Cracking down on anti-Japanese protests

Unfortunately, it’s harder to do once you let the genie out of the bottle, as the CCP did in recent weeks when it facilitated and all bu topenly encouraged the protestors. Now they’ve got to got to get the genie back into the bottle.

China launched a new effort Saturday to prevent anti-Japanese violence before a sensitive anniversary, warning against protests and calling on the public to express patriotism sensibly.

Chinese leaders, warning of possible damage to important economic ties with Tokyo, have demanded calm following weeks of protests that left the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and a consulate damaged.

Those demonstrations were prompted by new Japanese textbooks derided for allegedly whitewashing Tokyo’s World War II-era abuses, opposition to Japan’s campaign for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat and disputes over control of the East China Sea.

Official concern is especially acute as China marks the upcoming anniversary of an anti-Japanese protest on May 4, 1919, that has become a symbol of resistance to foreign domination.

“Express patriotism rationally. Don’t take part in illegal protests. Don’t make trouble,” said a text message sent Saturday by Beijing police to millions of mobile phone users in the Chinese capital.

Warnings also were spread by text message and state media in several other cities.

Wednesday’s anniversary is awkward for Chinese leaders because the protesters in 1919 complained that China’s leaders were weak in the face of Japanese aggression – a charge that current rulers are eager to avoid.

How ironic, after providing transportation and things to throw, to see the CCP begging its people to take a rational approach to Japan. Chalk one up to the foreign correspondents in China, many of whom said the anti-Japanese demonstrations would inevitably backfire, forcing the CCP to clamp down and condemn them. It’s exactly what happened.


Another Chinese reporter’s life is ruined

Keep those reforms coming. It really makes me sick beyond words.

A Chinese journalist who worked for a financial newspaper was sentenced Saturday to 10 years in prison on charges of giving state secrets to foreigners.

Shi Tao’s family said the sentence was the minimum possible under his March conviction “illegally providing state secrets to foreigners.” They said the maximum was life in prison.

Shi worked at the Contemporary Business News, a financial publication, and was convicted of leaking the contents of a confidential memo at the paper to a foreign publication, the official Xinhua News Agency said in the first detailed account of charges against him. It didn’t explain the nature of the memo or identify the foreign publication.

Besides working as a journalist, Shi also published Internet essays advocating reforms to China’s one-party system.

The 37-year-old Shi was sentenced by a court in the central city of Changsha. His arrest in November prompted appeals for his release by activists including the international writers group PEN.

A series of Chinese journalists have faced similar charges of violating vague security laws as communist leaders struggle to maintain control of information in the burgeoning Internet era.

China knows how the world sees this. They saw the backlash against the arrest of cyberdissidents Liu Di and Du Daobin. They know how reactionary it makes them appear. They want to clean up their image and join the superpowers club. So why do they keep doing this? What’s their strategy? I can think of only one answer, and that’s to keep potential “troublemakers” in a perpetual state of fear to help ensure “harmony.” That’s a classic technique of a police state, and I really look forward to the day China abandons it.


New Peking Duck Favicon

Hopefully you’ve all noticed the cool little “favicon” up in the address bar by my site name — the little duck head, to be precise. This was created by John Pasden of Sinosplice free of charge, and I can’t think him enough.


“Why you be hatin’ China?”

I’ve been enjoying a new Laowai’s dry wit and pithy prose, and smiled more than once as I read his latest post.

You know, people might very well ask me, Laowai 19790204, why you be hatin’ on China so much? What bad things has China done to you? Provides your countrymen with cheap goods, brings the quality of life in the US up to what it is, invented paper, gunpowder, fireworks, dumplings and is the home to 四川花椒,棒棒鸡,道教 and Laozi. Why you gotta be hatin’ on China?

Read it all to discover his answers. (And don’t worry, he isn’t deranged about China; he “hates on” the US and other places as well.) As I said in a comment in a recent post, it sure is a different set of expat bloggers in China than it was back in 2003.


“How We Would Fight China”

Update: To avoid copyright issues, I am removing the PDF file that was sent to me. You can learn quite a bit about Kaplan’s article here.

