2 November, 2005


Via China Digital Times, Pacific News Service reports on China’s sex bloggers. While the censorship of Sister Hibiscus had been exaggerated, as the report notes the internet has provided new avenues for the rise of celebrities.

Chinese women sex bloggers explore new territory, prompt censorship

Picture-4-1Editor’s Note: Lost Sparrow, Sister Lotus and a host of other Chinese women are changing the rules between the sexes — and prompting government censorship — as they post intimate details of their lives online.

The nude black-and-white photograph of the young Chinese woman is gritty and amateurish. She sits in front of her computer with her face turned away from the camera. A large potted plant obscures her waist.

“Women on the Internet are always lonely,” says the caption.

The photograph and caption are from the blog of Liu Mang Yan, or “Lost Sparrow,” China’s latest controversial woman blogger. Liu’s outspoken posts about sex include a “bedside encyclopedia” of love-making noises, broken down by the type of response it can elicit from your lover, and by geographical regions in China — that is, how pillow-talk may sound in regional dialect or slang. She talks openly about masturbation (”I have no worldly possession, except for two vibrators”) and muses about why men are afraid to say “I love you.”

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by @ 9:04 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs

the soong-willkie affair

Part of the mission of Asiapundit is to make up for the absence of an English-language pan-Asian tabloid (the format change at the AWSJ has not prompted a shift to tabloid journalism).

With that, we thank China Matters for bringing our attention to a reported affair between Madam Soong Mai-ling (Mdme Chaing Kai-shek) and one-time US presidential hopeful Wendell Willkie.:

MdmchiangIn 1942, FDR dispatched Willkie on an around-the-world fact-finding trip accompanied by Cowles. During a brief stay in Chungking, Willkie and Mdme. Soong became powerfully enamoured of each other.

On one occasion they slipped away from a government reception, leaving Cowles to divert the attention and wrath of Chiang Kai-shek. Later that evening, the Generalissimo appeared at Cowles and Willkie’s quarters and searched it from top to bottom in a vain effort to find his wife.

At 4:00 am Willkie returned, in Cowles’ words “cocky as a young college student after a successful night with a girl…giving me a play by play account of what had happened”–though Cowles is too much the gentleman to reveal the details himself.

Then Wilkie announced to an astounded Cowles that he wanted to bring Soong May-ling back to Washington with him.

Cowles convinced Willkie such an escapade would doom his political aspirations. As repayment Cowles was delegated to deliver the bad news to Mdme. Soong. Her reaction created an indelible impression on him:

Before I knew what was happening she reached up and scratched her long fingernails down both my cheeks so deeply that I had marks for about a week.

WillkieWhen Mdme. Soong eventually made her historic trip to the United States the next year, she summoned Cowles to her suite in the Waldorf and proposed that he devote himself exclusively to obtaining the Republican presidential nomination for Willkie, spending whatever was necessary–with his expenses to be reimbursed by Mdme. Soong:

…she wound up her sales talk with a remark I shall never forget: “You know, Mike, if Wendell could be elected, then he and I would rule the world. I would rule the Orient and Wendell would rule the Western world.” And she stressed the word rule.

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by @ 3:26 pm. Filed under China, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

sino-korean food fight

In what threatens to be a repeat of the , South Korea and China are employing tit-for-tat sanctions on food products.

From Xinhua:

KimchiBEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet) — The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (SAQSIQ) has announced 10 kinds of food products made by certain factories in the Republic of Korea (ROK) are barred from entering the country.

The prohibited food products include several ROK brands of pickles, barbecue sauce and chili sauce, according to the administration on Monday.

China stopped the import of these food products from the ROK because parasite eggs were found in the products, it said.

The administration asked local quality inspection departments to enhance supervision over pickles, barbecue sauce and chili sauce made in the ROK, and to destroy those unqualified ROK food products that have entered China

This follows a report last week from the Korea Times.:

Health officials have again discovered parasite eggs in some Chinese-made kimchi products, escalating public concerns about the health risks of food imports.

The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said Thursday that it has found parasite eggs in 15 samples of 82 Chinese kimchi products stored in warehouses.

Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage and radish that is the main side dish of most Korean meals.

Quarantine officials have conducted inspections on a total of 82 Chinese kimchi products (227.6 tons) stored in warehouses after customs clearance since the food regulator found three species of parasite eggs in nine samples of the 18 Chinese kimchi products sold in Internet shopping malls last Friday.

AsiaPundit is thankful that the spat has so far been limited to Kimchi and pickles. In the last food-related incident, China barred microchips, mobile phones and petroochemical products in retaliation over Korean garlic quotas.

Still, if the reported parasite eggs are legitimate - and not just veiled protectionism - I do have concerns about the quality of all the kimchi ingested since my arrival. I’m hoping that my preferred method of preparation, boiling the kimchi along with ramyeon noodles, has prevented any ill effects.

