Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy on Vacation, while Party expects Returns on Investment

Twitter can be fun, but would be a waste of time if all the information you can get passes by without some reflection on it. Learning by repetition. Here goes.

China’s recent diplomacy has been referred to as wolf warrior diplomacy (戰狼外交) in recent months – or in fact for years (as Sweden can tell) -, but it has become a much more frequently used term with the COVID-19 crisis.

As Washington and Beijing traded accusations and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 origins during the first half of 2020, Beijing’s propaganda machine continuously switched gears between angry statements and more or less funny cartoons on “social media” platforms like Twitter, depicting Trump administration officials as dorks or hypocrites. Chinese foreign ministry (FMPRC) spokesman and communications director Zhao Lijian as well as Chinese media outlets like CCTV-English, People’s Daily in English, Xinhua news agency etc. took leading roles in “anti-American” (反美) enunciations.

But wolf warrior diplomacy apparently didn’t lead to results that would have satisfied Beijing after all. On Tuesday (August 4), China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, told an NBC anchor and a wider online public that

The normalization of relations between our two countries and the growth of this relationship over the decades has served the interests of both countries and the world very well. It’s quite clear to all of us are still enjoying the positive outcome, the benefit of this growth of relationship. Nobody can really deny this.

Societal differences should provide opportunities for mutual learning, Cui suggested.

Cui himself didn’t have to make a u-turn to emphasize the “positive outcomes” of Sino-US relations – he had never been a wolf warrior diplomat anyway, and Washington wouldn’t have been the place to test these fruits of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era / Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy anyway. And when he made the essential swipe – there needs to be one in every Chinese representation to Americans these days, to show that the speaker is not afraid of his audience -, he smiled as if he wanted to apologize for what he was saying.

Click picture for video

His boss, foreign minister Wang Yi, didn’t have to turn everything upside down either. But to show that Xi has always been a great supporter of dialogue, he inaugurated a Research Center for the Guiding Role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic Thought at the FMPRC on July 20.

According to “Radio Free Asia” (apparently not safely verified), fifty-centers have been told to switch their messages from “anti-American” to “double-win” (click picture for details)

Thusly illuminated, foreign minister Wang addressed an online forum of American and Chinese think tanks (including Henry Kissinger and Kevin Rudd, apparently) on July 9, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas in a video conference on July 24 (not without informing his colleague in Berlin that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America), and, most recently, the readers of Communist Party organ “People’s Daily”.

Chances are that US secretary of state Pompeo and his network have struck the right note in communication with Beijing during the past months, and distancing from China could become a bipartisan American policy. However, the Trump administration may not be able to take traditional allies as far along in their cause as they would like to.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told a press conference with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo that “we make our own decisions and we use our own language”, and that “the relationship with China is important and we have no intention of injuring it”.

Sydney Morning Herald correspondents wrote on August 1 that Joe Biden, the US Democrats’ presidential nominee, was

expected to be closer to what Australia is trying to do: transition to a multipolar region where Beijing is accommodated but counterbalanced by regional powers including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the US.

At times, Trump and Pompeo’s approach seems to be an attempt to maintain the US as regional hegemon – something Canberra quietly gave up on a few years ago.

[Lowy Institute executive director] Fullilove says in some ways a Biden administration would be tougher on China and may make requests of Australia which are harder to refuse.

The correspondents also pointed out that both Japan and New Zealand, while basically following the US / Australia lines, had kept a rather low profile, thus protecting their trade interests with China.

Germany wasn’t exactly the first country either to throw a gauntlet at Beijing, or to publicly take note of China’s internment policies in East Turkestan, or its breach of international law by imposing its “national security law” on Hong Kong. Berlin’s position was further complicated as Germany’s leadership currently chairs the EU in a rotational arrangement, having to find as much common ground among Beijing-leaning EU member states and more resilient members.

Only when Hong Kong’s government announced a “postponement” of Legislative Council elections by a year, ostensibly because of the special administrative region’s COVID-19 crisis, Germany joined other countries and suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. On August 3, French foreign ministry sharply criticized Beijing’s “national security law”, and halted ratification of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which had been in process since 2017.

