Latest Updates from China Digital Times
• Moves to Restrict Huawei Supplies Continue, Despite Trump Shift
• Hong Kong Bookseller Gui Minhai Sentenced to 10 Years
• Translation: Poems From a Wuhan Nurse
Photo: Untitled (Shenzhen), by Mitch Altman
© Samuel Wade for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). |
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Moves to Restrict Huawei Supplies Continue, Despite Trump Shift
Reuters’ Karen Freifeld and Mike Stone report on continued efforts to restrict the supply of American components to Huawei, despite a series of tweets last week in which President Donald Trump spoke dismissively about the national security implications of such sales. The comments were the latest twist in a long-running U.S. campaign against Huawei.
An interagency meeting was held on Thursday to discuss national security and China export issues, including proposals to restrict sales of chips to Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, and a plan to block the sale of jet engines for China’s new passenger airplane.
While blocking General Electric Co (GE.N) from supplying jet engines appeared to be off the table after Trump opposed efforts to stop their sale, sources told Reuters on Monday new restrictions aimed at cutting Huawei off further from its suppliers were still under discussion.
[…] In their meeting on Thursday, officials discussed possible changes to what is known as the de minimis rule, which dictates how much U.S. content can be in a foreign-made product before the United States has authority to regulate its sale, the sources said.
[…] The government agencies also have been considering changing the Foreign Direct Product Rule, which subjects foreign-made goods based on U.S. technology or software to U.S. oversight. [Source]
The New York Times’ Alan Rappeport reported on Trump’s statements last week:
President Trump publicly objected to efforts within his own administration to restrict the sales of American technology to China over national security concerns, insisting on Tuesday that such fears were an “excuse” and that the United States was open for business.
Mr. Trump’s comments appeared to represent a striking reversal of his administration’s aspirations to curb China’s ascent as a global leader in technology and came as cabinet officials were expected to discuss tougher restrictions on China later this month.
That meeting, set for Feb. 28, was expected to include a discussion about whether to halt sales to China of an aircraft engine produced in part by General Electric by blocking its license to export the technology. Officials were also expected to consider new rules that would further curtail the ability of Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, to have access to American technology, including semiconductors.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Trump seemed to scuttle such moves. Two people familiar with the matter said that the late February meeting was on hold and that the United States would not block G.E.’s ability to sell jet engine parts to China. [Source]
Trump has described Huawei as "very dangerous" and was reportedly "apoplectic" over the U.K.’s recent decision to allow the purchase of Huawei equipment for limited use in 5G networks. The administration’s insistence that such equipment would pose an unacceptable security risk appears unabated, with plans announced on Friday for an industry summit on the subject to be held at The White House in April and Trump raising the issue on a visit to India this week. Moves to tackle the problem upstream by cutting off Huawei’s supply of American components have caused alarm in the U.S. tech sector, but efforts to address it downstream by dissuading Huawei’s potential customers have met limited success. Even if sales to China are now allowed to go unfettered, the threat of their obstruction has already made securing domestic or alternative sources an urgent priority for China’s government and companies.
The Washington Post’s Joseph Marks commented:
The bottom line: As key U.S. allies in Europe and North America seem likely to allow Huawei to build at least portions of their 5G networks, they have no idea what the U.S. position really is. Trump’s comments also play into longstanding concerns the president is not concerned about the national security threat posed by Huawei and is more interested in using U.S. restrictions on the company as leverage in his trade standoff with China.
“It makes it look like the U.S. is really just worried about China as a tech competitor and not a national security threat,” Adam Segal, a cybersecurity and China scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me. “It speaks to the problem the administration has had from the beginning in its messaging about Huawei … It seems as if the president, at any moment, could overturn whatever decision China hawks in the administration make.”
The inconsistency couldn’t come at a worse time because U.S. arguments about Huawei’s dangers already seem to have hit a brick wall in Europe. The United Kingdom has already agreed to allow the company to build portions of its 5G networks and Canada, France and Germany all appear likely to follow suit.
