Monthly Archives: October 2011

Interesting encounters in Japan

breakfast in Japan
My strategy for fighting jet lag returning from Asia is to have a large breakfast followed by a large lunch on the departure date. Minimal fluid around lunch and depart in the afternoon. Sleep little the night before. And then sleep all the way in a window seat on the plane. On numerous occasions, I managed to be out before take off and waking up as the plane approaches San Francisco. Picture to the left was my breakfast (a promise I’d show Allen during a chat) from yesterday while in Japan.

Seriously though, I had a number of interesting encounters during this trip to Japan. Continue reading Interesting encounters in Japan

Got freedom of expression?

The west loves to criticize China for its lack of freedom of expression. I personally think that this is a serious problem for China (though not the most serious problem facing the society which I consider problems with social justice and the environment). But the west has serious issues with freedom of expression as well.

The US has sent its own people to prison in recent years for making youtube videos, selling cable subscriptions and even assassinated without trial two citizens for nothing ostensibly more than making recruitment videos or writing articles for al Qaeda. Continue reading Got freedom of expression?

Hunanese vs Hakka

Does all Chinese dialect group have the same representation in politics historically? The question first appeared to me when I read Li Guangyao’s 李光耀(Lee Kuan Yew) autobiography, The Singapore Story and From Third World to First: The Singapore Story. He mentioned that Hakka is disproportionately represented in politics in Singapore and other Chinese communities. At the writing of the book, the political leader of mainland China is Deng Xiaoping 鄧小平, who is a Hakka, so is Li Denghui 李登辉 from Taiwan, Martin Lee 李柱銘 from Hong Kong and of course Lee Kuan Yew himself is a Hakka.

Continue reading Hunanese vs Hakka

China’s role in the international community

I’d like to extend DeWang’s last post on the possible role of China in the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a more generalized discussion of what China’s role should be in international affairs in the future.

China seems to be taking a more active approach in engaging with the world’s conflicts and affairs and other pressing issues and I think this is the right way to go. It has increased its role in the UN and provided peacekeeping troops. It has also taken up an active role in establishing law in jurisprudential debates, making its side’s perspective more known and defending the interests of other developing nations. By being more active here, it makes its own viewpoint and interests known to the world instead of being passive recipients of the rules that continue to govern the world. China has been more actively involved with disputes, economic, social, cultural, environmental, etc. Continue reading China’s role in the international community

the Israel-Palestine conflict, a call for peace

I was recently exposed to some very sad images of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and thought about what I might do constructively as a blogger. So, I have decided to make a plea to the world to help the two sides end their cycle of violence. I think we are way passed the point of taking sides. And, since this is a ‘China’ blog, I thought: it’s time to think big and how about it, China, a shot at this?

Outrage over toddler run over by vans followed by passers-by not helping

Video below is a gruesome hit-and-run of a two year-old toddler by two vans in Foshan, Guangdong Province. What is worse is the more than a dozen passers-by simply letting her lying on the street bleeding and not calling for help. This tragedy has gripped the nation; it is all over the news. The two drivers have been arrested. Prior to that, one of the drivers was reported thinking about offering money and not turning himself in. A Chinese netizen lamented:

When you put a price tag on a young person’s life, then human nature has become worthless.

Continue reading Outrage over toddler run over by vans followed by passers-by not helping

Collective Defamation

What is the worst thing you could say or write about someone? Maybe alleging that they are a murderer. Perhaps it is labeling them a child molester. Both these accusations, when used without factual merit, constitute serious slander or libel. But what is the worst thing you could say about a group of people, a nation or ethnic group?

During the Middle Ages in Europe, Blood Libel was used to devastating effect towards harming and justifying the persecution of Jews.

