We interrupt Asia-related matters to bring you breaking news.: "Generalísimo Francisco Franco is still dead!"
In other expired dictator news. Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo are also dead… and soon to be buried.:
Late Presidents Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo will be laid to rest next March or April, according to the
. It is understandable if some readers are confused by this fact. After all, CKS died in 1975 and CCK died in 1988.
Upon CKS’s death, he was temporarily entombed in Taoyuan. I say
temporarily because his body was just ‘awaiting proper burial in
China.’ Likewise, his son was temporarily buried nearby upon his death.
The state funeral at Wuchih Mountain in Taipei County is being
conducted in accordance with requests by CCK’s widow (who has since
passed) and other members of the Chiang family.
This burial is interesting because of the symbolism of permanently
burying Mr. "Retake the Mainland" himself on the island of Taiwan (as
opposed to the Zhejiang Province of China, where he wanted to be buried).
In other expired Asian dictator news, Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh are not yet buried, and Kim Il-sung is still the president of North Korea.
I saw this picture at Wandering to Tamshui and the first thing I thought was: "I’ve seen Canada’s Paul Martin do the same thing." The second thing I thought was: "Damn, U2 will never be allowed to play Shanghai."
President Chen Shui-bian and pal
Bono are treated to a tour of a Taoyuan sunglass and blowtorch factory
on Saturday. The tour was followed by an impromptu acoustic concert for
factory workers featuring such popular hits as "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
An odd leak from the NSA, apparently China did stop cooperating with Iran’s nuclear weapons program… and there’s some bad blood between them.:
Perhaps there were times when the
Chinese even mocked us and said we were not on a level to accomplish
this task. One of our hard days in Beijing was the day when the Chinese
sarcastically told us that we wouldn’t be able to carry out this
project. They told us that even if we managed to do anything,
we would only make some headway in the primary stages and encounter
difficulties in the next high-tech stages of the project, just as they
did when they reached those stages, and then the Russians came to their
assistance. Hearing that remark was really hard for us. Nevertheless,
that remark by the Chinese was probably one of the most effective,
sweet shocks that struck the Atomic Energy Organization and convinced
us that we had to design and build the UCF facilities all by ourselves.
Bingfeng offers some Chinese BBS posts on the disaster in New Orleans, and notes how similar disasters have been handled in China.:
in China, the relief work are mostly carried out by PLA soldiers. the
mobility of the army and especially the spirit of sacrifice of many
soldiers make PLA an effective and respected relief forces in crisis
like the floods of 1998.
Ahem, Gloria Arroyo was not impeached. While I have said before that I didn’t want Ms President to be ousted by people power, the post at Walk this Way doesn’t leave me overwhelmed with confidence in Philippine democracy.:
D) WE JUST DON’T CARE if she cheated in the elections. Who didn’t?
I haven’t been adding much to the Riot Watch or Coming Collapse categories lately, Publius Pundit offers a link to a speculative item that allows me to do both.:
RFE/RL has an interesting story on the rise of social unrest in China.
a month goes by without news coming from rural China of often-violent
protests by locals over corruption, land-grabs, taxation, or
environmental issues. The authorities are struggling to stem this
rising tide of challenges to abuses that are probably inherent in any
Given the South Korean government’s attempts to suppress comments by defectors from North Korean, it’s nice to hear that on-line essays from an 18-year-old North Korean refugee are stirring emotions in Seoul.:
A series of essays written by a teenage North
Korean defector looking back on five years of hardship before arriving
in South Korea has moved many people’s hearts.
In his 18 stories, which have been posted on the Web site of the Haja Center (www.haja.or.kr) in February, Byun Jong-hyuok speaks of the obstacles he had to overcome…
In many of his nonfiction essays, the
poverty-stricken situation of the North seen through the eyes of a
youth was recorded and the grammatically incorrect sentences with
misspellings seem to reflect the boy’s unusual childhood.
One episode recounts an instance when the boy
found a lamb’s intestines in the toilet of a public outhouse and took
them home to make soup for his elder sister and younger brother.
Although he had to clean the intestines over and over again, he
recalled, it was the most delicious supper he had ever had in his life.
Still, even if the North brutalizes its own citizens, we should remember that all Koreans are brothers and blood is thicker than military alliances, or at least according to Korea Herald movie reviewers:
A U.S. Navy aircraft pilot downed on a bombing
mission, three stragglers of the North Korean People’s Army and two
deserters from the ROK Army come to Dongmakgol, a miniature Shangri-la
somewhere in a mountain valley in Gangwon-do. Life and death enmity
among the three sides gradually ameliorates and warm friendship
develops under the care of the innocent villagers, including a mentally
deranged but nature-loving girl.
U.S. rescue team for the missing pilot roughs the villagers up but is
smashed by the unlikely alliance of South and North Korean soldiers.
The five men then go on to feign an anti-aircraft battery on a hill far
from Dongmakgol to divert U.S. carpet bombing away from the village.
They all perish in napalm flames but Dongmakgol is saved.
Much of the popularity of the film may come from the earnest acting
of the five characters and Director Park Kwang-hyun’s skillful camera
work on the pristine scenery of the valley. But most reviewers focused
on the appeal of the clear political message - anti-Americanism mixed
with the "North and South are one nation" pronouncement - to the
younger generation, the main clientele of movies.
The brutality on Dongmakgol villagers by the U.S. rescue team is
portrayed in the most realistic manner in the otherwise generally
comic, fairy-tale touch. And the five soldiers’ sacrificing their lives
for the village, despite the improbability of the plot, poses as a
contrast to the atrocities at My Lai and other places during the
U.S.-led war in Vietnam.
The comments for that link should be read, the movie sounds more melodramatic than anti-American. Or read Joel’s review.
At Singapore Ink, an insightful essay about the shift in Lee Kwan-yew’s opinions about detention without trial. And, while the author complains that the essay is not that good, it’s much better prepared that what makes up 99% of the blogosphere. Seriously, it’s nice to see a blog with comprehensive footnotes.:
I blame Andy. It’s all his fault for putting up those juicy old
quotes from our MM and goading me into posting an essay I did a year
ago that was pretty much built around them. So here goes. As an essay
it’s not very good - I have learnt that from my tutor. In terms of the
content I stand by what I said, with one observation: it’s amazing to
see Lee talk so forthcomingly like a… leftist, using words like
“freedom”, “democracy,” even “social and economic frustration.” Today,
in Singapore at least, we use words like “democracy” as punchlines.
Times have changed.
In China blogger news, risking their jobs today are Zhuan Jia and Dave in China.
From inside the Beltway, Pundita points to an item that argues the US should accept all offers of aid for the Katrina disaster.:
Bruce Kesler has written an article that covers several points about
aid to the US. Pundita strongly agrees with his advice that the US
should consider accepting all offers:
and private individuals and organizations of prominence should be
task-forced to work out arrangements with all the offerers, including
those like Cuba and Venezuela and Iran normally hostile toward the U.S.
some are false, they will be embarrassed and revealed, and meanwhile
the sincere majority will be encouraged perhaps to be even more
forthcoming now and in the future elsewhere. An “international zone”
might even be created, with facilities and communications, to
facilitate other nations and international organization’s help.
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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