinese media go in their support for Damascus. Voicing official or semi-official positions is frequently the job of high-ranking academics, when Zhongnanhai prefers to remain silent or low-key. Zhou Zunnan’s comments in the “International Financial Journal”, which is in fact a branch of People’s Daily itself, probably play this kind of role.

On September 4, another academic, Li Shaoxian (李绍先) of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, was quoted by Huanqiu Shibao with a rather candid statement (which may or may not mirror the official Chinese position, obviously):

Besides, Li Shaoxian believes that, when Bashar al-Assad said that China and Russia were Syria’s allies, that was the great banner used as a tiger-skin [a way to impress enemies]. China wasn’t Syria’s ally.  “Although China and Russia both insist on a peaceful solution and both oppose foreign military intervention, Russia has major actual interests in Syria to protect, while China’s interests in Syria are small.”

李绍先还认为,叙利亚总统巴沙尔说中国、俄罗斯是其盟友的说法是“拉大旗作虎皮”,中国不是巴沙尔的盟友。
“尽管中俄对坚持和平解决、反对外来军事干预是一致的,但中俄的考虑并不完全一致,俄罗斯在叙利亚有重大的现实利益要保护,而中国在叙利亚的利益很少”。

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Related

» Netzschau (German blog), Sept 10, 2013
» Less than 40 percent, Global Times, Dec 12, 2011

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Xi Jinping, out of Town: Huanqiu Shibao quotes “Western Media” (i. e. Deutsche Welle)

China and Russia are most important strategic partners, the BBC quotes CCP secretary general and Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping, who has started a tour of Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo today. While in Africa, Russia will remain on his agenda on foreign relations, too – Xi will attend the fifth Brics summit from March 26 to 27 in South Africa.

Fenghuang (Hong Kong) coverage of Xi’s arrival in Moscow here »

According to the Voice of Russia (VoR), one of the aims in advancing the two countries’ partnership is to boost mutual trade turnover to 100 billion dollars by 2015. Energy issues, local economic cooperation and social events, including a meeting with students of the Lomonosov State University are on the agenda, according to VoR. According to the broadcaster, China has become Russia’s largest trade partner for the second year in a row.

Xi is scheduled to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, Duma (parliament) chairman Sergey Naryshkin “and other leaders”, as well as friends from all ways of life in Russia, writes Xinhua newsagency. He will also deliver a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and meet Russian sinologists, according to Xinhua. International affairs aren’t ranking high in the descriptive Xinhua article, but Russian president is quoted from a telephone record with Xi of March 14 as saying that Russian-Chinese relations were among the important factors of safeguarding world peace and stability, and carrying particular significance.

Huanqiu Shibao quotes a Russian deputy foreign minister as describing Xi’s visit to Russia as a “major event” in the two countries’ relationship. The deputy foreign minister added that Moscow had made careful preparations for the visit. Western media said that Xi’s choice of Russia as his first foreign destination was “no surprise” (“不意外”), writes Huanqiu. One after another, Western media believed that the intentions behind China’s arrangements made people wonder.

“Are China and Russia going to sign big energy contracts?” “Is Beijing turning back to the [old] strategic center of gravity with Moscow” to respond to the shift of America’s strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region?” The guesses and speculations by Western analysts, with seven mouths and eight tongues (七嘴八舌), look as if they were x-raying Sino-Russian relations.

俄副外长里亚布科夫21日用“两国交往中的大事件”形容这次访问,并称莫斯科已为迎接习主席做好万全准备。西方媒体大多对中国国家主席上任后首先访俄“不 意外”,同时纷纷认为北京的安排用意极深,耐人琢磨。“中俄要签能源大单?”“北京要用‘战略重心重返莫斯科’回应‘战略重心重返亚太’的美国?”西方分 析家七嘴八舌的猜测就像在给中俄关系做X光检测。

As for Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo, after his stay in Russia, and the “Sino-African approaches” (“中非走近”), following the “Sino-Russian embrace”, have gone hot in Western public opinion. “Westerners are tossing lots of question marks, but essentially, their curiosity is only about one thing. That is how big a country China will be in the next ten years”, says Chinese scholar Jin Canrong.

由于习主席访俄后将访问坦桑尼亚、南非和刚果(布) ,“中非走近”已尾随着“中俄拥抱”在西方舆论中迅速变热。“西方人抛出的问号很多,但实质上他们的好奇只有一个。那就是未来十年,中国会做一个怎样的大国。”中国学者金灿荣说。

In fact, Germany’s former foreign broadcaster and current media platform Deutsche Welle (DW) describes Xi’s visit to Russia as his unsurprising international debut. Deutsche Welle also quotes Gu Xuewu of the University of Bonn with pretty much the remarks about deepening military cooperation in the face of the US “pivot to Asia” that had been noted by Huanqiu Shibao’s “Western media” review.

