Posts tagged ‘state capitalism’

Monday, November 28, 2022

Xi’s Kitchen Cabinet (3): Zhao Leji – two Upholds, never change Color


Much of the following table’s content is taken from the bio published by “People’s Daily” online, on October 25, 2017, when Zhao became a permanent politburo standing committee member for the first time (then ranking #6).

Short Bio

Politburo Standing Committeee — #3 — Zhao Leji (赵乐际)

1957-03-08 Born in Xining, Qinghai province, family background: parents from Xi’an.
1974-07-00 party membership
1974-09-00 Considered an “educated youth” (知识青年), Zhao is sent or “called” to Hedong Township, Qinghai, during the “Down to the Countryside” movement. Hedong is part of the “Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”.
1975-08-00 Returns to city life as a mail clerk and messenger at Qinghai Department of Trade.
1977-02-00 Studies at Beijing University’s philosophy faculty, as a worker-peasant-soldier student.
1980-01-00 graduation
about 1980 Returns to Qinghai Department of Trade.
1984-12-00 Party secretary at Qinghai Province Hardware Electric & Chemical Products (a Qinghai Department of Trade company), also picking up managerial duties.
1986-04-00 Chairman of financial and commercial workers’ trade union’s Qinghai Department of Trade branch.
1993-02-00 Assistant to Qinghai provincial governor, provincial department of finance director.
1994-07-00 Qinghai deputy provincial governor.
1997-03-00 Xining Municipal Party Committee Secretary.
1997-12-00 Deputy secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
1999-08-00 Acting governor.
2000-01-00 Officially appointed as Qinghai provincial governor.
2003-08-00 Secretary of Qinghai Provincial Party Committee.
2004-01-00 Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2007-03-25 Deputy secretary of Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee.
2008-01-23 Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director.
2012-11-15 Member of the CPC’s 18th Central Committee, and politburo member.
2012-11-19 Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party.
2012-11-19 Holding the office of CPC Central Organizational Department director at the same time.
2017-10-25 First plenary session of the 19th CPC National Congress, CPC politburo standing committee membership (ranking 6th) among seven standing-committee members).
Also Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary, replacing Wang Qishan.
Investigates Yang Jing (杨晶), Zhao Zhengyong (赵正永), Qin Guangrong (秦光荣), Fu Zhenghua (傅政华), Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖), Meng Hongwei (孟宏伟), Xiao Yaqing (肖亚庆), and others.
2022-10-23 First plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee,Zhao Leji ranks second in the new politburo’s standing committee.

2019000_zhao_leji_hebei_research
Zhao Leji’s (r) research tour in Hebei, September 2019, “Hebei Xiong’an New Area”

What may strike a reader of this summarized biography is how often Zhao returned to previous posts in his career, how long he stayed within Qinghai networks, and how rapidly his career picked up in the 1990s (still in Qinghai, and then also in Shaanxi — see family background, accidental or not).
Deutsche Welle’s Chinese service suggested in an online article of October 23 that according to previous politburos’ practice, Zhao was likely to head the “National People’s Congress”, the CPC’s parliament simulation with Chinese characteristics. This would also match his previous experience as Qinghai Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2004) and Shaanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director (2008).

The following is my translation of a Xinhua article, published on November 12, 2021 (a bit more than a year ago). Zhao is quoted there in his capacity as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Main Link: “Zhao Leji emphasizes …”
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

At Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee session, Zhao Leji emphasizes the positive contributions to be made for self-revolution in the new era, by thorough study and implementation of the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit<
赵乐际在中央纪委常委会会议上强调 深入学习贯彻党的十九届六中全会精神 为新时代党的伟大自我革命作出积极贡献

November 12, 2021, 21:34, Xinhua Online
2021-11-12 21:34:39 来源: 新华网

Xinhua, Beijing, November 12 report.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection´s Standing Committee held a meeting on November 12, to convey and study the 19th Central Committee´s Sixth Plenary Session´s spirit, and to look into ways to thoroughly implement decisons. Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Secretary Zhao Leji directed the meeting and emphasized the need for the disciplin inspection and supervision organs to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the [19th Central Committee´s Sixth] plenary session, to strengthen the “Four Awarenesses” [also known as the “Four Consciousnesses”], to strengthen the “Four Matters of Confidence”1), to achieve the “two upholds”, to link together and to put to use the historic experience from the party´s one-hundred years of struggle, to promote high-quality development of discipline inspection work in the new era, and, in advancing the party´s self-revolution, making positive contributions, leading the new practice of society´s revolution by self-revolution.
新华社北京11月12日电 中央纪委常委会12日召开会议,传达学习党的十九届六中全会精神,研究贯彻落实举措。中共中央政治局常委、中央纪委书记赵乐际主持会议,强调纪检监察机关要深入学习贯彻全会精神,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,贯通运用党的百年奋斗历史经验,推动新时代纪检监察工作高质量发展,在推进党的自我革命、以伟大自我革命引领伟大社会革命的新实践中作出积极贡献。

Zhao Leji pointed out that Xi Jinping, in a speech of profound and long-lasting deep thought and of a strong political, theoretical, strategic and guiding nature, clearly designated the way forward for the party to take bravely and resolutely, for the party so as not to forget the original intention at this new major historic juncture. The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on the Communist Party of China’s summarized political experience of why the party can, why Marxism works, and why socialism with Chinese characteristics works. [The plenary session´s “resolution” stands on] a grasp of the development and discipline of party building. It is the CPC’s political declaration and guide for action in the new era. Discipline inspection and supervision organs must make the study and implementation of the plenary session’s spirit a major political mission, study the plenary session’s documents in their entirety, learn the original documents, become aware of the principles, deeply understand the main points and essentials, correctly grasp the main theme and the main line of the party’s historic development and its main stream essence, and make use of the plenary spirit for common purpose, aggregated consensus, staunch confidence and strengthened fighting spirit.
赵乐际指出,习近平总书记在全会上的重要讲话,立意深远、思想深邃、内涵深刻,具有很强的政治性、理论性、战略性、指导性,为全党在新的重大历史关头不忘初心、勇毅前行指明了方向。全会《决议》站在中国共产党为什么能、马克思主义为什么行、中国特色社会主义为什么好的政治高度总结历史经验,把握党的事业发展和自身建设规律,是新时代中国共产党人的政治宣言和行动指南。纪检监察机关要把学习贯彻全会精神作为重大政治任务,原原本本学习全会文件,读原文、悟原理,深刻领会要点要义,准确把握党的历史发展的主题主线、主流本质,用全会精神统一思想、凝聚共识、坚定信心、增强斗志。

