Author Topic: Your irregular China round-up  (Read 14003 times)

Junkenstein

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Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #136 on: August 16, 2013, 04:16:38 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23714896

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An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud - when the creature started barking in front of visitors.

Chinese media reports said the zoo had replaced its genuine lion with a Tibetan mastiff dog.

A zoo official in Henan province said the dog - owned by one of the workers - was put in the cage when the real lion was sent away to a breeding centre.

Quote
But when they got to the cage marked "African lion" - which had a sign describing the range and characteristics of the animal - they were shocked to hear the creature bark.

It was then that zoo keepers revealed the so-called lion was actually a Tibetan mastiff, an animal that can have a furry brown coat, making it look a little like a lion.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #137 on: August 25, 2013, 03:38:19 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-23818091

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They were scandalous photos that almost brought down China's biggest charity - and this week the "Guo Meimei" affair took a new twist.

Screengrab from Time magazine's website
How Time magazine covered the scandal
When the glamorous young woman, whose microblog profile said she worked for a company linked to the country's Red Cross Society, posted photos of herself posing on the bonnet of luxury cars and carrying designer handbags, the public was outraged. They wanted to know how she was funding such a lavish lifestyle. And despite the Red Cross pointing out that she was not employed by the charity, claims of a lack of transparency at the organisation - coupled with the fact that Weibo - China's Twitter equivalent - had incorrectly verified her profile - meant questions persisted.

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"Guo became an unwitting poster girl for the murky world of Chinese philanthropy, in which donations have long been suspected of funding more than just charitable causes." She even earned herself a spot on the front of Time - except the cover doing the rounds turned out to be faked.

This week, amid a Chinese government crackdown on "rumour-mongers", Beijing police arrested two men from a PR company they allege exploited the scandal - along with a host of other examples of spreading false information, reports news agency Xinhua. They're alleged to have made up information to influence opinion online, including false rumours that civil servants were obliged to donate to the Red Cross, reports Xinhua.
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Cain

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #138 on: August 25, 2013, 10:35:15 pm »
-
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 05:13:33 pm by - »

Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #139 on: September 09, 2013, 02:38:23 pm »
I'm sure this is unrelated to everything else in the thread:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23990674

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Chinese officials have issued new guidelines that could see internet users jailed for writing posts that spread rumours online, state media say.

Internet users who make defamatory comments which are visited by 5,000 users or reposted more than 500 times could face up to three years in prison.

Anyone who posts information that leads to protests or ethnic unrest could also face prosecution.

These rules appear part of an official campaign to stop "online rumours".

Quote
..., four people were also arrested over posts made on Chinese social media forum weibo. The users were said to have "incited dissatisfaction with the government" by spreading rumours about a "hero" used in various propaganda posters.

I think we've formally reached the point where I can't tell if China is repressive and becoming more repressive than the US, or if China is repressive and is actively learning lessons from the US.

Add this to the potential upcoming fallout from China's compulsive need to build real estate and I think we're looking at fun times here within 5 years.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #140 on: September 24, 2013, 11:25:27 am »
Hey Cain,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-24203465

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China's disgraced former politician Bo Xilai is appealing against his sentence, reports say.

The former party chief of Chongqing was sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday. He was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Care to make any predictions on how that appeal is likely to go? I'm guessing "Badly".

Quote
Bo is reported to have erupted in anger as he was sentenced.

I'd also guess that he didn't influence the right guy. I say influence, I mean bribe. 
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Cain

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #141 on: December 27, 2013, 01:32:56 pm »
Japan's Prime Minister is going out of his way to rile up China:

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a shrine on Thursday that is seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression, infuriating China and South Korea and prompting concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the North Asian neighbours.

China and South Korea have repeatedly expressed anger in the past over Japanese politicians' visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honoured along with those who died in battle.

The two countries have been especially touchy about visits to the shrine by serving Japanese prime ministers, and Abe is the first leader in office to pay homage at Yasukuni in the past seven years.

The Shrine is far more than just a memorial for the dead in WWII, as this article explains:

Quote
Yasukuni is ground zero for an unrepentant view of Japan’s wartime aggression. During World War II, the shrine served as the “command headquarters” of State Shinto, a religion that deified the emperor and mobilized Japanese subjects to fight a holy war at his behest. The private foundation that runs Yasukuni only added the 14 most controversial “souls” [Class A war criminals—ed.] -- surreptitiously -- in 1978.