[…] Perhaps most maddeningly for Huawei hawks, Trump’s tweets stepped on what might have been a rare good day for the United States in its battle with the company. A federal judge in Texas yesterday dismissed a lawsuit from Huawei claiming that Congress overstepped its bounds in 2018 when it barred the company from government computer networks, one of the earliest parries in the long-running conflict. [Source]
The American Enterprise Institute’s Derek Scissors wrote more bluntly that "the president doesn’t care about national security […] what President Trump cares about is how much the Chinese state will buy."
[… T]he proclamation that “THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS” […] isn’t quite true. In 2018, for example, the US wasn’t open to steel from our ally Canada, steel used by many American companies for production. In 2020 we may close ourselves off to cars from more allies.
These moves and others are said by President Trump to be necessary for protecting national security, citing Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act. Basically any import can be a security risk. Trading with allies is not beneficial and common products like cars can constitute a major threat. This is odd, but yesterday’s tweets were odder.
They dismissed the “always used national security excuse” regarding sales of jet engines to China. That’s because, while the US isn’t always open for business, it is always open for selling. In the president’s view, national security can’t be harmed even by exporting vital products to your biggest adversary. The harm would not be in not exporting. [Source]
In Monday’s Terms of Trade letter from Bloomberg, Shawn Donnan similarly focused on Trump’s preoccupation with the trade balance, noting that his "broadside at what he made clear he saw as invocations of national security that were too broad … should be remarkable to anyone who has been following Trump’s trade wars closely."
Trump has made clear repeatedly over the past three years that he wants to sell more to China not less. There is a reason the aspect he touts most of the “phase one” deal he signed with China in January is the $200 billion Chinese buying spree at its center.
Which brings us to what precipitated his tweeted intervention last week.
Speak to American tech and other executives and they quickly express fears that one result of the Trump administration’s assault on China is that they will be shut out of what remains the world’s most promising market.
[…] It’s also a major concern of farm groups and American manufacturers who do a good business in China, and for U.S. academic institutions that have attracted Chinese students.
Which is why some worry that a longer-term de-Americanization has begun and that with the genie already out of the bottle it may be too late to reverse that trend. Trump taking to Twitter to intervene last week may turn out to be an important milestone. It could also simply be a late recognition that trade and technology wars are both hard to win and replete with unintended consequences. [Source]
It remains to be seen how much of the "$200 billion buying spree" will actually materialize. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that oil and gas industry leaders had warned that White House that the buying commitments it had secured from China were unrealistic:
The “phase one” deal signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 15 calls for China to purchase an additional $52.4 billion in liquefied natural gas, crude oil, refined products and coal over the next two years. To do that, China would have to import an additional 1 million barrels per day of crude oil, 500,000 barrels per day of refined products and 100 tankers full of liquefied natural gas, the American Petroleum Institute cautioned last month in a closed-door meeting with the Energy Department.
[…] “The United States’ ability to expand its exports of crude oil and other liquids would likely become a binding constraint,” API said in its briefing for the Energy Department. And “even if production is available, logistical challenges remain with marine shipping and the Panama Canal.”
[…] Analysts and markets were already skeptical over the deal and the $200 billion in additional purchases of everything from airplanes to crude oil and soybeans that is its centerpiece. Trump has himself said that his own advisers have counseled him that some of the commitments he sought from the Chinese were unrealistic and boasted of his own role in setting higher targets. [Source]
Trump’s tone on national security may cast doubt on a related class of export control: the "Entity List" designation of 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies for "engaging in [or] enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States" by their involvement in mass detentions in Xinjiang. The designation bars unapproved sales of American products or components to organizations "reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States." Western companies’ and research institutions’ entanglements in Xinjiang had attracted mounting scrutiny as awareness of the detentions grew. Jessica Batke and Mareike Ohlberg described previously unreported American sales of DNA analysis technology to Xinjiang at China File and Foreign Policy last week:
[… One] American company, the Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher Scientific, came under public criticism as early as 2017 for its sales of genetic sequencers to police in Xinjiang. Both the U.S. Congress and Human Rights Watch raised concerns about human rights and privacy violations as a result of the region’s DNA collection campaign—and the extent to which Thermo Fisher’s technology aided these violations. In 2019, Thermo Fisher halted its sales in the region, describing the suspension as in line with its ethics code, but did not say whether it would continue to sell its products elsewhere in China.
