Posts tagged ‘volunteers’

Saturday, July 6, 2013

“China is Alright”: a Summer Camp for Overseas Chinese students from Laos

China Radio International‘s Mandarin service renders a newslet by China News Service (中国新闻社), China’s second-largest state-owned newsagency after Xinhua, on the field of public diplomacy.

Original title: Ethnic Chinese Laotians go to Yunnan to experience Chinese culture

CRI Online news: according to China News Service, the “2013 China is alright – the perfect Yunnan summer camp” has started in Kunming, with fourty campers and group leaders from Chinese schools in Laos. It is scheduled to go on for ten days. Apart from developing [an awareness or knowledge of, apparently] Yunnan ethnic culture, knowledge of China, and exchange, the overseas Chinese students will also experience Yunnan province’s local conditions and customs.


With Chinese-Laotian cooperation growing closer and the surging “Chinese language fever” in Laos, more and more ethnic Chinese and Laotians want to understand the Chinese way of life and traditional culture. Luo Bailan, a teacher and group leader with the camp, says that the Chinese schools in Laos are continuously adjusting their educational methods, to allow the students to learn by experience.


Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China deputy secretary general Li Xianguo says that “China is alright” is an important part of the foundation’s “Young Ethnic Chinese Chinese Culture Heritage Project”.


Chinese fever, Kunming

Chinese fever – click pictdure for China News Service coverage

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) is more elaborate, adding that most of the students haven’t been to Yunnan before. Even though it has been rainy for days, and temperatures in the spring city [i. e. Kunming] are a bit low, this hasn’t affected the campers’ high spirits in the least. They are reading the course schedules of the camp reader, excitedly discuss the coming lessons and the tourist attractions. A student tells the SCIO reporter that he is most interested in poetry recital and calligraphy, and in touring the Stone Forest, the birthplace of Ashima:

“We also want to experience the culture of national minorities in the Yunnan Nationalities Village I don’t know a lot about national minorities and hope to experience a lot of interesting things”, Lin Yingcai says in fluent Chinese.


Many Laotians and Burmese and Cambodians and North Koreans see China as a promised land, Joshua Kurlantzick wrote in his 2007 book Charm Offensive (p. 137). And America, he warned, had earned itself a bad image in the past, and was still doing so:

For decades, the United States still did not grant Laos normal trading relations, though Laos’s human rights record was no worse than the record of China, with whom America traded vigorously. American sanctions on Laos infuriated Lao officials, who didn’t understand why such a big country like the United Stateswould punish a minnow – especially since during the Vietnam War, America had dropped more bombs on Laos than it dropped on Germany and Japan together during World War II, leaving Laos riddled with unexploded ordnance.

(Kurlantzick, p. 59)

Jiang Zemin visited Laos in November 2000, reportedly the first visit by a Chinese head of state. In November 2006, Jiang’s successor Hu Jintao followed up, and moved China Radio International (CRI) one step ahead of the BBC and the VoA, by pushing a button for a rebroadcasting FM station – the inauguration ceremony was reportedly broadcast live, as the rebroadcaster’s first program ever:

So, Vientiane listeners, for the first time, clearly and vividly heard the the warm voice of state chairman Hu Jintao, a visitor from a friendly neighbor.



A CRI official said that the friendly relations between China and Laos created good conditions for CRI’s operations in Laos. According to the official, the Laotian government’s approval of CRI’s Vientiane frequency was one of only few. Before, the BBC and the VoA had applied for frequencies to the Laotian government, but had received no approval.




Branding China, May 18, 2008
Meeting the Volunteers, CRI, Nov 21, 2006


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cordial Conversations: Volunteering on Lei-Feng-Day

Shijiazhuang Daily (石家庄日报) is a paper from Hebei Province’s capital. It is the organ of Shijiazhuang’s CCP party committee and was established on November 18, 1947, six days after the the “People’s Liberation Army” had taken the city. Shijiazhuang Daily also runs a website which is clearly committed to the paper’s heritage. Shijiazhuang Daily and its online platform (Shijiazhuang News Net) aren’t unrivalled in their ideological orthodoxy, but they do live up to the former administrative region’s name of Chili, which, until 1928, included Hebei.

(CCTV cross-regional coverage, March 5, 2013)

Main Link: Our City Focuses on Carrying out Various Kinds of Voluntary Services – 我市集中开展多形式志愿服务活动

Shijiazhuang News Net, March 6, 2013 —

Yesterday was the 51rst Learning-from-Lei-Feng commemoration day, and it was also fifty years ago that Mao Zedong made his “Learn From Comrade Lei Feng” speech. Yesterday morning, our city held various Lei Feng volunteering service activities.