However, much of what the DW article says is simply not quoteable for Huanqiu Shibao: fair weather friends, unsentimental partnership of convenience, or a trip to Moscow that was was symbolic in nature. Not to mention the demographic development in the Far East, viewed by the Russian side with unease.

And obviously, Huanqiu provides no link to the DW article – nor do they mention the old enemy broadcaster as their online source.

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Related

» VoR Chinese frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» CRI Russian frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» No Bullying, July 19, 2012
» Now Africa’s largest trading partner, BBC, May 22, 2012
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vietnamese Spratly Patrol Flights: Let’s Talk about War, but Don’t Get Burned

Vietnam People’s Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flankers’ have mounted their first patrols of the disputed Spratly Islands (Link is in Vietnamese) from their base at Phu Cat,

the Base Leg Blog quotes Vietnamese portal Thanh Vien online on Tuesday. Thanh Vien had published the newslet on Saturday.

Also on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei reportedly told a news conference that Vietnam’s recent action was a serious violation of China’s sovereignty.

The spokesman urged Vietnam to strictly abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, avoid actions escalating or complicating the situation, and make efforts to safeguard regional peace and stability,

Sina English quoted Hong Lei.

The declaration Hong referred to was signed in Phnom Penh in November 2002, by China’s special envoy and former vice foreign minister Wang Yi, and by the foreign ministers of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam (i. e. between ASEAN and China). Among a number of points, the signatory states reaffirm their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (3), undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force (4), and undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features (5).

As there is no agreement about whose claims on the South China sea are legitimate, the Declaration basically defines a code of conduct in handling the uncertainties.

In February 2010, Edward Wong wrote in the New York Times that the most vociferous claimants were Vietnam and China. It had also been Vietnam who had been

pushing hard behind the scenes to bring more foreign players into negotiations so that China will have to bargain in a multilateral setting with all Southeast Asian nations that have territorial claims in the South China Sea. This goes against China’s preference, which is to negotiate one on one with each country.

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun in spring or summer 2010, then commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Patrick Walsh said that China had started describing the South China Sea as its “core interest” – a term that had until then been reserved for Taiwan and Tibet.

Since then, Chinese officials have kept maintaining that multilateral initiatives, i. e. an internationalized rather than a bilateral approach to resolving the South China Sea disputes, would only complicate the issues. In a comparatively blunt statement, Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai was quoted by Phoenix Satellite Television (HK) in June 2011 that a few countries were playing with fire, and he hoped that America wouldn’t burn itself.

In July that same year, ASEAN and China drafted another agreement, setting out somewhat more specific guidelines for the implementation of their 2002 declaration, and in October 2011, China’s and Vietnam’s party leaders, Hu Jintao and Nguyen Phu Trong, signed yet another – and bilaterally negotiated – document, the Agreement on Basic Principles concerning guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues.

War scenarios are only publicly discussed in the Chinese media, but even then, Yin Zhuo (尹卓), a special commentator (not a politician) who provided the public with startegic information on Huanqiu Online Television on Wednesday, expressed hope that

we are both socialist countries, friendly neighbors, and things must not get to such a state [of military conflict]. Of course, China doesn’t work into that direction, but you, the Vietnamese, must not push China into that direction.
但是我们想双方都是社会主义国家,大家是友好邻邦,不要走到这个地步上。当然中国不会向这个方向努力,但是你越南人不要把中国逼到这个位置上去。

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Related

» FMPRC Press Conference Topics, June 15, 2012
» Scarborough Shoal: “Equivalent Action”, South Sea Conversations, May 15, 2012
» Having Fun, China Rises, Sep 5, 2008

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Norwegian-Chinese Relations: a Panda is no Polar Bear

China wants to join the Arctic Council as a permanent observer, or in other words, to quote Scott Stearn‘s Voice of America (VoA) blogpost of June 5, “China wants a bigger say in the Arctic, where thinning ice is opening faster trade routes to Asia in a region that could hold 20 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas.”

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States are permanent members of the council, which is a organization for discussion and research, and “not bound by any treaties”.

Other countries – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Poland, and Spain – are “permanent observers”, and China has applied to become one in 2013.

