10 November, 2005

sex survey

The Durex 2005 Global Sex Survey has been published, Curzon at Coming Anarchy examines the results.:

* Greeks do it the most, followed by Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria.

* Malaysians like to do it in the toilet and their parent’s bedroom

* Thais like to use porn.

* Indians are late to start and faithful at it.

* South Africans risk their lives doing it (which may explain a lot) as do women from New Zealand.

* The Chinese are least happy (22%!) with it.

* The Japanese do it the least, again (just 45 times a year); Singaporeans rank second to last (at 73 times a year).

* Canadian women like it more than Canadian men.

* Australians are average.

Also note,Taiwanese are the most likely (47%) to use vibrators as a sex aid;

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by @ 8:17 pm. Filed under Japan, Singapore, China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Global/grober, Australia

4 September, 2005

weekend links

This sounds like an unpleasant way to lose one’s virginity.:

Ms. Wang, a 38 year old woman who says she is a virgin, goes to Cathay
General Hospital with her mother, where Dr. Lin Hui-lin, a minor
celebrity herself, gives Ms. Wang a pelvic exam without getting Ms.
Wang’s permission first.
During the examination Ms. Wang’s hymen
was ruptured. Ms. Wang then filed a complaint with the Consumer
Foundation. After mediation by the Consumer Foundation, Cathay General
Hospital said that it would repair Ms. Wang’s hymen free of charge or
give her NT$100,000.
The Wangs, however, were not satisfied. Ms.
Wang’s father, one Wang Xian-ji, held a news conference where,
brandishing his daughter’s bloody panties (the print version of the
Apple Daily story actually had a picture of this), he demanded NT$5
million in compensation and an apology from Dr. Lin or he would take
her to court for medical malpractice. In the China Times version of
the story Mr. Wang said that although his daughter had had boyfriends,
she had protected her virginity like a treasure. Now her ill-fated
doctor’s visit had destroyed a woman’s most valuable possession-her

I recommend full compensation for Ms Wang, plus punitive damages and a trip to this clinic in Manila.:


Meanwhile in Bangkok.

BreadbodypartsthaiKittiwat Unarrom, a Thai baker’s son, was trained as a fine artist, but
has switched to baking realistic putrefying human body parts and organs
out of bread and other ingredients, and has become a trendy sensation: Along
with edible human heads crafted from dough, chocolate, raisins and
cashews, Kittiwat makes human arms, feet, and chicken and pig parts. He
uses anatomy books and his vivid memories of visiting a forensics
museum to create the human parts.

Today’s gratuitous image of the female body comes from Fons at the China Herald.:

A funny description by blogger Chinawhite,
a foreigner living in Shanghai, as he was invited for an evening out
with starlet Mimi. Mimi confesses she is looking for a nice foreign
boyfriend - I might have heard that before. Chinawhite did not seem to
have made the test, nor did Mimi.


Danwei points to a BBS post that ponders, "what if Super Girl were run by CCTV?":

The competition starts. Hosts Zhu Jun and Zhou Tao come onstage.

LittleredchoirZhu Jun: The spring breeze of reform blows throughout the
land, and happiness descends from the heavens in waves. Viewers,
through the great attention of leaders at all levels, the cooperation
of local television stations across the country, and with the generous
support of our sponsors, we bring you the CCTV - #6 Pharmaceutical
Power Pill Super Girl Competition!

Zhou Tao: The land is filled with reform’s spring breeze, and
super girls must test their wills. Viewers, the Super Girls competing
in today’s competition have been selected by local TV stations across
the country. Passing through stringent political investigations, they
are red-rooted and upright, they are actively moving forward, they work
hard to closely organize, they are both red and professional, and they
can be completely trusted.

Michael Turton notes that China has allowed Taiwan airlines to use its airspace, and offers a warning.:

largest airline said yesterday it will become the island’s first
airline to fly through rival China’s airspace in more than five decades.

China Airlines Ltd. said Beijing has approved its application to use
the mainland’s airspace, a month after Taiwanese Premier Frank Hsieh
(謝長廷) said he would allow the island’s airlines to fly over Chinese

China’s aviation authorities yesterday approved
applications from four Taiwanese airlines to fly over its airspace
after Taipei urged the permission amid rising oil prices.

Chinaairlines_1Hmmm….given the regularity with which China Airlines’ airplanes fall out of the sky, I’m not sure I’d permit them to fly over my territory….

Also be sure to visit Michael Turton’s weekly Taiwan blog roundup.