Own report (Wang Geng reporting). Yesterday Yesterday was the 51rst Learning-from-Lei-Feng commemoration day,and it was also fifty years ago that Mao Zedong made his “Learn From Comrade Lei Feng” speech. Yesterday morning, our city held various Lei Feng volunteering service activities. Permanent Provincial Party Committee member propaganda director Ai Wenli and municipal committee propaganda department director Sun Wanyong came to our city’s Times Park to participate in some voluntary tree-planting and other volunteer activities, gave the city a “Lei Feng Diary”, “Benefitting Hebei Province) and other books as gifts, advocated volunteer service and promoted the spirit of Lei Feng.

本报讯 (记者 王 更)昨日是第51个学雷锋纪念日,也是毛泽东发表题词“向雷锋同志学习”50周年。昨天上午,我市开展了多种形式的学雷锋志愿服务活动。省委常委、宣传部长艾文礼,市委常委、宣传部长孙万勇来到我市时光公园,参加了在此开展的义务植树等志愿活动,并向市民赠送了《雷锋日记》、《善行河北》等书籍,倡导志愿服务,宣扬雷锋精神。

Ai Wenli and his entourage first came to the park’s plaza to learn about the activities. More than twenty volunteer service groups were on the plaza, carrying out dental services, eyesight tests, Chinese massage, haircut and shaving, legal advice, car, mobile-phone and household appliances repairs, all in all nearly thirty volunteering activities. Ai Wenli had cordial converstations with the participants and Shijiazhuang citizens, asking them about their views and feelings about the Learning-from-Lei-Feng activities. In the park’s rockery, Ai Wenli took part in the task of planting trees and encouraged the volunteers who were with him: “there are more and more young people learning from Lei Feng who are born after the 1980s or 1990s, just like you. Lei Feng’s spirit will never go out of fashion and Lei Feng’s spirit must be inherited and developed ever further.”


Yesterday morning, at the New Railway Station’s entrance, waiting hall, ticketing hall and inquiry counters, at West King Bus Station and at the main traffic crossroads, etc., one could see young peoples’ silhouettes wearing red caps to attract attention, helping to keep the traffic orderly, showing people the way, advocating standing in line, carrying out civilizational guidance, etc.. They were young volunteers from the provincial capital’s [i. e. Shijuazhuang’s] colleges and universities. Shijiazhuang Vocational Technology Institute‘s volunteering student Tian Yudui told this reporter: “being a student, to do some duties in your spare time can help everyone to do something meaningful, something helpful. This is fulfilling and makes you feel that you are valuable.”


Volunteers*) were active in all community areas, some tidying and cleaning the places, some giving advice to older empty-nesters, some using their expertise to carry out useful services. Han Wei does repair work in some household appliance shop in the provincial capital. Yesterday, in the Zhuoda Rose Garden Park’s community area, he offered some voluntary household-appliance repair work. “Usually, after the [spring festival] holidays, when you come to these small community areas and help everyone reparing and maintaining their household appliances, it’s a service which is really welcomed. After helping others, you feel particularly good yourself, and really happy.”


According to provincial civilizational statistics, this city carried out various Lei-Feng activities yesterday, with fourty volunteer groups, nearly two-hundred volunteering organizations, about seven-thousand volunteers in the streets, entering schools, vilages, community areas to popularize knowledge about civilized manners, public civilizational guidance, legal advice, service on the three rural issues, medical services, convenience services, environmental cleaning and maintenance, tree-planting and greening activities, showing care and love for vulnerable groups and other Lei-Feng volunteering activities. Action with a red cap spells the “spirit of Lei Feng”.




*) Here, too, only “silhouettes” were seen. This may be meant to depict a certain atmosphere, or to make all the goodwill appear countless and collective. When it comes to traffic regulation, the silhouette talk could make a lot of real sense, though.



» How Lei Feng Embodies China’s Political Advantage, Febr 26, 2012
» The Good and Respectable Market Stall Operator, Nov 14, 2011
» Propaganda will set you Free, Aug 9, 2009


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Going to the Grassroots: Li Huadian & The Volunteers provide Tianjin Airforce with Spiritual Nourishment

This is from the same Enorth series as this previous translation. The context of these  events is the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR

Main Link: Greeting the 18th National Congress of the CCP – Tianjin Public Culture Volunteers Corp contributes arts at the barracks

Enorth (Tianjin), November 3, 2012

In the morning of November 3, the Tianjin Public Culture Volunteers’ Corps went to an PLA air force unit stationed in Tianjin, to perform wonderful cultural arts in front of the troops. This is another one among the “volunteers’ performances to greet the 18th National Congress” activities.


Among the performances, the volunteers had brought along wonderful male and female solo songs, reality-fantasy magician performances, xiangsheng, Pingju Opera song series, and other wonderful gigs. To express their gratitude, and to display the talents within their barracks, the soldiers also performed some wushu and guitar performances of their own.


The atmosphere of the scene was unusually warm. Apart from performing a song arranged on his own, young actor Du Lei also impersonated Liu Dehua, Liu Huan, and other voices, thus winning enthusiastic applause from the troops. Young singers Meng Fanjin and Wang Suiru, in beautiful voices, sang “Sincere Beauty” and “Xinjiang Story”, and one sang the popular songs “The Sun will never Set” and “Legendary”. The two young ladies’ silvery voices attracted the young soldiers. They all incessantly gave flowers to them to express their joy.