But there seems to be a problem. “The political dialogue between Norway and China for the last one and a half years has been at a pretty low level”, Stearn quotes Norway’s foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.

If Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao were quoted correctly, and if nothing important is left out, Beijing apprently wants to get permanent observers without a need to care about its relations with Norway:

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao says Beijing hopes to “cooperate with relevant countries like Sweden and Iceland on issues of peace, stability and sustainable development in the Arctic.”

That lacks some context. Song apparently made his comments in connection with a visit by Chinese chief state councillor Wen Jiabao to Iceland and Sweden. Norway wasn’t part of Wen’s tour – and not mentioning Norway would be natural under these circumstances.

That Wen didn’t call on Norway, however,  is probably no coincidence. “Ever since the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee granted the prize to Chinese dissident Liu Ziaobo [sic – i. e. Liu Xiaobo], China has frozen relations with the country”, Barents Observer wrote in April.

Given that the Arctic Council is a rather informal group, China will have access to other international bodies to push its interests concerning the Arctic. But that doesn’t keep Beijing from trying to become a permanent observer.

China isn’t easy to deal with (or no trifle – 不好惹, bùhǎorě), Taiwan News quotes “foreign media” – and apparently prefers to advance no views of its own. Instead, its article is basically a reflection of Stearn’s VoA blogpost.

But while Norwegian-Chinese relations on the political level may be as dead as rotten salmon, the two countries do keep a tradition of long-term, open and friendly cooperation in the field of science going (在科研和合作方面有着长期开放和友好合作的传统), notes Norway’s embassy in China.Oslo University, Bergen University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), plus some other Norwegian institutions, work with the Chinese Academy of Science’s (CASS) Institute of Atmospheric Physics and the (Beijing) State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, on six projects concerning climate and environmental resarch.

If you can’t hug the panda itself, try to hug its scientific leg instead. The only problem: how can you bring it home to a panda that it is no polar bear, especially when you can’t talk to its face?

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Related Tag: Liu Xiaobo.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Class Struggle from Above: How Well-To-Do is the German Commuter?

A Guest Post by Tai De

car dashboardThomas Straubhaar heads the Hamburgisches Weltwirtschaftsinstitut, or Hamburg Institute of International Economics, a not-for-profit research institute, an enthusiastic buyer of local goods, he says. Clearly, he doesn’t like long-distance rides – and he doesn’t like the commuter tax allowance. It only helped well-to-do sole earners. Families weren’t the real beneficiaries, and society had to bear costs from traffic jams, greater risks of accidents, and urban sprawl. Rather, commuters should pay an additional tax, to compensate the urban population for the harm commuters inflicted on them (“damit könnten Städter für das Leid entschädigt werden, das ihnen Auto fahrende Pendler antun”).

I don’t believe that Straubhaar is really targeting the commuter tax allowance – if any political party supports it his move, it would be the Greens, but the allowance won’t go away. The Free Democrats (FDP) rather favors an increased allowance, to compensate commuters for rising petrol prices. And the two big parties, the Christian Democrats  (CDU/CSU) and the social democrats (SPD) won’t dare to alienate their classical voters – even if Straubhaar doesn’t believe it:

“Wouldn’t a commuter tax go down well with the millions of urban people? Why don’t politicians seize the opportunity?” (Wäre nicht die Pendlersteuer eine Forderung, mit der sich bei Millionen von Stadtmenschen politisch punkten ließe? Wieso nutzen Politiker(innen) diese Chance nicht?)

Who is well-to-do may be a matter of definition – but those targeted may not feel that they were well-to-do (with or without reason). However, it is easy to label your target well-to-do before making unpopular suggestions, and Mr. Straubhaar’s suggestion isn’t popular. Maybe it is because people don’t buy the allegation that the beneficiaries of the allowance are generally well-to-do. Maybe Mr. Straubhaar himself is way too well-to-do to be believed. At any rate, it seems to me that in Mr. Straubhaar’s view, the Hamburg city is too chique to tolerate all those country bumpkins there. After all, the German word for “harm” is “Leid” – and Leid is something a perpetrator inflicts on a victim.

The comments underneath the Welt article with quotes from Straubhaar seem to confirm my impression that politicians who would “seize the opportunity” and scrap the allowance wouldn’t do themselves a favour. There is no real discussion. Straubhaar seems to hate his audience, and his audience hates him back.

Straubhaar may not like it – and the Free Democrats, at odds with him concerning the commuter tax allowance, but not in general – may not like it either, but West Germany’s post-war consensus was built on exactly the allowances and financial transfers (welfare state) which he calls into question.

