Bombs and Moms

From the 2007-08-11 print of the Youth Daily (青年报), on page 11. Two articles from the Comprehensive International News section. The articles were really short so I did two of them. Both come from the Xinhua Press, neither provided journalist names.


Russian Fighter Planes “Patronize” an American Naval Base

On the 8th a high level Russian Air Force official said that two Tu-95MS “Bear” long distance strategic bombers flew over the United States Guam Naval Base and were intercepted by American fighter planes, after which they returned to Russia.

The Russian Air Force long distance bomber flight commander Pavel Andelusufu said that when the two Bears flew over the US Naval Base in Guam, the American fighters urgently scrambled to intercept, and the pilots of both sides smiled to each other. Andelusifu pointed out that the Russian Guam fly-by is one part of their air force military exercises and in the three days of maneuvers they will perform over 40 sorties and deploy 8 cruise missles.

The Associated Press reports that when the Russian bombers patronized Guam, the American military was conducting large scale military exercises nearby, with a few dozen battleships, over a hundred fighter planes, and 22,000 military personal attending. According to Reuter’s analysis, Russia has been disputing often with the US and NATO recently, and the intention of this action was to display Russia’s military power, and express that Russia’s military has now retained its vitality.

Translator’s Notes:
- So my dictionary says that the term used above is either “flew over” or “flew by”. There’s nothing in the context that says which it was so I’m not sure which to put. I feel that a fly-by would be much more likely than a fly-over, which seems pretty extreme.
- Wait, just looked it up, apparently they flew towards the base, and were intercepted before they got there. Thanks Wikipedia.
- Again, not sure about how to translate “Andelusufu”.
- I don’t know how Chinese people feel about Russia in general. From people I’ve talked to, I’d say they like America better, or imagine that China has a better relationship with America. Perhaps because Russia is so near and has a common border with China, they can’t be helped but be looked upon with slight suspicion. Whereas America’s on the other side of the world and China can be friendly with them without any worry. And I think Americans are viewed as more open. Simplified view of things, but sometimes it’s how people think.


America’s “Anti-War Mother” Will Run for Congressional Representative

On the 9th in San Francisco America’s famous anti-war personage Cindy Sheehan, the “Anti-War Mother”, announced that in the 2008 Congressional election she will run for the Congressional Representative position representing San Francisco’s electoral district. She will be challenging the 20 year incumbent and current Speaker of the House of Representatives, democrat Pelosi.

According to local media reports, Sheehan criticizes Pelosi for catering to the rich and powerful, and distancing herself from the common people. She says that America needs to undergo a major transformation, and that the transformation will start with her running for Congress. Sheehan says she will enter the race as an independent candidate.

Translator’s notes:
- This is actually the first I’ve heard of Cindy Sheehan here in China, and if she already has the cognomens “Anti-War Mother”, I imagine that she’s made an impression on the Chinese media. I feel like she’s the sort of person they’d like, especially since she’s diametrically opposed to Bush.
- These short little articles were from a national newspaper, I’m in Shanghai right now, so I don’t have any access to my normal paper. I’ll just be picking random papers off the street.

Comments/corrections welcome.

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Blast Off!

From the 2007-08-10 print of The Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A30. An article in the International News–Current Politics section. Two part article, news story plus a little mini-bio. The former comes from the Comprehensive Xinhua Press, and the latter was written by Hu Ruoyu, for the Xinhua Press.

America’s “Endeavor” Successfully Launches Into Space

- This marks the return to flight of all three of America’s remaining space shuttles after the Columbia Accident.

On the 8th, at 18:36 Eastern Standard Time (6:36 on the 9th, Beijing Time), the American Space Shuttle Endeavor successfully launched from Florida’s Kennedy space center for the International Space Station, carrying a flight crew of seven. This is the Endeavor’s first flight mission carried out in close to five years.

