Posts tagged ‘Xi Jinping’

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Great Matters of the State, Educational Tour

nanhu_red_boat

CCTV Xinwen Lianbo, June 5, 2021

The following is a newsitem from Xinwen Lianbo (CCTV evening news) on June 5. The term 国之大者 (guózhī dàzhě), coined in recent contexts by party secretary general Xi Jinping, appears to have led to some confusion, without anyone within the propaganda department or any CPC interface with the public to clarify the meaning.

The non-communist public figures, commonly referred to dangwai in Chinese politics, appear to be facing higher expectations to be faithful agents of the Communist Party of China in the pursuit of state affairs, or intensified worshippers of the CPC as it  commermorates its 100th founding anniversary.
The Upenn language blog has done some heroic explanatory work for the term guózhī dàzhě, and as I can’t find anything more convincing online, I’ve decided to translate it as great matters of the state.
Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Celebrating the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, officials of all non-communist parties’ central committee members and public figures and representatives with no party affiliations went to Shanghai and to Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, for visits and studies.

[视频]庆祝中国共产党成立100周年 各民主党派中央负责人和无党派人士代表赴上海 浙江嘉兴参观学习
来源:央视网2021年06月05日 19:18

CCTV online news (Xinwen Lianbo): with permission from the Communist Party of China’s central committee, the Central United Front organized a trip by members of all non-communist parties’ central committee officials and public figures and representatives with no party affiliations to Shanghai and Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, so as to admire the site of the Communist Party of China’s first congress, and the Nanhu Red Boat. A symposium was also held.

央视网消息(新闻联播):经中共中央批准,中央统战部组织各民主党派中央负责人和无党派人士代表今天(6月5日)赴上海、浙江嘉兴,瞻仰中共一大会址和嘉兴南湖红船,并举行座谈会。

The one-hundred years of struggle have amply demonstrated that without the Communist Party there would be no New China, that without the Communist Party there would be no socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese people wouldn’t have stood up, wouldn’t have prospered, wouldn’t have become stronger. It is hoped that non-communist democratic party public figure will always cherish “great matters of the state”, thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping’s ideology of New Era socialism with Chinese characteristics, firmly develop party history education, always faithfully maintain the leadership of the Communist Party of China, keep to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen the joining of forces of party construction, and unite in the common effort of promoting the development of multi-party cooperation, so as to create a beautiful future for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

中国共产党百年奋斗历程充分表明,没有共产党就没有新中国,没有共产党就没有中国特色社会主义,中国人民就不可能站起来、富起来、强起来。希望各民主党派、无党派人士始终胸怀“国之大者”,深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,扎实开展中共党史学习教育,始终不渝坚持中国共产党的领导,走中国特色社会主义道路,加强中国特色社会主义参政党建设,协力推进多党合作事业发展,共同创造中国人民和中华民族的美好未来。

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Related

Political parties in China, Wiki, last edited June 6

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

External Propaganda: Cai Mingzhao’s then, Xi Jinping’s now?

30th_politburo_study_session

Politburo’s 30th study session, Xinwen Lianbo, June 1, 2021

English-speaking Chinese media translate 传播 (chuánbō) as “communication” – as in this English-language rendition of a Xi speech on May 31, to the “30th collective study session of the CPC politburo. I don’t quite trust the translation, because there is a Chinese habit of making Chinese terms more palatable to a foreign audience by using not-quite-the-closest possible translation.

As a shortwave user, the most familiar translation to me would be propagation, which may stand for a process of information flow, “transmissions of impulses (or triggers) to influence the behavior of others” (传播就是某个人传递刺激以影响另一些人行为的过程), or “social information flows and the information of social information systems” (郭庆光定义传播是社会資訊的流动和社会資訊系统的运行). All that, and more, plus propaganda, I suppose.

So, the official Chinese translation for chuánbō would be communication. But China Copyright and Media, in an October 2013 translation of an article by Cai Mingzhao, director of the State Council Information Office’s Foreign Propaganda Office at the time, referred to chuánbō as dissemination. It’s a translation that leaves room for a lot of interpretation.

What strikes me when reading the China Copyright and Media translation of nearly eight years ago is its similarity with Xi’s speech of May 31. Back then, Cai Mingzhao, the State Council of Information Office’s external propaganda bureau at the time, discussed the future priorities in public diplomacy work in the light of Xi Jinping’s recent speech at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference.

While Xi’s national propaganda conference speech in August 2013 had contained some referals to external propaganda, too, most of it had been about propaganda in general, and ideological work within China. In fact, I’m under the impression that in his May 31 speech, which focused exclusively on external propaganda, Xi borrowed heavily from Cai Mingzhao’s 2013 article.

You can contrast these two English renditions: one by China Daily on June 2, i. e. four days ago, reflecting Xi’s speech, and one by China Copyright and Media, in October 2013, translating Cai Mingzhao’s article.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Long Yongtu’s WTO Accession Commemorative Lecture (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notes

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

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

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Monday, March 15, 2021

Anchorage Expectations: “The Chinese and American people are wise and competent”

The following is a translation of a news article by “Chinanews Service” newsagency (中国新闻社). Statements quoted by the newsagency have been translated from Chinese into English without checking back what actually has been the original English-language wording.

