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China: Paint the city black

Being winter there aside, can you imagine the capitol of China adorned with a Tarzan theme? The Beijing Summit & Third Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is underway this weekend, and here is what some bloggers had to say:

Shmily @ Mblogger.cn:

中非合作论坛北京峰会暨第三届部长级会议于11月1日在北京开幕了,坐在车上看着街上那红红的中国结、五彩的旗帜、友好的标语、喜庆的灯笼,突然有种声音自心而起,向每一根毛细血管漫延:我生活在北京,这里是中国的首都。呵呵······看着那相距不足百米即可相视而望的武警官兵,我也告诉自己:这就是北京,一个有着浓浓政治色彩的都市。

The Beijing Summit & Third Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opens on November 1. From the car I can see the bright red and colorful Chinese banners, the friendly slogans, the festive lanters, then suddenly a kind of voice arises from within me, pervading every blood vessel: I live in Beijing! This is China's capitol! Haha……seeing those military police just less than a hundred meters away, I tell myself: This is Beijing, a city rich in political color.


MSN Spaces blogger Yang Chunyan666 with a take on Vice-Minister of Commerce for PRC and Secretary-General for the China-Africa Summit-Forum Wei Jianguo‘s official statement:

魏建国说,中非合作论坛创立6年来,在中非领导人的高度重视和亲自关心下,在中国与非洲国家政府和各届人士的不懈努力下,中非在各个领域的互利合作迅速发展。此次论坛北京峰会上,中非领导人将就进一步发展中非关系深入交换意见,全面规划双方未来在各领域的合作,会议必将为中非友谊和合作注入新的活力。

Wei Jianguo says that in the six years since the China-Africa cooperation summit was established, with the high degree of African leaders in China's personal care, as well as the hard work on the part of the governments and summit participants in China and African countries, mutually-benefitting cooperation in all areas between China and Africa has developed quickly. At this Forum-Summit in Beijing, Chinese and African leaders will further develop China-Africa relations, exchange opinions, thoroughly work out the areas of future cooperation for both sides, and re-energize the friendship and cooperation between China and Africa.

MSN Spaces blogger Moonwalker 1981 with some background analysis:

新闻:中非合作论坛北京峰会
新闻:法总统希拉克访华成功

News: China-Africa Cooperation Forum-Summit in Beijing
News: French President Chirac's Visit to China a Success

前些天一直不敢把这两个消息一起做,是因为法国在国际社会上的地位完全是得力于在非洲的势力,如果离开了非洲,那么法国不要说什么争雄世界,就连国内问题都难保不出错。
因为这些西方国家都是用其他国家的贫穷和内乱来换取自家纸醉金迷的生活的,这个法国也不例外。他在非洲有几千人的军队、有压倒性的媒体力量、有法国支持上台的政府首脑、有十来个国家参加的、用法国金融力量保证的“非洲法郎”、更不用说西方世界那套“输出产品,输入资源”的老把戏,法国的影响力之大,以至于在非洲做调查,发现非洲人认为最著名的人竟然是希拉克。

A few days ago, I didn't dare put these two stories together, because France's status in the international community depends completely on their efforts in Africa. If they leave Africa, they can forget about striving for world hegemony, they won't even be able to keep their problems at home from getting out of hand.
Because these Western countries all use other countries’ poverty and internal strife to support their own lives of luxury, and France is no exception. They have an army of over several thousand people in Africa, an overpowering media force, government heads supported by France in power, a dozen or so countries participating in using France's financial strength to ensure the “African Franc”, not to mention the Western world's old trick of ‘exporting goods, exporting resources’. France's influence is so great that when Africa did a survey, it was discovered that Africans think that the most famous person is actually Chirac.