In reaction to high fuel prices, Seoul is trying to curb the number of cars on its roads and, for a country known for sporatic crackdowns, it’s impressively doing it through incentives.:

SeoultrafficGas prices are through the roof and as they threaten to get higher and
higher, this could put a crimp on the Korean economy, the world’s
fourth-largest buyer of crude oil and a nation that depends entirely on
imports for its oil needs. According to a Bank of Korea estimate, "a
one-percent rise in oil prices would trim 0.02 percentage point off the
nation’s economic growth."
For that reason, Seoul is reported to be
to give motorists tax and other incentives to prod them to drive less.
As part of the move, the government is revamping efforts to get people
to leave their cars home at least one business day per week (you may
have noticed the round, colored stickers with one day of the week
printed on them).

Meanwhile, North Korea has its own energy-saving plan.:

Norknight_2 It is eight o’clock on a Saturday night and darkness envelopes
virtually all of Pyongyang, serving as a vivid reminder of communist
North Korea’s pressing energy needs.
World leaders such as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have
talked of satellite pictures of the Korean peninsula taken at night
that show a brightly illuminated South and the North in total darkness.

Malaysia has started to crackdown on mobile phone porn and will be randomly checking cell phones:

First of all the checking of phones randomly is an invasion of privacy.
It’s terrible and infringes personal liberty. Is it worse that we are
not free within our own country or is it worse that some teenagers
trade naughty pictures and texts?
Secondly by deleting these
records do you actually stop anyone from having the impluses to trade
naughty pictures? No you just drive them deeper underground.

I’ve suggested elsewhere, the US and Australia would get better results in terrorism-related trials in Indonesia if they called off the high-profile statements and resorted to more traditional methods. It seems someone on Michelle Leslie’s legal team understands this.:

Michelle_leslie_1That didn’t take long. Today it was reported in the Australian media
that somebody claiming connection with the Balinese police could
intervene in the drug case of Michelle Leslie (aka "Michelle the
Muslim") for a monetary donation. Might just be some jokester, but also
might be just the tip of the iceberg.
At least it’s reassuring
that the investigation into the possible bribe solicitation will be
conducted by………the Indonesian police. That should clear up
matters fairly quickly. Sort of like the Indonesian human rights
activist who was poisoned on his flight to Europe. The pilot is now on

It seems that Hu Jintao is sensitive to charges that he has been taking China backwards, and has decided to rehabilitate another Hu to help polish his own image.:

Huyaobang_1The Chinese government has not publicly commemorated the birth or
death of Hu Ya0bang since he died on April 15, 1989, lest publicity
reignite the democratic spark snuffed out on J*ne 4 that year when the
army crushed the student-led dem0nstrations. State media rarely mention
his name.
Hu Jintao decided recently that the party would officially mark the
90th anniversary of Hu Ya0bang’s birth on November 20 at the Great Hall
of the People, said a source close to the family and a second source
with knowledge of the commemorations.

One of the sources reports that that some of the current Politburo
Standing Committee will attend the commemoration and that Hu Jintao
wishes to play the Hu Ya0bang card to inherit his political resources
and work on improving his ‘reformer’ image after a number of crackdowns
on liberal intellectuals, the media, the Internet and non-governmental
organisations and further restrictions on basic freedoms.

La idler suggested I should add some beefcake for female readers. It’s not really my area of expertise, but Jodi thinks these guys are eye candy. Nomad thinks the guy in front needs to better accessorize.


I’m always fascinated by anything that looks at the economy of North Korea, OneFreeKorea picks up on an FT item noting the rise of the ice cream man.

The Chosun Ilbo has printed a summary of a Financial Times story
that may change your model of the North Korean economy, but not much.
The story suggests that changes in economic policy in 2002 have in fact
launched a limited number of small private businesses, and that those
businesses are substantially enriching the people who run them.

Icecream_manThe World Food Program’s North
Korea director Richard Ragan told the paper the wealthy are
concentrated in five cities, including Pyongyang. They are the group
that can be seen going to work on their bicycles, which cost triple the
average monthly salary in North Korea. The newly affluent work mostly
in retail and service industries and include tailors, ice cream sellers
and bike repairmen who make money in general markets, which have
multiplied to some 300 since 2002. Some farmers selling surplus produce
are also part of what passes for a wealthy class in North Korea.

How long can an economy base
itself on an ice cream vending industry? For explanations by smarter
people than myself, I recommend Marcus Noland’s Korea After Kim Jong-Il and Nicholas Eberstadt’s The End of North Korea
(Eberstadt admits that he failed to predict the success of North
Korea’s aid-seeking strategy, but his analysis of the North Korean
economy itself is sound). An economy that fully participates in the
greater global economy can prosper as a service economy if its services
generate sufficient income to allow it to import the goods it needs.
North Korea will not mirror the experience of, say, Singapore because
it lacks the means to produce goods for its own use or for trade, the
connectivity to participate in the global economy, and the foreign
exchange to purchase what it needs from abroad.

