Posts tagged ‘totalitarianism’

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Persevere with religions’ sinicization, Wang Yang tells “zhong zong he”

The following is a news item from “Xinwen Lianbo” evening news on July 3. Links within blockquote added during translation into English.

CCTV / Xinwen Lianbo — The first session of the fifth China Committee on Religion and Peace [CCRP, zhōngguó zōngjiào jiè hépíng wěiyuánhuì] was held in Beijing on July 3. Member of the CCP politburo’s standing committee and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference [CPPCC] chairman Wang Yang met with participants and gave a speech.

中国宗教界和平委员会第五届委员会第一次会议3日在北京举行。中共中央政治局常委、全国政协主席汪洋会见与会人员并讲话。

Wang Yang offered his congratulations on the successful convening and elections of a new leadership for the new “zhōng zōng hé” leading body. He pointed out that during the past five years, “zhōng zōng hé” had adhered to the party’s fundamental principle for religious work, fitted into the national diplomacy’s general working situation, complied with the objectives of “friendship, peace, development and cooperation”, actively and on its own initiative publicly proclaimed the true situation of religious freedom to the world and made active contributions to the building of an external environment that would be beneficial to our country’s development. The “zhōng zōng hé” has become an important window for the proclamation of China’s religious policies, and an important platform for the CPPCC’s foreign exchanges.

汪洋对会议的成功召开和选举产生的“中宗和”新一届领导班子表示祝贺。他指出,过去五年来,“中宗和”坚持党的宗教工作基本方针,配合国家外交工作大局,遵循“友好、和平、发展、合作”的宗旨,积极主动宣介我国宗教信仰自由的真实状况,为营造有利于我国发展的良好外部环境作出了积极贡献。“中宗和”已经成为宣介我国宗教政策的重要窗口,成为全国政协开展对外交往的重要平台。

Wang Yang emphasized that the new [i. e. fifth] “zhōng zōng hé” needed to have the new atmosphere of the new era, uphold the leadership of the CCP, conscientiously study and carry out the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, persevere with the direction of our country’s religions’ sinicization, and actively guide religion to better fit into socialist society. [“zhōng zōng hé”] needed to persevere with telling China’s story internationally, master religious policies, improve scholarly knowledge and self-cultivation, to tell China’s story in a language that foreigners understood and in a manner that was easy to accept. [There was a need to] improve China’s religious communities’ right to speak,1) and  a need to persist in strengthened self-building, in accordance with requirements of political reliability, religious attainment, moral character convincing to the masses and playing a role at the critical moment2),to cultivate and to bring up a strong team of religious talents, in order to contribute to boosting world peace and to promoting the building of a community of shared future for mankind.

汪洋强调,新一届“中宗和”在新时代要有新气象,要坚持中国共产党的领导,认真学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,坚持我国宗教中国化方向,积极引导宗教更好与社会主义社会相适应。要坚持在国际上讲好宗教的中国故事,掌握宗教政策,提高学识素养,以外国人听得懂的语言、容易接受的方式讲好中国故事,提高中国宗教界在国际上的话语权。要坚持加强自身建设,按照“政治上靠得住、宗教上有造诣、品德上能服众、关键时起作用”的要求,培养造就一支过硬的宗教界人才队伍,为促进世界和平,推动构建人类命运共同体作出应有贡献。

Secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China and Central Committee’s United Front Work Department director You Quan, CPPCC deputy chairman and secretary general Xia Baolong, and CPPCC deputy chairman Bagatur took part in the meeting.

中共中央书记处书记、中央统战部部长尤权,全国政协副主席兼秘书长夏宝龙、全国政协副主席巴特尔参加会见。

CPPCC deputy chairman and fourth [i. e. previous] “zhōng zōng hé” committee chairman Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai was re-elected as committee chairman and gave a written speech.