Zhao Leji emphasized that for the iscipline inspection and supervision organs to study and implement the plenary session’s spirit, it is necessary to link closely to reality, to stick closely to one’s duties, to deeply understand the demands of the new ideology, new conclusions and new demands put forward by the plenary session, particularly the important discourse and requirements concerning comprehensive and strict governance over the party, the party’s work style and building clean government, and fight against corruption [must be implemented at work and embodied in action]. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity and maintaining the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics – continue to learn and to put in real efforts, strive to grasp the marxist position, viewpoint and methods contained in it, and always guarantee the correct political course of discipline inspection and supervision work. We must – unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity – promote the strengthening of the entire party’s “four consciousnesses”, maintain the “four matters of confidence”, achieve the “two upholds”, conscientously carry out the responsibility and mission of political supervision, earnestly guarantee the party’s unity, guarantee centralized and unified leadership, unswervingly and with all-encompassing unity implement the guidelines of comprehensive and strict governance over the party, strengthen the will and ability to fight, promote [a state of affairs / a status when] nobody dares to nor is able or wishing to be corrupt, resolutely carry the anti-corruption work out to the end, and play a positive role in making sure that the party will never degenerate, never change color, never change smell, nor its level of achievement2).
赵乐际强调,纪检监察机关学习贯彻全会精神,要联系实际、紧扣职责,深刻领会全会提出的新思想新论断新要求,特别是关于全面从严治党、党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争的重要论述、重要要求,落实到工作中、体现到行动上。要坚定不移、一以贯之坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,在持续学懂弄通做实上下真功夫,努力掌握蕴含其中的马克思主义立场观点方法,始终保证纪检监察工作正确政治方向;要坚定不移、一以贯之推动全党增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,认真履行好政治监督的责任使命,切实保证党的团结统一、保证党中央集中统一领导;要坚定不移、一以贯之贯彻落实全面从严治党战略方针,增强斗争意志和本领,一体推进不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐,坚决把反腐败斗争进行到底,在确保党不变质、不变色、不变味中发挥职能作用。要以学习全会精神为重点巩固党史学习教育成果,引导广大纪检监察干部坚定历史自信、增强历史主动、涵养历史思维、运用历史经验,不断深化规律性认识,进一步提高正风肃纪反腐工作的质量和水平。

Yang Xiaodu, member of the politburo of the CPC and deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, attended the meeting.
中共中央政治局委员、中央纪委副书记杨晓渡出席会议。

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Previously: Li Qiang #2

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Notes

1) “Confident in our chosen path, confident in our guiding theories, confident in our political system, and confident in our culture”
2) Beijing’s “zero-covid” policy may raise questions about what <em>achievement</em> means in the CPC’s dictionary – I have no idea how they define achievement.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Long Yongtu’s WTO Accession Commemorative Lecture (1)

Long Yongtu (龙永图), born in Hunan Province in 1943, is a former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and was China’s Chief Negotiator for his country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Long was also an enthusiastic participant in public debate on domestic issues during the first decade of the new century.

The following is part one of my translation of a lecture “recently” given by Long at a seminar in Beijing.

Main link: Since you are all market economies, can you remove “socialism”? – Absolutely not (既然都是市场经济了,能不能去掉社会主义?“绝对不可能”)

As we discuss the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO this year, we should put it into the context of this years biggest thing this year, the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s establishment. The activities of commemorating the 20th anniversary of WTO accession should be a part of learning the party’s 100 years of history. Only in this fashion will our commemorative activities have clear-cut representative meaning and add to its value and importance.

今年我们谈中国入世20周年,应该把它放在今年最大的一件事情——中国共产党建党100周年——背景之下,把纪念入世20周年的活动,作为我们学习党的100年历史的一个组成部分。只有这样才能使我们的纪念活动具有鲜明的时代意义和时代特色,也赋予它更大的价值和重要性。

This isn’t far-fetched, but rather,the histories of our country’s establishment, of reform and opening up are all part of the party’s history. By putting the commemoration of WTO accession 20 years ago into this big context makes it more significant, and it is very relevant in this context.

这样说不是要牵强附会,而是因为我们的建国史、改革开放史,都是百年党史很重要的部分,我们把纪念入世20周年放在这样一个大的背景下更有意义,也是非常相关的。

I think this history can be divided into two areas. One is the fifteen years of accession negotiations from 1986 to 2001. Why didn’t we enter WTO when we recovered our legitimate United Nations’ seat? That was because at the time, our thinking wasn’t sufficiently intellectually liberated. At the time, it was believed that that was a rich countries’ club, without any advantages for us. In fact, according to GATT regulations, we simply could have written an application and we could have joined, without any need for negotiations, because China had been a founding member. Because of restoring its legitimate UN membership, our re-entry into GATT would have been a matter of course. But at the time, we just felt that GATT was a rich countries’ club, and joining wouldn’t have been of any use. It was all dominated by Western countries, so we decided not to join.

关于这段历史,我觉得可以分为两部分:一部分是1986年到2001年中国复关和入世的15年谈判。为什么当年恢复联合国合法席位后,我们没有进入WTO?因为当时思想不够解放,认为那是一个富国俱乐部,对我们也没什么好处。实际上当时根据《关贸总协定》的规定,我们完全可以写一张申请就进去的,那个时候根本不需要谈判,因为我们中国是创始成员,既然恢复了联合国的合法席位,我们复关也是理所当然的。但是当时就觉得关贸是富国俱乐部,我们进去也没有什么用,都是西方国家主导的,就决定不去了。

Later, it took us until 1986 to apply. Why was that? Because after the beginning of reform and opening in 1978, we saw our country’s foreign trade continuously expand, with the need to be granted quotas, especially because at the time, GATT sill had the “Agreement on Textile and Clothing“, and the “Multi Fibre Arrangement“. Because of the need to apply for quotas for textile exports under the “multi-fibre arrangement” framework, it was decided to apply for re-entry into the GATT. So I think that the history from 1986 to 2001 is also something everyone can study.

