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…
PDF attachment: Q&A with a Russian Friend
Sometimes it is helpful for the Hidden Harmonies audience to remember that China is not alone in being demonized by the mainstream western (primarily US) media. Any country that doesn’t “fit” neatly into the US “liberal-democratic” ideological dogma will naturally be painted as some kind of morally degenerate rogue state out to undermine “good” and “normal” countries. In fact, recently, no country is more demonized than Russia (not even the PRC).
That said, one of the major problems I see is that while we may recognize that we’re not alone, due to potential language/cultural barriers, lack of awareness, our Sino-centric mindset/attention span, and a host of other possible reasons, we often do not truly understand the perspectives of others (e.g. Russians) who are demonized. This is especially the case if our primary source of information about these other countries is the western media. I hope the contributors at Hidden Harmonies can begin to fix this problem, and I’ve taken a small step to start. Read more…
Categories: Announcements, education, Foreign Relations, Interview, media, Opinion, politics, q&a China, Russia, Saker, Sino-Russian relations, Vineyard of the Saker
For those who read Chinese, here is a great article that calls on all Chinese to reject russophobia & get our strategic priorities straight.
Putin and Wen announces quiting the USD
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has just jointly announced in St. Petersburg to no longer use the U.S. dollar in their two country’s bilateral trade. China Daily reported the news, headlining, “China, Russia quit dollar.” This is a reaction to the yet another round of printing by the Fed ($600 billion in fact).
“Quantitative easing” are new fancy words the U.S. government use to describe printing money out of thin air. (Would you be surprised if the U.S. media do not refer to this as “currency manipulation”?) At the recent G20 Summit, world leaders were upset at the U.S. for being so irresponsible as the USD is the reserve currency for the world. If Russia and China successfully execute on this arrangement in the coming years, I think other countries could follow suit.
Disputed Islands between Russia and Japan
The latest news in Japan is Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara recalling ambassador to Russia over Russian President Medvedev’s recent trip to some disputed island between the two countries.
The disputed islands are near the most northern tip of Japan. (Coverages from: Japan Times, China Daily, and Russia Today.)
Map to the left with the ‘A’ flag is one of the islands under dispute. In some ways this is similar to the dispute between China and Japan over Diaoyutai/Senkaku. Perhaps an all-or-nothing approach to ownership is too much of a out dated thinking.
In terms of news coverage, the thing that really struck me is how different Japan, Russia, and China reports than from how the U.S./U.K. media reports. In the case of the latter, they will put so much more spin or propaganda into the news. I am beginning to wonder if I should boycott U.S./U.K. media altogether.
On October 14, half of Heixiazi Island (lit. black blind island) was transferred from Russia to China, completing the last piece of the border settlement pact signed by the two countries in the mid-1990’s. Back in the day, Jiang Zemin took a lot of heat for signing this, because it was felt by some that China had lost a claim on the much larger Sixty-Four Villages area of Qing-era Outer Manchuria.
On Wednesday, Mr. Gorbachev wrote an opinion piece in New York Times commenting on the South Ossetia crises. The following passage sounded eerily familiar: Read more…