Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Translation Tuesday: Chinese Martial Arts Seminars Ignite African Passions

By Laiyin Yuan

Author: Yang Kaiqi, Hao Shuang
Translator: Laiyin Yuan
Published on: 08/25/2014
Source: China News Service (CNS)
Original text (in Chinese): http://www.chinanews.com/hr/2014/08-25/6527281.shtml

Chinese martial arts have always been an important component of Chinese soft power. Their popularity in Africa provides African peoples with a better understanding about Chinese traditional culture.
---- Laiyin Yuan (translator)

“With the integration of seminars and performances, the ‘Cultures of China – Lectures of Masters’ series offers a new way to spread Chinese martial arts culture.” Li Hui, deputy director of the Henan Provincial Martial Arts Management Center, was very impressed by the enthusiasm of her African audience as she delivered three lectures in their respective countries.

In mid-August, many famous Chinese martial arts masters went to South Africa, Botswana, and Mauritius with the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council’s “Cultures of China – Lectures of Masters” delegation, and provided wonderful kung fu seminars and live demonstrations for the locals. Among the delegation was Chen Zhenglei, one of the first state-level Intangible Cultural Heritage[1] inheritors of the Chen-style tai chi, and also Jiao Hongmin, President of the Henan Shaolin Martial Arts Academy. This was the first time that martial arts was a series theme since its initial launch in 2007.

Monday, September 29, 2014

China's Peace Corps?!?!

China has a little-known program equivalent to the U.S. Peace Corps: the unofficially titled Chinese Youth Volunteers in Africa. Wendy Wang, a Business Development and Communications Officer with China House, explained this program to host Winslow Robertson. If you want to know about this program, how it is administered, how the volunteers are recruited, how it is funded, and more, please listen to this episode!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Translation Tuesday: Hunan invites companies to invest in South Africa

By Joseph Webster

Author: Zhou Yuegui
Translator: Joseph Webster
Published on: 09/22/2014
Source: Hunan Daily
Original text (in Chinese): http://epaper.voc.com.cn/hnrb/html/2014-09/22/content_882276.htm?div=-1

On September 19, the South African Embassy in China and the Provincial Business Council Changsha conducted a public hearing “Hunan Province and South Africa Economic Cooperation and Investment Opportunities Summit.” South Africa's ambassador Langa and his party introduced the country's investment environment and opportunities, and cordially invited Hunan businesses to invest in South Africa.

Hunan and South Africa's trade relationship has steadily developed in recent years. According to the Department of Commerce's statistics, in the year 2013, Hunan and South Africa imports and exports totaled $22.3 billion which was an increase of 40.0 percent and accounted for one tenth of the province’s total imports and exports. Through August of this year, Hunan’s Department of Commerce had approved six companies to invest in South Africa, with investment contracts from the Chinese side totaling $15.88 million.  

A Department of Commerce official stated that the South African and Hunan economies are highly complementary, with much room for further cooperation. On the one hand, South Africa is wealthy in mineral resources, possibly providing the iron, manganese ore and other mineral resources that Hunan needs. On the other hand, Hunan’s engineering machinery, automobile manufacturing, and other advantages in products and technological services are in high demand in South Africa.

The South African embassy's Political and Economic attache Gcoyi explained that South Africa had established Chinese-style Special Economic Zones, set up many industrial parks, assembled new energy sources, manufactured cars, produced jewelry, and other services. To firms operating in the industrial parks, the South Africa government gives preferential treatment with regard to finance, taxes, production equipment, customs, and other related policies. Hopefully, in cooperation with Hunan, new breakthroughs will be achieved in South Africa's developing industries such as new energy, car manufacturing.

