Nobel Prize Awarded to Liu Xiaobo: A Critique of New York Times Coverage

Surely you all have read Edward Wong’s report in the New York Times about the Nobel Prize award to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.  The full text of the article is here; direct quotes from the article are included below in italics and followed by my analysis.

[Ed Wong writes:] 1. BEIJING — Few nations today stand as more of a challenge to the democratic model of governance than China, where an 89-year-old Communist Party has managed to quash political movements while creating a roaring, quasi-market economy and enforcing a veneer of social stability.

This is quite an opening gambit, and its language (specifically its verbs) deserve a bit of attention.  (Sometimes adjectives are worth the attention, such as the growing trope that China has a “voracious” appetite for natural resources.)  Wong writes that the CCP “Quashes political movements” when the operative verb might also be described as “channel.”  Does the CCP only crush, destroy, repress, or does it also understand, shape, reconfigure political pressures?  The mention of the party’s age (it was founded in 1921) further makes Wong’s gambit a bit strange, as over the course of its history the Party has done a fair amount of stimulating, rather than quashing, political movements in its history.  Perhaps this is not the place to enter into some disquisition on how the galvanizing experiences of the Cultural Revolution have made Chinese leaders since Mao adverse to mass movements (other than those which are nationalistic and relatively easily controlled), but, this party is more flexible and widely (if not uncritically) supported than Wong’s heavy-handed prose would have us believe.

As for the phrase “create an economy,” that’s historically impossible: the CCP inherited a sclerotic and dysfunctional economy from the Nationalists in 1949 and have since revived it.  As for the phrase “enforcing a veneer of social stability,” Wong leaves out that social stability is in large part supported by the Chinese masses, but, more importantly, such statements also contain implicit threats to the regime: you could be exposed and overthrown.

In other words, with the opening paragraph, Wong makes plain that his article will also function on the polemical level, and that Liu represents defiance of something immense and consequential.

[Wong writes:] 2. With the United States’ economy flagging and its global influence in decline, some Chinese leaders now appear confident in asserting that freedom of speech, multiparty elections and constitutional rights — what some human rights advocates call universal values — are indigenous to the West, and that is where they should stay.

Here Wong leaves out the complexity of the human rights and democracy debate in China, leaving Wen Jiabao’s recent discussion of democracy as a peripheral concern.  Of course Western leaders and journalistic institutions like the NYT have a difficult choice to make: validate Wen and appear to endorse slow pace of reform, or ignore/refute him (the same as accusing him of insincerity) and undermine his work domestically.  Being the CCP isn’t easy because you rarely get validated from the outside, in some ways paradoxically heightening the need to bluster and puff one’s party up domestically, which the CCP is really very good at and obvious about anyway.

[Wong writes:] 3. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, 54, was a sharp rejoinder to that philosophy. Of course, it was a Norwegian panel that gave him the prize, providing Chinese officials and their supporters with ample ammunition to denounce the move as another attempt by the West to impose its values on China.

Context, context: What Wong is missing is that the Nobel announcement arrives at a moment when the CCP media has been slowly amping up the nationalistic rhetoric (in which the West is seen as overbearing and arrogant, of course).  This comes within a host of issues ranging from the Diaoyu Island dispute (which the Huanqiu Shibao fairly blamed on Douglas MacArthur extending favors to the Japanese in 1952), and the return of the Yuanmingyuan trope (150 year anniversary) and of course the main event: currency pressures.

4. But anticipating the criticism, the judges underscored the support in China for the imprisoned Mr. Liu’s work and his plight, which they said proved that the Chinese were as hungry as anyone for the political freedoms enjoyed in countries like the United States, India and Indonesia.

Virtually no Chinese intellectuals are serious about imitating India!  And they don’t want to be Indonesia.  And they don’t want to be Americans!

Read Daniel Bell and discuss the potency and problems of the Confucian human rights models.  In Wong’s world, these don’t exist: it’s either Chinese totalitarianism (which may as well be Stalinism, true enough as they share common DNA) or Western droit de l’homme.  There is no time to explore middle ground.

5. The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who won the prize in 1989, highlighted the grass-roots Chinese push for political reform in a statement praising Mr. Liu, saying that “future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance.” Yet the Dalai Lama stands as proof that the struggle for rights in China is a hard one, and that winning the Nobel is no guarantee of achieving even minimal success.