后来一直到1986年才提出申请,为什么?因为1978年开始改革开放以后,慢慢觉得我们中国的对外贸易在不断扩大,特别是当时《关贸总协定》还有《纺织品协定》《多种纤维协定》要发放配额。当时为了我们中国的纺织品贸易特别是纺织品出口能够借助多边的《多种纤维协定》框架取得配额,决定开始复关了。所以从1986年开始到2001年,我觉得这一段历史,也是大家可以研究的一段历史。

The second area is the twenty years from entering the WTO in 2001, to 2021. How have we fulfilled our promise to the WTO? How has entering the WTO accelerated China’s reform and opening, how has it enhanced its hard power and soft power? This historical period also needs to be well researched.

第二部分是2001年到2021年中国入世这20年。这20年我们是怎么履行对世贸组织的承诺?是怎么样通过入世这件事加快中国的改革开放,提升了中国的硬实力和软实力?这一段历史也是需要好好研究的。

Therefore, the first point of view under such a special historical background this year, is that by regarding the WTO entry of twenty years ago as part of our studies and research of the party’s 100-years history, we stand on a high ground – not just discussing trade or doing research on an academic level. We look at this matter from a perspective of the entire party and the entire country. As part of China’s reform and opening, thereby moving forward promoting China’s reform and opening, this is significant.

所以我的第一个观点,在今年这样一个特定的历史背景之下,我们把纪念中国入世20周年,看成是我们学习和研究党的100年历史的组成部分,这样站位就高了,我们的讨论就不仅仅是在经贸领域,更不是在学术领域这样一个层面上进行研究,而是从全党、全国的角度来看这件事情。它作为中国改革开放史的一部分,从而进一步推动中国的改革开放,这样就有意义了。

The second [point of view] in my view, when learning the history of China’s WTO membership is to comply with Secretary Xi Jinping’s “Sixteen Characters Policy”. This “Sixteen Characters Policy” is connected with studying the entire party’s history, because we make our studies of 20 years of WTO membership a part of studying the party’s history. Of course, the “Sixteen Characters Policy” also suitably guides our 20-years-WTO activity.

第二,对中国入世20年的历史学习,我觉得要遵循习近平总书记提出来的“16字方针”。这“16字方针”是针对整个党史学习,既然我们把入世20周年作为党史学习的一部分,当然这“16字方针”也适合指导我们入世20周年的纪念活动。

The General Secretary’s “Sixteen Characters Policy’s” first article is to study historical fact.1) Studying history can help to understand some principles. From China’s 15 years of WTO accession negotiations and its 20-year membership, which principles are there, which experiences can we summarize and use as reference?

总书记提出的“16字方针”,第一条是学史明理,学习历史能明白一些道理,中国入世谈判15周年、入世20周年,我们有哪些道理、哪些经验可以总结、可以借鉴?

The second article is to enhance faith by studying history – studying history can strengthen our confidence, our continuous promotion of reform and opening, the deepening of reform, and it can expand confidence in opening up.

第二条是学史增信,学习历史可以增强我们的信心,增强我们进一步推动改革开放,深化改革、扩大开放的信心。

The third article is the virtue of studying history. Within the process of the entire history, which spirits are there that can be used? At the time, many comrades actually showed a great sense of responsibility when they completed those [WTO] negotiations.

第三条是学史崇德,我们在整个历史进程当中,有哪些精神是可以发扬的?当时很多同志确实表现了很多的担当精神,来完成这一场谈判。

The third article is to let the studies of history be followed by action which means that the reader must act. To research the WTO’s prospects and China’s role int it actually means to draw from China’s 20 years of membership to promote the solution of the issues that currently need to be solved. We still resolutely support the multilateral trade system represented by WTO and acknowledge the WTO as the core of the entire multilateral trade system. Therefore, the prospect of WTO reform is extremely important, as an important part of China’s participation in global governance.

第四条是学史力行,就是要见诸行动了,今天研究世贸组织前景与中国角色,实际上就是借助中国入世20周年这样一个契机来采取一些行动,推动当前必须解决的问题。我们还是坚决支持以WTO为代表的多边贸易体系,承认WTO是整个多边贸易体系的核心。所以WTO的改革前景就非常重要了,是中国参与全球治理的重要组成部分。这其中,中国发挥什么样的作用,在这里都可以好好地研究。

The third [point of view] is that when we study China’s 20 years of WTO membership, we must know clearly what major problems has WTO entry solved for China? In my view, China’s entry into the WTO has brought China’s reform and opening two major breakthroughs:

第三,我们学习中国加入世贸20年历史的成果,要搞清楚中国入世解决了什么重大问题?我觉得中国入世对于中国改革开放来讲,有两个重大的突破:

The first major breakthrough was that by joining the WTO, we made a promise to the world to practice market economy, which is a major historic turning point in China’s reform and opening, because before 1992, market economy was a restricted area, something you couldn’t discuss because market economy simply was capitalism. But by joining the WTO, we promised to practice market economy.

第一个重大突破是我们通过加入世界贸易组织向全世界承诺我们搞市场经济,这是中国改革开放当中一个重大的历史转折,因为1992年以前市场经济是一个禁区,那是不能谈的,市场经济就是资本主义。但是我们通过入世承诺了搞市场经济。

The second major breakthrough was that, by joining the World Trade Organization, we promised, as a developing country opening its market to the world, relatively big market openings, thus accelerating China’s opening towards the outside world. So, these two breakthroughs are actually two major achievements of China joining WTO, and also crucial points with a certain status.

第二个重大突破是我们通过加入世贸组织,承诺了以发展中国家身份向全球开放市场,在很多领域里做了比较大的市场开放,从而大大促进了中国的对外开放。所以这两个突破实际上是中国入世谈判的重大成果,也是入世在中国改革开放史上具有一定地位的两个关键。

For example, at the beginning, we did not promise a market economy, but came under constant pressure to do so. At the time, this was hard for the participants, taking the measure of saying that while we didn’t recognize market economy, we could still agree to refer to a commodity economy, or a planned market economy, and we could still implement that market-economy rules system of theirs.

比如说市场经济,开始我们是不承认的,后来在谈判当中一直逼着我们要承诺搞市场经济,当时参加谈判的人很痛苦,变着法地想讲我们虽然不承认市场经济,叫商品经济也好,叫有计划的市场经济也好,但是我们能够执行你们那一套以市场经济规则体系为基础的市场经济。

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Notes

1) Not sure how Long arrives at this interpretation – the 16 characters’ first line goes 科学立法 巩固法治根基 – scientifically legislate and solidify the foundations of rule by law.
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Related

Rare public criticism, SCMP, Nov 18, 2018
Milton Friedman’s Misadventures, The American Scholar, Dec 5, 2016
Long and the Smiling Curve, May 17, 2012

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Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Headlines (2) – Xi’s First Six Years: the Majestic Journey toward the Highest Common Denominator

The following is the gist (as I see it) of an article published by Xinhua online, on December 16. It centers around events and developments from the past six years, future challenges and intentions, and the role of CCP secretary general Xi Jinping in those events and intentions.