Ask not what foreign nations are doing for Africa…

By Zander Rounds, Fulbright Scholar, Zhejiang Normal University

 …but what Africa is doing for foreign nations: Tanzanian President Mkapa on the future of Africa’s relations with the world

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by former President of Tanzinia, Benjamin Mkapa, hosted by Zhejiang Normal University’s Institute of African Studies and the China-Africa Business College. President Mkapa delivered his speech, titled “Unscrambling Africa in the New Millennium” (在新千年实现非洲的自主发展), to a large conference room packed full with African and Chinese students, professors and perhaps three Americans (myself included).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Of Interest 09/15 - 09/21

09/15 - 09/21 2014 SADC: Do not forget about the UN Climate Summit
  • 12 more Ugandans facing death in China - Simon Masaba, New Vision, September 6, 2014: "The conviction and sentencing of more Ugandans to death by hanging, was confirmed by the Interpol chief, Asan Kasingye, in an interview with New Vision this week. In July this year, the Chinese authorities executed two Ugandans — Omar Ddamulira and Ham Andrew Ngobi over drug trafficking. Kasingye identified the Ugandans recently sentenced to death in China as Joseph Kiberu Mulindwa, Sara Basima, Alex Kayiwa, Benjamin Bisuka, Derrick Kiryowa, Willy Musoke, Ambrose Tsimi, Scovia Nakintu, John Luke Wasonye, Peter Wamoka and Geoffrey Ogwal. There was no information yet about their next of kin in Uganda. Kasingye also said the list recently received from Interpol on Ugandans convicted abroad also includes a number of people serving long prison sentences in China, Japan and Kenya."
  • How Africa's first education tablet computer was created - Tamasin Ford, BBC News, September 15, 2014: "At the moment the tablets are all made and assembled in China, but Qelasy's vision includes setting up a factory in Ivory Coast. 'It's our dream,' says the entrepreneur. 'I'm passionate about education because I would like our country, our continent to take the place that it should have in the world and without education it's not possible.'"
  • Fourteen Nobel laureates urge Zuma to give Dalai Lama visa - The Citizen, September 16, 2014: "The Dalai Lama was to attend a summit of Nobel peace prize winners in Cape Town next month, the first-ever meeting of its kind in Africa. But, according to an aide, he cancelled after Pretoria denied him a visa in a bid to avoid angering China, which regards the Buddhist monk as a campaigner for Tibetan independence. 'We are deeply concerned about the damage that will be done to South Africa’s international image by a refusal – or failure – to grant him a visa yet again,' the group said in a letter to President Jacob Zuma. Signatories include Poland’s Lech Walesa, Bangladeshi entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Northern Irish peacemakers David Trimble and John Hume. The Dalai Lama has applied three times in the last five years to visit the country once led by Nelson Mandela."
  • Better local price challenges Ethiopia’s shoes export - Andualem Sisay Gessesse, The EastAfrican, September 16, 2014: "Chinese shoe manufacturing company Huajian, which has its own shoe city in China, is currently producing 2,000 pairs of shoes every day in Ethiopia. At about $40 per month, the cost of labour in Ethiopia is 10 times less than that in China, which stands at about $400.Huajian recently secured 138 hectares of land in Ethiopia where it plans to establish its own industrial zone at a cost of about $2.2 billion. Foreign shoe factories like Huajian with an international marketing network are expected to boost Ethiopia’s foreign currency from the sector but the question begs: For how long will foreign brands dominate the industry?"
  • Chinese man arrives in Namibia on bicycle - New Era Newspaper, September 17, 2014: "Yesterday, traffic almost came to a virtual standstill in the northern part of Windhoek when an uncommon heavily loaded bicycle, paddled by a Chinese rider, strolled along the outstretched Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue. Our team spotted the unusual attraction and resolved to have a word with the leg-weary but friendly, courageous cyclist. Li Jianbo, 29 is a man on a serious mission to have his name engraved in full print in the famous Guinness Book of Records. He cycled from his native China to Namibia through a journey that took 14-months through the African jungle, arriving in Katima Mulilo in July this year en route to the Mother City in South Africa."
  • How Much Can China Offer in Africa’s Ebola Crisis? - Yanzhong Huang, Asia Unbound | Council on Foreign Relations, September 18, 2014: "In short, China cannot become Africa’s savior in the current crisis. There is no evidence that Chinese leaders actually buy into the fantasy created by the state media. They might be convinced that allowing the latter to keep up the pretense helps spread soft power in Africa. But as Joseph Nye of Harvard University noted, soft power depends on credibility. By exaggerating its contributions to the Ebola outbreak, the state media is undermining China’s humanitarian efforts in Africa as well as its image internationally."
  • For Poor Countries, China Is No Model - Dambisa Moyo, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19, 2014: "Other rising powers are eager to emulate China's success and pursue statist policies that can quickly deliver a short-term jolt. Under state capitalism, China has delivered phenomenal growth, brought hundreds of millions out of poverty, bulked up infrastructure and delivered social services. Moreover, as autocratic China has surged, democracy and capitalism have suffered a series of setbacks that make them less tempting options. These range from high levels of income inequality in the U.S. to the rise of governments in Russia, Venezuela and elsewhere that are nominally democratic but sharply limit free speech and the rule of law."
  • Fronteir Advisories hosted the China Africa Business Forum - SABC Digital News, Sep 19, 2014: "Fronteir Advisories hosted the China Africa Business Forum in Johannesburg on Friday - bringing together leading decision makers from Chinese and African companies. It notes that China's engagement of Africa has been the leading megatrend over the last decade. China is now the single largest trading partner of Africa, the largest financier of infrastructure and the largest lender to African governments."