A few days earlier, and five days after his conversation with Germany’s foreign minister, Wang Yi had been on the phone with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian,

Austrian public radio ORF‘s China correspondent Josef Dollinger arguably provided one of the more succinct summaries of European policies. Asked on July 29, the morning when the EU governments presented their agreed reaction to Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, if Washington’s chances of isolating Beijing could be successful, he said that conflicts with China could not be painless, and that while

you can ride a tiger gone wild without getting bucked off – difficult as that may be -, you shouldn’t keep shouting “I’ve got him, I’ve got him.”

Man kann zwar auf einem wild gewordenen Tiger reiten, ohne abgeworfen zu werden – auch wenn’s schwierig ist -, aber man sollte dabei nicht ständig rufen, “ich hab’ ihn, ich hab’ ihn”.

In the EU, disappointment about stalling talks on a comprehensive investment treaty with China have likely added to a hardening position.

And while America’s allies have resisted Pompeo’s calls to join them on the warpath, it does appear that China underestimated the impact of its Hong Kong policies, at least in democratic countries.

All the more, Wang Yi himself, too, tries to stick to a script that would paint China as the natural and predetermined victor to emerge from the beginning struggle. Among some double-win promises, he also threatened America with history’s pillar of shame (恥辱柱).

No matter how much, or little, pressure China may feel as a whole, Beijing’s diplomats are having a tough time of it. It is one thing to open a Xi-Jinping shrine at the FMPRC. To deliver on hard issues is another. The leadership and its personality core have significantly raised investment in diplomacy. They will expect more than just damage control in return.

____________

x

Friday, June 12, 2020

Hua Chunying: “I want to reiterate that China is the biggest victim of disinformation”

Main Links:
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on June 12, 2020 (English)
2020年6月12日外交部发言人华春莹主持例行记者会 (Chinese)

AFP: Twitter today said it removed tens of thousands of state-linked accounts used by China to spread disinformation or praise China’s response. As Chinese diplomats are becoming regular users of Twitter, I wonder what’s your comment on that?

法新社记者:推特公司今天表示,移除了数万个中方用来散布虚假信息、赞扬中国疫情应对的账号。中国外交官越来越多通过推特平台表达观点,你对此有何评论?

Hua Chunying: I’m not sure what is the basis of Twitter’s decision, but I would say that to equate plaudits for China’s epidemic response with disinformation is clearly untenable, unless we redefine what “disinformation” is. It is generally understood that disinformation should be false, untrue, or even maliciously fabricated lies and rumors. However, China’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and the results it achieved are real and witnessed by all. Recently, a white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action” issued by the Information Office of the State Council unequivocally presents how the Chinese people have fought in unity in this great war against COVID-19 by providing a clear timeline and hard facts.

华春莹:我不清楚推特公司做出这一决定的依据是什么,但我想说,将肯定中国对疫情的应对等同于虚假信息显然是站不住脚的,除非重新定义什么是“虚假信息”。一般人理解,虚假信息应该是假的,不真实的,甚至是恶意捏造的谎言和谣言。而中国为抗击新冠肺炎疫情所做的努力和取得的成效是实实在在、有目共睹的。近日,中国国务院新闻办公室发表了《抗击新冠肺炎疫情的中国行动》白皮书,以清晰的时间线和铁一般的事实,清清楚楚地记录了中国人民团结一心抗击疫情的伟大历程。

At the same time, as you can see, since the outbreak of the pandemic, some people and forces in the international community have been almost crazy and hysterical in slandering and badmouthing China with rumors. You must have known that as exposed by the Politico website, the US National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a 57-page memo advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by “aggressively attacking China”. A few days ago, the same news website reported that in late March, 2.6 million tweets related to coronavirus were retweeted 25.5 million times within 10 days, and a lot of them spread rumors like “the coronavirus was a bioweapon created in China”. According to the report, an analysis of these Twitter accounts found that many of them are linked to supporters of the GOP and the right wing in the US, and had the hallmarks of “bots”.

