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Case Study on Freedom of Speech: Google Walking the Talk?

August 9th, 2017 3 comments

Google censorshipI was going to write another case study on the intrinsic hypocrisy in the rhetoric of freedom – how “freedom” is uttered when useful, and completely ignored when not – using Google’s recent “firing” of an employee who had written a memo that some deemed not politically correct as a basis of discussion.

But then I found that Paul Craig Roberts already wrote a good post on it already.

Here is a copy: Read more…

Fair Trade Links

July 24th, 2017 3 comments

When Trump was voted president last year, I was hopeful that the door for next level of U.S. China cooperation will be opened. I am still hopeful, but when things like this happen, it makes me realize just how hard change can be.

The U.S. and China share many differences that should be smoothed out. Here, I am not talking about garbage talks about “human rights” or “democracy,” or boastful jousts protecting “freedom of navigation” in the S. China Sea. I am talking about straight-forward win-win deals between Chinese and U.S. Companies.

In an earlier post, I had noted that a big part of the “deficit” between China and U.S. is because on the balance, many more U.S. companies invest in China as compared to Chinese companies investing in the U.S. I had written: Read more…

Trump regime proposes zero aid to Tibetans in 2018

May 29th, 2017 4 comments

According to this Hindu article, “United States President Donald Trump has proposed zero aid in 2018 to the Tibetans, reversing the decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance to the community for safeguarding their distinct identity.” If true, this is good news.  America should get off a lot of expenses, especially expenses used to destabilize and promote hate and radicalism across the world…

Trump regime proposes zero aid to Tibetans in 2018

The Hindu: WASHINGTON:, May 26, 2017 11:56 IST

In this May 10, 2017 photo, the Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, presents Democratic leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi with a ceremonial scarf at the Tsuglakang Temple in McLeod Ganj. Ms. Pelosi has expressed deep concern over the Trump administration’s move to scrap financial assistance to the Tibetan community. | Photo Credit: AFP

A departure from the decades-old American policy of providing monetary assistance to the community.

United States President Donald Trump has proposed zero aid in 2018 to the Tibetans, reversing the decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance to the community for safeguarding their distinct identity.

The Trump administration now wants other countries to jump in.

The State Department, which sent the detailed proposal to the Congress as part of Mr. Trump’s maiden annual budget, described it as one of the “tough choices” that it had to make as its budget itself has been slashed by more than 28 per cent.

Leaders of the Tibetan community in the U.S. refrained from making comment on the issue, saying they are still reading the budget papers. At the same time, they observed that majority of the assistance to the Tibetan people, including for Tibet, so far have been Congressionally-driven.

Nancy Pelosi ‘very concerned’

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has expressed concern over the move.

“Leader Pelosi is very concerned about the zeroing out of aid to the Tibetan community in the Trump budget proposal,” Drew Hammill, spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, told PTI.

Ms. Pelosi, who early this month led a high-powered Congressional delegation to Dharamshala to meet the Dalai Lama, has expressed concern over the development.

“As she has said many times, including during her visit this month to His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, if the US does not speak out for human rights in China, we lose all moral authority to talk about it elsewhere in the world,” Mr. Hammill told PTI.

“That includes critical funding through the State Department for important efforts, like those in support of a genuinely autonomous Tibet, that advance and protect America’s interests in the world,” Mr. Hammill said in response to a question.

The State Department, in its budgetary proposal for the fiscal year 2018 beginning October 1, have removed the decades-old Tibet Fund and has proposed zero dollars against Ngwang Choephel Fellows. Both the categories in 2017 and 2016 had accounted for more than a million dollars.

However, the State Department in its footnote of the budget, said that Special Academic Exchanges, whose budgetary allocation has been reduced from more than $14.7 million in 2017 to just $7 million for 2018, would include funding for programmes such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Mobility (Disability) Exchanges, and the Tibet Fund.

‘We have to make tough choices’

“As we work to streamline efforts to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of US taxpayers’ dollars, we acknowledge that we have to prioritise and make some tough choices,” a State Department official told PTI.

“Focusing our efforts will allow us to advance our most important policy goals and national security interests, while ensuring that other donor countries contribute their fair share toward meeting global challenges,” the official said requesting anonymity.

However, the official did not identify the countries that it would like to help continue funding for the Tibetan cause.

“We will continue to engage diplomatically with allies and partners to advance our U.S. national interests and shared policy priorities,” the official said.