如果法国丢掉了非洲,那么他会缺少多少资源、市场、和政治经济力量?一个没有资源支撑的法国就不能继续他现在的生活方式,其国内社会结构、消费方式也会剧烈变动,内乱、崩溃,瞬间可见。
现在北京在法国总统访华的同时召开中非合作论坛北京峰会,那可是拆法国的后院啊,可看不明白的是:法国总统高高兴兴地回去了,中非合作论坛又热热闹闹地开起来。不悔有些糊涂了,北京是用了什么办法让大家都开开心心地?难道一句“和谐之道,中外之需”就能掩盖事实上的政治、经济、地缘竞争?这绝对是不可能的。

If France throws away Africa, how much resource, market and political and economic power will he lose? With no support from resources, France would not be able to carry on with their current lifestyles, domestic social structure, spending patterns, instantly giving rise to severe fluctuations, internal disorder and collapse.
French president's China visit comes at the same time as Beijing holds the China-Africa Cooperation Forum-Summit, the tearing up of France's backyard. What doesn't make sense, though, is that the French president happily went back as the China-Africa Forum got off to a lively start. It's a little unclear as to what methods Beijing has taken to make everyone so happy. It's not like ‘the path to harmony, the need of China and the world’ can gloss over actual economic, politic and geopolitical competition. This is absolutely impossible.

With her office being where it is and how the Summit affects it, MSN Spaces blogger Welking Satin Silver wishes her coworkers wouldn't smoke during meetings:

中非合作论坛峰会期间,请勿开启会议室的窗户(谢谢合作) [会议室的窗户刚好对着一个五星级宾馆的正门,峰会的国外首脑或许在此下榻,为了安全因素,狙击手?]

“For the duration of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum-Summit, please do not open the conference room windows. Thank you for your cooperation.” Just happens the conference windows face a five-star hotel's front door; Foreign heads attending the Summit might be staying here…for security reasons…sharpshooters?

What are we gonna do come 2008? asks MSN Spaces blogger Julia 300300:

后天是中非论坛北京峰会日,也就是说这几天的戒严都是为了那天做铺垫。新闻上说明天北京饭店附近将实施限时通过,要知道明天是个多么美好的周末啊。
这是我到这儿以来遇到的第一个北京承办的重要会议,从31号那天开始,好多路段为了迎接会议已经戒严。那天小二从机场回来,说每个出租车司机手里都有政府发放的峰会期间戒严说明,目的就是为了向乘客解释为什么某某路段要绕道。
许多私家车主在这两天改为乘坐公交车,5环内禁止外地车辆通行(不过,我们跑进四环都没事儿,不靠谱。)。

The China-Africa Forum-Summit opens in Beijing the day after tomorrow, and the roping-off these few days is all just for putting out the red carpet. Hearing the news say that tomorrow, Beijing's hotels will be restricted, you know what a great weekend tomorrow will bring!
This is the first major conference hosted by Beijing that I've come across since coming here. Starting October 31, many roads were already roped off for the receptions. Xiao 2 came back from the airport that day, said every single taxi driver had a copy of instructions from the government for the duration of the roadblocks in their hands, to help them explain to customers why the roads had to be closed.
Many private car owners have taken to riding the bus these last two days, because cars from outside #5 ring road are not allowed in (although, we ran in to #4 ring road and didn't have a problem…so not cool).

More on what might just be the aforementioned taxi driver how-to guide from MSN Spaces AnDongDong:

中非北京峰会,出租车司机领导开会交代如下:
1. 届时重要街道肯定会封闭,同时,北京交警全体出动。
2. 非洲国家普遍较穷,很多领导人不是专机,就坐普通飞机过来。
3. 非洲全部代表团加在一起有大概三千多号人,我们党领导人要在机场一一握手,因为接待能力有限,非方可能一大半都会打车。
4. 任何事情司机必须让步,不得与国际友人发生冲突,就算少给两块钱也算了。

During the China-Africa Beijing Summit, taxi drivers have been instructed as follows:
1. During the summit, major roads will definitely be closed, at the same time, Beijing's traffic police will be out in full force.
2. African countries are prevalently poor, many leaders don't have private jets, but are coming in on normal planes.
3. The entire African delegation together amounts to roughly 3,000 people. Our Party leaders will shake their hands at the airport one-by-one, but because their reception ability is limited, unofficially more than half of them will take a taxi.
4. One thing that all drivers must avoid at all costs are conflicts with the international friends; if they're two yuan short, let it go.