Supplying Materials for the Space Station

According to NASA Television’s live broadcast, the launch took place at nightfall, and the weather conditions were perfect throughout. As the ignition countdown concluded, Endeavor, which towered above the 39A launch platform, began to rise into the sky. Two minutes later, the Ground Launch Control Center confirmed that the rocket booster and the orbiter had successfully separated, “Endeavor is flying normally.”

This is NASA’s second shuttle flight mission this year. The objectives of this flight include carrying to and installing on the space station a structural component weighing close to 1.6 tons, supplying materials for the space station, and completing a few of the space station’s repairs.

5 years of Repair Overhauls

However, because this is Endeavor’s first flight in nearly five years, she is being watched very closely. The last time Endeavor had a flight mission was in November of 2002, soon after which the Space Shuttle Columbia break-up accident occurred. In the two and a half years following the accident, NASA temporarily stopped all shuttle missions. The Discovery and the Atlantis have already returned to space before the Endeavor. For five years she has been lying prone on the ground, receiving a complete overhaul, with in excess of 200 different technological repairs being made. The Endeavor’s flight marks the return of all three of the remaining space shuttles to flight status after the Columbia accident.

The “Focal Personage” on this flight is flight crew astronaut Barbara Morgan, the head teacher-astronaut. Morgan was the back-up choice behind Christa McAuliffe, the female teacher aboard the Challenger in the 1986 accident.


Female Teacher is Responsible for Operating Mechanical Arm

- Will also answer questions from students while in space.

20 years ago, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration implemented the “Teacher-in-Space” Program. In 1986 Barbara Morgan was the back-up replacement for Christ McAuliffe, who met with tragedy in the accident. As the Endeavor ascended into space, Morgan was sitting in a seat in the crew cabin. When McAuliffe was on her own ascent, she sat in the very same seat.

When Morgan is in space, she will call some students from Idaho. Before she became an astronaut, she once taught at a middle school there. If it is possible to extend the mission from the planned 11 day flight to 14 days, she will also have an opportunity to answer questions from students of two other states. Morgan also plans to begin a series of educational activities after she returns from space, including giving out the several million seeds she has brought with her to children of different ages, in order to increase their interest in space exploration.

However, Morgan’s main role is still that of astronaut. On this mission her assignment is to serve as the mechanical arm operator, and she is also responsible for overseeing the entire process of moving the Endeavor’s cargo to the International Space Station. Currently, the Endeavor has already entered its planned orbit, and in 10 days will catch up to and link up with the International Space Station. According to the Associated Press, Morgan has already begun all types of preparations and surveys for her upcoming work, regularly updates data from mission control devices, and has successfully begun operations in the cargo hold.

Two additional captions under pictures:
-‘On the 9th, NASA Television pictures show Morgan working in the space shuttle’
-‘On August 8, 6:36 pm EST, the space shuttle Endeavor successfully launches into space from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.’

Translator’s Notes:
-There actually weren’t any Iraq stories at all today! And just this one about the space shuttle. The Chinese are generally very happy with America’s space exploration, they’re looking to do it themselves after all.
-After rereading the article I realized it sounds pretty choppy. In general, Chinese sentence tend to go on and on with commas galore. So I usually break them up. I think it might just be the style of this journalist, but his sentences were relatively straight forward, so I didn’t touch punctuation too much. I suppose from now on I’ll also combine sentences if need be.

Comments/corrections welscome.

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Frontal Assault

From the 2007-08-09 print of The Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A28. An article in the International News–Asia-Pacific/Europe section. Two part article. The author is named Wang Fengfeng, and he wrote the reaction as well. The story comes from Xinhua.

Taliban Makes A Frontal Assault on US Military Base

-Together the American and Afghani army killed 20 members of the armed force

On the 7th an armed force of Afghani Taliban made a strong direct attack on a front line base occupied by American soldiers in the southern province of Oruzgan. Along with fighter plane air support, the American and Afghani forces used mortars, machine guns, and other types of superior firepower to repel the Taliban’s armed assault, killing over twenty of the attackers.

