US-China: Le Grand Refroidissement

Precisely one year ago, Le Monde asked in an uncharacteristically blaring headline: “US-Chine: Le Grande Refroidissement? [US-China: The Great Re-Freeze?]” Well, today that article appears to be rather prescient. From Taiwan to Google to the Dalai Lama to pending and present trade disputes, there is more than enough acrimony to go around. Perhaps this means that French journalism and commentary about East Asia generally, and … Continue reading US-China: Le Grand Refroidissement

Bismarckian Musical Nationalism: Modern Fallout

On a day when the Chinese Vice-Premier is meeting with the Japanese leadership, it seems appropriate to think about reconciling remaining differences from the Second World War. From my perspective as a sometime scholar of the Chinese past and its depiction in CCP propaganda, I view France and Germany as among the most active societies and governments on earth in coming to terms with the … Continue reading Bismarckian Musical Nationalism: Modern Fallout

A Frenchman in Pyongyang

While Anglophone Korea-watchers are checking up on U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth’s itinerary and insouciantly lining him up in a rhetorical 3-4 formation next to to 1980s football linebacker sensation Brian “the Bozz” Bosworth, France’s envoy Jack Lang has finally hit Pyongyang. He’ll be in North Korea for a total of five days, exploring the possibility of French recognition of North Korea (here, France is alone … Continue reading A Frenchman in Pyongyang

Dalai Lama in Paris; A Commentary on Elections and Propaganda

Nearly three weeks has passed since the Dalai Lama stopped in the Paris city mayor’s office for a brief ceremony and photo opportunity, but his visit remains worth commenting upon, since the “incident” was widely discussed in China and fed into several important streams of discourse on Sino-French and Sino-Western relations. Timing of the Visit First, although the CCP press noted that the Dalai Lama … Continue reading Dalai Lama in Paris; A Commentary on Elections and Propaganda

Thoughts on Sino-French Relations from “the Time of Distrust” to Today

One of the more exciting things I get to do as a young academic is travel to the Foreign Ministry Archives in Beijing, there to scout out new sources on China’s relations with the world in previous decades.  And what could be more interesting?  In terms of people-to-people relations, or political/military conflicts, China’s history offers a panorama of change and continuities. So, somewhat more than … Continue reading Thoughts on Sino-French Relations from “the Time of Distrust” to Today