31 May, 2005

racist arsehole

Before I go to bed, I’d like to note that this fellow in Queensland is a racist arsehole.

This matter has gone on too long for Schapelle Corby and myself, as
soon as I resolve my matters with Rockhampton People. I will be over to
Those Fucking Spear Chuckers, to give them some Hurry Up ! with
Vigilantes interested please email

by @ 11:49 pm. Filed under Indonesia, Southeast Asia

dell, a new toshiba?

In the war for China’s laptops (and desk tops), Lenovo has some advantages over competitor Dell. Lenovo is majority state-owned. It is one of the country’s better state-run companies, the Hong Kong-listed ones do have to meet stricter disclosure requirements, but it would still in theory have access to all of the policy-loan goodies handed out by China’s state run banks.

Moreover, it has a friendly state-run press that is more than willing to publish comments like this (via China Daily) about competitor Dell, which is allegedly playing up Lenovo’s government links to boost US sales:

"It is a conscienceless move," said Shen Dingli, professor with American Studies Centre under Fudan University
and an expert on American culture. "It is hardly for the Americans to
accept the fact that Lenovo, a poor fellow in their eyes, purchased IBM
PC business. They could tolerate acquisition by Japanese
enterprises, but they can not stand Chinese purchase, which, in their
view, is a kind of technical aggression," noted professor Shen.
"I feel shame for Dell computer’s possible move to get a upper
hand in the market competition at the cost of defaming China and
Chinese enterprises," further added professor Shen.

Playing up anti-Japanese sentiments and displacing them toward Dell? Fascinating! Perhaps Dell will become another Toshiba (via Feer):

…Problems arose when Toshiba did not offer a similar settlement to Chinese
consumers. On May 8, 2000, a Beijing-based Web site received a report of the
settlement from a U.S consumer, and posted it. Toshiba offered to supply Chinese
customers with free software patches in order to fix the flaw, but declined to
offer any monetary compensation…
The Internet played a big role in the anti-Toshiba campaigns. In reaction to the
news of the settlement, a hacker by the name of Miss Assassin infiltrated
Toshiba’s Chinese website and left behind the message: “Annihilate the Japanese
devils! Hang their Chinese collaborators!” Hundreds of messages supporting the
hacker were posted on the Web. China’s popular Web site sina.com displayed
further representative remarks…
Following the incident, Toshiba dropped from its position as No. 1 laptop
supplier in China to No. 3, after Legend and IBM, and its market share dropped
to 15% from 19% in the second quarter of 2000.

For what it’s worth, I believe that Dell likely did try to play up Lenovo’s links to the Chinese government to boost US sales. Still, I see no reason to doubt that Lenovo will try to exploit these links for their own interests in China.

Still, excessive friction here will be unhelpful in the current environment. For what it’s worth, they both suck. (I use a Mac.)

by @ 8:00 pm. Filed under China, Economy, Northeast Asia

i spy

I spy. Daily. But that’s only because I live in China, which has a very loose definition of spying ():

BEIJING (AFP) - A senior journalist for Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper detained last month has confessed to being a spy for foreign intelligence organs, China has claimed, a charge that can carry the
death sentence.
Ching Cheong, 55, the Hong Kong-based chief China correspondent for the paper, was detained on April 22 in the southern city of Guangzhou…
"Ching has admitted that in recent years he has been following the instructions of overseas intelligence organisations and has undertaken intelligence collecting activities on mainland China.

Given that the role of a foreign correspondent is to gather information for overseas organizations, I believe this ‘confession’ could have been extracted simply by asking Ching for his job description.


by @ 7:30 pm. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Media

truth on mao

Art-whore Supernaut fumes at Mao-inspired fashion and welcomes a new biography as a welcome bit of reality:

No one argues any more that even though Hitler, Stalin, or Pol Pot did terrible things, they were, somehow, "great". The unchanged view of Mao is partly the fault of the Chinese Communist Party’s leaders, who claim to be his heirs and hang his portrait in the emotional centre of the capital. But even elsewhere in the world Mao is often praised, after his brutality has been acknowledged, as a visionary, poet, calligrapher, guerrilla chieftain, military genius, unifier, and even - as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger claimed - charmer.
Not any more. In their decisive biography, Mao: the Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday leave Mao for dead. By that I mean that Mao’s reputation as a "great man," unless one includes Hitler and Stalin too, is finished.

