North Korean Human Rights: Rex Tillerson as Blank Slate

Will the Trump administration maintain and extend US pressure on North Korea on the human rights front? Will the Executive Branch aim to extend and intensify US criticism of and dialogue with Chinese counterparts on topics regarding the PRC’s mistreatment, hukou discrimination, imprisonment, and/or refoulement of North Korean refugees? At a 29 November 2016 event at the Bush Library, Senator Lieberman said keeping up the human … Continue reading North Korean Human Rights: Rex Tillerson as Blank Slate

Britain’s Global Cold War: Publications by Alexander Nicholas Shaw

One of the nice things about my job is that I get to work with some the most talented young historians in the field today. Alexander Shaw is one of those  working and publishing in international history. He is active in archives including the UK ‘Migrated Archives’ and addresses many questions pertinent to readers of this website. His work on British policy towards East & Southeast … Continue reading Britain’s Global Cold War: Publications by Alexander Nicholas Shaw

Chinese Patterns of Response to North Korean Disasters and Collapse

On 29 September, I presented a paper at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul. In addition to conversations with members of the ROK Foreign Ministry (my hosts), I also had a chance to meet, debate, and learn from Chinese scholars like Jia Qingguo, Jin Jingyi and Cheng Xiaohe as well as the one and only Bruce Klingner. The full text of my paper is available … Continue reading Chinese Patterns of Response to North Korean Disasters and Collapse

Revisiting Mao’s Role in the ‘Three-Anti’ Campaign

If there is one thing that appears certain about contemporary China and Chinese historical studies, it is that Mao’s role in sparking and sustaining violence during the period of his rule (1949-1976) will invariably provoke controversy and contention. On this blog, we have  previously delved into Mao’s interactions with the ultra-hardline Tao Zhu in Guangxi in the early 1950s, and made reference to Frank Dikotter’s … Continue reading Revisiting Mao’s Role in the ‘Three-Anti’ Campaign

Chinese Aid to Flood-Hit Areas in North Korea

The PRC’s National Day (1 October) celebrations were muted in Pyongyang, but they did provide an opportunity for Li Jinjun, the Chinese Ambassador to North Korea, to make a few remarks. Reading the rhetoric for such occasions is often not terribly useful; North Korean speakers are not there to announce a change in bilateral policy, nor is their purpose to reveal much of anything by … Continue reading Chinese Aid to Flood-Hit Areas in North Korea

Youth Work and Class Education under Kim Jong-un

The following is my original intro to a piece I just published in Seoul after some substantial carving down. In other words, the intro was cut, but I think it still stands up, so now you can read that particular argumentative flourish here on SinoMondiale with no paywall, and accompanied by my preferred images and links. Youth Work and Class Education under Kim Jong-un Certain messages in English get repeated … Continue reading Youth Work and Class Education under Kim Jong-un

Recent Histories of (Local) Violence in the Korean War

Today I received a stunning new text: Su-kyoung Hwang’s monograph Korea’s Grievous War (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). A link to the publisher’s description of the book is here. Dr. Hwang received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, teaches at the University of Sydney, and has put together a very impressive work. She appears to go well beyond the issues laid out in Kim Dong-choon’s book from … Continue reading Recent Histories of (Local) Violence in the Korean War