Main Link: Four Highlights of the Sino-US High-Level Meeting in Anchorage

Four Highlights of the Sino-US High-Level Meeting in Anchorage

中美高层安克雷奇会晤的四大看点

Chinanews, Beijing, March 13, reporter Ma Jiajia

中新社北京3月13日电 / 中新社记者 马佳佳

On March 11, Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China [FMPRC from here] spokesman Zhao Lijian announced that following an American invitation, Central Committee Standing Committee member and Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi and State Council member and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold a high-level Sino-US strategic dialogue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Presidential National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Anchorage, on March 18 and 19. This being the first high-level face-to-face meeting since the Biden administration took office, international media have predicted that this meeting will be “open and difficult” and may well determine the future direction of the two countries’ relations. Which points are there to watch for better or worse in this widely observed meeting?

3月11日,中国外交部发言人赵立坚宣布,应美方邀请,中共中央政治局委员、中央外事工作委员会办公室主任杨洁篪,国务委员兼外长王毅将同美国国务卿布林肯、总统国家安全事务助理沙利文于3月18日至19日在安克雷奇举行中美高层战略对话。作为美国拜登政府执政以来,中美高层的首次面对面会谈,有国际媒体预测,此次会晤将“坦率而艰难”,或将决定两国关系的未来走向。此次备受关注的会晤有哪些看点?

Point 1: Where is Anchorage?

看点一:安克雷奇在哪里?

Anchorage is located at the center of US State Alaska’s mid-south, it is Alaska’s biggest city and also a transit hub for some flights from America to Asia. In 2017, this city’s number of inhabitants was 400,000, more than 54 percent of the entire state’s population, and only New York is another city in the United States whose population exceeds its state’s entire population by more than 40 percent.

安克雷奇位于美国阿拉斯加州中南部,是阿拉斯加州最大的城市,也是一些美国到亚洲航班的中转站。2017年这座城市的人口为40万人,超过全州人口的54%,是除了纽约市以外,全美另外一个人口超过了所在州总人口40%以上的城市。

Anchorage’s connections are convenient. It is an important harbor in Alaska with more than 95 percent of goods entering the state here, and it is also Anchorage’s railways hub.

安克雷奇交通便利,是阿拉斯加州的重要港口,超过95%的货物从这里进入阿拉斯加州,也是安克雷奇铁路的汇集地。

Also, Anchorage is situated at the center of the arctic circle’s air routes, connecting Asia’s, northern Europe’s and northern America’s aviation routes. Anchorage International Airport is the world’s fifth-largest cargo airport.

此外,安克雷奇位于北极圈航空线路的中心,连接亚洲、北欧及北美的航线。安克雷奇国际机场是全球排名第五的货运机场。

Climate in Anchorage is subarctic, with long winters and short summers. There are lots of tourism resources, from Anchorage to Seward in the South, some of the highways built along the coastline are considered to be among the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

安克雷奇属于亚寒带气候,冬季漫长而夏季短暂,旅游资源丰富,从安克雷奇向南到西沃德的公路沿海岸线修建,被评为世界上风景最美的公路之一。

Point 2: Why Anchorage?

看点二:为什么是安克雷奇?

The reasons why Anchorage was chosen as the place to meet also deserves attention. Analysts believe that there are historic and practical considerations.

为什么选择安克雷奇作为会晤地点,同样值得关注。分析认为,这其中既有历史渊源也有现实考量。

As far as practicability is concerned, there is, first of all, geographical deliberation. Alaska is at America’s northwesternmost point, not connected with the American landmass, and Anchorage is quite the same distance from Beijing and Washington [D.C.]. Another point is that with the background of the global new Covid pneumonia pandemic, Alaska is among America’s states which control the pandemic situation comparatively well. According to “New York Times” reporting, 16 percent of Alaska’s population have been completely vaccinated which is the best rate of all the USA. In some of Alaska’s regions, the rate of old people having vaccinated has reached 90 percent.

就现实层面而言,首先从地理位置上考虑,阿拉斯加州位于北美大陆西北端,不与美国本土相连,安克雷奇与北京和华盛顿的距离相当。其次在新冠肺炎全球大流行的背景下,阿拉斯加州属于全美疫情控制较好的州。据《纽约时报》报道,阿拉斯加州16%的人口已经完成了疫苗接种,这一比例居全美之首。在阿拉斯加州部分地区,老年人群体的疫苗接种率已达90%。

As far as contacts with China are concerned, Anchorage has plenty of relations with China. As for the national level, in April 2017, State Chairman Xi Jinping made a technical stop on his route back to China, after the Sino-American summit, and met Alaska’s governor Bill Walker. During the meeting, Xi Jinping pointed out that “local cooperation is one of the most vibrant component of Sino-American relations. Alaska and Anchorage are participants and witnesses of the growth in Sino-American relations’ development.”

