Posts tagged ‘spring’

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Li Keqiang’s Consolation Tour: addressing Unpaid-Wage issues

The State Council’s (or Chinese government) website carried an article about a visit by Chief State Councillor Li Keqiang to Yunnan Province, some five days ahead of Spring Festival. The article contains a photo, apparently showing Li comforting a migrant worker’s family in their home.



As usual during the season of hope and goodwill, Li has to take care of the darker sides of China’s economic development.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

On January 23, Li Keqiang came to the newly constructed home of Gan Yonrong’s family, in Ganjiazhai, Ludian County, Yunnan Province. On learning that the young man, who secured a six-person family’s livelihood by working out of town, had seen his wage payments being delayed by more than a year, the chief state councillor became “angry” right away [and said]: He is the family’s main support, and to hurt him means hurting his entire family. This violates market rules, and it violates virtue and conscience even more. There is no way that migrant workers who have to leave their hometown to do hard work should have to add tears to their sweat.


On February 3, the first working day after Spring Festival, the State Council’s standing committee was convened, and one of the topics was exactly how to solve migrant workers’ delayed payment with the establishment of an effective system. The meeting decided to launch dedicated regulation and supervision, to focus on exposing typical cases, to seriously investigate illegal behavior of wages arrears, including already recorded cases, and to resolutely strike at the illegal and criminal behavior of evil-intentioned wages arrears. In particular, cases where government project funding delays led to delays in wage payments.



The standing committee’s meeting had been determined by the Chief State Councillor prior to the Spring Festival. On January 23, as Li Keqiang was inspecting post-earthquake reconstruction work in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, several locals from the disaster area working masses had made their problems with delayed wages known to the Chief State Councillor. On the spot, Li Keqiang instructed the accompanying local and departmental officials in charge that they should help [the workers] with their legal wage demands as quickly as possible, and to investigate the problem. After the Chief State Councillor had spoken, the departments and local officials in charge helped the migrant workers within 48 hours to “discuss” an answer to the delayed wage payments.


“We can’t solve only a small number of cases, but we must build a long-term effective system to solve this chronic evil from the roots.” On the three-day meeting, Li Keqiang said, “governments on all levels must catch up with this over and over again, and grasp it completely!”


The second chapter of the article quotes Li as using the words “anger” (愤怒), “pain” (痛心), and “embarrassment (尴尬)” to describe his feelings in his encounter with the petitioners.

In Ludian, I ran into that migrant worker whose wife had been killed in the earthquake, and his family’s farmland had been lost, too. Now, there’s still the old mother, three sons, and one younger brother who attends upper-mediate school. The entire family depends on the money he earns with his work away from home. He is his family’s backbone!” Li Keqiang said: “Where is the conscience of companies who have the nerves to delay the wages of working masses from disaster areas who have to work away from their hometown?”


As he was leaving the home of this migrant worker, Li Keqiang asked people at the public square of the village who had encountered problems with “delayed wages” in reconstruction work. On repeated questions from the Chief State Councillor, several migrant workers hesitantly raised their hands. One of them couldn’t hold back his tears after having spoken two sentences.


Their work’s pay is extremely important for migrant workers. If they don’t get their money, that’s a devastating blow to them!”, Li Keqiang said passionately. “Migrant workers are an important supporting force in the several decades of our country’s rapid development. They have made an enormous contribution to the economic and social development. If their efforts don’t get their appropriate remuneration, it will not only do great damage to their families, but will also bring a vile influence on society.”


With added emphasis, he said that this issue was about fairness and justice in society. This is a bottomline which must not be crossed!


The article’s third and fourth chapters are basically more of the same message, but contain an interesting (to me) bit of vocabulary. Li Keqiang’s inspection tour in Yunnan is referred to as a grassroots-level consolation and inspection tour (基层慰问考察), and the issue of “delayed payment” is linked to emloyment and development policies in general (更加积极的就业政策).

