Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving, a celebration and a tragedy

For most Americans, Thanksgiving will be about a turkey feast and homage to people they are thankful for. I too celebrate this occasion. However, the real history behind it is of course extremely dark. I just searched on Google for images related to “thanksgiving“, and there were only scant hints of Native Americans, let alone mention, as American writer, David Quammen puts it, a genocide. America has systematically been whitewashing this history. I recently came across an article written by Dennis W. Zotigh, a Native American Indian, who works as a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.. After reading it, I have been contemplating how might American society eventually come to grips with this appalling history in a honest and fair way. So far, the only way I can imagine it is that Native American Indians grow in sufficient numbers and then fight to have popular media represent their history more fairly. This will likely never happen. That then got me thinking: in the same vein, in order for Japan to apologize sincerely and for Japanese society to fully accept their invasion was wrong, China will have to become much stronger financially and politically. There is no other way. Anyways, since we are celebrating Thanksgiving, we mind as well know the whole truth.
Continue reading Thanksgiving, a celebration and a tragedy

Making a Mockery of China’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) – and the Precedents it Sets?

Wow, here is an update on the China ADIZ and the recent aftermath.  While I did expect U.S. and Japan to express some kind of reservation over China’s recent establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Seas, I had not anticipated the full sound and fury of the storm!

Within hours after China’s public announcement of the ADIZ, the U.S. decided to send two B-52s (unarmed) to the edge of China’s ADIZ on a putative long-planned, routine “training mission.”  When China did not scramble jets, the U.S. celebrated and congratulated themselves on a job well done!  Not to be outdone, Japan and S. Korea then publicly announced that they have also sent military (purportedly surveillance) planes into the area without properly alerting the Chinese side without incurring Chinese interception.  The Japanese also went to the extent of ordering its airlines (its two main airlines and all members of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan) not to comply with China’s ADIZ (although Japan seems to have done a “U-Turn” for now).

One can find much written about China’s ADIZ.  In this post, I want to focus my commentaries on the indignation and concerns that many in the U.S., Japan – even S. Korea – have expressed toward China’s establishment of an ADIZ.

Before all that, I think it’s useful to provide some further clarification on China’s ADIZ.   First a better map than what one might find typically online. Continue reading Making a Mockery of China’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) – and the Precedents it Sets?

Is China Escalating Tensions in the East China Seas By Creating an Air Defense Identification Zone?

Air Defense Identification Zone of China and Japan in the East China Sea
Air Defense Identification Zone of China and Japan in the East China Sea

Recently, one sees again a torrent of articles in the Western press about how China is escalating tensions in the the East China Seas By Creating an Air Defense Identification Zone.   The response from the U.S. and its lackey Japan has been swift.  NYT reports:

China’s announcement appeared to be the latest step in what analysts have called a strategy to chip away at Japan’s claims of control of the islands. Japan has long maintained a similar air defense zone over them.

The Japanese foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, called the Chinese declaration a dangerous escalation that could lead to what many military analysts most fear in the tense standoff: a miscalculation or accident that could set off an armed confrontation and drag the United States into the conflict.

“It was a one-sided action and cannot be allowed,” Mr. Kishida told reporters, according to Japan’s Kyodo News. It could also “trigger unpredictable events,” he warned.

In a statement on Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that the American government viewed the Chinese move “as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region.” He also reaffirmed that the United States would stand by its security treaty obligations to aid Japan if it were attacked.

By setting up a competing air defense zone, China may be trying to show that its claim to the islands is as convincing as Japan’s, Japanese officials said. They said China appeared to have a similar objective last Thursday, when Chinese coast guard officers boarded a Chinese fishing boat near the islands.

Ahh … how one-sided and myopic is the NYT report (surprise!).

Peter Lee wrote a timely response to such shenanigan in the Asia Times today, which I quote in its entirety Continue reading Is China Escalating Tensions in the East China Seas By Creating an Air Defense Identification Zone?

United Nations Climate Change Conference, Warsaw 2013

In a perfect world, we would have free press that report objective and fair news. We are also told that western developed countries are responsible in their dealing with global issues, especially one as important as climate change. However, if you think there is no invisible hand behind what is selected to be reported by press, privately or government held, think again. Contrast the following headlines and one can clearly tell how politics affect what is being reported and omitted: Continue reading United Nations Climate Change Conference, Warsaw 2013

A Different Memorial Riles Japanese Nationalists, By Merely Talking About It.

Japan recently reacted negatively with much fanfare, over the news that the South Korean and Chinese governments indicated “progress” on “cooperation” to build a Memorial Hall for Ahn Jung-Geun, who shot and killed Hirobumi Ito, then Japan’s top official in Korea, at the railway station in Harbin in northeast China in 1909.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/china-praises-korean-assassin-whom-japan-calls-a-criminal

Many Chinese and Koreans consider Ahn to be a “resistance fighter” and a hero.  Ahn also had/has many Japanese admirers.  Japan considers him a “criminal”.