The move to abolish Tibet fund is expected to be widely opposed in the Congress. The U.S. policy towards Tibet is currently driven by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 which was signed by the last Republican President, George W. Bush.

Enacted into law on September 30, 2002, as part of the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act, FY2003, it lists its “purpose” as being “to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity.”

The act establishes in statute the State Department position of United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and states that the Special Coordinator’s “central objective” is “to promote substantive dialogue between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

Community stands to forfeit a lot

The Act, among other things, includes U.S. government assistance for non-governmental organisations to work among Tibetan communities in China; an educational and cultural exchange program with “the people of Tibet”; Voice of America and Radio Free Asia Tibetan-language broadcasting into Tibet; and assistance for Tibetan refugees in South Asia.

It also calls for a scholarship program for Tibetans living outside Tibet; and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)human rights and democracy programmes relating to Tibet.

The Special Coordinator is also required to “vigorously promote the policy of seeking to protect the distinct religious, cultural, linguistic, and national identity of Tibet” and press for “improved respect for human rights,” according to a 2015 report on Tibet by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

It was in 2002 that the Congress began earmarking Economic Support Fund assistance to Tibetan communities in China. In addition to this, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) manages provision of this support out of its India office.

Categories: News, politics Tags: ,

Fakes News Alert: U.S. Challenges Chinese “Excessive” Maritime Claims by Exercising ‘Freedom of navigation’ near Meiji Jiao (Mischief Reef)

May 24th, 2017 1 comment

This site was created to counter Western media bias – propaganda – or “Fake News” using today’s vernacular – about China.  Here is another one.

Wall Street Journal recently reports that the U.S. Navy has just Conducted its First South China Sea Navigation Operation Under President Trump, and that such ‘Freedom of navigation’ patrols represent a direct challenge by the U.S. to China’s excessive maritime claims.

This appears to be another bull shit, moronic piece of propaganda from Western news establishments. Read more…

Short Note on Media Disinformation: No, No, No… CIA is not Impersonating Others in Hacking Others … There is just not Proof!

March 16th, 2017 2 comments

Vault 7Recently, with Wikileak’s release of so-called “Vault 7” of documents that revealed the vast array of tools the CIA on hacking and spying on American citizens, Western media is on a full-court press of disinformation in pushing back.  One particular spin is how Wikileaks does not prove that CIA has framed or impersonated Russia.  Even usually politically-neutral sites such as Wired has gotten into the act.  Yes, the U.S. did get caught using tools from those bad boys in Russia … and China, but the goal has never been to frame those countries, but to save American resources to use the tools there to advance American aims.  There is no proof of the U.S. framing others…

Wait … WAIT!

Notice just how the media has re-framed the issues.

Remember the recent blah blah of Russian hacking and interference of American elections?  Even though the publicly provided evidence was virtually nil, the allegations ripped like wildfire across the nation.  Behind the veil of “national security,” all that is enough to pin the hacks as Russia are some references that the tools used was similar to what other Russian hackers have used … and that the attack was traced to an IP address that was Russian…

This was the same bull shit previously leveled against China and which we had previously analyzed before.  But as we had pointed out so many times before: just because you find some Chinese tools or IP addresses doesn’t mean the attack was Chinese.  Hacker’s tools are for the most part public tools – Chinese, Russian, or otherwise.  Hackers will use each others’ tools – government, private, black hat, white hat, male, female, gay, straight, or others – for their own goals.  So the mere fact that you find a Chinese being used could mean it was the Chinese gov’t, Chinese Maria, or the CIA at the controls.  We just don’t know!

As for IP addresses, as we also have explained, unless you traced the attack to a server that you have access to, IP addresses per se tell you Nada – Nothing – Zilch!   If you do not have direct access to the server – the logs, the logins, etc. – you simply cannot know who actually controlled and launched the attack.

In an age where normal non-tech people use vpn’s to protect their “privacy,” you would think hackers – especially sophisticated state actors – would at least use some sort of multiple IP hops schemes to mask their identity.  In an age where most people have seen emails from their “friend’s” email accounts which have been compromised and used as launching points for sending spams, you would think that most would understand that just because an attack appears to come from a particular server or email account, the actual attacker may be hidden several layers behind what things appear to be.

AND now Vault 7 proves how right we have been all along – with the CIA as a showcase!