5 takeaways from the ‘China & Development in Africa’ panel

On September 18, 2014, AfricanDevJobs and Cowries and Rice co-hosted a panel discussion entitled “China & Development in Africa: What China’s Engagement with Africa Means for the Development Sector & Professionals” held at Impact Hub in Washington, D.C.

The panel, moderated by Jackson M’vunganyi, host of Voice of America’s Upfront Africa, featured speakers who spoke about the intersection of development and the China-Africa relationship. They included Ambassador David Shinn, co-author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement and Professorial Lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Kelley Page Jibrell, Global Strategy Consultant and lecturer of International Business at Howard University, and Jyhjong Hwang, Research Assistant at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies’ China Africa Research Initiative. All of the panelists provided different perspectives on the growing involvement of China in Africa – a relationship that has major implications for not only Africa but the entire world.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Same, but Different

By Hannah Ryder, Deputy Country Director, United Nations Development Program China

How to get a McDonalds in Beijing?  Get on a bike!
Credit: Augapfel, 2007
I’m entering into my fourth week here in Beijing, and one of the experiments I tried last weekend was to order a takeaway. I was tired from a very hectic week of meetings – that was my excuse anyway! But it turns out the process of getting a takeaway in Beijing is quite different from getting a takeaway in London or Nairobi – two other big cities I’ve lived in. In London or Nairobi in order to get a takeaway you usually need to phone the restaurant directly, and if they don’t offer a takeaway service then you either have to collect the food yourself or you have to try another restaurant. In contrast, here in Beijing, restaurants don’t generally offer takeaway services themselves. Instead, customers need to phone – and pay – a special company set up simply for the purpose of takeaway to pick up the order and deliver it to your home. That’s right in the language of economists Chinese restaurants effectively “outsource” their takeaway services.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Translation Tuesday: Chinese Medical Teams: 51 Years in Africa

By Laiyin Yuan

Author: Yang Zhenglian, Guo Linghe
Translator: Laiyin Yuan
Published on: 08/24/2014
Source: Guangming Daily
Original text (in Chinese): http://news.gmw.cn/2014-08/24/content_12734600.htm
Excerpt from (in Chinese): http://www.chinanews.com/gj/2012/04-20/3834799.shtml

In order to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, China recently sent out two teams of medical experts to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries to help improve local health capacity. Since the first Chinese medical teams sent to Africa in 1963, Chinese doctors who work in foreign lands have always maintained visibility. For 51 years, these respected, wonderful people travelled across land and sea, and treating many patients in 51 African countries. Healthcare has no borders, and love has no boundaries. These Chinese medical teams not only brought health to receiving countries, but also left extremely positive impressions of the Chinese nation.
--- Laiyin Yuan (translator)
A member of a Chinese medical team is teaching local doctors acupuncture. The teams promote Chinese traditional medical techniques to the outside world while providing treatment, and leave behind a tremendous healthcare legacy after they go back to China. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Chinese Aid White Paper: Beyond the Numbers (1/2)

