11 January, 2006

new delhi vs manila

Torn and Frayed says everything you really need to know:

I know that you are all dying to read my witty and erudite insights into the differences and similarities between India and the Philippines, but that seems too much like hard work, so I’ll distill all our shared observations from three weeks into one word: moustache.

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by @ 11:35 pm. Filed under India, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines, South Asia

where’s wacko?

Where is Kim Jong Il today? Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing or sitting at his evil headquarters in Pyongyang?

After checking this morning if there were further any reports on Kim Jong-il’s reported China trip, AP came upon a Reuters news item that said he was just traveling through train en route to Moscow, and another item that he was on his way to Shanghai.

WaldoA South Korean military intelligence official told The Associated Press that Kim crossed into China on Tuesday by train.

“We confirmed he went to China by train,” the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. “We don’t know why.”

The official said the information came from intelligence sources inside China. But South Korean government agencies in Seoul said they were unable to confirm whether Kim had left North Korea for China.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing diplomatic officials it did not identify, said Kim’s train was heading first for the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai.

After arrival at the office, AsiaPundit asked one of his staff: “Which railway station would the Dear Leader arrive at if he were visiting?”. This devolved into a 10-minute talk on the Kim Dynasty, Tokyo Disneyland and how happy the Shanghainese are that Mao doesn’t have any living sons.

Also, that Kim would likely arrive by, if AP’s memory is correct, the Western Station. AsiaPundit did not bother to stalk the station for the maniac’s arrival.

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea’s Kim Jong-il entered China for a rare overseas trip, but a day after the media reports first emerged mystery remained over the secretive communist leader’s agenda and even his mode of transport.

Kim entered China two days ago on a direct flight to Shanghai, the South’s Yonhap news reported on Wednesday, in what may be his first overseas plane trip. Other reports had said he had entered China on board his armoured train on Tuesday.

Seoul Not Informed of Kim Jong-il’s Trip to China

Beijing did not notify Seoul of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s visit to China, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.

Kim is believed to be in China, with Beijing keeping his visit secret because of security concerns.

“China has not officially announced (Kim’s visit),’’ he told reporters at a weekly briefing. “China didn’t inform us or confirm the news either. So I am not in a position to talk about the issue.’’

SHANGHAI, January 11 (Itar-Tass) - Authorities in Shanghai have declined to confirm reports that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has made a stop in the city.

A spokesman for the city’s government said officials did not know anything about the visit.

A story suggesting that Kim Jong Il had arrived in Shanghai aboard a personal jet, not by the special train on which he crossed the North Korean-Chinese border, was circulated by the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

It also said the North Korean leader might leave the city in the second half of the day and go in the direction of Beijing.

In the meantime, well-connected sources have told Itar-Tass there are no signs of reinforced police patrols near Shanghai’s railway stations or the airport, the places where security measures are traditionally stepped up during visits of top-rank foreign guests.

Kim Jong Il Tours Shanghai

N. Korean Leader Reportedly Makes First Overseas Plane Trip

SEOUL, Jan. 11 — North Korean leader Kim Jong Il toured Shanghai on Wednesday after reportedly boarding a direct flight there in what would mark the reclusive ruler’s first overseas trip by plane, according to South Korea’s semi-official Yonhap news service.

Kim’s whereabouts unknown, Shanghai remains possibility+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)BEIJING, Jan. 11_(Kyodo) _ North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s whereabouts in China remained unknown Wednesday, but Shanghai is still a possibility, with a diplomatic source in Beijing saying a motorcade has been seen in the city in the morning.

Beijing. January 11. INTERFAX-CHINA - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is not in Shanghai, a North Korean diplomatic source told Interfax on Wednesday.

“Kim Jong-Il is neither in Beijing nor Shanghai,” the diplomat said responding to a request to comment on South Korean media reports stating that the North Korean leader had arrived in Shanghai by plane.

“Our leader does not use aircraft to travel to neighboring countries,” he said. “Had our leader traveled to Shanghai, the North Korean ambassador would undoubtedly have gone there too. However, he remains in Beijing,” he added.

Running Dog at Danwei updates:

Q: According to South Korean media reports, North Korean Workers Party General Secretary Kim Jung-Il is in China. Can you confirm that?

