Friday, December 31, 2004

HAPPY NEW YEAR



EAST ASIA BLOG WISHES YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
May all your dreams and aspirations come true
Please start your New Year by making a donation to the survivors from the Tsunami in South Asia.

We also look forward to the chinese new year on February 2, 2005. The beginning of the year of the Rooster!

Feliz Ano Nueno!
新年快乐!
Godt Nytaar!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Please donate to UNICEF



Please help the thousands of people left stranded, sick and homeless after the horrible disaster on the 26th of December.

UNICEF has always been cookiesap's top choice in disaster and humanitarian relief.

Your dollar can save lives!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A horrible day in South and South East Asia



More than 11,500 people have been killed across southern Asia in massive sea surges triggered by the strongest earthquake in the world for 40 years.

BBC

Link to article

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Seoul completes fertilizer aid to N.K.



South Korea sent the final shipment of its additional fertilizer aid to North Korea Tuesday, completing 300,000 tons of aid for this year, Red Cross officials said.

Korea Herald

Article Link

Are fertilizer, or any other aid to North Korea, justifyable?
Will the North Korean people benefit from this?

Monday, December 20, 2004

2004: China's coming out party



For years, specialist China-watchers have been predicting that the wider world would one day wake up to the country's global economic influence and superpower potential.

2004 was the year when it happened.

Mary Hennock
BBC News business reporter
Article Link

Will China continue to grow and become a world superpower?
Is that fortunate?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Chinese police arrest 3 leading intellectuals



BEIJING The Chinese police on Monday detained three leading intellectuals who have been critical of the government, apparently stepping up a campaign to silence public dissent.

By Joseph Kahn The New York Times
In International Herald Tribune
Monday, December 13, 2004

Article Link

Is this an appetizer of Hu's code of conduct for the next 5 years?
What else along these lines can we expect before the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Taiwan poll result set to cool China tensions



Rising tensions with China looked set to ease temporarily after Taiwan's pro-independence ruling coalition failed to win a majority in legislative elections at the weekend.

By Kathrin Hille in Taipei
Financial Times
Dec. 12, 2004

Given the most recent step for reconciliation between Taiwan and PRC - will this eliminate the prospects of an independent Taiwan?

The Two Faces of China

The New York Times
December 6, 2004, by KEITH BRADSHER, GUANGZHOU, China



FEW business executives watch the growth of the Chinese economy as closely as Michael R. P. Smith, the chief executive of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Yet even Mr. Smith was startled when his staff recently projected that in 2034, bank assets in China would surpass those in the United States.
"When I saw that, I said, 'That can't be right,' and I went back to the economics guys," who confirmed the projection, Mr. Smith recalled.
Much the same surprise is cropping up in industry after industry and in country after country. From steel to oil to cars to credit cards, China is poised to become the world's biggest producer and market for many goods and services.
Along the way, China has come to terrify many foreign business executives and attract others - and sometimes both at the same time, depending on whether they see the country as a competitor, a cheap source of supply, a market, or all three.

Full article Link - Click here!


A landmark move for China Inc.

IBM's sale of its PC unit to a Chinese firm is the latest sign that a new giant is rising.

By Mark Sappenfield Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor OAKLAND, CALIF. –

In a moment on Wednesday, the gathering might of the Chinese economy became as imposing and obvious as the Great Wall. This was no economic forecast - no set of percentages and decimal points that hinted obliquely at the power that 1.3 billion shoppers could someday wield. This was news that a Chinese company had agreed to buy one of the most venerable product lines in the history of American technology: IBM's PC business.

In Taiwan Ballot, Ties With Beijing Seem to Be a Winner

By KEITH BRADSHER Published: December 12, 2004

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 11 - Supporters of closer relations with Beijing won a surprise victory in legislative elections here on Saturday, as voters appeared to reject President Chen Shui-bian's increasingly forceful calls in the past two weeks for greater Taiwanese independence from mainland China....

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Japan's New Military Focus: China and North Korea Threats



TOKYO, Dec. 10 - Japan adopted plans Friday to shift its military focus away from the cold-war threat of invasion from the Soviet Union to guarding against missiles from North Korea and Chinese incursions around its southernmost islands.


By James Brooke, NY Times

Link

Opposition wins Taiwan elections



(BBC)Taiwan's opposition alliance has defeated President Chen Shui-bian's DPP party in parliamentary elections.

11 December 2004

Complete article

Is this another step backwards for an independent Taiwan?
How will this election affect the geo-political situation in East Asia?

