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