全国政协副主席、“中宗和”第四届委员会主席帕巴拉·格列朗杰继续当选为新一届委员会主席并发表了书面讲话。

Source: Chinese Central Television
来源:央视网
Revised on July 3, 2019, at 19:24 h
更新时间:2019年07月03 日 19:24

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Notes

1) Obviously, this “huayuquan” refers to an international right to speak
2) My translation of “关键时起作用” differs from CMP’s (theirs is from a previous article – see [4] Tibetan monks, nuns and temples receive honours for demonstrated loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party

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Related

Uyghur and Muslim minorities, Aug 19, 2018
Military garden of growing imams, Sept 17, 2014
Once upon time in sunday school, March 29, 2012
Science in action, Dec 26, 2010
Tibetan delegates visit US, March 20, 2009

Saturday, May 4, 2019

One Movement, Two Takes

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Beijing, April 30

Main Link: May-Fourth 100th Anniversary solemnly held at Great Hall of the People, Xi Jinping gives important Speech (纪念五四运动100周年大会在京隆重举行 习近平发表重要讲话)

Xinhua Beijing April 30 — A meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of the May-Fourth movement was solemnly held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping gave an important speech at the meeting, emphasizing that for the past 100 years, the May-Fourth movement has been a continuous struggle of one youthful Chinese generation after another, marching forward under triumphant songs, creating 100 years of a youthful China, and a youthful nation, by their youthful selves. The main theme of the new era’s Chinese generation’s movement, its youthful movement’s direction, its youthful mission, is to uphold the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, to be together with the people, to achieve the goal of the struggle for the “Two Centenaries” and the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

新华社北京4月30日电 纪念五四运动100周年大会30日上午在北京人民大会堂隆重举行。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平在会上发表重要讲话强调,五四运动以来的100年,是中国青年一代又一代接续奋斗、凯歌前行的100年,是中国青年用青春之我创造青春之中国、青春之民族的100年。新时代中国青年运动的主题,新时代中国青年运动的方向,新时代中国青年的使命,就是坚持中国共产党领导,同人民一道,为实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而奋斗。

Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan attended the meeting.

李克强、栗战书、汪洋、王沪宁、赵乐际、韩正、王岐山出席大会。

In the Great Hall of the People’s great hall, the atmosphere was solemn and enthusiastic. Above the podium, red banners were hanging with the inscription “commemorating the May-Fourth Movement’s 100th anniversary”, and behind at the center, there was a red banner saying “1919 – 2019”, and ten red flags in rows at both sides. In a distance, from the second floor, there was the slogan “Closely united around the Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, make full use of the great May-Fourth spirit, uphold the correct direction of the new era’s Chinese youth movement, and do your utmost to achieve the dream of the Chinese nation’s great rejuvenation, the magnificient and youthful chapter!”

人民大会堂大礼堂气氛庄严热烈。主席台上方悬挂着“纪念五四运动100周年大会”会标,后幕正中是“1919-2019”的红色字标,10面红旗分列两侧。大礼堂二楼眺台悬挂标语:“紧密团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,发扬伟大五四精神,坚持新时代中国青年运动正确方向,奋力谱写实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦的壮丽青春篇章!”

Before the beginning of the meeting, everyone loudly sang “I and my China”, “Without the Communist Party, There would be No New China”, “Glorious! Communist Youth League of China”, “Ode to the Motherland”, and other songs, everyone brimming with surging youthful passion.

大会开始前,全场高唱《我和我的祖国》、《没有共产党就没有新中国》、《光荣啊,中国共青团》、《歌唱祖国》等歌曲,会场洋溢着澎湃的青春热情。

[…]

Taipei, May 3

Main Link: 100 years of May-Fourth / Chen Ming-tong: Mainland doesn#t see Mr De and Mr Sai, Taiwan guided by May Fourth 五四百年/陳明通:大陸不見德賽先生 台灣引航五四

On this year’s 100th anniversary of the May-Fourth  Movement, [Taiwan’s] Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong has pointed out that strangulation of thought and freedom of speech control of young “listening to the party, going with the party”, an imbalance and twists between political reform and economic development, turning their backs to the May-Fourth spirit, all of mainland China ransacked and did away with the figures of “Mr Sai and Mr De”. Only with the practice of democracy on both sides of the Taiwan Strait could there be communication among equals, peaceful coexistence and a resolution of differences.