The latest Chinese white paper on foreign aid was released on July 10. Looking at Chinese foreign assistance from 2010 to 2012, the paper reveals that China has given a cumulative total of $14.4 billion, half of which went to Africa. To get some more context on the white paper itself as well as the rhetoric behind the white paper, host Winslow Robertson asked Ms. Marina Rudyak and Mr. Christian Straube to come on the pod. Ms. Rudyak holds an M.A. in Modern and Classical Chinese Studies and Public Law from the University of Heidelberg. After graduating in 2009 with a thesis on the People’s Republic of China’s energy security policy in Central Asia she worked in the Beijing office of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). In April 2014, she re-joined the Institute of Chinese studies as an assistant to pursue her PhD on Chinese foreign aid and China’s role in international development. Christian Straube is a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany. Mr. Straube runs the website http://www.christianstrau.be/ which looks at China's relations with copperbelt African countries. He also translates Chinese documents into English. They are lending their expertise to look carefully at the text of the white paper itself and its significance beyond the numbers.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Effective Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility (2/2)

Part two of our discussion with Kenny Dong, a Master's student of Environmental Management at Kyoto University who is studying the environmental impact of Chinese companies in East Africa, has him explain his research regarding the Chinese Communications Construction Company in Kenya. If you want to learn more about Chinese environmental standards in Kenya, how Chinese financing mechanisms work, and how to even do this sort of research, please listen!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

MOFCOM issues the draft "Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid"

On April 18 2014, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People's Republic of China released on its webpage the "Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid (Draft)" (对外援助管理办法(草案)).

Consisting of 51 articles, the Measures are the first comprehensive legal document with the character of a law to regulate Chinese government's foreign aid. Interestingly, following a practice already applied in preparation to the last Five Year Plan, MOFCOM was seeking comments and suggestions from the Chinese public. A reason for this might be the report by the Central Inspection Group (中央巡视组) which earlier this year stated that there is a big potential for corruption in China's foreign aid system, and violations among Chinese companies which implement Chinese aid are severe.

The Measures include provisions on aid policy planning, aid funds, aid modes, forms of aid projects, initiation, implementation and management of aid projects, management of foreign aid personnel and legal responsibilities. They do not cover humanitarian emergency relief and military aid.
For those following the transparency of Chinese development finance flows, Article 8 might be of special interest: it stipulates that MOFCOM shall set up a foreign aid statistics system ( 商务部建立中国政府对外援助统计制度,收集、汇总和编制对外援助统计资料).

There is also a new emphasis on impact and aid effectiveness (Chapter 6). This is something that hasn't been present in such an explicit way in previous aid-related legal documents like the two White Papers (2011 and 2014) or implementation guidelines for specific kinds of projects. Before initiating new projects, MOFCOM shall conduct feasibility studies and assess policy conformity, technical feasibility and the use of funds. This might hint to a learning process within the Chinese aid system and a silent rapprochement to some of the OECD DAC aid standards.

It remains clear, however, that the "Eight Principles of Foreign Aid" (1963) and the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence" (1954) are still valid, especially when it comes to aspect which is criticized in the Western development discourse on China: the mutual non-interference on domestic affairs (Article 5) ( 互不干涉内政 ).

The Measures, at least for the moment, give end to the speculations on whether the Chinese government might transfer foreign aid to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or create a specialized aid ministry or aid agency: according to Article 6,

MOFCOM is the designated body to implement foreign aid on behalf of the Chinese government. When the number provided on BBC Chinese Edition website are true, this is not surprising: 82% (21,1 Mrd. RMB) of MOFCOM's overall budget for 2014 (25,7 Mrd. RMB) are funds allocated for foreign aid. In a way, citing Chinese netizens, one could say that MOFCOM has already become the Aid Ministry.

