Sino-Japanese Sehnsucht

This post is my own small commemoration of July 7 in the Chinese context; it is a bit of a centaur in that the first half is rather traditional scholar-style analysis of what we might call “the politics of memory” in the PRC, while the second half is a somewhat quirky story of frustrated Sino-Japanese love on the train tracks of Frankfurt, Germany.  The latter … Continue reading Sino-Japanese Sehnsucht

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

On the Events in Egypt

I ride a train some mornings, hurtling south in darkness toward the port of Tacoma, past shadowed bridges, around fields glazed with frost, through tentative and unheard bird songs.  Today, for the first time this winter, the journey ended as a portent of a sunrise began to glow behind the mountain screen in the East. After the burning oil wells and wrenchingly uniform destruction of … Continue reading On the Events in Egypt

Egypt, China, and 1989

Prisms matter.  From which perspective are you watching the events in Cairo and across Egypt?  For myself, the vantage point this week has been Berlin, Germany, where the dominant hope, as the Berlin Taggesspiegel noted yesterday in a front page editorial, is that the Egyptian people will be able to establish a genuinely democratic regime.  Egypt as East Germany, 1989. In China the perspective espoused … Continue reading Egypt, China, and 1989

Obedient, Intransigent North Korea in the Chinese Media

Thanks to the ever-productive Joshua Stanton at the very useful but hopelessly Anglophone (and somewhat impervious) command post for North Korean counter-revolution known as One Free Korea, I got motivated to do some more analysis of Chinese sources touching upon the recent flare-up in the sea to the west (and north!) of the DMZ in Korea. As I see it, Chinese media strategy as regards … Continue reading Obedient, Intransigent North Korea in the Chinese Media

Events in Pyongyang

Yesterday the Korean Workers’ Party in Pyongyang celebrated its 65th anniversary with an immense parade that included an appearance by the new big man on campus and the putative successor, Kim Jong-Un. The festivities are covered here with some nice photos from the left-wing Paris paper Liberation (via Yonhap), and the Huanqiu Shibao carries a handful of photos from Xinhua’s photographer in Pyongyang. Huanqiu Shibao … Continue reading Events in Pyongyang

CCTV Coverage of Baghdad Bombing

Watching CCTV should be a serious pastime for someone like myself, but I tend not to have it on as often as I should.  However, last night’s dramatic rescue of miners from a collapse in Hebei Shanxi (山西) got me glued in, whereupon CCTV-4 started its broadcast as follows: 1. Workers Rescued from the Mine — 4 minutes, much machinery, tuanjie feeling, caring officials, missive … Continue reading CCTV Coverage of Baghdad Bombing

The Chinese Century Means Xinhua Critiques of Indian Reservations in USA / 美国也有少数民族矛盾

It’s about time Xinhua sent some reporters to Indian reservations in New Mexico: Since the phrase “interference in our internal affairs” isn’t quite a specific part of the American vocabulary, perhaps we in North America could benefit from greater attention among Chinese to societal “contradictions” in the United States.  From a diplomatic standpoint, welcoming, regularizing, and calling attention to such attention could give us more … Continue reading The Chinese Century Means Xinhua Critiques of Indian Reservations in USA / 美国也有少数民族矛盾

Excellent Resource: DPRK TV on YouTube

I have had the signal pleasure of running across a few YouTube snippets from Korean Central Television before on that Zeitgeist-friendly medium of YouTube, but the site maintained by this particular North Korea fan in Mexico (or so it appears) is particularly rich and frequently updated. Here is the 5-minute coverage of Wen Jiabao’s welcome at the Pyongyang airport:  The above film really does much better … Continue reading Excellent Resource: DPRK TV on YouTube

Verdant Parks and Skimpy Harvests from North Korea

Yesterday, Xinhua graciously carried a photogallery of autumn scenery in Pyongyang.  If this counts as propaganda, call me aware of my own complicity; but also be content just to enjoy the pictures for once: Of course, Xinhua follows up these exquisite gems with unadorned accounts of Kim Jong-il’s visit to a chicken farm in restive North Pyong’an province (are you even aware, much less concerned, … Continue reading Verdant Parks and Skimpy Harvests from North Korea