Air China is planning to offer broadband internet service on international flights:
BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhuanet) — Air China, the flagship international air carrier in China, and Connexion by Boeing, a business unit of the Boeing Company, announced a preliminary agreement they have reached to provide real-time, high-speed connectivity to air travelers traveling to and from China.
The announcement in Beijing included as many as 15 firm and optional retrofit installations on Air China’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft, and other long-haul aircraft models to be determined at a later date.
Aircraft installations are expected to begin in Oct. 2006 and, once completed, the Connexion by Boeing service will provide Air China passengers with in-flight access to the Internet, real-time email, instant messaging, corporate intranet access, including virtual private network capability, and the ability to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues while enroute to their destination.
It is unlikely that the firewall will be airborne. On top of the logistic problems of linking aircraft to China’s constrictive system of filters, AsiaPundit assumes international travelers will not appreciate the Great Firewall. Still, if an Air China plane operates a firewall-free flight, wouldn’t that be in violation of Chinese Internet regulations?
While the behavior of Malaysia Muslim’s has been exemplary throughout the crisis over the Mohammad cartoons, Malaysia’s government has shown that it retains its authoritarian view of press freedoms. Although milder means of censure were available, the state has decided to shut down the Sarawak Tribune for reprinting one of the controversial cartoons.:
Indefinite suspension for 61-year-old Sarawak Tribune
KUCHING: The 61-year-old Sarawak Tribune may not hit the streets anymore even after the suspension order has been rescinded, said the newspaper’s editorial advisor Senator Datuk Idris Buang.
He said the daily’s board of directors had decided to self-impose an indefinite suspension on publication at their meeting in Sibu yesterday morning, before the Government issued the suspension order.
“There may not be a Sarawak Tribune anymore,” he told a press conference at the newspaper’s office in Jalan Abell last night.
Idris said the board fully supported the Federal Government’s stand to suspend the licence of the Sarawak Tribune.
“We fully uphold the views and sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he said.
“We are extremely ashamed of the damage and hurt caused to all Malaysians and the country due to the gross insensitivity and lack of responsibility on the part of whosoever involved among the staff in question, particularly the editor-on-duty.
“We join all Malaysians in condemning this act (reproduction of the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad),” he added.
300 people out of job….
300 people, including the toilet cleaner, the office boy, the security guard, the general cleaner, the accounts clerk… who would have nothing to do with the cartoons caricatures…
… these 300 people who are… er… were staff of the sarawak tribune, where the cabinet had made its decision to suspend it’s publication permit.
the information minister, abdul kadir had said that the absence of sarawak tribune in sarawak did not man there would be less news in the state because the public could obtain news from the other newspapers, radio and teleivsion.
yeah right… why highlight such a trivial matter? what does it matter anyway? what about the absence of sarawak tribune means 300 people would be out of job? obviously they (cabinet) didn’t realise that. obviously they were not sensitive enough to realise through their action, innocent people suffered.
well if sarawak tribune had been suspended for a week or two only, at least the staff would have hope of working again but i doubt it. the suspension might be over a very long period
UPDATE: Kenny Sia’s take is worth reading.
Technorati Tags: asia, cartoons, censorship, east asia, malaysia, media, southeast asia
Via Mutant Frog, Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying Jiu has denied that the party is contributing to anti-Japanese nationalism, saying that he loves sashimi.:
Reports that the KMT walks lockstep with the mainland (China) in their anti-Japan campaign do not reflect my real feelings. I even love sashimi!” On the 10th Ma Ying Jiu (mayor of Taipei), chairman of the KMT[Chinese Nationalist Party], Taiwan’s largest opposition party, assembled Japanese reporters resident in Taipei and issued a denial of the viewpoint that he was himself a believer in anti-Japan ideology.
There are indications that the KMT has been intensifying their anti-Japan tendencies, such as stressing their own role in the Sino/Japanese war. “We criticize even the white terror (of KMT despotic rule) and (China’s) Tainanmen incident from the same basis of human rights and constutituional government. There’s no reason to make an issue out of only Japan,” Chairman Ma Ying Jiu said.
However, “I do not approve of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Yasukuni Shrine visits,” he said, not forgetting that stab in the neck. Ma Ying Jiu is currently considered the favorite to win in Taiwan’s next presidential election.
As someone who lives in China and has has lived in Korea, AsiaPundit will note that it is entirely possible to like sashimi and harbor ill will toward the Japanese. It’s also possible to wear Levi’s jeans and Nike sneakers and be anti-American.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, japan, korea, northeast asia, taiwan
Who will be the first model to be featured in Playboy Indonesia? Tiara Lestari* has said that she doesn’t want the honor. Perhaps the US publication could go with a historical pictorial, featuring former Indonesian first lady Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno. That link is mildly not safe for work but this not porn, it’s history:
Not too many Indonesian celebrities are willing to undress for the cameras.
But Dewi Sukarno, former first lady of Indonesia, was.
Born Naoko Nemoto, she was working days in an insurance company and nights as a hostess at the Kokusai Club in Akasaka, a place for foreign VIPs. It was there that a fateful meeting with a powerful world leader changed her life. In 1962, at the tender age of 19, she left Japan to become the third of the nine wives of Achmed Sukarno, the president of The Republic of Indonesia. Her full married name was Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno.
