Tonghua Protests Part of Larger Systemic Issue — The Smashing of the Iron Rice Bowl

A private CONCERN China Daily 26 Aug 2009 Jonah M. Kessel After following one family tradition by joining the military in 1990, Fu Linxue did it again three years later when he started work at the Linzhou Iron and Steel plant in Henan province. For the 39-year-old, it was the logical choice….read more… Tech Tags: China Daily newspaper INSIGHT Continue reading Tonghua Protests Part of Larger Systemic Issue — The Smashing of the Iron Rice Bowl

Toward a Transnational History of Manchuria and the Korean War [Updated]

In November 2014, I presented ‘Toward a Transnational History of Manchuria and the Korean War, 1945-1955’ at the Institute of Historical Research, as part of the Comparative Histories of Asia seminar series at the University of London Senate House at 5:30 p.m. GMT. Audio of the event is available; the formal speech starts at about the sixth minute. here:  OUTLINE I. Assessing the past 25 years of … Continue reading Toward a Transnational History of Manchuria and the Korean War [Updated]

New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today

Of China’s many bilateral relationships, few are as pregnant with doom as the relationship with the DPRK. That is to say, the relationship is significant to China not primarily for the good it can bring, but for the potential harm it represents. Thus the quest for China in dealing with the DPRK is how to play a bad hand: minimize the harm it can do, … Continue reading New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today

Manchurian Base Camp, Part III: The DPRK’s Northeastern Strategy

Manchurian Base Camp, Part I: In the 1930s Kim Il Song regarded Manchuria, or Northeast China, as an immense area into which to project anti-Japanese struggle and wherein he could hammer out the personal foundations for what would become the North Korean state.   Manchurian Base Camp, Part II: During the Korean War, North Korean elites moved back into Manchuria to escape from the horrific bombing … Continue reading Manchurian Base Camp, Part III: The DPRK’s Northeastern Strategy

Hiatus//Documentary Smorgasbord//Steven Chu for President in 2016

I’m on the two-day cusp of departing from Taipei for the beautiful work that awaits in Seattle, and am thus taking my annual last-week-of-July blogging vacation.  I would, in the meantime, like to recommend several fascinating sources for your delectation, enjoyment, and edification. Don’t miss: * C-Span’s panel discussions on the origins of the Korean War (particularly the remarks by the guest from London, and … Continue reading Hiatus//Documentary Smorgasbord//Steven Chu for President in 2016

Crumbling North America

The Rust Belt continues to crumble.  This past week, my old hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, got some bad news: 18 schools, mainly on the African-American east side, would be closing for good, including East High School.  (East High had been the academic origin of some of my most ardent students at Hiram College, the old Western Reserve Eclectic Institute where I was a professor from … Continue reading Crumbling North America

Reformist Flirtations and Successor Politics: KCNA Tropes

While Chinese left-wingers insist upon the courage and worthiness of North Korea’s wealth-equalizing currency reforms, Kim Jong Il is out talking up profitability in the northern frontier province of Jagang. In a visit to a the Kanggye Wine Factory reported on December 10, the Dear Leader spake: He went round the newly-built beer shop…greatly satisfied to learn that the factory has not only steadily boosted … Continue reading Reformist Flirtations and Successor Politics: KCNA Tropes

Xinjiang in Le Figaro

Le Figaro publishes a solid dispatch from Turkey; translation below: Laure Marchand, “Istanbul, capitale des refugies ouigours [Istanbul, capital of Uighur refugees],” Le Figaro, 20 July 2009, p. 6. More than 300,000 members strong, the Uighur diaspora is able to count on the sympathy of Turkish public opinion, but Ankara spares its critiques against Peking for economic reasons. Istanbul Installed in a stampeded bazaar, Abulresit, … Continue reading Xinjiang in Le Figaro