Japan, a country where even the worst television is better than CCTV.

SwimsuitThis March, we had a post on the five worst television programs in Japan as selected by the weekly magazine Shukan Gendai. The fifth in the series was Mizugi Shojo (Swimsuit Girls)
broadcast at 3:10 a.m., Thursdays on TV Tokyo. The premise of the show
is to dress some young, busty models in bathing suits and have them
engage in goofy games and repartee.
One of the games is Tongue Golf.
This game is played with one girl acting as the golf course, with her
navel as the hole. Another girl plays golf on her body with a ping pong
ball, using her tongue as the club.

Speaking of Asian television, Gordon notes that the CCTV’s coverage of the disaster in New Orleans leaves much to be desired.:

160_myers_kanye_west_050903The wife and I were watching news on one of the CCTV channels this
evening and they were showing footage of the devastation that has
rocked most of the south. They followed that with clips of various
stars trying to raise money for the relief efforts and to my shock they
showed one of Mike Myers (Austin Powers) standing next to a black man
who blurted out "George Bush hates black people and instead of sending
aid, he has sent soldiers with orders to shoot us."
damn near fell off my stool. There’s a lot of blame to go around in
regards to this disaster, but calling the President a racist is
completely ignorant. unfortunate though, 1.3 billion Chinese are
probably going to buy into that notion.
That is complete lunacy
and I can not believe that a broadcasting network would allow such
blatant ignorance to be aired like that.

Also on Katrina, Sepia Mutiny notes that Sri Lanka has offered $25,000 in aid, while Madame Chang notes the Philippines is doing the same. Though is she wonders if it is a good thing.:

I have very mixed feelings about this…..
realise that the world is horrified by what has happened, what is still
ongoing and what is still to come in the southern States, I realise
that the world is trying to now do its part and help the ‘Friendly
Giant’ that comes to the aid of others so willingly, I realise that the
Philippines has a strong tie to the US and as such I can see it wants
to do its part to help….I applaud the reaction of sending aid
However, I cannot help but feel that the $25,000
would be of much greater use at home in The Philippines…..is that
callous or small minded and am I missing a bigger picture here?

And from Bangladesh, Rezwan asks:

… is it fair to compare Bangladesh to the chaos & destruction
United States is facing? Natural calamities are always a tragedy and an
act of God. The humans can only be well prepared and coordinated to
minimize the destruction. Bangladesh faces this kinds of tragedy every
year and still it is a developing not a stagnant country. The media do
not propagate the courage and efforts many Bangladeshis show each year
to start their life all over. If the calamities would not only be the
central idiom of the media, the world could have learnt many tips for tackling these kind of calamities.
Daniel Brett writes a striking post "What America can learn from Bangladesh":

"Last year Bangladesh faced a natural disaster
which was an altogether larger disaster than Hurricane Katrina and the
casualty figures were probably lower than the casualties sustained in
the New Orleans disaster. But the disaster was contained due to the
survival instincts of the Bangladeshi people, their ingenuity in the
face of adversity and their culture of hard work. Rather than shoot and
loot, Bangladesh immediately used its modest resources to limit the
impact of the floods before international aid arrived.

Donate to the Red Cross

by @ 10:07 pm. Filed under Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, South Asia, Thailand, Web/Tech, Books, North Korea, Australia, Bangladesh

31 August, 2005

wednesday links

After being one of the bloggers who ran with the Reuters item saying that Sister Hibiscus was the target of a crackdown, I’ll hold off on comment on this item in the Telegraph suggesting that the CCP are seeking to ban the Mongolian Cow Sour Yoghurt Super
Girl Contest because it’s too democratic

SupergirlsChina’s propaganda tsars are even less
impressed by the second year of the Mongolian Cow Sour Yoghurt Super
Girl Contest, to give it its full title. One official of the main
broadcasting regulator has said that the show could be taken off the
air if it fails to correct its “worldliness”. Critics from CCTV, the
state-run broadcaster, initially labelled the show vulgar, boorish and
lacking in social responsibility.
Sources said that censors were concerned that the democratic
methods used to select the winner from 120,000 entrants could stir
trouble. For weeks fans have been crowding shopping centres across the
country, carrying posters of their favorite contestants in an attempt
to rally votes for them. On Friday the streets of Changsha, the capital
of Hunan, were swamped with thousands of fans who celebrated until
dawn. Security guards were called in last week at two shopping centres
after Super Girl fans became unruly.

Kim Jong-il’s online public relations site has just received praise from UPI.:

Since it was
launched last summer, North Korea’s Web site to promote the country
with foreigners in mind has taken many by surprise, not least because
of its sleek look and well-organized contents.