与此同时,大家也都看到,疫情发生以来,国际上有一些人、一些势力在近乎疯狂、歇斯底里地针对中国进行造谣、污蔑和抹黑。你肯定知道,美国“政治”新闻网站曾曝光共和党参议院全国委员会向竞选机构发送57页备忘录,鼓动通过“积极攻击中国”应对疫情危机。几天前,也是美国“政治”新闻网站报道,3月下旬推特上有260万条与新冠病毒有关的推文10天内被转发2550万次,其中大量推文造谣称“病毒是中国生产制造的生化武器”。有关报道称通过分析发现其中很多推特账号与美国共和党及右翼势力支持者有关,且很多都是“机器人”账号。

If Twitter believes that those tweets praising China’s anti-epidemic efforts are “disinformation” and the accounts should be shut down, I wonder what they will do with the real disinformation which has undeniably smeared China with malicious intentions? If those who create and spread such disinformation can be allowed to go their own way and do everything in their power, then this is the perfect example of ideological prejudice, bias against China, blatant double standards, and the behavior to confuse right and wrong. What should be shut down is precisely the accounts that attack and smear China in an organized and coordinated manner.

如果推特公司认为肯定中国抗疫努力的是虚假信息并要关闭,不知道他们对于那些对中国恶意造谣抹黑的、真正的虚假信息怎么处理?如果任由他们大行其道、横行霸道、甚嚣尘上,那么什么是意识形态偏见,什么是戴着有色眼镜看中国,什么是赤裸裸的双重标准,什么是是非不分、黑白颠倒,这就是最好的例证。真正应该关掉的,恰恰是那些有组织、有协调来攻击抹黑中国的账号。

Let me reiterate that China is the biggest victim of disinformation. China always opposes the fabrication and dissemination of disinformation. The United Nations and WHO have repeatedly called on all countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to combat disinformation. We call on the international community to enhance solidarity and coordination, jointly reject disinformation, so that those political viruses such as rumors and slanders and the perpetrators and manipulators behind the scene will have no place to hide.

我要重申的是,中国是虚假信息的最大受害者。中方一贯反对制造和传播虚假信息。联合国和世卫组织已多次呼吁各国加强团结合作,打击各类虚假信息。我们呼吁国际社会加强团结协作,共同反对和抵制虚假信息,让那些谣言、诽谤等政治病毒及其幕后策划者、操纵者在阳光下无处遁形。

As for the more frequent use of Twitter by Chinese diplomats, I think it’s nothing strange. This is an era of new media. Just as many foreign diplomats and journalists in China use WeChat and Weibo, Chinese diplomats have taken Twitter as a channel and platform to communicate with people in other countries.

至于中国外交官越来越多使用推特,我想这很正常。这是一个新媒体时代,如同很多外国驻华外交官和外国媒体驻华记者在中国使用微信和微博一样,推特是中国外交官入乡随俗、与外国民众进行交流的一种方式和平台。

Meanwhile, some foreign media and social platforms are fraught with lies and rumors against China. In the dark and ugly world of disinformation, it is necessary for some people, including Chinese diplomats, to speak in a truthful, objective and impartial manner, like striking a match in the dark night to make some light. Anyone who is not playing deaf and dumb will be able to see the truth.

同时,现在一些外国媒体及社交平台上充斥着大量针对中国的恶毒谎言、谣言。在黑暗、丑陋的虚假信息世界里,需要一些人、包括中国外交官发出真实、客观、公正的声音,如同在漆黑的夜里擦亮一些火柴,发出一些光亮。只要不是铁了心、闭上眼、假装叫不醒的人,就能看到一些事实和真相。

____________

Related

A victim of disinformation, May 26, 2020

____________

Updates / Related

Friday morning  intrusion, June 12, 2020

____________

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Radio or the Internet? It’s both or neither

Why are “social media” so successful? Seems to me that the most obvious reason is that they give you a chance to speak out publicly, to make a difference in political ways. You can compliment the actress of your choice (ahem), you can shout at your region’s members of parliament, at top politicians, or at industrial managers.

(Those who appoint the managers won’t usually do Facebook or Twitter, though. They may not even bother to hire some ghostwriters.)

