Rethinking “China’s Peaceful Rise”

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”

Celebrating the National Day Holiday Week in the PRC

Just when you think that China has completely exhausted its capacity to surprise you, the hard-line foreign policy tabloid Huanqiu Shibao sends a reporter to cover an S & M-themed show at an International Exhibition in a second-tier city like Zhengzhou, Henan, where apparently, if the face of the little old man at the foot of the stage is any indication, the show brought much … Continue reading Celebrating the National Day Holiday Week in the PRC

North Korean Lorry Watch

Chosun Ilbo reports from Dandong about a supposed influx of Chinese military equipment into the DPRK.  I was all over that bridge 5-7 days ago and there were indeed quite a few trucks coming back from the North, but then again, there were a few bare-handed swimmers as well, and the Sinuiju riviera has not yet calcified completely. One Free Korea, who is normally superbly … Continue reading North Korean Lorry Watch

Emerging Chinese Narratives in the Sino-Korean Border Zone // 环球广播的中朝边区报道

The Korean border news narrative of the Chinese Communist Party seems to be changing in some subtle and perhaps fundamental ways.  As Michael Rank first pointed out on North Korea Economy Watch, the Huanqiu Shibao is now reporting on security problems with North Korean refugees along the Tumen River, and doing so in a relatively aggressive manner: A Chinese report has highlighted how villagers on … Continue reading Emerging Chinese Narratives in the Sino-Korean Border Zone // 环球广播的中朝边区报道

Notes on Sino-German Relations

Mark Siemons, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite correspondents in Beijing, has another piece in yesterday’s Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung.  Ironically entitled “Deutschland ist eigentlich ein zweites China in Europa [Germany is truly a second China in Europe],” it reveals a few things of note. Foremost, the Chinese domestic media gave less attention to Wen Jiabao (and his 13 fellow ministers) in Berlin “than … Continue reading Notes on Sino-German Relations

Kim Jong Il in China: PRC Media Tropes

If there’s one thing we know about North Korea, it is that the DPRK is intensely mindful of how it is portrayed in foreign media.  Scrutinizing its own international image is something that the North Korean regime does not simply to hunt for materials with which to bludgeon the United States, Japan, and South Korea, but also to keep its nominal “friends” from becoming unrestrained … Continue reading Kim Jong Il in China: PRC Media Tropes

The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Since the emergence of putative successor Kim Jong Eun into the public eye, the North Korean news media — specifically the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA — has taken pains to publish more content about two things: youth, and the international situation. What this equates to is an expanded view of what North Koreans are encouraging people to talk about, and how the state … Continue reading The News from North Korea: Relations with China, Aerial Drone Denunciations, Green Totalitarianism, and the Middle East

Trashing Diplomatic Etiquette, or Just Empty Cannon Shots? Huanqiu Shibao Weighs in on Clinton’s ‘Fool’s Errand’ Comment

There has been an immense amount of action which has occurred in the U.S.-China relation in the past week, actions about which, being on several “fool’s errands” of my own, I nevertheless hope to comment upon. At the end of a week of bilateral meetings in Washington, rather than grand strategic debates, we seem to have in hand the following tempest-in-a-teapot: U.S. Secretary of State … Continue reading Trashing Diplomatic Etiquette, or Just Empty Cannon Shots? Huanqiu Shibao Weighs in on Clinton’s ‘Fool’s Errand’ Comment

Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

[Update: A rather comprehensive analysis of Huanqiu’s Ai Weiwei coverage, as of April 8, can be found here via the scrupulous work of JustRecently.] Imagine my surprise, when, today, I opened my friendly neighborhood Huanqiu Shibao website only to find an article about detained artist Ai Weiwei right there in a very prominent position.  This latest one describes how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been … Continue reading Huanqiu Shibao on Ai Weiwei

North Korea Notes

North Korean media reports that a small amount of radioactivity from Japan has reached the DPRK.  How does a regime that is so good at depicting Japan as a source of constant threat assure people that they are now safe and in good hands?  Is there any kind of debate at all among North Koreans about the relative merits and dangers of nuclear energy generally?  … Continue reading North Korea Notes