Famous singer Li Huadian, as a member of the Volunteers’ Corp experts committee, also took part in the performances. It was the first time that he wore the green T-shirt as the volunteer-corp symbol. Li told the reporter that this was a very particular feeling. He said: “It’s my honor to be a volunteer, to come to the barracks to perform, and to serve the soldiers who are defending Tianjin. As a working man of the arts, one has to go to the grassroots, to perform among the masses, and to give ones best to everyone. I will continue to come to the grassroots frequently, to give the best spiritual nourishment to everyone.”



These were successful performances, the performers saw the needs and the yearning of the soldiers for the arts, and the soldiers liked the cordiality in the performances. Next, the Tianjin Public Culture Volunteers’ Corps will make more grassroot performances, promote this city’s cultural volunteering work, unite more cultural volunteers, to provide even more high-quality spiritual nourishment to the common people.


(Wu Hong reporting / 记者吴宏)



» Welcoming 18th National Congress, Nov 3, 2012
» Go Global, and no Porn, Febr 12, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Everyday Propaganda: How Green was our Internet

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR.

1) Nanchang (Jiangxi Province), September 2012

Nanchang News Net / Nanchang Evening Post (南昌新闻网-南昌晚报) —

From September 10 to 16, Nanchang holds its third minors protection propaganda week. Recently, this reporter has learned that to do a good job at the work for the propaganda week, the city minors’ protection committee office started the 2012 minors’ protection propaganda week activities to further increase attention within all society for a good environment centering on the protection of minors.


Reportedly, the propaganda week activities’ theme is “care about minors, and build a wonderful tomorrow together”.

During the activities, Nanchang will focus on the launch of a minors protection law, and educational activities with Jiangxi Province’s minors protection regulations as the major theme, propaganda aimed particularly at minors’ parents and elementary and middle school teachers, to improve entire society’s awareness of responsibility and participation.


Reportedly, Nanchang will, during the propaganda week, make full use of newspapers, websites, and its official microblog channel[s] [this may also simply refer to the Sina Weibo microblog], explore the use of cartoons, videos, public-service advertising and oher new methods, carry out audio-visual theme propaganda through various channels concerning the concepts of minors’ protection, the safeguarding of their legal rights, case studies, related legal responsibilities etc., […], actively create a good environment, and promote the healthy adolescence of minors.


Also, using the Youth League’s Nanchang 12355 official Sina Weibo channel as an internet platform to announce all activities during the minors’ protection propaganda week, to concentrate the announcements and to broaden the range of coverage.


This reporter learned that during the propaganda week, Nanchang will organize all industries’ grassroot “juvenile rights protection guards and 12355 juvenile service counters with volunteering experts, rights and interests messengers, etc., combine all responsibilities, to enter the streets, communities, schools, villages etc., launch special protection [issues’] service counters and activities, promote more grassroot party and government department, companies and all kinds of social service structures’ participation in the juvenile rights protection guards’ activities, to protect minors’ legal rights from a multitude of perspectives. [Following line inverse font, as my translation may be incorrect] In particular concerning idle juveniles and village liaison groups shall continuously strengthen legal-system propaganda and the protection of rights.


Besides, during the activities, Nanchang will also combine educational and other strengthening training aimed at [handling] injuries which typically occur to minors, how to react to all kinds of complicated situations, and launch natural-disaster and accident-situation avoidance/escapes, self- and mutual aid, and self-defense, so as to improve juveniles’ abilities to protect themselves.


Tianjin, 2007

From Tianjin Juvenile Service Online‘s “About Us” on Enorth:

To thoroughly implement the document “On Several Issues about Further Intensifying the Ideological and Ethical Improvement among Minors formulated and published by the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council of China” [literally, the document refers to itself as “several ideas” or “opinions” (若干意见) concerning those “several issues”], to actively answer to the CCP Central Committee’s and the [Tianjin] Municipal Committee‘s calls for a “civilized creation of the web” and a “civilized use of the web”, to build a positive, uplifting, healthy and civilized internet environment, Tianjin Spiritual Civilized Building Committee’s office entrusts North Net [i. e. Enorth] to operate Tianjin Municipality’s minors’ service.

为深入贯彻落实 《中共中央、国务院关于进一步加强和改进未成年人思想道德建设的若干意见》,积极响应中央和市委提出的“ 文明办网、文明上网”的号召,构建面向未成年人的积极向上、健康文明的网络环境,天津市精神文明建设委员会办公室依托北方网,开办了天津市未成年人服务网。

The internet centers on the objective of educating, guiding, and serving minors. By the principle of serving every community, every school, every household and every child, with a function to provide an information channel and garden to grow up, for expert advice, to enable talents to give full play to their talents, exchange and interaction, maintaining publicly beneficial principles, in accordance with minors’ characteristics, needs, interests and hobbies, to provide them with an adequate “green”*) internet. A new platform shall be created, a new space through [this] internet implementation, to further mobilize societal forces’ participation, to promote social integration of resources, to shape all kinds of concerted efforts, to turn it into a new channel of minors’ ideological and ethical establishment.

