China’s political system reform need to be alert on those wielding magical cudgel.
Another recent article from Mr Sima Nan. He is a skeptic by nature, and used to expose all kind of quacks claiming para-normal powers. Nowadays, he seems to find alot more time to write other socio-political issues, and at the same time exposing more of the snake oil merchants in different guises. This time against those who advocate wholesale import of Western political system for China, i.e. those democrazy activists.
Following is my attempt in translating the article:
The 17th session of the Fifth Plenary Session on political reform, stressed that China’s political reform will continue to adhere to the political road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This sentence is very important.
The Chinese characteristic emphasises that the reform must be based on our own national conditions. Socialism is emphasized because it is the essence of our governing system and our road map, which we will naturally treat as a process. In the process, China is to continually reform the political system, but what is the essence of China’s political reform ?
The China’s political system is a self-improvement process. In other words, we adhere to the inherent political system, and continually make further improvements on the system, rather than pulling it down.
Some people repeatedly urged political reform in China, saying that the reform is not really reform, and want reform to be restarted from beginning again. They want the 60 years building blocks that we have to be demolished and start anew. I differ considerably on this aspect and want to emphasize on the reform and self-improvement of China’s political system, which are two different understandings altogether.
17th session of the Fifth Plenary Session elaborated this matter in specific details, these elaborations and the 17 main point discussion on China’s political system, are basically the same. This basic political discourse has three support points, and I call this the triangle principle of democratic politics in China.
First of all, the first corner of the triangle is the people are the masters. People’s Republic of China, in essence, is a republic, that the people are the highest sovereign, people are the masters, the people’s interests above all else, everything for the people, this is the fundamental nature of the country.
Secondly, the second angle of the triangle is to uphold the party’s leadership. Why should we adhere to the party’s leadership? Because the country is built under the leadership of the party, because the party represents the people specific form of self-government, because 1.3 billion people unite under the party and strive for the realization of people’s happiness. Country’s future and hope, depends much on party to mobilise resources.
Lastly, the third angle of the triangle, to rule according to law.
我跟前不久和美国的几个外交官在一块说到这个问题，我跟他们讲，告诉你一个窍门儿，假如你要以最快速度切入中国政治，了解中国人民的政治生活政治原理，告诉你三个汉字，知道这三个汉字的确切含义就可以登堂入室了。就像你美国建国有一些非常重要的理论文件一样，我们中国政治的文件也非常多，但是提炼(ti2 lian4 – extract) 到最后就三个字，第一人民当家作主，提炼出一个“民”字，第二党的领导，提炼出一个“党”字，第三依法治国，提炼出一个“法”字，“民”、“党’、”法”这三个字。
Recently I discussed with several US diplomats about this matter. I spoke to them and said I would give you tip for quick and incisive understanding of Chinese politics – understand Chinese people’s political life and political theory. I will tell you the three Chinese characters, know the three Chinese characters of the exact meaning and you will be accomplished in the understanding . Just like you have some important political writings in the founding of the United States, our important Chinese political writings are also numereous, but can be extracted to final three characters, the first is ‘people’ ( people to be masters), the second is ‘party’ i.e.party leadership, the third is’ law’, from rule of law. Min, dang and fa (民,党,法) are the three words.
The 17th session of the Fifth Plenary Session reaffirmed the principle of the 3 unified words The so-called three unified, that is, three things are indispensable, not only one but not two, not only two but three, three things are mutually interacting and mutually dependable.
In addition to the emphasis above the triangle principle of democratic politics, the 17th session of the Fifth Plenary discussion on political reform issues have other important points which I will analyse;
其一，现在有人喜欢讲，动辄(dong4 zhe2 – prone) 就讲“中国政治体制改革落后”，他们把中国的政治体制改革的必要性紧迫性，建立在“你落后”了的语境下。怎么就叫落后呢？跟谁比落后呢？怎么落后呢？你依据什么来做这个落后的鉴定呢？谁是我们的标准呢？
First, there are people who are prone to talk about China’s political reform as being backward, they need to reform China’s political system urgently, based on the ‘you are backward’ kind of context. Why is it called backward? Compared to whom is it backward? What is backward? On what basis do you identify the backward in it? Who are our standards?
Yes, many problems exist in Chinese society, but when you talk about issues in order to prove problems within the political system is backward, have you ever thought that all the achievements made so far that have been brought by existing political system? Seeing problems and you said it is backward. But our developments have been most outstanding and have highest growth rate throughout the world, What a large economic system we have now. In the 30 years there have been such deep and profound changed in our appearances, which is second to none in this world. Will you agree then that Chinese political system is advanced?. Therefore, you cannot simply say that the Chinese political system is backward.
I do not agree that “China’s political system is backward”, is the valid premise of China’s political system.
