On yuan, mingyuan, foyuan, bingyuan, liyuan, and yiyuan, IOW Chinese women

We feel we have neglected the Eastern hemisphere a little and in particular their women. So without further ado we ask, How “A Chinese Word Describing ‘Beautiful Women’ Is Taking an Ugly Turn“.

“The Chinese word yuan refers to “beautiful women.” But the word’s recent usage, especially on social media platforms, is anything but complimentary.

Over the past few weeks, social media users and some state media outlets have adopted the term and paired it with another word to mock women they see as engaged in attention-seeking activities online. Although people have long harbored negative perceptions of mingyuan — or “socialites” — accusing them of flaunting fake wealth, the word took on another connotation last month when pictures of fashionable women posing for photos at Buddhist temples went viral on Chinese social media.

The backlash against the women, labeled foyuan — which loosely translates to “female Buddhist socialite” in English — was swift, with many social media users accusing them of capitalizing on religion for profit, which is illegal in China. Before long, social platforms such as Douyin and Xiaohongshu banned the accounts of prominent foyuan and deleted their posts for indulging in marketing purposes.

But the disappearance of foyuan online has been replaced by campaigns against female influencers deemed too pretty or inappropriately dressed for their situations. Terms such as bingyuanliyuan, and yiyuan, or “bedridden beauties,” “socialite divorcees,” and “pretty doctors,” respectively, have exploded on social media.”

It’s a wild, wild world on the social networks. Full post here.

Lost In Translations – The Dangers Of Being Misled By Them

Never trust. Always verify. Here’s Moon of Alabama.

Translation errors can seriously affect the relations between hostile nation states.

One prominent example is the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’. It was alleged to be a Russian strategy of hybrid war, the use of subversion to complement military force. The concept, it was claimed, had been introduced in a 2013 speech by the Russian Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov’s.

The claim was first made in a July 2014 blog post headlined The ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ and Russian Non-Linear War by Russia ‘expert’ Mark Galeotti. Galeotti had used a misleading translation of Gerasimov’s speech provided by the U.S. government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He asserted that Russia had a strategy of ‘hybrid wars’, combining secret and open civil, economic and military operations against an enemy.

Russia however did not have such a strategy. Gerasimov in his speech was in fact describing the U.S. way of waging ‘hybrid wars’ like, for example, the one against Syria.

But once Galeotti had published his misleading idea, dozens of papers and opinion pieces were written about the dangerous ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ – all to underline the nonsense claim of a ‘Russian threat’.

Various scholars and journalists had immediately pointed out that the assertion was wrong. There was no such Russian doctrine. It still took the author of the original false claim nearly four years to finally retracted his nonsense:

I’m Sorry for Creating the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’
I was the first to write about Russia’s infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn’t exist.

Today Moon of Alabama reader Bernd Neuner pointed to another mistranslation and the bad effects emerging from it (edited for readability):

Bernd Neuner @Bernd__Neuner – 9:09 UTC · Jul 30, 2021

On widespread #Sinophobia

I recently attended a seminar on doing business in #China, hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce. During the presentation of a lady representing German Trade & Invest, I was surprised to learn the President Xi Jinping allegedly had given a speech announcing his intention to “…form powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities based on artificially cutting off supply to foreigners.”

Since the presenter mentioned the speech had been published in Quishi, the official publication of the #CCP, I started looking for the original of the speech. It did not take long, and my suspicions were confirmed. What Xi Jinping really had said was the following: “…forming a powerful countermeasure and deterrent capability against foreigners who would artificially cut off supply [to China]”.

I contacted the presenter and voiced my doubts regarding the quotes she used. She was very helpful and said she had received them from a colleague in Hamburg. I got in touch with him, and upon taking a closer look he confirmed the benign interpretation above. It seems the malicious version stems from the initial translation published by the US think tank CSET, latter corrected due to feedback from the audience:

cset.georgetown.edu/wp-content/upl…  (footnote 3, p.3)

The damage is done – how many people in positions of influence are now convinced that China aims at disrupting the supply chains of “the free world”?

A few hours after Bernd Neuner’s tweets I stumbled over the same error made by a different person.

I was reading a piece by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism about the new trend towards industrial policies:

Industrial Policy Coming Into Vogue After China Cleans US Clock by Using It

Yves quotes from a paywalled Wall Street Journal piece about the return of industrial policy:

China, though, never retreated [from industrial policy]. Even after it introduced market reforms in 1979 and accelerated them after 1992, the state continued to guide economic development through ownership of enterprises and control over credit, government purchases, tax preferences, land and foreign investment. Since 2006 the ruling Communist Party has put priority on catching up to the West technologically.