今年五四運動一百周年,陸委會主委陳明通指出,中共箝制思想言論自由、控制青年「聽黨話、跟黨走」,政治改革與經濟發展的失衡偏斜,背離五四精神,整個中國大陸遍尋不著「德先生與賽先生」身影。唯有兩岸都採行民主體制,才能對等溝通、和平共處、化解分歧。

In an address to a roundtable session for a”May Fourth 100th Anniversary: Mainland China’s Democracy Development Review” he said that “all-embracing freedom of thought”, as advocated as a school management guideline by then Beida University president had advocated “all-embracing freedom of thought” as a university management guideline by then Beida University president Cai Yuanpei, while these days, the Chinese Communist Party determined the May Fourth Movement as a history of the Communist Party’s struggle. Diverse and independent campuses, the spirit of freedom and openness, freedom of thought and speech had been strangled by the Communist Party, controlling the wave of  the young people “listening to the party, going with the party”.

陳明通3日出席「五四運動一百周年:中國大陸民主發展的反思」圓桌論壇時致詞指出,當年北大校長蔡元培倡導「思想自由、兼容並包」的辦學方針,如今中共將五四界定為共黨奮鬥史,中國大陸校園多元自主、自由開放的精神,已被中共箝制思想言論自由、控制青年「聽黨話、跟黨走」的反民主自由思潮。

[…]

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Related

One ROC, two Interpretations, Oct 10, 2011

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Updates / Related

A critical moment, SCMP, May 4, 2019

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

East-West Relations: “Not the Partner” (1)

The Economist‘s title story on March 3 this year was about “how the West got China wrong”. In some more detail, the same edition explored as to how China is “not the partner you were looking for”.

As a public, we seem to have a tendency to categorically idealize and devalue relationships – even between nations and civilizations. This is how Max Frisch, a late Swiss author and playwright, put cooling love affairs into an exemplary gloomy dialog:

“You are not,” says the disappointed he or she, “who I thought you were.” (“Du bist nicht”, sagt der Enttäuschte oder die Enttäuschte, „wofür ich Dich gehalten habe.”)

Now, I’m not thinking of West-East relations as a love affair, and Max Frisch was describing the feelings of individuals. But the quote applies all the same (even if Frisch would certainly disapprove of putting it into this East-West context). Propaganda shapes “collective identities”, and according to Jacques Ellul, it offers man “a remedy for a basically intolerable situation” – the impossibility of grasping “the world’s economic and political problems”.

Both Western and Chinese narratives about a disappointing relationship are beginning to take shape. Both are top-down propaganda – people at the grassroots, this blogger included, can only draw information from mainstream and alternative media, blogs (which frequently turn newspaper steaks into hamburger meat without changing the substance), and individual contacts. That’s no great competition for propaganda – rather, it’s part of it. I don’t claim to be able to escape from it, either. I’m experimenting. I’m still blogging because it’s fun.

During this summer, I might try to depict “how the West got China wrong”, and “how China” (or uncertain shares of  Chinese public opinion, anyway) “got the West wrong”. It may also be interesting to speculate about how we will continue to get each other wrong, or which of the mainstream narratives, if either of them, will prevail – or how they may have to take realities into account in order to prevail.

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Related

The Primacy of Politics, June 13, 2010

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Chairman Unlimited

Xi Jinping‘s speech at the 19th central committee’s fourth collective study session on Sunday, rendered there by Xinhua newsagency, contained the usual buzzwords from building a modern socialist country, making the great regjuvenation of the Chinese nation real, a country ruled according to the law (依法治国), and the moderately prosperous society (小康社会). Apart from that, Xi reportedly also pointed out that “the constitution is the superstructure and must therefore suit the changes at the economic base (宪法作为上层建筑,一定要适应经济基础的变化而变化).

Xi also seems to have gone to some length to emphasize the legitimacy derived from the constitution, and from constitutional behavior. No wonder: the CCP’s politburo has sent a draft of constitutional changes to the “National People’s Congress'”  standing committee, according to the second Xinwen Lianbo newsitem last night.

The amendment that has caught most of the international attention on Sunday is actually a reduction:

14. Article 79, para 3, “The People’s Republic of China chairperson’s and vice chairperson’s terms in office are identical with the terms of each National People’s Congress, and must not exceed the duration of two terms.” The amendment reads: “The People’s Republic of China chairperson’s and vice chairperson’s terms in office are identical with the terms of each National People’s Congress.”