This comment by “Systemkritiker” (system critic) is indicative of the general mood on the “Die Welt” thread:

Great. New taxes. Then we will get even more big cities because everyone needs to go there, and even more welfare recipients, because people are jobless. That guy is deranged. Just like all politicians. Said it and boarded his fat [Audi ] A8. Blithering idiots give us counsel. (Richtig so. Neue Steuern. Dann haben wir endlich noch mehr Großstädte weil alle hinziehen müssen und noch mehr Hilfsempfänger weil sie keinen Job mehr haben. Der Typ ist doch gestört. Wie alle Politiker auch.
Sprachs und setzte sich in den fetten A8.
Dummschwätzer regieren und beraten uns.)

And that’s still sort of an optimistic interpretation, because Straubhaar is hardly giving “Systemkritiker” advice. He  doesn’t even notice “Systemkritiker”.

It’s a general mood. People everywhere may be chronically angry at those who rule their countries. But Germans don’t occupy Wall Street, or the Frankfurt city. They vote – and as every leftist or rightist member of parliament seems to cause the moderate democrats huge pain, they’d better take the anger seriously.

If property on the Elbchaussee or in Bremen-Schwachhausen should need big fences and alarm equipment in future, this won’t do their value any good.

P.S.: I don’t agree with “Systemkritiker”. I’m almost sure that Mr. Straubhaar goes t work by bike. But the bike needs to be locked away at his working place, because it’s too good to get stolen.

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Previously by Tai De:

» No Communists at Deutsche Welle, but… March 11, 2012

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sino-Vietnamese Communique on South China Sea: “No Hostile Forces shall destroy our Party and State Relations

China’s and Vietnam’s party leaders – Hu Jintao and Nguyen Phu Trong –  signed a document early this week, the Agreement on Basic Principles concerning guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues (关于指导解决中越海上问题基本原则协议). It’s a particular bilateral agreement between the two countries, and not the same one as an earlier agreement between ASEAN and China, the Implementation Guidelines for the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea, of July this year.

International sources reported on the signing of the Agreement on Basic Principles concerning guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues as early as on Tuesday. The Chinese media seem to have followed with some delay. On Saturday night, it was CCTV‘s main evening newscast’s, Xinwen Lianbo‘s, turn:

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播) reporting the Sino-Vietnamese joint communique, October 15, 2011

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播), October 15, 2011: Li Xiuping (李修平) bares her fangs (click picture for link while it lasts)

CCTV’s rendition was mostly the same as the following one, by Xinhua news agency.

Links within blockquotes inserted during translation – JR.

Xinhua Newsagency Net, Beijing, October 15, by reporters Xiong Zhengyan, Liang Linlin.

新华网北京10月15日电(记者熊争艳、梁淋淋)

China’s and Vietnam’s joint statement, issued on October 15, says that the two sides exchanged frank views on maritime issues, and emphasizes the friendly discussion and resolution of disputes, and the political will and determination to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

中国与越南15日发表联合声明说,双方就海上问题坦诚交换意见,强调通过友好协商与谈判解决争议、维护南海和平稳定的政治意愿和决心。

The statement believes that this will be in line with the fundamental interest of the two countries, and the aspirations of their people, beneficial for regional peace, cooperation and development. The two party and country leaders will regularly communicate and keep a dialog about maritime issues between their countries, and, from a high political and strategic level, properly handle and solve maritime issues.

声明认为,这符合两国根本利益和两国人民的共同愿望,有利于本地区的和平、合作和发展。两党两国领导人将就中越海上问题保持经常性沟通和对话,从政治和战略高度及时指导海上问题的妥善处理和解决。

The statement says that both sides spoke highly of the “Agreement on Basic Principles concerning guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues”, and believe that this agreement has great guiding significance for the proper handling and resolution of maritime issues, and will be conscientiously implemented by both sides.

声明说,双方积极评价两国签署《关于指导解决中越海上问题基本原则协议》,认为该协议的签署对妥善处理和解决海上问题具有重要的指导意义,将共同努力认真落实协议。

The statement says that both sides will, in accordance with the two party and country leaders consensus and the “Agreement on Basic Principles concerning guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues”, intensify talks, seek mutually acceptable basic and lasting approaches to solutions, and actively pursue transitional and temporary approaches which will not affect either side’s respective positions and views, including active exploration and discussion of common development issues.