Main Link / original title: The Actual Events of the Party’s Central Committee’s Leading Reform and Opening with Xi Jinping at its Core (以习近平同志为核心的党中央引领改革开放纪实 )
Links within blockquotes added during translation

The article, put together by eleven authors, contains about 10,000 characters, which is unusually long even by Chinese online standards, but will certainly have found interested readers. The length of an article doesn’t deter a Chinese audience. Readers who don’t read Chinese but would like to get the big picture are advised to use Google Translate – it does a surprisingly decent job when translating from Chinese into English.

The paragraphs are interspersed with slogans – such as the most solemn memory is to create more glory, the sincerest commitment to the people is indefatigable struggle (对历史最郑重的纪念,是再创辉煌 / (对人民最真挚的承诺,是不懈奋斗), or reform looks like a problem, and must dare to lead all the more, or this is the resounding call to battle (改革难字当头,更需敢字当先 /  这是高亢激扬的出征号令).

Reform is complicated and sensitive, states the resounding call to battle, so how to prepare a good overall plan for a huge essay?

The project is big indeed: this is a thought (or ideological) innovation unprecedented in history (这是史无前例的观念革新). And you better take this literally, if you are a cadre in China, or wish to score well for other reasons. There is no mention of Deng Xiaoping, let alone Jiang Zemin or Hu Jintao. There isn’t even a mention of Mao (which might be understandable, given that reform and opening wasn’t his main theme anyway). As for Deng, there is a mention of some slogans that became part of his doctrines, but usually reaching further back in history, such as seeking truth in facts or liberating thought, as used in the Deng Xiaoping Theory (邓小平理论).

But there is, of course, a defining trip to the South.

Comrade Xi Jinping’s first inspection destination after taking the position of secretary general was Qianhai, Shenzhen. Facing this homeland where the first “cannon” of reform and opening had rung out, Xi Jinping issued judgment that “our country’s reform has entered the time of storming fortifications and has entered the deep-blue sea areas. He emphasized that “reform does not pause, and opening does not halt. The China of the next forty years is set to make the world feel a whole new level of respect for its new successes!”

2012年12月,习近平同志担任总书记后首赴地方考察,第一站来到深圳前海。
面对这片打响改革开放“开山炮”的热土,习近平总书记作出“我国改革已经进入攻坚期和深水区”的判断,强调“改革不停顿、开放不止步”。下一个40年的中国,定当有让世界刮目相看的新成就!”

Praise is carefully hedged by remarks about a more complicated future, for which new approaches are being developed.

At first, the new requirements are billed.

Having passed several decades of rapid development, China has arrived at a new juncture. The degrees of complexity, hardship and sensitivity have hardly ever been comparable to these years.

经过几十年快速发展,中国又走到了一个新的关口。改革开放的复杂程度、艰巨程度、敏感程度,丝毫不亚于当年。

At home, a number of deep-seated contradictions have continuously amassed during the long period of growth, economic development has entered the new normal, and structural adjustment and kinetic energy conversion are imperative; issues of unbalanced and insufficient development stand out more and more obviously, and the people’s yearning for a fine life becomes increasing urgent.

向内看,经济长期高速增长过程中积累的一系列深层次矛盾不断积聚,经济发展进入新常态,结构调整、动能转换势在必行;发展不平衡、不充分问题日益突出,人民群众对美好生活的向往愈发迫切。

Abroad, the haze of the international financial crisis has not dispersed, regional conflicts occur frequently, the threat of extremism is spreading, international competition under the wave of new technologies revolution and industrial transformation require people to work harder, the dregs of opposition against globalization and protectionism is surfacing, and hyping and mourning [China’s development – this seems to point into this direction] lie in ambush.

向外看,国际金融危机阴霾未散,地区冲突频发,极端主义威胁蔓延;新科技革命和产业变革浪潮下的国际竞争形势逼人,逆全球化、贸易保护主义沉渣泛起,捧杀唱衰中国的论调此起彼伏。

Behind the creation of the “China’s rise” world miracle, premature ideological concepts and institutional malpractice are becoming stumbling blocks for the pace of reform and opening, helping the solidification of barriers, which is all the more an alarm siren, continuously shaking stable social development.

在创造了“中国崛起”的世界奇迹后,不合时宜的思想观念和体制机制弊端正在成为阻碍改革开放步伐的“绊脚石”,利益固化藩篱更是频频触动社会稳定发展的“警报器”。

To meet the challenges, a strong hand is needed – a helmsman who dares to speak inconvenient truths.

To make him speak again, the article revisits an interview Xi gave to Russian television, in February 2014

All the pleasant reforms are completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones.

The answer to these challenges? There are as many answers as questions, and all from the new great helmsman himself.

For one, there is the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission (中央全面深化改革委员会), preceded by a leading small group of a similar name () or Leading Small Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (LSGCDR) in December 2013:

Secretary general Xi Jinping held the position of group leader, thus strengthening the central committee’s centralized and integrated leadership in comprehensively deepening reform.

习近平总书记担任组长,加强党中央对全面深化改革的集中统一领导。

There is also the courage to offend thousands, rather than turning your back on the 1.3 billion [得罪千百人、不负十三亿 – thousands of cadres, 1.3 bn Chinese people]: strictly running the party, deepening reform of party discipline and state supervision organization.

Understanding the need to vacate the cage and to replace the old birds with new ones, thus making Phoenix rise from the ashes (腾笼换鸟、凤凰涅槃), to change the way of development, to implement new concepts of development, to deepen supply-side structural reform, an economy that strives into the direction of high quality will be promoted. Also,

bearing future generations in mind, reforming ecological civilization, reforming cadre evaluation, unfolding central environmental protection, we will make the concept of Lucid waters and lush mountains enter deep into peoples’ hearts.

以“为千秋万代计”的视野,深化生态文明领域改革,改革干部考核制度、开展中央环保督察,让绿水青山就是金山银山的理念深入人心;

For whatever reason, the enumeration ends there with ellipses, and turns to another topic – the CCP’s ninteenth national congress.