Friday, December 03, 2004

An in-depth coverage of the 'Changing China' by the BBC.com

The in-depth coverage includes issues of politics, business, AIDA.... It is worthing paying a visit.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day marked by grim warning to China



PARIS (AFP) - The murderous advance of AIDS (news - web sites) was commemorated around the world in pledges, appeals, processions and concerts, but the day was stamped by China's warnings about its exposure to the epidemic.

Full Article

Yahoo/AFP. December 1st. 2004.

Are we doing enough to Fight AIDS?
Is Asia prepared for an AIDS epidemic?

Happy AIDS Day!!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The 'blog' revolution sweeps across China

19:00, 24 November 04, Special Report from New Scientist

It took a chance online encounter between a software engineer from Shanghai and a teacher in a remote province of China to start shaking up the power balance between the people and the government of the world's most populous nation.

----full text available at http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996707

Castro or Hu Jintao ? Who's the biggest violator of free expression ?

The two communist leaders meet today (22 November 2004) in Havana. Reporters Without Borders compares the behaviour of these two major predators of free expression on the Internet.

See the http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=11889 section of the website for the PDF of this file

Violence Taints Religion's Solace for China's Poor

The New York Times, November 25, 2004

UAIDE, China - Kuang Yuexia and her husband, Cai Defu, considered themselves good Christians. They read the Bible every night before bed. When their children misbehaved, they dealt with them calmly. They did not curse or tell lies.
For full text,
see (link=it's only available 2 weeks to general public for free of charge, I'm afraid)

Friday, November 26, 2004

Cooling Shanghai Fever: Macroeconomic Control and Its Geopolitical Implications

Fall 2004, Issue 12,

Abstract: It is often said that politics is about who gets what, when, and how. Since early 2004, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have adopted a macroeconomic control policy to limit bank lending, land use, and fixed-asset investment. They have acknowledged explicitly that this policy does not treat all sectors and provinces in the same way. While allocating resources to support the agriculture, energy, transportation, and social welfare sectors, especially in the less-developed western and northeastern regions, Hu and Wen have strived to cool off the decade-long construction fever in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta. The fact that the central government can say "no" to Jiang Zemin's turf suggests that Hu and Wen have begun to take the offensive. Through macroeconomic adjustments and geopolitical coalition-building, Hu and Wen have consolidated their power. However, given China's daunting challenges, only time will tell whether the Hu-Wen administration can achieve a soft landing politically as well as economically.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Fact of the Day: Vietnam's Last Emperor



Bao Dai (b. 1914), was the last emperor (1926-1945) of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam. After 1932 he was permitted to exercise limited powers under the French colonial regime, but in August 1945 he was compelled to abdicate by representatives of the new Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
The Encyclopedia of Asian History. Asia Society and Charles Scribner's Sons.

Read more on AsiaSource

Is the study of past and present Asian monarchies relevant to today's geopolitical situation in East Asia?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Kim Jong-il portraits reportedly disappear


November 17, 2004 ㅡ MOSCOW ― Portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have been removed from public display in the North, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency said yesterday from Beijing.

JoongAng Il-Bo (South Korea)

Complete Article

What does this mean? Is he alive? Has he been usurped?

or is this just silly media speculation/wishful thinking?

What do you think?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Guangzhou to build world's tallest TV tower

(Xinhua)

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Southern China's city of Guangzhou plans to build the world's tallest TV tower by 2007, reported China Radio International on Thursday.
Measuring between 580-600 meters, the tower's final design has been selected and will soon be given to the city government for final approval. If all goes well, construction work will begin in December this year.

By Xinhua
(Xinhua. November 15, 2004)

Complete Article


Will East Asia soon hold all architectual records (tallest building, biggest dam, tallest basketball player -- Yao Ming does look like a machine, longest wall, and soon tallest tower)??

What would Freud say about all these edifices in China?

What is Toronto going to do now?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Powell, the US and their one-China policy



US Secretary of State Colin Powell astonished observers in both East Asia and the US last month with extraordinarily candid comments on the Taiwan issue. His statements moved US policy closer than ever to Beijing's position that Taiwan must reunify with China -- an especially surprising step coming from a conservative Republican administration.

By Ted G. Carpenter (Cato Inst.)
Nov. 5. 2004.

Link to article

Will the US benefit from a unified China?
Is the US kowtowing to China - hoping to keep the trade flowing?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Nuclear Crisis Looms in Bush's Second Term



President George W. Bush will be facing several difficult issues in East Asia during his second term. The rise of China and possible conflict in the Taiwan Straight will certainly be important, but the administration’s management of the North Korean nuclear problem will also have serious implications for the region. The United States is critical for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, and failure could trigger a nuclear arms race or even war.

