Global Times China comes down hard on “soft violence” “meant to create terror” in Urumuqi. Hu Jintao’s visit is only a couple of weeks in the rear view mirror, but the struggle continues. When you see a Chinese headline that says “Situation in Urumuqi Basically Under Control,” you sit up a bit. Qualifying adjectives in Xinhua headlines?
It is quite probable that China is simply trying to manage the North Korean problem while the big dogs in the Central Committee chew out provincial leaders in Xinjiang.
Or go to Cuba.
Wu Bangguo recently met in Cuba with Fidel Castro. The two men shared a warm embrace, perhaps recollecting their experiences at socialist youth conferences between the time Chinese-Cuban diplomatic relations were established in 1960 and China pulled out of all the Soviet-led organizations in 1963.
For some reason the Fox News team failed to make a connection between the above meeting and the growing outcry against the most vaguely defined specter of “Obama socialism” in the United States. C’mon, Fox News, get with the program! Can’t you find some way to bring William Ayers into this? Or talk about black nationalism in a very scary way? Or give us the heebie-jeebies that Wu Bangguo is going to reprise Khruschchev and give Fidel a nuclear present which he conveys from Pyongyong? Where is your sense of paranoia, Fox News? We crave it in the Homeland!
Wu will continue on to the Bahamas and then Washington, D.C.
The Global Times reports that China is demurring from accepting U.S.-Australian invitations to do joint military exercises. Here again, although China is giving all kinds of lip service to Australia’s importance, we have a North Korean angle. China has fastidiously in public rejected any notion of pre-invasion/contingency/Korean War II planning with the United States.
This August 3 editorial (“Allowing North Korean Collapse Unacceptable: Experts“) , in English, is a rather fascinating breakdown on why.
The editorial points to one of the more interesting things which has happened this year in China: the increasingly open discussion about a North Korean collapse, and the pragmatic acknowledgment that China could not afford to see it happen. Socialist solidarity, Korean War brotherhood, whatever, says Xinhua, we don’t need a basket case occupied state next door.
North Korean trade delegations in Changchun this past Tuesday floated the idea of the DPRK abandoning the dollar for the Euro and the Renminbi in international dealings.
Kim Jong-il is reported to have made a visit yesterday to North Hamgyong province. It’s all about the fish, but note that the Xinhua caption doesn’t provide North Korea the benefit of the doubt on when the visit actually took place, just that the photos were released yesterday.
Unfortunately he did not appear to meet with constituents for whom protein is a complete fantasy. Perhaps if he were to eat corn porridge with boiled tree bark for a few days like local old folks do, or have to forage for food in local communities like even officers in the KPA need to do, in North Hamgyong, he might develop a certain sense of urgency in changing his country’s structure of trade and balance of expenditures. Or, perhaps he was just there to collect the requisite thanks for a few thousand calories which his birthday occasioned in the province this past February.
In a follow-up to recent active discussion regarding PRC Foreign Ministry statements on Joshua Stanton’s indispensible blog, Chinese press releases about the Q. and A. with Jiang Yu focus on the possibility of a U.S.-North Korean rapproachment, leaving out entirely anything whatsoever about questions regarding Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s assertion that they were taken by North Korean border guards while on Chinese soil. Instead, China seems eager to push ahead with a new round of the Six Party Talks.