Monday, February 16, 2015

News and Commentaries, 15-02-16

An eight-year old fan of Li Keqiang followed him the whole day while the premier went to visit this poor village in Guizhou.
This little “huge fan of Li Keqiang” always followed him and took picture with his white cell phone of a Chinese brand. Eventually Li granted a picture together with his loyal fan.

Ren Zhiqiang: What are Western Values? (什么是西方价值观? - Link on Google Drive in case this will be deleted completely.) A short talk of real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang (nickname Cannon Ren) attracted harsh criticism from Global Times online (now the comment on Global Times is off their website, but could be found elsewhere - Link on Google Drive.)

Though bearing the name of “Cannon Ren” for his straightforwardness and bluntness, Ren Zhiqiang’s 5-minutes talk about Western values were by no means sharply critical. But the response from Global Times was quick and strong, criticizing Ren as having ulterior motives but was not smart enough to hide his ambitions (欲盖弥彰).

(Some direct quotes)
1, If our values are superior than Western values, and if China hopes the world could accept its values, why can’t we openly let two kinds of values compete on one platform? Why are we afraid of Western values?

2, Many of the rules and regulations since the reform and open up were learned from other countries in the world, or the West. It was due to capital all over the world, without any borders. It was due to international trade without borders. It was not  acceptable to hold lots of Western currencies and bonds during the Cultural Revolution.
2, 改革开放后的许许多多的法律法规,都得益于从世界各国或西方学习而来的。借助于世界不分东西的资金,与世界不分东西的贸易交往,大量的持有西方的货币和债券,都在文革时期是不可接受的行为。

3, Without ideologies or values that were not originated in China, there will not be such integrated achievement in China. Isn’t it a good thing to engage with Western elements that are beneficial to China’s economic, political and technological development? Isn’t it a good thing for them to become forces of China’s growth?
3, 没有这些本不属于中国本土的主义,价值观的影响,也许不会有今天中国融入世界的成就。将西方的有利于中国经济、政治、科技发展的优点,化为中国成长的因素和力量,难道不是件好事吗?
Global Time’s response:
1, Real estate tycoon Canon Ren is firing again. He was determined to shock others. He blamed the government “overly highlighted the power of gun and knife”. He also thinks that “the government was against Western values” and “there is another wind of Cultural Revolution”. He also became a theorist and published an article called “What is Western Values” on his Weibo account. There were “dictatorship and authoritarianism, democracy and constitutionalization” everywhere between the lines. He is really taking the stance of “Western Values”.
1, 房地产大佬任志强又“开炮了”,语不惊人誓不休。他指责政府“过度强调了枪杆子和刀把子,反对西方的价值观,文革之风又起来了”。他还成了“理论家”,用长微博刊发“什么是西方价值观”,字里行间散发的“独裁专制,民主宪政”等气味,无非是为“西方价值观”站台。

2, China did not quickly rise in ways that were not recognized by the West. However, some people view the world with the attitude of “big country, small citizens” and kowtow Western values. They don’t even have the courage to look directly at Western values. China should be the country where people should be least pessimistic about its future.  
2, 中国是不以西方并不认可的模式迅速崛起的。但有一些人以“大国小民”的心态窥视这个世界,跪拜西方价值观,连抬起关来正视西方的勇气都没有。中国是世界上最没有理由对自已国家的前途感到悲观的。

I wonder if Ren Zhiqiang could also be regarded as an intellectual, or “public intellectual”. His Weibo account has almost 30 million followers and he has also published several books, including his memoir and essays.  

Tsinghua professor Sun Liping published this comment on his Weibo account: “Recently Ren Zhiqiang became the object of official media’s criticism, which was raised to a political level. This signifies the beginning of absurdity. Actually people who are familiar with Ren Zhiqiang know that he is very blunt. He always talks about what he thinks. He is probably attached to the system more than those who criticize him. He honestly criticizes this system means he hopes it could improve. Nowadays even some sentences of Ren Zhiqiang can’t be tolerated or even be considered antagonistic. What would be the consequences?


Yu Ge: freelancer and writer, very young (born in 1982). He has a blog on Caixin and Gongshiwang. He has also published a few books.

1, We need to first talk about the origin of positive energy. This is a term in the discipline of physics. We don’t know since when it became a moral benchmark. Since it was invented two years ago, it has become too popular. We are often confused by its surface meaning. Actually, positive news or information do not necessarily have positive energy. It is just like negative news or information does not necessarily have negative energy. 1, 还得从正能量说起。这本是一个物理学名词,不知何时被道德化,自前两年流行开来,风靡一时,以至泛滥成灾。我们常常为其字面之义所蛊惑,实际上,正面的新闻与消息,未必就是正能量,正如负面的新闻与消息,未必就是负能量。

2, This is the first problem of positive energy. Its definition is not clear, or sometimes it is even contradictory. It changes depends on people’s intentions or the dominance of power. People who control the power of discourse in society could control the definition of positive energy. Therefore, before we discuss positive energy, we must ask first: It is whose positive energy? It is what kind of positive energy? 2,这是正能量面临的第一重困境,其定义并不明确,时而反复无常,视人心而动,逐权力而居。谁掌握了一个社会的话语权,谁便可以支配对正能量的定义。基于此,我们讨论正能量之前,必须追问:谁之正能量,何种正能量?
3, The second problem of positive energy is that it is reitified. It has formed a dualism structure with negative energy. These two polars could not co-exist. If you do not spread positive energy, then you are standing on the side of negative energy. Therefore there is the popular saying of “spread more positive energy and less negative energy”. 3,正能量的第二重困境,在于被狭隘化,与负能量形成了一种非此即彼、势不两立的二元结构:你不传播正能量,那就站在了负能量一方;“多传播正能量,少传播负能量”的说法亦属此列。
4, The harm of dualism is countless. Not only does it facilitate intellectual laziness, but it strengthens the violence of criticism. As you know very well, things in this world, if it is categorized as either this or that, either black or white, either good or evil, either left or right; it is so easy to criticize. Another side of simplicity is actually violence.

5, There is then the third problem of positive energy. It has oppressed, or even replaced the freedom of spreading negative energy - though it could be some real negative energy. 5, 正能量浮现了第三重困境:压迫甚至剥夺了负能量——哪怕是名副其实的负能量——的传播自由。
6, To examine the freedom in a society, we do not need to look at the freedom of spreading positive energy, but we need to look at the freedom of spreading negative energy and how much freedom there is. 6,考察一个社会的自由度,不是看正能量有无传播的自由,而是看负能量有无传播的自由,以及有多少自由。
7, In a nutshell, if a society only allows spreading positive energy, this kind of society is not suitable for normal people to live in. If a person only shines positive energy, not only do I not want to get close to them, but I would really be fearful of them. 7,说到底,假如一个社会只许正能量传播,只有正能量传播,这样的社会,并不适合正常人生存;假如一个人浑身上下只闪耀正能量,我不敢亲近,反而心生恐惧。

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