She reproduces a review of the book by Jonathan Mirsky, approvingly.

Meanwhile, Red Star News, disapprovingly, reproduces sections of a review by the Guardian’s Will Hutton that is much kinder on the Chairman.

Anyway, what I really don’t like about the articles are pieces like this:

the Great Leap Forward and the disaster of the Cultural Revolution are
famed exercises in futility, personal delusion and inhumanity,
brilliantly documented by Chang and Halliday, don’t forget that between
one and the other Chinese growth averaged 15 per cent per annum, never
achieved before in a single year in China’s long history.

but Hutton forgot to mention that the years in between the country was
governed not by Mao but by Liu Shaoqi and that this economical success
was one cause for Mao to launch the CR.

by @ 7:21 pm. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Books

journalist involved in espionage

China is claiming that Ching Chiong, China correspondent for Singapore’s Straits Times was a spy. (via tomorrow.sg)

Forbes.com reports on the ST journalist detained in China:

‘On April 22 Ching was investigated by relevant Chinese departments for being involved in espionage,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement.

‘Ching has admitted that in recent years he has been following the instructions of overseas intelligence organisations and has undertaken intelligence collecting activities on mainland China.

Forbes also has a related story on SPH’s response to the allegations (SPH - Singapore Press Holdings owns Straits Times)

‘We are shocked by this new accusation,’ SPH said in a statement.

SPH said: ‘We have no cause to doubt that in all the years that Ching Cheong has worked with us, he has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism.

‘Until we see incontrovertible evidence, we stand by our belief that he has always acted in the best interests of The Straits Times,’ SPH added.

by @ 6:57 pm. Filed under Singapore, China

blogosphere on ip violations

disini writes on Philippine bloggers blowing the whistle on ip violations:

I must say that I’m very happy to report about two (2) blog

entries that have recently come to my attention.  I’ve always

known that bloggers have the ability to highlight issues that

traditional media can’t or won’t cover.  These two (2) entries

expose alleged copyright infringement separately commited by GMA 7’s

Debate show and Bayo, the clothes company.


by @ 5:42 pm. Filed under Blogs, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Manuel Quezon III, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs


As a proud hack, I also resemble these remarks (via Running Dog):

The State Council News Office head, Zhao Qizheng, recently accused certain foreign journalists of coming to their conclusions and then finding the facts that fit them, usually to the disadvantage and disrepute of the Chinese Communist Party. As foreign journalists, Running Dog admits that he is absolutely right.
Information is at a premium. Access is often impossible. We rely on the snippets of news that we have managed to obtain on previous occasions and are forced to build on that. As a result, we come out with elaborate structures of supposition and rumour.
As journalists, we can only aspire to be more or less accurate, and to revise that scale upwards to the greatest extent possible. It is easy to misunderstand, or to base our case on partial evidence, or to be steered in what particular direction by those who form the basis of our source materials.
These source materials aren’t just the obvious papers and press releases and official speeches, but also the array of assumptions we bring to the job – which may include the usually paranoid assumption that everything everyone tells us is fake.

by @ 2:32 pm. Filed under China, Media

china sub down

TOKYO (AFP) - A Chinese navy submarine stalled apparently after a fire broke out aboard the vessel while it was submerged in the South China Sea, a Japanese newspaper said.
The submarine was being towed Monday above the water by a Chinese vessel towards the Yulin Naval Port on China’s Hainan Island, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing Japanese and US defense sources.

