Generating questions should be the goal of more active blogging, practice of academic freedom, and production of scholarship. So my first question is: Why the hell are all the links below in English? Every single one. This is a serious problem which I intend to contemplate, and hopefully, to never repeat. Anyway, please enjoy:
What if Wen Jiabao came to the United States and no one noticed? Transcript and analysis of Wen’s CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria.
Is it possible that Kim Jong Il could be any more explicit that he needs Chinese support, badly? And indeed, exclusively and now in the field of agriculture? Do you suppose that self-criticisms of “Chinese cultural hauteur” that are emerging concurrently have anything to do with this?
Are we looking at the recrudescence of Cold War alignments in East Asia (as in this piece on Sino-North Korean relations), or should we assume things never changed? What do a guffawing U.S. Defense Department spokesman and the barely contained Huanqiu Shibao have to say about the prospect of upcoming U.S.-Japan naval drills which will simulate retaking the very island which has just caused some of the biggest anti-Japanese waves to rock Chinese public opinion in the past several years? (hat tip to inveterate Huanqiu translator JustRecently)
When the National Endowment for the Humanities schedules a conference on US-China cultural cooperation at Berkeley, is it encouraging? Does it make you, like former Secretary of State Kissinger, want to play ping pong with Chinese leaders? If your personal answer to either of these questions is a resounding “no,” then please do some reflection on why this is the case. Is it that you would you rather play ping pong with Chinese leaders who have just signed some Shigemitsuesque declaration of unconditional surrender on the deck of an American aircraft carrier which is floating in the Taiwan Straits with victorious F-16 rocketing noisily overhead? Or is it because you consider ping pong with Chinese leaders to be undignified in the absence of actual pandas ( in other words, that ping pong is in itself hardly enough to guarantee a durable series of peaceful exchanges)? Perhaps all of these scenarios are deserving of some thought.
Finally, religion: How has the USA’s “let one hundred flowers bloom” policy toward religion led to chaos in the States as opposed to “freedom from religion” in China? A new editorial voice at Seattle’s anti-authoritarian Eat the State, writing from Chengdu, answers. And why does the Chinese government need to issue new guidelines against foreigners meddling in Tibetan Buddhist affairs on the same day that I meet a recognized “living Buddha” in Chengdu?