Finally, the article quotes Li as advocating (or prescribing) “not only an implementation of the responsibility of governments of all levels, but to build a coordinating network without barriers between local governments”, given that many cases of wage delays among migrant workers occur “at construction projects” outside the workers’ home provinces.

“People’s Daily” republished the government website’s article, although they left out the photo.

While the government website article, designed for a domestic audience, comes across as somewhat wage (as for the actual effects migrant workers may expect from Li Keqiang’s endeavors), foreign broadcaster China Radio International (CRI) presents the State Council standing committee’s decisions in a much more positive way, at least at first glance.



You name the Problem, Febr 15, 2011
So together with the People, Dec 31, 2010


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tibetan New Year, and The Role of the Exiles

I’ve known many of you for a long time and now we’re all showing signs of age. I was 24 years old when our exile began and I’m nearly 79 now. Meanwhile the spirit of our people in Tibet is still strong; they have a strength that has been passed down generation to generation. Wherever we are, we shouldn’t forget that we are Tibetans. Those of us in exile number about 150,000, but what is most important is that the spirit of those in Tibet remains alive, they are the bosses. And it’s because of the hope they have placed in us that we have to keep our cause alive.

The Dalai Lama, addressing Tibetans in Los Angeles on Thursday. He is scheduled to celebrate Tibetan New Year on March 2, with the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.



» Zhu Weiqun: keep calm, Feb 23, 2013


Monday, February 10, 2014

And now for the not-so-pleasant Reform Tasks: the Fat Years are Over, Xi Jinping tells Russian TV

The following is a translation of a Xinhua article, as carried by several Chinese websites. Links within blockquote added during translation into English. the article quotes excerpts from an interview conducted between Xi Jinping and Russian television.

The closing remarks by Xi about the end of the pleasant reforms may be, but don’t have to be an indication that times could get tougher for Chinese citizens in economic terms. It may just as well suggest that the task of governing China is becoming more difficult for the leaders, or simply to understate China’s prospects in front of a Russian audience. This kind of “deep sigh” seems to run through the China-related paragraphs of the interview. Either way, the interview has now been published in Chinese online media, too.

From February 6 to 8, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping went to the southern Russian coastal city of Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the twenty-second Olympic Games. While in Russia, Xi Jinping also held a bilateral meeting with Russian president Putin. He also gave an interview to Russian television, answering anchor Buliliaofu’s [Chinese phonetics of a Russian name] questions about the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Sino-Russian relations, the prospects of China’s comprehensive and deepened reform and development, and other questions.

2月6日至8日,中国 国家主席习近平赴俄罗斯南部海滨城市索契出席第二十二届冬季奥林匹克运动会开幕式。在俄期间,习近平还与俄总统普京举行了双边会晤。习近平还接受了俄罗斯 电视台的专访,就索契冬奥会、中俄关系、中国全面深化改革和发展前景等问题回答了主持人布里廖夫提问。

Q: What’s your impression of Sochi?

A: This is my first visit to Sochi, but I have heard about Sochi before. When I was young, I read the novel “How the Steel was Tempered”, which Ostrovsky completed right here in Sochi. Legend has it that Prometheus was exiled to the mountains around Sochi, and Sochi has preserved many Roman and Byzantine empire remains, which should tell that Sochi is a city with a time-honored culture.

Sochi’s geographic position is special, in that it belongs to the northernmost region with subtropical climate. From what I have seen and heard here, this is all true. All four seasons of the year are green, the skies and seas are blue, with very good natural alpine ski areas. The people of Sochi are very friendly and hospitable. Sochi is very vital, charming, and the perfect place for holding the Winter Olympic Games. After the Winter Olympic Games, this place will be even better known, and many people, including Chinese tourists, will come here.


索 契地理位置特殊,是地球最北端唯一属于亚热带气候的地区。这次来索契,所见所闻,果然名不虚传。这里四季常绿,蓝蓝的天,蓝蓝的海,有很好的天然高山雪 场。索契人民热情好客。索契很有活力,很有魅力,举办冬奥会再适合不过了。索契冬奥会之后,这里的名声会更大,更多的人包括中国游客会慕名而来。

Q: What are your hopes for the Chinese delegation’s performance during the Sochi Winter Olympics?