Now we know how when the CIA uses tools to mount attacks how those attacks might look very much like attacks from other nations.

So does this prove that it was the CIA and not the Russians that hacked the DNC’s and Hillary’s computers?  Of course not (albeit it sure does raise some interesting possibilities.)  But if all the evidence is of some tools of Russian origin and some Russian IP addresses, well that is not evidence at all.

Many people in the U.S. media want to spin this bombshell into a story that there is yet no proof that it was actually the CIA – not the Russians – are behind the recent “hacking.” This is part of the “disinformation” that we see so often in the U.S. dominated press – twisting and reframing the issues … to reframe the stories….

The issue is not about proving CIA involvement – but the lack of any evidence of Russia behind any hacking.

And even if one is of the conspiracy type: according to wikileaks, Vault 7 represents but 1% of the documents it has from the CIA. Of the released documents, there has been redaction of materials that we do not get to see. Even the full set of documents Wikileaks may have is but a small universe of what exists in reality. So just because what we do not yet see solid proof of CIA’s intentions one way or the other from released public documents doesn’t mean that ergo that CIA has been cleared of anything. Read more…

The Presstitute Exposed

March 10th, 2017 No comments

This blog was started to counter Western Media Bias.  But overtime, I realized it’s not about “bias” – but also misinformation – or disinformation.  Getting to the bottom of it requires not only facts but also attacking the most cherished ideologies of the West.

At times we succeeded, but for the most part, I think we fell short – way short.

Now – we have found an unlikely ally in the U.S. President.  With “fake news” “mainstream” reporting now much in the public eyes, I see finally some Americans – even some parts of the U.S. media – at least alternative voices such as infowars.com, counterpunch, Norm Chomsky, “truth in media,” naturalnews, and Lew Rockwell – waking up.

Here is an article from Global Research that I like titled Joining the Dots: Why the Establishment Hates Donald Trump.

There is so much I can write drawing from real life examples about how crazily dishonest yet effective Western media is.  I will have to find time…

Dear President Trump…

February 10th, 2017 No comments

I am going to write an article or post on the myth of law…  But this 9th circuit decision to not reinstate Trump’s order to temporarily stop immigration from 7 countries is really getting to me.  Here is a letter I’d write Trump: Read more…

Categories: Analysis, aside, politics Tags: ,

Trump Administration Reaches out to China to Affirm “One-China” Policy

February 9th, 2017 No comments

So there we have it: the Trump administration has reached out to China to affirm America’s “One-China” policy.  According to this Washington Post report: Read more…

Interesting Trip Journal by Canadian Traveler to China

January 21st, 2017 3 comments

Here is the link to an interesting trip journal by a Canadian recently traveling to China. Many good points and food for thoughts. Political – sure, but in a raw, intelligent, sincere, and honest way. I hope you enjoy!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

How Americans Are Looking at the Russian Hacks All the Wrong Way

January 5th, 2017 5 comments

It is clear now that while the 2016 U.S. election may be over, much of the bitter rancor remains.  The latest controversy now swirls over how long-time foe Russia may have hijacked America’s election to secure a Trump presidency.

Americans seem to be transfixed by this latest treachery, with President Obama promising retributions, but Trump warning against politicizing American Intelligence.

American penchant for partisan bickering and concerns about foreign interference, however, appear to be” much ado about nothing.” Read more…

Trump for Peace and Prosperity

November 12th, 2016 11 comments

thIt’s been some time since I blogged.  I have had to deal with a series of health issues …

In any case, I thought I’d share a few quick thoughts about Trump’s historic win.

The day before the election, the New York Times estimated Trump’s chance of winning at 16% – but compared to most other “pundits,” I think they were being kind.  But history had a way of making history.  People voted for Trump because despite Trump!

I agree with pugster that Trump’s win is good for the U.S., good for China, and good for the world.  Here are some reasons. Read more…

German parliament votes to recognize Armenian genocide

June 2nd, 2016 1 comment
Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how Germany has cheapened its own history and disregarded its own humanity by turning a blind eye on Japan’s horrific crimes against humanity in China on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the Nanking massacre.

In that piece, I wrote how Germany may not be preaching “universal values” per se, but politically-expedient political myths.  Well, interestingly today, the German parliament voted to recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide” as a true “genocide” and a crime against humanity.  Turkey – which has been both fighting and growing its own brand of  terrorism abroad – is none too thrilled.