Front Line Bases Have Few Troops

The base that was attacked is called the “Python Heavy Firing-point”. Heavy firing points are usually positioned at forward positions along the battle lines, and have very few deployed personnel. There are some with as few as about ten people. But these bases are frequently supplied with large bore artillery, and use this heavy artillery fire capability to assault enemies, with very effective results. A spokesperson of the allied forces stationed in Afghanistan mentioned in a statement that, “On that day about 75 armed Taliban attacked the Python Heavy Firing-Point from three sides. The weaponry used in the assault included rifles, hand grenades, and 107 mm rocket projectiles.”

Because of the large size fo the armed Taliban force, the American defenders called for air support, and along with the Afghani government troops used superior firepower to repel the attackers. An announcement stated: “We have confirmed that more than 20 armed attackers were killed in this assault.” The combat resulted in two Afghani soldiers being injured, and two nearby Afghani girls were being harmed by Taliban artillery fire.

The Taliban Infrequently Makes Strong Frontal Assaults

Beacause of the large difference with the equipment and tactics of the American and NATO military, the Taliban infrequently makes frontal assaults on foreign forces. In the past they have mostly used mortars and suicide bombs to make surprise raids on foreign military bases. Remotely operated roadside bombs are another one of their favored methods of attack.

Aside from the assault on the “Python Heavy Firing-Point”, a leading officer of the Kandahar police force, Sayeed Afujia Saqipu, announced that on the same day Talibani armed forces also assaulted a police inspection station. The garrisoned police force and the attackers fought a gun battle that drew out for three hours, in which 15 Taliban were killed, along with 6 police officers. Since the beginning of this year, the Taliban has carried out many of these surprise attacks. According to data provided by local Western and Afghani officials, the Associated Press totals a death count of over 3600 people from these attacks alone in this year.

Once Cheney Also Broke a Cold Sweat

The attacks have been mainly concentrated in Southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban’s influence is relatively strong. Armed personnel have even for a time occupied a few cities and towns after having driven off government forces. During this period they have also made assaults in Kabul. For instance on June 17th, suicide bombers killed 35 people within Kabul, which was the largest death toll caused by a car bomb attack.

Aside from this, on the 27th of February of this year, “base personnel,” with the help of the Taliban, made a surpirse attack on Kabul’s Bagram Air Force base, which was being visited by American President Dick Cheney at the time. It resulted in 14 dead, and caused Dick Cheney to break into a cold sweat.

-View Point

The Taliban Has Been Pointed Towards a Dead End

Despite the frequent and insufferably arrogant activities of the Taliban, American and Afghani military and government officials don’t consider these occurrences to be indicative of a problem–the Taliban is already at the “end of its rope.”

After making an announcement about the Taliban’s attack on the “Python Heavy Firing-Point” the Allied Forces spokesperson Wanisha Baoman commented, “The attackers simply had no way of inflicting heavy casualties on the Python Heavy Firing-Point, and at the same time were met with serious losses themselves. This clearly indicates the weak ability of these armed forces.”

At the American President’s Camp David in Maryland, on the 6th Afghani president Karzai made a similar argument, that the Taliban is “an armed power that has already been defeated.” He said that although they can terrorize the populace, they aren’t powerful enough to be considered a threat to the government.

Translator’s notes:
-So, the Arabic name Sayeed Afujia Saqipu is one third what it should be, and two thirds in pinyin. I can’t find this guy on the internet, it’s unlikely he’d be there, and I’m not familiar enough with the Chinese translations of Arabic names to offer a reasonable guess. So I’ll stick with the pinyin, however silly it looks.
-And the allied forces spokesperson Wanisha Baoman, I don’t know either. Something Bauman perhaps?
-So I’m not sure if the “viewpoint” bit is serious, or if it’s really biting sarcasm. For some reason I just automatically assume the latter. But I can’t be sure, there is one phrase, “made a similar argument”, that I want to check with my tutor. My dictionary says it has a derogatory meaning, but it may not necessarily be so. I think that this article is sort of representative of the general Chinese consensus, if there is such a thing, about American influence in the Middle East.