Quote number one comes from Dahramsala or wherever his Holiness is raising funds at the moment.   The Dalai Lama does of course have a right to talk about China’s legal future, and the struggle for individual rights, but Wong’s verdict is just overly didactic.   Obviously, the Dalai Lama has a good and reasonably uncritical friend in the New York Times.  Just as clumsy Global Times front page articles that call the Dalai Lama a “jackal” need to be criticized, the type of hagiographical serial worship that Wong applies to the Dalai Lama need similar rebuke.  Why the first quote and the explication of inspiration?  This belongs at the back of the article, and overly didactic news writing that is actually editorial belongs in the op-ed pages.

6. Nevertheless, the number of signatures on Charter 08, the document that Mr. Liu co-drafted that calls for gradually increasing constitutional rights, shows that at the very least, there is an appetite in this country to openly discuss the kind of values that hard-line Communist Party leaders dismiss as a new brand of Western imperialism.

Which is why Wen Jiabao is doing that.  (Update: China Media Project has a good takedown on Wen Jiabao’s sincerity towards liberalization.) But one has to read the French press to get a full look at Wen.  The analysis of “a new brand of Western imperialism” is right on the mark, however.  And keeping in mind that China needs to remain friends with nearby North Korea, these kind of denunciations have more than just domestic use.

7. The 300 initial signatures on the document snowballed to 10,000 as it spread on the Internet, even as the government tried its best to stamp it out. Certainly many of those who signed it were intellectuals, not exactly representative of most Chinese, but China has a rich history of political reform led by its elites. Chinese lawyers, journalists, scholars, artists, policy advisers — many among them will be heartened by the Nobel Committee’s decision.

Yes, elites have a history of leading Chinese public opinion; and “heartened” is probably true, but again, it really feels that this sentence is op-ed style.  Of course there is no public opinion poll in China…it’s worth noting that the news is widely available in China, not trying to block its diffusion in foreign languages.  As a mere point of fact, the NYT used to be blocked in Chinese internet completely, now it isn’t.

8. The Internet, the vehicle that carried Charter 08 to prominence, simmered with Chinese support for Mr. Liu early Friday night despite extensive government filtering. Liu Xiaobo was the most common topic on’s Weibo, a popular microblog forum. Microbloggers burned with enthusiasm for the prize and hurled invective at the government: “Political reform and the Nobel Prize, is this a new start? This day has finally come,” wrote a user named Nan Zhimo. Another user, Hei Zechuan, said, “The first real Chinese Nobel Prize winner has emerged, but he is still in prison right now; what a bittersweet event.”

This is such a tricky journalistic maneuver.  On the one hand, it’s great: “Look, actually Chinese debate on the internet!”  On the other hand, it is specious, because basically you can find whatever you want on the internet.  The same tactic is often used by Global Times to support its own point of view, finding a netizen to quote.  For American/Anglophone readers, the image is given of a China seething (oh, sorry, “simmering”) with support for Liu Xiaobo, when in fact the vast majority of Internet users in China are either unaware of the award or are trashing the West online.  I wish that the New York Times would distinguish itself a bit from Global Times.  Get a quote from Michael Anti or other Chinese tweeters!

Instead we get:

9.But the authorities clung to their habits on Friday night, as police officers showed up at celebratory gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai to haul people off to police stations, according to Twitter feeds.

Now we arrive at something significant, an actual event.  At the very least, couldn’t Wong quote the Twitter feeds which reported on the event?  Does he read Chinese?  (Perhaps he does, like the Reuters reporter Chris Buckley, but his reporting rarely betrays the fact.)  Do we need to rely on NYT fixers to get information about this dastardly chain of events?  It appears so, because the link in the story is not to specific Twitter feeds, but to more NYT articles about Twitter, just what China watchers are needing, surely!  This is vague reporting in the extreme, but fortunately Wong reminds us that “the authorities clung to their [authoritarian] habits.”  Emotion rules over factual clarity, which is a shame, because clarity had a chance of succeeding here.

10. The rest of the article is solid, and we get a sense of inner-Party debates, all of the discussion of Wu Bangguo vs. Wen Jiabao takes place well “below the fold,” and after the gratuitous Dalai Lama references.  Recognizing that these things are written quickly, I still can’t help but feel that the guts of such an article, the political background, have been sitting on Wong’s harddrive for more than a year, and that the New York Times all to often resorts to using formula in its reporting on China.