A: China still lags behind in winter sports, especially when it comes to countries that are strong in these fields. In recent years, we have made rather quick progress in ice-skating, with some strengths in free-style skiing. This morning, I met some athletes and coaches of the Chinese sports delegation. The Chinese athletes have made great training efforts, they will carry forward the Olympic spirit, will overcome their selves, go beyond themselves, and develop to their best levels.

Meantime, the Chinese cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou  have officially put forward their joint application to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. We are also here to learn from the Russian people, from the Russian athletes, from the strong Russian sports disciplines, and the successful Russian methodology in holding the Winter Olympic Games.

中国冬季运动项 目特别是滑雪项目竞技水平同冰雪运动强国相比还有较大差距。近些年,我们在滑冰项目上进步较快,在自由式滑雪空中技巧等项目上具备一定实力。今天上午,我 见了中国体育代表团部分运动员、教练员。中国运动员为参加索契冬奥会做了艰苦训练,他们会发扬奥林匹克精神,努力战胜自我、超越自我,发挥自己的最好水 平。


Q: You will soon have served as China’s state chairman for a year. How does it feel to be the leader of such a big country?

A: China is a country with a territory of 9.6 million square kilometers, fifty-six nationalities, 1.3 billion inhabitants, with a level of economic development that isn’t very high so far, with the people’s standard of living also not being very high yet. To govern such a country isn’t easy. One has to have a long-term perspective, but be down-to-earth, too. In the past, I have worked in many different places in China. I know very well that from China’s east to its west, from the local to the central level, the differences are too big. Therefore, to be a Chinese leader, one has to understand the issues clearly, to make overall plans while taking all factors into consideration, to maintain an overlall balance, to highlight the key issues, [to mobilize what is pivotal?] , and sometimes, you have to drop small things to grasp big things, […], or figuratively speaking, it takes ten fingers to play the piano.

中国有960万平方公里国土,56个民族,13亿多人口,经济社会发展水平还不高,人民生活水平也还不高,治理这样一个国家很不容易,必须登高望远,同时 必须脚踏实地。我曾在中国不同地方长期工作,深知中国从东部到西部,从地方到中央,各地各层级方方面面的差异太大了。因此,在中国当领导人,必须在把情况 搞清楚的基础上,统筹兼顾、综合平衡,突出重点、带动全局,有的时候要抓大放小、以大兼小,有的时候又要以小带大、小中见大,形象地说,就是要十个指头弹 钢琴。

Q: Last year, when you had just become state chairman, the first country you visited was Russia. This year, right after New Year, the first country you visit is once again Russia. The Russian people feel heartened by this. What were your considerations when making this decision?

A: Yesterday, I looked back together with President Putin, during our meeting. I am very satisfied with the development of Sino-Russian relations. This is a time when the development of Sino-Russian relations has the most solid foundations, the highest degree of mutual trust, and the greatest degree of regional and global influence. Visits between friends narrow distance, between relatives bring closeness. Holding the Winter Olympic Games is a happy occasion for Russia, and a great event for the international Olympic movement. China and Russia are good neighbors, good friends, and good partners. I and President Putin are old friends. According to the tradition of Chinese people, when neighbors and friends have a happy occasion at their homes, one obviously wants to congratulate and to participate together with the Russian people.



Q: The 18th central committee’s third plenary session passed the decision to comprehensively deepen reform and on several other important issues. You are the head of the leading group [or steering group, 领导小组]. What is your governing philosophy?


A: To focus the abilities to promote reform, we have formed the central leading group for the comprehensive deepening of reform, headed by me. The task is to unify, deploy and to coordinate some important issues. I have called this “one-tenth deployment, nine-tenths implementation”.