I wonder if this is a case of external politics ripening for Germany – as a lapdog of America, which has increasingly seen Turkey drift away – to strike at Turkey?  Or is it a case of Germany finally finding some guts to stand up for history, as this LA Times story seem to report? Read more…

America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being

April 8th, 2016 6 comments

China U.S. Free Trade[An edited copy of this article under the title “America should not blame trade – or its trading partners – for its ills ” is initially published at the South China Morning Post (pdf archive here)]

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading a new American awakening on global trade.  According to the new emerging consensus, America has been the victim of bad trade deals – including the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – for decades.  These deals have shipped millions of good-paying American jobs abroad and in the process hollowed out the American middle class.

When Sanders and Trump recently began questioning the merits of trade with allies such as Japan as well, however, many believed them to have crossed a line. It is one thing to attack China for “stealing” jobs but quite another to sell short a close and faithful ally.

Americans have long harbored schizophrenic attitudes on trade, however. Read more…

I like Trump’s Vision of American Power Abroad

March 21st, 2016 15 comments

I know there are few or no Trump supporters here … still whatever you think about Trump, I think if you see the injustice of U.S. meddling in Middle East, American Full Spectrum Global DominanceAfrica, the Baltic, and Asia, you have to like and take notice what Trump recently said.

You don’t even have to support Trump.  If you believe Trump is somehow mysteriously in tune with the bulk of the American people, then I think that with Trump articulated here finally there is hope for America … and the world.  Here is an excerpt of a piece about his recent interview with the Washington Post. Read more…

Russia and China – Strategic Partners Or Partners of Convenience?

March 3rd, 2016 1 comment

Russia-China Fence MendingMr. Unknown and the blogger known as the Saker has collaborated to write an interesting, provocative, and insightful piece end of last year.  I truly applaud the effort and feel honored that China does have true friends from Russia.  And I am truly heartened to see that there are Russians who do see China as equals … and more importantly … as friends.

Overall I learned quite many things, all valuable to further shaping my worldview. But I also do disagree with some parts of it.  I have no doubt that the great Russian-Chinese dialogue in bringing two great neighbors closer together … perhaps one day to become allies … will continue and will a force for global peace.  But a solid house must be built on solid solutions.  So here is my response, which includes some criticisms, which hopefully will go toward building a more solid foundation between the two great nations / civilizations. Read more…

On the Anti-Trump Agenda – a Personal Gripe

March 2nd, 2016 18 comments

There are so many things ovDonald Trump for Presidenbter which I disagree with Trump.  When he talks about China, I literally disagree with him on everything he says – currency manipulation, unfair trade, aggressive trade policies, an all out assault to gut America of jobs…

Yet I see every attack on Trump in the media – and yes here on this blog – as the worst of Western media propaganda.  I am writing here not to support Trump (although I would definitely support him over Clinton), but to show what I consider to be Western media’s hypocrisy … and the power of the hypocrisy to brainwash everyone here!  😉

According to the Economist, here are some of the worst of Trump’s offenses.

Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Read more…

The Caustic Side Effects of Looking to Supreme Court Justices as Umpires

February 26th, 2016 No comments

U.S. Supreme Court[Editor’s Note: This piece was first published at the Huffington Post]

According to Chief Justice Roberts, judges are baseball umpires who apply rules impartially to disputes. As neutral actors, judges make everyone play by the rules but do not take sides themselves.

But with members of Senate locked in a heated debate whether Obama or the next president should name Scalia’s replacement, we are reminded yet again just how political Supreme Court Justices have become.

In decisions after decisions, the Court has waded into the most politically contested issues of the day, from abortion to gay rights to campaign contribution limits to national health insurance. Scholars now routinely predict how each Justice will vote based on his or her ideological persuasions alone, irrespective of the legal issues presented.

Justice Roberts would like us to reminisce wistfully about a day when judges were umpires of the law. But I don’t think that day ever existed. Read more…

Categories: Analysis Tags: , ,

Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech

February 17th, 2016 1 comment

The recent post by pugster about rioters in Hong Kong brought to my mind some thoughts I had as the Umbrella Revolution was flaming out a couple of years ago.

One of the arguments many people in the West used to denigrate the HK and Mainland government in support of the Umbrella movement was that the rioters had a right to block streets and shut down districts to get their message out.  When some Hong Kongers – siding with HK and Mainland government – pushed back that while freedom of speech grants them the right to protest but not a right to shut down entire districts, they were ridiculed and shamed by the Western press.

