Posts tagged ‘soccer’

Monday, May 27, 2013

Press Review: Li Keqiang in Germany, and the only Disharmony

Xinhua, via Enorth (Tianjin), May 27, 2013 —

Chief state concillor Li Keqiang met with German president Gauck on Sunday.


Li Keqiang conveyed the cordial greetings and best wishes from chairman Xi Jinping. Li Keqiang said that current Sino-German relations were continuously reaching new developments on a high level, with both countries facing rare opportunities. With Merkel, we have deepened the Sino-German strategic partnership, and we held talks about strengthening cooperation in all kinds of fields. The two sides have issued a press communiqué, clearly stating the key areas and the direction of cooperation for our two countries. China is looking forward to strengthen dialog and exchange with Germany on the principles of respect and equal treatment, to enhancing understanding and mutual trust, to jointly cope with challenges.

李克强转达了习近平主席的亲切问候和良好祝愿。李克强说,当前中德关系在高水平上不断取得新发展,两国合作面临难得机遇。我同默克尔总理就深化中德战略伙 伴关系、加强各领域合作举行了很好的会谈,双方发表联合新闻公报,明确两国重点领域合作方向。中方愿本着相互尊重、平等相待的原则,同德方加强对话交流, 增进了解和互信,共同应对挑战。

Discussing China’s development and domestic situation, Li Keqiang said that all along during the past thirty years, China had moved forward, and the economy had achieved huge successes. Construction of a democratic legal system and the cause of human rights had constantly progressed. As a big developing country with 1.3 billion inhabitants, China’s path towards modernization was still long. We are acting from our own country’s national situation [国情, guóqíng, also translated as national characteristics or national circumstances sometimes], adhere to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and at the same time, we want to draw on the civilizational achievements and experiences to achieve comprehensive development even better.


Gauck welcomed Li Keqiang to Germany and asked him to convey his cordial greetings to Xi Jinping. Gauck said that Germany and China both had a long history and magnificent cultures, and relations between the two countries had developed fine in recent years. Germany admires the achievements of China’s economic and social development and wants to strengthen cooperation and dialog with China in politics, economics, the humanities and other fields, and to promote further development in the relations of the two countries.


Li also met with Brandenburg’s minister-president Matthias Platzeck in the regional capital Potsdam, next to Berlin. In Potsdam,visiting Cecilienhof Castle there,

Rheinische Post (RP) onkine, May 26, 2013 —

Li Keqiang re-emphaszized his country’s claim on an uninhabited group of islands in the East China Sea. Japan had to hand the territories back to China. “This was a hard-earned fruit of victory”, Li said, pointing to international post-war agreements. The islands, contested between the two countries, had once been stolen from China by Japan.

Li Keqiang bekräftigte in Potsdam den Anspruch seines Landes auf eine unbewohnte Inselgruppe im Ostchinesischen Meer. Japan müsse die Territorien an China zurückgeben. “Das war die Frucht des Sieges, der hart erkämpft wurde”, sagte Li unter Verweis auf internationale Abkommen der Nachkriegszeit. Die zwischen beiden Ländern seit langem umstrittenen Inseln seien China einst von Japan gestohlen worden.

Märkische Allgemeine, May 26, 2013 —

In front of the castle [Cecilienhof], some flurry arose when two Tibet activists wanted to register a spontaneous demonstration. Security forces stopped the protest “along the route of protocol”, as a police spokesman told the MAZ [Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung].

Vor dem Schloss kam kurz Unruhe auf, als zwei Tibet-Aktivisten eine spontane Demonstration anmelden wollten. Sicherheitskräfte unterbanden jedoch den Protest “entlang der Protokollstrecke”, wie ein Polizeisprecher gegenüber der MAZ sagte.

Platzeck, whose heart beats for Dortmund, revealed that the Chinese guest was a soccer fan and that they had talked about the game [between Borussia and Bayern], too. It had turned out that Keqiang had more been in favor of Bayern Munich. That, however, had been the only disharmony between the two politicians, Platzeck assured.

Platzeck, dessen Herz für Dortmund schlug, verriet, dass der chinesische Gast ein Fußball-Fan sei und man auch über das Spiel am Vorabend gesprochen habe. Dabei stellte sich heraus, dass Keqiang eher für den FC Bayern gehalten habe. Dies, so versicherte Platzeck, sei aber die einzige Disharmonie zwischen den beiden Politikern gewesen.



» Merkel vows, Bloomberg, May 27, 2013
» Industriousness and Wisdom, Jan 9, 2011
» Full of Vitality and Vigor, July 16, 2010


Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Bread, but .Circuses: German Public Diplomacy towards Greece

German member of federal parliament Hans-Joachim Fuchtel will be in Greece from March 25 to 28, according to Fuchtel’s website. The speaker of Baden-Württemberg’s state parliament, Guido Wolf, and a number of other experts from various regions will also be part of the group tour.