The article also addresses the “one country two systems” concept (limited to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge), Zhejiang’s one-stop service practice (最多跑一次), multiple-plans integration practice (多规合一) from Hainan and Ningxia, reform of medical care, medical insurance and pharmaceutical industry (三医联动) in Fujian province, and an internet court in Hangzhou, all referred to as innovation from the grassroots.

Reform of State-owned enterprises – a hard bone (硬骨头) – is described as the job of the top dog, and the C919 airliner, the Beidou Navigation system and the Fuxing Train group are presented are presented as state-enterprise achievements in a process of transforming “made in China” (中国制造) into “intelligently made in China” (中国智造).

Countryside development, deliberations on household registration reform (户籍制度改革的意见), and spiritual nourishment are also mentioned. As for the latter,

to let the people have rich spiritual nourishment, social efficiency must come first, unification of social and economic efficiency culture must be institutionalized day by day, modern public cultural services construction be accelerated, and the cultural project for the people [or benefitting the people – 文化惠民工程] be realized;

为让人民拥有丰富的精神食粮,把社会效益放在首位、社会效益和经济效益相统一的文化体制机制日臻完善,现代公共文化服务体系加快构建,文化惠民工程深入实施;

Here, too, an enumeration ends with ellipses (after the following paragraph).

When the people’s yearning for a good life becomes the common goal of the struggle, when everyone’s participation, everyone’s greatest efforts, and everyone sharing in the fruits of these become the highest common denominator, then reform will converge into a profound and majestic power, and continue the composition of a magnificent chapter on a new era.

当人民对美好生活的向往成为共同的奋斗目标,当“人人参与、人人尽力、人人共享”成为社会的最大公约数,改革正汇聚起深沉而磅礴的力量,续写新时代的壮丽篇章。

Now for the conclusions.

Looking at the world, there is no such governing party that can such a long-term plan as the CCP’s, there is no such country that can operate a steady process, step by step, the unremitting move toward reform’s objectives, and certainly not this nation ability to push open this great gate of opportunity, continuously turning the experience of reform into the reality of development.

放眼世界,没有哪个政党能像中国共产党这样作出如此长远的规划,没有哪个国家能像中国这样一步一个脚印,持之以恒地朝向既定改革目标迈进,更没有哪个民族能够一次次推开机遇的大门,把改革的经验不断变成发展的现实。

Confucius Institute says: if the people work 364 days, let them have one day of joy, and quench their spiritual thirst with articles like this one. However, these are solemn, but also sober times. The armed forces’ modernization gets only two paragraphs (and it’s all about what Xi has done to make it happen), and only when the world is doing fine, China can also do fine (and only if China is doing fine, the world can do fine) – 世界好,中国才能好;中国好,世界才更好.

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Related

Xiong’an, Wikipedia, most recent edit Nov 7, 2018
“四梁八柱”论, Baidu, most recent edit Nov 22, 2018

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sino-Belarusian Cooperation: Many warm encouraging words

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR

Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Nikolai Snopkov called on the Chinese business to adopt a more active position on the matter of establishment of joint ventures in Belarus during the negotiations with a Chinese delegation led by Xiao Yaqing, Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission at China’s State Council on 1 August,

the Belarusian Telegraph Agency reported on Tuesday. If you go by the way the newsagency quoted Snopkov, he struck a self-assured tone:

I believe that the corporations attending the current meeting that are discussing projects with Belarus will take an active position on the matter of setting up joint ventures in Belarus. We have heard many warm encouraging words from Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. I think this will give an impetus to the effort to implement the most effective projects in the shortest possible time.

The Belarusian administrator also referred to the platform for his country’s cooperation with China, the Belarus-China industrial park Great Stone (aka China-Belarus Industrial Park).

A leaflet from the industrial park’s administration explains Belarus’ relevance for the Chinese “One-belt-one-Road Initiative” as seen from Minsk:

The Republic of Belarus borders with the European Union and Russia, and is a trade corridor between the Europe Union and the EAEU.

Snopkov also mentioned the role of “powerful effective competitive state-run corporations”. Minsk and Beijing appear to agree that state-owned enterprises should continue to play an important role in their economies. In its July-22 edition, the Economist noted*) that

Strengthening the SOEs is consistent with Mr Xi’s belief in tighter state control of just about every aspect of society. A regulatory clampdown on bank lending to big companies, for example, is a way not just to clean up shadowy fnancial practices but to influence how private firms spend their cash.

Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko, himself a leading expert for everything from nookies for the motherland and delivery times to potatos and military technology, would hardly disagree.

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Note

*) Much, but not all of the “Economist” article can be found in this English lesson on the Sohu platform.

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Related

Gratuitous military assistance, BelTa, June 21, 2017

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Liu Xiaobo, 1955 – 2017

It won’t be long before Liu Xiaobo‘s first post-mortem biography will be published. But it won’t have the last word. There will be further biographies, and each of them will be contested. That’s because of the man himself, and because of his country. He was a man with a conscience, and his country has been a totalitarian dictatorship for nearly seven decades – if you count the KMT’s martial law in, it’s been a dictatorship for much longer than that.

Liu Xiaobo’s political lifespan lasted for three or four decades. That doesn’t count as long in China. The Communist Party’s propaganda works tirelessly to create and sustain the “People’s Republic’s” population’s imagination of a civilizational history of five or more millenia. And at the same time, the party needs to sustain the notion that the most recent seven decades had been the best in China’s history. Not only the past fourty, after the leadership’s decision to “reform and to open up”, but the past seven decades, including Maoism. CCP propaganda’s aim is to build an image of its rule where the pre- and post-1978 decades are one political unit, without substantial contradictions within.

In all likelihood, Liu Xiaobo had foreseen that trend. Many Chinese dissidents, no matter if opponents of China’s cultural restauration, or opponents of the KMT’s military dictatorship on Taiwan, saw a Chinese complacency at work, considering itself the center of the universe.

Cultural criticism is rarely a rewarding trade, but in China, it can be lethal, as shown in Liu Xiaobo’s case.

Liu’s last camp and prison term, which began in 2009 and ended with his relase on medical parole, with cancer in its final stage, had been based on the accusation that he had “incited subversion of state power”. But the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court’s verdict – passed on Christmas day of 2009, probably to keep the level of international attention as low as possible –  only reflected the CCP’s fear of Liu, not the likely divide between the dissident and his people. A likely divide only, because in a totalitarian dictatorship, these things are more uncertain than in an open society. Hu Jia, himself a dissident who spent more than three years in prison from 2007 to 2011, noted during Liu’s dying days that only about one out of a hundred Beijingers knew who Liu Xiaobo was. Michael Bristow, the BBC’s China correspondent  in 2011, made a similar observation back then.