America Being in Iraq = Bad.
Fighting the Taliban and Other Terrorists = Good.
America Being in Afghanistan doing the Above = Sort of good maybe.
Dick Cheney = Bad.

They’re also very respectful of American military power, in terms of equipment and ability. Sort of like they admire our toys but disapprove of the way we use them.

So I’ll hold off on making any conclusions about the inferences made in the viewpoint, I don’t have enough background in written Chinese subtlety yet.

Comments/corrections welcome.

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Summer Vacation

From the 2007-08-08 print of The Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A27. An article in the Military Affairs Sections (which of course means America and/or Iraq).

Under the heading “Featured Article”, and written by Xing Tao.

American Soldiers Enjoy “5-Star Vacation Maneuvers”

-The Pentagon rented 5-star hotels to provide rest for the soldiers and officers attending these military exercises, Guam’s tourism industry welcomes the “Week of Gold”

For this set of military exercises, the United States Pacific Command spared no expense at renting out several of Guam’s 5-Star hotels to house officers and soldiers who have come from other bases in the Asia-Pacific region to take part in the exercises.

According to reports, the US military has mobilized about 20,000 soldiers for maneuvers. Aside from several thousand troops from three large aircraft carrier battle groups and members of Hawaii’s Joint Task Force 519 command unit, there were also close to 10,000 logistics-support and ground troops who disembarked in succession to be stationed on Guam. But because the three barracks facilities on Anderson Air Force Base have limited available space, the US Pacific Command simply decided to directly rent several of Guam’s 5-star hotels and let the soldiers “maneuver by day, vacation by night.”

At about six in the morning, it’s possible to see members of the Us Air Force’s F-15C 18th Wing Ground support crewmen leisurely eating breakfast in Tumon’s Reef Hotel. They’ve come from Japan’s Ryukyu Is. Kadena Air Force Base, and are now here in their general camouflage uniforms, each person with a different rucksack, with coffee and sandwiches in hand, and even some reading newspapers. A good number of them are enlisted men, with a few higher ranking non-commissioned officers. Nearly a hundred people pass the time like this as they await the morning muster.

At the morning roll call, the soldiers form a disorganized mass around the officers. There’s no calling out names, no loud shouting; every leading NCO quietly counts heads, making certain that all are accounted for.

During the day the American soldiers are on base for the exercises, and they return to the 5-star hotels in the evening. On the streets of Tumon, the American soldiers are everywhere, shopping and hanging around in their civilian clothes. It is impossible to tell from the atmosphere that Guam is carrying out the largest scale military exercises in the Asia Pacific region.

Because of these US military exercises, Guam’s tourism business is booming. Hotels especially, because this week is also the peak of Japan’s summer vacationing season, and with the “encouragement” of the American troops, nearly every hotel is at full occupancy, and all the taxis are packed with the American military.

Translator’s notes:
- I am not really sure where the “reports” this paper references are from.
- I am not entirely familiar with even American military units and jargon, despite my father having served for 20 years, hopefully the plethora of military oriented articles will cure that.
- Tumon is the center of the tourism industry in Guam, a line of hotels along a beach. Looks very, very nice.
- This article was embedded in a full page spread about the Valiant Shield military exercise currently going on, so don’t imagine that it was the sole focus.
- Finally, I feel like this article was researched from a television report, since most of it seems to describe what a seconds-long clip might look like.

Comments/criticisms welcome.

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As an aspiring student of translation and interpretation, this blog is a daily exercise of my translation ability. The format will be Chinese to English, my second language to my native tongue. The source material will be Chinese newspapers, bought, perused, and translated daily.

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