Then there may be a need to network. When all people relevant for your career are on Facebook or Twitter, you may have to be there, too. There may be a real need to follow them there, if you want to succeed in your job, or in “smashing the system”, or whatever your mission may be.

If both these motivations – making yourself heard and networking – are important, this could help to explain why “social media” haven’t helped to make our societies more democratic. What they have produced is a crude dialectics, though I’m not sure if there’s a never-ending synthesis, or if synthesis is completely out when sloganeering (with some more or less original variations of peoples’ credos) is the only thing that matters.

Bertolt Brecht doesn’t come across as an optimist. He usually saw the potential in new developments, including radio broadcasting – in 1932 and one year before the Nazis seized control of it. Brecht also knew – or learned – that newly-emerging media wouldn’t necessarily help the cause that he held dear.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a guy who is talking about the Internet, not radio,

writes a headphones guy in California.

Sounds logical, but it isn’t. Just as radio has become a mostly linear medium, so has the internet – at least on its commercial side, i. e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.. Yes, people can voice their opinions there. But I can’t see how they would shape things in a way different from the old days*). No matter if radio or internet, their democratic effectiveness depends on how they are organized, or how people organize themselves while using radio or the internet as their media.

____________

Note

*) Except for a more intense cultivation of enmity on the internet, maybe.

____________

Related

My first ten days on Twitter, Jan 30, 2020

____________

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

“Someone has falsified the Chinese Embassy’s official Twitter Account”

PARIS (AFP) – China’s embassy in Paris said Monday (May 25) its Twitter account had been “falsified” after a tweet portraying the US as a bloodthirsty grim reaper sparked disquiet over the diplomatic mission’s conduct on social media.

Clarification: Someone has falsified the Chinese embassy’s official Twitter account by publishing a drawing titled “‘Who is next”? The embassy makes a point of condemning it and is always committed to truth, objectivity and reason of information.

____________

Update / Related

French embassy says that “such a drawing is against the French law”, and refers to itself as a “victim of disinformation”.

___________

_

Monday, April 13, 2020

Have a Guess why WHO Director-General Tedros thinks he’s right

First off, I want you to know that I have signed this petition, and that I would like to encourage you to sign it, too. My main reason to ask for Dr. Tedros’ resignation is that he supports a policy of locking more than 20 million Taiwanese people out of the World Health Organization (WHO). That scandal didn’t start with his tenure, and has been WHO policy for a long time, but it is now exacting a price in terms of global health. Taiwan could share its eperience in a so far successful fight against COVID-19. Taiwan could also contribute financially. Taiwan seems to have warned the WHO on December 31, in an email query to the organization. And the WHO leadership appears to be unwilling to take this into account and make a wiser decision than in the past.

I don’t feel a personal dislike for Tedros, and I think that many “social media” remarks about him are inappropriate, and actually false assertions.

But every public official must be accountable to the people he serves, or claims to serve. That’s why I believe that the WHO’s director general should clear the way for a successor with a more inclusive policy than his.

It doesn’t help when people insult each other. Above all, character assassination blinds for the more likely facts and factors in political processes. Both sides are wrong when accusing each other of “politicizing” issues. WHO is inevitably about politics, because it depends on the funding of governments with very different interests, and different economic capabilities to contribute to the WHO’s work. The demands of the world’s poorest, as elementary and obvious as they may be, are also political. And China’s cover-up approach is political, too. Everything is politics – that’s no suitable swearword to use for either WHO officials, or their critics.

It is true however that when you look at the mere numbers – in million US-$ -, China’s influence on the WHO doesn’t seem to make sense:

member state fees1) voluntary2)   total
USA 57.9 401.1 459.0
China 28.7 16.9 45.6
Japan 20.5 46.7 67.2
Germany 14.6 89.9 104.5
United Kingdom 10.9 163.7 174.6

Then why the WHO’s understatement when China covered up their SARS-2 cases, why the blind eyes to Taiwan’s warning query in December 31 (not to mention the WHO’s discrimination of Taiwan in general), and why the WHO director-general’s generally meek interaction with Beijing?

