Posts tagged ‘spring’

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.

老同志们对此表示感谢,希望全党全国各族人民紧密团结在以习近平同志为总书记的党中央周围,高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,以邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想、科学发展观为指导,解放思想,改革开放,凝聚力量,攻坚克难,坚定不移沿着中国特色社会主义道路前进,为实现党的十八大提出的各项任务、全面建成小康社会而奋斗。

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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.

2月6日,习近平、李克强、俞正声等在中南海同党外人士欢聚一堂,共迎新春。

[…..]

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.

中共中央政治局常委、国务院副总理李克强,中共中央政治局常委俞正声,中共中央政治局委员、中央办公厅主任栗战书出席。

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.

民革中央主席万鄂湘、民盟中央主席张宝文、民建中央主席陈昌智、民进中央主席严隽琪、农工党中央主席陈竺、致公党中央主席万钢、九三学社中央主席韩启德、台盟中央主席林文漪、全国工商联主席王钦敏、无党派人士代表林毅夫等应邀出席。

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]

习近平指出,要继续加强民主监督。对中国共产党而言,要容得下尖锐批评,做到有则改之、无则加勉;对党外人士而言,要敢于讲真话,敢于讲逆耳之言,真实反映群众心声,做到知无不言、言无不尽。希望同志们积极建诤言、作批评,帮助我们查找问题、分析问题、解决问题,帮助我们克服工作中的不足。中共各级党委要主动接受、真心欢迎民主党派和无党派人士监督,切实改进工作作风,不断提高工作水平。

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。 ____________

Related

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

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in Review (1): The Imperfect Photograph


« see second photo there

February

Spring festival at home.

I went out every day, and took a photograph of Grandma there. This is the one I like most, although, unfortunately, it’s blurred.

Grandma doesn’t smile easily, in line with the restraint of the older generation in the old families. She didn’t want me to take photos of her, but I kept insisting. As I lifted my camera over and over again and asked her to smile, she’d smile as if she couldn’t help it – she seemed to smile in a quizzical way, amused by my stubbornness.

I like her smile on this portrait best. It’s a slight smile of someone who has read the state of human affairs very closely.

We moved here twenty-four years ago. The wall behind her seems to want to match her age. For two years, hearsay has been that there will be demolitions here. I certainly hate the idea of having to part.

Hu Cheng (胡成), photographer and freelance writer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The “Great Leap Forward”, Frank Dikötter, and a Blogging Break

It’s time for a few days’ break from blogging, unless Jiang Zemin passes away, Yang Rui gets uncovered as a spy for the CIA, or if similarly sensational news should break. I will be back to blogging by this coming Friday.

Less than an hour before midnight (daylight saving time), June 23, 2012

Less than an hour before midnight (daylight saving time), June 23, 2012

This season involves a lot of work, and what remains of the day should be devoted to family, friends, and contemplation of the midnight sun. It’s not quite that in this region, but the northern fringes of the skies never turn completely dark. You may not see the road at certain times of the night, but you’ll see the light between the treetops.

* * * * * * * *

I have some reservations when it comes to the work of sinologists like Frank Dikötter or Thomas Weyrauch. Weyrauch is German, but when I read one of his books (and I’ve read only one by Weyrauch), it seemed to be a sample of how – old-school – Chinese Republicans abroad are ticking these days.

A lot has been made of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation‘s co-sponsorship of Dikötter’s Mao’s Great Famine project. It wasn’t serious academics who took issue, as far as I can see, but many fenqings and CCP apologists did. After all, only the victorious must author China’s history. That’s tradition. At court, the good historian praises the powers that be, and denounces defeated previous dynasties. (It may be unthinkable for CCP fans that a funding organization may not necessarily determine the outcome of a project.)

Richard (The Peking Duck) embedded a documentary movie about the Great Leap Forward in one of his most recent posts. It seems to base its message basically on the takes of two academics, Yang Jisheng (杨继绳) and Frank Dikötter (and exclusively on Dikötter when it comes to statistics):

It was the Great Leap Forward. But the crazy dream became a nightmare, and dragged 650 million Chinese people into hell. The country sank into economic chaos, which caused an unprecedented famine. The terrible death toll was around 45 million.

People like Dikötter – and Weyrauch – play an important role, as they question a narrative or historiography which is to an unreasonable extent influenced by the CCP, even among foreign sinologists. But they, in turn, need to be questioned, too. A good article or review to that end, it seems to me, is a piece written by Cormac Ó Gráda, in 2011, on Dikötter’s Mao’s Great Famine.

A commenter thread on the Peking Duck‘s post starts here. For the dynamics of such threads as I see them, I would recommend to use such threads as some kind of quarry. Different commenters will gain from different chains of discussion within; and the Peking Duck’s threads are famous for starting with lively debates, and descending into dogged exchanges of more or less argumentative broadsides after the first one, two, or three dozens of comments.

In their own way, they are samples of what an anonymous or semi-anonymous discourse (as the late Mark Anthony Jones might have termed it) between CCP critics, apologists and the critics’ angry critics will usually look like.

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Related

» Mao’s Great Famine, documentary movie synopsis, 2011

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Year of the Cats

And after all the politics in the previous posts, it’s time for something nice. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the “K” family these days.

Kittens and mouse.

x

This basket is too big for all of us…

x

… but let’s meet somewhere else.

Obviously, cats aren’t always cute, but that picture I took outdoors of the (probable) remains of a hunting scene is too ugly to be posted on a blog that might be read without parental guidance.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Approaches, Hence Slowing Output

Reading offline and spring refurbishing duties might slow my blogging activities down for a few days. But JR will be back – promised. I’m still in love with blogging, just as that cat is still in love with the old gift basket.

Cat in Circles

Now a big tomcat, but there's nothing as homely as this childhood basket

Meantime, Beijing Cream, a frequently-updated blog, might keep you informed, or entertained, or both. (I have no idea who’s blogging there, but it seems they only went online in February this year.)

Or you might want to read that story where all your questions about Gu Kailai, the deranged Red Queen of Chongqing, will be answered. King Tubby, the deranged blogger from Australia, is full of rumors, of course, but he was kind enough to mention my blog there – he just was too much at odds with his computer to link here.

And anyone who is interested in the battle between Fang Zhouzi and Han Han should read this post by Huo Long, and engage in a debate, if there’s something to add.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine’s Day in Washington, D.C.

Yaxue Cao describes a day in the American capital, with Xi Jinping, Geng He, and – in a way – Chen Guangcheng.

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Related

» Human Rights and the Isolation Factor, July 5, 2008

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blogging between the Seasons

This has been a mild winter so far – it felt like fall in November and December, and spring has been in the air for much of this month. It still is, despite the first snow of this winter that fell last week. Most of it melted away, before it started freezing again, yesterday afternoon. After two unusually cold and snowy winters in 2009/10 and 2010/11, I’ve heard nobody complain about too little snow yet, not even around Christmas. In normal years, complaints of that kind would be essential bits of smalltalk.

Between the seasons

Between the seasons

I’m spending no less time at blogging than before, but I’m taking more input than usual – reading, exchanging e-mails, and writing offline to prepare posts. The good thing is that I’ve translated about two thirds of the CCP central committee’s “cultural document” so far, so there’s land ahoy in that field.

Anyway, my posting frequency will remain somewhat lower than usual, during the coming weeks.

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