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Posts Tagged ‘China

There seems to be a Dolphin Submarine on Offer…

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Dolphin submarine

Dolphin submarine (Wikimedia Commons)

Israel may not get this one, reports DER SPIEGEL, and Taiwan could use one (or many) of these diesel-electric (and fuel-cell propelled) submarines.

If only the technology would stay in Taiwan. With some help from Taipei, China might re-engineer that thing within ten years. The KMT and the CCP are said to be very close. Almost like brothers. And the Taiwan Strait is a flash point. China told the German government so.

But what are we supposed to do with that thing? Putting it into a thema park?

Written by taide

October 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Pekings neue Waffe gegen Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen

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Zeng Jinyan, verheiratet mit dem AIDS- und Umweltaktivisten Hu Jia, arbeitete nach der Verhaftung und Verurteilung ihres Mannes Ende 2007 / April 2008 an der Aufrechterhaltung der AIDS-Hilfeorganisation “Loving Source” (Ai Yuan), an deren Gründung sie beide beteiligt gewesen waren.

Den Betrieb dieser Organisation hat sie nun eingestellt. Als Grund nannte sie in einem Blog-Eintrag steigenden Druck durch Steuerprüfungen. In ihrer Erklärung rief sie alle freiwilligen Mitarbeiter dazu auf, auch nach der Einstellung der Tätigkeit der “Loving Source” alles in ihren Möglichkeiten Stehende zu tun, um weiterhin den Kindern zu helfen, denen die Organisation mit ihrer Arbeit geholfen habe.

Verschiedene andere – bei der chinesischen Führung missliebige – Nicht-Regierungs-Organisationen gerieten seit 2009 ebenfalls unter den Druck der Steuerbehörden.

Eine Australierin chinesischer Abstammung steht per Internet in Verbindung mit Zeng Jinyan und wird – vorausgesetzt, dass die chinesischen Behörden die Kommunikation nicht dauerhaft unterbrechen – weitere Informationen auf ihrem Blog veröffentlichen. Sie bittet andere Blogger, bei der Berichterstattung zu helfen, um damit möglicherweise eine Milderung des behördlichen Drucks auf Zeng Jinyan und anderer Aktivisten zu erreichen.

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Hintergrundinfo: Die ausländische Krankheit, “Die Zeit”, 25.11.2004

Written by taide

November 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

Six Decades of Kitsch and Vulgar Productions

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From the News

Culture Minister Cai Wu criticized the trend of “vulgar productions” and “kitsch” in print and on electronic Chinese media, and lashed out at publications with gossip and sensational stories that advocate money worship and consumerism.

“We publish more than 300,000 books every year, but how many of them could be compared with the scriptures inherited from our ancestors?” asked Cai in an interview with Xinhua.

From china.org.cn

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Some vulgar books about China suggest to point at the mulberry but curse the locust when you criticize someone or something.

But what I do know is that China is as old as it owns Tibet. When I’m looking at the list of Chinese classics as listed by Wikipedia, it seems to me that the classics weren’t all written within sixty years. (The first Chinese classic I ever read, aged twelve or so, was Jin Ping Mei).

The People’s Republic of China is a rather young dynasty state, and during the 1950s China reconstructed, during the 1960s, the Great Helmsman and his vulgar fat ass knocked over what had been reconstructed previously, same during much of the 1970s, and then it was time to reconstruct again.

But it’s true – after 1978, some more useful stuff could have been written. Instead, we got:

– Deng Xiaoping’s Theories (and some other of his works)

– Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents and an opera building which (experts say) lacks architectural freedom (but still looks like the shell of a nuclear reactor)

– and I’m sure Hu Jintao has hired a gang of ghostwriters already, to write some more politporn.

Not to mention the “Modern Beijing Opera” and Chinese pop “music”. And almost every speech ever delivered and printed by a Communist cadre, on whatever level of the hierarchy.

But there’s no reason to become alarmist. Time after 1949 has been too short to build a civilization in China.

Written by taide

August 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm

The real Statement on Dalai Lama, Obama

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JR claims to be a China expert. But this time, he has fallen for a crude piece of anti-China propaganda. Did he really believe that the government of China was still living in the woods, throwing fortune cookies with weird messages inside at Chinese and foreign journalists?

