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I'm German and I'd like to help interpret this article.|
First of all, i think what you're doing, horacetwest, is also a kind of propaganda. Because you don't translate the whole article so everybody can get his own picture, but you're picking out some quotes, interpreting them on your own, explaining what you think the writer could have meant and therefore you're influencing the reader's opinion.
Second: I also have to admit that especially in March/April the German media only saw the bad side of the Chinese social and economical development. But it was changing during the Olympic Games. There's a famous quote of Reinhold Beckmann (I think it was him), he was the chief moderator of ARD during the Olympics. He said that some German media perhaps made the mistake of only regarding the "glass as half-empty, but never see that, on the other hand, it's already half-full".
But back to the article. I'm not translating everything but some interesting additional information:
"Sie hätten auch nicht malen dürfen, was sie wollten: "Wir hatten einen Drachen gemalt, der war echt süß." Der ehemalige IOC-Chef Juan Antonio Samaranch und der jetzige Präsident Jacques Rogge meinten aber: Ein Drache sei nicht gut. Sie hätten darauf bestanden, dass ein Drache etwas Teuflisches hat."
They also weren't allowed to draw what they wanted: "We had painted a dragon which was really sweet." But the former IOC-Boss Juan Antonio Samaranch and the present president Jacques Rogge thought: The dragon isn't good. They insisted that a dragon has something devilish."
So it's not an anti-Chinese propaganda, the author somehow just criticizes that this guy couldn't paint freely, no matter who influenced him (IOC or the government).
"Als ich den Vertrag unterschrieben habe... naja, jeder weiß doch: dabei sein und mitmachen ist alles, das macht doch schon glücklich. So eine Gelegenheit kommt einmal in 100 Jahren. Da denkt man nicht ans Geld." Er habe den Vertrag unterschrieben, ohne ihn zu lesen. (...) Erst als ich ihn unterschrieben hatte, habe ich erfahren, dass ich ein symbolisches Gehalt von einem Yuan bekomme."
Ein hoher Beamter setzte sich dann dafür ein, dass Han doch bezahlt wurde. Sein Gehalt spendete er für den Bau von fünf Schulen. Und die tragen - wie kann es anders sein - die Namen der fünf olympischen Maskottchen."
"When I signed the contract... well, as everyone knows: The important thing is to participate. This alone already makes happy. Such an opportunity comes once in 100 years. In this moment, you don't think about the money. I signed the contract without reading it. (...) Only after signing it, i found out that i get a symbolic salary of 1 Yuan.
Later, a high offical stood up for Han being payed properly. Han donated the salary for the construction of 5 schools. And those schools - how else could it be - are now bearing the name of the 5 olympic mascots."
That's how the article ends and that's definitely a happy end. So there are critical elements, of course, but it's definitely no anti-Chinese propaganda. When i read the article, i never had this feeling... There were much more critical and ridiculous articles of German media, to be honest...