The shrine’s political mission is on blatant display at the adjacent Yushukan museum, run by the same foundation. There, the Class A war criminals are portrayed as martyrs. Japan’s war in China is supposed to have suppressed banditry and terrorism, while its invasion of the rest of Asia is represented as a war of liberation from Western colonialism…

[…]

It is telling that Emperor Showa (Hirohito), once the head priest of State Shinto, confided to an aide that he stopped visiting Yasukuni after 1978 precisely because the shrine had been tainted by the presence of the Class A war criminals. This explicit politicization of the site also explains why his son, current Emperor Akihito, has maintained the imperial household’s embargo on visits.

But remember, Japan our are allies, against the villainous Chinese.  That their PM is visiting a shrine which strongly implies that he considers America's war against Japan as unmitigated aggression...well, that's just unfortunate.  And that Japan is currently making alliances with countries who resented the British Imperial role in Asia in the WWII period...well, mere coincidence.

It's certainly not that Abe is looking to secure an independent power base in Asia by causing the USA and China to fight with each other, using the tension to justify a Japanese military build-up, escalating regional instability to allow it to eventually assert an independent role.

I'm starting to warm to the idea of a Chinese/US/Australian alliance.  We'd probably have to let Pakistan join the club too, but, well, nothing is perfect in life.

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #142 on: December 28, 2013, 12:13:34 am »
"I'm starting to warm to the idea of a Chinese/US/Australian alliance.  We'd probably have to let Pakistan join the club too, but, well, nothing is perfect in life."

The very concept of this fascinates me.

Cain

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #143 on: December 28, 2013, 10:59:12 am »
Basically, a US-Chinese alliance would have huge military, political and economic clout, with an interest in preserving the status quo.  It would definitely benefit Australia, who is politically close to the US, but economically closer to China.  Pakistan would probably have to join, if for no other reason than being an ally of both the USA and China, and to exert pressure on India.  South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines would likely be involved too.

Of course, nothing is set in stone.  The US will probably drift into opposition with China...the "pivot" to Asia is proving to be a destabilizing influence, with its unspoken assumption of containing China causing China's regional foes to scramble for reasons to push their agenda onto the US budget.  You know, like the last decade in the Middle East, writ large.

But right now, if I were looking for longterm security risks in Asia, it would be Japanese nationalism, militarism and rearmament allied with a nuclear India and a potentially nuclear Burma, with a revisionist understanding of the history of the region and antipathy for both the US and China.

Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #144 on: January 03, 2014, 11:27:24 am »
Potentially nuclear Burma? 2014 - YEAR OF FUN.
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Cain

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #145 on: January 03, 2014, 12:16:11 pm »
Burma was undertaking some suspicious trading with North Korea, back when the US wanted nothing to do with them and China wasn't much happy with them either.  As Foreign Policy magazine put it in 2011: " In addition to brutally suppressing a pro-democracy movement, the regime's leaders had cultivated ties with North Korea and expressed an unhealthy interest in ballistic missiles and nuclear technology." 

A defector, a certain Major Sai Thein Win left Burma with a lot of photographs of technical workshops in his possession, which he claims are proof of a nascent missile program, and that the technology being put to use there is of a decidedly nuclear nature.

Interestingly the suppliers of some of the equipment also have their doubts...not enough to not actually sell the stuff, of course, but they did note a number of discrepancies when visiting the site to ensure their dual-use tools of destruction were being utilised responsibly.  Like, they thought they were supplying a civilian program, so why did the workshop only contain men of military age and bearing?

Burma has tried to be more open about it's nuclear activities recently...but that's the decision of President Thein Sein, who doesn't seem to control the military very well.

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #146 on: January 03, 2014, 12:39:41 pm »
Basically, a US-Chinese alliance would have huge military, political and economic clout, with an interest in preserving the status quo.  It would definitely benefit Australia, who is politically close to the US, but economically closer to China.  Pakistan would probably have to join, if for no other reason than being an ally of both the USA and China, and to exert pressure on India.  South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines would likely be involved too.

Of course, nothing is set in stone.  The US will probably drift into opposition with China...the "pivot" to Asia is proving to be a destabilizing influence, with its unspoken assumption of containing China causing China's regional foes to scramble for reasons to push their agenda onto the US budget.  You know, like the last decade in the Middle East, writ large.