  • Trump is toying with the idea of reducing America’s contributions. Any WHO director general has to plan ahead, especially when the organizations main stakeholder becomes unreliable.
  • Tedros is probably convinced that he is doing the right thing by chumming up to China. Losing people to disease is unacceptable for him, and that much is credible. There is no way that WHO can enforce transparency on the ground – be it in China, be it in any other countries, though smaller countries may be more susceptible to pressure. And conceited leaders (like China’s) are more susceptible to flattery. (That, of course, doesn’t make it right to help them downplay a crisis, neither knowingly nor unknowingly. But it may become a more understandable approach, when you keep in mind that understanding something isn’t the same thing as condoning it.)
  • Then there is a – supposed – trend. While Taiwan would probably contribute as much today as does China, it could be different in future. That’s what most in the global political class expect to happen. They may have to think again – China is regularly overestimated. While questionable statistics have often help its image among foreigners, forgery will backfire when it does damage to the faithful foreigners’ home countries. (Never mind a million “extremist” inmates in Chinese internment camps – that’s far, far away.)

It makes no sense to demonize Tedros. He isn’t much different from most national or business leaders when it comes to dealing with China. The difference of course is that national leaders are usually held accountable, sometimes more, sometimes less, but more so than heads of international institutions. That’s why African politicians do criticize China for the way Africans have been treated in Guangzhou, while Tedros, who had shortly before tried to mobilize African public opinion in his favor and against “Taiwanese racism” remains oddly silent now.

But of course, it makes no sense to defend Tedros’ policies, either.

I would still prefer some civility in the effort to make him go. One doesn’t need to hate or disdain a man who oppose him. Rather, you can oppose him more effectively when you try to understand him and his supporters.
____________

Notes

1) Source for obligatory contributions
2) Source for voluntary contributions
____________

Monday, March 16, 2020

New Diplomatic Normal: “Give your esteemed Country’s Voters an Explanation”

Latest diplomatic hero: Zhang Xiao,
ambassador to Kazakhstan

The following is a translation published by Guanchazhe online (观察者网, Shanghai) on Monday, covering a Facebook post written by China’s ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Xiao (张霄).

Diplomats, and especially Chinese diplomats, are usually the last officials who like to become noisy, but the times are changing, and so are the demands on them. The recent behavior of Chinese ambassadors, most notoriously the one to Sweden, Gui Congyou, should probably not be seen as populism, at least not in a classical sense.

Such explosions aren’t temper tantrums. They are attempts to intimidate other stakeholders, preferably smaller countries. Charm offensives aren’t completely out, but mostly restricted to “friendly” countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, or Pakistan.

Therefore, we should probably think of this as beauty contests on Xi Jinping’s catwalk – the new diplomatic normal, prescribed by the center. (A recall of Chinese ambassadors will just lead to another guy doing his best, so waste no time on it.)

Zhang Xiao’s facebook post, and Zhao Lijian‘s Tweet (referred to in the following Guanchazhe article) are somewhat different from Gui Congyou’s in that they apparently aren’t trying to pressurize a smaller country, but rather to excel in a global opinion struggle, and to impress their superiors.

Main link: Ambassador to Kazakhstan shows his dislike for America: a waste of the time won by China (我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使怼美国:浪费中国赢得的时间)

As some of America’s high-ranking officials and members of the House of Representatives have repeatedly talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma, another Chinese diplomat strikes back on social media abroad.

【文/观察者网 齐倩】在美国部分高官、议员多次将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”后,又一中国外交官在国外社交媒体上发出回击。

On March 14, our country’s ambassador to Kazachstan, Zhang Xiao, denounced America of only caring about vilifying and slandering China, wasting precious time that China had earned the world.

3月14日,我国驻哈萨克斯坦大使张霄也在脸书用俄语发声,指责美国在疫情初期只顾诋毁诽谤中国,白白浪费了中方用生命为世界赢来的宝贵时间。

He also pointed straight away at America’s epidemic data as being “too watered-down”, yelling that America’s government should be public and transparent, not politicize the virus, or swing pans around and seek scapegoats!

