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

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 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


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