The Bingtuan [Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a "quasi-colonial enterprise" and "’vast farming militia’"] Public Security Bureau’s 2015 planned purchase, arranged through Promega’s authorized Xinjiang-based distributor, Hangzhou Xinyue Biotechnology Co., Ltd., was for Promega’s PowerPlex 21 system. Documents show that public security officials sought this specific equipment to create records from trace DNA—minimal amounts of DNA people leave behind as they touch surfaces—that were of high enough quality to be entered into a national DNA database. Because the PowerPlex 21 was the only equipment advanced enough for this work, public security officials were issuing a single-source procurement notice, meaning that they could skip a public bidding process. Unless the notice was contested within a seven-day period, officials could buy the listed equipment.
[…] The Promega website hosts the abstracts of two academic papers that discuss using genetic sequencing to distinguish different ethnic minority populations in China, including Uighurs. According to the full version of one of these papers, Promega equipment, in addition to products made by Thermo Fisher Scientific, was used in the course of the research. The research looked at 211 samples of Uighur individuals’ DNA collected in Korla, Xinjiang, with the subjects’ informed consent. Experts have previously expressed concern that, given the ever-present threat of internment, Uighurs in China cannot give true consent, and the science publishers Springer Nature and Wiley are conducting ethical reviews of papers they have published “in which scientists backed by China’s government used DNA or facial-recognition technology to study minority groups in the country, such as the predominantly Muslim Uyghur population,” according to Nature. [Source]
These sales are part of a broader pattern. Writing on the spread of digital authoritarianism at War On The Rocks last week, Cornell’s Jessica Chen Weiss noted that "according to a report by Steven Feldstein, repressive countries like Saudi Arabia rarely buy [surveillance] technologies from a single source, relying not only on Huawei but also companies based in democracies such as the United States (Google and Amazon), the United Kingdom (BAE), and Japan (NEC). Whether technology is inherently illiberal or neutral, with their usage depending on local interests, norms, and protections, it is clear that these technologies have not emanated solely from authoritarian regimes."
At The Financial Times last week, Janan Ganesh suggested that Trump’s lack of idealism might keep tensions with China more safely contained to the economic sphere than more principled stances by "his higher-minded successors."
By now, Europeans and other third-parties to the superpower tussle know that America will not soften its line under a new president. What they tend to underrate is the chance that it will actually harden. For all his militant jingoism, President Donald Trump views China in practical terms. The more power, security and wealth that it accrues, the less he believes there is for the US. It is an impoverished idea of foreign relations but it is at least transactional.
As proof, the Chinese can and often do buy off some of his animus with material concessions. Mr Trump’s quarrel is not a principled one with the essential nature of their government. In that sense, his cynicism, so unbecoming in other contexts, is a stabilising influence on this fraughtest of relationships.
[…] Mr Trump’s indifference to the domestic doings of China, Saudi Arabia and other governments has shown his narrowness of human sympathy. But it has also kept his squabbles with most of them to what is tangible and negotiable. It is not even as though he drives the hardest of bargains, as the North Koreans might testify between Cheshire Cat smiles. [Source]
With Trump’s emphasis on sales to China, scrutiny of investment flowing the other way looks set to continue. At Wired, the Atlantic Council’s Justin Sherman identified recent moves by the U.S. as part of a global trend, and highlighted the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ growing focus on Chinese tech investments (which includes a national security review of a 2017 acquisition by TikTok announced last November).
Established in 1975 through a Ford administration Executive Order, CFIUS is composed of representatives from State, Treasury, Defense, and numerous other agencies. The whole point is to balance myriad interests—broadly, economic and security goals. Of all entities within the executive brand, it has primary responsibility for watching foreign investment in the States. Its recommendations can lead to blocking covered transactions that threaten US national security—and even undoing those already completed.
[…] Lately, CFIUS has zeroed on deals centered on data, like when it informed Chinese company Beijing Kunlan Tech it had to sell the dating app Grindr. Information on sexual preferences and activity, the logic went, is too sensitive to risk falling into the Chinese government’s hands. And while the last time CFIUS publicly released investigation statistics was 2015, those numbers and recent press reports indicate a growing and heavy focus on Chinese investments in US tech.
