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American Public Media’s Marketplace casts doubt on China’s investment in Mongolia, what about America’s in Canada?

May 18th, 2012 2 comments

In this American Public Media’s Marketplace report (which I heard on NPR yesterday), reporter Rob Schmitz casts some doubts about China’s investments in Mongolia (podcast segment starts at 10:40 mark), especially with respect to recently discovered coal deposits. Of course, this is the same Rob Schmitz who exposed the Mike Daisey lies about working conditions at Foxconn. Schmitz is one of the best Western reporters covering China right now. I love listening to Marketplace and appreciate his work. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News, politics Tags:

Japan’s claim to Okinotori Atoll as island rejected by the U.N.

May 18th, 2012 1 comment

Japan's claim to Okinotori Atoll as island rejected by the U.N.

Japan’s claim to Okinotori Atoll as island was recently rejected by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). If succeeded, Japan would be entitled to a continental shelf and an EEZ covering more than 100,000 square kilometers. Following is a report translated by People’s Daily Online from it’s Chinese original “国际正义不许冲之鸟变礁为’岛’“. Note that Japan’s claims were disputed by China and South Korea. Also, Japan have for years tried to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, though have always been thwarted by her Asian neighbors due to conflict over Japan’s watering down of her colonial atrocities. The region is complex to say the least. Read more…

Categories: News Tags: ,

India’s Agni-V missile

April 20th, 2012 68 comments

So I’ve been reading a lot on the media – and on many Indian blogs – how India’s Agni-V missile is going to reposition the balance of power in Asia, how it is designed to target Beijing and Shanghai. 1  Presumptively, India had notified all members on the security counsel – but China – ahead of the test.

Because there are so much hot air out there, I’d like to point people out to three articles that may be of interest. Read more…

Notes:

  1. See, e.g., this WSJ article.

CCTV America and Beyond

March 20th, 2012 53 comments

Over the last few years, CCTV has been signaling expanding its footprint around the globe. On February 6, 2012, CCTV America officially launched with a new production studio based in Washington, D.C.. So far, I have watched a number of CCTV America reports, and I must say, for the American market, they are good. The reporters are American and the nuance is too, American. Obviously the narrative is Chinese. (This article contains a video that auto-plays, which I don’t know how to turn off.) Read more…

Categories: media, News Tags: , ,

Wen Jiabao Urges Political Reform and Praises Internet Criticism of Government

March 14th, 2012 6 comments

The Fifth Session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) has just ended.  Here are two stories about Wen that I found interesting.  I have no personal insights beyond what is reported, but I thought it is helpful to bring attention to such stories to balance the distorted view in the West that the Chinese government somehow has in its DNA a fear of criticisms and a distrust of people and reforms. Read more…

Glaxo CEO Witty on Competiveness and Innovation in China

March 5th, 2012 3 comments

In this short interview, CEO Witty of Glaxo – British multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company – said that while Chinese government will continue to have a tension between building its domestic industry and fomenting an open competitive market in which foreign companies participates, it does a good job of making its market fair. Most importantly, Witty notes that it’s important to take a long-term view when it comes to China.  Glaxo intends to embed its Chinese operations into an integral part of the company. You won’t be that successful if you just take a “tourist” of China, he said. Witty says Glaxo intends to profit as well as to innovate in China.

Some Thoughts on the Linsanity Surrounding Jeremy Lin

February 21st, 2012 55 comments

Like other Asian Americans, I have been following Linsanity over the last 2 weeks or so with great interest and pride. It’s not too often you see a twice-cut bench warmer become a starter and take a professional team in New York by storm like Jeremy Lin (林書豪) has. While the future of Lin as a mega star is not necessarily secure, with some saying that Lin is a phenom only because of his race and others observing that the Knicks has played mostly sissy teams the last couple of weeks, there are plenty of which to be proud even if Linsanity were to end tomorrow.

