In the wake of the Upper House elections in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has completed a reshuffling of his cabinet. As described by Japan hand Michael Cucek, it was not a particularly inspiring set of choices made by the newly-consolidated Prime Minister: Taro Aso (the right-wing former PM perhaps best recalled for his off-the-cuff endorsement of Hitler’s constitutional revision style) remains at the helm … Continue reading Wartime History and Beijing’s Response to the New Defence Minister in Tokyo
In the city of Londonderry, better known as Derry, in Northern Ireland, a group of what the BBC called “dissident republicans” disrupted the running of the Olympic Torch. In related news, Chinese news media continues to use refer approvingly and often prominently to the wave of popular Chinese nationalism that arose in response to protests against the PRC’s Tibet policy which followed the progress of … Continue reading Torch Disruptions and Shades of 2008
Although I occasionally mourn my inability to be in two places at once — as Sichuan and Tibet come immediately to mind — the benefits of being in the Puget Sound region in the autumn, I now recall, are multiple, as these perks include the ability to spend time talking with, and hearing from, Sidney Rittenberg. A new film project, “The Revolutionary” — a preliminary … Continue reading Rethinking “China’s Peaceful Rise”
Jon Huntsman, the American ambassador to China, caused a bit of a stir with his attendance at a non-demonstration-turned-media-event at the Wangfujing area McDonalds last week, an event held (or not held) in the wake of the “Jasmine Revolutions” in the Middle East. Danwei.org carries the story and calls our attention to this rather critical video produced by some Chinese netizens about Huntsman (with English subtitles): … Continue reading Farewell, Leighton Stuart? The US Ambassador’s Jasmine Stroll in Wangfujing
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
In preparations for the April 15 birthday of Kim Il Song/national holiday, the North Korean government imported more than 100 automobiles to be given as gifts to mid-level officials and military members. (This story was discussed on Sinologistical Violoncellist, based on the Chinese sources, and here on the rather ideological yet well informed rollback blog, One Free Korea.) This story didn’t pick up an immense … Continue reading DPRK Imports Cars: Chinese Netizens Sound Off
On March 12, 2010, not long after Huanqiu Shibao (the Global Times) published this story (translated here on S.V.) which cited his Sina.com microblog as encouraging Chinese Netizens to consider a boycott of Portland TrailBlazers broadcasts, it seems sportscaster Yu Jia reconsidered the wisdom of encouraging a major online campaign against the city of Portland. On his microblog, he posted this message: 面对开拓者的囧境，有人拍手称快，有人同情怜悯；让我想起11年前北约轰炸我驻前南大使馆，NBA停播，那时远没这多不同的声音。这如同两会过程中出现很多不同的声音，这并不是最重要的。最重要的是越来越多的普通人能在相对开放的环境下关注社会现状、发表观点，这就是从0到1式的进步，从无到有的进步。 Which I translate as: … Continue reading Portland 2010=Belgrade 1999? Not Quite.