Robert Kaplan’s excellent but unlinkable article from the Atlantic Monthly is available here in its entirety long, detailed, and quite gripping. Sample:

In any naval encounter China will have distinct advantages over the United States, even if it lags in technological military prowess. It has the benefit, for one thing, of sheer proximity. Its military is an avid student of the competition, and a fast learner. It has growing increments of “soft” power that demonstrate a particular gift for adaptation. While stateless terrorists fill security vacuums, the Chinese fill economic ones. All over the globe, in such disparate places as the troubled Pacific Island states of Oceania, the Panama Canal zone, and out-of-the-way African nations, the Chinese are becoming masters of indirect influence—by establishing business communities and diplomatic outposts, by negotiating construction and trade agreements. Pulsing with consumer and martial energy, and boasting a peasantry that, unlike others in history, is overwhelmingly literate, China constitutes the principal conventional threat to America’s liberal imperium.

Kaplan is no neo-con, by the way. Read it all when you have time.

Update: As I read through it again, I realized we’d all better pray nothing like this ever happens.


Pierce this!

Oh, what people won’t do in the name of religion. Here’s what they’re doing down in Myanmar.


Yet more on Hu, the great reformer

UPDATE: I am asleep. For the second time this week I linked to stories I linked to earlier. it’s because I’m posting from work real fast this week, with some big things happening at my office. I promise to be more attentive once this week is over.


Right-wing lunacy – it’s not a joke

We have yet another psycho-legislator with his own diseased mission:

A college production tells the story of Matthew Sheppard, a student beaten to death because he was gay.

And soon, it could be banned in Alabama.

Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

“I don’t look at it as censorship,” says State Representative Gerald Allen. “I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children.”

Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” has lesbian characters.

It seems every week or so another hate-based bill like this rears its ugly head. And the legislators think they are being good Americans and, even more bizarre, good Christians. These things are now so common, they generate little outrage or anger; undisguised hatred and proposals for legalized discrimination have simply become something we accept as the norm. One day this ugly period will end, and people will look back at proposals like this, and at Focus on the Family and related hate groups, and wonder how we lost our moral compass, how we allowed America to become so closely associated with the “religious” right, the very antithesis of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.

Via Orcinus.


I guess it takes all kinds

I read this strange story of a feisty Korean woman in a true, profound state of disbelief. I usually wouldn’t post about this kind of thing, but something about it is so weird, so incredible that I just have ask how it could have happened.

A female drug addict was arrested yesterday for a series of brutal crimes that included blinding her mother and other family members, killing three people and setting fire to houses to collect insurance payments to buy dope.

The 28-year-old woman was found to have received almost 600 million won of insurance money in the last five years to feed her narcotics addiction after the death of a three-year-old daughter, officials at Gangnam police station, southern Seoul, said.

The woman, who was not identified, committed a long list of crimes in which she blinded and killed two ex-husbands, blinded her mother, a brother and another woman, police said.

“The woman has stated that she felt an impulse to set houses on fire because she saw her daughter, who was cremated five years ago, in the flames,” police said. “And thus, we suspect that the woman committed the crimes due to depression and addiction to narcotics.” Police said she was addicted to using methamphetamines, known here as philopon.

The woman blinded her first husband’s right eye with a pin after dosing him with sleeping pills in 2000.

A former insurance salesperson, she led the insurance company to believe her husband was mentally deranged and said he had injured himself after drinking.

Later, she stabbed her husband in the stomach and poured boiling oil on his face during medical treatment for his eyes, killing him and collecting 289 million won insurance for his death.

The woman remarried in 2002 and received 38 million won after blinding her second husband’s right eye, using the same modus operandi as with the first husband. She killed the second husband after receiving insurance money paid for his blindness.

Via Lost Nomad.


Is Adam back?

Well, sort of, maybe, kinda. The relatively newlywed English teacher has comments turned off and isn’t posting much — and he’s about to leave China for Vietnam. Let’s hope he soon returns to blogging with the same enthusiasm and brashness as in the good old days, when the expat-in-China blogosphere truly rocked.