As a columnist in the Washingtonpost pointed out: Read more…

U.S. Media Preparing Americans for Invasion of Iran

February 20th, 2012 7 comments

A U.S. or U.S.-backed attack on Iran seems to be a foregone conclusion if we simply look at how the U.S. media covers the issue. FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) recently had this to report while looking at U.S. media, “Do TV Networks ‘Practice’ for War?

02/13/2012 by Peter Hart
Alexander Cockburn’s latest piece at CounterPunch (2/10/12) included this from a tipster:

I was visiting ABC News the other day to see a friend who works on graphics. When I went to his room, he showed me all the graphics he was making in anticipation of the Israeli attack on Iran; not just maps, but flight patterns, trajectories and 3-D models of U.S. aircraft carrier fleets. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News, Opinion, politics Tags: ,

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with Biden and Clinton at State Department

February 15th, 2012 20 comments

Secretary Hillary Clinton hosted a luncheon at the State Department for the visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also chimed in as they all affirmed to continue dialog and deal with issues of contention. Overall, I liked the tone they are setting for the on-going conversation between the two nations’ leaders. I’d like to point out a stylistic difference between Biden and Xi. Biden enumerates issues of contention with the American view with sharpness like the knife that cuts through butter. Xi’s speech was more about guidelines on how to approach the issues. For me, on that difference alone, one feels like a vice president and the other a president. I was a bit annoyed at the translator. Xi stated that “human rights can only be improved and no such thing as ‘best’,” and unfortunately this was not translated. Anyways, I am reminded again we ought to get our news more directly from the source whenever possible and not let others interpret for us. Video of their speeches below: Read more…

Full text of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s interview with Washington Post

February 13th, 2012 3 comments

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is currently in the United States reciprocating a visit Vice President Biden took last year in China. Xi is expected to become the new Chinese President for the 2013-2017 term. If the CPC renews, he would also reign from 2018 to 2022. America is interested in getting to know him, because he will help shape the China-U.S. relationship for years to come. His daughter is currently studying at Harvard College. (I might add: for those think China is afraid of American ideas, they ought to think twice.) Xi is also known as a “princeling,” though one of Biden’s top aids said he is a very thoughtful person. Below is a transcript of his response to Washington Post right before embarking on his trip to the U.S.. Read more…

Categories: News Tags:

Chinese boy attacked by 7 in Chicago

January 19th, 2012 46 comments

At Chicago, a Chinese boy was brutally beaten by seven teens, including a girl who lured him into an alley where the beating took place. An article filed by NYDailyNews.com said, “Cops don’t believe the attack was racially motivated.” I will update this post as I learn more. WARNING: video is violent. Read more…

Categories: News Tags:

Ma Ying Jiu Wins Taiwan Election

January 14th, 2012 47 comments

Ma Ying Jieu has won what has been a tough and closely watched election in Taiwan.  Emphasizing close relations with the mainland, Ma celebrated the victory as a victory for the people of Taiwan. The DPP, with charismatic (and “native Taiwanese”) Tsai, gave stoic (and “外省人”) Ma a much bigger challenge this time (characterization by my deep-green family-in-laws), losing to Ma by what looks like a 51.6 to 45.63 margin  (compared to the 58% to 42% margin in 2008). While the issue of independence has been much toned down this time, relations with the Mainland still dominated the election, with issues of the economy also a major issue.

Read more…

A conversation with Shaun Rein on China

January 7th, 2012 72 comments

(On January 5, 2012, I sat down with Shaun Rein, founder and Managing Director of the China Market Research Group, to talk about China. He gave us his insights into major events of 2011. In this hour-long interview, we touched on many topics: pollution, CNN and Christian Bale’s recent run-in with Chinese police, food safety, Weibo, and so on.)

YinYang:2011 was another eventful year for China. Just when her bullet train seems unstoppable, a fatal collision left the whole country in doubt. China achieved space docking, something only the U.S. and Russia have managed. Then there was Tiger Mom.