BCChinese.net blogger Clemence Liu lists the countries whose leaders will be in attendance and the Yculblog.com China And World blogger posts about a similar but smaller conference next week in Shanghai, and MSN Spaces’ Jenny Liw posts about her run-in with the delegates at the airport in Beijing:

下午1:30从所里出发去接叫Anne的德国MM,接外国人真辛苦,主要是只见过照片,说14:50到,结果晚点了,15:20到,结果我们一直迎来了一批又一批的外国人,非洲居多,可能因为峰会,怎么那么多非洲人,莫非他们国家满18岁的全部来开会?

At 1:30 this afternoon I went to pick up Anne's German sister. Picking up foreigners is really tough! Mainly because I'd only seen a photo and only knew that she'd be in at 2:50. They didn't arrive until 3:20, so we ended up greeting group after group of foreigners, mostly Africans, maybe for the Summit. How could there be so many Africans? Did they send all the 18 year-olds in the country to this meeting?

MSN Spaces blogger Meng Ying77 lives for summits like these:

这两天忙着采访中非论坛,不管是去外交部还是峰会的新闻中心,我的采访都游刃有余,但就是英语让我张不开嘴,见了国外的记者就晕菜。别看我这哑巴英语,今年还接待了两拨美国的教授、校长。我都带着词典去,英汉两用的,真是汗颜。那些教授们一定不敢相信他们认识的那个有着地道美国口音的Fanny会有一个这么笨的妹妹。
前两天,好友娟从比利时回国开会,她现在已经是驻欧盟的外交官了。她说11月底有两个欧盟的官员来中国考察,这个活动很重要,关系到中国企业在欧洲的市场问题。她要我到时候接待一下,因为老外公私分明,不愿意让官方接待,她只好动用我这个私人关系。我很愿意陪着对我国企业有着重要作用的欧盟官员们到处转转,但我这英语……突击突击,看看这一个月能不能达到简单对话。
估计我的下个任务就是接待联合国官员了,哈哈。

These two days I've been busy doing interviews for the China-Africa Forum. Whether it's going to the Foreign Ministry or the Summit News Center, all my interviews have been top-notch, it's just opening my mouth to speak English that's the problem, dumbfounded when meeting foreign journalists. My mute's English aside, this year alone I've received two groups of American professors, Deans. I had to take my Chinese-English/English-Chinese dictionary with me, was very ashamed. Those professors could never have imagined that Fanny, with her fluent American accent, could have such a dumb sister.
Two days ago my good friend Juan came back from Belgium for a meeting. She's now a diplomat in the European Union. She said that at the end of Novermber there will be two important EU officials coming to China to investigate and that this trip will be very important, related to the problem of Chinese enterprises in the the European market. When the time comes, she wants me to take care of them. Because foreigners separate their private and public lives and they aren't willing to let Chinese officials take care of them, she had to put her good personal relationship with me to good use. I'm very willing to take EU officials of import to my country's enterprises and show them around, but this English of mind…cram, cram, see if I can get it good enough for simple conversations.
I expect my next mission will be taking care of UN officials…haha.

4 comments

  • yoyo

    I am a Chinese,i love my nation,i think many foreigners don`t get an exact view of it,especially the mainland.It really changes a lot theses years. chinese people are kind and hospitable,the government try the best to protect us and long sighted

  • lynn

    china is changing. yet we know too little about the “changes”
    thanks to the forum, the sky is tantalizingly blue these days, which is good.

  • A chinese blogger has this about the chinese african summit:…

    Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » China: Paint the city black: During the China-Africa Beijing Summit, taxi drivers have been instructed as follows: 1. During the summit, major roads will definitely be closed, at the same time, Beijing’s traf…

  • claire

    Hello John, funny to come across you during a research on China’s presence in Africa. Take care.

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