While my immediate concern is about the sailors, it will be interesting to see how (and if) the Chinese press deal with this. Submarine disasters in other countries have not reflected well on governments.

by @ 2:17 pm. Filed under Japan, China, Northeast Asia

openness saves lives

TwentyOnwards welcomes the philanthropy of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton in addressing India’s Aids crisis, but says that solving the problem will require more openness in India.:

Being a traditional society doesn’t mean that we cannot discuss sex openly, nor does being open mean teaching the KamaSutra just because we came up with it. Indian pop-culture shows our confused state of mind, where family values as well as sex sells.
The first step in fighting AIDS is accepting it as a problem and talking about it, which is not an easy task even here in the U.S. But, we are the ones in the adverse position and we still keep digging ourselves in to the hole, the longer we take to overcome this first step.

by @ 2:10 pm. Filed under India, South Asia

ching cheong

Simon muses about the approach news organizations take when reporters are jailed by the Chinese government and whether any approach can persuade the CPC to change.

I understand that papers are put in difficult positions when reporters are arrested. On one hand it is news-worthy, but on the other the reporting of the arrest would likely further imperil the reporter. The New York Times and Washington Post manage to report such arrests of their staff. It’s an interesting contrast with the Straits Times approach.

Especially since neither approach has worked.

He also has a brief round-up of blogger posts on the jailing of the Straits Times reporter Ching Cheong.

Glutter also has a view:

There are a lot of pro-china people out there that tells us that we should trust China, that Hong Kong people should not be afraid of losing our freedoms, and every so often we are reminded that no matter how much China "opens" information is not part of the package. And of course there are people who will say that the journalist deserves to be placed in jail because he "knows,’ that what he is doing is illegal, and that’s just asking for trouble. Which really is the tenants of self censorship. Not to test the line, never do anything offensive and stick to the easy news. Being a journalist is not about telling the truth, it’s just a job. And if you try to break that comfortable self censored line, you end up in jail.

by @ 2:02 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

sex and the pla

From the Hong Kong Standard, weekend edition, an item noting why censorship doesn’t work.:

China’s arbiters of taste are fighting a losing battle. Their prudish attempts to purge sexually explicit and politically sensitive works from bookshops in the mainland have backfired - by transforming banned writings into underground hits.
Nearly all books axed by Communist Party censors in recent years … have become hot properties.

Far from scaring of the public, media hype brought about by the bans has helped some of those books gain instant notoriety.
A novella about steamy sex in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has become the latest work to offend the guardians of socialist mores and as a result scale the lists of popular reading.

by @ 10:34 am. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Media

traditional divorce

Japundit points to a new book arguing that Japan’s high divorce rates are not a new phenomena:

In DIVORCE IN JAPAN: Family, Gender and the State 1600-2000 (Stanford University Press: Stanford, 2004, 226 pages), which was reviewed recently in The Japan Times, Harold Feuss claims that divorce rates in 19th-century Japan were actually higher than they are today.

Elevated divorce rates are nothing new to Japan; indeed, 19th-century rates have been exceeded only by those in the post-1970s United States. As recently as the late 19th century, there was little stigma attached to divorce and multiple marriages were common.

by @ 10:11 am. Filed under Culture, Japan, Northeast Asia

hong kong protest

Gateway Pundit is offering coverage of Sunday’s pro-democracy march/Tiananmen Square massacre memorial rally in Hong Kong. ESNW notes dwindling numbers and looks at media coverage of the event.

UPDATE: Glutter has a report saying the next one will be bigger.

by @ 9:50 am. Filed under China, Hong Kong

30 May, 2005

remembrances ii


As the mother of a victim, there is no way for me to forget these boys and girls and men and women, including my own son, who died in pools of blood. I want the people of the world to know that they once lived in this world, that this world once belonged to them, and why and how they disappeared from it.

by @ 11:17 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

mango sauce returns

As a family site, I won’t be linking to Mango Sauce often. The content is mostly related to bar-girl, prostitute and mail-order bride stories. But I’m glad the vacation is over.:

