30 August, 2005

tuesday links

China has declared it will ban tobacco advertising and cigarette machines, things that Imagethief notes, don’t actually exist.:

Chinacig… I’m not really sure of the impact that this treaty will have,
regardless of the vigor of enforcement. In my time in China, I have
seen almost no cigarette advertising that I can recall, and exactly
zero cigarette vending machines. I have, however, seen cigarettes being
sold in every corner store in the country, in every restaurant (just
ask the waitress to bring you a pack) and by a nearly infinite number
of street vendors operating from suitcases, cardboard boxes and
blankets rolled out flat on the sidewalk. So I’m not sure a ban of
cigarette machines will keep the devil-sticks away from the grasping
hands of China’s innocent babes.
A ban of sidewalks and restaurants might have some effect.

While AsiaPundit acknowledges that smoking is harmful, he doesn’t believe that banning tobacco companies from event sponsorship is a good idea. And it’s a shame China doesn’t have any tobacco advertising, the pre-revolutionary stuff was rather keen.


The bans, no matter how useless, may still be a positive step for China’s health. It was not so long ago that Japan was also a nation of smokers. Now, the government is auctioning its 200,000 yen luxury ashtrays.:

AshholesThere once was a time in Japan when tobacco was king, with puffing
considered the norm and non-smokers treated as second-class citizens.
Those days are long gone as smoking is now banned on trains, in
stations, in certain areas of the city, and in other areas where large
groups of people gather.
One of the more comical stories to come out of the no smoking era is the report that officials in Yamagata, Japan are planning to auction off 28 cast metal “luxury ashtrays”
that were once positioned at various locations around municipal
offices. The ashtrays are no longer necessary since smoking is now
banned in government buildings.

At Far Outliers, some reminiscing from a Chinese ‘volunteer’ from the Korean War.

One afternoon during the "airing grievances" session [among Chinese
POWs in Korea], the medic said something almost incredible, though
there must have been some truth to the story. He told us: "When our
former division suffered heavy casualties near Wonsan, we rushed over
to evacuate the wounded men. There were hundreds of them lying on a
hillside. I was naive and just went ahead bandaging those crying for
help. But our director told us to check the insides of the men’s
jackets first. If the insignia of a hammer crossed with a cycle was
there, that man must be shipped back immediately and given all medical
help. So we followed his orders. All those men who had the secret sign
in their jackets were Party members. We left behind lots of ordinary
men like ourselves."

Not many people get to take in the Communist Party retreat at Baidaihe. That’s a shame, it sounds like fun.

The waitresses seemed dainty and neat after the big Russian women of
the night before. Then they disappeared into a side room where a lot of
good-natured shouting and screamimg was going on. Some women were
egging someone on in a drinking contest, Mr Dong explained. I thought
the waitresses had gone in to restore order. But then Mr Dong said "It
is the fuwuyuan who are daring the leaders to drink …" One
red-faced man tried to escape but was physically manhandled back into
the room by these petite butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-ther-mouths girls.
Then after a crescendo of squealing and chanting, three men emerged
looking bedraggled and reeking of baijiu.
"These fuwuyuan
are very naughty," said Mr Dong, grinning. "They use very rude words to
make the men drink, saying they are not men and can’t make their wife
happy …"
As we got up and left the dining room, we passed the side
room and saw one man passed out on the floor. The waitresses were just
"He is one of the Beijing city party leaders," said Mr Dong. "He won the contest."

The Aseanist refers to an Asia Times article on the shifting of alliances in the region.:

RiskIndia and South Korea are sitting on the fence and could go either way
depending on how events play themselves out. For example, Chinese
support for Pakistani aggression could put India on the side of the US
against China, while aggressive and unilateral military action by the
US could solidify an Asian alliance. The current Sino-Indian
rapprochement could also be unraveled by a flare-up over their
territorial disputes in Aksai China and Arunachel Pradesh, energy
competition on the world stage and China’s encroachment into India’s
"sphere of influence" as seen by its improving relations with
Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, attempts to join the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and growing naval presence
in the Indian Ocean.

The maker of political film Singapore Rebel has surrendered his camera and tapes to the police.:

A Singaporean film maker who could be jailed for making a documentary
on an opposition politician has surrendered his video camera and tapes
to police investigators.
Martyn See told AFP the equipment and
six existing tapes of "Singapore Rebel," a documentary about Chee Soon
Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party, were handed
over on Monday evening.
He was told to surrender the tapes,
including two master copies, and the digital video camera after police
questioned him a second time last week about the documentary.
have no idea when they will return or even if they will return at all,"
See said. "They just said they need the camera and tapes to investigate
my case which was violating the Films Act."
Singapore’s Films
Act bans political advertising using films or videos, as well as movies
directed towards any political end such as promoting political parties.

