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TCHRD unpacks Chinese jargon through ‘Decoding CCP’ website

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Screengrab of TCHRD's new website 'Decoding CCP' launched on Thursday

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 2: The Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on Thursday launched a website that unpacks Chinese Communist Party’s jargon, including slogans, vague terms, official innuendos used in the public domain to create clarity on a global platform. ‘Decoding CCP’ online guide informs think-tanks, analysts, human rights defenders, campaigners, and investment advisers among others to debunk Chinese vocabulary and make conclusions that help contextualize China.

TCHRD Director Tsering Tsomo in the press release said that there is an immediate need globally to decode what the Chinese model says it has to offer. “As China codifies its agenda for a new order, with distinct Chinese characteristics, and as propaganda slogans are issued with greater frequency, we need reliable guidance that unpacks and decodes the proliferating building blocks of discourse power. This matters globally,” she further argued.

The rights group stressed that this platform is not propagandist, but an immersive channel through which meanings and connotations of critically important phrases are made available for the public. “Where Google Translate fails, Decoding CCP comes in,” claims TCHRD on their website, highlighting that multiple interpretations to large audiences could come in handy when contextualizing the Asian superpower. After over a year of deliberation, the Tibetan researchers have created this space for their intelligent users to “make up their own conclusions” after apprising themselves of the available information.

TCHRD Executive Director Tsering Tsomo speaking to the media in New Delhi on Thursday (Screengrab)

One of the principal researchers of ‘Decoding CCP’, Tsering Dorje, said in the press statement that it is a key that unlocks inner meanings, to help anyone to gauge where all of us are headed, “China takes itself so seriously, which is a bit comical. There is a deep history implanted in China’s claim to be the exemplary civilization everyone must bow to. Tibetans know the backstory well, and navigate their stateless place in the world, through unpacking those slogans.” As China’s power grows internationally, the country’s attempt to insert national vocabulary as a framework for other governments and institutions also grows.

The handbook examines concepts that seem familiar, and contains hundreds of entries which are included in hyperlinked entries and tags attached to the searches. The trilingual search engine will go beyond the simple translation from Chinese to English that most use, as it will offer deeper insight into what is happening inside China, often in remote, minority nationality areas. “Neither Tibetans nor the wider world dismiss China’s propaganda as nonsense. It requires careful consideration, not kneejerk opposition. So Decoding CCP takes care not to propose counter-propaganda to China’s official propaganda,” the website distinguishes carefully.

TCHRD said that it will carefully contextualize Chinese government vocabulary, “Decoding CCP entries avoid lecturing and instead unmask declamations riddled with unconscious biases and assumptions.” The deliberate ‘distillation’ would help coming to terms with the changing world where China continues to dominate its discourse. The live website will update its definitions as and when the group detects sudden shift of policy and slogans, and as newer meanings emerge out of China.

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