Twofish's Blog

February 3, 2007

Ugh!!! Awful New York Times article

Filed under: china, politics, wikipedia — twofish @ 4:15 am

I wish the New York Times would start translating the full text of speeches instead of selectively quoting them. Here is the article

Here is the original talk
(The link doesn’t quite work because it has Chinese characters, but you can copy and paste the url into your browser.)

It was a forward on an magazine devoted to improving social harmony in China.

From the New York Times article you get the impression that Luo Gan is about to lead this crackdown on the Chinese judiciary since he talks about how enemies of China are using them. But lets look at the context.

Let me just translate the second paragraph.

To develop socialism and a harmonous society, gives the government and legal bodies a great deal of responsibility. As society changes, criminals cases, civil cases, mass actions, and public order incidents are constantly rising. Most of these conflicts end up in the legal system, and most of the conflicts and problems which affect social stability also end up in legal channels. The legal system is already a very important method for adjusting society, and legal work remains a very important channel for dealing with the conflicts of society. The knowledge of the people of democracy and law is constantly increasing, and their expectations of the fairness and effectiveness of the legal system is ever increasing. The work of legal departments is being increasingly examined by the public. The gap between the judicial system and people’s ever increasing expectation of the judicial system is not an abstract conflict, but it is something that we should face squarely. Because in the past, we have not taken legal work seriously, our enemies have been able to use legal work to promote Westernization, and their strategy of dividing China. Every mistake that we make in our legal work has a bad impact on society, and allows are enemies to use their power. Our ability to do legal work has a direct impact on society, and directly affects socialism and harmonious society.

There is a lot of other things he said that seem very different once you put them in context. For example, the statement about “free people” outside the social management system, sound really ominious. Until you read the entire sentence, which is something that the reporter seems to have neglected to do.

We must not neglect the care of “unattached people”, drug abusers need to be entered into treatment centers, reeducation by labor centers, and taken care by the proper social authorities; the children of migrant workers, the sons and daughters of those in jail for crimes, the children of those farmers away at work in the city, we must insure that their care and education are given to agencies whose responsibilities are clearly defined; juvenile delinquents, we must improve their education and make sure that they are effectively taken care of.

Part of this is translation. Socially manage “free people” has the same Chinese characters as society taking care of the abandoned, and that paragraph clearly illustrates the context.

I’m doing the translation off the fly, so I may have made some errors, but I’ve given a like to the whole speech, and you can put it through google translate if you want.


  1. I like reading your blog and I have been reading it for months. Recently, you start protecting your articles, could I ask for the password? By the way, who are you?

    Comment by Sisi — February 3, 2007 @ 10:05 am

  2. Your original Chinese article hypertext link doesn’t work.

    You are still upset about a New York Times (mis)report on Chinese politics and policies? Mass media here is, and has been as much ideology driven as, well, Bush’s foreign policy. So what’s new?

    (I draw this conclusion from my reading of mainstream media here for the past six years. Maybe your experience or empirical studies support conclusions otherwise.)

    Comment by Anonymous — February 4, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  3. Oh, by the way, I just noticed Joseph Kahn penned the article. No surprise there.

    Comment by Anonymous — February 4, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

  4. Why don’t you burn a feedburner feed so that there is a feed for your blog that is easily accessible to those behind the GFW?

    Comment by Kevin — February 12, 2007 @ 4:02 am

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