A Little Musical Diplomacy

China is presently thundering its way into some heavily-historically-documented commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the PLA’s arrival in Tibet, while at the same time bringing the rhetorical hammer down in a headline Huanqiu op-ed unsubtly entitled “The West, Sympathizers to ‘Xinjiang Independence’ Terrorism.”  As assertive nationalism and an emphasis on “social stability” (and the threats that forces external to China pose to the country’s unity) pose he only thing the Chinese Communist Party leadership seems to commonly and fully support, it seems likely we are in for a long summer and fall of the geo-political equivalent of baseball’s “brushback pitch,” the high fastball thrown at the head of the man with the stick, not in the hopes of knocking him out — for that might end the game altogether — but in the hopes of intimidating him, and his fellow onlookers, sufficiently so as to accrue the proper healthy respect for one’s opponent.

Perhaps it would be a good time for everyone to cool their jets and listen to some music.

I’ll be appearing at the US Consulate  next week and a bunch of other venues in that great city, including the celebrated Bookworm and the Danish Foreign Ministry project known as the  Nordic International Management Institute (NIMI) , with the pianist Andreas Boelcke.  As WordPress, last time I checked, was deemed an unacceptable infringement on the information sovereignty of the PRC (the very object of our musical affections!), I may have to be a bit creative with providing all the updates from the front, but rest assured, dear readers (and possible listeners?) that I will do my best to keep you appraised of the action and, the spirit of Hu Yaobang in 1982 willing, the achievements.

Swiss technician and Sinophile gremlin at Kristof Landon Violins, Berlin, July 2011; photo by Wang Yin/王茵, Freie Uni. Berlin

1 Comment

  1. Yes, you do have to wonder about the timing…strange coincidence, no? Interesting to keep a watch on these fazhanings…
    Speaking of Hu Yaobang whose death unleashed a small floodgate of protests, what’s the verdict on Jiang Zemin? Tibet’s 60th + Jiang Zemin may possibly be dead but the CCP is withholding the news for a later PR date…? I am not going to go all-out conspiracy theory on this, but it’s worth taking a look at, considering China has especially been bending over backwards as of late regarding Tibet, while simultaneously going very lax on its messaging..

    Good luck at the consulate. Perhaps you can play the kangdingqingge..?

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