With a nod to this takedown of the Huanqiu Shibao/Global Times skewed reportage on the Dalai Lama, I’m presenting:

How to Write About Chinese Dissidents for the New York Times

1. Cogitate on some prose about China’s refusal to reform politically, let it marinate until the next time you need some boilerplate material on a story dealing with the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party.

2. Get a VPN, hire some Chinese fixers fluent in Chinese to read Twitter feeds; don’t actually quote or cite those feeds, but be proud of yourself for adding a veneer of authentic “Chinese dissident reporting” that gives your writing a kind of underground flavor for your fellow Anglophone readers.

3. Don’t call anyone in Hong Kong: let the AP images from the city of faceless people behind placards suggest vast reservoirs of support for his cause, the way that the same crazy guy  in Seoul who burns the same pictures of Kim Jong Il every time North Korea does something suggest vast antipathy toward the DPRK in South Korea.

4. Don’t mention anything about EU politics of human rights or anything specifically European; don’t mention that Angela Merkel and the German press have been advocating for Liu Xiaobo for a while now; American readers won’t understand!  When talking about Wen Jiabao, do not mention that he was in Europe when the Nobel Prize was awarded or mention that it was a slap in the face to him politically as well.  Assume that Wen Jiabao isn’t worth a full feature such as is given to Bob Gates/profile in Newsweek.  Your editors aren’t interested in that kind of stuff, so get thinking about how to write yet another piece about China’s economic takeover of Africa or Afghanistan.

5. Don’t give any background at all about Liu Xiaobo, his writings, his experience of 1989, other than a vague appraisal of Charter 08; assume that he is an infalliable dissident who must have been pronouncing correct verdicts on Chinese politics since the Cultural Revolution.  Dissidents don’t need scrutiny of their views, they need support!  The central problem is the CCP, not what the dissidents would want to see in an alternative system!  In this case, the NYT is just as complicit as the CCP in hamstringing political reform in China: no one seems willing to discuss the actual alternative at length.  What other political parties?  What about the Taiwan model?  Who is influencing whom?  We won’t ever know.  Instead it reads like 1989…

6. Don’t give the CCP any credit whatsoever for expanded literacy in the rhetoric of rights; instead, make sure to emphasize jack-booted thugs.  Remember, your competition is the cro-mag-rightist Washington Times and FOX News, not the French press!  And you’ve got to keep your credibility with the American right wing, who after all is the loudest, Bill O’Reilley and all that.

7.  Acknowledge not the views of Chinese-Americans.  Assume instead that they are all lined up behind Ed Wong in staunch support of censure of the CCP, as if nothing has changed since 1989.  Chinese=Americans are a highly diverse and increasingly powerful and prominent group in all areas of life in the United States.  Does a single group exist that could be quoted on the Liu Xiaobo case?  Does the CCP argument have traction among former democracy activists in the US?  What might this tell us about support for the CCP within China, where as Wong points out, media is more limited?  What does the absence of this quote tell us?

8. All articles about human rights in China must include a quote from his Holiness.  The Dalai Lama is the foremost pure symbol of Chinese deficiencies in human rights, a role he has been steadily filling.  Who better to speak about human rights in China than someone who hasn’t set foot in the PRC since 1959?  Keep in mind that mention of this man will draw in readers and make the stakes plain.  We don’t need to be bothered with Liu Xiaobo’s views on the Tibet question (obviously, all Chinese intellectuals are in bed with the Dalai Lama and long for Tibetan independence, right?)…

9.  When discussing specific Chinese dissidents, don’t’ bother giving Chinese characters for their names or links to online profiles, or the names of the organizations they lead.  It’s important that they stand up as stock figures who can’t be learned about even by readers who are fluent in Chinese!  What matters is that they stand up for democracy!