就对华往来而言,安克雷奇与中国颇有渊源。从国家层面来看,2017年4月,中国国家主席习近平在中美元首会晤后回国途中在安克雷奇作技术经停,会见了时任阿拉斯加州州长沃克。习近平在会见中指出,“地方合作是中美关系中最具活力的组成部分之一。阿拉斯加州和安克雷奇市是中美关系发展历程的参与者和见证者。”

Under the aspect of regional exchange, China’s heilongjiang provincial capital Harbin and Anchorage are friendship cities. Harbin is mainland China’s closest big city in terms of distance to North America, with 5,500 kilometers. The two cities have a history of 30 years of friendly exchanges. Apart from that, Alaska also used to be a refuelling stop when China and America opened direct flights, because technological limits made a refuelling station necessary which was of special significance in Sino-American interaction.

从地方交流来看,中国黑龙江省省会哈尔滨与安克雷奇是友好城市。哈尔滨在地理上是中国大陆飞北美距离最近的大城市,距离安克雷奇市5500公里,两座城市有着30多年的友好交往历史。此外,阿拉斯加也是当年中美开通直航时,因飞行技术限制中途必须经停加油的一站,就中美交流而言,意义特殊。

Point 3: Which issues will the meeting touch upon?

看点三:会晤将涉及哪些议题?

Concerning the range of topics to be touched upon, both China and America have issued explanations. White House speaker Jen Psaki told a press conference on March 11 that at the Anchorage dialogue, America would mention Hong Kong, Xinjiang, th3e economy and other challenges and concerns, issues like the new corona pandemic transparency; the two sides would also discuss opportunities to cooperate. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian emphasized on a press conference on March 12 that specific topics at this dialogue were bilaterally agreed, and it was hoped that the two sides would be able to have a frank dialogue. China would also clarify its position in this dialogue. The two sides should accurately grasp each other’s policy intentions, enhance mutual understanding, control disagreements, and promote the return of Sino-US relations onto the right track.

对于此次会晤中将会涉及哪些议题,中美双方都作出了表述。白宫发言人普萨基11日在记者会上表示,此次在安克雷奇举行的对话,美方将提到香港、新疆、经济等方面的挑战和关切、新冠疫情透明度等议题;双方也会讨论有合作机会的领域。中国外交部发言人赵立坚12日也在记者会上强调,此次对话的具体议题有待双方商定,希望双方能够就共同关心的问题坦诚对话,中方也将在此次对话中表明立场。双方应该准确把握彼此政策意图,增进相互了解,管控分歧问题,推动中美关系重回正轨。

This being the first high-level meeting in the Biden administration’s term, combined with the current state of Sino-American relations, its issues could be more open and could provide possibilities of the two sides expounding their positions and deep concerns.

作为拜登政府任内中美高层首次会面对话,结合中美关系的现状,在当前时间点上,此次讨论的议题或更具有开放性,而这场对话也为双方阐明立场,表达关切提供了可能。

Point 4: How much influence will [the meeting] have on Sino-American relations?

看点四:对中美关系影响几何?

As a practical move after the lunar New Year’s Eve telephone conversation between the two countries’ heads of state, with the two countries’ high-level diplomacy managers carrying out face-to-face exchanges, it could be said that this could be the two sides’ “first step” in the process of rebuilding Chinese-American relations. A Reuters commentary said that this dialogue means that the world’s two biggest economies are now working to handle the relations which had dropped to “freezing point” during Donald Trump’s term. And according to the “Washington Post”, Blinken said on March 10 that this time’s Sino-American high-level strategic dialogue was “an important opportunity”, the two sides should “frankly declare their positions” and explore if there was space for cooperation between China and America.

作为中美两国元首除夕通话之后的落实行动,两国高层外交主管官员展开面对面交流,可谓双方在重建中美关系的过程中迈出的“第一步”。路透社评论称,这场对话意味着世界上最大的两个经济体正在努力处理双方在特朗普任期内跌至“冰点”的关系。另据《华盛顿邮报》报道,布林肯10日也指出,此次中美高层战略对话是“一个重要的机会”,双方将就关切问题“坦率表态”,并探讨中美间是否有合作的空间。

Although one dialogue can’t solve all problems, opening a dialogue is still an important beginning, and exploring the reconstruction of dialogue mechanisms to control differences is in itself significant. History of Sino-American relations certifies that as long as both sides walk in the same direction and make efforts, the two countries absolutely can solve contradictions and differences through dialogue and broaden mutual benefit through cooperation. The Chinese and American people are wise and competent. The two sides should carry out dialogue by respecting each other and treating each other as equals. Hopefully, China and America have a multi-level dialogue in many fields, and even if a consensus can’t be reached for now, opinions can be exchanged, trust be increased and doubts be dispelled, and this is beneficial to controlling and resolving differences.