网络围绕 教育、引导、服务未成年人这一宗旨,以服务每一个社区、服务每一个学校、服务每一个家庭、服务每一个孩子为服务理念,以信息提供渠道、专家咨询窗口、展示才华舞台、交流互动桥梁、健康成长乐园为功能定位,坚持公益性原则,根据未成年人的身心特点、成长需求和兴趣爱好,为他们量身打造适合于自己的“绿色”网络。通过网络的实施,进一步动员社会力量参与,促进社会资源整合,形成社会各方合力,使之成为我市加强未成年人思想道德建设的新途径,满足未成年人精神文化生活需求的新空间,实现 学校教育、家庭教育、社会教育三方互动的新平台。

Tianjin Juvenile Service Online has, by the Municipal Committee’s and the Civilization Committee’s Civilization Guidance Committee, been determined as the entire municipality’s minors’ ideological and ethical establishment’s major project.
The Municipal Committee, the municipal government, and all departments in charge attach great importance to it. The Municipal Committee’S sECRETARY zhang Gaoli, the Municipal Committee Deputy Secretary, City Mayor Dai Xianglong wrote congratulatory messages on the opening of the website. In the process of establishing the website, the Municipal Committee’s Education and Health Work Committee the municipal education committee, culture office, […], the municipal womens’ federation, work committees et al gave vigorous support, and persons from all walks of life actively joined the establishment of the website, creating a good atmosphere by a spirit of a shared homeland.

天津市未成年人服务网是市委和市文明委确定的2007年全市未成年人思想道德建设的一项重点工程。市委、市政府及各有关部门领导高度重视。市委书记张高 丽,市委副书记、市长戴相龙为网站开通题写贺辞。在网站的建设过程中,市委教卫工委、市教委、市文化局、团市委、市妇联、市关工委等有关单位给予了大力支 持,社会各界人士积极投身网站建设之中,营造了共建共享精神家园的良好氛围。



*) Green was, among others, the “color” of Green Dam, a censoring software that was once meant to come manditorily with every computer sold in China, “to protect children” surfing the internet. It met with a lot of public resistance, and seems to have been scrapped for good in 2010. “Green” Propaganda, of course, stays around.



» Patriotic Education in HK, July 30, 2012
» Open House, May 25, 2012
» Chinese Characteristics, CMP, Aug 8, 2007


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Confucius Institute: State Department Directive “an Untimely End to Chinese Classes”

Main Link: Huanqiu Shibao, May 24, 2012, 03:29.

Translated off the reel, and posted right away. A link to the State-Department directive can be found under footnote 2. Links within blockquote added during translation.

A notice issued by U.S. State Department officials on May 17, to all Confucius Institutes in America, has caused great controversy. The new notice requires existing Confucius Institutes to apply for American “certification”, to become part of regular courses, and bans Chinese teachers and volunteers to teach in middle and elementary schools. A Hanban responsible, on May 23, expressed “shock” to a Huanqiu Shibao reporter, as no consultations had preceded this notice. Insiders told this reporter that to date, American officials hadn’t explained to whom the Confucius Institutes should turn for certification. U.S. “Higher Education News”1) wrote on May 21 that the notice would disrupt Confucius Institute teaching activities. “People don’t undersstand the State Department’s sudden notice. Actually, Confucius Institutes have been on American campuses for almost ten years.” An insider told the Global Times reporter on May 23 that currently, Confucius Institutes were highly successful and influential in America, that many Americans learned Chinese, and that America was somewhat worried about this. In addition, it was election year in America, and political consideration could be behind the measures taken.

The notice was reportedly issued by Robin Lerner, the State Department Deputy Secretary in charge of Educatonal and Cultural Matters and private-sector exchange. The notice says that while Confucius Institutes may be beneficial to promoting cultural exchange, its activities “need to be in accordance with the standards of exchange, and respect the relevant law and regulations”. “Professors, researchers, short-term visiting scholars or institutes, as well as students, were not allowed to teach in primary schools2). […] The notice also says that “to ensure that the Confucius Institute education corresponds with and maintains suitable regulations and standards, the Institutes must apply for American certification”, “on initial examination, it isn’t clear if the Confucius Institutes will get American certification”. The State Department allows currently teaching Confucius Institute teachers with J-1 visa to continue teaching until the end of the school year in June, but won’t renew their visas. If they wish, they can return to China to apply for appropriate exchange project visas.
据悉,签发这一公告的是美国国务院负责教育和文化事务局私营部门交流的副助理秘书长罗宾•勒纳。公告称,尽管孔子学院可能有益于促进文化交流,但其所从事的活动“必须符合正确的交流规范,遵循相关法规”。“教授、研究学者、短期访问学者或学院、大学学生不允许在公立和私立小、中学教学,否则便与有关交流访问项目法规相违。 […..] ”公告还称,“为确保孔子学院的教育符合和保持适合的规定标准,孔子学院必须申请美国认证”,“美国国务院的初步审视并不清楚这些孔子学院是否得到美国认证”。美国务院允许目前持有J-1签证的孔子学院教师继续留至2012年6月本学年结束,但不会为他们续签签证。如果他们愿意,可回中国再申办一种合适的交流项目签证。