The 1980s mostly came across as a period of economic optimism, but accompanied by phenomena that were viewed negatively – particularly corruption, which was one of the factors that propelled the June-4 movement at its beginning.

Liu’s answer to what was frequently seen as China’s ailments was “westernization”. Stays in Western countries seem to have intensified his idea, just as Deng Xiaoping is said to have had his own cultural shock when visiting Singapore, in 1978.

But there lies a difference between the great statesman, and the great dissident. Singapore, a highly developed city state led by a family clan, is a model not only for authoritarian Chinese nationals – Taiwanese law-and-order-minded people tend to prefer Singapore as a holiday destination, rather than “messy” Hong Kong.

Liu Xiaobo’s model of development was Hong Kong of the 1980s. It was also the crown colony that provided the intellectual in his early thirties with some public resonance. In one of the interviews, given by Liu to a magazine named Kaifang at the time, Liu made statements that astonished the interviewer:

Q. Under what circumstances can China carry out a genuine historical transformation?
A. Three hundred years of colonialism.  Hong Kong became like this after one hundred years of colonialism.  China is so much larger, so obviously it will take three hundred years of colonialism.  I am still doubtful whether three hundred years of colonialism will be enough to turn China into Hong Kong today.

Q. This is 100% “treason.”
A. I will cite one sentence from Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party: “Workers do not have motherlands.  You cannot take away what they don’t have.”  I care about neither patriotism nor treason.  If you say that I betray my country, I will go along!  I admit that I am an impious son who dug up his ancestors’ graves and I am proud of it.

Both the “insults” and Liu’s expressly stated pessimism probably made for a divide between him and many Chinese (as far as they got to know his story). Or, as Roland Soong, a blogger from Hong Kong, noted next to his translation of the 1988 interview, as of 2010, “I suggest that unless Charter 08 (or any other message) can connect with many people in other social strata, it will remain a mental exercise among ‘public intellectuals.'”

And nothing works in the modern middle kingdom, unless it comes with a festive up-with-people sound. (In that sense, China is globalizing indeed.)

When Soong translated the interview quoted from above, and added his assessment of the Charter 08, the global financial crisis had been wreaking havoc on Western economies for about two years, and at least one of the Charter’s demands had fallen from the tree since: #14 called for

Protection of Private Property. We should establish and protect the right to private property and promote an economic system of free and fair markets. We should do away with government monopolies in commerce and industry and guarantee the freedom to start new enterprises. We should establish a Committee on State-Owned Property, reporting to the national legislature, that will monitor the transfer of state-owned enterprises to private ownership in a fair, competitive, and orderly manner. We should institute a land reform that promotes private ownership of land, guarantees the right to buy and sell land, and allows the true value of private property to be adequately reflected in the market.

There wasn’t necessarily a conflict on this matter, between the party leadership and the authors of the Charter – time will show how the CCP is going to handle the remaining state sector of the economy. But among everyday Chinese people, this demand would hardly strike a chord. Besides, who can imagine a transfer of state-owned enterprises to private ownership “in a fair, competitive, and orderly manner”?

In the Charter’s preface, the authors wrote:

The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values.

It was a cautious description of the status quo: Liu and his co-authors understood that only a critical minority would side with them. And indeed, there was more to endure in the pipeline. The educational dictatorship China is now entering encourages anticipatory obedience rather than awareness, and it is likely to succeed. When you keep beating people up long enough – and provide them with a hopeful perspective for the future -, there is little that can help people of conscience to counter the propaganda.

This may be the main difference between Liu and his enemies (and many of his admirers, too): in the eyes of many, only hard power – no matter if you refer to it as “the people’s power” or as the “authorities” -, creates reality. If the realities are good, you don’t need to get involved. If they are evil, you can’t get involved. And when realities come in many shades of grey, you either needn’t or can’t get involved. The power of the powerless is no reality in these peoples’ world – unless they begin to tilt, so that re-orientation appears advisable.

That’s a stabilizing factor, so long as realities remain what they appear to be.  But appearances can be deceiving, often until the very last hour. Who of the Egyptians who ditched their longtime president in 2011, in colossal demonstrations, had known weeks before that he wanted to get rid of him? A mood had capsized. It wasn’t about awareness.

A manipulated and intimidated public tends to be unpredictable, and that can turn factors around that were originally meant to add to “stability”.

China’s leaders feared Liu Xiaobo. They feared him to the extent that they wouldn’t let him leave the country, as long as he could still speak a word. But in all likelihood, they fear China’s widespread, politically tinged, religious sects even more, which have a tradition at least as long as Chinese scholarship. Falun Gong is only one of its latest manifestations.

By suppressing public intellectuals not only before 1978, but after that, too, they provided space for nervous moodiness. The Communists themselves want to “guide” (i. e. control) public awareness, without leaving anything to chance.

But chance is inevitable. Totalitarian routine may be able to cope for some time, but is likely to fail in the long run, with disastrous consequences.

In that light, the CCP missed opportunities to reform and modernize the country. But then, the party’s totalitarian skeleton made sure that they could only see the risks, and no opportunities, in an opening society.

What remains from Charter 08 – for now – is the courage shown by its authors nine years ago, and by the citizens who affirmed it with their signatures.

Each of them paid a price, to varying degrees, and often, their families and loved ones did so, too: like Liu Xia, who had hoped that her husband would not get involved in drafting the Charter, but who would never dissociate herself from him.

Nobody is obligated to show the same degree of courage, unless solidarity or conscience prescribe it. In most cases, making such demands on oneself would be excessive. But those who hate the Lius for their courage – and for lacking this courage themselves – should understand that their hatred is wrong. One may keep still as a citizen – but there is an inevitable human duty to understand the difference between right and wrong. By denying our tolerance toward despotism and by repressing awareness of our own acquiescence, we deny ourselves even the small steps into the right direction, that could be taken without much trouble, or economic hardship.

May Liu Xiaobo never be forgotten – and may Liu Xia find comfort and recovery.