I have invited a real China expert to weigh in on these events and other events that mattered to China. What were the Chinese narratives? How did the Chinese feel about them? I couldn’t have found a better person to do this with. Read more…

Chinese Consulate in L.A. shot at by ‘human rights’ protester

December 15th, 2011 100 comments

Around 2:15pm this afternoon, a ‘human rights’ protester fired a number of shots at the Chinese Consulate aiming for a security guard, according the the AP. Below is a brief AP report relayed on the Huffington Post:

“Shots fired at Chinese Consulate in LA, 1 arrested”
December 16, 2011 12:31 AM EST |

LOS ANGELES — Police said they have arrested a man in relation to a Thursday afternoon shooting outside the Chinese Consulate building in downtown Los Angeles. Read more…

Categories: News, Opinion Tags:

India v/s China: We’ve got Facebook! What’ve you got?

December 1st, 2011 70 comments

An interesting analysis in TIME magazine, to the extent that it tries to be an analysis:

And don’t forget to check out these two accompanying arguments, one for India and one for China:

I plan to blog about this general issue sometime soon. Right now however, I just can’t help commenting on just two points for the time being, particularly because many westerners have humongous misconceptions about these issues. Almost every article on the topic contains at least a reference to these two fallacious points.

Read more…

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

November 30th, 2011 2 comments

The TED interview below (video at the end of the post) was conducted in July 2010 with Julian Assange talking about the need for the public to keep an eye out for government conduct. Americans cherish freedom of the press, and by that, it is generally understood that the media’s job is to be the watchdog of the government and any other organization of power.

Do Americans have freedom of the press? I don’t think so. Or definitely not in function as how Americans understand their purpose to be. Assange is about to release a new documentary film criticizing the Western media. Referring to the New York Times, he said: Read more…

Jon Huntsman’s “gonna take China down” comments

November 23rd, 2011 51 comments

Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, in a televised Republican primary debate told Americans he would reach out to the 500 million Chinese Internet users; to lead them towards change which would ultimately “take China down.” Video below has been circulating in China. It contains what Huntsman said captioned in Chinese. I want to share reader silentchinese‘s response.

Read more…

Categories: News, Opinion, politics Tags:

Michael Scheuer on Russia Today about America and the Muslim World

November 16th, 2011 2 comments

Former CIA agent of 20 years, turned historian, Dr. Michael Scheuer, recently discussed his views with Russia Today about America and the Muslim world. U.S. political leaders should absolutely heed what he had to say. The only disagreement I have with Scheuer is his view that the U.S. is inextricable in her feud with the Middle East. The U.S. and the West have the might to help strengthen the U.N., and to sincerely uphold international law. When that happens, the world at large will be much more willing to stand behind U.N. in whatever steps it takes to resolve the feud between the West and the Muslim world. That is the way out of the feud.

Is the West building a case for the invasion of Iran?

November 9th, 2011 9 comments

China Daily opinion column comic on IAEA report

Remember the 1990s and early 2000s hunt for WMD in Iraq headed by the former director-general of the IAEA, Hans Blix? No WMD has been found, but during that period, the propaganda within the NATO countries arguing for war ultimately led to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Now, fast forward to 2011. I get the sinking feeling we are witnessing the repeat of that. Remember the supposed plot by Iran to hire some Mexicans to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. just few weeks ago? And now the IAEA report? Given the headlines in the NATO countries, does it really matter what the real truth is? Patrick Hayes from spiked summed up the sentiment, as expressed in this China Daily opinion column comic, rather well: Read more…

Categories: Analysis, News, Opinion, politics Tags: ,

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

October 17th, 2011 69 comments

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:

当一个幼小的生命被明码标价的时候,人性就变得一文不值了
When you put a price tag on a young person’s life, then human nature has become worthless.

Read more…

Chinese men wins 2011 Gymnastics Worlds team title

October 13th, 2011 No comments

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.) Read more…

Categories: News Tags: ,

India’s $35 Android-based tablet

October 11th, 2011 15 comments

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. Read more…

Categories: News, technology Tags: , ,

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs

October 5th, 2011 14 comments

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.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Opinion: the Occupy Wall Street movement will eventually fizz

October 4th, 2011 129 comments

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. Read more…

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China launches first Tiangong-1 space lab module

September 29th, 2011 12 comments

Tiangong-1 Module launches

China has successfully launched her first Tiangong-1 ( 天宫一号, “Heavenly Palace 1”) space lab module that would eventually dock with a series of other ones to form a space station. China Daily reports:

Zhang Shancong, deputy chief designer of the Tiangong-1, told Xinhua that the module carries special cameras which will take hyperspectral images of China’s vast farmlands to detect heavy metal pollution and pesticide residue as well as plant disease.