Many years later, in 1993, at the ripe old age of 53 she published a book of photos, many of them nude. The book was slammed in the mostly Islamic Indonesia for "violating eastern norms and insulting Indonesia’s dignity" and was banned by the Attorney-General’s office. Several years later, an Indonesian magazine published some photos from the book without permission.
Today the book is out of print and a highly valued collectors’ item.
*AsiaPundit would also congratulate Tiara on passing the 100,000 visitor mark. This site also crossed that threshold this weekend (although by another Statcounter, AsiaPundit had 100,000 visitors as of mid-December).
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, indonesia, media, playboy, southeast asia
The usual disclaimer applies. This is not porn, this is numismatics.:
Many coins showing sexual positions similar to the Koryo copper mirror can be found in the Chosun era, which was ostensibly very conservative about sex. They look like real coins but were not circulated (06). Later in the era, the representations are mostly in the nature of pornography. Documents of the time tell us that pornographic pictures from 18th and 19th century Japan or late Ming-Dynasty China made their way to Korea, and homemade pornography appears in the 19th century. Some of the pictures bear the seals of prominent painters Kim Hong-do or Shin Yoon-bok, though we cannot be sure whether they are authentic (07).
It seems that this passionate side to the Korean psyche, though often suppressed, has always found expression in one way or another, in all its forms and among people of all ages.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, korea, money, south korea
Apparently some people don’t want Playboy coming to Jakarta. And this fellow is eating a Playboy DVD.
Technorati Tags: asia, censorship, east asia, media, southeast asia
Next week, AsiaPundit hopes to see some frank disclosure about US internet and technology companies activities in China, with the four most-discussed companies being brought before Congressional hearings. AsiaPundit is naturally expecting much bombast and hyperbole as well. The WSJ item below mentions two suggestions from lawmakers: one is reactionary and hopefully a non-starter, but the other is more measured and could have some interesting implications.:
The hearing will likely produce more embarrassing publicity for the companies, and it may drive legislative momentum among lawmakers concerned about China’s influence on the U.S. economy. Congressional aides are expecting a standing-room-only crowd, and the reception from politicians may be chilly.
"I was asked the question the other day, do U.S. corporations have the obligation to promote democracy? That’s the wrong question," says Rep. Chris Smith, the New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House human-rights subcommittee that is holding the hearing. "It would be great if they would promote democracy. But they do have a moral imperative and a duty not to promote dictatorship."
Mr. Smith plans to introduce legislation next week that would impose restrictions on Internet companies seeking to expand into China but also provide some legal protection from Chinese demands.
The bill would require U.S. Internet companies to keep email servers used for Chinese traffic offshore. That would help prevent the Chinese government from compelling the release of Internet user data. The bill also calls for creation of an office inside the State Department that would make an annual determination about which countries are restricting Internet use. It would provide a framework for users to pursue legal action against U.S. Internet companies over privacy violations.
The disclosures about Internet companies cooperating with the Chinese government are having a wider political impact. Last week, Sens. Lindsey Graham, (R., S.C.) and Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.) cited Internet companies’ efforts to help the Chinese government monitor citizens’ online activity as a reason to permanently revoke China’s most-favored-nation trading status.
A removal of China’s trading status, also known as "normal trade relations," is unlikely to happen. And it shouldn’t. China is making progress in meeting most of its WTO commitments and is opening up faster than anticipated in other areas such as financial services. There is a push internally to accelerate opening and sanctions would clearly hurt reformers in China.
Graham - along with Democrat Charles Schumer - has been pushing to put a 27.5% tariff on Chinese goods over charges that the country is a "currency manipulator." There is little doubt that China’s censorship regime concerns Graham, it concerns most people from free countries, but he will take any opportunity to bash China’s MFN status. The latest outburst shouldn’t yet be taken too seriously.
More interesting are Smith’s proposals. AsiaPundit is withholding full judgement on them for now, but based on the one-paragraph description above they seem relatively non-interventionist. Requiring that servers that contain users’ data be kept offshore would indeed directly limit what US companies could do in China. However, this seems to be the route that is now being taken by the companies themselves. Google is not offering Blogger or Gmail for due to privacy concerns and Microsoft’s altered blog-hosting policy is now attempting a compromise solution. After the highly publicized cases of Shi Tao and Li Zhi, Yahoo most certainly regrets establishing its Chinese e-mail service.
The idea of allowing users to pursue legal action against U.S. Internet companies over privacy violations is far more interesting.
On top of providing some measure of redress for those wrongfully jailed, AsiaPundit also assumes such legislation would extend to Chinese companies with US listings. Roland noted that the Nasdaq-listed Sina provided information in the Li case.
US trials are expensive, and verdicts - particularly those delivered by juries - can be crippling. There are a number of Chinese internet companies already listed in the US and others, such as blog service provider Bokee, that are known to be seeking listings.
Things to consider: Could such a law scare some new listings away from US markets? Also, would its implementation force some interesting disclosures from Sina and others? If providing user information to authorities created significant financial risks, US-listed Chinese companies would surely be required to inform shareholders. This could move things beyond the realm of tech companies and NGOs and into the realm of trial lawyers and investment banks (hence the title of the this post).
Expect much chest thumping from Congress, defensiveness from the search engines and lobbying from everyone.
Silicon Hutong: Time for a Solution
ESWN: The Third Way for Yahoo
Technorati Tags: asia, blogs, censorship, china, cisco, economy, , media, microsoft, northeast asia, yahoo
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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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