So far, it is not clear whether the Measures are already effective and there is a possibility that their might be still some changes after the autumn party congress.

If you're interested in the detailed text, enjoy the translation I did for my research. Feel free to use and quote it for your work - but I would appreciate it if you would cite where it came from.
(And, also, if you have any suggestions for a better translation, please don't hesitate to write me).

This post first appeared on the China Aid Blog, Marina Rudyak’s exciting new blog that looks at China's internal debates on foreign aid.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Translation Tuesday: Chinese “Science Geek” Living in Guangzhou’s African Community for Authentic Photo Shoots

By Laiyin Yuan

Author: He Weijie
Translator: Laiyin Yuan
Published on: 07/16/2014
Source: Yangcheng Evening News
Original text (in Chinese): http://www.ycwb.com/ePaper/ycwb/html/2014-07/16/content_495254.htm?div=-1

Born in the 1960s, Li Dong has many titles to be proud of, such as that of “science geek,” as he graduated from a prestigious university, served as a corporate senior executive, was a successful entrepreneur, and more. However, with his camera in hand, he left his job two years ago and moved to the largest African community in Guangzhou: Baohan Zhijie in Yuexiu District. From initial “vigilance” to final “understanding,” he became a good friend of his African interlocutors and documented their lives in Guangzhou with his camera.
--- Laiyin Yuan (translator)

From “Science Geek” to Photographer

Baohan Zhijie, which is located near Xiatang West Road in Yuexiu District, is both familiar and strange to many Guangzhou citizens. Starting around 2002, more and more African merchants moved to Guangzhou for international business. From their perspective, the market in mainland China, especially in Guangzhou, is more bountiful than those in Southeast Asian or Hong Kong.

Gradually becoming “little Africa,” the Baohan Zhijie community made many local residents “keep a respectful distance” because of cultural differences and misunderstandings.

Effective Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility (1/2)

So what does Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) look like in Africa? Host Winslow Robertson asked Kenny Dong, a Master's student of Environmental Management at Kyoto University who is studying the environmental impact of Chinese companies in East Africa, to share his research. If you want to know some concrete CSR projects being done by Chinese companies, listen to part one of this podcast.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Translation Tuesday: Africa: China’s Second Continent

By Luwen SongLaiyin Yuan, and Albert Zhu

Author: Xing Wei
Translator: Luwen Song, Laiyin Yuan, and Albert Zhu
Published on: 08/04/2014
Source: Dongfang Daily
Original text (in Chinese): 

After intermittent phone contact for several days, Howard W. French and Hao Shengli finally met.

This scene could never happen a decade ago: an America journalist meeting with a Henanese farmer, not in Washington D.C., New York, Beijing, or Zhengzhou (the capital of Henan Province), but in an African city faraway from both China and the United States – Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

Hao was barking into his cell phone when his white chauffeur-driven, late-model Toyota pickup pulled up in front of my hotel. It was clear that he was in a hurry and angry. There was a brisk handshake, followed by a lot more shouting in salty Chinese as he struggled to make himself understood to a countryman whom I could grasp he wanted to buy goods from.
"'China is a big, fucking mess with all of its fucking dialects,' the shaven-headed, stocky Hao, in his late fifties, said as he hung up.
As I stood there with my bags, already sweating in the mid-morning heat, Hao’s frustration caused him to train abuse on John, his tall and sinewy Mozambican driver, who had been coolly smoking a cigarette while he rearranged the supplies loaded onto the Toyota’s flatbed.
'You, cabeça não bom, motherfucker,' he said, the curse word coming in Chinese, as the grizzled immigrant farmer angrily employed three languages in one short and brutal sentence…”
With these vivid descriptions, French’s new book China’s Second Continent – How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa focuses on the at least one million Chinese living in Africa, embodied by Hao Shengli, who in most cases come to Africa voluntarily, rather than sent by the Chinese government.