十四、宪法第七十九条第三款“中华人民共和国主席、副主席每届任期同全国人民代表大会每届任期相同,连续任职不得超过两届。”修改为:“中华人民共和国主席、副主席每届任期同全国人民代表大会每届任期相同。”

With me in charge, you are at ease, are you not? – click photo above for Xinwen Lianbo video

At the central committee’s collective study session, Xi, the beneficiary (and arguably author) of this amendment, was keen on pointing out how important a constitution is, provided that it contains the correct amendments:

Xi Jinping emphasized that the constitution has the highest legal status, legal authority, and legal force. Above all, our party must set an example in venerating and implementing the constitution, and by leading the people in drawing up and implementing constitutional law, and [by leading the people in] persisting in unified action with the party within the scope of constitutional law. No organization or individual must have prerogatives beyond the law. All acts that violate constitutional laws must be investigated. […]

习近平强调,宪法具有最高的法律地位、法律权威、法律效力。我们党首先要带头尊崇和执行宪法,把领导人民制定和实施宪法法律同党坚持在宪法法律范围内活动统一起来。任何组织或者个人都不得有超越宪法法律的特权。一切违反宪法法律的行为,都必须予以追究。 […..]

The constitution is a matter for the “National People’s Congress”, China’s ersatz parliament. As for Xi’s function as CCP secretary general and head of the central military commission (officially, there is one CMC by the state, and one by the party, but they are in fact identical), there appear to be no term limits anyway.

Foarp has started a discussion on his blog.

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Related

How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Xi Jinping’s first time, Nov 29, 2012
你办事,我放心, People’s Daily, July 4, 2012

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Blog and Press Review: Frugal New Year

Warning: the following translation from a classic is just my guesswork – if you copy that for your homework, the mistakes will be your fault, not mine. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Frugal New Year: the Xi Style

The year of the dog is upon us, and it must be a dog’s life if you are a cadre in the Xi Jinping era. That’s what you might believe, anyway, if you read secretary general Xi Jinping’s spiritual nourishment for comrades. After all, in a totalitarian society, administration, legislation, crackdowns and Something Understood all need to come from the same source.

People’s Daily has published three instalments of Xi Jinping thought. The first: go and visit the poor, and ask about their suffering, find solutions to the problems and dump the worries. The second: have an affectionate reunion with your family, as a good family style promotes virtue.

For the third instalment, the sermon turns to the New Book of Tang:
奢靡之始,危亡之渐 (which means something like “what begins lavishly will move towards danger”, I suppose).

I can only find the Chinese original [no English edition] of the  New Book of Tang online, and there, in chapter 105, Chu Suiliang, an advisor with morals, tells his surprised sovereign the meaning of things that only appear to be innocent at first glance:

帝尝怪:“舜造漆器,禹雕其俎,谏者十馀不止,小物何必尔邪?”遂良曰:“雕琢害力农,纂绣伤女工,奢靡之始,危亡之渐也。漆器不止,必金为之,金又不止,必玉为之,故谏者救其源,不使得开。及夫横流,则无复事矣。”帝咨美之。

The emperor said: “Shun made the lacquer, Yu gave us the embroideries, but the remonstrances never seem to end. How can small things be evil?”
Suiliang said: “ornate artwork harms the peasantry, and embroidery hurts the working women. What begins lavishly, will indeed move towards danger. It doesn’t end at lacquerware, it takes gold, too. It doesn’t end there, but jade will be required, too. Those who remonstrate do not want to see things pass the point of no return.”

If my impression of the Chinese texts is basically correct, Xi seems to present himself as someone who speaks truth to power – which is corny at best, and quite probably populist. The latter, anyway, is a tool lavishly handed around among the Davos jetset more recently, and it probably works fine, especially at the grass-roots level, with people who routinely delude themselves.

Roar back, if you still dare, fly or tiger.

