Amid the proliferation of China-related blogs on the Web, it is hoped that this blog has a place — be it stable, intermittent, annoyed, essential or otherwise — on your reading list.
As 2011 comes to a close — and as the Kim Jong Eun era begins — I am pleased to announce that I will be migrating new writing about China’s relations with North Korea to a new platform, SinoNK.com. That site is still under construction but, like the Kim Jong Eun project itself, it was forced to launch a little early.
SinoNK.com will be evolving into a regular examination of China’s relationship with North Korea, geographically anchored in the study of the Sino-North Korean borderlands, both historically and in the present. My aim is to make it the premiere web resource for the study of contemporary Chinese influence in North Korea, the Chinese outlook on the DPRK, the historical relations between the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chinese Communist Party, and the shadows cast over the relationship by the (ongoing) Korean War.
To further this goal, I’ve put out a call for applications for a number of positions at SinoNK.com which can be accessed here.
Excising the North Korean angle from the present site will allow for greater credibility and influence with the think-tank and policy crowd, without all the distractions of the personal idiosyncracies and more lyrical modes of writing that tend to proliferate on this website.
At the same time, I’ll be maintaining Sinologistical Violoncellist as a solo and more China-focused site whose energies are directed toward the issues which regular readers are probably already familiar — issues like Sino-Japanese relations and Chinese war memory, Sino-European relations, and cultural diplomacy between the West and China, both as history and in the present.
Here at SV, we are going to keep scanning the French press for stories about East Asian contemporary art, translating German theater reviews from Beijing in Berlin cafes, talking about the environment and design in Northeast Asia, experimenting with the linkages between soon-to-be-smashed buildings in Chinese cities and towns and the architecture of the Cello Suites of J.S. Bach, beating the bushes on the North Korean border for music scores, and playing Chinese contemporary music around the world. In short, studying a whole gamut of things that we might group under the category of “soft power” or cultural relations, but that we also might call, more simply, inquiry.
I hope that Sinologistical Violoncellist will stay on your dial, and if Chinese influence in North Korea is also your thing and you get a kick out of archival documents from Pyongyang, I hope that you will be checking SinoNK.com regularly as well.