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by @ 3:14 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, China, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

philippines parliamentary by ‘07

The Philippine Star reports the President has agreed to elect a parliament in 2007, after the new Constitution is ratified next year (the blogosphere scoop for this story, apparently, belongs to News Boy). No ifs and buts about it. This means, if it’s true, that after saber-rattling aimed at former president Ramos, perhaps the Palace has decided to cave in. It also means: no impeachment next year. It also means, unless the Senate suddenly caves in, a constitutional crisis as the House will attempt to ram through amendments on its own: the scuttlebutt is, the Constitutional Consultative Commission will submit its proposals to Congress in January; Speaker de Venecia will declare that Congress (specifically, the House of Representatives) is now a Constituent Assembly; the Senate will protest; amendments will be introduced anyway; the Speaker will bring the issue to the Supreme Court… Now how the Supreme Court would vote is another question: but this looming Constitutional crisis is something the lawyers should be preparing for, I think.

The way to derail the de Venecia plan would be to push the candidacy of Rep. Prospero Pichay, but if the Star story has it right, Ramos and de Venecia have had some sort of showdown with the President, and she blinked. Then again, Sun-Sar Cebu reports that some congressmen still think the Speaker should watch his back.

On the other hand, the Daily Tribune goes to town (as it usually does) with a supposed administration security briefing document that outlines the following scenarios:

(1) resignation; (2) leave of office; (3) national government of solidarity, with subheads of “power sharing” which would “also dissipate the credibility of the opposition;” (4) creeping governance, and (5) revolt from within.

(Wonder what a “revolt from within” means? Read my blog entry on the idea of an autogolpe: you’d think the Palace people read my blog!)

Divide and Conquer, essentially, is what Manila Times columnist (and ABS-CBN Interactive Editor-in-Chief) Dan Mariano says is the Palace strategy with respect to the President’s using Philippine Daily Inquirer Mon Tulfo as a blunt weapon against ABS-CBN:

If Mrs. Arroyo believes that Babao had compromised national security or otherwise violated the law, shouldn’t she have ordered her underlings to initiate legal proceedings against the TV reporter?

Instead, she served up raw intelligence—that other quarters would have quickly dismissed as unverified chismis—to spice up a lunch date with a columnist.

Neither the Inquirer nor ABS-CBN can be described as sympathetic to the Arroyo administration. Were the “disturbing” allegations against one of the network’s reporters, which the PDI bannered, part of an attempt to split the ranks of the free media?

Incidentally, Mariano points to Newsstand’s take on the issue. As Newsstand puts it,

It is “very disturbing” that an intel report can go all the way up the chain of command powered by nothing more than a sighting and a charge of speculation. It is “very disturbing” that the commander-in-chief raises the issue of media collusion with alleged terrorists using nothing more than a flimsy report. Above all, it is “very disturbing” that, to appropriate the unfortunate terms Danga himself used, the Palace now seems ready, using nothing more than a single, speculative source, to provoke that “confrontation” with the media.

The President, Mon Tulfo, Julius Babao, the Inquirer, ABS-CBN, and finally Dan Mariano and Jon Neri: politics meets media, which in turn has old media embracing the new.

There’s more: ABS-CBN got into trouble again for reporting that the Secretary of Justice received information that Gen. Voltaire Gazmin, head of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during President Aquino’s time, had approached the PSG recently with an eye to causing trouble. One faithful reader of this blog (see his comment) felt ABS-CBN had been caught with its pants down peddling an outright lie; but then comes this story in the Manila Times:

“I never named anyone, I am surprised to hear that report,” Gonzalez said in an interview on ANC’s Dateline new program. “It’s unfair to me and unfair to the person.”

Gonzalez’s denial came after abs-cbnNEWS.com reported a former PSG official who was allegedly linked to the recruitment of the President’s guards. The report was based on an interview Gonzalez had with DZMM on Tuesday morning.

Although he mentioned a certain “General Gazmin,” Gon zalez said he could not confirm information about former military generals being linked to destabilization efforts against the President.

“I cannot make that confirmation, because my information is raw,” he said.

So what the Secretary of Justice basically said was that he heard something, but the information was “raw,” but at the same time nothing new, so he says what he said is something he has been saying all along, though he doesn’t say it’s Gospel truth… But if the PSG says they’re clean, then he’s happy, but still insists he;s right:

Brig. Gen. Delfin Bangit, PSG chief, had denied Gonzalez’s statement. He said none of the PSG men had been approached by any opposition member.

Gonzalez praised the statement of the PSG.

“That is a good indication. But I don’t agree that no attempts [will be made to recruit from the PSG], because we know that the retired officials who oppose the President are really trying to influence [the military],” he said.

by @ 8:35 am. Filed under Philippines

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