[…] As talk of US-China “decoupling” remains in vogue—at least in certain Washington wonk circles—it’s worth realizing that numerous world leaders are exploring ways to limit security risks posed by investments in technology companies. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean all those efforts are necessarily well-scoped or well-executed in practice. Paranoia and misperception of actual foreign government capabilities and intent to access data abound in certain cases.
The question for policymakers, then, becomes: What kind of investments cross the line? Developing these clear criteria—and, in the US, in ways at least slightly more transparent than those in the current, largely opaque CFIUS process—can at once help to better inform the public about these processes and to better balance economic interests with those pertaining to data flows and national security. [Source]
© Samuel Wade for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). |
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Post tags: donald Trump, exports, national security, surveillance, tech companies, trade conflict, trade imbalance, U.S. high tech exports, United States, Xinjiang, Xinjiang re-education camps
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Hong Kong Bookseller Gui Minhai Sentenced to 10 Years
Swedish citizen Gui Minhai is one of the five booksellers and publishers associated with Hong Kong’s Mighty Current Media and Causeway Bay bookstore who were detained from abroad in 2015 to reappear in custody in China. The episode heightened concerns about Beijing’s willingness to target foreign nationals and conduct cross-border detentions to dissuade criticism. Gui’s location was unknown until he appeared on CCTV in January 2016 making a forced confession. The other four detained publishers have since been released and returned to Hong Kong, with one relocating to Taiwan. Gui was briefly released in 2017 and then detained again while riding a train to Beijing with Swedish diplomatic officials. Former Swedish ambassador Anna Lindstead was later recalled and investigated for arranging a meeting between Gui’s daughter and two businessmen in Stockholm without authorization). Gui has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Ningbo court for “illegally providing intelligence” to foreigners. The New York Times’ Austin Ramzy reports on the sentencing and on criticism from Gui’s supporters:
Mr. Gui, 55, was put on trial in January on charges of providing intelligence overseas, the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court said in a brief notice announcing the verdict. It said he had applied to restore his Chinese citizenship in 2018, implying that he would give up his Swedish citizenship, and that he did not wish to appeal the verdict. The details could not be independently verified.
Sweden’s foreign ministry said Mr. Gui remained a citizen of Sweden. It urged China to free him.
“We have consistently made it clear that we demand that Gui Minhai be released so that he can be reunited with his daughter and family,” the ministry said in a statement. “This demand still stands. We also demand access to our citizen so that we can provide the consular support he is entitled to.”
[…] “How could it be possible to kidnap and sentence people just because they produced a few books?” [Lam Wing-kee, another of the HK booksellers detained in 2015 and went public about his experience] said in an interview.
Mr. Lam said the sentence was a warning that the Chinese government would strictly punish acts of resistance. […] [Source]
Reporting on Gui’s sentence for The Washington Post, Anna Fifield recalls Gui’s work with Causeway Bay and his detentions since 2015, and relays more critique of his sentence:
Human rights advocates sharply criticized the court ruling against the bookseller.
“Today’s sentence of Gui Minhai is an indictment not of him but of the Chinese government’s bottomless hostility towards critics and shameless misuse of its legal system,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Gui has committed no crime and should be released immediately.”
Patrick Poon, China researcher at Amnesty International, said the decision was “deplorable” and lacking in transparency.
“Gui has been detained since he went missing in Thailand in 2015. It’s just bizarre to accuse him of providing intelligence while he’s under custody,” he said. [Source]
At The Wall Street Journal, Chun Han Wong notes suspicion that Gui may not have voluntarily renounced his Swedish citizenship, and highlights that the reinstatement of his Chinese citizenship as a new tactic for Chinese authorities:
Foreign diplomats in Beijing say it also highlights the tenuous legal status of Chinese-born foreign nationals in China. China doesn’t recognize dual nationality and its laws state that citizens who settle abroad and attain foreign nationality automatically lose their Chinese citizenship. Even so, Beijing sometimes treats naturalized foreigners more like Chinese citizens.
Rights activists and friends of Mr. Gui say his reinstatement as a Chinese citizen appears to be an unprecedented attempt by Beijing to cut off a naturalized foreign national from consular assistance provided by his adopted country.
“I have never seen this happen before—that they force someone to convert back to Chinese citizenship, for the convenience of the regime,” said Magnus Fiskesjö, a Cornell University associate professor who was a Swedish diplomat in Beijing and has known Mr. Gui since the 1980s.