Previously called “Made in China 2025,” this endeavor was renamed “dual circulation” last year. In a speech, President Xi Jinping said the goal was to eliminate China’s dependence on other countries while increasing their dependence on China. It could then threaten to cut off foreign customers to deter aggression, he said.

It seems that Greg Ip, the WSJ author, has fallen for the same mistranslation as the lecturer at Bernd Neuner’s local Chamber of Commerce. This again demonstrates the danger of relying on translations without verifying them against the original text.

For the record:

The relevant part of Xi’s speech is about lessons from China’s shutdown in the early months of the Covid pandemic. Xi’s first point is that China must increase internal consumption to buffer against the expected losses in exports. The second point is about the security of supply chains even under extreme situations:

Production chains (产业链) and supply chains cannot come uncoupled at critical times. This is an important characteristic that all large economies must possess. The current epidemic is a stress test under actual combat conditions.

In order to safeguard China’s industrial security and national security, we must focus on building production chains and supply chains that are independently controllable (自主可控), secure and reliable, and strive for important products and supply channels to all have at least one alternative source, forming the necessary industrial backup system.

The entire country is now getting back to work and resuming production. We should not and cannot simply repeat past patterns. Rather, we must work hard to refashion them into new production chains, and increase the levels of S&T innovation and import substitution across the board. This is an important focus for deepening supply-side structural reform, and is key for high-quality development. First, we must build on our advantages, solidify and increase the leading international positions of strong industries, and forge some “assassin’s mace”​2 technologies. We must sustain and enhance our superiority across the entire production chain in sectors such as high-speed rail, electric power equipment, new energy, and communications equipment, and improve industrial quality; and we must tighten international production chains’ dependence on China, forming powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities based on artificially cutting off supply to foreigners. Second, we must make up for our shortcomings. That is, in sectors and segments related to national security, we must build a domestic supply system that is independently controllable and secure and reliable, so that self-circulation (自我循环) can be accomplished at critical moments, and ensure that the economy operates normally in extreme situations.

That translation was corrected on November 16 2020. The highlighted part, which establishes China as aggressor, is now defensive:

…; and we must tighten international production chains’ dependence on China, forming a powerful countermeasure and deterrent capability against foreigners who would artificially cut off supply [to China]3.

Footnote 3 explains the change:

Translator’s note: The translation of the final portion of this sentence (“…forming a powerful countermeasure and deterrent capability against foreigners who would artificially cut off supply [to China]”) is a correction issued on November 16, 2020. As astute readers pointed out, the Chinese text here (形成对外方人为断供的强有力反制和威胁能力) strongly implies that China’s “countermeasure” and “deterrent” is aimed at foreign countries considering halting their exports to China of strategically significant goods. These countries will decide against such moves, Xi argues, because China’s presumed countermeasures would in turn deprive these countries of vital Chinese imports. CSET’s original translation of this line, published on November 10, 2020, read: “…forming powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities based on artificially cutting off supply to foreigners.” This is misleading, as it implies that China would be the one to take the offensive in a trade war. The language in Xi’s speech suggests a more defensive, deterrent posture on the part of China.

Full post at MoA.

China and the EU Advance Climate Cooperation – wishful thinking

China and the EU Advance Climate Cooperation

The European Union and China are advancing their effort to coordinate on climate action.

Last month, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans held the first virtual high level China-EU Climate Dialogue. The dialogue was established to provide a forum for pursuing ambitious joint commitments on climate and environmental issues. It was first conceived during the EU-China Leader’s Meeting in September 2020.

EU’S Timmermann is upbeat

Timmerman wrote via Twitter, “Good to start the EU-China High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue with Vice-Premier Han Zheng this morning. 2021 is a crucial year for us to take action on the twin climate and biodiversity crises.”

Let’s look at the car industry in which the EU countries are very strong and China is Germany’s biggest export market.

The Effect of Income on Vehicle Demand: Evidence from China’s New Vehicle Market
Joshua Linn and Chang Shen