To convince a love-sick fool that his adorable Internet dream-girl is really a yo-yo knickered common prostitute, a big smoking gun needs to be rammed firmly up his arse and discharged several more times.

by @ 11:03 pm. Filed under Southeast Asia, Thailand

textile wars

Fons is smart, Kroeber is smart, Myrick is smart. I was covering chemicals markets for about two years before I moved to Shanghai. Most of the big synthetic-fiber producers moved operations here before the end of the textile quota regime. I believe most of the natural-fiber producers did too, I have no immediate data or anecdotes to support that - but it would have been rational. The EU and US had 10 years to adjust for the end of quotas. They didn’t do it. Governments can’t be trusted to do anything right.

Arthur Kroeber of the China Economic Quarterly accuses in the Financial Times world leaders of lack of leadership.
"The recent surge in China’s textile exports to Europe and America, which threatens to spark a trade war, was an entirely predictable problem whose political impact could easily have been prevented by more intelligent economic leadership last year.

by @ 10:32 pm. Filed under China, Economy

quickies on corby verdict

Look for detailed roundups elsewhere, but here are a few reactions to Schapelle Corby’s 20-year sentence for smuggling drugs into Indonesia, via faves Blair, Swanker, Jakartass and others from tecnorati (ap’s advice, some of you should take it down a few notches, much of the blog commentary on the Corby case is ugly.):

Oz uberblogger Tim Blair is impressed with her defense team.
Jakartass is not related to SillyAsses.
The Swanker asks: "Has Oz gone mad?"
Intellectual Poison says Corby got a "crappy" deal or "got off easy."
Drakk says she probably deserved it.
Shaneybaby severely overreacts: "I say we bomb them and leave them back at square one after the tsunami and walk away."
Alan Singer says he is not boycotting Indonesia but would not "contemplate travelling to that place whilst their legal system is
capable of the travesty of justice that is Schapelle Corby."
tauri is pissed, and will be active in freeing Corby, but won’t advocate a boycott of Bali.
‘Me’ says the Corby affair has "highlighted how much of Australia is made up of ignorant rednecks."


by @ 10:19 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

targeted justice

China is serious about cracking down on corruption. So much so, it is possibly inventing cases of corruption to target for prosecution (via Angry Chinese Blogger):

Yu (Huafeng), a former deputy editor for 南方都市报 (Southern Metropolitan News), was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in January 2004 for corruption and embezzlement of fund. According to reports carried by Xinhua, China’s state media agency, Yu had embezzled $US70,000 in funds, which he used to make illegal payments to senior staff members while he was working with南方都市报. His sentence was reduced later reduced to 8 years in on June 7, 2004…
Reports obtained by the CPJ, a US based reporters’ rights group, suggest that money distributed by Yu had been obtained through legal channels, and that it was distributed, in line accepted Chinese corporate practices, as part of the news group’s bonus scheme.
Prior to his imprisonment, the 南方都市报 had begun a campaign to expose local corruption and to raise the prominence of socially important issues, including poverty and official abuses of power.

by @ 9:26 pm. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Media

musharraf puts on the charm

With three international media interviews this week, one of America’s favorite dictators is clearly trying to charm the Western press. His efforts probably didn’t impress the neighboring mullahs though, notes Nitin.

SPIEGEL: What would you suggest for keeping the Iranians from producing the bomb?
Musharraf: I can’t say. They are very keen on building the bomb.
SPIEGEL: As Pakistan was.
Musharraf: Yes, we were keen. Nobody can accept a threat to its existence. Therefore we are very proud to have nuclear weapons.
SPIEGEL: Did Pakistan help Iran and North Korea to go nuclear?
Musharraf: An individual from Pakistan did

by @ 9:14 pm. Filed under Pakistan, India, Media, South Asia

censor to get sacked

The China Daily has been slipping lately. Once it was a source of state-approved commentary. It was crap reading (still is), but at least it allowed you to know what the State Council was thinking. The latest error isn’t on the scale of the ‘renminbi revaluation‘ screw-up. No one will lose millions - but someone will likely lose their job. (Via Danwei):