10.  Don’t describe Chinese media response other than to remind us all that the jack-booted thugs police the internet.  Readers don’t need any clue that the Liu Xiaobo case was discussed in prominenent outlets (in their own jaded way) such as X Z Y, [correction! blame it on the 1:59 a.m. post from a posh Chengdu cafe with 39 yuan-a-cup-java that was closing at 2 a.m.] or that it was easily available within China for 200million English readers, users of Yahoo mail, etc.  If Chinese leaders wanted to quash discussion of this among elites, etc., they weren’t trying very hard. [Update: Word on the street among Chengdu students at Sichuan University is that the heavy filtering of text messaging and the shut down of microblogging platforms and the ubiquitous QQ actually made more people interested in what they were missing.  By the same token, I went to a little salon of Chinese intellectuals/知识分子 last night in Chengdu and the subject of Liu Xiaobo never came up, maybe because we were having too much fun learning Tibetan, playing music, and throat singing with censored poets.]

11. Never, never, never write about the deep damage done to the American model of human rights defense and democracy by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Chinese media cover these conflicts extensively.  Do not at any point mention the demoralization of pro-American sentiments in China and among Chinese intellectuals; the bankruptcy off the American economy is OK to mention (hell, it gets the second paragraph of the piece!) but under no circumstances contextualize the Chinese search for a viable model by discussing the undermining of the American model by the Iraq fiasco.  Ed Wong was in Iraq, for goodness sake!   And what did Liu Xiaobo say about the American model of democracy?  What did he write, apart from Charter08?  Who knows and who cares?  What matters is that he stands up to the CCP in the most generic way possible!

The New York Times: standing up to Chinese Communists since 1949…

Afghan Mirage


Deployments can be brutal, but sometimes it can be very liberating to follow a vague command, pick up your body and your portable office, and just dump the whole mess in a random European city.  For instance, Reykjavik.  Yes, for some reason which is truly unknown to me, I’m sitting this evening in Iceland’s long midnight twilight, reading a weird but healthy pastiche of Le Monde, Liberation, Zhongguo Meishubao, a scholarly monograph on Jewish musicians in Berlin in the 1930s, and Simone de Beauvoir’s immense dissertation on postwar lassitude and the French left, the obsessively repetitive yet often brilliant novel Les Mandarines.

Well, as a good friend of mine would say, “Whatever, jackass.”  Let’s just  focus on Le Monde and Afghanistan,shall we?  And perhaps the original salient point on perspectives will become clear enough, and possibly even refreshing, like a volcanic lagoon or a fresh laceration.

The New York Times brings the noise yet again, where, in a headline promising progress in Afghanistan, American journalists basically act as good foot soldiers for yet another wartime president. Note that, after a bit of “lessons learned” talk from Marja, the catch phrases employed here in the NYT, nine years after the war first started, seem to basically endorse U.S. strategy in Afghanistan:

The prospect of a robust military push in Kandahar Province, which had been widely expected to begin this month, has evolved into a strategy that puts civilian reconstruction efforts first and relegates military action to a supportive role….

[According to] the Afghan National Army officer in charge [in Kandahar], Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai. “[The alleged U.S. offensive] is actually a partnership operation.” [...]

Mr. Karzai promised local people that there would not be a Kandahar offensive. “You don’t want an offensive, do you?” he asked the crowd, to general acclamation. “There will be no operation until you are happy.”

Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak said the new approach was adopted after officials considered the mistakes made in Marja and the much larger scale of Kandahar.

“We have learned lessons, also, which we will apply in the future,” he said in an interview this week. “About Kandahar, it is a different type operation…it is not going to be that kinetic.” (Kinetic is military jargon to describe fighting.)

Instead, the emphasis has been placed on strengthening provincial reconstruction teams…The idea [for which], said Frank Ruggiero, the senior United States Embassy official in the south, is to make sure “the government at the most basic level, the district level, is able to provide some services so that people who are sitting on the fence are able to say, well, the government has something to offer.”

There’s nothing wrong per se with this mode of reporting.  It essentially passes along the military line, and , to the extent that a critiquing position of the policy is offered, it is purely an auto-critique.   But does that type of coverage offered by the Times serve the interests of the soldiers, some of whom are my students, others of whom are French Legionnaires I met on the Paris Metro, others of whom suit up at the Cathcart Armory in Montreal before taking off?