But there is 1 note, though, the Memorial Hall hasn’t even been built yet.  It’s all just talk right now.

And all China said was, “China will in accordance with relevant regulations on memorial facilities involving foreigners make a study to push forward relevant work.”

“Make a study to push forward….”  China hasn’t even agreed to allow it yet.  They just said they were going to look INTO the South Korean request.

Continue reading A Different Memorial Riles Japanese Nationalists, By Merely Talking About It.

Another Housing Bubble in US? (Under the Cover of China’s Housing Bubble)

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/housing-sales-drop-worrisome-signs-west-2D11624125

Apparently, the lure of money makes people forget lessons of the past.

So when recently the housing prices started to rise again in the Western regions of US, People are starting to dump houses, hoping to cash in on the higher prices.  (either that, or just trying to get themselves out of the market with little loss as possible).

Continue reading Another Housing Bubble in US? (Under the Cover of China’s Housing Bubble)

Open Public Not-So-Specter of Racism and Xenophobia

I have long complained about the overt racist tone in the US government’s crusade against “China IP theft”, and others have reflected similar sentiments.

My main complaint is that “IP theft” actually occurs ALL the time in US, between US companies and individuals, but we rarely ever see any kind of accusations of criminal wrong-doing.  Companies often settle out of court, privately.  “IP infringement” is just the cost of doing business.  Some days you infringe others’, some days others infringe yours.  No sane company wants to start a flaming war in the courts and media, because others won’t want to work with you in the future.

UNLESS, of course, it’s convenient for you to reach for racism as the good old fashion tool to squeeze out the “foreigners” from your turf.

http://www.law360.com/ip/articles/489923?nl_pk=042fa8e6-a2b9-492a-a8a0-84e5098bdd58&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ip

Continue reading Open Public Not-So-Specter of Racism and Xenophobia

“Capitalism Has Gone Nuts!”

That’s what I said to my parents-in-law who asked me to explain the “market” behavior that turns on every bit of news.

To the ordinary people, American or Chinese or anyone else, the “market” is hard to explain/understand.  That’s because it really is nuts/bonkers/crazy/insane/irrational.  This is NOT some “rational market”, because this “market” of today responds to opinions of those who claim to know.  But do they really know?  Or are they merely seeking to influence the outcome with their opinion?

Continue reading “Capitalism Has Gone Nuts!”

China Will Relax its One-Child Policy to Increase its Population Growth

1986 one-child poster
1986 one-child poster

The on-going Third Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee has handed down several important decisions recently.  One of them involves the relaxation of the one-child policy to spur China’s population growth.

Xinhua has a good report.  An excerpt is provided below:

BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — China will loosen its decades-long one-child population policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child, according to a key decision issued on Friday by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The [change in policy is part of China’s continual adjustments in policies] step by step to promote “long-term balanced development of the population in China,” ….

To ensure coordinated economic and social development, the population size for China should be kept at about 1.5 billion, said Guo, citing the results of a study sponsored by the State Council, China’s cabinet.

China should keep its total fertility rate at around 1.8, and the current rate is between 1.5 to 1.6, allowing the country to maneuver its population policy, according to Guo. Continue reading China Will Relax its One-Child Policy to Increase its Population Growth

Typhoon Haiyan’s Destructive Path

Survivors waited to board a military plane at the airport in Tacloban
Survivors waited to board a military plane at the airport in Tacloban

The news is still enfolding on the destruction Typhoon Haiyan – now barreling its towards Vietnam and on into southern China – left in the Philippines. For those with the means, it appears the best way to help for the public now is to donate money. Two organizations with the capacity to help on the ground are:

New Internet Economy Puts Dent In “Boycott China”

I have long maintained that boycotts rarely work well as a tool of political protest.  Even when mobilized as a collective national action like a trade embargo, history has not shown much effectiveness in causing political change, other than merely increasing bitterness (like the Embargo against Cuba).

Against a much larger target, with even broader scope, such as “boycott China”, the sheer size of lunacy of such a proposition is immediately apparent.  Chinese economy is not pinned down in a few special economic sectors, it’s large and diverse, and most importantly international.  It produces final products and components and material.  It’s not merely economical for businesses, it’s necessity of businesses to buy Chinese products.

But even more interestingly, the increase in the internet economy has shown that it’s not just companies like Walmart that dictates the improbability of “boycott China”, it’s increasingly the end user purchasers who are making it impossible to “boycott China”.