There are Confucius Institutes at 81 American universities. The notice has caused wide-spread shock, confusion, and incomprehension. Confucius Institutes in all places said that the notice was “surprising” or “unusual”, and there were discussions everywhere as to how to deal [with the situation]. Huanqiu Shibao has learned that J-1 visas are a kind of non-immigration visas, issued to foreigners who participate in “exchange and visitor programs approved by the State Department”. An official survey concerning J-1 visa holders was carried out early this year.

A lady who had taught for Confucius Institutes in America told Huanqiu Shibao on May 23 that teachers sent by China to teach abroad were mainly government-sponsored, or volunteers. They all held visitor J-1 visas. She had been a volunteer, and a visa had been rather easy to obtain.

What people find most incomprehensible is that American officialdom requires Confucius Institutes to carry out so-called “certification”. Huanqiu Shibao has learned that to date, the State Department has not said where Confucius Institutes should turn for certification. By comparison, nothing has been heard of German Goethe Institutes, French Institutes or other cultural exchange bodies in America having received American certification. People in charge at the first Confucius Institutes established in the U.S., University of Maryland Confucius Institute and George Mason University Confucius Institute, express confusion, and say that the “certification” issue is currently being discussed. The person in charge at the George Mason University Confucius Institute hopes that the notification came without political considerations. After all, Obama’s initiative to have 100,000 students study in China was about encouraging American students to study Chinese.

According to explanations by a Hanban person in charge, made to Huanqiu Shibao, Hanban has sent a letter to university presidents, to carry out negotiations. The letter says that Confucius Institutes in America were established at American requests, and run in cooperation with Hanban and Chinese institutions of higher education. The Chinese side fully respected the esteemed universities’ powers to make their own decisions (自主权)3), and there had never been special instructions concerning the teaching and cultural-exchange activities carried out by the Institutes. The central office provided help, such as support in that it sent volunteers, as requested by the American side. The letter also says that the Chinese side respects American governmental law and regulations, but that in this process, we do not wish to see that volunteer projects get disrupted, as this would lead to many quickly-developing Chinese-language classes coming to an untimely end, resulting in losses for the schools and students.

The person in charge also said that before volunteers head for America, they get an invitation from the American schools, in accordance with the Sino-American school agreements, and apply for and obtain a visa. From 2005 on, China had developed Chinese language education to help America, and had sent more than 2,100 teachers. The project had always worked smoothly. It had been believed that once teachers received an American invitation, the application would lead to a visa, and that there would be no problems. No consultations had preceded the State Department’s May-17 notice, and this was felt to be very sudden and surprising by those in charge at the Confucius Institutes.

Many presidents [of universities with Confucius Institutes] were disgusted by the State Department notice, and had many objections, as they believed it interfered with their universities’ autonomy3). They currently contacted the State Department and negotiated. Huanqiu Shibao also learned that to address the doubts, a State-Department official was to be sent to Maryland University to have direct talks with people in charge at the university and the Confucius Institute.



1) This is my translation of 美国“高等教育新闻”网站 – the website’s real name may be different.

2) Quote:

Teaching positions in primary and secondary schools (K-12) are only authorized under the “Teacher” category set forth at 22 CFR 62.24. Teaching primary and secondary school students in public school systems or private schools is not permitted by professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or college/university students.

(Guidance Directive 2012-06 Exchange Visitor Program – Confucius Institutes)

3) 自主权, which may be translated either as the right to make decisions of one’s own, or autonomy. The term for provincial or territorial autonomy in China, for places like Tibet, would be 自治区 (autonomous regions), and is therefore not exactly the same term.



» Three Eight-Hundreds, April 19, 2009


Friday, May 11, 2012

Experts: How to Win Friends Abroad, and to Lose them at Home

Huanqiu Shibao quotes the gist of what ten academics said in a Central Party School discussion on May 5. This post contains translations from four of the quotes, and a few comments from the Huanqiu readership.

Wang Fan (王帆, Professor, Director of the Institute of International Relations, and Assistant President, China Foreign Affairs University):

In terms of power and politics in Asia, the cold-war mentality won’t go away. China should reduce the negative effects of cold-war mentality, manage crises, and take preventive measures against crises. In the framework of the maintained status quo, a consensus with America should be worked out. On the one hand, multilateral security cooperation should be strengthened, on the other, untraditional security cooperation should be strengthened, and the East Asia Kyousei Forum (东亚共生) model be used, to solve issues of balanced development in East Asia.