But right now, if I were looking for longterm security risks in Asia, it would be Japanese nationalism, militarism and rearmament allied with a nuclear India and a potentially nuclear Burma, with a revisionist understanding of the history of the region and antipathy for both the US and China.

This is also fascinating as history seems to show that with the rise of any great alliance between countries a counter forms sooner or later. The EU-Russia and south american countries would be an interesting balance to this. Brazil is rapidly rising and I can see all kinds of interesting deals and compromises if the Falklands oil speculation comes good. If there's any kind of crash in China, and it could be somewhat expected with their property market then all bets are off anyway.

Burma's probably going to have a new president this year too it seems. More to read up on here, Thanks Cain.
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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #147 on: May 30, 2014, 03:41:30 pm »
China is pushing back against the pivot:

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China's president called Tuesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.

President Xi Jinping spoke at a meeting in Shanghai of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia, an obscure group that has taken on significance as Beijing tries to extend its influence and limit the role of the United States, which it sees as a strategic rival.

"We need to innovate our security cooperation (and) establish new regional security cooperation architecture," said Xi, speaking to an audience that included President Vladimir Putin of Russia and leaders of Central Asian countries.

Again, who could've forseen etc...

Junkenstein

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Re: Your irregular China round-up
« Reply #148 on: June 17, 2014, 12:53:47 pm »
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/06/14/national/media-national/vietnam-seen-potential-role-model-japan/#.U6ArgPmwI7o

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Although tourism and trade between Japan and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have expanded rapidly in recent years, when compared with other ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Vietnam has maintained a fairly low profile in the Japanese media. But suddenly the country is being admiringly portrayed by some as a kindred spirit, and by a few as a military role model to be emulated.

The reason for this is simple: Japan and Vietnam are both engaged in acrimonious territorial disputes with China — in Japan’s case the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu in Chinese), administered as part of Okinawa Prefecture; and in Vietnam’s case, two groups of islands and shoals in the South China Sea, the Paracel and Spratley islands (Xisha and Nansha in Chinese). The latter, which encompasses just 4 sq. km of land, are spread over 425,000 sq. km of ocean, and are also claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

In January 1974, forces of the former Republic of Vietnam were defeated in a naval clash with China over the disputed Paracels.

Last month, rioting by Vietnamese outraged over China’s setting up an oil rig between the Paracels and coast of Vietnam resulted in considerable damage to Chinese and Taiwanese-owned factories, including at least two deaths. (Some sources put the number of deaths as high as 21.) China was obliged to send ships to evacuate its nationals.

Mindful that Chinese protesters had meted out similar treatment to Japanese businesses and joint ventures in China in 2010 and 2012 over the Senkaku dispute, the sense of schadenfreude in news coverage of the riots in Vietnam was palpable.

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“While it has no naval power or air power to speak of, Vietnam is a country with resolve, and which wages war based on the strategy that ‘To deny victory (to an enemy) is to avoid defeat’” — a strategy that’s proved to be anathema for larger nations such as France, the United States and China. For Japan, Tamogami suggests, there are lessons to be learned from Vietnam’s example.

Weekly Playboy (June 16) examines Vietnam’s potential to contend with China in a naval conflict, while also underscoring the potential implications for Japan.

Referring to the incident on Jan. 30, 2013, in which a Chinese naval frigate allegedly locked its weapons-guiding radar onto a Japanese destroyer — an accusation that China’s Defense Ministry brushed off as “groundless” — military affairs journalist Mitsuhiro Sera believes a Vietnamese ship would have reacted by attacking pre-emptively, since “Such an act is akin to a declaration of war,” as Sera puts it.

“The people of Vietnam and the Vietnam People’s Army have esprit de corps, perhaps you could call it ‘will power,’” observes Toru Kitsu, editor of the publication “Ships of the World,” who adds that its military benefits from the know-how of combat-tested soldiers and leaders who survived the protracted war with the United States.

Seems like these various disputed islands will eventually need sorting out sooner rather than later. If various nations are looking at Vietnam as an example of how not to lose to a superior power then things could become very interesting (read - bloody) in short order.

I seem to recall something about US wargames at sea recently with the "insurgency" side having access to small ships and boats. They beat the "military" side bloody if my memory still works.
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