Mainland Chinese media may not be reporting on the alleged sarin gas leaks from Sinuiju towards Dandong, but they aren’t shy about being quick off the starting blocks when North Korea test fires another two short range missiles today. Huanqiu Shibao releases a short report, giving it some prominence on the website, based on reporter Gao Youbin [高友斌] and a South Korean government statement. No comments yet on the Huanqiu BBS, however.
The story on the short-range missles may be brief, but the Huanqiu links it to a big page it has constructed about North Korea’s long-range missiles, replete with the following scary banner:
Hat tip to ROK Drop for the link and the steady analysis.
Gao Youbin may have given the missile test drive-by treatment because he was busy today filing another report (in Chinese) on the current fate of North Korea’s ban on Japanese cars which the DPRK attempted to mandate this past summer. (According to my personal observations, almost all of their fleet in the Chinese embassy in Beijing are Japanese.) Interestingly, the main source for this Chinese reportage is the Good Friends organization which interviews North Korean defectors and provides very valuable digests of the conversations on their Blogspot website every week. Gao, the Huanqiu Shibao reporter and therefore a decent barometer of what is allowed in this rather nationalistic 5-times-a-week newspaper, calls Good Friends “a South Korean humanitarian organization (韩国一个福利组织)”! I would consider this another minor slap in the face to North Korea, and a small victory in the ground war for information sharing.
One last thing worth noting: the Huanqiu‘s headlinenotes that “More than 70% of cars inside [North Korea] are Japanese” which could also be taken as a minor insult to the DPRK, even if it’s true.
China is not likely to be happy about this latest missle test. Mainly because we are supposed to still be basking in the fetishistic afterglow of Beijing’s own rollout of new missiles at the October 1 National Day Parade! My other favorite international affairs tabloid in Beijing, Qingnian Cankao (Elite Reference), rolled out a big front page spread about American fascination with the National Day missiles in their October 10 most recent issue. (While Huanqiu Shibao has moved to a Monday-Friday publication pattern, to my knowledge, Qingnian Cankao is on a Monday/Thursday schedule.)
Elite Reference’s BBS is naked of any mention at all of North Korea, but there is plenty of dialogue about how proud Hong Kong was of China’s 60th anniversary, and discussion about Mao and Zhou Enlai’s vision for China’s internationalization.
However, back at the Huanqiu site, there is a nice bit of Japan-bashing going on. Apparently Japanese media figures who guard against an East Asian union as an affront to the bedrock alliance with the United States allow us to veer back into statements like: “Those little Japanese really like to kill people,” and “This sounds like ‘The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere,” and, my personal favorite, “Japan will always be America’s running dog.” But hey! At least those “running dogs” are selling cars to your proud North Korean allies, buddy! Somebody has got to do it.