Busy day = more China.
I had planned tonight to continue the refugee post, but circumstances today did not allow me to organize that as well as I would have liked, so it might be Friday before I get to it. In the meantime here are some blog-bits for you:The China Project
is rolling along still:
A Guy in Pajamas has his first post
on the matter up and refers us back to an older post
on this subject with more to come. You have got to read these, the first one has John Wayne, opium, Mitsubishi Zeros, Tom Cruise and more. It might be a bit tongue in cheek.Mad Minerva
has a new post on China-Taiwan and kindly pointed Bruce of the two blogs Naruwan Famosa
and the, ahem, far ranging Between Worlds
in our direction, great additions to the project.
Meanwhile the regions continues to find new reasons to tense up. Newsday
has a great piece today on what it can mean when the victors write the history books- and then make sure
there are no dissenting voices- (from Newsday):Some things you won't find in Chinese history textbooks: the 1989 democracy movement, the millions who died in a famine caused by misguided communist policies or China's military attacks on India and Vietnam. As China criticizes Japan for new textbooks that critics say minimize wartime abuses like the Japanese military forcing Asian women into sexual slavery, Beijing's own schoolbooks have significant omissions about the communist system's own history and relations with its neighbors."With rising Chinese nationalism, the efforts to rewrite history, to reinterpret history according to the demands of nationalism have become a major national pastime," said Maochun Yu, a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md....An eighth-grade history book used in Shanghai, China's most cosmopolitan city, repeatedly refers to Japanese by an insulting phrase that roughly translates as "Jap bandits."
That is most likely not going to go over well in Tokyo (but that's ok, China has a new friend). China, India and Japan will continue to be a topic in the MSM, the blogosphere in general and here at the Demarche for some time. It seems from reading the news and the blogs linked to here that many of our fellow writers are spot on in their analyses. Pollution, population, human rights, expansionist leanings, economic development and resource usage will be the themes of Chinas near future, and will continue to impact on the region and the world. China/Taiwan has the potential to become to the new Israel/Palestine. The list goes on and on.
So what is a country to do when the world is looking upon it unfavorably? First, deny any problem and then try to shift the focus towards America, of course, even if obliquely. But that's ok, we'll show them! If they keep making cheap knock-off products we'll just send William Lash to China to rip them up with bare hands. I love this quote from Lash:
"The minister of culture told me the problem has been solved, so I guess I must have been shopping around the wrong city," Lash said.
Intellectual property rights are a big part of what many Foreign Service missions do- so I should not make fun of it too much, but sometimes it does crack me up- there is a near legendary (apocryphal ?) story of the Econ officer who spent an entire tour debating whether or not Yoda was "human" under the legal definition in the country he was in, and thus protected from illegal reproduction of likeness. And most Deputy Secretaries of any Department are not as funny as Lash appears to be anyway.
Finally, on to a non-China topic for a little humor (and a good poke at the UN to boot) check out this post at Expat Yank on what celebs in the UK would do if they were Prime Minister. My favorite:
Howard Marks- Former Drug Dealer & Writer: If I were Prime Minister: 'I would legalise all recreational drugs, convert the House of Lords to a perpetual clubland, give Wales its independence, and attempt to expel the United States of America from the United Nations.'
Robert follows that with a response that sums up why I am such a fan of his blog:
Leaving aside the first three as exclusively British concerns, on that expelling the U.S. from the UN -- one question: Aside from the fact that quite a few Americans would love to see the U.S. tossed out of the UN (it would save Americans the terrible difficulty of trying either to leave the UN themselves, or asking it to leave New York), without U.S. membership one wonders who will cough up the extra $3 billion annually the U.S. currently contributes to that august organization? China? France? Independent Wales?
Gosh, you'd think a "Former Drug Dealer" would have a better grasp of money issues.
OK all, hopefully I'll be able to get back on track tomorrow, but it might be Friday- duty calls tomorrow night. Now were are my striped pants?