他还直指美国的疫情数据“掺了太多水”,喊话美国政府要公开透明,不要将病毒政治化,也不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention director previously conceded that Americans who died from influenza had in fact suffered from COVID-19 pneumonia, and after this matter had been exposed, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had written five tweets in a row on Twitter in the evening of March 12, both in Chinese and English, fuming at America that you owe us an explanation!

美国疾控中心主任此前承认美国有流感死者可能实患新冠肺炎,此事被曝光之后,外交部发言人赵立坚12日晚在推特上,用中英双语连发5条推文怒怼美国:欠我们一个解释!

In his tweet, Zhang Xiao shouted at America’s government: In the early stages of COVID-19 pneumonia epidemic, what did you do? Still infatuated with geopolitical games, domestic political agendas and slanders against China. You have wasted precious time that China had earned the countries of the world, including your country.

张霄在贴文中喊话美国政府:新冠肺炎疫情初期你们在干什么?仍醉心于地缘政治游戏、国内政治议程和诽谤中国。你们浪费了中国用生命为世界所有国家,包括你们在内,赢得的宝贵时间。

Zhang Xiao also attacked American data for not being transparent. He said that the American government had been confident that health officials’ warnings were lies, claiming that the situation was under control. By now, the COVID-19 virus had already spread into more than 40 US states, and you are losing your head out of fear right away.

张霄还抨击美国数据不公开透明。他表示,美国政府笃定本国卫生官员的预警是“谎言”,坚称局势已在控制中。而现在,新冠病毒已在美国40多个州蔓延,“你们马上变得惊慌失措”。

According to CNN’s latest reports, combined data from the respective US state governments and the CDC say that in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. had at least 3,482 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of who at least 65 people had died. West Virginia remained the only state without confirmed cases.

据美国有线新闻网(CNN)最新报道,综合各州政府机构和疾控中心(CDC)数据,在49个州、波多黎各、美属维尔京群岛和华盛顿特区至少有3482例新冠肺炎确诊病例,至少65人死亡。西弗吉尼亚州仍然是唯一一个没有确诊病例的州。

It is worth noting that CDC data have stopped as of March 13: 1,629 confirmed cases, 41 deaths. (Guanchazhe online note: US CDC stopped updating updating data on the weekend.

值得注意的是,美国疾控中心(CDC)的数据仍停留在3月13日:确诊病例1629例,死亡41例。(观察者网注:美国疾控中心周末停止更新数据。)

Zhang Xiao said that all the same, American scientists had confirmed themselves that many many people who had died of influenza were really victims of the COVID-19 virus, making the actual number of deaths from COVID-19 much higher,

张霄称,然而美国的科学家自己也证实,许多死于流感的人实际上是新冠病毒的受害者,所以实际死亡人数要多得多。“你们的数据里水分太多,谈何透明?”

[Apparently a caption of the Facebook entry:] The ridiculous thing is that facing an epidemic disease, your esteemed country has not taken emergency measures to mend the leaks, but shifted the responsibility to China, calling it “China virus”. Such a careless conclusion will inevitably raise suspicions among the popular feelings.

“可笑荒谬的是,面对流行病,贵国没有采取紧急措施来弥补和修补漏洞,而是把责任推给了中国,称其为“中国病毒”。如此草率地下结论,不免让人心生怀疑。” [End of caption]

He also continued to call on experts from all countries of the world to carry out research about the origin of the virus, and the truth would eventually come to light [literally: become clear under heaven]. What we must do now is that all countries unite, jointly resist the virus, but not shirk responsibility! There must be no pan-swinging and scapegoating again!

他还继续呼吁,各国专家都在对病毒起源进行研究,真相终将大白于天下。现在我们需要做的事情,就是各国团结一致,共同对抗病毒,而不是推卸责任。不要再甩锅找替罪羊了!

With the American epidemic becoming more serious day by day, Zhang Xiao [rhetorically] asked if your esteemed country’s lack of face masks, gloves, test reagents, equipment, and goods supplies and even the stock market crash were also China’s fault? It is time now to give your esteemed country’s voters and the international community an explanation, “what are you actually hiding?”