Zhang Yansheng (张燕生, the Institute for International Economics Research of the National Development and Reform Commission’s academic-commission secretary):

In the next few years, according to the current pace of development, the size of China’s economy will overtake America’s. During this process, there will be competition between China and America, and China  [correction, May 12: America] will do everything in its power to hold China back. This is a critical stage for China as a country. To respond to these unfavorable prospects, China needs to change its development pattern and establish a pattern which lends support to a order and to a legal system. From an export-oriented economy, it must internationalize [in terms of] talent, markets, industry, capital etc., strategically and structurally link China with the international systems, and structural transformation is the core here.

Shao Feng, (邵峰, CASS Global Economics and Politcs Research Institute’s Strategy Office director):

A country’s overall level of development is the actual embodiment of its soft power. Four international strategic issues urgently need research and solutions:

  • the issue of strategic timing, how China should seize its opportunities and solve issues inherited from history
  • the issue of China having too few friends internationally, of how to win more friends through the establishment of common values and common benefit
  • the issue of raising China’s international image, and
  • the issue of building the national economy and society.


Wang Hongxu (王红续, Central Party School International Strategic Research and Chinese Diplomacy Research Office director):

In the definition of international strategies [an international strategy], the domestic environment and the international environment are equally important. China’s current unbalanced development and cultural soft power stays far behind its economic development, and its position in international public opinion and  discourse dominance [also: the right to speak – 话语权] is weak. In view of that, China still needs to practise, on the global stage, the basic strategy defined in the 1980s. Obviously, there need to be adjustments in accordance with new situations and new characteristics. China hasn’t yet achieved an international cultural strategy, and that has to change.

Comments from the Huanqiu Shibao readership:

It only takes very small numbers of troops to regain ones territories and territorial waters! Why all the pondering? In the War to Resist America and to Aid Korea, and the self-defense strike against Vietnam, it took very few troops! These so-called experts are apparently all women! — There is no masculine disposition here! This becomes especially apparent in the ideological methods. Take these [experts] and put them next to Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping to compare their ideological methods would do too much honor [to these experts].
收复自己的领土领海而动用非常少量的军队!用得着这样思前想后的吗?和在抗美援朝战场及对越反自卫击战投入的兵力比 真的只需动用非常少量的军队!这几位所谓的专家应该都是女性!—没有男子汉的气质与胆量!特别是体现在思维方式上更是如如此 当然啦 拿这几位和毛泽东,邓小平去比较思维方式确实是太高看其人了.
— 21 minutes ago

This bunch of traitors is misleading the citizens! Stomp [them]!
— 26 minutes ago

In reply to the previous comment:
Correct. 正确
— 13 minutes ago.

[A rather sophisticated comment – and too sophisticated for JR to grasp its first line (谁想打仗让谁上好了)]:

[…] A bunch of screaming and chattering lunatics. Do you know the cruelty of war?
— one hour ago

I can’t translate the replies to the latter comment, but neither of them appears to be friendly, but one of the three (possibly all the same person) writes:

In the past, territory was given away in exchange for peace, but in the end, there was still war. Cruelty? I would rather die than live without dignity, sovereignty is fought for, it’s not resistance with each passing day.
— one hour ago.



» First School Lesson: Patriotic Essays, Sept 1, 2009
» Concerning Traitors, Aug 25, 2009


» Orgasm is Easy, Rectified.Name, May 12, 2012


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Joachim Gauck’s Acceptance Speech


Update / Related

» acceptance speech in full, March 18, 2012


» Gauck elected, HuffPost, March 18, 2012
» Constitutional Patriotism, Jan-Werner Müller, 2006


Sunday, January 1, 2012

“Soft Power”: Comparing China and Europe

The following are perceptions of European “soft-power” policy concepts as reviewed by He Zengke (何增科), a Chinese researcher in an official academic function, in an article published by ChinaReform (中国改革论坛网), on December 23, i. e. last month. The paragraphs from his article translated or described here are focusing on France and Germany, plus some European interaction with UN bodies like UNESCO. He’s  emphasis is on cultural soft power.

Saarlaendischer Rundfunk, Europawelle Saar (SR-1), QSL, 1980s

Saarländischer Rundfunk, Europawelle Saar (SR-1), QSL, 1980s, featuring the Heusweiler medium wave transmitter of 1936. Click photo for a history of the Heusweiler transmission site.

Some of He Zengke’s views on America‘s “soft-power” policies or public diplomacy can be found in this previous post/translation.

Different from  that previous post’s arrangement, I’ve put He’s footnotes [in square brackets] to the end of this post, rather than within the translations. There’s only one note of my own in this post, following He Zengke’s.