虽然一次对话不能解决所有问题,但展开对话即是一个重要开端。通过对话增加相互了解、探索重建对话机制来管控分歧,本身就具有重要意义。中美关系的历史证明,只要相向而行,付出努力,两国完全可以通过对话化解矛盾分歧,通过合作扩大共同利益。中美两国人民是有智慧、有能力的,双方还是要相互尊重、平等相待地进行对话沟通。希望中美有多领域、多层次的对话,即便一时达不成共识,也可以交换意见、增信释疑,这有利于管控和化解分歧。(完)

Editor: Guo Mengyuan

【编辑郭梦媛】

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Related

China wants pre-Trump era back, Taipei Times, Mar 15 (UTC)
“Objective, rational manner”, Xinhua, Mar 15, 2021
The Essence of Big-power relations, Jun 11, 2013

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Updates/Related

Angry words, BBC, Mar 19, 2020
In America, not in China, Die Welt, March 18, 2021

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Earthly Miracles and Stable Expectations

Just a look at a few headlines, mostly “NPC”-session-related, more or less.

“On its own” – former East German SED paper “Junge Welt”
marvels at socialism with Chinese characteristics

1. Creating and overcoming poverty

Xi Jinping declared victory in the fight against poverty on December 4 last year, writes David Bandurski of the China Media Project (CMP), but also quotes voices that consider Xi’s declaration premature, based on previous “poverty creation”, and the “victory” itself to be possibly unsustainable.

It’s all about the Xi himself, CMP concludes, citing an example from China’s English-language propaganda, and the earthly miracles (人间奇迹) he is doing.

2. State Council’s economic policies

China’s authorities will stick to the “six stabilities” and “six guarantees”, and “put employment first”, chief state councillor Li Keqiang told an international press conference on Thursday afternoon local time. China’s “premiers” traditionally do Q &A with the press once a year, in the wake of the annual “National People’s Congress” sessions.

The “six stabilities” (六稳) include stable employment (稳就业), stable finance (稳金融), stable foreign trade (稳外贸), stable foreign investment (稳外资), stable investment (稳投资 – that would be domestic, it seems), and stable expectations (稳预期).

The “six guarantees” (六保) are about ensuring employment among residents (保居民就业), the people’s basic livelihood (保基本民生), the market as the main part (保市场主体), food and energy security (保粮食能源安全), supply chain stability (保产业链供应链稳定) and grassroots operations  (保基层运转, meaning authorities and measures taken at or near the grassroots level).

While the “six stabilities” state domestic and foreign investment all in a row, Li confirmed the main role for the “domestic cycle as the main body” (国内大循环为主体) of a “dual circulation” system as he answered a question from Singapore’s “Lianhe Zaobao” correspondent. Rather than committing China’s leadership, Li quoted an unspecified entrepreneur as saying that to grasp the domestic cycle meant to develop the domestic market further, and that to grasp the “dual circulation” meant to develop the international markets further, and both markets could still open access.

我在代表团讨论的时候,一位企业家说,抓住内循环就是要开拓国内市场,抓住双循环就是要开拓国际市场,两个市场还可以打通。他说得很朴实,但言简意赅。

3. Quote of the Month

Radio has no memory.

Except yours and mine. Just like Jonathan Marks, I taped many radio broadcasts, and occasionally, I’m digitalizing bits of it. Systematically, but very slowly. It’s going to take years.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Xi – Duda telephone minutes: China is a responsible great power under Xi’s leadership




All the news that’s fit to print

The following is a translation of a news item from CCTV’s main evening news program, Xinwen Lianbo. Links added during translation.

State Chairman Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the evening of March 1.

国家主席习近平日晚同波兰总统杜达通电话。

Xi Jinping pointed out that Poland is a big country in the eastern European area and an important member of the European Union. It is also a comprehensive strategic partner for China in Europe. China has always1 attached great importance to the development of Sino-Polish relations. After the outbreak of the new corona pneumonia pandemic, China and Poland have kept watch of and defended one another2, developed a good cooperation in going back to work and cooperating in pandemic prevention and control, thus writing a new chapter of friendship between the two countries. In the current situation, China and Poland must strengthen their strategic communication even further, deepen pragmatic3 cooperation, and jointly react to any crisis or challenge. China, together with Poland, wants to promote Sino-Polish relations in the new year and get them into a steady mode.

习近平指出,波兰是中东欧地区大国和欧盟重要成员国,也是中方在欧洲的全面战略伙伴。中方一向高度重视中波关系发展。新冠肺炎疫情发生后,中波守望相助,在疫情防控、复工复产等方面开展良好合作,谱写了两国友好新篇章。当前形势下,中波双方更加需要加强战略沟通,深化务实合作,共同应对各种风险挑战。中方愿同波方一道,推动中波关系在新的一年行稳致远。

Xi Jinping emphasized that China wants to continue its exchange with Poland, concerning joint prevention and control and exchanges about experience gained in the process, and resume orderly contacts between the two sides. China wants to provide Poland with vaccines, in accordance with Poland’s needs and what China can do.4 During the pandemic, Travels and freight of Sino-European freight trains between China and Poland reached a historic height, reflecting the high degree of supply-chain interdependence. This also shows the enormous potential of economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. China will, by establishing a Sino-Middle-Eastern-European countries’ cooperation framework with relevant mechanisms, promote the import of more Polish excellent-quality food products. The completion of the Sino-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment negotiations will open up a wider space for Sino-Polish cooperation5.