This paper reports a strong connection between income growth and new vehicle sales in China. We assemble a unique data set of city-level sales, income, and socioeconomic characteristics. We use an instrumental variables strategy that isolates income growth driven by high-technology exports and addresses potential concerns about endogeneity and measurement error of income. The preferred specification indicates an elasticity of city-level new car sales to income of 2.5.
We show that recent forecasts of vehicle sales in China appear to have substantially underestimated the effect of income on sales between 2005 and 2017. Our estimates indicate that income growth has caused new car sales to grow by 36 percent more than the average growth anticipated in forecasts conducted in the 2000s or early 2010s.
The results suggest that China’s future oil consumption and GHG emissions may be higher than recent studies have predicted. Back-of-the-envelope calculations show that past forecasts have underestimated China’s transportation sector GHG emissions by about 2 percent in 2017.
Estimating the implications of our estimates for future GHG emissions would require a computational model of China’s economy, which lies outside the scope of our paper. Previous forecasts anticipate that the effect of income growth on sales growth will diminish over the coming decades, as vehicle ownership follows an S-shaped curve. However, given how dramatically these studies underpredicted sales growth in the 2010s, it seems unlikely that sales growth in the 2020s will slow to the low levels these studies anticipate. Nonetheless, because GHG emissions from passenger cars are roughly proportional to the size of the car stock in such models, our results imply that China’s GHG emissions from cars will be substantially higher than recent forecasts anticipate. In that case, future oil consumption and GHG emissions (in the absence of policy intervention) would be much higher than expected, and meeting China’s pledge under the UN Paris Agreement would require more aggressive policies than if the forecasts had proven to be accurate. Future work may assess how much policies would have to account for China’s unexpectedly large increase in car ownership.

Believing that China will go green and switch to sustainable energy production is wishful thinking.

How a Liberal Think Tank Did China’s Bidding on Climate Change
Everything CAP thought it knew about coal in China was wrong

In 2017, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report praising China’s “truly impressive” shift away from coal. The report came after the liberal think tank’s energy experts met with Chinese government officials to “find out what is really happening” with the communist nation’s emissions trajectory. China’s leaders, those experts concluded, had made the “strategic choice” to crack down on coal-fired power and “grab the clean energy bull by the horns.”

Fast forward four years, and the opposite has occurred. In the months following CAP’s visit to China, the country began rapidly growing its coal power capacity as government officials prioritized economic growth over “intermittent and unstable” renewable energy sources. The think tank has since acknowledged this trend, debunking its own report—and the Chinese regime’s promises—in the process.

CAP often holds “staff research trips” to China to work with organizations in the country, including the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a registered foreign agent backed by the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign influence arm. While the think tank says it has taken no money from CUSEF, the Chinese group paid CAP founder John Podesta nearly $900,000 to lobby Congress from 2015 to 2017 through his now-defunct public affairs firm, the Podesta Group.

Shortly after CAP released its report, Beijing repeatedly loosened its restrictions on coal projects from 2017 to 2019, sparking a mad dash to build new power plants. China’s coal consumption went on to reach a record high in 2020, and the expansion isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The nation is now in the process of constructing an additional 246 gigawatts of coal power—nearly six times Germany’s entire coal fleet, according to a Global Energy Monitor briefing.

… By 2020, the think tank contended, “all coal-fired units nationwide” would be “shut down” if they didn’t achieve the increased emissions standards.

That, too, did not come to fruition. Beijing has made numerous exceptions to the policy, even going as far as reopening shuttered coal plants to deal with heating shortages. …

Full article here. Or as Climateerinvest puts it plain …

Let’s Get This Straight: China Has No Intention Of Giving Up Coal

India ignores media preaching on “net zero carbon”

Finally some common sense in an excellent article on that Western “net zero carbon” mantra bullshit coming out of well climatized offices and think tanks. Greta will probably refuse to eat for three consecutive days. Let’s go with an excerpt from CFACT.

India is just one ”developing” nation that has recognized that the mad rush toward a “net zero carbon” economy does not serve the interests of its ordinary citizens. With that realization, they are also waking up to the fact that serving the public interest necessitates major increases in affordable, reliable energy to power their burgeoning economies.

When first-world reporters write about the developing world’s ongoing love affair with fossil fuels, their reports are “not necessarily the news!” Instead, they editorialize in nearly every story about the “sad” reliance of India, China, African nations, and others on “the highest polluting resource” – coal.

The sirens of cyberspace have embraced as gospel the diktat of the Paris climate accord that countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) to “net zero” as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they chirp in unison, the Earth will soon become a burning inferno from superheating caused by CO2 released from burning fossil fuels.

The “erudite” have decreed that ANY “climate change” will necessarily bring unspeakable horrors upon us all. The zeal for climate stasis by those currently at the top of the pyramid is such that some have even proposed permanently darkening the sky (a highly risky endeavor that could wipe out all life on Earth) to stop the imagined heat from killing us!

But the elitists in Brussels and New York City have a big problem: China, the world’s leader in COemissions, and India, already No. 3 , are not kowtowing to their demands. Moreover, the UN’s “peacekeeping forces” cannot be deployed to force these – and even other, weaker nations – into “compliance,” er, submission.

Full article at CFACT.