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这是一篇刚刚发表在“经济学家”杂志上有关中国事件的文章。之所以选这篇文章是因为作者在阐述谷开来事件时所描绘的语言生动,同目前市面上成千上万的类似英文报道内容迥然不同。对很多人特别是想用地道英文阐述中国问题开创了先驱,尤其对英文学习者颇具鉴赏价值,值得推荐。现将其译成中文供诸位参考。

 

An ex-leader’s wife receives a suspended death sentence for murder

中国前领导人夫人因谋杀获刑死缓

Aug 25th 2012 | BEIJING | from the print edition

 

SHOW trials are not what they were. In 1980 Chinese television viewers were transfixed by the outbursts of Mao Zedong’s unrepentant widow, Jiang Qing, in nightly broadcasts of her appearance in a Beijing court. On August 20th, in the most sensational trial since then of a member of one of China’s elite families, Gu Kailai, the wife of a deposed provincial leader, was found guilty of murder. Like Madame Mao she was given a suspended death sentence. This time, however, nervous officials were at pains to keep publicity to a minimum. Today’s viewers (and tweeters) have too many difficult questions.

如今的审判展现在人们面前的情景同过去不同了。1980年在晚间播放的审判前毛泽东遗孀江青出庭时她那突如其来顽固不化的神态让所有中国人目瞪口呆。今年八月二十日在最具明感性审判中作为中国最有影响力家族之一成员也是被废除的前省会领导人夫人谷开来却当庭认罪。同毛夫人的命运一样被判死缓。然而,这次一直很紧张的官员们竭力将该事件的影响力淡化。 如今的观众(包括网上的推手们)会有太多困惑问题。

 

Ms Gu, whose husband, Bo Xilai, was purged from the Politburo in April, is unlikely to be executed. Despite a fondness for capital punishment, the Communist Party rarely applies the death penalty to its own elite. As with Madame Mao, Ms Gu’s sentence is likely to be commuted to life in prison. Jiang Qing was released on medical parole a decade after her trial (and within a few days was reported to have committed suicide). Ms Gu, the court was told, suffers from depression and paranoia. She could be similarly freed in nine years, according to Dui Hua, an American NGO that monitors China’s legal processes.

她的老公薄熙来虽说在四月份被中央政治局除名,但作为薄熙来太太被执行死刑的可能性是微乎其微的。尽管在这个动不动就执行死刑的国家,中共很少会刑上大夫,尤其是会对自己的钦差执行死刑。同毛夫人一样,谷女士刑期会转为终生监禁。江青是在被判刑十年后被保外就医(据说判刑后数日江青曾自杀未遂)据法庭讲,谷女士患抑郁和幻想症。据一个监控中国法律程序的名为“对话“的美国非官方组织透露九年后谷女士会同样得到释放。

 

In a trial that lasted only a day, Ms Gu admitted that she had plotted the murder of Neil Heywood, a British businessman with connections to the Bo family. She apparently poisoned him with cyanide last November in a hotel room in Chongqing, the region of which her husband was then party chief. Ms Gu said she believed that Mr Heywood was threatening her son, Bo Guagua, following a collapsed business deal. Ms Gu’s aide, Zhang Xiaojun, who admitted helping her carry out the murder, was given a nine-year prison sentence

此番审判只持续了一天,谷女士对自己策划谋杀同薄家族有生意往来的商人海伍德所犯罪行供认不讳。她显然在去年11月用氢化物将海伍德毒死在成都一家宾馆房间里。成都当时是由她作为党委书记的丈夫掌管。谷女士的助理张晓军也承认帮助她执行谋杀行动,同样也被判了9年徒刑。

20120825_CNP003_0.jpg

Before and after 这张图片是谷开来被逮捕前后的对比。

 

In Jiang Qing’s case, the authorities wanted to use her trial to make clear that the days of Maoist excess were over. China’s leaders appear less keen today to highlight their intentions. Some of them are undoubtedly happy that Mr Bo has been discredited by association. His populism and ambition were seen as threatening the leadership’s stability. But Mr Bo’s name was kept out of official reports of the trial, as was any accusation of economic wrongdoing by his family. News of the case was played down in the media.

就江青的案件,当局想利用审判来表明狂热的毛泽东时代已经结束,一去不复返了。显然如今的中国领导人对表明自己态度的兴趣已大不如从前。他们当中更有甚者无疑对薄熙来的倒台倍感欢喜。这次审判中没有提到薄熙来的名字,也没有涉及薄家族经济问题的任何指控。媒体对该事件尽可能减少报道或干脆避而不谈。

 

China’s leaders, it appears, worry that a more open assault on Mr Bo would draw public attention to high-level corruption while also antagonising his sympathisers. There are still many of these, including within the elite. Even to Mr Bo’s critics, the trial of Ms Gu has not given much cheer. Many of China’s ever-vocal microbloggers have accused the authorities of letting her off too lightly. Some have even suggested that the woman who appeared in court was a lookalike (at her trial Ms Gu did appear plumper than in earlier photos). Questions have also been raised about oddities in the prosecution’s case, including the alleged threat to Ms Gu’s son. Officials hoped the trial would show a commitment to the rule of law. It appears to have aroused little more than cynicism.

显然当今中国领导人们担心对薄先生的指控若更加透明的话就会引起公众对高层腐败的关注同时也会引起对薄同情人们的强烈不满。薄先生的同情者在目前中央里仍然居多。甚至对薄的批评者们来说谷女士的这次审判也并不令他们欢欣。中国很多微博都指责政府判得过轻。更有甚者还指出庭上的女人同谷女士早期的照片不同,更显丰满。于是就引起人们对这个诉讼案的诸多疑问,包括对谷女士儿子的威胁。官方希望这次审判能表明依法办事的承诺而实际上却引来了公众对事件本身颇多微词,甚至冷嘲热讽。

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