Contrast the above story, in America’s paper of record, with today’s front-page editorial offered by Le Monde entitled “Dialogue Without Naive Illusions”:

L’Union soviétique avait tenu dix ans. Combien de temps tiendront les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN ? L’Afghanistan, ce “cimetière des empires”, est en train de miner à la fois les ressources et le moral de l’Occident. Plus de neuf ans après l’intervention américaine contre le régime taliban (au pouvoir de 1996-2001), précipitée par les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, les grands espoirs de reconstruction de l’Afghanistan ont fait long feu. A mesure que l’insurrection des talibans se consolide, le découragement gagne. Le sentiment d’échec s’installe. Et les appels au dialogue, à la négociation avec la rébellion talibane se multiplient. Chacun admet que la solution ne sera pas militaire, mais politique.

or, in my translation,

The Soviet Union lasted ten years.  How long will the U.S. and its NATO allies remain?  Afghanistan, the “graveyard of empires,” is on the path at once to drain [miner /消沉] the financial and moral resources of the West.  More than nine years after the American intervetion against the Taliban regime (in power from 1996-2001), preciptated by the attacks of 11 September 2001, the great hopes of reconstructing Afghanistan have long been delayed/laid on the pyre.  Stimulated by the consolidating insurrection of the Taliban, discouragement has won out.  And the appeals for dialogue and negotiation with the Taliban rebellion are multiplying.  Everyone admits that the solution cannot be military, but [must instead be] political.

Etc., etc.

American papers do not necessarily need front-page editorials of this ilk to awaken a kind of heightened consciousness of Afghanistan, but a fuller appraisal of the whole enterprise, as opposed to a basic re-reading of the most recent Pentagon press releases, might be considered helpfully provocative.

After all, what’s worse: not knowing why you’ve left, or realizing you’ve stayed too long?

Kefalik Peninsula, Iceland -- photo by Adam Cathcart

If China Did Something Right, Would Anyone Notice?

Ever since the Amercian press corps wandered into dusty Yanan in the rumpled personage of a 30-year old named Edgar Snow in 1935, it seems that Western views of the Chinese Communist Party, and of China itself, have oscillated greatly.  At times, China and the West come into convergence as to how to view politics on the mainland.  In the late 1930s, both China and the non-Axis West (including the Soviet Union) viewed China as an embattled, noble, and besieged bulwark against Japanese expansionism.   A united front of news!  For proof, just read Edgar Snow’s unjustly neglected piece of war reportage/propaganda written on the eve of Pearl Harbor, The War for Asia.

Then things took a divergent turn in the late 1940s, during which time the maelstrom of Chinese domestic politics wrenched Western views out of their idealistic mode and towards criticism, while Chiang Kai-shek nevertheless tried to build himself up as some warrior-cum-Confucian scholar with such ghost-written tracts as China’s Destiny.  (Chiang’s text, I might add, was no less pretentious, and arguably more useless, than Jiang Zemin’s opus of the 1990s, the collected essays of the Three Represents, whose absolutely numbing prose at least had the purpose of getting capitalists back into the CCP.)

In the early 1950s, another vast disconnect opened up between how the Chinese people view themselves and the way they were viewed from the West.  A savage portrait emerged from without, replete with references to Genghis Khan and tales of  Christian torture and expulsion.  But no sooner had the Korean War finished than the European left revived their idealizations of the Middle Kingdom as if lifting the weight of the pillars of the Yuanmingyuan, reconstructing mental edifices of China as an industrious harbinger of a gender-equal, egalitarian, progressive utopia.  Social philosophers like Simone de Beauvoir went to China, spreading great tracts upon their return, arguing for a fundamental congruity with China’s positive and rising self-image in the years of the first five-year plan (1953-1958).  Even influential French journalists like Robert Guillain evinced a grudging respect for the ardent, if unthinking, nature of Chinese development in those years by calling the Chinese people “blue ants,” borrowing from a French idiom for “diligent.”  (Unfortunately it picked up in the West with all the exterminationist and mind-control connotations in George Horvath’s Mao Tse-tung: Emepror of the Blue Ants, about the worst example of a published mixed metaphor that one could hope to find.)

And so to today: If China did something right, would anyone notice?  In today’s Shijie Ribao [世界日报], page A2, we get basically a whole page of coverage about how actively the Chinese government is focusing on environmental issues with the American leadership, both current and former.  Hu Jintao had a talk with Obama about this issue and the Copenhaugen Forum on October 20, and yesterday, former Vice President Al Gore was in Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership compound in Beijing adjacent to the Forbidden City and the Egg.