习近平强调,中方愿继续同波方加强联防联控和疫情防治经验交流,同时稳妥有序恢复人员往来。中方愿根据波方需求,在力所能及范围内向波方提供疫苗。疫情期间,往返于中波的中欧班列开行量和运货量创下历史新高,反映出中波、中欧供应链产业链高度相互依存,也表明双方经贸合作潜力巨大。中方将通过建立中国-中东欧国家合作框架内有关机制,推动进口更多波兰优质农食产品。中欧完成投资协定谈判,将为中波合作开辟更加广阔的空间。

Xi Jinping pointed out that not long ago, the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries6 summit was successfully held. I, with you and other national leaders have comprehensively reviewed the development of China-CEEC relations, thoroughly summarized development experiences, jointly looked ahead to development prospects, reached broad consensus, produced important plans and outlooks for cooperative mechanisms. With the CEEC summit as a new starting point, China wants to make joint efforts with Poland to promote Sino-CEEC and Sino-EU relations to become even more fruitful.

习近平指出,前不久中国-中东欧国家领导人视频峰会成功举行,我同你和其他各国领导人全面回顾中国-中东欧国家合作发展历程,深入总结发展经验,共同展望发展前景,达成广泛共识,为合作机制作出重要规划和引领。中方愿同波方一道努力,以这次峰会为新起点,推动中国-中东欧国家合作和中欧关系收获更多成果。

Duda said that Xi Jinping’s state visit to Poland in 2016 had vigorously advanced the development of Polish-Chinese relations. Not long ago, Chairman Xi Jinping had successfully chaired the CEEC summit which had promoted CEEC countries’ cooperation with China, critically helping CEEC countries to achieve economic recovery after the pandemic. Poland highly appreciated Xi Jinping’s promise that China would work to be a global supplier of new-corona-pneumonia pandemic-related products, and China’s wish to cooperate with CEEC countries, concerning the pandemic. This proved that China, under Chairman Xi’s leadership, was playing a responsible role as a great power. He hoped that both sides would continue to maintain contacts and cooperation in all fields and promote balanced growth of bilateral trade. Poland wnted to continue to contribute to the CEEC countries’ cooperation with China.7 I look forward to visiting China again after the pandemic8, I wish to continue close and friendly contact with Chairman Xi, and to jointly promote Polish-Chinese relations to take further steps.

杜达表示,习近平主席2016年对波兰的国事访问有力促进了波中关系发展。前不久习近平主席成功主持召开中东欧国家-中国领导人视频峰会,这对促进中东欧国家同中国合作、助力中东欧国家实现疫后经济复苏非常重要。波方高度赞赏习近平主席承诺中国致力于将新冠疫苗作为全球公共产品并表示愿同中东欧国家开展疫苗合作。这证明中国在习近平主席领导下发挥着负责任的大国作用。波方愿同中方加强抗疫合作。中欧班列为抗击疫情发挥了重要作用。希望双方继续保持各领域人员往来和合作,促进双边贸易平衡增长。波方愿继续为中东欧国家同中国合作作出贡献。我期待疫情过后再次访华,愿同习近平主席保持密切友好交往,共同推动波中关系迈上新台阶。

Notes

1一向isn’t exactly the usual word for “always” in Chinese speeches and seems somewhat more limited in its reach into the past, but I don’t remember the more frequently used word right now.

2No idea how this Mencius quote used here by Xi was translated to Duda (and what Duda thought when he heard it). Xi attaches great importance to an image as a learned paramount leader, and won’t slow down even when he talks to foreigners.

3Pragmatic cooperation – arguably a signal that Xi tries to take Polish history and the country’s narration of liberty and independence into account while talking to a conservative foreign politician. Poland used to be much more China-skeptical during the earlier rule of Polands governing conservative PIS party.

4According to a spokesman, Duda had brought the issue up “during phone talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a request by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki”.

5During the negotiations last year, Poland was, reportedly, the only EU member country to raise “serious objections to the deal with China, suggesting that earlier consultations with the Biden administration were needed”.

7Such efforts from Poland would certainly be welcome in Beijing. More recently, the Sino-CEEC project hasn’t been as enthusiastically supported as in the past, reportedly, although “chilly” is probably quite an exaggeration.

8Reportedly, Xi invited Duda.

____________

Related

Monument Policies, April 15, 2016

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Zang Tiewei: “The Masses’ Opinions, reflected in National Legislation” since 1954

The following are excerpts from a long China News Service (CNS) interview with “National People’s Congress'” Standing Committee spokesman Zang Tiewei (臧铁伟).

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

“Authoritative answers” (权威回应)

Main link: How does the voice of the people enter national legislation?

[…]

Q: The 13th National People’s Congress’ fourth session will be held in March this year. It will review the outline draft for the 14th five-year plan. We have noticed that in the previous outline draft’s “pooling wisdom” section, the masses’ suggestions were directly absorbed into the draft. We believe there are many such cases. Are there any that impressed you deeply?