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Updates/Related

再生:致刘晓波, Woeser, July 13, 2017
Rebirth, Woeser/Boyden, July 16, 2017
Wiedergeburt, Woeser/Forster, July 27, 2017
The abuse hasn’t stopped, Wu Gan, July 25, 2017

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bank of China: Brexit Risks and Opportunities

The following is an article initially published by Pengpai News (澎湃新闻), an internet news portal apparently operated by Oriental Morning Post (or Dongfang Morning Post),  a paper from Shanghai. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the paper’s then director Lu Yan (陆炎) and  deputy editor-in-chief Sun Jian (孙鉴) were removed from their posts in summer 2012. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Shanghai CCP secretary at the time, had been “unhappy” with Oriental’s stories. Sun Jian apparently re-emerged later, as the name was mentioned as the concurrent director of  Oriental Morning Post’s and Pengpai News’ economy and finance news centers, in a “People’s Daily” article published in 2015, praising the innovative practice at integrating the paper and its internet platform.

Either way, the news portal’s article about the BoC’s meetings with overseas financial administration dignitaries apparently appealed to the Communist central bankers – it was republished on the BoC’s website, two days after its original publication. Here goes.

The last meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors before the G-20 summit in Hangzhou was held in Chengdu, with [Chinese] central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan opening intensive meetings with high monetary officials from a number of countries.

G20杭州峰会前最后一次G20财长和央行行长会议在成都召开,央行行长周小川又开启了密集会见各国财金高官模式。

According to the People’s Bank of China’s official website, Zhou Xiaochuan, on July 23, met with American treasury secretary Jack Lew, Britain’s newly-appointed chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, Argentine finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay and Argentine central bank governor Federico Sturzenegger.
That said, this kind of officially issued information is generally rather simple. For example, at the meeting with the British finance minister, the two sides exchanged views on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the strengthening of Sino-British financial cooperation and other issues; at the meeting with the US finance minister, the two sides mainly exchanged views on the global financial markets’ situation, about the Chinese and American economies and finances, and policy coordination under the G-20 framework; and at the meeting with the two high Argentine officials, the two sides exchanged views on the international economic and financial situation, the macroeconomic Chinese and Argentine situations, the strengthening of Sino-Argentine financial cooperation and other issues.

据中国人民银行官网消息,7月23日,周小川已先后会见了美国财长雅各布•卢、英国新任财政大臣哈蒙德、阿根廷财政部长盖伊和阿根廷央行行长斯图森内格。
不过,这类会见官方发布信息均比较简单。比如,会见英国财长,双方就英国退欧、加强中英两国金融合作等议题交换了意见;会见美国财长,双方主要就近期全球金融市场形势、中国和美国经济金融形势,以及G20框架下的政策协调等问题交换了意见;会见阿根廷两高官,双方主要就国际经济金融形势、中阿宏观经济状况,以及加强中阿两国金融合作等议题交换了意见。

Currently, Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is undoubtedly a hot topic, but the central bank didn’t disclose any details. Still, the British finance minister’s time’s itinerary suggests that while withdrawing from the EU, they didn’t forget to to sell themselves.

眼下,英国退欧无疑是热门话题,不过央行并未透露任何细节。但从英国财政部此次行程来看,他们在退欧的同时,仍不忘推销自己。

According to the Bank of China, the “Sino-British Financial Services Round Table Meeting”, organized by the British embassy and co-hosted by the Bank of China, was held in the BoC’s head office’s mansion in Beijing, on July 22. British chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, British deputy chancellor of the exchequer [Mark Bowen?], British Ambassador to China Dame Barbara Woodward and other British government representatives, as well as People’s Bank, the CBRC, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, and big financial organisations and more than 40 high-ranking officials were guests at this meeting.

据中国银行消息,7月22日,由英国大使馆主办、中国银行协办的“中英金融服务圆桌会”在北京中国银行总行大厦举行。英国财政大臣菲利浦•哈蒙德、英国财政部副部长马克•博文、英国驻华大使吴百纳女爵士等英方政府代表,以及人民银行、银监会、外管局和中英两国大型金融机构的高管共约40多人作为受邀嘉宾出席了本次会议。

Hammond said at the meeting that the British economic fundamentals after the “Brexit” referendum remained fine, that Britain would continue to play an important role in the international arena, that British commerce, financial services and investment would, just as in the past, be open and competitive, and the British government would attach yet more attention to cooperation with China in the financial field.

哈蒙德在会上表示,英国公投“脱欧”后经济基本面依然良好,英国将继续在国际舞台上扮演重要角色,英国的商务、金融服务和投资领域也将一如既往地呈现开放、竞争的态势,英国政府将会更加重视在金融服务领域与中国的合作。

Chairman of the BoC board Tian Guoli said that Britain’s position in the fields of international politics, economics, and finance was highly influential. As far as Chinese and British investors were concerned, there were interdependent “risks” and “opportunities” in the “Brexit”, with both challenges and opportunities. To safeguard Chinese and British investors’ interests, there should be a continuation of promoting the two countries’ economic and trade development, global financial stability, the suggested common promotion of the building of “one belt, one road”, active participation in China’s supply-side structural reforms, the strengthening of financial cooperation, and the acceleraton of building London as an offshore center for the RMB.

中行董事长田国立则表示,英国在国际政治、经济、金融领域的地位举足轻重。对中英两国投资人而言,英国“脱欧”“危”“机”相倚,挑战与机遇并存。为守护中英投资人利益、持续推动两国经贸发展、促进全球金融稳定,建议中英双方共同推动“一带一路”建设,积极参与中国供给侧结构性改革,强化金融合作,加快伦敦人民币离岸中心建设。

At the meeting, participants discussed the two topics of “Seen from the perspective of the financial industry, Britain after the ‘Brexit’ remains a good destination for overseas investment” and “The important role of Britain as a good partner in the development and opening of the Chinese financial industry”.

会谈中,与会代表就“从金融业角度看英国‘脱欧’后仍是海外投资的良好目的地”和“在中国金融业发展开放过程中,英国如何发挥好合作伙伴的重要作用”两个议题展开讨论。

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Related

» Whose Gateway, Nov 24, 2015
» 媒体融合中, “People’s Daily” online, Sept 17, 2015
» Locomotion, Finance, Energy, July 27, 2014
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Updates/Related

» Propaganda 2.0, The Economist, Dec 13, 2014
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Friday, January 8, 2016

Human Rights and Economic Records: Botched Measures and Terrible Occurrences

Before the old (lunar) year leaves and a new comes in, things need to be tidied up in China. However, efforts to calm the stock markets by new management measures appear to have been unsuccessful. And in Hong Kong, where RMB trading, is unrestricted, people pay less for China’s currency, according to the New York Times.

