News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The only Asian entry for the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival is likely to be pulled from the competition before its first screening today after permission for it to be shown was refused by China's powerful censors. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said Summer Palace failed to meet technical standards - the picture was "too fuzzy" and the sound quality poor.
The publicity material for the film on the festival website describes it as opening against a "volatile Chinese backdrop of political unrest" and adds that the lovers' relationship "becomes one of dangerous games, as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom". It is the director Lou Ye's second brush with the censors. In 2000 he was banned from filming for two years after showing his most famous work, Suzhou River, at overseas festivals without permission.
我的學長胡錦濤: 編者按:六四後流亡海外的原北京四通總裁萬潤南與中共總書記胡錦濤曾在清華大學有學友關係。本文回憶二人同學相知後來分道揚鑣的往事,是一份珍貴的史料。
Editor's Note: The author was personally acquainted with Hu Jintao, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, when both were students at Beijing 's Tsinghua University . Mr. Wan later became president of Beijing-based Stone Corp. before fleeing into exile after the “June 4 th” incident of 1989. Here he writes of his friendship with Hu during their college years before each eventually went his own way. This is a valuable historical piece for the study of the fourth generation of Chinese communist leaders.
...In her 300 years of history, Yale has produced many members of the elite, among them five presidents of the United States . But in 20 years, Tsinghua produced four members of the current Standing Committee of the Politburo, including Hu Jintao. From the standpoint of timing, Tsinghua exhibits a better efficiency.
How did president Jiang Nanxiang achieve this? Mainly by using a system of “political counselors” to train student cadres. At the time I was there, the student cultural and arts group had four counselors: Yin Fusheng, Hu Jintao, Li Guiqiu and Ren Lihan. Among them, Yin and Li were cold and remote, and Hu and Ren more personable. But they all had something in common: obedience and efficiency. Their nicknames were indicative of their roles and characters: Three were given a nickname based on their names: Lao Yin (meaning Old Yin), Li Gui, and Xiao Han (meaning Little Han). Only Hu Jintao was called “Commander.” Why was he addressed this way? I once asked Lao Yin. He said he had no idea. But it now seems this nickname was accurate. Hu rose from “Commander” of the student cultural and arts group to “Commander” of the Youth League of the communist party, then to Commander of Guizhou Province and the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and now of the whole country.
關於文革的一個建議: 文革把中國蹂躪到如此黑暗、如此野蠻、如此悲慘的田地,可謂空前而絕後,不僅我們憤慨不已,列祖列宗也為之蒙羞!今日中國之種種醜行惡狀,難道沒有文革遺風的影響所致?因此,本刊以微薄的力量,二十年來盡匹夫之責,從來沒有在文革評論和批毛方面退後一步,對於那些保毛崇毛言論,總是嗤之以鼻。我們也深知面對的是一個巨大工程,尚須以愚公移山之志,不棄一鋤一鎬之力。美國吳弘達先生,鑒於俄羅斯有「古拉格」 Gulag ,猶太人有「大屠殺」 Holocaust 之例,以紀國恥,以醒後人,乃費十年辛勞,終將「勞改」 Laogai 一詞列入牛津大辭典,讓世界知道中國的悲劇。我們不妨提議,將「文革」 Wenge 一詞循例辦理,希望大家以後再不用「文化大革命」「文化革命」這樣官方的辭令,而直稱「文革」可也。
English discourse has for some time adopted the Russian term “Gulag” and the concept of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jewish people, as a means of reminding current and future generations of national disgrace. For the same purpose, Mr. Harry Wu of the United States spent 10 years before finally persuading the editor of the Oxford Dictionary to incorporate the word “Laogai,” the Chinese phonetic spelling for “reform through labor,” into the English language so as to make the world aware of China 's tragedy. Likewise, this magazine suggests that we do the same for the word “Wenge,” the Chinese pinyin for “Cultural Revolution.” We hope that from now on no one uses the grand official terms of “Cultural Revolution” or “Great Cultural Revolution,” but simply “Wenge.”
Burma Karen families 'on the run': Thousands of families are reported to be on the run in the hills of eastern Burma because of a government offensive against ethnic Karen rebels.
...Slipping across the Burmese border by boat, then hiking through the jungle to a remote valley, we met 700 weary civilians who are now in hiding. The Khu family had arrived a day earlier trekking for a month from their village. The father, Sawmaw, said Burmese government troops had burned every house and killed some of his neighbours.
Bank of China, the country's second largest lender, has announced the launch of a $9.8bn (£5.2bn) share flotation on the Hong Kong market. Set to be the world's biggest initial share offering since 2000, it comes as China continues to open up its banking sector to foreign competition. A consortium of international banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland spent $3bn on a 10% stake in Bank of China last year.
...But some analysts have warned off investors, pointing out the bank's problems with bad loans, fraud investigations and antiquated computer systems.

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