The Korea Times.
Nov. 4. 2004.
By Daniel A. Pinkston

Will GW Bush be able to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis?

Article Link

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So what colour was Jesus?

While driving home from work the other day, stopped at a red light, I read a great bumper sticker... "Friends don't let friends die without Jesus." Of course the car also had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker in the window. Gotta love religious loonies!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Tortuous tangles over Japanese textbooks

TOKYO - Given the history of Japanese textbooks outraging the country's neighbors by whitewashing Tokyo's World War II aggression and worsening its relations with China, Korea and other nations, yet another textbook written and published by right-wing groups has emerged. Though it is read by a tiny number of students, it has found its way into popular bookstores where it is a strong seller - a sign of the power of Japan's small number of influential hawks.

(Asia Times Online. October 26. 2004)

Complete Article

Is this the direction of Japan's policy in the controversial textbook issue?


Friday, October 22, 2004

N Korea reforms bring new risk

(BBC)

The World Food Programme has expressed concern about a new class of urban poor in North Korea - those who have suffered from recent market reforms.

(BBC Online. October 22. 2004)

Link to article

Thursday, October 21, 2004

South Korea: Capital move rejected



Constitutional Court declares relocation law illegal

A controversial project to build a new administrative capital faced suspension yesterday as the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a law for capital relocation approved in parliament last year, immediately dismembering the law.

The decision dealt a severe blow to President Roh Moo-hyun, who had said he would risk the fate of his administration to push the plan. Moving the capital was Roh's foremost presidential election campaign promise.

(Korea Herald Online. October 21. 2004).
Full article.

Is this the end of Noh's plans to move the South Korean Capital?
Is it a good idea to move the administrative capital further away from the DMZ? Probably! What do you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

15 dead, 17 missing as powerful typhoon hits western Japan


TOKYO — Massive Typhoon Tokage hit western Japan on Wednesday as it raked the southwest while heading north, leaving 15 people dead, at least 17 missing and more than 120 injured, and disrupting air, land and sea transportation services across the country.

A total of 874 domestic flights were canceled for the day, affecting some 103,000 passengers, in what appears to be the largest number of cancellations in a day due to typhoon this year.

(Japan Today. October 20. 2004)

Complete article

How come this is not major news in the US?


US law promises help to N Koreans


US President Bush has signed a law that offers American support for human rights groups in North Korea and for refugees leaving the secretive state.
It earmarks $24m a year for such causes, and makes North Koreans eligible for asylum in the US.

Until now, they have been treated as citizens of South Korea, which still technically claims sovereignty over the whole peninsula.
North Korean has called the bill an attempt to bring down its government.
(BBC News Online. October 19. 2004)
Complete Article

Is this likely to help foster reform/democracy in North Korea?
Not very likely! Just look at Cuba.

Will South Korea/China benefit from this?
Not very likely?

Will a few hundred extra refugees from North Korea benefit?
Probably, but many more will get caught doing so!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Archaeologists unearth 3,000-year-old tombs in northwest China



BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese archaeologists are unearthing a group of tombs believed to be the family cemetery of the Duke of Zhou, a de facto imperial ruler who lived about 3,000 years ago, state media said.
Archaeologists discovered the group of 22 tombs in February at Qi Mountain in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. They cover an area of about 80,000 square meters (860,800 square feet), the Xinhua news agency reported.

(Yahoo News. Oct. 19. 2004)
Full Article

Myanmar PM under 'house arrest' (CNN)



BANGKOK, Thailand -- Myanmar Prime Minister Khin Nyunt has been ousted and is under house arrest on corruption charges, a Thai government spokesman has told news agencies.

CNN Online
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Article

Is this the start of reforms in Burma?
Will this mean the release of Aung San Suu Kyi?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Myanmar (Burma) bans "For the Lady" album before release



WASHINGTON (AFP) - One week before its release, Myanmar's military junta has banned an album by some of the world's top artistes demanding the freedom of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, activists said.

"According to a radio station that beams news inside Burma, we just learned that 'For the Lady' was banned by the ruling dictators," said Jeremy Woodrum, founder of non-profit group US Campaign For Burma, comprising activists seeking an end to the military dictatorship in the impoverished nation.

(AFP. Yahoo news. October 18. 2004)
Article Link

Is this another piece of evidence that shows the resiliance of the SPDC in Burma?
Will the Developed countries ever focus on the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi?

China joins drive for green cars

(AP)

China joins foreign carmakers at exhibition of eco-friendly vehicles in Shanghai as it tries to veer away from petrol-guzzling cars
ANTING (China) - Booming demand is not only turning China into the world's fastest growing car market, but it is also pushing the country to develop vehicles that run on alternative fuels.


