AsiaPundit, a Canadian by birth, was quite proud that a fellow national has for two years running been the world rock, paper, scissors (RPS) champion. But if the Japanese are training at the ’sport’ in the way that this game show suggests, AP expects that the mighty archipelago will clinch the RPS event as frequently as it does the Nathan’s hotdog eating competition. (Link via Brian David Phillips)
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, japan, northeast asia
While AsiaPundit frequently looks at how blogging impacts Mainland politics, not much time has been spent on the blogosphere’s impact on Taiwan. At Jujuflop, it’s revealed that the blogosphers has the ability to make Kuomintang politicians look like dorks.:
What does a Taiwanese politician do when he finds out about weblogs - and that people are using them to make fun of him? He blames his opponent and then sues him:
Legislator Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in the key Taipei County commissioner race, yesterday filed defamation and public humiliation lawsuits against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), for allegedly posting libelous information about him on an Internet Web site linked to Luo’s campaign site.
The offending website is 瑋哥部落格 (or Wiego’s blog), which seems to be a very standard blog which has a grand total of 15 entries since it started last September. Is there any evidence that this is the work of Luo Wen-chia and not some random pro-DPP internet user? Not according to Luo:
In response, Luo yesterday repeated that the blog has nothing to do with his campaign, and criticized Chou for being ignorant about the blog culture that is now especially popular among young people.
“Chou’s accusations only exposed his ignorance of blogs and youth culture,” Luo said. “I can only describe Chou’s reaction using `five noes.’ He has no idea about the law, blogs, young people, or world trends — and he has no sense of humor.”
“As far as I know, a blog is usually written by the type of young person who just doesn’t fit Chou’s political profile,” Luo said. “They use their imagination and creativity to voice their thoughts.”
Unless there is some real evidence linking Luo to this blog, Chou is coming out of this looking like a complete idiot, and Luo as someone who actually understands this new-fangled internet thingy.
While AsiaPundit is a bit skeptical about most comparisons about the current CCP and the KMT, if the KMT’s Chou is any indication of the prevailing attitude it’s possible that the Nationalists are as clueless as the Communists.
Technorati Tags: asia, censorship, east asia, northeast asia, taiwan
The Lost Nomad points to a report on how a government-funded research institute is now, and quite properly, criticizing the Seoul government’s North Korea policies:
A government-funded North Korea research institute voiced some rare criticism yesterday of the administration’s stance on human rights in the North. The Korea Institute of National Unification, an organ under the prime minister’s office, also urged that Seoul join international efforts to press the reclusive nation to end its abuses of its citizens. The institute released a paper on the European Union’s stance on human rights issues in the North and Pyongyang’s reaction to the outside pressure.
The report recommended that the government articulate a clear stance that the communist government must reform its practices. "Regarding the rights issues, it is necessary to make clear that the South Korean national leader is paying attention to the matter," the report said, urging President Roh Moo-hyun to show that he is concerned about rights violations across the Demilitarized Zone. The report suggested that South Korea should consider the EU and U.S. carrot-and-stick approach - continuing to provide humanitarian aid while criticizing abuses. "A North Korea policy focused only on giving humanitarian aid will have difficulty in gaining support at home and abroad, and that is undesirable for the administration’s long-term North Korea policymaking," the report said.
If anything holds true it’s that the winds of change blow quickly in South Korea and I’ve seen how fast this entire nation can come together on something. Just look at the 97 financial crisis or the 2002/2003 U.S. hate-fest as examples. If somehow, public sentiment started swinging towards condemning North Korea’s human rights abuses, I wonder how the government would react?
AsiaPundit has also noticed the ability of Koreans to switch behavior and attitudes on a mass scale, with both positive and negative effects. The switch from a nation with a high-savings rate and low personal consumption to a nation with massive credit card debts is memorable incidence of this. But Ap is also hopeful that a sea change is happening on attitudes toward North Korea.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, korea, north korea, northeast asia, south korea
Good news from the city of Harbin, which has had water shut down to its 3.8 million residents due to a chemical explosion upstream of its water supply. The massive slick of benzene polluting the Songhua river has not had any significant impact on beer production.:
Harbin Beer claims to be China’s oldest beer - a Russian businessman founded China’s first brewery in northeast China in 1900 - three years older than German’s Tsingtao Beer.
Harbin Brewery had been listed in Hong Kong and was acquired by Anheuser-Busch, which defeated SABMiller, in 2004.
Anheuser-Busch …… said the water shutdown had not significantly affected its beer production in Harbin and that it was providing some of its supplies to Harbin’s citizens.
"The city of Harbin asked our support in supplying fresh drinking water from the wells used at our two breweries to citizens, which we are doing at both breweries, as well as through supplying mobile tankers that will … deliver fresh drinking water," it said. (Financial Times)
Perhaps AB calls it corporate responsibility. In a city with 3 millions population in the urban area, I call it spectacular PR stunt.
AsiaPundit agrees that this will be great PR for Anheuser-Busch, although the damage to the Harbin brand elsewhere may suffer if the city becomes associated with a dangerously polluted water supply. For those interested, Harbin has continued to make tasty beers in spite of the AB acquisition.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, harbin, northeast asia
If rumors being reported by Fons are true, Shanghai is going to get its first woman mayor. There are reasons not to be happy about that.:
“They send us a maoist,” rages one of my Shanghai friends. “She is totally unfit to lead Shanghai.” According to yet-unconfirmed rumors the current governor of Qinhai Song Xiuyuan is going to be the next mayor of Shanghai.
Song has been making her way though the Chinese bureaucracy mainly in China’s provinces and it seen as an effort by the current central leadership to get rid of the more city-oriented officials that emerged under former president Jiang Zemin. “It shows how much the central leadership hates Shanghai,” says my friend.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, northeast asia, puppy
NYT Shanghai correspondent Howard W French looks at some of China’s popular, and not quite apolitical blogs.:
On her fourth day of keeping a Web log, she introduced herself to the world with these striking words: “I am a dance girl, and I am a party member.”
“I don’t know if I can be counted as a successful Web cam dance girl,” that early post continued. “But I’m sure that looking around the world, if I am not the one with the highest diploma, I am definitely the dance babe who reads the most and thinks the deepest, and I’m most likely the only party member among them.”
Thus was born, early in July, what many regard as China’s most popular blog.
Sometimes timing is everything, and such was the case with the anonymous blogger, a self-described Communist Party member from Shanghai who goes by the pseudonym Mu Mu.
A 25-year-old, Mu Mu appears online most evenings around midnight, shielding her face while striking poses that are provocative, but never sexually explicit.
I had hoped to grab a more-enticing screenshot of the Dance Girl’s blog, but it seems to have vanished.
Technorati Tags: asia, censorship, china, east asia, media, northeast asia
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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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