German Views of the PRC

Somehow Sunday and Monday have fused together as a single Teutonic-Sinological seismic entity. Ascribe it to living downtown, to having tens of thousands of real football fans course by one’s window, the sun shards glistening, the croissance of a new day, the blessedness of cynicism held back in a deep gorge somewhere distant and untouchable.

And so one can dwell in Der Spiegel or Suddeutscher Zeitung for an hour or so, and get all Teutonized, feeling the contact point sizzle (es zischt!) between one’s bloodline and a language attached to it…

So that was my glory, and it reached a mini-apotheosis this morning with some East German-PRC research and revisiting some articles I had collected and coursed through with a pen last August 2008, that pregnant month, in Berlin as I thought of Beijing.

To wit:

1. Ullrich Fichtner, “China’s gefährlicher Sommer” [China's Dangerous Summer], Der Spiegel, 4 August 2008 (Vol. 32): 84-92.

[YouTube reading of this poetic opening is forthcoming, because, as a different Dr. once said, "I been in the lab/with a pen and a pad/trying to get this damn label off."] Incomplete, but perhaps useful…


2. Bernhard Bartsch, “Aufgeflogen: Die Pannen und Schwindelein hinter den Kulissen von Olympia sind Stadtgesrpräch in Peking; Die Menschen empören sich über leere Stadien und eine falsche Sängerin” [Flying Away: The Breakdowns and Swindles Behind the Curtain are Conversation in Beijing City; The People are Outraged at Empty Stadiums and a False Singer], Berliner Zeitung, 13. August 2008, p. 3.  [UPDATE: Full text of the German article is available here.]

[Also forthcoming on YouTube, since I enjoyed the discussion of the singer/musical nationalism discussion.]

German Version of the Bartsch article:

English summary of the Bartsch article:


In the meantime….it appears that Bartsch really quoted this fellow rather selectively, or something was lost in the translation into the German. It would seem that the following interview would need to be translated into English, but all the derivative reporting already appears to be have been wrung from this incident. And do check out the new issue of China Quarterly, completely interesting analysis of the 2008 Olympics in the PRC political context!

Wen Jiabao and Angela Merkel

Wen Jiabao and Angela Merkel