There are currently about 30 Web sites backed by Pyongyang, but most are like http://www.uriminzokkiri.com,
which is a site largely devoted to singing the praises of Kim Jong-Il
and his father, as well as the virtues of the hermit nation. In
contrast, Naenara is available not only in Korean, but also seven other
languages, which also include the languages spoken in the five
countries that make up the ongoing six-party talks over the disarming
of North Korea, namely English, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, in
addition to French and German.

I often give UPI a pass over their links to South Korea’s Unification Church (aka, Moonies) but I really must question the agency’s editorial independence from its owner and church head Sun Myung Moon if they consider this to  have a "sleek look and well-organized contents."


Via D J McGuire an item from Taiwan News Online on - among other things - Cisco, Censorship and China:

Gutmann was basing his arguments on those made in his book titled
"Losing the New China - A Story of American Commerce, Desire and
Betrayal," which discusses in detail how American businesses played a
role in restricting freedom of thought in China, in turn betraying the
American values of liberty, democracy, and human rights. Doing business in China could potentially
endanger the national security of Taiwan and the United States as well
as violate democratic values, American scholar-businessman Ethan
Gutmann argued yesterday at a forum held in Taipei.

On a related note, Ian Lamont points to a comprehensive study on China’s Great Firewall.

Warning, the Asia Financial Crisis is coming back! I was going to point to an item in which Andy Xie of Morgan Stanley makes that argument, but I’ll save analysis of Xie for the next China Economic Roundup. Instead, some annecdotal evidence. Why does AsiaPundit sense a crisis? He sees similarities between now and 1997. For instance, we have hot money inflows, overcapacities, and …

this exact same thing happened to me South Korea in 1997 just weeks before the Thai baht crashed!!:

once went to a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop here in Korea and asked
for a chocolate shake. I was told they could only make mocha,
strawberry or melon shakes (not the exact flavors because I can’t
remember the exact ones but it doesn’t really matter). Being that they
do advertise themselves as having "31 Flavors," I politely offered to
pay the same price they charge for those options except I would like
chocolate, please.

The worker freaked out. "It’s not on the menu," I was told.
I know," I responded, "but can you not just make one and charge me the same as any other?"
among co-workers took place, a phone call was made and the manager came
out from the back to tell me that no, a chocolate shake was impossible.

We’re all screwed!!

Speaking of economic bubbles, I had thought that Shanghai’s recent crackdown of was a draconian but understandable measure. I haven’t read up on Seoul’s problems but ouch!:

Mrhousingbubble2On the demand side, the government will raise the capital gains tax
on owners of two houses to 50 percent from the current 9 to 36 percent.
Property holdings tax on apartments and unused land will be raised to 1 percent by 2019 from the current 0.15 percent.
assessment base of the comprehensive real estate tax, a national tax
designed to crack down on real estate speculation, will be raised to
100 percent of the standard price gradually by 2009 from the current 50
And owners of properties worth more than 600 million
won will be subject to a comprehensive real estate tax beginning next
year. Currently, the tax targets people with homes worth more than 900
million won.

And still more bubbling in Hong Kong! We’re all screwed! Blame Baskin Robbins and their inability to make chocolate milkshakes in Pusan.

And on milkshakes, I’m so happy the Brits left Hong Kong with a functional legal system.:

KissselNancy Kissel slept alongside her husband Robert’s body for two nights, therefore she is not guilty
of murder.  He was into black gay porn websites, cocaine-fuelled sodomy
and other normal, healthy investment bankers’ pastimes, therefore she
is not guilty of murder.  She was helping to organize the United Jewish
Congregation annual dinner, therefore she is not guilty of murder.  Her
handling of pre-Dad’s-visit rotting-corpse- disposal issues was a tad
inexpert, therefore she is not guilty of murder.  The Tai Lam Women’s
Prison baseball team are in high spirits today.

The image of Kissel is snatched without attribution from a Yahoo! image search. Curiously, the first result is Phil!



Congrats, Phil. In a few years your mug will show up in a poorly researched true-crime novel.

Warning to Olympians, if you beat out India for the gold then Bollywood will be mean to you.:

Ahmed Al Maktoum, the shooter from Dubai, is that an assassin from Dubai in the film Sarkar
is referred to as an Olympic gold medalist in shooting. Al Maktoum won
an Olympic gold in the double trap last year, beating India’s
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and feels it’s a derogatory reference to

More on lingerie model Michelle Leslie’s ‘conversion’ at IndCoup:


Indonesia is an unpredictable place. You should always expect
the unexpected. Maybe it’s something they put in the water. But
whatever it is, the latest news concerning the Aussie model recently
arrested in Bali for drugs possession is simply astonishing to say the
least. Because, right out of the blue, Michelle Leslie, who was only
recently posing in raunchy photoshoots covered in nothing more than
body paint is now donning the full Muslim headdress!