This is what the Chinese foreign ministry actually said. (All websites which quote spokesman Ma Zhaoxu otherwise are silly fakes):

We obviously don’t encourage foreign leaders to meet with the Dalai Lama. Such meetings aren’t conducive for our policies on Tibet, and we initially hoped that our American partners would take our domestic tasks and interests into account here. But if president Obama believes that a meeting with the Dalai Lama is a must for him, we have to respect his decision. After all, the Dalai Lama travels from India, not from our country.

I’d just like to say that such meetings do nothing to make America look more virtuous. We here in Beijing don’t think of ourselves as morally superior. The way we took control of Tibet in the 1950s and after isn’t a glorious point in our history, and we acknowledge that the way we govern Tibet needs a lot of improvement. Suggestions from anyone are welcome, provided that they are meant to help the Han Chinese and the Tibetans to improve their lives as Chinese citizens. But the American president and the American public must understand that Tibet is part of China, just as any U.S. state is part of the United States. As long as all sides are credibly committed to this position, our minds are open to their comments and contributions from inside and outside China.

We do what we can to gradually improve the lives of the Tibetans, just as we are working for the improvement of all Chinese citizens’ lives, no matter of which nationality they are. We do  not only take into account what we think is best for the Tibetans, but we also listen to the voices of the Tibetans themselves. Thank you, next question.

Eight Represents: Exposing Justrecently’s Lies

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Justrecently wrote another biased and distorted post yesterday. He comments on the new bilingual Hualan Magazine‘s story on The Eight Represent Ordinary Women, and by commenting on one of the photos he suggests that The Eight Represents were no real Represents, because the furniture wasn’t ordinary enough. No, he doesn’t say that, he only viciously implies that without saying!

I will expose Justrecently’s lies one by one.

Let’s look at what some of the represents said when they were asked what Germany makes them think of:

Represent One

Hualan Magazine: Represent One

Represent 1:
I don’t know much about Germany. But I like dogs very much, so I’m thinking of German shepherd dogs first.

Represent 2:
Germany? They say that the sausages are very tasty (unfortunately, I haven’t tried one yet). The beer is excellent, too, but I drink no beer.

Represent 3:
When talking about Germany, I’m thinking of brown bread first. Haha, maybe it’s because I don’t like brown bread. (…) Germans are pretty ambitious. (…) They don’t plan today for tomorrow, but much earlier. (…) Don’t be in the way of their fixed plans, otherwise they may fall out with you. That doesn’t mean that they abandon friendly relations, but it shows that they are annoyed about something.

Represent 4:
I’m very cheerful and open-hearted. In the past, I was a model on auto shows, and I once founded an orchestra with three Germans. (…) They aren’t as boring as people describe them.

Represent 5:
Recently, I bought a LV bag in Germany, but the price was 15 Euros above that in France. (…) Germans are very serious, punctual, and act like gentlemen. (…)

LV bag

LV bag

The other three represents talked the same way. And you try to make us believe that they aren’t ordinary? Shame on you, Justrecently! You are too CNN!

Written by taide

May 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

Global Views on Countries’ Influence

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People in twenty-one countries were asked their opinions about (apparently) sixteen countries. The questions were about which of the listed sixteen countries had a rather positive or rather negative influence in the world. The survey was conducted by Globescan, for the BBC World Service.

How do people see their own country’s influence?

1. Chinese views of China’s influence: 92% vs. 6%.

2. Canadian views of Canada’s influence: 86% vs. 7%.

3. Russian views of Russia’s influence: 82% vs. 2%.

4. German views of German influence: 80% vs. 4%.

5. French views of France’s influence: 72% vs. 13%.

6. British views of the UK’s influence: 63% vs. 23%.

7. American views of America’s influence: 60% vs. 31%.

8. Indian views of India’s influence: 51% vs. 7%.

9. Japanese views of Japan’s influence: 41% vs. 11%.

Not every country where people were interviewed is also included in the list of countries rated – therefore, the number of countries where you can learn about peoples’ perception of their own country is rather limited.

There can be many reasons why people view their countries’ more or less positively. The American, British, French and Indian results surprised me. Then again, maybe they look at it more realistically than others, because they don’t care that much? Or are they so critical of their country’s role?