对于美国日趋严峻的疫情,张霄称,贵国缺乏口罩、手套、测试试剂和设备物资,甚至股市崩盘,这也是中国的错吗?现在是时候给贵国选民和国际社会一个交待了,“你们到底隐瞒了什么?”

Closing, Zhang Xiao explained that America’s government, as a result of its negligence in epidemic prevention, wasted the time China had gained for the world, and urged the US not to continue this kind of meaningless trick, because politicizing the virus would make the situation worse.

最后张霄重申,美国政府在防疫上的粗心大意,导致白白浪费了中国为世界赢得的时间,并敦促美国不要继续这种无意义的把戏,因为将病毒政治化会使情况变得更糟。

The virus is awful, even the strongest countries of the world won’t be able to withstand its blow. We must always remember not to expectorate into the well (not to do stupid things).

“病毒是可怕的,即使是世界上最强大的国家也会不堪一击。我们要永远记住,不要往井里吐痰(不要做蠢事)。”

Earlier,  high-ranking American officials and Members of the House of Representatives had, in disregard of WHO appeals, deliberately talked about a “China virus” as a way to use it as a stigma. According to a report on the Chinese embassy to Kazakhstan’s website, Zhang Xiao had forcefully stated his dislike of American politicans’ ridiculous statements as early as on March 9, saying that the COVID-19 virus had torn off America’s cold-blooded, hypocritical and arrogant mask.*)

此前,美国部分高官、议员多次无视世卫组织呼吁,故意将新冠肺炎污名化为“中国病毒”。据中国驻哈萨克斯坦大使馆网站报道,早在3月9日,张霄就在脸书力怼美国政客的荒谬发言,称新冠病毒撕下了美国冷血、虚伪和傲慢的面具。

Moreover, countering the so-called “virus’ orgin” controversy, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a reply on a regular press conference on March 13 that “we notice that recently, there have been discussions about the source of the virus. Individual high US government officials and Members of Congress are using this as a pretext for all kinds of false and irresponsible remarks to discredit and to attack China, to which we are resolutely opposed. In fact, the international community including America, have different views of the virus’ origin. China has always taken the view that this is a scientific issue and that we need to listen to scientific and professional opinions.”

另外,针对所谓“病毒起源”的争论,外交部发言人耿爽在3月13日召开的外交部例行记者会上回应称,“我们注意到,最近一段时间有一些关于新冠病毒源头的讨论。个别美国政府高官和国会议员借此发表种种不实和不负责任的言论,抹黑攻击中国,我们对此坚决反对。事实上,国际社会包括美国国内,对病毒源头问题有不同看法。中方始终认为,这是一个科学问题,需要听取科学和专业的意见。”

____________

Note

*) This doesn’t seem to make sense, but it’s how I’m reading it.

____________

Thursday, January 30, 2020

My first ten Days on Twitter

Thinking about it, these have been ten days within Twitter. Nothing or little of what I tweet would actually surface, except for a small chatroom of interested readers.

Press PR: "Because every word trains your head"

Press PR: “Because every word trains your head” (Archive)

My original motivation to start using a Twitter account was to draw more attention to this blog. But I’m beginning to suspect that this isn’t going to happen, for a number of reasons.

One is that there is a certain dialectics at work: you have to keep banging on the same subject, and kicking at the same objects, much of the time, if you want to attract readers. (There are exceptions, of course.)

Much of the news – especially many videos – can hardly be fact-checked.

I find it hard to confine my tweets to one speech bubble only – frequently, a message takes about three bubbles.

Then why should I keep using a Twitter account at all?

Probably because I find Twitter informative (even though my previous impressions may suggest otherwise). Provided that you remain skeptical, you may actually get a lot out of the constant stream of news, maybe-news, and opinion. Looks like promising material for blog posts. You cut yourself off the stream of information if don’t read along where the crowd is.

It used to be the blogosphere which informed readers. Now, to write good, up-to-date blogs, you probably need to follow Twitter users.

%d bloggers like this: