AsiaPundit loves video blogging:
The clip is real—it is taken from a real 2003 BBC Documentary called The Real Dr. Evil (You can download the entire documentary).
Chosun Ilbo even reported on it.
The man interviewed is Lee Young Kuk, a North Korean defector who claims to have been one of Kim Jong Il’s bodyguards.
Whether the footage really depicts Kim’s bodyguards … I have my doubts. Given Kim Jong Il’s … um … love of cinema, it might just be a clip from a North Korean propaganda movie.
It’s still awesome, though.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, korea, northeast asia, north korea, south korea
Mark Thoma at the Economist’s View posts a rather long but engrossing article on China. There is a lot of meat in it and a number of different - and differing - conclusions that can be drawn. As AsiaPundit has this week been harping on the need to urbanize China, he has chosen the following excerpt:
There was one girl we could talk to here, Zhao Lintao (no relation). She was twelve years old, and proudly spoke the English she’d learned in the overcrowded village school. When we asked her about her life, though, she was soon in tears: her mother had gone to the city to work in a factory and never returned, abandoning her and her sister to her father, who beat them regularly because they were not boys. The government was taking care of her school fees until ninth grade, but after that there would be no more money. Her sister had already given up and dropped out.
Multiply that story by half a billion and you will begin to understand why the biggest migration in the history of the planet is underway in China, why there are always more bodies to sit behind those sewing machines. Tens of millions of people leave desperately poor farms every year to work at the factories that feed Yiwu. By one estimate the country needs to add an urban infrastructure equivalent to Houston every month just to keep pace. More than a hundred cities in China have populations that top a million. And even so, the countryside still bulges.
What struck me about China, in fact, was not so much the teeming cities as that teeming countryside. China has a third of the planet’s farmers and one fourteenth of its farmland. In places, the average farm plot is a sixth of an acre - smaller than many American houses. About 800 million people, roughly 65 percent of China’s population, are crowded onto those tiny farms. And on average they are earning one third the income of city dwellers. It is easy to see why the United Nations predicts that by 2030, sixty percent of Chinese will live in the cities. With a massive effort, that number might be held down to fifty percent. But since about one percent of Americans currently work as farmers, down from 39 percent a century ago, we should be able to understand this tide.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, economy, northeast asia
By Sheepdog (via Rebecca)
UPDATE: AsiaPundit is pleased that the Anti-Microsoft story is gaining legs, being picked up today in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and the Red Herring. Hopefully the attention will prompt the company to issue a more substantial explanation than it’s earlier one-paragraph “making the Internet safe” statement.
UPDATE 2: Further reading from the Blogosphere:
Imagethief talks about Microsoft’s public relations problem and its corporate social responsibility.
ESWN argues that Microsoft’s censoring of Michael Anti is worse than Yahoo!’s complicity in the jailing of Shi Tao, plus more.
Rebecca, who really should be credited for bringing this to the world’s attention, offers a post on Isaac Mao’s anti MSN Spaces protest, translations from the Chinese blogosphere and her opinion on why this matters outside of China.
Jeremy at Danwei, who usually is quite tolerant of companies ‘lapses’ in China, says: Cherish Freedom: Stay far away from MSN Spaces.
Bingfeng argues that this should be expected of Microsoft, and the critics are naive.
From Internet Censorship Explorer, an argument that MSN should have fought this legally.
Technorati Tags: asia, blogs, censorship, china, east asia, MSN Spaces, 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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