But why? Bali is a Hindu island after all. And what’s more, her
actions have caused such an uproar back in Aus that her family have had
to make a public apology to offended Muslims who quite understandably
think she’s taking the piss.

You can’t judge a book by the cover, but you can usually judge a movie from the trailer; Danny Bloom says Geisha sucks.

Geisha Having recently seen the trailer for Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha,
which Hollywood has tried to turn into a movie to hit world movie
screens for Christmas viewing (and Oscar nominations time), I can’t
help but feel this film will be a dud.
Why? Well, I’m not a
New York Times film critic, and I don’t have a Ph.D. in film studies,
but one look at the trailer and it’s obvious that the American
producers erred bigtime by deciding to cast Chinese actresses in the
roles of the Japanese characters in Golden’s book.
For one
thing, the big-name Chinese actresses “look” like Chinese women, from
their faces to their hair to their body language, and they speak
English in the movie with Chinese-accented English. It’s obvious they
are not Japanese. The film becomes a travesty of movie-making.


It’s Blog Day! And no one gave me a present!

Jeff Ooi celebrates with a tour of the Malaysian blogosphere. Kenny Sia celebrates with a tour of the Malaysian babe-o-sphere.


In Singapore, Mr Wang disagrees with the linking policy of metablog Tomorrow.sg, which is - essentially - if you put something in the public domain… it’s PUBLIC!:

At one level, Mr Wang agrees with Tomorrow’s position, for the reasons
that Agagooga has stated. Mr Wang himself regularly links to other
bloggers’ posts without seeking their permission. Although "Did Mr Wang Say So?" is on a much smaller scale than Tomorrow, the same principles ought to apply.
On the other hand, Mr Wang uses his brain when choosing his
hyperlinks. And Mr Wang considers it inappropriate for Tomorrow to take
an overly cavalier approach to this task. It is one thing to say, "Oh,
YOU put your personal story on the Internet yourself, don’t blame US
for publicising it." This kind of excuse, while not entirely invalid,
is a poor excuse for the Tomorrow editors to display bad editorial
taste, to make bad editorial choices and to be lousy human beings.
Tomorrow (or any other blog) is perfectly free to act as a
screaming tabloid if it wants to. It doesn’t necessarily follow that it
is a good thing for Tomorrow (or any other blog) to act as a screaming
tabloid. And the fact that people didn’t stick "Respect My Privacy"
banners or buttons all over their own blogs doesn’t mean that a
Tomorrow editor can’t exercise some good judgment on his own accord to
do what’s right.

AsiaPundit doesn’t mind being a tabloid blog. Asia has a three easily available English-language broadsheets - the AWSJ, IHT and FT all nicely acronymed to increase appeal in Singapore - and it could use a good tabloid. Further, most of the Tomorrow.sg-linked blogs are Blogger hosted. If you want your blog to be private… password protect it. Duh!

But speaking of Tabloid Crap, that’s the category under which :

WhoopieAccording to the JoongAng Ilbo (Korean), Koreans fart a lot.
Hey, don’t blame me for this one — blame the JoongAng. Anyway, the
piece said that while it might be hard to draw a hard and fast
conclusion, one could guess that Koreans break wind particularly often
due to the large amount of gas-producing foods they consume — beans,
veggies, fruits and raw foods. The rising consumption of milk doesn’t
help matters, and those with trouble digesting lactose and the elderly
with weakening digestive power are particularly susceptible to
becoming, in the colorful choice of words by the JoongAng, “gas shells”
(like in the WWI artillery round).

And the JoongAng Ilbo, I recall, is a broadsheet.

Hey, Google solved that East Sea/Sea of Japan problem that was causing all of those DNS attacks across the East Sea Sea of Japan body of water that separates the two countries.:


Oh while today is blog day and the day Malaysia gained independence, tomorrow, September 1st, is the day Tibet lost it.

by @ 9:47 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Film, Australia, Tibet

30 August, 2005

tuesday links

China has declared it will ban tobacco advertising and cigarette machines, things that Imagethief notes, don’t actually exist.:

Chinacig… I’m not really sure of the impact that this treaty will have,
regardless of the vigor of enforcement. In my time in China, I have
seen almost no cigarette advertising that I can recall, and exactly
zero cigarette vending machines. I have, however, seen cigarettes being
sold in every corner store in the country, in every restaurant (just
ask the waitress to bring you a pack) and by a nearly infinite number
of street vendors operating from suitcases, cardboard boxes and
blankets rolled out flat on the sidewalk. So I’m not sure a ban of
cigarette machines will keep the devil-sticks away from the grasping
hands of China’s innocent babes.
A ban of sidewalks and restaurants might have some effect.