In a country like China with 1.3 billion people, it isn’t easy to deepen reform. After 30 years of reform, China has entered the deep water [or blue water], and all the pleasant reforms have been completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones. This requires our courage, and steady moves. Courage means to push reform even when it is difficult, and to prove worthy, to tackle the hard bones, and to enter dangerous shoals. Steadiness is about keeping to the accurate direction, driving steadily, and, above all, to avoid disruptive mistakes.

To summarize my governing philosophy, it is to serve the people and to assume the responsibilities that are my duties.


在中国这样一个拥有13亿多人口的国家深化改革,绝非易事。中国改革经过30多年,已进入深水区,可以说,容易的、皆大欢喜的改革已经完成了, 好吃的肉都吃掉了,剩下的都是难啃的硬骨头。这就要求我们胆子要大、步子要稳。胆子要大,就是改革再难也要向前推进,敢于担当,敢于啃硬骨头,敢于涉险 滩。步子要稳,就是方向一定要准,行驶一定要稳,尤其是不能犯颠覆性错误。


Monday, February 3, 2014

CCTV Chunwan Gala: Probably not Doing as Bad as Reported

Global Voices had an article a few days ago, on Chinese TV’s (CCTV) New Year’s Gala show, broadcast last Thursday night local time. It’s often been said that the show is losing its former luster. That may be true. But I seem to be getting some hunches that the decline of the show is often overstated.

For one, views expressed on the internet are overstated. The Global Voices article suggests that, according to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of the viewers were extremely disappointed in the program this year. True, but these sixty percent of viewers expressed their view on the internet, according to the source quoted there. 21,721 people apparently participated in the online survey, and they judged not the show itself, but rather the list of scheduled events during the show.

That said, the show, first broadcast on New Year’s Eve in 1983, is losing appeal, even according to a survey quoted by China Radio International (CRI). The poll in question is said to have been conducted by China Youth Daily on February 28 – i. e., also a vote on the schedule than on the show as aired. 55.4 percent found that the show was outdated. 102,791 people reportedly participated in the China-Youth-Daily survey.

I’m even suggesting that many of the young today who detest the show may get to like it as they grow older and become more conservative. From a demographic perspective, China isn’t a young country anymore, and it is greying rapidly.

All the same, Global Voices offers a summary of the gala which is worth reading. The intentions behind the production are probably interpreted fairly accurately, and two videos are included as samples.

The complete show will be somewhere on the internet.



» An estimated 700 mn, BBC blog, Jan 31, 2014
» How boring, “Global Times”, Jan 28, 2014
» No toothless Rocker, Jan 18, 2014


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Seasons: Cool May, some Rainy Days in June

This could become a rather wet summer.

This could become a rather wet summer.

Make rain your friend ...

Make rain your friend …

... not your enemy.

… not your enemy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Third Year of Gardening

Every year, some more square meters of the thick lawn are turning grey as I’m digging it over. Lots of couch grass in between, but I’m in no mood of using herbicides.

cat in the sun

There’s nothing like the warmth of dug-up earth …

five cats on the window ledge

… except bird-spotting from the window ledge, maybe.



» Spring by Day, April 3, 2013


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Early April: Spring by Day, Winter by Night

Update/Reading Recommendation:
The Historical Roots of Defensive Fundamentalism in North Korea,
Sino-NK, April 3, 2013

Spring at day, winter at night.

Spring by day, winter by night.

Compare this picture with that one of 2011, and you may find that April 2013 looks like February 2011 in this place. Spring is late, to put it mildly, but it seems to be coming in now.

Sprinkling the cottonwood plants.

Sprinkling the cottonwood plants.

Dry as usual, though, with the exception of occasional snowfall at night – and the wind has dried the brushwood to a degree that the authorities have released fire alerts.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stock Taking: Old Cadres and active Dangwais

1. Visiting

Xinhua — February 7, 19:49 local time.