中新社记者:十三届全国人大四次会议将于今年3月举行,审议“十四五”规划纲要草案。我们注意到,在此前纲要草案的“开门问策”中,有普通民众的建议,直接被吸收到了草案当中。相信在我们立法过程中,这样的事例也有很多,有没有让您印象深刻的案例?

A: Of course there are. In my legislative work which I have been doing for almost 30 years, there are some cases that impressed me very deeply. The masses’ opinions concerning legislation are reflected in legislative organs’ channels without any impediment. The masses’ opinions are accepted and absorbed into the legislative drafts. That happens frequently. It’s something very normal.

臧铁伟:当然有。我从事立法工作将近30年,有几个事例让我印象非常深刻。普通民众对于立法的意见,反映到立法工作机关的渠道是非常畅通的;普通民众的意见被采纳和吸收到法律草案中,也是经常发生、非常正常的一个事情。

There are mainly two channels to which the masses reflect their opinions. The first one is that drafts are publicly addressed to society to seek input. The first legislation the public’s input was sought was for the constitutional draft in 1954. At that time, the scale of that request for society’s input was very big, and it managed to really orderly let everyone from the peasants in rural areas to the workers in the factories and workshops hear the legislative draft. Since then, the seeking of the entire society’s input has gone through a process of sixty years. It should be said that this is an important way for the masses to participate in legislation.

民众向立法机关反映意见,主要有两个渠道。第一个渠道,法律草案公开向社会征求意见。中国最早一部公开向社会征求意见的法律是1954年的宪法草案,当时向社会征求意见的规模非常大,真真正正做到了从田间地头的农民到工厂车间的工人都能听到这部法律草案。从那时起到现在,法律草案征求全社会意见已经经历了60多年的历程。应当说这是人民群众参与立法的一个重要途径。

For example, as for the civil code which is just being put into practice, in the process of its compilation, has sought opinions from the entire society ten times, with more than one million articles, all of which have been sorted out and studied by the legislative organs’ staff.

比如说刚刚施行的民法典,它在编纂的过程中,先后十次向全社会公开征求意见,有100多万条,每一条意见立法机关的工作人员都进行了梳理和研究。

The second main way goes through the legislative working committee’s contact point. In 2015 and 2020, the legislative working committee has thoroughly implemented the spirit of secretary general Xi Jinping’s instructions and the spirit of the central committee’s fourth plenary session, has established ten legislative contact points nationwide twice, nine of which were grassroot legislative contact points, and one of which was for universities. This truly extends the “eyes” and “ears” of legislative work directly to the rural areas and the factories and workshops, schools, communities [neighborhoods], so that we can directly listen to and gather opinions from the grassroot levels’ front line units and the cadres’ and masses’ opinions about the legislative draft.

第二个主要的途径,是通过法工委的立法联系点。法工委在2015年和2020年,贯彻落实习近平总书记指示精神和党的十八届四中全会精神,先后两次在全国范围内建立了十个立法联系点,九个是基层立法联系点、一个是高校。它确实可以让立法工作机构的“眼睛”和“耳朵”直接延伸到田间地头、工厂车间、学校、社区,能直接听取基层一线的单位和干部群众对法律草案的意见。

Over the past five years to date, we have received more than 4,000 opinions concerning more than 80 legislative drafts and legislative plans, by seeking opinions through the grassroots legislative contact points. Among these, many have been adopted into legislative drafts. It should be said that this has been very helpful to improve the quality of legislation.

迄今5年多来,我们先后就80多部法律草案和立法计划,向基层立法联系点征求意见,收到了4000多条意见,其中很多都在法律草案中予以采纳。应当说对于提高立法的质量非常有帮助。

When the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) was given to the legislative contact points to seek opinions, a group of students from a middle school belonging to the East China University of Political Science and Law put forward many amendment proposals to the Law on the Protection of Minors (revision draft) to Hongqiao legislative contact point, including the issue of extracurricular tuition classes, the issue of teachers authority to discipline, how to prevent minors to get deeply addicted to the internet, and the issue of domestic violence.

在2020年未成年人保护法(修订)向立法联系点征求意见的时候,上海华东政法大学附属中学的一群中学生,向虹桥立法联系点提出了许多对未成年人保护法(修订)草案的修改意见,包括课外补习班的问题、教师惩戒权的问题、如何预防青少年沉迷网络的问题、家庭暴力的问题。

After the opinions put forward by these students had been reflected to the Hongqiao legislative contact point working organs, we researched the articles one by one and adopted some into the final legislative drafts. With regards to this, the legislative working committee especially sent a thank-you letter to the East China University of Political Science and Law’s middle school, thanking them for their participation and support in the legislative work.

这些学生提出的意见经过虹桥立法联系点反馈到立法工作机构之后,我们逐条进行了研究,有一些采纳到了最终通过的法律案中。为此,法制工作委员会还特意给华东附中去了一封感谢信,感谢他们对立法工作的参与和支持。

Apart from these two major channels, there are still many other ways. Citizens may write letters, faxes, make a phonecall, and some expert scholars even give their opinions right at the legislative organs. All these channels can be used without impediment.

