11 June, 2005


Hi, I’m the new kid on the block.. err.. blog. Yes, I’m also blogging here. Now, now, stop crying there, it wouldn’t be that bad. But if ever, for some quirky reason or the other, you decide you love my writing, do drop by my own blog. I’ll stop whoring my blog now.

by @ 9:36 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

s’pore blogger quiz

Kenny Sia has created a quiz: which Singapore blogger are you?

I relieved that I’m not Xiaxue.


by @ 7:39 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Weblogs

china’s trade surplus

Macroblog has a look at the latest trade data from China.

Fons notes that China and the EU have reached an agreement on textiles that should help reduce tensions.:

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China agreed to limit the growth in its exports of 10 textile and clothing products to the European Union to between eight and 12.5 percent a year, an EU diplomat close to the negotiations said on Friday.

China Digital Times has more.

I was at the talks or, more accurately, I was in the hotel lobby where the talks were taking place. The talks started at 14:14 and the deal was announced close to midnight. That’s around 12 hours in a hotel without wi-fi.

Some personal impressions below the fold…


by @ 6:33 pm. Filed under China, Money, Economy, Northeast Asia

which is it? or is it both?

How is Japan’s economy doing?  Good or bad? 

Part timers are on the rise and more and more are falling into povery, according to the IHT:

A Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare survey released last year
revealed that the percentage of Japanese workers who are not in
full-time jobs rose to 35 percent in 2003 from 28 percent in 1999. This
group of workers - including part-timers, contract workers and those
holding temporary jobs - earns an average of ¥2 million or less
annually, Morinaga said.

Meanwhile, CNN says that Japan’s economy is on the rise and jobs are the cause!

The world’s second largest economy, Japan,
is showing signs of a domestic recovery led by the strongest jobs
growth in a decade, according to a leading economist in Tokyo.

So which is it?  Or is it both?

by @ 5:45 pm. Filed under Japan, Economy, Northeast Asia

microsoft bans freedom

The China Digital Times points to a distressing FT item on Microsoft’s China portal.:

From MSN Money:
Microsoft’s new Chinese internet portal has banned the words "democracy" and "freedom" from parts of its website in an apparent effort to avoid offending Beijing’s political censors…
Attempts to input words in Chinese such as "democracy" prompted an error message from the site: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item."

With this, Microsoft is not simply abiding by Chinese censorship regulations, it’s going above and beyond what is required.:

MSN on Friday declined to comment directly on the ban on sensitive words, but its China joint venture said users of MSN Spaces were required to accept the service’s code of conduct. "MSN abides by the laws and regulations of each country in which it operates," the joint venture said. The MSN Spaces code of conduct forbids the posting of content that "violates any local and national laws".
But while China’s ruling Communist Party deals harshly with political dissenters, there is no Chinese law that bars the mere use of words such as democracy.

I switched to Apple quite some time ago, but I hadn’t completely abandoned Microsoft and consider the xbox a fine piece of work. That said, if there isn’t a retraction of this policy, or at least a better explanation, my next game console will be made by Sony.

by @ 1:16 pm. Filed under China, Economy, Northeast Asia, Censorship

new pundit

A brief note to welcome Nitin Pai as the newest Asiapundit. His blog, the Acorn, is  one of the best sites for analytical essays on India and its neighbors. It’s so good, in fact, that one or more multi-million dollar operations decided to plagiarize his work.

…the entire paragraph came from The Acorn. It was published
right here on this blog on 7th January 2004. They didn’t even bother to
correct the inadvertant error in the punctuation (the space before the
exclamation mark). While the folks at BSNL and Intelligroup are welcome
to use material from this blog, they are required to attribute it to
the source as per the Creative Commons attribution license. They did no such thing.
How about a little honesty, Messrs BSNL and Intelligroup?

by @ 12:40 pm. Filed under Blogs, India, Media, South Asia

clarity on china’s web crackdown

Rebecca McKinnion has sought some clarity on what the Chinese government’s registration drive means for bloggers. She has the details and an interview with Shanghai blogger Isaac Mao at Global Voices:

You can listen to the 32-minute (15MB) interview with Isaac Mao here.

The major takeaways:

  • The regulation requiring websites (including blogs) to register
    does not seem to apply to sub-domains. Which means that people with
    blogs on Chinese blog-hosting services like Blogbus and Blogchina (which are the Chinese equivalents of Blogger & Typepad) , are completely fine as long as the hosting companies themselves have registered, which they all have done or are doing.
  • So
    the only Chinese bloggers who are affected by this regulation are ones
    who have set up blogs independently on their own server space.
  • What
    does this mean? It means that actually, blogging will be alowed to
    flourish and proliferate but in a more controlled way. Because the
    blog-hosting companies are required to police and filter the blogs they
    host for questionable content - including politically sensitive
    content. So if you really want to speak freely on your blog you need to
    have one on your own server not controlled by a centralized host. It is
    those harder-to-control blogs (which also require more technical
    know-how to set up and run.) that are now required to register.
  • Isaac says some bloggers are trying to register or plan to do so
    - with varying degrees of success depending on how they approach the
    registration office, whether they call their blog a "blog" or a
    "website," etc.  Many others are doing nothing and waiting to see what
    will happen.
by @ 11:53 am. Filed under Blogs, China, Northeast Asia, Censorship

’our friends’ bombed pearl harbor

Spotted via the Horse’s Mouth, Nathan makes some statements to which I take exception.:

So as bad as the Communists have been, the 20 years under an oppressive Nationalist Party (our friends in Democracy!) were even worse.
Not to mention what the Japanese (our friends in Democracy!) did to the Chinese people in their seven years of occupation on the Mainland.
For some reason, we are not supposed to ever forget what the Communist Government did, but we aren’t supposed to ever mention what Our Friends in Democracy! did only a few years before. Why is that? …
Feel free to pile on me on this; that’s what blogging’s all about.

I’ve obliged, below the fold.


by @ 11:41 am. Filed under Japan, China, Taiwan, Northeast Asia

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