Continue reading New Internet Economy Puts Dent In “Boycott China”

A look back at Hillary Clinton’s 2011 “Internet Freedom” speech

Still recall former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on “Internet Freedom?” Our first reaction on this blog was that America wanted unfettered access to citizens around the world. From a propaganda perspective, that idea enables the U.S. State Department to bypass foreign governments in reaching their citizens directly. Clinton herself has said the Internet would be a more viable means to reach into certain countries than, say, Voice of America (VOA), which often gets its signals jammed. This is also good business for the likes of Google and other American Internet services companies. The more users on Google, the more advertising dollars. And, it was no surprise at the beginning of that speech, Clinton pointedly acknowledged contributions from Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt. She affectionately described Schmidt, “co-conspirator from time to time” for that policy formulation.
Continue reading A look back at Hillary Clinton’s 2011 “Internet Freedom” speech

The Justification of Violence and Terrorism?

Shohret Hoshur
Radio Free Asia Uyghur service broadcaster Shohret Hoshur, gold medal winner at the 2012 New York Festivals radio awards in the category of best coverage of a breaking news story.

Today, I came across an article in Asia Times titled “Tiananmen Crash Linked to Xinjiang Mosque Raid” by Shohret Hoshur, originally published via Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service.  In the article Hoshur appears to justify violence and terrorism committed last week by presenting what must appear to him to be legitimate motivations for plowing a car into the guardrails in Tiananmen Square (which resulted in an explosion) last week .

For Hoshur, this event was less about terrorism – as the Chinese government asserts – and more about the desperate acts of another politically disenchanted Uighur.  While Hoshur is careful to say this is not organized violence (this would hurt the cause for Uighur independence), he also elevated it from mere spiteful acts of pitiful personal grievance (this would be uninteresting) to a symbolic peoples’ revolt (this is the happy, sweet medium).

Hoshur’s article is copied below: Continue reading The Justification of Violence and Terrorism?

My Lai: anything else comes to mind besides the “napalm” girl?

When we hear about My Lai, the “napalm” girl immediately comes to mind, doesn’t she? Can we imagine what else was happening to the Vietnamese there?  Take a look at the picture below, starting with the woman holding a boy trying to button her shirt. From there, see the reactions from other people in the picture. This is of course one of those sad stories that’s never told enough. America has simply whitewashed it away. (Click here for the story.)

My Lai sexual assault by American soldiers

Opinion: Is It Time Magazine that doesn’t understand Capitalism or China?

consumer powerTime recently published an article titled “How a Starbucks Latte Shows China Doesn’t Understand Capitalism” on the attention the Chinese government appears to be bringing to the practice of foreign companies overcharging Chinese consumers. According to Time, the government in doing this shows it doesn’t understand capitalism, ought to back off, and let the market reach a proper price.

The article asserts:

The bottom line is this: Companies will price their products based on what the consumer is willing to pay. That’s nothing illicit. It’s simple supply and demand. If Starbucks lattes were truly overpriced in China, the Chinese wouldn’t be buying as many of them, and the American firm would not have been able to build a successful network of over 1,000 shops in the country.

If foreign companies are engaged in illegal practices, then they should be stopped. But meddling in the pricing decisions of independent private companies is another thing altogether. China’s leaders persistently promise to make the Chinese economy more market-oriented, liberalized and fair. Premier Li Keqiang recently committed the government to “steadfastly pursuing reform and opening-up with priority given to the stimulation of the market.” Interfering with the prices private firms charge Chinese consumers suggests that China’s officials believe that they should make economic decisions, not free markets. Continue reading Opinion: Is It Time Magazine that doesn’t understand Capitalism or China?

Another Tibet Article

Tibetan Chinese
 

What comes to your mind when you look at the population distribution map above? Different people see different things even if it is the same picture or skewed statistic. In case you are new, the standard narrative of mainstream western press is that China invaded Tibet in 1959, and has been committing  genocide on the Tibetan people since then. If you have doubt do a search on mainstream website like ABC, CNN, BBC etc, you would have a single version of the story. Continue reading Another Tibet Article

A Bizarre Length of Japanese Judicial Logic Stretched For/By Nationalism

I came across this bit of legal news:

Japan enshrined, in the infamous ” Yasukuni war shrine” for the War Dead, the names of Koreans who were forced to serve in the Japanese military.  AND, it included the name of at least 1 Korean who is still ALIVE!  AND, the Japanese High Court just dismissed an appeal from the relatives and the 1 living Korean to have their names removed from the Shrine, saying “South Koreans needed to respect Japan’s religious beliefs.”

http://japandailypress.com/south-korea-slams-japan-for-court-ruling-on-yasukuni-shrine-names-2438469/

Continue reading A Bizarre Length of Japanese Judicial Logic Stretched For/By Nationalism