“They kidnap our citizen, hold him for more than four years, then now they want us to believe he himself requested to change his citizenship back to Chinese?” Mr. Fiskesjö said. [Source]
More on the citizenship question from the Hong Kong Free Press’ Kelly Ho, who also quotes fellow Swedish citizen Peter Dahlin–a legal reform worker who was detained in China in 2016 and delivered a televised coerced confession before being expelled–on Gui’s sentence:
“Our Embassy is now putting its full focus on the matter, in part seeking more information and in part to obtain consular access… We will continue to focus our efforts on obtaining his release,” a [Swedish] press officer said, adding that they are trying to send a Swedish doctor to Gui.
Meanwhile, Peter Dahlin – a fellow Swedish national who also appeared in a televised “confession” in China – told HKFP that the sentencing showed that Beijing did not care about “appearances” any more.
“The charge is ludicrous, the only ‘state secrets’ that Gui may have is knowledge about how Chinese agents kidnapped him in Thailand, and about the torture he has endured after being returned to China. It has long been feared that China could not let Gui leave, as it could not let information about his treatment, and kidnapping, come out, and this is just one in a long list of steps they have taken. As for his supposed renouncing of his Swedish citizenship, it has no legal bearing of course, as Gui has only Swedish citizenship, and not Chinese,” he said. [Source]
On Twitter, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated that her diplomats had no access to the trial and that Stockholm is continuing to press for Gui’s release. When asked about the lack of access, China’s foreign ministry said that arrangements will be made after the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has been resolved.
Last November, Swedish PEN awarded Gui the 2019 Tucholsky Prize, its annual award for persecuted writers, which quickly prompted Beijing to warn Stockholm of potential “consequences.” PEN America’s James Tager has criticized the lengthy prison sentence given to Gui:
“Gui Minhai’s 10-year prison sentence is a wildly unjust punishment, based on absurd and politically motivated charges, resulting from an unannounced trial, within a legal system that has systematically denied Gui any due process. Simply put, this is a farce,” said James Tager, Deputy Director of Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America. “It is obvious that the Chinese government simply wants an excuse to keep Gui in prison, and have manufactured a set of criminal charges and a matching conviction to allow them to do so.”
[…] “We must remember that Gui Minhai was previously forced to participate in a series of staged confessions after he was abducted. Any statement that the Chinese government makes on Gui’s behalf should be viewed as not credible. It is especially difficult to believe that Gui Minhai would act to re-assert his Chinese citizenship in 2018, after his abduction by Chinese security agents and after years of illegal detention.” Tager added. [Source]
On Twitter, The New York Times’ Michael Forsythe links to his 2016 article on the salacious stories that Mighty Current/Causeway Bay trafficked in, as a reminder for why Gui may be looking at a 10 year sentence:
See also “How Sweden Copes With Chinese Bullying,” from The Economist.
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Post tags: abduction, Causeway Bay booksellers, chinese abroad, cross-border detentions, detention, dissidents, extradition, Gui Minhai, hong kong publishing, repatriation
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Translation: Poems From a Wuhan Nurse
The following poetry collection was written by “Wei Shuiyin” (弱水吟, given name Long Qiaoling 龙巧玲), who has been serving as a nurse in one of the dozen makeshift fangcang hospitals set up in Wuhan to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. Long is a usually based at Shandan County People’s Hospital in Gansu Province; since the outbreak of the coronavirus, she has been fighting on the frontline of prevention and control along with her colleagues. When she received news that Wuhan was in urgent need of medical workers, she volunteered to go to Wuhan with a medical team. The original post of the collection, translated below, was deleted from WeChat but has been archived by CDT Chinese.