Moreover, scientists on the ground will also conduct experiments on photonic crystal, a new material expected to revolutionize information technology, in the low-gravity environment inside the Tiangong-1 as these experiements would be extremely difficult to conduct on Earth’s surface.

The Shenzhou-8 will be used to conduct docking experiments with the module in one month’s time. If successful, China will be the third nation behind U.S. and Russia to have achieved this milestone. Read more…

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Chinese scholars propose human rights commission

September 22nd, 2011 41 comments

A panel of experts from China University of Political Science and Law have proposed establishing an independent human rights commission in a recent forum attended by both Chinese and foreign human rights experts. (China Daily has more details.) If this proposal becomes enshrined in China’s constitution, that’d be a really interesting development. Below are couple of key passages from the China Daily report: Read more…

Categories: human rights, News, Opinion Tags:

Taiwan weapons sales, citizens best buzz off

September 19th, 2011 62 comments

(Update Sept 21, 2011, courtesy of Ray. Click to see Chinese characters outside the cockpit. Update Oct. 2, 2011; Turns out this picture was photoshopped. See comment #52 onward.))

The last time the U.S. sold weapons to Taiwan ($6.4 billion worth in January 2010) led to China suspending military-to-military contacts with the U.S.. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who also chairs Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, has subsequently said in public the weapons sale was a mistake. In the news again, looks like Obama is approving the sales of upgrades to Taiwan’s fleet of F-16 jet fighters. As expected, China is warning strong reaction if any sort of deal going through. (See “Backlash expected if US seals arms deal.”) Read more…

All your Schadenfreude are belong to us?

August 25th, 2011 143 comments

 

Lecturing others amounts to schadenfreude
Wait. What?

 

An interesting phenomenon seems to be in the air. With the current financial crisis in America and unrest in Britain, it appears that multiple western media outlets cannot resist the temptation to interpret China’s and other countries’ responses in terms of “schadenfreude“. Although not as amusing as accusing the politburo of smoking weed, it certainly has all the qualities that characterize the distinct flavours of garrulous western reporting about China and Asia in general.
In response to the crises in Washington, Xinhua, in a much cited phrase (One that the international media has gone completely gaga over), called upon the US to “cure its addiction to debt” . This was interpreted by The Economist as schadenfreude, claiming that “regional celebrations” have erupted in Asia over the debt crisis. Read more…

Bayi Rockets and Georgetown Basketball brawl, a key fact to remember

August 20th, 2011 44 comments

Georgetown University’s Hoyas (乔治城大学) basketball team is currently in China playing against various Chinese teams on a friendship tour. In an exhibition game against the Bayi Rockets (八一火箭队) yesterday, a brawl broke out between the two. This took place at about ten minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 63.


I haven’t watched the game, but according to Wikipedia, Bayi Rockets shot 57 free throws vs. Georgetown Hoyas’ 15. This clearly meant Hoyas fouling more and physically much more aggressive. A Washington Post reporter said this to NPR which I thought was rather dishonest. What he said was technically true, but through omission of the above key facts, his and NPR’s narratives cleverly biased the blame onto the Bayi Rockets. Read more…

Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping dismissed

August 19th, 2011 9 comments

(Update: see Ray’s comments below. I originally had ‘sacked’ in the title which is probably too harsh given he is reassigned to another post.)
Out of the recent bullet train crash near Wenzhou, I think one of the biggest lessons for the Ministry of Rail is the importance of good PR. Spokesperson Wang Yongping (王勇平) has created many controversies and was subject of a lot of public anger and criticisms. (See here and here.) According to Caixing, Wang Yongping has now been dismissed from his post. Read more…