Gore’s visit in particular was worth noting.  He met with Wen Jiabao in Diaoyutai guest house (where I believe Mao first met with Nixon), but then he was also given a podium from which to speak directly and at length to the Chinese assembled there to discuss global warming.   None of this seems to be available on the Anglophone internet.  (All my Chinese sources for the images, other than the kick-ass print version of the paper which I bought this morning in San Francisco which shows Gore lecturing like a champion, are on Flash players and I can’t save them on this deadly Stanford machine I’m blogging on tonight — sorry!).

The Chinese take this kind of thing quite seriously.  A former vice-president, in Chinese terms, is usually considered to be still a part of the power circles.  Hosting Gore in Diaoyutai is therefore a very significant gesture of Beijing’s willingness to engage with Washington on the environmental front.

I still believe the U.S. can outflank the North Koreans and the Chinese by insisting that environmental issues be part and parcel of any revived Six-Party Talks!  After all, if the Japanese are allowed to bring in an abduction case from 1977 as a central part of their own strategy, I think the future of environmental catastrophe can also be considered.  That, and the North Koreans have been amenable in the past to overtures on environmental conservation from the U.S. and UN.

What depresses me is the total lack of coverage of this issue in the major American news outlets.  Exactly nothing in the New York Times.  Ditto on the Los Angeles Times.  Although we do learn from the L.A. paper that Current TV is back with a vengeance in the wake of their North Korean debacle!

Fortunately we have China Daily to tell us that Hu Jintao is focused on a climate accord.  Damned if it isn’t a useful and important article.

Media consolidation and the dropping of Western newspapers like, well, hornets from a wasp nest hit with a blast of DDT, may be having an effect on the question of media outlets that drop big stories.  If the New York Times is lacking a vigorous bureau in Beijing, the danger becomes that stories about dissidents aren’t balanced by other political news of the day.  Like, what did Hu Jintao do today?  With which American officials did Wen Jiabao meet?  Is it up to or bloggers to cover the Premier’s every move instead?  Do we all just need therefore to read the China Daily instead of the New York Times?  I’m as interested as anyone else in Ribiya Khadeer, seizures of Uighurs in Xinjiang, and I am delighted to get another perspective on the tangled goings-on at the Frankfurt Book Fair.  But when there is an insubstantial difference between the Epoch and the New York Times on the Frankfurt story and JustRecently covers it nearly as well, can the New York Times be considered an essential source on Chinese news?

I would argue that it is, but a paper that just shed another 10% of its staff (even with the generosity of a new non-Sulzberger patron) is lacking the resources to put on an all-out blitz at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is what it deserves.  Germans get that in spades with Die Zeit, with in-depth coverage on the literary and political fronts.  And my august mentor Donald Jordan, of whom I need to be particularly mindful when in the shadow of the Hoover Institute and his documents on the Northern Expedition, always maintained that the Wall Street Journal was a better Asia paper.  For some reason I can’t bear to read more than a few hawkish, rollback-style articles every year by Gordon Chang and John Bolton that read like they could have been written by John Foster Dulles.

Al Gore’s interesting blog, with a crease in a print photo, says it all: nothing about the trip to China.  Has this man been so castrated through the years by chicken hawk Orange County Republicans like Christopher Cox that he lacks the cajones to publicize his own trip to promote the most important bilateral relationship this country has got?  Is it really back to the future (e.g. 1996) here?  Has he been reading giant-print-for-morons tract The Year of the Rat and hoping no one ever again photographs him with a Chinese man?  This makes no sense, Al.  Promote your own damned trip, and get people agitated.

Or are you still peeved you couldn’t go to Pyongyang yourself?  Don’t worry, with the environmental catastrophes sure to follow, you’ll be in demand.

Peter Pace, Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Beijing, March 2007 -- now imagine the soldiers are trees, and Pace is the valiant Chinese-American physicist and EPA head Peter Chu

新华:3月22日,中央军委委员、中国人民解放军总参谋长梁光烈在北京举行仪式,欢迎美军参谋长联席会议主席彼得·佩斯访华 === 本博客:Peter Pace, Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Beijing, March 2007 -- now imagine the soldiers are trees, and Pace is the valiant Chinese-American physicist and EPA head Peter Chu== 我们应该热烈建设两国环保保护体制,创造新世界绿色建筑等,从轻枪弹造草花!

Tree: Policy; Farmer: Revive Policy -- August 6, Xinhua

Tree: "New Resource Production"; Farmer: "Policy of Revival" -- August 6, Xinhua