Of course, as we know, when the occupy movement flamed across the Western capitals of the world, those governments acted very differently.  The police (even paramilitary forces) soon cracked down and order was soon restored.  But in China, so-called rule of law quickly gets tossed aside in the name of mob rule (I mean “democracy”).  All this reinforced in my mind how “political” “free” speech is.  It is “free” when the politics is palatable.  But when it’s not, the “costs” – be it national security, social peace, whatever – gets framed as the main (only) issues.

This reminds me of another story last year when the Pope visited the U.S.  If people remember, the pope got a “rock star” reception from the media – with the press trumpeting how popular, socially and morally in tune the pope is, especially compared to China’s President Xi (also visiting the U.S. around the same time) who allegedly got a stiff and cool reception. Read more…

How would this story be reported if it were China asking Apple for a way to get into a Terrorist’s phone?

February 17th, 2016 15 comments

Interesting story from NYT today titled “Judge Tells Apple to Help Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone.”

Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — A judge in California on Tuesday ordered Apple to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the assault in San Bernardino that killed 14 people in December.

The ruling handed the F.B.I. a potentially important victory in its long-running battle with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies over the government’s ability to get access to encrypted data in investigations. Apple has maintained that requiring it to provide the “keys” to its technology would compromise the security of the information of hundreds of millions of users.

Read more…

DPP Wins in Taiwan

January 16th, 2016 No comments

The writing has been on the wall for KMT’s chances in the election this time around for some time.  As I had discussed earlier, the battle between DPP and KMT in the 2016 election is not about independence vs. status quo as it had been 8 years back when Taiwan elected Ma Ying-jeou, or 16 years ago when Taiwan elected Chen Shui-Bian.  That battle had been won long ago, with this time everyone agreeing that the status quo is the way to go.  The battle this time around is about economics, about what to do with Taiwan’s stagnant wages and rising home prices.

Of course, there are plenty of symbolism that DPP – and hence Tsai – still stands for independence.  DPP’s charter, for example, still officially endorses independence.  Tsai has also been purposely demure and vague about her stance toward the Mainland, including her public avoidance of acknowledging the 1992 Consensus on the one-China policy.

But I think it’s possible all that is just symbolism.  Given that it’s election season, and that the 1992 Consensus include details that allowed both sides to interpret things slightly differently under the broad rubric of a one China policy, I think it’s perhaps understandable Tsai want to do everything to avoid the specter of getting pinned into one specific or another interpretation.

The real reason KMT lost is because it has not properly addressed the following political trends.  Read more…

Server Migrated

December 24th, 2015 No comments

green-check-markIf you see this page.  You have reached our new server.  If you see things that appear wrong, please let me know, so I can fix them.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a shakeout period for me to see how this new server works for us.

Thanks All!

Categories: aside Tags:

Out of date SSL Certificates and Other Issues

December 22nd, 2015 No comments

Happy New YearHi Everyone,

If you are logging in to comment, you may notice that our SSL certificate is out of date.  We are working with the host on resolving that issue and other issues.

Over the last year or so, we’ve had several outages even though our traffic was modest.  In the next couple of days, I will be periodically putting the site on read-only maintenance mode (where you won’t be able to log in and comment) since I may also be moving the site to a new host.  Things should be back to normal by December 24, 2015.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Short Post: Returning Stolen Treasures

December 22nd, 2015 1 comment

Cage's stolen Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur I saw this article earlier today in the NYT about actor Nicholas Cage agreeing to return to Mongolia a dinosaur fossil that he had legitimately bought (paying top dollars for) but that turned out to have been stolen earlier from Mongolia.  Following is an excerpt of the story.

I wish people and governments around the world also think about returning back to China the thousands and thousands of stolen cultural relics that have been looted from China the last century or two.  When one takes the politics out, one can see this as the only virtuous thing to do.  But alas, when it comes to facing to history of the last few centuries, so many in the West become so self-righteous and indignant.

Still, we can hope and dream … one day … Read more…

Categories: Analysis, aside Tags:

Opinion: In Fighting ISIS or Al Qaeda, We Must Take Great Care Not to Demonize Islam

December 10th, 2015 16 comments

Islam[editor’s note: this is a cross-post of an article I posted on the Huffington Post.]

