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

More Data on the North Korean Succession Struggles

Struggles for royal succession have never been entirely clear, even in the morally-charged world and post-facto world of the ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian.  This past summer, a number of developments were asserted regarding North Korea’s next generation of leadership, mostly surrounding speculation about the youngest son of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-un.  Earlier, I translated some new German sources about the boy’s time as … Continue reading More Data on the North Korean Succession Struggles

Rounding up East Asian News in the French Press

French Vigilance to Beijing’s October 1 Preparations Robert Neville reports in the French newsweekly L’Express about heightened security measures in Beijing in the leadup to the October 1 commemoration of the 60th birthday party of the PRC.  Entitled with a type of pun, the article “Beijing Tightens the Net [Pékin serre la Toile]” is, of course, accompanied by the obligatory photo of soldiers marching in … Continue reading Rounding up East Asian News in the French Press

Cultural Demolition in Kashgar: A Liberation Special Report

From the standpoint of the newspaper addict, Paris is a glorious city.  Although it leans further toward the (French) center of the political spectrum than Jean-Paul Sartre’s leftist daily of choice L’Humanite, the journal quotidienne of choice for this reader is Liberation. The paper covers Asia sporadically but with great insight, including provocative articles about Beijing artist/architect Ai Weiwei (see “Fuck Pekin,” 17 June 2009), … Continue reading Cultural Demolition in Kashgar: A Liberation Special Report

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

The French Press and June Fourth

The French newspapers and journals are gearing up heavily for commemorations of the 20th anniverary of the crackdown on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, a series of events which occurred on the early morning of June 4, 1989. Translations follow: 1) Pascale Nivelle, “The Bloggers Weave their Web Around the Censors [Les blogueurs tissent leur Toile autour de la censure],” Libération (Paris), 2 June 2009, p. … Continue reading The French Press and June Fourth