Xi Jinping probably found a lot to copy from Ronald Reagan. His May 4 speech in 2013 resembled Reagan’s endless-opportunities speech in 1984. While frequently considered risk averse when it comes to reform, optimism, a “determination … to educate his audience” and “unobtrusive and imperceptible moral influence” (OK – it depends on how much corniness you’ve grown up with) are features Xi’s propaganda style seems to share with the late US president’s.

Footnote: when it comes to education on the ground, education of the public appears to be anything but imperceptible, as The Capital in the North reported in January.

Central Europe (1): After the “Czech Reversal”

The China Digital Times has an article by a Czech academic, describing Chinese influence in Eastern Europe (although the Czech Republic is hardly “eastern” European), and more particularly about a “China Energy Fund Committee” (CEFC). Czech president Miloš Zeman, who is quoted there with some of his characteristically tasteless remarks (about Chinese eyes, before he changed his mind), has explicit opinions about journalism, too.

Central Europe (2): German Mittelstand’s Main Thing

If the German Mittelstand can’t be found in China, it’s probably because they are investing and selling in the Visegrád countries, and beyond. the Handelsblatt‘s English-language edition has a critical assessment of Mittelstand companies role in Central Europe, quoting an apolitical German trade functionary to prove its point:

Ultimately, politics is not that important for businesspeople. Order books are full: That’s the main thing.

Obviously, German politicians (and journalists, for that matter) aren’t nearly as sanguine, and following US President Trump’s attendence at a Three Seas Initiative summit in July 2017, the Economist even recorded Teutonic tremors:

Germany is already concerned about China’s “16+1” initiative with central and eastern European states, a series of investment projects that the Chinese expect will build influence in the region. The Germans are also putting pressure on the Polish government over its illiberal attacks on independent newspapers, judges and NGOs. And they are fending off Polish criticisms that their proposed “Nord Stream 2” gas pipeline from Russia to Germany will make Europe more dependent on Russia.

But the Mittelstand shows no such unease. In fact, smaller and medium-sized companies often feel easier about countries that are closer to Germany, both regionally and culturally – it takes less time to travel, less time spent abroad, less worries about intercultural competence (or its absence), and less worries about market barriers or technology theft.

Hualien, Taiwan

Most people will have heard and read about the earthquake that caused deaths and injuries, especially in Hualien, on Tuesday.

But the place should be known for its beauty, too. There’s a travel blog about the Taroko Gorge, apparently written by a Singaporean, with some practical advice which  should be quite up to date (based on a visit in November 2016). That, plus some history.

The Spy Radio that anyone can hear

No, that’s not the BBC. They’ve only produced a video about numbers stations.

But what’s the fun in them if anyone can listen? I want some numbers of my own.

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Related

Budapest Guidelines, in Chinese and in English, Nov 2017

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shortwave Logs: Radio Romania International (RRI)

If you are looking for a European broadcaster on shortwave, the BBC World Service may come to your mind – or Radio Romania International (RRI). The latter’s range of program languages is quite diverse: English, Chinese, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and German. One a week, on Sundays, there’s a broadcast in Hebrew, too, with a review of the week1).

— Some history

According to the station’s website, first experimental radio programmes for target areas beyond Romania’s borders were aired in 1927. Broadcasting became official on November 1, 1928, on 747 kHz (401.6 meters) – apparently targeted at a domestic audience, in Romanian only. French and English programs followed in 1932, “to inform the diplomatic corps in the Romanian capital city”, and weekly programs in French and German were targeted at central and western Europe. Before the second world war, all foreign broadcasts depended on medium wave transmitters. When the first shortwave transmissions began, the focus appears to have been on the Balkans, and the Middle East. According to RRI, [i] t seems that the first letter received from abroad came from Egypt.

It’s a detailed account of RRI’s history (and that of its preceding organizations, all headquartered in Bucharest’s General Berthelot Street), and will most likely contain some information that is new to the reader.

Olt County's coat of arms, 1985 and post-1989

Olt County’s coat of arms, as depicted on a QSL card of December 1985, and as of these days (click picture for Wiki entry)

— Languages, Programs, Contraditions

RRI provides news, background reports and some cultural coverage. Much of the content is the same in English, German, and Chinese, but focus may differ somewhat. While there is news, some background information and cultural programming in all these languages, listeners’ preferred topics seem to count, too. German listeners frequently enquire about European and social issues – something that appears to be of less interest to Chinese listeners. The scope of Chinese programs may also be somewhat limited by air time: thirty minutes per broadcast in Chinese, rather than sixty, as is the case with some of the broadcasts in English, French, and German.