Their motto: “Encouraging our Greek friends!”

Not entertaining enough: German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Not entertaining enough: German dowager empress chancellor Angela Merkel.

And no, Angela Merkel won’t travel along. I mean, seriously, that wouldn’t be encouraging. Instead, Fuchtel proudly presents Otto Rehhagel, once a successful coach for the Greek national soccer team.

Maybe there are some hidden champions among the experts, with one good economic and political ideas. As for Rehhagel’s mission, Inside Greece sees his assignment as the latest attempt at low-level micro-diplomacy between Germany and Greece:

To send a soccer coach into this environment hoping that he will make a difference is shoddy and shortsighted but absolutely in keeping with the way this crisis has been handled.

Then again, Rehhagel may be able to explain what went wrong, as he did on a press conference after losing against Sweden, in the Euro soccer championship of 2008 –

Q: We have seen that even Germany plays with much more offensive power than usual. Can we expect something of this kind from Greece, too?

A: Of course, we would like to score. But we are a team that scores rarely, as statistics show. We need to stand securely at the back so as to score once, maybe.

But his most recent rescue mission, in Berlin, went wrong. Hertha needs a bailout fund for the coming years, he said in 2012, pondering what would happen if the club, coached by him, would be relegated to the Second Bundesliga. That’s where the club is now.

Politics comes without a sense of history these days – with one exception. Frequently, when the talk is about “more Europe”, we are warned that the alternative of that would be “war”.

But German public diplomacy towards Greece is about bread and circuses. Minus the bread, that is. If public diplomacy is about adding insult to injury, this is certainly a great approach.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

European Soccer Championship and Radio

Netherlands vs. Denmark: no Radio Nederland shortwave transmission, no transmission on the two Dutch medium waves – but the BBC World Service covers the game in the 13 m band – for Africa, and for JR.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Observations

bluebottles et al

bluebottles et al

Days are growing shorter, and it’s mostly dry again. An old neighboring couple with a lot of patience is bringing up a young swallow which fell from the nest, with lots of flies (we’ve contributed some, too), and some meat, cut into small pieces. Just like many other birds, swallows ornery take a few steps back, before shitting on the table, or on someone’s neck.

It’s going to be full moon, soon.

German television can’t be put on par with the internet. The internet can’t be put on par with nature. Just a bottle of beer and one schnapps can make you dizzy if you haven’t had any for weeks.

Womens’ soccer can’t be put on par with mens’ soccer. The combine harvesters have taken to the fields, to get started with winter barley.

Once in a while, I won’t know the day of the week right away. The summer vacations are here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cadres: We want to be Loved by You

Germany and China signed ten agreements on trade and relations during German chancellor Angela Merkel‘s visit to China, reports Bloomberg. If materialized, they would amount to 4.4 bn US dollars. In what Der Spiegel describes as a harmonious meeting between Merkel and Chinese chief state councillor Wen Jiabao, the political leaders discussed business, international initiatives such as joint action against climate change, and the openness of markets. It’s Merkel’s fourth visit to China as chancellor of Germany. According to AFP / the Sydney Morning Herald, Merkel prodded China to ease access to its markets.

“Chinese companies, like those of many other countries, enjoy very good access to the German market. We hope that German enterprises can enjoy the same access to the Chinese market,” she said.

On June 29, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC) published a business survey which, depending on interpretation, suggests that survey respondents are generally optimistic about growth in their respective business sectors in China, or that Chinese rules are unpredictable.

On Friday morning, during one-and-a-half hours of talks at the Great Hall of the People’s Fujian Hall, on a light note, Wen told Merkel that the German national soccer team’s performance had widened Germany’s influence in China, as it had been full of vitality and vigor. And during the following Sino-German Dialog Forum (中德对话论坛), the head of the Chinese side of the forum, CPPCC vice chairman Xu Kuangdi (徐匡迪) quoted latest surveys saying that every second German held a positive view of China, while 90 per cent of the Chinese public viewed Germany positively, which, he suggested, could have something to do with the world cup.

The Chinese leadership pushes for EU recognition of China as a market economy, writes Der Spiegel. It’s not a matter of face, but of leverage in international negotiations, and a status that would make it difficult to accuse China of trade manipulations. The Asia Times explained more than five years ago what is involved:

[…] Having full market economy status (MES) is a valuable legal and trade appellation with implications for the issue of dumping, a major issue in the West.
Eventually MES will give Beijing extra leverage in negotiations when Chinese companies are accused of dumping their products at an unfairly low price on a foreign market.
Being a real market economy means, among other things, that the production costs of all goods and services are subject to the demands of market forces, without state interventions such as subsidies or price controls. This is important when a country is accused of exporting products at a price below their real production costs – or dumping, thereby shutting out those who “play by the rules”.