While AsiaPundit acknowledges that smoking is harmful, he doesn’t believe that banning tobacco companies from event sponsorship is a good idea. And it’s a shame China doesn’t have any tobacco advertising, the pre-revolutionary stuff was rather keen.


The bans, no matter how useless, may still be a positive step for China’s health. It was not so long ago that Japan was also a nation of smokers. Now, the government is auctioning its 200,000 yen luxury ashtrays.:

AshholesThere once was a time in Japan when tobacco was king, with puffing
considered the norm and non-smokers treated as second-class citizens.
Those days are long gone as smoking is now banned on trains, in
stations, in certain areas of the city, and in other areas where large
groups of people gather.
One of the more comical stories to come out of the no smoking era is the report that officials in Yamagata, Japan are planning to auction off 28 cast metal “luxury ashtrays”
that were once positioned at various locations around municipal
offices. The ashtrays are no longer necessary since smoking is now
banned in government buildings.

At Far Outliers, some reminiscing from a Chinese ‘volunteer’ from the Korean War.

One afternoon during the "airing grievances" session [among Chinese
POWs in Korea], the medic said something almost incredible, though
there must have been some truth to the story. He told us: "When our
former division suffered heavy casualties near Wonsan, we rushed over
to evacuate the wounded men. There were hundreds of them lying on a
hillside. I was naive and just went ahead bandaging those crying for
help. But our director told us to check the insides of the men’s
jackets first. If the insignia of a hammer crossed with a cycle was
there, that man must be shipped back immediately and given all medical
help. So we followed his orders. All those men who had the secret sign
in their jackets were Party members. We left behind lots of ordinary
men like ourselves."

Not many people get to take in the Communist Party retreat at Baidaihe. That’s a shame, it sounds like fun.

The waitresses seemed dainty and neat after the big Russian women of
the night before. Then they disappeared into a side room where a lot of
good-natured shouting and screamimg was going on. Some women were
egging someone on in a drinking contest, Mr Dong explained. I thought
the waitresses had gone in to restore order. But then Mr Dong said "It
is the fuwuyuan who are daring the leaders to drink …" One
red-faced man tried to escape but was physically manhandled back into
the room by these petite butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-ther-mouths girls.
Then after a crescendo of squealing and chanting, three men emerged
looking bedraggled and reeking of baijiu.
"These fuwuyuan
are very naughty," said Mr Dong, grinning. "They use very rude words to
make the men drink, saying they are not men and can’t make their wife
happy …"
As we got up and left the dining room, we passed the side
room and saw one man passed out on the floor. The waitresses were just
"He is one of the Beijing city party leaders," said Mr Dong. "He won the contest."

The Aseanist refers to an Asia Times article on the shifting of alliances in the region.:

RiskIndia and South Korea are sitting on the fence and could go either way
depending on how events play themselves out. For example, Chinese
support for Pakistani aggression could put India on the side of the US
against China, while aggressive and unilateral military action by the
US could solidify an Asian alliance. The current Sino-Indian
rapprochement could also be unraveled by a flare-up over their
territorial disputes in Aksai China and Arunachel Pradesh, energy
competition on the world stage and China’s encroachment into India’s
"sphere of influence" as seen by its improving relations with
Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, attempts to join the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and growing naval presence
in the Indian Ocean.

The maker of political film Singapore Rebel has surrendered his camera and tapes to the police.:

A Singaporean film maker who could be jailed for making a documentary
on an opposition politician has surrendered his video camera and tapes
to police investigators.
Martyn See told AFP the equipment and
six existing tapes of "Singapore Rebel," a documentary about Chee Soon
Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party, were handed
over on Monday evening.
He was told to surrender the tapes,
including two master copies, and the digital video camera after police
questioned him a second time last week about the documentary.
have no idea when they will return or even if they will return at all,"
See said. "They just said they need the camera and tapes to investigate
my case which was violating the Films Act."
Singapore’s Films
Act bans political advertising using films or videos, as well as movies
directed towards any political end such as promoting political parties.

Singapore’s People’s Action Party controls all of the press, which do nothing but positive coverage of the party. You’d think someone would try to get Channel News Asia’s stuff seized by the cops.:

CnaMr Yap Keng Ho aka Uncle Yap, an activist in Singapore, made a police report today against CNA. Uncle Yap is asking the police to look into two programmes by the state-controlled local broadcaster ChannelNewsAsia or CNA, Success Stories and Up Close. These programmes can also be considered "party political films" under the Films Act.