There are first public but anonymous reactions, on my loved-hated source Spiegel Online for example. Please go to their article’s forum…

Akbatur: As a Turk who was born in Germany but never was at home here thanks to world-famous German hospitality and latent xenophobia, I doubt the significance of this survey. One only lives in Germany because one has to live here (family, money, etc.) and not because one really wants to live here. When someone moves between two cultures as I do, he has enough opportunities to compare and let them catch their own reflexion. In my view, the Germans are extremely cold-hearted, arrogant, and selfish. I’m not the only one who thinks so. All foreigners who I asked share my assessment. Noone of them took to the Germans. On the other hand, time and again, I find the affectionate cohesion solicitousness that only Turks can offer. Something that Germans don’t have at all.

But who cares. May the Germans indulge in their We-are-the-best eurphoria. The reality looks different.

I must admit that I’m sceptical of the survey myself, although “affectionate cohesion” wasn’t really the issue. But I sort of like leerzeichen’s answer to Akbatur anyway:

leerzeichen (quote Akbatur): On the other hand, time and again, I find the affectionate cohesion solicitousness that only Turks can offer. Something that Germans don’t have at all. (unquote). I’m sure you are right about that. On the other hand, noone who tries to escape that kind of cohesion gets shot by German tradition…

OK. Let me leave you with another Great Patriotic War in another time, another place…

Written by taide

February 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

Doha Round: Which Failure?

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Justrecently gives us a nice explanation as to why blaming each other after the “failed” Doha round leads nowhere. I agree that a search for scapegoats is useless. What I do not agree with is the blanket assumption that the temporary end of the negotiations should be considered a failure.

This is going to be a long comment. That’s why I’m commenting here on my blog.

“World trade liberalisation serves all of us.” That’s the big statement we get to hear all the time. Let me ask you this, Justrecently: how have you benefited so far? How am I and my people benefitting? How is anyone we know personally benefitting? Or why else should we wish the negotiations success? Why should French farmers wish them success?

I have several objections. First of all, there are people in every society who like to take their own decisions – at work, and in their own lives. But in every society – developed societies are no exception -, there are also people who like to simply carry out orders, working on an assembly line, etc.. We both see candidates for this kind of work in our classrooms, and neither of us is entertaining the illusion that school can turn every simple mind into an expert. If division of labour on a global scale goes on and on like it has to date, they will never find jobs. Not in this developed country, anyway. And Burkina Faso probably won’t need them either.

Let me look at people at work now. Civil service is cutting down my income. It’s not like if I’m starving, but it isn’t what I expected to get when I came into the job. The same is true for most people in the civil service. The same is true for most employees of banks and insurances whose employers have indeed profited enormously – be it from globalisation, be it from other effects. Farmers have reasons to wonder where their income is going. How can Sarkozy make it clear to them that they will eventually gain from the trade liberalisation process? How would you convince them, Justrecently?

If the Economist, the EU Commission or our government want to make it clear to us that we are going to profit from a successful Doha round, I’m still waiting for a convincing presentation. I’m sure a minority has profited here. The majority hasn’t.

Sorry if this sounds cynical, but I can’t see how Burkina Faso’s gains should have been my gains, in case of more “successful” negotiations. It would certainly be great if hunger and genocide became a thing of the past. But the idea that growing prosperity would lead to less war or murder needs to be proven too. And I have the strong feeling that the bit of evidence that we are shown once in a while – “empirical” usually – is mostly a matter of choice and emphasis. Besides, as I said: I’m all for growing incomes – but only if mine grows along with such a trend.

You have shown that even one of the parties to the negotiations had a hard time of it – the EU, which was struggling with differing interests in France on the one hand, and Britain and Germany on the other. You should go one step further: there are differing interests within these national states, too. I’m not profiting. Most of the parents of my students aren’t profiting. The stance that our government is taking in international negotiations is leaving our interests out of account – not to mention the interests of German-Turkish sweat worker, the truck driver, or the unemployed.

Frankly, I believe that the Chinese government should pay good attention to their farmers at home before styling itself the shepherd (nice analogy) of African farmers – there we agree. But I also believe that every government – ours included – should take the interests of all its citizens into account before thinking about what to demand or cede to other governments. With a set of policies based on these interests at home, international trade negotiators may be much more goal-oriented – and successful – than those who listen to the corporations first, second, and to the majority of people only third.

Another question: if the state itself profits from rising incomes (they say that trade liberalisation leads to rising incomes, and we have already seen a lot of liberalisation, right?), how come that the state doesn’t invest into education? Aren’t individual competence and skills the things this country must build on “in a globalised world”?

Just asking.