声明说,双方将根据两党两国领导人共识和《关于指导解决中越海上问题基本原则协议》,加大海上问题的谈判力度,寻求双方均能接受的基本和长久的解决办法,并积极探讨不影响各自立场和主张的过渡性、临时性解决办法,包括积极研究和商谈共同开发问题。

The statement says that the two sides will steadily promote discussion of Gulf of Tonkin (Beibu Gulf) sea border issues, and at the same time acively discuss common exploitation issues within these waters. They will actively promote maritime environmental protection, scientifc research, search-and-rescue operations, oil and gas exploration, disaster prevention and other fields of cooperation.

声明说,双方将稳步推进北部湾湾口外海域划界谈判,同时积极商谈该海域的共同开发问题。积极推进海洋环保、海洋科研、海上搜救、油气勘采、减灾防灾等领域的合作。

The statement says that before a final settlement of the maritime issues, both sides will work for the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, remain cool-headed and self-restrained,  and will take no action that would complicate or aggravate the dispute. They will allow no hostile forces to destroy the relations between the two parties and countries, and will handle emerging issues in a constructive manner, not letting them affect the relations between the two parties and the two countries, or peace and stability in the South China Sea.

声明说,在海上争议最终解决前,双方共同维护南海和平稳定,保持冷静和克制,不采取使争端复杂化、扩大化的行动。不让任何敌对势力破坏两党两国关系,并本着建设性的态度处理出现的问题,不使其影响两党两国关系和南海的和平稳定。

21 China News Net, a southern Chinese subsidiary of China Telecom, republished a Huanqiu Shibao article by Zhang Haiwen (张海文) and  Liu Qing (刘卿)  on Friday. It addresses the (apparently) main item of the party chairmens’ talks right away:

From the talks’ circumstances it can be seen that the leaders of both sides indicated the importance they attach to Sino-Vietnamese relations, and the continuing development of bilateral relations – which produced specific arrangements – has made it clear that the Chinese-Vietnamese relations are not “derailed”.

从会谈情况看,双方领导人都表明了对中越关系的高度重视,也对双边关系下一步的发展作出了具体部署和规划,这表明中越关系并未“脱轨”。

The two sides had shown a pragmatic attitude, the two authors laud the two party leaders, which was in line with Deng Xiaoping‘s “shelving disputes, common development” position (这符合邓小平提出的、我一贯坚持的“搁置争议、共同开发”主张).

Author Zhang Haiwen points out that she had always supported that kind of approach. Apparently, she’s deputy head (or director) of China Institute of Marine Development Strategy under the State Oceanic Administration. Indeed, the China Daily article quoting her in this capacity emphasizes the importance of a “bilateral approach”, even if Zhang herself isn’t quoted that way by China Daily. But in another article, on the issue’s legal aspects, she emphasizes that the  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was no appropriate standard by which the South China Sea issue could be resolved, and that China has always held that the disputes should be resolved through bilateral peaceful negotiations, based on historical facts and international laws, including the UNCLOS.

If Zhang had been part of Huanqiu‘s online collection of views on how to deal with China’s neighbors in the South China Sea dispute, she would have been counted into the “dovish” group there. That, of course, would only be true when taking Chinese domestic positions into account – no Chinese expert would (publicly) deviate from the CCP’s position in principle, anyway, which was declared a core interest some time in 2009 or 2010. A paper published in the Chinese Journal of International Law, written by Raul Pedrozo (a retired US naval officer) as an answer to an earlier paper by Zhang, suggested that

Zhang’s position on the EEZ [exclusive economic zones] exemplifies how Chinese scholars and government officials misuse the law to support China’s anti-access strategy in the maritime domain.

American involvement in the South China Sea disputes, Chinese deputy foreign minister Cui Tiankai said in June, would only made matters more complex.

That said, even if no hostile forces will be allowed to destroy the relations between the two parties and countries (China’s CCP and Vietnam’s CP – see Xinhua article at beginning of post), American aircraft carriers will remain welcome in the region. Vietnam not least will make sure. The issue won’t become a  merely bilateral one any time soon.

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Related

» Arrests after Demonstrations, Aug 22, 2011
» UNCLOS, UN.org, of December 10, 1982

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Irrefutable

Geng Yansheng, a defense ministry spokesman, said the necessity of acquiring an aircraft carrier for China comes from the fact that the country has a very long coastline and a large amount of territorial waters.

Chinese Ministry of Defense Website, August 2, 2011

(Given China’s definition of what is their amount of territorial waters, this is probably true.)

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