Kong Quan, Foreign Affairs Spokesman: The whole world is focused on the problems relating to the six party talks and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. China has played in important role in trying to bring the six sides to the negotiating table. All sides must do their utmost to overcome difficulties.

Q: So is he in China then?

KQ: I have received no such information.

Q: So, if he is in China, what would he be talking about? Would it include the six-party talks?

KQ: [fingers in ears] La di da. Mmmm…

Q: So, he’s in China then?

KQ: The price of bananas is a very important factor in China’s macroeconomic outlook… Ooh. Look at that over there! [Puff of smoke. KQ disappears through hatch]

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by @ 11:09 pm. Filed under South Korea, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, North Korea

halo kitty

The evil mouthless one from Sanrio is :


(via Geisha Asobi)

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by @ 10:04 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Hello Kitty watch

li peng: censored

AsiaPundit has been giving the CCP and Microsoft much criticism over the censorship of blogger Michael Anti. AsiaPundit would now like to take a pause for a moment of schaudenfreud. Tiananmen Square massacre architect Li Peng’s autobiography has been censored.:

LipengOne thing that Li Peng has wanted to write about is to clarify and defend his role in ordering martial law in May of 1989, that led to the military conflicts throughout Beijing in early June, known locally as 64. If you were hoping that Li Peng’s new diary would shed light on the details, rather than just the mentality, you will be disappointed. I’m pretty sure that this is not the decision of a media censor, but a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, who have to clear the memoirs of former members of the Standing Committee.

The status of Li’s ghost writer are currently unknown

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by @ 9:38 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Censorship


Do you have problems parallel parking? Backing into your own driveway? Do you drive a BMW or Lexus at speeds below the limit? Do people verbally abuse  you because of your driving?
If so, US-based Singaporean Gillian Tan recommends the A-Safe-Way Asian Womens’ Driving School:


Gillian also has dating tips and advice on avoiding sweaty palms.

(via Tomorrow.sg)

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by @ 8:50 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

everything has chinese characteristics

Musing under the Tenement palm about the overused “xxxx with Chinese characteristics,” Dave discovers that, according to search engines, there are far more things with Chinese characteristics than there are with any other nation.:

The first thing to do is set the standard, and that standard is China. A Google search for “with Chinese characteristics” turns up about 118,000 references. The first ten things with said characteristics? Socialism (4), “individual empowerment” (at Rebecca MacKinnon’s site), relief, cyberspace, KFC, corporate governance and then a triple reference to democracy, human rights and mutual benefit (at antiwar.com).

But that’s a bit misleading, since not a single link is from a Chinese source and several are tongue-in-cheek or co-opting the phrase. So I did a google search for “with CC” at only .cn domains. The first ten are:


Regional ethnic autonomy

Urbanization process

Education system

Scandinavian architecture (heh)

Actively advance military changes

Socialist country

Socialism (2)

Revolution in military affairs

That’s more like it. Now let’s try some other nations/cultures.

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by @ 2:06 pm. Filed under Culture, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

hong kong expats endangered

AsiaPundit is based in Shanghai, a city that the authorities aspire to make itself into a financial center that will rival or overtake Hong Kong. AP has before argued that, no matter what incentives are provided by the authorities, the city has decades to go before it can conceivably catch up. Of course, AP’s previous arguments haven’t considered that Hong Kong would start to create disincentives for its multinationals.:

Picture-1Coming just days after the conservative Heritage Foundation awarded Hong Kong the top spot in its 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, the local government is debating a  “anti-racism” bill that would require companies to justify their offers of generous "expatriate packages" to foreign employees.

Under the proposed legislation, firms will have to prove the foreign recruit has expertise not readily available in Hong Kong, and permanent residents will not be able to receive such special terms.

The move, outlined by government officials on Tuesday, will force a rethink of long-standing hiring practices before 1997 when the city was a British colony. A local recruitment expert described the law as a "nightmare" and said it would make Hong Kong a less attractive place to do business.

UPDATE: Simon notes the facts of the bill differ depending on what paper you may be reading.

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by @ 1:44 pm. Filed under China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

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