除了这两种主要的途径之外,还有许多的途径,公民可以通过比如写信、来传真、打电话,甚至有些专家学者当面到立法机关反映意见,这些渠道都是畅通的。

I can give you another example here. A letter without characters on it. There was one concerning the property law draft without any characters. When this letter was opened by our staff, there were no characters, only numerous densely packed dots. Afterwards, everyone guessed that this was probably a letter using Braille. So they took the letter without characters to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation to ask their help. The China Disabled Persons’ Federation also supported us very much, organizing several Braille experts to translate it on the same day, and it was indeed a Braille letter with an opinion concerning the legislative draft. We also carried out research of this opinion. Later, we heard that this had been someone who suffered from impaired vision in Shandong who wrote this letter in Braille.

这里我还可以再举一个例子——一封没有字的信。群众关于法律草案(物权法草案)提出的意见是一封没有字的信。这封信到了立法机关之后,我们的工作人员拆开一看,没有一个字,只有密密麻麻的针眼。后来大家猜测说这很有可能是一封用盲文写成的信,我们的同事就专门拿着这封没有一个字的信到中国残联求助。中国残联也对我们非常支持,组织了几位盲文专家当天就翻译出来了,确实是用盲文对法律草案提出的意见。我们对每条意见又进行了研究和梳理。后来了解到是山东的一位视力障碍患者,用盲文给立法工作机构写的这封信。

Our students and our patients can all freely express their opinion concerning legislative work and legislative drafts, and every article of their opinion must be conscientiously researched and sorted out by our staff. It can be clearly seen that ordinary masses’ rights to participate in legislative work is fully guaranteed.

我们的学生、我们的患者都可以自由表达他们对立法工作、对法律草案的意见,而且每一条意见我们工作人员必定是认真地研究和梳理过的。可见,普通民众参与立法工作的权利是得到充分保障的。

[…]

Q: We have noticed that in recent years, the US Senate and House of Representatives have often insisted on launching so-called legislative drafts despite the Chinese side’s warnings, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs. You and the National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee spokesperson have published statements many times concerning these matters, expressing strong opposition. May I ask, will our legislative organs also take reciprocal and efficient measures to this, to contain this kind of behavior?

中新社记者:我们注意到,近些年,美国国会参众两院经常不顾中方警告,执意出台所谓法案,从法律的角度粗暴干涉中国内政,您和全国人大外事委员会发言人也多次就此发表谈话,表示强烈反对。请问未来,我们的立法机关是否也会有对等的有效措施,对此类行为进行反制?

A: In recent years, the two American chambers, the US Senate and Congress, have launched many anti-China motions, cruelly interfering in China’s internal affairs, especially on last year’s December 8, when US Congress, because of its opposition against the National People’s Congress’ Standing Commission’s adoption of the Hong Kong national security law and its decision on Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council qualifications issue, surprisingly adopted so-called sanctions against the leaders of China’s National People’s Congress. This is an undisguised and despicable behavior, to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere with China’s internal affairs. The National People’s Congress Standing Commission spokesperson also issued a statement on December 9, strongly condemning this, and expressing firm opposition.

臧铁伟:近年来美国参众两院出台了多项反华议案,粗暴干涉中国内政,尤其是去年的12月8日,美国国会因为反对中国全国人大及其常委会通过的香港国安法和关于香港特别行政区立法会议员资格问题的决定,竟然针对中国全国人大常委会领导作出所谓的制裁,这是公然借香港问题干涉中国内政的卑劣行径。全国人大常委会发言人也于12月9日发表了谈话,对此予以强烈谴责,表示坚决反对。

We have been consistent in opposing foreign and off-borders forces interfering with China’s internal affairs by whatever means, and we will, just as we have in the past, resolutely fulfill our rightful duties, protect national security, sovereignty, and development interests. Of course, we will also watch the situation and take reciprocal countermeasures. As has been seen, given that the American side has used Hong Kong’s affairs to cruelly interfere with China’s internal affairs and to harm China’s core interests, we have decided to take reciprocal countermeasures against US State Department officials, members of Congress and related NGO people who have shown bad behavior on the Hong Kong issue, and on their closest relatives. We have also cancelled visa-free treatment for visits by holders of American holders of special diplomatic passports.

我们一贯反对外国和境外的势力以任何方式干涉中国内政,我们将一如既往地坚定履行我们的法定职责,维护国家安全、主权和发展利益。当然,我们也会视情况采取对等的反制措施。正如大家已经关注到,鉴于美方借香港事务粗暴干涉中国内政、损害中国核心利益,我们决定对在香港问题上表现恶劣、负有主要责任的美国国务院官员、议会人员和有关非政府组织人员及其他们的直系亲属采取对等反制措施,并且取消美国持外交护照人员临时访问香港和澳门的免签待遇。

[…]

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before you define your next China policy, learn from Lu Xun

Chinese nationalism has had its share of wishful thinking. But in recent decades, the West has fallen into similar traps, although its humiliations – the 2008 financial crisis and the flat-footed reaction of most Western countries to the Covid-19 pandemic – have been comparatively minor humiliations.

