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    #1

    Affirmative agenda

    U.S.-China Relations:
    An Affirmative Agenda,
    A Responsible Course

    The above is a title of a report by Council of Foreign Relations. I am wondering what "affirmative agenda" mean. Usually, affirmative means you approve or agree with someone or something. In other words, there must be a party already there for you to agree with. What is the party to be agreed with here? Thanks.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Would these help?

    "On April 10, a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force report on Sino-American relations was released advocating continuing the trajectory of engagement set by Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972. The report calls for an "affirmative agenda".

    Its major findings are to incorporate China into a global system integration is a responsible course involving a blend of engaging China on issues of mutual concern, weaving China into the fabric of international regimes on security, trade and human rights. These findings affirm the outcome of past engagements that have motivated China as a stakeholder in the world system. The same approach will increasingly intertwine China's interests with the rest of the world." Source


    WASHINGTON, Apr 11 (IPS) - The United States government should put greater time and effort into creating an "affirmative agenda" of cooperation on security, trade, finance and human rights with China, says a report released Tuesday in Washington. Source
    Last edited by Casiopea; 04-May-2007 at 20:01.

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    #3

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Would these help?

    "On April 10, a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force report on Sino-American relations was released advocating continuing the trajectory of engagement set by Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972. The report calls for an "affirmative agenda".

    Its major findings are to incorporate China into a global system integration is a responsible course involving a blend of engaging China on issues of mutual concern, weaving China into the fabric of international regimes on security, trade and human rights. These findings affirm the outcome of past engagements that have motivated China as a stakeholder in the world system. The same approach will increasingly intertwine China's interests with the rest of the world." Source


    WASHINGTON, Apr 11 (IPS) - The United States government should put greater time and effort into creating an "affirmative agenda" of cooperation on security, trade, finance and human rights with China, says a report released Tuesday in Washington. Source
    Thanks a lot. I finally found the sentence that explains "affirmative agenda":

    "These findings affirm the outcome of past engagements that have motivated China as a stakeholder in the world system".

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    #4

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    Thanks a lot. I finally found the sentence that explains "affirmative agenda":

    "These findings affirm the outcome of past engagements that have motivated China as a stakeholder in the world system".
    In a way, yes. It serves to re-emphazise the word "affirmative", but it's not what that term actually means. If you take a look at that word's political history, you'll notice that it pertains to a positive step towards equal treatment. Consider its meaning here:

    Affirmative Action (n.) A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment. Source

    All the best.

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    #5

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    In a way, yes. It serves to re-emphazise the word "affirmative", but it's not what that term actually means. If you take a look at that word's political history, you'll notice that it pertains to a positive step towards equal treatment. Consider its meaning here:

    Affirmative Action (n.) A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment. Source

    All the best.
    It seems there is a spiritual connection between you and me, as I was just about to give you the example of affirmative action, which has puzzled me from the beginning. Often "affirmative" in affirmative action is translated into Chinese as equal rights. So it seems we still don't have a clear-cut answer here about the meaning of affirmative in this case. For example, when you are asked to translate the phrase into a foreign language and you have to paraphrase it, what do you think is the best paragraph? Positive? But it doesn't include the meaning I first pointed out, that is, the agenda affirms the past policy. Any further insight? Thanks again.

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    #6

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    Often "affirmative" in affirmative action is translated into Chinese as equal rights.
    Ah, I see. Rather than "rights", try thinking about it this way, opportunity, equal opportunity.

    Does that help?

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    #7

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Ah, I see. Rather than "rights", try thinking about it this way, opportunity, equal opportunity.

    Does that help?
    Thanks. A much clearer picture now.

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    #8

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Great! So, is the meaning of the phrase Affirmative Agenda clear to you now or is it still a little fuzzy?

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    #9

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Great! So, is the meaning of the phrase Affirmative Agenda clear to you now or is it still a little fuzzy?
    I like this forum where you have people like you to help in such a considerate way.
    As to the question whether the word "affirmative" is clear to me or not, the answer is in my last answer: "much clearer", which means the understanding is improved, but still not "nailed down". My original understanding of the word "affirmative" is that you have a party to agree with or to approve. So from an article you gave me, I found a sentence that seems to support my original interpretation, that is, the agenda affirms that the policies toward china for the past decades are right. So now we have a party to approve or to agree with. And you agree with me on that by saying "yes", but then you add "but not quite", from there, the confusion arises. Because from what you say in the following sentence, it seems the word in this context means "positive" more than "agree with" (I may incorrectly interpreted you) when you give me the example of affirmative action and mention the political history of the word, which I am totally aware of. I found it hard to associate "agree with" with "positive", for at least theoretically you can affirm something that is negative. For example, if you say "let's give no money to the poor", I can answer affirmatively, which means I agree with you that we give no money to the poor, which to me is a negative thing rather than positive. I think you now know where I come from. In short, much clearer, but haven't "nailed down" the exact contextual meaning in the phrase. Honestly, most people use the phrase "affirmative action" knowing the social meaning of it, but having no idea about the linguistic meaning of the word. Sorry for this long message.

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    #10

    Re: Affirmative agenda

    The reason I asked, the verb affirm has more than one meaning, and they are closely related. From affirm - Definitions from Dictionary.com):

    1. to state or assert positively; maintain as true:
    to affirm one's loyalty to one's country; He affirmed that all was well.

    2. to confirm or ratify:
    The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the lower court.

    3.to assert solemnly:
    He affirmed his innocence.

    4.to express agreement with or commitment to; uphold; support:
    to affirm human rights.


    Which definition(s) are you working from; e.g., these findings affirm the outcome of past engagements; affirmative agenda.

    All the best.

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