There’s still other bad news, and the indicator in this case, too, is Hong Kong.

“Something terrible has happened. We are all afraid. We are leaving now,” an employee told me a few hours before locking the doors for the foreseeable future.

That’s how the BBC‘s correspondent in the former British colony, Juliana Liu, concluded an entry in the broadcaster’s China blog on Monday, and the topic, of course, is the case of five Hong Kong citizens, all associated with the Causeway Bay Bookstore, who have gone missing since October last year. The latest case is Paul Lee, and he went missing late in December.

Hong Kong’s SCMP, one of East Asia’s leading English-language papers, but one with an uncertain future, reported on Monday the first precept speech by a Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. The guy who’s imitating the late great dictator is, of course, current party secretary general, state chairman, and the central military commissions’ (CMC) chairman Xi Jinping. The speech is seen as part of Xi’s efforts to reform China’s military, but obviously, the – probably intended – signal goes beyond the armed forces project.

Given that no other former CMC chairman, from Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao, had given a military precept, an associate professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law concludes that Xi’s power and authority is even higher than them.

This may or may not be true. If  Wang Qishan, rather than Li Keqiang, ranks second in terms of power or influence within the party, the assessement may be correct. But then, maybe Deng Xiaoping, who faced open ideological competition at times by more conservative party veterans like Chen Yun, simply didn’t need to show off his autority by admonishing the military.

Back then, too, the party was corrupted. But that was at a time when – or that’s how it felt, anyway – everyone had a chance to become rich. Now, there’s a two-fold challenge of corruption and slowing growth.

This could mean that Xi has powers because potential rivals do not want to challenge him, so as not to rock the not-so-stable boat.

If China’s regime manages the switch from an export-led economy to a more services-oriented economy successfully, the doubts in Beijing’s macro-economic control of the economy won’t persist – some disappeared people, in China or elsewhere, have never been a great concern to business.

All the Xidadamania aside however, confidence in mainland China, in Hong Kong, and abroad, appears to be slipping, at least currently.

In an interview with German national radio on Thursday, Markus Taube, a professor at a university in Germany’s Ruhr region, stated “a massive loss of confidence” in China:

What we see in China at the moment, definitely, is a massive loss of confidence. All market actors can see that the CCP has clearly lost its former control capacity. Until now, the Chinese market was always a very [unreadable] […]. Now, this ability to lead isn’t in place and that the state has failed several times, on its own promises.

Das, was wir in China momentan definitiv sehen ist ein massiver Vertrauensverlust. Alle Marktakteure sehen, dass die Kommunistische Partei offensichtlich ihre frühere Steuerungskapazität verloren hat. Bislang war der chinesische Markt immer ein sehr [unreadable] … Fundamentaldaten haben da kaum eine Rolle gespielt, und es war das Vertrauen einfach da, dass die Partei, der Staat, im Endeffekt die Richtung vorgibt [unreadable]. Jetzt ist es so, dass diese Führungsfunktion fehlt und dass der Staat mehrfach versagt hat, auf seine eigenen Versprechen hin.

Not least, Taube said, the “anti-corruption campaign” has discouraged Chinese decisionmakers in charge of approving (or delaying) investment projects.

Given that Chinese control mechanisms – concerning the financial markets – are out of order, Taube, with an audible sigh, introduces an old friend from the 2009 tool cabinet:

It sounds unorthodox, but probably, in the current situation, it would be more appropriate to issue another stimulus package, in that the state, again, to a great extent, pumps money into the economy. A classical Keynesian stimulus package to create state-induced demand so as to restore the economic dynamics on a basic level.

Es klingt sehr unorthodox, aber wahrscheinlich ist es in der momentanen Situation tatsächlich eher angesagt, ein klassisches Konjunkturpaket wieder aufzusetzen, einen Stimulus, in dem der Staat einfach in großem Maße wieder Geld in die Volkswirtschaft hineinpumpt. Also ein klassisches keynesianisches Konjunkturprogramm, in dem einfach staatlich induziert Nachfrage geschaffen wird, und damit einfach die volkswirtschaftliche Dynamik auf einem grundlegenden Level wieder stabilisiert wird.

That said, Taube doesn’t judge the situation by standards of five-year plans, or by taking the long view, as recommended by the Lord of the Confucius Institutes. Taube advocates a stimulus because the methods tried more recently haven’t worked and wouldn’t turn the tide for the coming six months.

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Updates/Related

» Executives Disappearing, HP, Jan 8, 2016

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CRI’s “Journalism” Talent Show: no Belief in Facts

The innovation experience described at the lianghui seminar in March 2014 wasn’t exactly new: one of the borrowed-boat reporters mentioned on the seminar by China Radio International‘s (CRI) Zhang Hui, “Andrea Yu”, apparently had an earlier appearance at a CCP-conducted press conference, in November 2012, on the last day of the 18th National Congress. A Guardian article published online on November 14, 2012, contains a link to a soundfile where an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) correspondent interviewed Yu.

Sina, apparently quoting or republishing a post from the Chinese Herald (澳洲日报) from March 2014, i. e. also from the 2014 two-sessions season, listed a question from “Louise”, also from CAMG, who asked a question to Zhou Xiaochuan (周小川), governor of China’s central bank.

A foreign correspondent apparently lost patience with the silly theater, and shouted: “Give foreign journalists a chance” (给外国媒体一个机会!)  As he was allowed to ask his question, he hastened to make it clear that he was a real foreign journalist. (Which is confirmed by the article.)

The Sina-published article also mentioned a sham reporter from a Hong Kong TV station, but of course, opportunities to speculate become endless under circumstances like these.

Maybe it’s just China Radio International’s talent show. Journalism it is not. But if you have little else to show for, cynicism may be the attitude of choice – and even a mould for “innovative” propaganda.

It’s not necessarily limited to China. According to the Kyiv Post in September this year, Ukraine-born journalist Peter Pomerantsev described the Kremlin’s propaganda as a truthless narrative:

“The Kremlin narrative,” he says, “now is that ‘there is no truth out there, and you’ll never find it; but go with us because our emotional content is more vital.” That promotes cynicism and “cynicism breaks down critical thinking” because at its root “is something quite medieval and emotional – a world of myths and storytelling.”

“When you don’t believe in facts,” Pomerantsev concludes, “you are just left with that.”

 

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