Main link:

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

France was one of the first countries to understand the role of cultural soft power. Napoleon once said that a pen was equal to 1,000 Mauser rifles*), and a former French minister of culture said that culture and the economy are one and the same battleground. French people believe that a cultural mission can take the place of a country’s military power.[9] In 1883, France established the Alliance Française to promote French culture. Starting in 1959, France began to define the “First Five-Year Plan for the Expansion of French Cultural Activities”, and afterwards, 25- and 35-year plans etc. were gradually developed. From the total amounts spent and per capita, France belongs to the first-ranking countries worldwide.[10] From that, it can be seen that France attaches great importance to the development and use of soft power.

法国是最早懂得文化软实力的地位和作用的国家之一。拿破仑曾经说过,一支笔等于1000支毛瑟枪。法国前文化部长曾经说过:文化和经济是同一场战斗。 法国人认为,文化使命可以代替国家武力。[9]1883年法国就建立了法语联盟,在世界各地讲授法语,推广法国文化。从1959年起,法国开始制定“关于 在国外扩张和恢复法国文化活动的第一个五年计划”(1959-1963),后来又陆续制定了“二五”、“三五”计划等。法国的国际文化交流支出从总数和人 均来看都居于世界第一的位置。[10]由此可见法国对发展和运用文化软实力的高度重视。


The state in America is described as a facilitator for cultural management, who mainly takes the role of creating favorable conditions (by tax relief or exemptions, for example), and somewhat similarly, He sees Britain as an indirect-support or state-sponsorship model, or sponsorship at arm’s length (以“一臂间距”的方式 – the government [and parliament] pass the budgets, but expert artists, by anonymous review, make the individual decisions, and box office incomes, private donations and the Arts Council England are major funding sources). France belongs to a third category, in He’s view:

France represents the direct-sponsorship model. The state finances culture through the ministry of culture, the funding decisions are made by government officials, and an artist’s position is decided by direct government funding. As artists’ decisions are respected, the official artistic community enjoys a certain degree of autonomy all the same. [25]

以法国为代表的“直接主办型”。国家通过文化部资助文 化艺术,资助决定由政府官员作出,艺术家的经济地位由政府的直接资助决定。由于尊重艺术家的决定,官方的艺术团体仍享有一定程度的自治。[25]

To complete the menu, He adds a fourth type or model, represented by the former Soviet Union:

All cultural and artistic institutions are owned and run by the state, the political leaders make the funding decisions, and the state only funds cultural product which correspond to the political standards, but doesn’t support the creative process itself.[25]

以前苏联为 代表的“直接操作型”。文化艺术机构全部由国家所有和国家经营,资助决定由政治领导人作出,政府只支持那些符合政治标准的文化艺术产品,而不是支持创造性 过程本身。[25]

In the wake of – or the run-up to – the Commission on Global Governance‘s “Our Global Neighborhood” report and the UNESCO’s “Our Creative Diversity” report in 1995 and 1996, the Council of Europe authored (or commissioned) a report titled “In From the Margins” (从边缘到中心) which emphasized that if culture was ignored, sustainable development would not be possible.

He Zengke’s description of these international processes seems to be correct, at least according to the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (take a look at the organizers listed at the beginning):

The themes discussed during the [North South] Conference [in September 1999] on Cultural Research and Development were identified in the Action Plan adopted by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development in Stockholm, 1998, itself inspired by reports like Our Creative Diversity of the UN/UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development, to which a Council of Europe Task Force contributed the Report In From the Margins, 1997.

“Creative Europe” (2002) was another step in the process, also mentioned by He.

The “Creative Europe” report, published in 2002, proposed a comprehensive definition of cultural governance, and determined the direction into which public offices [or organizations – 公共部门] , private organizations and volunteering and non-profit organizations should cooperate to promote cultural development. Cultural autonomy, decentralization (分权化), encouragement of creativity, and the turning of broader participation into a part within the cultural governance concept, were to guide the direction of the cultural system’s reform.[26]

2002发表的《创造性的欧洲》的报告为文化治理提出了一个全面的定 义,后者指的是为文化发展确定方向的公共部门、私营机构和自愿∕非赢利性机构相互合作共同推动文化发展。文化自治、分权化、鼓励文化创造性、更大范围的参 与成为文化治理理念所倡导的文化体制改革方向。[26]

He Zengke seems to read the collapse of the USSR and its eastern and central European satellite regimes (that’s obviously not how he refers to them) as the starting point of the global cultural designing process he describes, and he views decentralization and public funding at arm’s length as defining marks of developed countries’ cultural policies. He names Canada, Australia, Britain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and other countries in this context, but:

[..] it should be pointed out that Germany and France maintain a negative attitude to the “arm’s-length” principle. In Germany, cultural administrative power rests with different levels of government and departments belonging to government, and artistic boards are mainly forums, limited to protecting and supporting artists, and to provide some professional advice. And France hasn’t left any room for cultural administration by boards. The government, through its own cultural administrative departments, formulates the cultural policies, establishes cultural organizations, and makes cultural funding decisions.  National support and protection plays a major role in cultural development. [27]