When news arose that the killings in San Bernardino last Thursday was probably terrorist related – that the perpetrators Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik had praised “Allah” and pledged allegiance to ISIS moments before they started their rampage – attention quickly shifted to the Muslim communities for their reactions.

Soon enough, civic and religious leaders of the Muslim communities rolled forward to condemn the attack in no uncertain terms. They called the acts horrific and uncivilized and not in line with their religious or social values.

But talking to my Muslim friends privately, I also get a very real sense of fear. Read more…

Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

December 10th, 2015 1 comment
The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

[Editor’s Note: This is a cross-post of an article I submitted to the Diplomat a few weeks ago.  I am wrapping up a more detailed legal analysis of the issues  and aim to make it a law review article.  I will cross-post here too that once that has been submitted and accepted.]

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague recently announced that it would take “jurisdiction” over Philippines’ arbitral claims against China, many reported the decision as a victory for the Philippines and as a triumph of the “rule of law.” I beg to differ. The Court, on the contrary, has muddled, not upheld, international law, and by trivializing the states’ duty to negotiate in good faith – as enshrined in the U.N. charter, stipulated in the UNCLOS, and specifically agreed to between the parties – has greatly damaged the prospect for peace, cooperation, and a final resolution of the disputes. Read more…

U.S. S. China Sea Provocation … What Next?

October 29th, 2015 10 comments

Missile Guided Detroyer LassenThis story has been brewing for a while.  The U.S. has been saying for months that it is going to challenge China’s “increasingly assertive claims” in the S. China Sea … militarily – by sailing warships through some of the most sensitive parts of the S. China Sea. Many have bemoaned when the U.S. appeared to deliberate and delay and delay.  But yesterday, the U.S. finally sailed a destroyer right through an especially “sensitive” area of the S. China Sea – the waters surrounding Zhubi Reef – a site where China has been dredging and building artificial islands over the last few years.

Here is how the NYT – in a article titled “Challenging Chinese Claims, U.S. Sends Warship Near Artificial Island Chain” – reported the story: Read more…

Opinion: U.K. – the Bridge Between East and West? Not So Fast.

October 21st, 2015 6 comments
U.K.-China Toast

U.K.-China Toast

President Xi is visiting the U.K. this week.  There are pageantry … and some $60 Billion US worth of deals.  British Prime Minister has made a big commotion calling it as the “Partner of Choice” in the West for China.

I am sure the British Leadership, Cameron personally, believes that it is in the long-term interest of Britain to mend relationship with China.  But I don’t believe Britain is really a “Partner of Choice.”  It may be a “Partner of Convenience,” but I believe it still cares little for – has little respect for – China … except to make a buck. Read more…

The Ouster of Hung Hsiu-chu

October 20th, 2015 4 comments

Over the weekend, the KMT nullified Hung Hsiu-chu’s nomination and selected party chairman Eric Chu to lead the ticket in the Jan. 16 election.  George Koo wrote a piece about it last week.

I typically don’t comment that much on populist politics since they are fleeting, shallow, and often end up, when on look back, just dust in the wind.

Here are some of my takes: Read more…

Turning a Nobel Prize to a Chinese for Artemisinin Into a Eulogy for Traditional Chinese Medicine?

October 18th, 2015 No comments
Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

A couple of weeks ago, Tu Youyou became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.”  (Tu had already won the Lasker Award a few years ago for the same work, and had described her work this way.)  There were cheers and hopes that with the prize, more people would become aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the tremendous amount of work being put in to update the ancient arts with modern science and technology.

But very soon in the West, I see popping up everywhere “straw man” arguments 1.

First, there is the line of attack that goes something like this: so what if Dr. Tu found one drug from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that turned out to work. That per se doesn’t validate the whole tradition.  As this Daily Kos post noted: Read more…

Notes:

  1. From a wikipedia entry, a straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

What’s Up with Abe’s Egging China On to War?

October 14th, 2015 3 comments

Mr. Abe has done a lot to put Asia back on the path to War: what with re-arming Japan, making a mockery of Japan’s Pacifist Constitution, and overflowing rhetoric about the dangers of a rising China.

Just last week, I was perusing through Asia Times, reading an article by Peter Lee on the TPP, when I noticed the following picture, and a comment from a reader.

Abe in cockpit of Japanese air force aircraft

Abe in cockpit of Japanese air force aircraft

Reader Jack Temujin astutely noted: Read more…