Why get a spy satellite when you could use Google Earth?:

South Korea is discussing with the United States measures to ban
private American companies from showing satellite photos of South
Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the Defense Security Command
(DSC) and other facilities related to national security on the Internet.
National Security Council is discussing the matter with the U.S. side,"
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Man-soo said. "At the moment, we have no
way under current laws to prevent U.S. companies from taking satellite
photos (of Korean security facilities) and releasing them publicly as
part of commercial activities."
Kim was responding to a report in
the daily Segye Times that said search portal Google has a service
called Google Earth that makes available images of South Korea’s
presidential office, the DSC and naval and air force bases.

Cool! Look, it’s President Rho’s house!


Google Earth is currently not available on Mac, but I would be interested in seeing if anyone can get me aerial of Zhongnanhai.

Visit OneFreeKorea for the Carnival of Revolutions and the North Korea news update.

Also from Korea:

No judge, no jury, no trial, oh by the way, your father is a Japanese collaborator and a traitor to Korea.

Aussie lingerie model Michelle Leslie, under arrest for drug possession in Indonesia, has changed her faith, the Swanker notes.:

MichelleleslieMichellelesliehijabSo Michelle Leslie has gone from this… to this.

Quite the contrast.  It seems Michelle has found God:

"Michelle as a Muslim made the decision to wear the hijab
(head-covering) to find solace with God, not for any other purpose,"
family spokesman Sean Mulcahy said yesterday.

This is just a hunch, but AsiaPundit suspects Michelle wasn’t wearing a hijab when she was nabbed with the ecstasy tablets.

AsiaPundit was going to link to at least one post from new group blog Paris Indonesia today, but they were all so good he couldn’t decide. Read the whole thing.

From Angry Chinese Blogger, 101 ways to tell you live in China.:

Spittoons are
considered a foreign contrivance that has no place in Asian society. As
are cheese and non-smoking sections in maternity hospitals.
get into the back of a Taxi cab and find that it has no safety belts,
but that the seats are still in the plastic wrappers that they were
delivered in.
You can go to prison for trying to hold an election, but not for rigging one….

Cambodian strongman Hun Sen is not someone I usually agree with, and I’m sure his comment here has a touch of xenophobia, but I heard enough tales about international aid workers in Cambodia and East Timor to understand his point. Via Cambodia Morning:

(Kyodo) _ Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday the foreign aid given to Cambodia every year is spent mostly on .
In the year 2002 alone, he said, some $115 million was spent on technical assistance.
Sen told a gathering of government officials that much of that money is
spent on first-class air tickets and five-star hotels for foreign
experts, who sometimes come to Cambodia only to polish the results of
hard work done by Cambodians.

Two great Taiwan blogs, Jujuflop and View from Taiwan, have something to say about an AP article on the alleged dwindling support for independence.   

Western journalists do not have the most basic understanding of Taiwan,
or they think it is too complex to explain to their readers. That is my
conclusion after having read the latest article about Taiwan which
fails completely to dig beneath the surface and get any more nuanced
than describing a battle between absolute independence and absolute

AsiaPundit has posted a few items about healthcare in China recently, from Marginal Revolution, Amit Varma and Sepia Mutiny, a disturbing NYT item on an Indian maternity ward.:

BabyJust as the painful ordeal of childbirth finally ended and Nesam
Velankanni waited for a nurse to lay her squalling newborn on her
chest, the maternity hospital’s ritual of extortion began.
she even glimpsed her baby, she said, a nurse whisked the infant away
and an attendant demanded a bribe. If you want to see your child,
families are told, the price is $12 for a boy and $7 for a girl, a lot
of money for slum dwellers scraping by on a dollar a day. The practice
is common here in the city, surveys confirm.
Mrs. Velankanni was
penniless, and her mother-in-law had to pawn gold earrings that had
been a precious marriage gift so she could give the money to the
attendant, or ayah. Mrs. Velankanni, a migrant to Bangalore who had
been unprepared for the demand, wept in frustration.

Another Malaysian politician has joined the blogosphere.

Perhaps the collapse of the CCP won’t be brought about by laid-off SOE employees or aggrieved farmers. No, perhaps the future belongs to the young.:

NightelfChinese players of the "World of Warcraft" online game have begun an Internet signature campaign protesting Chinese government plans to limit the country’s online gamers to three hours of consecutive playtime.

"These restrictions violate the rights of online game players," one
Chinese player wrote on the petition. "Trying to prevent young players
from being addicted is good, but this new system will be a total

As of August 29, more than 1,000 Chinese gamers had signed the petition opposing implementation of the new time limits.

by @ 9:39 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Australia

22 August, 2005

monday links

As if the arrest and imprisonment of buxom Shapelle Corby wasn’t enough to strain Australian-Indonesian relations, police in Bali have busted a Aussie lingerie model.

MleebodypaintSYDNEY - Australian lingerie model Michelle Leslie could face up
to 10 years in jail after getting busted on the Indonesian resort of
Bali for allegedly possessing ecstasy tablets, officials said.