On the eve of Spring Festival, party and state leaders have themselves separately visited or assigned comrades to visit Jiang Zemin (江泽民), Li Peng (李鹏), Wan Li (万里), Qiao Shi (乔石), Zhu Rongji (朱镕基), Li Ruihuan (李瑞环), Song Ping (宋平), Wei Jianxing (尉健行), Li Lanqing (李岚清), Zeng Qinghong (曾庆红), Wu Guanzheng (吴官正), Li Changchun (李长春), Luo Gan (罗干), He Guoqiang (贺国强), Zhou Yongkang (周永康) and Zhang Jinfu (张劲夫), Zheng Tianxiang (郑天翔), Liu Fuzhi (刘复之), Tian Jiyun (田纪云), Chi Haotian (迟浩田), Zhang Wannian (张万年), Jiang Chunyun (姜春云), Qian Qichen (钱其琛), Wang Lequan (王乐泉), Liu Qi (刘淇), Wu Yi (吴仪), Cao Gangchuan (曹刚川), Zeng Peiyan (曾培炎), Wang Hanbin (王汉斌), Zhang Zhen (张震), He Yong (何勇), Ni Zhifu (倪志福), Wang Bingqian (王丙乾), Zou Jiahua (邹家华), Wang Guangying (王光英), Bu He (布赫), Tiemu’er Dawamaiti (铁木尔·达瓦买提), Peng Peiyun (彭珮云), Zhou Guangzhao (周光召), Cao Zhi (曹志), Li Tieying (李铁映), Simayi Aimaiti (司马义·艾买提), He Luli (何鲁丽), Ding Shisun (丁石孙), Cheng Siwei (成思危), Xu Jialu (许嘉璐), Jiang Zhenghua (蒋正华), Gu Xiulian (顾秀莲), Re Di (热地), Sheng Huaren (盛华仁), Tang Jiaxuan (唐家璇), Xiao Yang (肖扬), Han Zhubin (韩杼滨), Jia Chunwang (贾春旺), Ye Xuanping (叶选平), Yang Rudai (杨汝岱), Ren Jianxin (任建新), Song Jian (宋健), Qian Zhengying (钱正英), Sun Fuling (孙孚凌), Wan Guoquan (万国权), Hu Qili (胡启立), Chen Jinhua (陈锦华), Zhao Nanqi (赵南起), Mao Zhiyong (毛致用), Wang Wenyuan (王文元), Wang Zhongyu (王忠禹), Li Guixian (李贵鲜), Zhang Siqing (张思卿), Luo Haocai (罗豪才), Zhang Kehui (张克辉), Hao Jianxiu (郝建秀), Xu Kuangdi (徐匡迪), Zhang Huaixi (张怀西), Li Meng (李蒙), Deng Liqun (邓力群) and other comrades, offered their sincere [cordial] holiday greetings, sincerely wish the old comrades a happy Spring Festival, health, and a long life.

新华网北京2月7日电 春节前夕,党和国家领导人分别看望或委托有关方面负责同志看望了江泽民、李鹏、万里、乔石、朱镕基、李瑞环、宋平、尉健行、李岚清、曾庆红、吴官正、李长春、罗干、贺国强、周永康和张劲夫、郑天翔、刘复之、田纪云、迟浩田、张万年、姜春云、钱其琛、王乐泉、刘淇、吴仪、曹刚川、曾培炎、王汉斌、张震、何勇、倪志福、王丙乾、邹家华、王光英、布赫、铁木尔·达瓦买提、彭珮云、周光召、曹志、李铁映、司马义·艾买提、何鲁丽、丁石孙、成思危、许嘉璐、蒋正华、顾秀莲、热地、盛华仁、唐家璇、肖扬、韩杼滨、贾春旺、叶选平、杨汝岱、任建新、宋健、钱正英、孙孚凌、万国权、胡启立、陈锦华、赵南起、毛致用、王文元、王忠禹、李贵鲜、张思卿、罗豪才、张克辉、郝建秀、徐匡迪、张怀西、李蒙、邓力群等老同志,向老同志们致以亲切的节日问候,衷心祝愿老同志们新春愉快、健康长寿。

Pronunciation problems? Speak after Kang Hui! (click picture for news recording.)