When it comes to international exchange or openness, RRI certainly can’t be accused of discrimination. The Institut Francais is shown among their partners on the French service’s web pages, and a link to the “Confucius Institute” in Bucharest adorns the Chinese-language main page, side by side with one to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (with no specified status).

According to RRI’s English service’s website, RRI’s Chinese service, which first went on air on October 1, 1999, benefited from […] Chinese language experts […] as well as our colleagues from Radio China International, the Romanian language department […].2)

Given the kind of “news” being broadcast by China Radio International (CRI), this kind of cooperation doesn’t look appropriate.

Some caveats: undue Beijing’s influence isn’t limited to RRI in particular, or to southeastern Europe in general3) (as suspected by some German quarters). A number of German universities have opted for cooperation with the agency from Beijing, for example, and areas of cooperation are hardly less sensitive.

Also, RRI’s news broadcasts in Chinese don’t appear to differ from those of the English or German departments. When Chinese listeners hear about Romanian citizens who take to the street, opposing changes to the country’s legal system, or Japan’s prime minister emphasizing liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as Japan’s and Romania’s shared values and principles, it may be met with more open minds, than if broadcast by a source that is deemed hostile by its audience.

All the same, turning October 1, 1949 into common ground between the audience and the station’s first broadcast in Chinese (October 1, 1994) spells a major contradiction, when suggesting at the same time, on a different history page, that RRI services turned towards the future, towards once again building a bridge between Romania and the democratic world and re-establishing the link between Romanians living abroad and those back home, a link that had been weakened on purpose by the totalitarian regime.

— Audience

RRI doesn’t offer detailed statistics – few international broadcasters do. It seems likely, however, that a presence on shortwave makes a difference for the better. I wouldn’t hear or read much about the country, if its signals didn’t come in handy. I’m suspecting that within Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, you can listen to RRI with a pressing iron (any appliance with spiral coils should do).

What has kept this blogger from giving feedback to the station is their online policy. It seems that everything that is mentioned in their listener’s-feedback programs goes right online, as a transcript. Facebookers probably won’t mind, but more traditional listeners may be a different story.

Either way, RRI certainly has its fans, and its multipliers.

— Shortwave

Shortwave plays an important role, at least when it comes to middle-aged and old listeners. For one, there’s the technical aspect. Nobody is encouraged to disassemble and reassemble his smartphone, or to boost its transmission power or its sensitivity. Use of shortwave, however, involves technical aspects, and people interested in some DIY. And while an app user may brush any source of information away after a few seconds, shortwave listeners’ attention span is likely to be sturdier.

It would seem to me that among a number of other aspects (sound not least – I find digital sound ugly), shortwave broadcasting signals respect for the listeners. It is more costly than web-based communication, it doesn’t provide broadcasters with as much information about how “efficient”, in terms of listener numbers, their productions actually are (which means that even the invisible listener matters), and it doesn’t ask if a listener lives under circumstances that allow for internet access – be it for economic or censorship reasons.

Shortwave is therefore a unique RRI feature. Bulgaria abandoned its shortwave transmissions years ago, so did Radio Poland, Radio Ukraine International, and Radio Prague (except for some airtime on German or American shortwave stations respectively). Radio Budapest, once one of the most popular Eastern European external broadcasters, is history.

— Recent RRI logs

Broadcasts in Chinese, German, and Hebrew
Time UTC Lang. Date Freq. S I N P O
07:00 German Jan21 7345 5 5 5 4 4
13:30 Chinese Jan21 9610 4 5 5 3 4
17:05 Hebrew Jan21 9790 4 5 5 3 4

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Footnotes

1) RRI’s website states 19:05 hours as the beginning of the transmission, which is standard time in Romania, and in Israel (17:05 GMT/UTC).
2) The Romanian department at CRI still exists, with an online presence, and medium/shortwave transmissions.
3) The “Spiegel” interview in German.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chairman Xi – the Old Normal Cult

“How did one man come to embody China’s destiny?”, asks the BBC‘s China correspondent, Carrie Gracie. Part of the answer lies in the way the BBC designs her article – The Thoughts of Chairman Xi. Opening it, you feel as if you enter that Yan’an “cave” museum yourself. And as this is a global village, the design also resembles CCTV’s doxology.