True story

But humiliations they have been, and nothing shows this more clearly than the way some of the West’s governments have reacted to China’s handling of the pandemic. To quote one of the more civil criticisms  – by Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party -, “the world would have had more time to prepare for the pandemic if Chinese leaders had been more forthcoming”. No worries, though, he switched into another gear right away:

For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. Once we get clear of this terrible pandemic it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship,” he said.

Politics, that much is true, must never let a crisis go waste, and there are reasons to “rethink” the West’s, and possibly the world’s, relationship with China.

But China only bears a limited share of responsibility for this global crisis. If people in the West don’t understand that, they don’t understand their own political class.

We don’t need to reconsider our relationship with China because its role in the pandemic was questionable.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because we must not tolerate the way Chinese authorities treat Chinese citizens. Human rights violations often hit “national minorities” like Tibetans or Uyghurs hardest, but the political malpractice doesn’t stop there.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in Hong Kong, Beijing has shown complete disregard for the rule of law, within Hong Kong’s autonomy (that’s nothing new, China has never understood the concept of autonomy anyway), and complete disregard of international law.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in the South China Sea and other international waters, China has adopted a policy of annexation.

And we must reconsider our relationship with China, because with his “Resist America, Aid Korea” speech in October, Chinese CPC secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping has made China’s disregard for international law official, by suggesting that Maoist China’s war against the United Nations had been a “war against imperialism”.

There may be some reason to believe that many within the CPC believe that the speech has been a non-starter, because they haven’t dwelled too much on it in the media since, and because the faces of many of the leaders during Xi’s speech appeared to speak volumes. But there is no reason to believe that Xi’s speech wasn’t an honest attempt at rewriting history, at the expense of truth. This attempt must be taken seriously.

All that said, when reconsidering our relationship with China, we must not walk into the Ah-Q trap. This is something we might learn from China indeed: the way Chinese intellectuals used to be self-critical was part of China’s more recent successes, just as China’s more recent pompousness and triumphalism may earn it serious setbacks.

The same is true for us, and especially for those who consider themselves our “elites”. For decades, China has been described as an opportunity too big to miss, and to justify throwing valuable Western-made technology at it. To make this foreign-trade salad more palatable to the general public (and arguably also to the propagandists themselves), China-trade advocates added that trade and engagement with China would lead to improvements in the country’s human rights practice, or its economic and social system.

“The party is over,” a long-forgotten “expert” crowed in the 1990s, in a huge, long-forgotten book. Others suggested that the CPC might become a “social-democratic” party. But nobody seemed to ask the CPC people if they had any such intentions, at least not seriously. And if they did, they only heard the answers they wanted to hear.

There was never a doubt that China’s political system is a dictatorship. And when that dictatorship began to succeed economically and technogically, quite a number of Western intellectuals, and especially business people, began to admire that dictatorship:

I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Don’t get me wrong either. I don’t think Thomas Friedman argued in favor of the introduction of authoritarianism, let alone totalitarianism. But he didn’t apply any logic – and he’s no exception among Western intellectuals. He’s full of ideas and without a plan when it comes to these issues.

Because if we could be China for one day, we could be China every day. And then we would be the kind of society that we now want to reconsider our relationship with. (OK, maybe not Friedman.)

But the worst thing is to think of ourselves as Santa. The guys who only want the best for China, etc.. I’m pretty sure that half of my fellow Germans, in as far as they have misgivings about China, don’t worry about China’s human rights record. They worry about its economic clout, and the preparedness of a lot of Chinese people to work harder, for less income, then we would.

That’s legitimate self-interest, but nobody should confuse this interest with something like international solidarity. To do that, to suggest that “we are nice, we are generous, we’ve done everything for them, and they are bloody ingrats” is typical Ah-Q thought.

No, guys. Our bosses threw our technology at China, technology developed with support of public institutions we paid our taxes for. That’s what our bosses usually do. Sometimes at the Chinese, sometimes at other promising markets. But as our bosses’ greed for profits from China knew no limits, they fooled themselves, too. Occasionally, they complained once it went wrong. But this wasn’t “Chinese” greed – they only picked up what was thrown at them. And even if they never told us that they would make good use of it, with or against the law, daily practice could have shown us in a year that this transactional model wouldn’t work – at least not for the West.

China – not just the CPC, but most of the Chinese people – have always told us that their rightful global place was at the pole position.

They have always told us that they would “re-take” Taiwan, once they had the power to do so.

Every bloke in the street told us that Hong Kong was no stuff to negotiate about – it had been taken by the imperialists, and had to be retaken by China. Besides, those Hong Kongers shouldn’t think of themselves as “special”. Yadayada.

We played along, one year after another. We still do. I’m afraid we’ll continue to do so. Our governments, for example, keep participating in the diplomatic charade to this day that, for some incomprehensible reasons (depending on what individual Western nation’s memoranda with Beijing have made up out of thin air), Taiwan wouldn’t be quite a sovereign country.

In short: it was hard to get China wrong, but we managed anyway. And if we don’t stop suggesting that our intentions in this relationship had always been honest, we won’t get our next China policy right either.

To reshape our relationship with China, let’s learn from Lu Xun first.

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