The Nanking Massacre Anniversary and the CCP’s Politics of History

Since 1949, the Chinese government’s interpretation of the history of World War II seems to be continuously changing in order to adapt to local circumstances and contemporary political needs. If it’s diplomatically useful for them to pardon Japanese war criminals as part of a warming trend (as they did in 1956), they will do so, but if it is useful both internationally and domestically to … Continue reading The Nanking Massacre Anniversary and the CCP’s Politics of History

Hong Kong, the UK, and Occupy Central

I spoke this evening to Phil Williams of BBC 5 Live about the protests in Hong Kong. While my brain was more than a bit muddled after a very full day of university lecturing (the first proper day of the semester, in fact) and finishing a grant application to a major Anglo-Japanese foundation, I think I got a few main points across: The movement is bigger … Continue reading Hong Kong, the UK, and Occupy Central

Tao Zhu and the Guangxi Bandits: Mao Zedong Nianpu Notes, Jan. 1951 (3)

Whereas January 1950 had found the Chinese leader stuck in Moscow, January 1951 found Mao Zedong at the storm center in Beijing. Mere months after founding the new People’s Republic of China, Mao was wrapped in a highly active policy agenda focusing on anti-bandit activity, mass propaganda, land reform, territorial consolidation, and national defence.  The fact that he had just learned of his son’s death … Continue reading Tao Zhu and the Guangxi Bandits: Mao Zedong Nianpu Notes, Jan. 1951 (3)

Yuanhai Fangwei [远海防卫]: Observing China’s Navy

Back in the American defense belt of Orange County, I’m reading Kissinger and reflecting on the extensive annual report to Congress from the Pentagon regarding Chinese military capabilities.  The full text of the report is here. One minor advantage of the financial focus of VP Biden’s public remarks in China from 17-21 August was that the normal drum-beating on the security front relented, but only … Continue reading Yuanhai Fangwei [远海防卫]: Observing China’s Navy

North Korea: Examination Materials

I recently completed a month-long lecture series on North Korean-Chinese relations at Pacific Lutheran University.  Because these lectures were occasioned by a course I teach at PLU, I had the pleasure of writing an exam on the topic. Here, in no particular order, are a few of themes or questions which were covered in the lectures and which my students consequently suggested that I should … Continue reading North Korea: Examination Materials

Eyes on Tibet

Amid all of the recent speculation over the impact of Egypt’s democratic movement on the Chinese domestic milieu, you may have missed this set of rather-hard line statements by CCP officials in Tibet about smashing separatism.  JustRecently, who has been on fire lately with such things as Google’s position in China, has a good review of some rather pro-India statements made recently by the Dalai … Continue reading Eyes on Tibet

Curiosities on the Chinese Internet

Given that censorship is supposed to be heavier than ever these days in China, I found very curious — and slightly aberrant — these two stories today on Huanqiu Shibao, a flagship outlet for foreign news and opinion in Beijing. 1. The following article from 《日本新华侨报》(Xinhua Daily for Overseas Chinese in Japan) does a dissertation on the much-debated phrase “有关部门”  (“relevant authorities”).  The phrase is … Continue reading Curiosities on the Chinese Internet