France turned its cultural diplomacy into a national strategy. There are clear common goals,  and a clear division of labor between the French government and its quasi-governmental organizations.[41] France took the lead in advocating the principle of “cultural diversity”, and therefore achieved a favorable position internationally, besides America. France established many “Alliance Francaise” and other institutions in other countries, to spread the French language and culture. There are currently 1,040 Alliance-Francaise locations in 136 countries on all five continents, with 460,000 students. The way France spreads its culture and values,  in the process of spreading its language and culture and thus expands its influence on other countries is something to draw lessons from, to some extent.[42]


The way Germany shapes its image to raise its soft cultural power has commonalities with other countries, but unique aspects, too. What is unique is the way it shapes its image by historical self-examination. Germany had the dishonorable history of Nazi Germany’s launch of the Second World War and the Holocaust. After the Second World war, German governments made deep reflections on this criminal period in history and made sincere apologies. All governments in succession have insisted on facing history squarely, on reflecting the war with an attitude of profound repentance, and achieved international good will by doing so. The German population also reflected deeply on the war, thus increasing its awareness and reflection of this period. German governments turned international cultural exchange into one of the country’s three pillars of foreign policy, actively carries out foreign cultural exchanges, teaching of the German language, and public diplomacy, thus expanding its cultural influence. The “Voice of Germany” [Deutsche Welle] does its utmost to attract an audience abroad, as a provider of objective, neutral, and balanced news and commentary. Germany’s universities and foundations actively unfold initiatives to attract overseas students and visiting scholars, thus efficiently expanding Germany’s ideological and cultural influence abroad.[43]

德国在塑造国家形象提高文化软实力方面的做法与其他国家既有相同之处,又有独特之处。其独特之处在于通过反思历史重塑国家形象。德国曾有过纳粹德国发 动第二次世界大战屠杀犹太人的不光彩历史。二战后,德国政府对这段罪恶的历史进行了深刻的反省和诚挚的道歉,历届德国政府均坚持正视历史、反省战争、深刻 忏悔的态度,从而在国际上赢得了普遍的好感。德国民间也对战争进行了深刻的反思,使民众提高了对这段历史的认识和反省。德国政府将对外文化交流作为本国对 外政策的三大支柱之一,积极开展对外文化交流、德语教学和公共外交,扩大自身文化影响力。 “德语之声”尽量以客观、中立、平衡的新闻报道和评论来吸引国外听众。德国的大学和基金会在吸引留学生和访问学者、开展国际学术交流方面积极主动,有效地 扩大了德国思想文化在海外的影响力。[43]

He Zengke’s Footnotes

[9] quoting Gong Tieying (龚铁鹰), “A Systematic Analysis of Soft Power” (软权力的系统分析), Tianjin People’s Publishing House, 2008, p. 154

[10] ibid, pp. 155 to 157

[25] Zhang Xiaoming (张晓明), “Drawing on Organizational Reform and Policies Useful Experiences Abroad, Stepping up the Promotion of Our Country’s Establishment of Public Cultural System” (吸取国外体制改革和政策创新的有益经验,加快推动我国公共文化服务体系建设), recorded at the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department’s Cultural System Reform and Development Office, and the CCP’s Shenzhen Municipal Propaganda Department’s “Cultural Development Strategy Forum Reader”, volume 2 (文化发展战略论坛文集(二)) – Guangdong People’s Publishing House, 2006, pp. 139 to 141.

[26] Guo Lingfeng (郭灵凤), “EU Cultural Policies and Cultural Management”, (欧盟文化政策与文化治理), in: “European Research” (欧洲研究), No. 2, 2007, pp. 64 to 76

[27] Li He (李河),  “Developed Countries’ Contemporary Cultural Policies at a Glance” (发达国家当代文化政策一瞥), China Net (中国网) as quoted by a website which apprently no longer provides the source –

[41] Zeng Heshan (曾河山), “Looking at the Molding of the Country’s Image from Britan’s, France’s and South Korea’s Cultural Strategies” (从英法韩文化战略看国家形象的塑造), in: “The Great External Dissemination” (对外大传播), No. 2, 2007, pp. 53 to 54.

[42] Zheng Tianzhe (郑天喆), “France’s Experience in and Inspiration from the Establishment the Establishment of Soft Power”, research sub-report, 2009

[43] Lu Lu (鲁路), “Federal Germany’s Policy of Promoting Cultural Soft Power” (联邦德国促进文化软实力的政策), research sub-report, 2009



*) The Mauser arms company was established in the 1870s. Chinese history-writing may be rather focused on the Mauser, as the KMT used one of Mausers’ later models (apparently the Mauser Karabiner 98 kurz)during the 1927 Shanghai uprising (see second half of that post). It may also be that Napoleon III, for example, rather than Napoleon I, made this gun-pen comparison after his abdication, or that “Mauser” is a rather free translation by He, for French or German firearms in general.



» Truthfulness is Everything, April 8, 2011


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