Editors and designers – click picture above for CCTV webpage

Now, what made Xi Jingping the man who “embody’s China’s destiny”?

I’m forever a son of the yellow earth,

Gracie quotes Xi.

But the real explanation is much more simple. Xi is his father’s son. That’s not just one aspect of the story – it’s the one that really matters. The rest is useful flattery, written by the man’s hand-picked propagandists.

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Related

How yellow was my Hometown, Febr 14, 2015
How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Towering, March 18, 2013
Cross-legged on the kang, Jan 13, 2013
How they cried, Dec 24, 2012
Outgoing and incoming dictators, Jan 6, 2012

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Upates

No heir apparent, BBC News, Oct 25. 2017

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Trump Rhetoric against North Korea reveals Need for modernized US Foreign Policy

Donald Trump was born rich. That’s why he’s qualified to serve as US President. You only have to look the other way when he’s making decisions. To talk bullshit to the press (or on Twitter) is a decision, too. This is what he told the press in New Jersey, on Tuesday:

Q: Any comment on the reports about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities?

A: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.

Thank you.

Senator John McCain stated the obvious, still on Tuesday, in a radio interview: “You got to be sure you can do what you say you’re going to do.”

If that’s logical, it’s too logical for President Trump – and for some of his supporters, who refer to McCain as a “traitor” who “sabotaged” their idol. Because, who knows, if everyone would have kept his  mouth shut, Pyongyang might have been very afraid.

Trump is either a madman, or a bigmouth. We may be hopeful, for now, that he’s a bigmouth first. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t do damage. In fact, Washington is heading into a loss of face like the world has never seen. George W. Bush was the first wrecker’s ball operator against American credibility, and Trump is his worthy successor.

But sometimes, when an idiot is running the farm, his operations reveal structural weaknesses that began long before his reign.

It has been said countless times by now that there are “no good options” when it comes to North Korea. That’s easy to say, and when it’s said frequently enough, it begins to sound like an inevitable truth.

But the debate if there are “good” options, or only more or less lousy options, has little to do with North Korea. Instead, it has a lot to do with America. Whenever there’s a debate about foreign policy, it sounds as if America was in full control, and just needed to decide if they want to “take out” this or that dictator.

There would be a fairly good option, concerning North Korea – the only question is if Trump is the president who can do it. Maybe he can – after all, he has no face, and therefore can’t lose face.

Either way: what is the fuss about the impossibility to recognize North Korea as an equal in international relations? Not as an equal in ethical terms, obviously, but as an equal member of the United Nations?

The problem is that both America and China follow the Yang Jiechi doctrine: that [your country] is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact.

America is a hegemon in decline. That means that, to maintain its international influence, it will have to modernize its foreign and military policies. It needs to find partners, rather than junior partners. And it needs to understand what constitutes a problem, and what doesn’t. America can no longer afford to exhaust all other options before doing the right thing.

If America can do business with China – a totalitarian country -, there is no plausible reason as to why it shouldn’t do business with North Korea, too. North Korea’s neighbors would hardly object. A policy – or mere rhetoric – that suggests a war on their territory is not popular there. And Pyongyang would be only to happy to reduce its dependence on Beijing.

Therefore, the first step should be to accept North Korea’s status as a nuclear power. If China should have any concerns about that, let it be Beijing’s problem. America may offer some inexpensive assistance, if deemed auspicious, but why should they tackle the main responsibility for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula if Beijing considers North Korea a bargaining chip against Taiwan?

Let’s face it: there is nothing any power on earth can do when Beijing protects the regime in Pyongyang. But there is a lot that can be done to defend South Korea, Japan, and – not least – Taiwan.

Therefore, Washington should reach out to Pyongyang.

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Updates/Related

Moon: Peace a national interest, BBC, Aug 14, 2017

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