(Strait's Times. Oct. 18. 2004)
Article

China might be the beacon for environmentally friendly cars in the future!

The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don't know

We don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld

(This is in-directly related to East Asia, since he is in control of Pacific command of the US military).

Friday, October 08, 2004

Aid Group to Set Up Church in Pyongyang



By Moon Gwang-lipStaff Reporter

A relief agency is to establish a church exclusively for foreigners in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

When opened, foreign visitors and diplomats will be able to attend English prayer services in Pyongyang.

(Korea Times. Oct. 8. 2004)

Article link


Is this the start of religious freedom in Stalinist North Korea?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

China would aid North Korea in war, says Seoul


China is ready to deploy 400,000 troops in support of its ally North Korea if a second war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, according to a South Korean military study.

Mainland support would also include 800 aircraft and 150 navy vessels, according to a report presented by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to parliament.

(Agence France-Presse. The Standard Online. Oct. 6. 2004)

Complete Article

Cookiesap:AsiaEast quite simply chooses not to agree with this report. China has too much at stake in a potential war, considering the fact that the legitimacy of the CCP is manifested in China's high economic growth; a war would risk everything for Hu Jintao. A scenario, as suggested by South Korea's JCS, is very pessimistic and extremely hypothetical.

Comments, please!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Yudhoyono wins Indonesian vote




Former Indonesian general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been declared the official winner of last month's first direct presidential election.


(BBC Online. Oct. 4. 2004)

Article

Will SBY lead Indonesia to economic growth and development?
Will he be able to keep Indonesia's militant fractions under control?

Who was right on North Korea?


Regardless of whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, if you are concerned about events on the Korean Peninsula, you had to come away from the first presidential debate feeling quite distressed. Neither US President George W Bush nor Senator John Kerry had his facts straight and, collectively, they managed to significantly reduce the already slim chance that there would be any near-term progress in the currently stalled six-party talks process.

(By Ralph A Cossa. Asia Times. Oct. 4. 2004)

Full article.

Who was right at the debate?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

U.S. Navy Ship to Keep Eye on N. Korea

(AP)

TOKYO - Amid heightened concerns of a North Korean missile test, a U.S. destroyer has started patrolling the Sea of Japan in what officials say is a first step toward creating a shield to protect the United States and its allies from a foreign missile attack.

(By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer. Yahoo. October 1. 2004)

Complete Article.

Is this a step towards increased nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula?
or
Will this deter Kim Jong Il from construction additional warheads?

Thailand proposes South-East Asian wildlife Interpol


(AFP) Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has proposed an Interpol-style agency for South-East Asia to tackle the region's multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade.

(Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Online. October 2. 2004)

Link to article

Is this a sign of a more effective Thailand is solving regional issues in South East Asia?
Is Thaksin taking this seriously enough to do get it done?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

IMF's Rato says time for China to move on currency


IMF Managing
Director, Rodrigo
Rato (Servihoo)

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato said on Thursday strong economic growth in China makes the time ripe for Beijing to start moving toward a more flexible currency.

Complete article.


Will China eventually follow IMF's (and US's) suggestions?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Suspected N.Koreans Break Into Canada Mission

(AP Photo)

BEIJING (Reuters) - Forty-four suspected North Korean asylum seekers used makeshift ladders to scale the fence and leap into the Canadian embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, the ambassador said.

Yahoo News. Sept. 29.2004.

Link

Will the refugees keep leaving North Korea until Kim Jong Il is the last person there?
What will this mean to Chinese relations to NK?

At least two dead, seven missing as Typhoon Meari hits Japan


TOKYO (AFP) - Powerful Typhoon Meari pounded Japan with heavy rain and strong winds, leaving at least two people dead and seven missing, weather officials and police said.

(Yahoo News. AFP. Sept. 29. 2004)

Full Article

Is the US media too focused on the storms (news) of its own?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jiang still has power over Hu's new regime


On Sept. 19, Jiang Zemin (江澤民) finally handed over chairmanship of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Central Military Commission. In fact, this had long been predicted. After all, for Jiang, 78, the biggest enemy has been his physical condition, rather than party comrades.

.... Has the curtain dropped on Jiang's era? It is still too early to say. Although Hu is now serving as president, CCP general secretary and chairman of the military commission, he is not necessarily able to exercise his power yet. If Jiang's physical condition is still good, members of the "Shanghai clique" at the CCP's Political Bureau will be able to go visit him from time to time. Thus, the time for "what Hu says goes" has not arrived.

(Taipei Times, 9/25/04 by Lee Fu-chung 李福鐘)
Link to article.

Has the time of Jiang come to pass?