Meeting criteria isn’t the only factor. By the time the Asia Times published the article, three small countries – Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore – had recognized China as a full market economy. The big prizes, however, are the United States and the European Union. The Asia Times also provides an overview of how the market economy status of a country is evaluated.

China didn’t yet meet all requirements for such recognition, Merkel explained after her meeting with Wen, and added that intellectual property issues needed to be clarified.

While Xu Kuangdi only cited surveys concerning China’s image in Germany and vice versa, Yu Xiang, research fellow with European studies of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, suggests that while “Germany’s objective and impartial stance on the issue of China’s renminbi exchange rate and the Taiwan question has created a positive political atmosphere between the two nations, “the German media, as well as some in the political and economic spheres, have expressed irrational antipathy toward the Asian nation“. “Some German media outlets have even lashed out at the Chinese government, doubting its legitimacy and governance ability.

In discussions with cadres at the Communist Party’s Central Academy (中共中央党校) on Friday afternoon, Merkel was asked why the EU arms embargo was still in place. Merkel replied that the embargo wasn’t there  because of suspicions that Beijing might have “aggressive intentions”, but because of the state China was in domestically. People in Europe were “highly sensitive” about human rights in China. According to the same report by Der Spiegel, Wen Jiabao advised the friends at the media to provide more coverage about the bright sides of Sino-German relations.

Also on Friday afternoon, Merkel had a meeting with Chinese party and state chairman Hu Jintao.


“Euro Investment Continues”, BBC News, July 16, 2010
Shanghai Expo: Waiting Messages, May 18, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lawlessness under the German Flag

Lawlessness under the German Flag

Lawlessness under the German Flag

People celebrating the German team’s four scores yesterday were fired at,  apparently from the neighborhood, in Bremerhaven. Two of the fans were reportedly injured with air gun bullets, one of them while at the wheel of a car participating in the party.

I love soccer, but I dislike much of the “fan culture”. Many flag-vaving people probably know little about soccer, and they seem to believe it’s a god-given right to turn themselves into a big festive nuisance with a chorus of klaxons. In fact, it’s an irregularity, and a silly one at that.

Which is no excuse for opening fire. But I can’t see why a huge piece of entertainment business – and that’s what the world soccer cup is after all – should entitle people to disturbing neighbors either. My feeling is that the shootist(s) and his/their targets (if indeed participants in the parade) were part of the same kind of audience. Shit happens when too many people are losing the plot.

Zi-lu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?”
The Master replied, “What is necessary to rectify names.”
“So! indeed!” said Zi-lu. “You are wide off the mark! Why must there be such rectification?”
The Master said, “How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish.
When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded.
When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”
(Analects XIII, 3, tr. Legge)

Meantime, some of the press seems to be at war with the names, too. Scenes from a defeated country, Der Spiegel‘s online edition subtitled one of its  reports from England. Or, as the Hanoverian Rat sees it:

Gosh! So the BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) liveticker ran the first verse of our national anthem – “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”! And a mindful Spiegel Online reader took notice! That was really important.

But we are at war, aren’t we? Didn’t we defeat England yesterday? Didn’t you say that yourself?

May I tell you, the one who chose this glorious subtitle, something? Either you haven’t quite got over the – failed, after all – Blitzkrieg, or you confused the two halves of the playing field in Bloemfontein with Merry Old England – the Lions caught two firebombs goals on each side of it, didn’t they?

In the latter case, I suppose you are either a jerk, or wish to be considered one.

What I suppose for the former case – please don’t ask me.

Yours truly

Tai De


Dumbing Down, June 20, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Vacation


summer 2010

The last few days of June are said to be indicative for the summer that comes. This would suggest a long and pleasant summer, except for people who dislike heatwaves.

Yesterday felt like summer. The vacation started on Thursday, and I started realizing it when fencing a paddock with an informal cooperative building society and listening to live coverage of how the German team, plus linesman Mauricio Espinosa and referee Jorge Larrionda (to keep to the complete story), kept the English on the wrong foot.

I grew up with radio, rather than television, coverage of soccer games. A good radio reporter can frequently tell you a goal before it is actually scored, just by using his or her voice. Sabine Töpperwien and Edgar Endres who covered yesterday’s knockout game are reporters of that category. Being a radio reporter is probably much more demanding than commenting pictures.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Soccer Cup: The Three Measurements

Each of the 34 Chinese models represents one team participating in the South Africa World Soccer Cup 2010, in a babe parade (世界杯宝贝). Maybe it’s a good omen for the German team. After all, 白姝羽 or Crystalher three measurements (三围): 84/60/89 -, is carrying the trophy, and she, umm, represents Germany.

World Soccer Cup: The 34 Represents

World Soccer Cup: Four out of 34 Represents

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