Second, I do not agree with those that say the Chinese political system has not changed over the years. They frequently criticized “you have carried out economic structural reform, but the political system have not moved, seriously affecting the progress of society”. Some even claimed that the Chinese political system has not changed, but these people are just out of touch with reality. There is no need for further justification on this, given the innumerable examples.
其三，有人鼓吹我们的政治体制改革要照着某国的标准来，这事情很荒唐(huang tang2 – absurb)。我们凭什么按照他们的标准来？他们如何成了我们的标准？他们两个党，我们就得弄两个党出来竞争？英国有女皇，我们现在要造出一个女皇来？王妃要不要有呢？日本有天皇，我们要不要弄出一个天皇来？到底照谁的模式来呢？照俄罗斯的模式来，把共产党宣布为非法吗？照着美国的模式来，先得杀几千万印第安人，再蓄奴实行庄园主联合体的政治吗？你告诉我哪个标准是标准，他们的标准如何成为我们的标准？
Third, there are those who advocates of our political system follow the standards of certain country. This is absurd. Why should we follow their standards? How do they become our standard? They have two political parties, we have to get two political parties to compete? Britain has a Queen, we now must create a queen? Do we need princess ? Japan has an Emperor, do we produce an emperor? Finally which model to choose from? According to the model of Russia, the Communist Party has been declared illegal? According to the U.S. model, initially kill tens of millions of Red Indians, then become slave owners in slavery based economic system? You tell me what the standard is the standard, where the standard become our standard?
Fourth, the speed of political reform. You say our political system is too slow, the problem would be clear: what speed it better? Speed, always depend on the operational state of the big vehicle carrying 1.3 billion people , right? Gotta look at the vehicle maintenance conditions, right? Loading conditions and right, road conditions, right? Gotta analyze the turning radius much it, gotta analyze moving uphill or downhill, right? Also had to ask whether oil enough? You can not simply speak fast and slow only.
Setting aside the historical and cultural conditions, in the abstract talking about the speed of political reform, has not significant meaning …
Fifth, we are talking about political reform in all, the premise is simply more to maintain our basic political system, adhere to one of the basic political system based on the basic political system of our system built on the basis of five thousand years of cultural tradition, the establishment of Communist Party of China led the people in revolution and construction basis. Therefore, we need to be resolutely confidence in our system, and strengthen our cultural self-confidence. With these two self-confidences, …
其六，最后一条，总是有一些人在中国政治制度的问题上喜欢居高临下(jugaolinxia – live high and look down) 地扮演大尾巴狼，嚎叫着说他们那个东西是最好的，他们甚至给自己那些东西起了个不要脸的名，叫普世价值。这种做法基本上与某影星声称自己长得天下最美，乃为世上女子标准一样可笑。
Sixth, the last one, there are always some people who are condescending on the Chinese political system issues, acting like ‘wolf with large tail’, howling that they have the best goods to offer. They display their goods wantonly and shamelessly called these ‘the universal value’. This approach is essentially like a film star proclaiming to be the most beautiful person in the world, is really funny…
凡是言说自己是普世价值拥有者，自己代表普世价值的人都非常可疑。一个人宣称说我绝对正确，我普世价值，我是你的标准，这种人就和我当年揭穿(jie chuan – expose) 的骗子一样。因为他们这实际上是在说，我已经通神了，我是大师，你们都是错的，你们必须向我看齐。因为我通神了，我有资格举起一把叫普世价值的锤子，可以随便敲打你。这种政治学说，也可以起名叫“神棍政治”。
On those who call themselves as promoter of the universal values, and then proclaiming themselves as representative of universal values , one has to be very suspicious. A person proclaiming to be absolutely right – my universal value is your standard, this person is just like those swindlers I have exposed in my former days. Because they actually say that I’ve been inspired by god, I am a master, you are wrong, you must follow my lead as I am inspireed by god, I am entitled to wield the so-called universal values hammer, which can be used beat you. This kind of politics can also be called the “Politics with God’s cudgel”.
质言之，中国进行政治体制改革，必须要对那些普世价值的贩卖者保持必要的警惕(jing3 ti4 – vigilant) ，更要警惕戈尔巴乔夫式的人物、赵紫阳式的人物突然深情呼唤，美言“全人类价值高于一切”，而置全国人民利益而不顾。在国界界碑还没拆除的前提下，这些大而无当的话一旦变作政治策略非常危险。
In short, China’s political reform process need to be on alert of those universal values peddlers, to be even more alert against those Gorbachev style figures, Zhao Ziyang style figures with sudden affectionate calls, using beautiful words “humanity values above everything else”, and above the national interests of the people. In the world without the precondition where the borders boundary stones have not been removed, these large but empty words, are very dangerous as political strategy.