The China Daily website republished a story taken from USA Today last week, almost certainly without permission.
Titled China under spell of mighty ‘Super Voice Girl’ the article looks at the reality show / talent contests like American Idol that are becoming popular in China.
It seems that the editor-censors did not read the article very closely; the China Daily version still includes the following line:

Super Girl is surprisingly participatory. This remains a country where people can’t elect their leaders. But they can vote for their favorite singers.

by @ 9:06 pm. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Media

gerrymandering, philippine-style

Under the Talisay Tree writes, apropos of a plan to divide Cebu province, one of the most politically-influential provinces, into two or more new provinces:

Perhaps this move of dividing up Cebu can be a wake-up call to the leadership to be more attentive to the needs of the communities far from the seat of the provincial government. And by the way, there is another place where I used to live that is going to be dismembered soon too. I spend two years as young teacher in Dinagat Island. Another bill is pending in Congress that will detach Dinagat from Surigao del Norte and turn it into a province.


by @ 6:43 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Manuel Quezon III, Philippines

dell’s new pitch

Dell is trying to steal sales from IBM/Lenovo by telling potential
customers that it doesn’t support the Chinese Communist Party (via the
(possibly firewalled?) Bingfeng):

04/28/2005 08:53 AM Subject: RE: PDA
 I was going to try for tomorrow but I may have a conflict (Wife’s
doctors appt. for our expecting baby). Are you in the office tomorrow
in case I can make it over to Belvoir?
  Is there currently anything you are working on that we can provide some assistance with?
 From a IBM perspective, and please do not think I’m throwing stones.
As you know Lenovo is a Chinese government owned company that recently
purchased IBM’s desktop/notebook business. While the US government has
given its stamp of approval (no US secrets are in jeopardy) to continue
to purchase these units people must understand that every dollar they
spend on these IBM systems is directly supporting/funding the Chinese
  Just something to think about.

by @ 2:56 pm. Filed under China

state secrets

China has jailed/detained a Singaporean journalist for violating state secrets. (via Diodati):

The Peking Duck reports
that Straits Times senior correspondent Ching Cheong was arrested in
Guangzhou on April 22, over alleged leakage of state secrets. Both the
Straits Times and the wife of the prominent Hong Kong journalist were
warned by the Chinese government to not reveal her husband’s
imprisonment, or else… Washington Post is first with the news.

This is especially odd given the favourable coverage the city-state’s media usually give the Communist Party.:      

Since late 1980s, it established a diplomatic relationship with China and has become closer and closer to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It now completely follows the CCP, seeks benefits from the CCP and conducts acts that are in the interest of the CCP. It is not hard to understand why the government of Singapore, disregarding its own image, has committed an evil deed by bringing two innocent Falun Gongpractitioners to court and heavily punishing them for letting tourists
and policemen know the truth of Falun Gong…
In addition, the media in Singapore is heavily influenced by the CCP. Accordingly, The Singapore United Times is the only overseas paper that is present in Mainland China. Even papers that are heavily influenced by the CCP, such as The Xing Pao Daily and The Ming Daily of Hong Kong and The World Daily of Taiwan, can not compare with it. In
this situation, The Singapore United has to completely conform to the CCP.

by @ 2:25 pm. Filed under Singapore, China, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media

29 May, 2005

avian flu blog

New discovery: A blog dedicated to covering the Avian Flu. From an entry today, China denies human deaths in Qinghai.

Dr. Klaus Stohr said the WHO conferred with representatives of the
Chinese Ministry of Health both in Geneva and in Beijing and was given
assurances the reports, published on some Chinese websites, were
unfounded. "We have spoken with the Ministry of Health representatives
here in Geneva today. We have also had contact with our colleagues in
China. They have come back and said that there is no indication of
human cases. They have not seen any human cases," Stohr said in an
interview from Geneva. The WHO will continue to monitor the situation,
Stohr added.

by @ 11:14 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Current Affairs

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