Pronunciation problems? Speak after Kang Hui! (click picture for news recording.)

The old comrades expressed their thanks and their hope that the entire party, the entire state, and all nationalities would be closely united around Comrade Xi Jinping as the secretary general of the central committee of the CCP, that they would hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, that they would liberate their thinking, unswergingly stay on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics by [carrying on with] reform and opening up, by chohesion cohesion of forces to overcome difficulties, all under the guidance of the Deng Xiaoping Theories, the important ideology [or thought] of the “Three Represents”, and the concept of scientific development, to achieve the tasks issued by the party’s 18th national congress, to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society.



2. Regrets Only

XinhuaFebruary 2, February 8, reporter Zhang Shuo.

On February 6, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng and others gathered at Zhongnanhai with non-party members  to celebrate Spring Festival together. On the eve of the traditional Spring Festival holidays of the Chinese people, CCP central committee secretary general and central military commission chairman Xi Jinping invited people from all democratic parties’ central committees, old and new leaders from the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and personalities without party membership to gather at Zhongnanhai on Wednesday afternoon to welcome Spring Festival together. On behalf of the central committee of the CCP, he expressed sincere greetings and holiday wishes to all democratic parties, the Federation of Industry and Commerce and to personalities without party membership, and to the broad membership of the United Front.



本报北京2月7日电 (记者张烁)在中国人民的传统节日春节即将到来之际,中共中央总书记、中共中央军委主席习近平2月6日下午在中南海邀请各民主党派中央、全国工商联新老领 导人和无党派人士代表欢聚一堂,共迎新春。他代表中共中央,向各民主党派、工商联和无党派人士,向统一战线广大成员,致以诚挚的问候和新春的祝福。

CCP politburo standing committee member and deputy chief state councillor Li Keqiang, politburo standing committee member Yu Zhengsheng, CCP politburo member and General Office of the Communist Party of China director Li Zhanshu attended.


Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang central committee chairman Wan Exiang, China Democratic League central committee chairman Zhang Baowen, China Democratic National Construction Association central committee chairman Chen Changzhi, China Association for Promoting Democracy central committee chairman Yan Juanqi, Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party central committee chairman Chen Zhu, and China Zhi Gong Party central committee chairman Wan Gang, Jiusan Society central committee chairman Han Qide, Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League central committee chairman Lin Wenyi, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce chairman Wang Qinmin, non-party-membership personalities’ representative Lin Yifu and others followed the invitation.


Yan Junqi spoke for the democratic parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and for the personalities without party membership. She said that the year that had just passed had been a journey with important meaning, the CCP’s 18th national congress had clearly stated the general basis of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the general layout, and the general tasks. […]

严隽琪代表各民主党派、全国工商联和无党派人士致辞。她表示,刚刚过去的一年在我国发展征程上具有极其重要的意义,中共十八大明确了中国特色社会主义的总依据、总布局、总任务。 […..]


Xi Jinping pointed out that democratic supervision needed to be strengthened further. The CCP needed to accomodate sharp criticism and accept valid criticism  (有则改之、无则加勉). People without CCP membership should have the courage to speak the truth, including bitter truths, Authentically reflect the aspirations of the masses, and speak their minds without reservation. He hoped that the comrades would actively build on counsel and criticism, as this would help us to investigate problems, analyse problems, solve problems, and help us to overcome work shortcomings. All CCP levels needed to take the initiative to accept and sincerely welcome the supervision from democratic parties and non-party-membership personalities, practically improve their work styles, continuously improve their working levels.

[Following emphasis (bold characters) by Xinhua/source]


People in charge at all democratic parties’ central committees, the All China ———– and departments responsible attended the activity.

各民主党派中央、全国工商联有关负责人及中央有关部门负责人参加活动。 ____________


» Learning Chinese with the CCP, Jan 31, 2011
» Unbelievable Justice, Sept 12, 2009


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