Singapore’s People’s Action Party controls all of the press, which do nothing but positive coverage of the party. You’d think someone would try to get Channel News Asia’s stuff seized by the cops.:

CnaMr Yap Keng Ho aka Uncle Yap, an activist in Singapore, made a police report today against CNA. Uncle Yap is asking the police to look into two programmes by the state-controlled local broadcaster ChannelNewsAsia or CNA, Success Stories and Up Close. These programmes can also be considered "party political films" under the Films Act.

Why get a spy satellite when you could use Google Earth?:

South Korea is discussing with the United States measures to ban
private American companies from showing satellite photos of South
Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the Defense Security Command
(DSC) and other facilities related to national security on the Internet.
National Security Council is discussing the matter with the U.S. side,"
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Man-soo said. "At the moment, we have no
way under current laws to prevent U.S. companies from taking satellite
photos (of Korean security facilities) and releasing them publicly as
part of commercial activities."
Kim was responding to a report in
the daily Segye Times that said search portal Google has a service
called Google Earth that makes available images of South Korea’s
presidential office, the DSC and naval and air force bases.

Cool! Look, it’s President Rho’s house!


Google Earth is currently not available on Mac, but I would be interested in seeing if anyone can get me aerial of Zhongnanhai.

Visit OneFreeKorea for the Carnival of Revolutions and the North Korea news update.

Also from Korea:

No judge, no jury, no trial, oh by the way, your father is a Japanese collaborator and a traitor to Korea.

Aussie lingerie model Michelle Leslie, under arrest for drug possession in Indonesia, has changed her faith, the Swanker notes.:

MichelleleslieMichellelesliehijabSo Michelle Leslie has gone from this… to this.

Quite the contrast.  It seems Michelle has found God:

"Michelle as a Muslim made the decision to wear the hijab
(head-covering) to find solace with God, not for any other purpose,"
family spokesman Sean Mulcahy said yesterday.

This is just a hunch, but AsiaPundit suspects Michelle wasn’t wearing a hijab when she was nabbed with the ecstasy tablets.

AsiaPundit was going to link to at least one post from new group blog Paris Indonesia today, but they were all so good he couldn’t decide. Read the whole thing.

From Angry Chinese Blogger, 101 ways to tell you live in China.:

Spittoons are
considered a foreign contrivance that has no place in Asian society. As
are cheese and non-smoking sections in maternity hospitals.
get into the back of a Taxi cab and find that it has no safety belts,
but that the seats are still in the plastic wrappers that they were
delivered in.
You can go to prison for trying to hold an election, but not for rigging one….

Cambodian strongman Hun Sen is not someone I usually agree with, and I’m sure his comment here has a touch of xenophobia, but I heard enough tales about international aid workers in Cambodia and East Timor to understand his point. Via Cambodia Morning:

(Kyodo) _ Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday the foreign aid given to Cambodia every year is spent mostly on .
In the year 2002 alone, he said, some $115 million was spent on technical assistance.
Sen told a gathering of government officials that much of that money is
spent on first-class air tickets and five-star hotels for foreign
experts, who sometimes come to Cambodia only to polish the results of
hard work done by Cambodians.

Two great Taiwan blogs, Jujuflop and View from Taiwan, have something to say about an AP article on the alleged dwindling support for independence.   

Western journalists do not have the most basic understanding of Taiwan,
or they think it is too complex to explain to their readers. That is my
conclusion after having read the latest article about Taiwan which
fails completely to dig beneath the surface and get any more nuanced
than describing a battle between absolute independence and absolute

AsiaPundit has posted a few items about healthcare in China recently, from Marginal Revolution, Amit Varma and Sepia Mutiny, a disturbing NYT item on an Indian maternity ward.:

BabyJust as the painful ordeal of childbirth finally ended and Nesam
Velankanni waited for a nurse to lay her squalling newborn on her
chest, the maternity hospital’s ritual of extortion began.
she even glimpsed her baby, she said, a nurse whisked the infant away
and an attendant demanded a bribe. If you want to see your child,
families are told, the price is $12 for a boy and $7 for a girl, a lot
of money for slum dwellers scraping by on a dollar a day. The practice
is common here in the city, surveys confirm.
Mrs. Velankanni was
penniless, and her mother-in-law had to pawn gold earrings that had
been a precious marriage gift so she could give the money to the
attendant, or ayah. Mrs. Velankanni, a migrant to Bangalore who had
been unprepared for the demand, wept in frustration.

Another Malaysian politician has joined the blogosphere.

Perhaps the collapse of the CCP won’t be brought about by laid-off SOE employees or aggrieved farmers. No, perhaps the future belongs to the young.:

NightelfChinese players of the "World of Warcraft" online game have begun an Internet signature campaign protesting Chinese government plans to limit the country’s online gamers to three hours of consecutive playtime.

"These restrictions violate the rights of online game players," one
Chinese player wrote on the petition. "Trying to prevent young players
from being addicted is good, but this new system will be a total

As of August 29, more than 1,000 Chinese gamers had signed the petition opposing implementation of the new time limits.

by @ 9:39 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Australia

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