We do not need to listen to the “practice of making cucumber standard to eggplant standard”, or the wolf and gradmother teaching from the Chicago school (unfettered free market or capitalism school of thought). We must resolutely go our own way of political development, we must strictly implement the principle of gradual and orderly progress. Deng Xiaoping said well, democracy is our direction, but the State must remain stable.
我们的根本制度，无需听信别人伤筋动骨地变动，伤筋动骨的变动是违宪(wei2 xian4 – unconstitutional) 行为，是背叛中国革命的道统良知。刚才说的民主政治三角形，哪个角都不能变，人民当家作主，就具体制度形式而言，乃为人民代表大会制度；中国共产党的领导就实际而言，改善，更要加强，尤其是对意识形态(yi4 shi2 xing2 tai4 – ideology) 的领导。任何削弱、取消中国共产党领导的做法都是我们根本的政治制度，更是我们的宪法原则所不允许的；依法治国，包括中国共产党在内，必须受宪法与法律的制约。中国共产党的的执政的理念之一，就叫做“依法执政”余下两条，一为“科学执政”，二为“民主执政”。
Regarding our basic system, there is no need to listen those wanting dramatic changes. In fact those dramatic changes are unconstitutional in actions, betraying the spirit of the Chinese revolution. Which of the legs of the earlier mentioned democratic political triangle, can change? People are the master in this form of governing institution, they are being represented by the people’s congress system; the Chinese Communist Party leadership in practical terms, to improve, but also to strengthen, especially ideological leadership. ……
一位网友朋友在节目直播的时候问我：中国的政治体制你说那么需要坚持，看似对人民有利的政策一条条的都在，道理一套套的，为什么到最后大家还是怨声载道呢？我对这个网友说，这个问题提得很好。为什么怨声载道？第一我们是主人，当家做主的人啊，我当然总是不满意啊。农业税取消了，农民几千年来从来没有遇到过的事情，我依然不满意，今天种田花费高了嘛，有的地方种子质量不够好啊。城乡二元对立还没根本解决啊。因为我们是主人，抱怨是我们的权利。第二条，天下事情，没有最好，只有更好，我不断地提高自己的这个标准，我要求你执政党和政府做的更好，有什么不对吗？第三条，我们现在有的媒体喜欢放大一些耸人听闻(song3 ren2 ting wen2- sensationalize) 的个别案例，致使一些人产生印象，以为只要拆迁，就是暴力拆迁，只要暴力拆迁，就烧死人；只要发生治安、刑事案件，便是你根本政治制度有问题。个别媒体致力于制造这样的一个荒谬的逻辑链，让不大动脑筋思考的个别的年轻网友产生一个错觉：中国果然落后。
An online friend in a broadcast program asked me : You said we need to uphold China’s political system, but if the government policies are beneficial, why are so many people openly voicing discontents. I said to the online friend you raised a very good question. Why do the openly voice discontents? First we are the masters, managing own our households, and of course we are usually dissatisfied. Agricultural taxes have been abolished,and for thousands of years the farmers have never encountered such circumstance before, but are still not satisfied as cost of farming is higher nowadays, In certain places, quality seedlings are not adequate. This urban-rural divide problem cannot be fundamentally resolved. Because we are the owners, bringing up complains are within our right. The second point, in regards to matters under the heaven, there is no best ways. Unceasingly improve on our own standards, and requesting the ruling party and Government to do better, is there anything wrong with that? Nowadays the media like to sensationalize certain cases, resulting in some people have the impression the demolition works involve violence and people being burnt to dead; as if there is law and order problems involving criminal cases as if the fundamental political system has the problem. The media created this kind absurd logical train of thoughts, having these shallow muddled thinkings mislead our the young Internet friends: that China is backward.
有人刻意制造幻象，他们制造了中国是个悲惨的世界幻象，他们又把国外描述(miao2 shu4 – describe) 成一朵花，殊不知哪国日子都不好过，美国、德国、法国、英国他们都是老牌的帝国主义国家，占有了多少资源，利用全世界的资源来发展自己，今天我们和他们的差距正在缩小，这是不争的事实。我们应当对自己国家有信心，对自己国家制度有信心，应当坚定地捍卫我们根本的政治制度。
There are people who deliberately created illusions of China as tragic country. And they described certain foreign countries in glowing terms like flowers, barely knowing that those countries struggled in the past. The United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom are brand name for the imperialist countries which held large amount of resources, using the resources of entire world to develop themselves. Today, it is an indisputable fact that the gap between us and them is narrowing, . We should have confidence in their own country, have confidence in our own national system, should firmly defend our fundamental political system.
If you are not satisfied, say you are dissatisfied. If you have something to say, say it. And if you have problem, try to resolve the problem. If you cannot solve, it does not mean that you must be too ready to dismantle the House. Certain people are deliberately frightening people into pull down the House, and matters will be alright. Please do not believe them. Just look at the pulling down of the former Soviet Union. I hope all of you can see it. I will say no more.