Please Don’t Disturb
Please allow me to take off my protective clothes and mask
To remove the flesh of my body from its armor
Let me trust my own health
Let me breathe undisturbed
The slogans are yours
The praise is yours
The propaganda, the model workers, all yours
I am merely performing my duties
Acting on a healer’s conscience
Often, there’s no choice but to go to battle bare-chested
Without time to choose between life and death
Genuinely without any lofty ideals
Please, don’t decorate me in garlands
Don’t give me applause
Spare me recognition for work injury, martyrdom, or any other merits
I didn’t come to Wuhan to admire the cherry blossoms
And I didn’t come for the scenery, the reception of flattery
I just want to return home safe when the epidemic ends
Even if all that remains are my bones
I must bring myself home to my children and parents
Who wants to carry a comrade’s ashes
Setting foot on the road home
Please don’t disturb me again
What you call the actual facts, the data
I haven’t the time or the inclination to follow
Weary all day, all night
This is more important than your praise
I invite you to go look, if you are able
At those washed out homes
Does smoke rise from the chimneys
The cell phones drifting about the crematorium
Have their owners been found?
Little Sister, Tonight I’m Ashamed of the Praise
In the early hour of two o’clock
Thunder and lightning, wind and rain
The iron plates that blocked the doors have been overturned
A tiny figure was carried home by the storm
Floating like a scrap of paper
“Little sister, why did you come back early?”
“Hypoglycemic dizziness, group leader let me go”
“Forty-minute travel time?”
“A Wuhan taxi driver took me”
Face pale, voice weak
The thermometer at her forehead reads 33.1°C
A spray of disinfectant, wash hands, repeat
Wipe clean nostrils, ears
Monitoring the operation, my hand trembled
Through my protective goggles
I can’t tell if the drops on her face
Are tears or splashed disinfectant
Remove the mask
Forehead, nose, cheek, ears
Blisters, boils–accomplices of hypoglycemia and the cold rallying towards me
I’ve no strength to say anything
Any consolation will seem a false show of affection
Change clothing, shoes
Step back into disposable slippers
Shower in water above 56°C, don’t eat for a half hour
Tightly wrap your body in protective clothing for a dozen hours
Don’t eat don’t drink don’t evacuate
Have to eat and drink less before starting work
Ah, protective clothing, how is there still a shortage?
Can you let her change to a new protective gown during the shift?
Even if work hours are extended?
The little sister who returned with hypoglycemia
So far I haven’t been able to remember your face
A hundred sisters
A hundred masks covering unknown beauty
Concealing how much hypoglycemia from my sight
Perhaps, there are things I can’t say
Little sister, no praise tonight
All songs of praise are guilty
All deceived consciences
Will kneel to you
Put on a facemask, the instant you turn
I suddenly call to mind
I should add another mask
Me, facing this erupting storm
Should I play deaf and dumb
Haze, shady rain
Five days, damp and dismally quiet
Cold and cruel, tears and injury
These dull and murky words
How much I hope you stay away
At the guesthouse in self-isolation
Without time, without days
No sound and no air
Writing material, psychological intervention
Place a hundred fearful hearts in each respective palm
The trembling, the dread, the crying and despair
Throw it away with those muddied in poison
One person’s room
Is divided into a contaminated area and a clean area
Wash your hands, wash your hands. Mask, mask
Forced to correct all bad habits
Right now, everyone knows that a bat is responsible for the poison
And calling the crime poisoning is sketching it lightly
The poison from seventeen years ago is still fresh in my memory
Today is a carbon copy of yesterday
But the poison isn’t yesterday’s poison
People’s pampering gave rise to its cunning
Strong contagion is the fruit of their pampering
Very late at night, what I most want to do
Is give those bats hidden in their caves
Steel armor to put on
Engraved with the two characters, “Wuhan”
Leave all the blades with no handles
Leave all the teeth nothing to bite
Night of the Lantern Festival
Outside an eighth floor window of the Wuhan Jinlaiya Hotel
Lanterns already lighting the city
The splendor of skyscraper silhouettes
Clarifying the true colors of the night
Silent. Somber. Frigid.
I know that through the lanterns
Further and deeper in the background
Even more windows are black
Black as a cave, as a bat, as if swallowed up
Like a hidden poison with a flowery crown
In the darkness I stare into the distance
Look into the distance of the Yangtze, the Han River
The distance of the Yellow Crane Tower
The distance of the makeshift hospital
The distance of the Gansu Hexi Corridor
The distance of the Huangpu River in Shanghai
The distance of heaven using a long spoon to feed us all
The darkness still spreads
But I’ve no doubt, all is well
As the Lantern Festival moon rises
All is well, all is bright
© Josh Rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). |
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Post tags: coronavirus, poetry, River Crabbed, wuhan
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