Continue reading Collective Defamation

Chinese men wins 2011 Gymnastics Worlds team title

Video below is a highlight of the Chinese men at the 2011 Gymnastics Worlds in Tokyo where they have just won the team title. I was recently at a friend’s daughters gymnastics tournament. There were teams of five year-olds and up. At that age, 10 hours training each week is considered the norm. I was impressed with the commitment the athletes and their families put in. (It sounds weird calling five year-olds athletes, but they are.) Continue reading Chinese men wins 2011 Gymnastics Worlds team title

Happy Ten – Ten (Double Ten)

October 10th is the National Day of the Republic of China.  It is celebrated in both Taiwan and the Mainland as an event that liberated China from the grip of feudal rule.

Following up on Ma Ying-Jeou’s 10-10 speech (Chinese version) as well as zack’s recent comment in the open forum yesterday, I thought I’d put in some of my thoughts. Continue reading Happy Ten – Ten (Double Ten)

India’s $35 Android-based tablet

The “$35 laptop” commissioned by the Indian government is becoming real. On October 5, 2011, the laptop was officially launched under the name, Aakash, which means sky. India has ordered 100,000 units at $50 a piece. The manufacturer (DataWind) has said at 2 million units, it could achieve the $35 price point. This is a remarkable achievement, because the One Laptop Per Child program has for many years been trying to achieve $100. Given the buzz already generated by the OLPC, devices like the Aakash is likely to be embraced around the world. Continue reading India’s $35 Android-based tablet

Liu and al-Awlaki

As you may have known, recently the US assassinated two of its own citizens in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Say what you will about these two but the actions taken by the government of assassination without trial certainly is an extreme if not wholly unconstitutional measure as witnessed by some constitutional lawyers and experts. It may also violate international law.
Continue reading Liu and al-Awlaki

English language ‘China’ blogs going gaga over China Daily criticism of U.S. media

[Update October 11, 2011 for reasons here and here: There are some in] the English language ‘China’ blogosphere having a cow over a recent China Daily editorial by CHEN Weihua criticizing the U.S. media for lack of coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Chen is correct in pointing out this phenomenon. I find it ridiculous these bloggers are criticizing Chen while ‘prominent’ Americans all over have been saying the same thing! A reader at the WSJ summarized it the best: Continue reading English language ‘China’ blogs going gaga over China Daily criticism of U.S. media

No Goodwill

The recent “goodwill” game on August 18th between the Chinese basketball team the Bayi Rockets and the American college team the Georgetown Hoyas will unfortunately go down in history as an infamous case of unsportsman-like conduct. But the coverage of the game by the American press will also go down as an exemplary case of unabashed bias and sinophobic bigotry.

Even in the US’s long history of yellow(peril) journalism against China, coverage of this game is a salient example of lack of balance and outright prejudice against China and its people. Continue reading No Goodwill

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs

Many people will see Steve Jobs in his more recent successes in Pixar, iMac, iPod, iPad, and the iPhone. With the original Napster and other peer-to-peer music sharing, Apple dared and even became successful in selling music which people thought impossible. These successes (and I am sure there are dozens of others) encapsulates Steve Jobs. He and his company, Apple, is adored around the world. With his passing today, the world is saddened. For me, Steve Jobs embodies perseverance. For being ousted from Apple in the 80s. For struggling to make Pixar work as a graphics hardware company. For unable to get Next Computer to wide adoption. For the failed Newton. With every struggle, he persevered and triumphed. He guided Pixar into a premier computer animation studio. The Next Computer became the foundation for the OS X. The Newton would be scrapped to be replaced by the iPods/iPads. He came back and took a struggling Apple and made it one of the most successful companies on this planet. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

Opinion: the Occupy Wall Street movement will eventually fizz

The recent Occupy Wall Street movement across the U.S. may be weighing in your minds. I couldn’t help but draw the parallel to the 1989 Tiananmen protest. With the unemployment in America stuck at 9.1%, pressure on society is gradually mounting. Many young Americans are starting to doubt their future. This sentiment is not that different than the students in China when they went out to Tiananmen uncertain what a decade-long privatization would bring them – as the iron rice bowl was apparently no longer guaranteed. Continue reading Opinion: the Occupy Wall Street movement will eventually fizz