The 24-year-old, who has modelled for sassy lingerie line Antz
Pantz and works under the name Michelle Lee, was arrested at a party
near Bali’s popular Kuta beach at the weekend, they said.

The Swanker says:

If you’re one of those people who think the Australian media got into a
big tizz over Schapelle Corby solely because of her looks, wait til
they get a load of Michelle.

In other celebrity news, Other Lisa is horrified that ‘The Donald’ intends to bring the Apprentice to China.

Communist mainland China will soon have its own version of "The Apprentice" — Donald Trump’s reality TV tribute to capitalism.
Trump will be the executive producer of the Chinese show, which
will be hosted by Beijing property mogul Pan Shiyi, the South China
Morning Post newspaper reported Sunday.
The newspaper said China’s version would closely follow the U.S.
original, in which contestants compete for a job with Trump. Details of
the deal are under negotiation.

I wouldn’t worry too much about Trump crossing the Pacific. On top of tightening regulations on joint Sino-foreign productions, Vincent Lo of Hong Kong’s Shui On Group has already commenced a rival project.:

But "Wise Man Takes All" will not feature cut-throat
competition or Trump’s catch-phrase, "You’re fired!"
The show symbolises China’s embrace of market economics
after decades of strict state planning. Entrepreneurs are now
eligible for "model and advanced worker" status, an honour once
reserved for the likes of bus conductors, miners and other
employees of the Communist state sector.
"We are trying to sharpen the entrepreneurial spirit in
young people," Vincent Lo Hongshui, chairman of Hong Kong
property developer Shui On Land, a major sponsor of the show,
was quoted as saying.
Reality television is relatively new but catching on quickly
in China. Millions of people have been tuning in to watch the
late rounds of "Super Girl", a singing showdown that clearly
takes a page from "American Idol" and reaches it finale on

Lo’s project may not be as edgy as Trump’s, but it has a better chance of getting off the ground. In grey areas such as the entertainment media, it helps to have guanxi. And, as the Economist has noted, Lo is the "King of Guanxi."

Cyber War! Cyber War! Cyber War!

Japanese netizens are attacking a South Korean website:

The website of the Voluntary Agency Network Korea (VANK)has been hacked and its message board flooded by messages-
in what’s thought to be a retaliation by angry Japanese netizens (can I
call Japanese internet users netizens too?) over Google Earth changing
the name of the body of water between Korea and Japan from Sea of Japan
to East Sea after VANK lobbied Google Earth.

The South Korean government is setting up safeguards to prevent it from being caught in the crossfire as Chinese netizens attack Japan.:

“We don’t know whether cyber warfare will indeed happen between China
and Japan, but to prevent any fallout, we have devised countermeasures
jointly with universities and Internet service providers,” a ministry
official said.
Hong Kong daily reported recently that the Association of China’s Red
Hackers, one of the world’s five hacking groups, plans to launch
formidable attacks on the anti-Chinese websites in Japan between July
and September.

Rebecca McKinnion will soon be arriving to mediate moderate:

I’m thrilled to have been asked to moderate a panel at this years first inaugural Chinese Bloggers’ Conference in Shanghai, November 5-6….
One thing I hope we’ll talk about is how we can do more to foster constructive dialogue online between bloggers in China and Japan.

A constructive dialogue would be nice. Though I’d even consider fostering a hostile dialogue progress, so long as it meant a reduction in hacking and ‘DNS atacks.’

In Japan, it’s hip to be square.:

819otakuThough Torii may not know it, he’s the type of guy who’s apparently all
the rage among Japanese women nowadays. Much of the media is currently
smitten with the country’s booming otaku culture. This has, in turn,
led to widespread claims that the geeks, freaks, weirdoes and fatties
who, like Torii, are collectively referred to as otaku, a group once
largely shunned by women, are now being seen as the country’s hottest
hunks. Apparently, their appeal lies in the belief that the otaku are
up for a purer form of love and are the obsessive types likely to
become devoted to the one gal once they’ve found her.

MassgamesIt’s tourist season in Pyong’yang. Seriously, to mark the 60th anniversary of Allied Victory in World War Two’s Pacific Front Kim Il-sung’s almost single-handed defeat of Japanese fascist armies and the birth of the juche state, the country is holding three-month long Mass Games. We’ve been assured that these will offer some of the best acrobatics, gymnastics and xenophobia that Northeast Asia has to offer. As NK Zone notes, the Financial Times is offering some free coverage.

It’s been argued that governments are not doing enough to prevent the Avian Flu from becoming a pandemic. Thankfully, we now have "An Investor’s Guide to the Avian Flu," so even if millions do die, at least some of us can profit. (FWIW: CLSA issued a similar report several months ago, they just weren’t as gauche when selecting a title.)

Nepal9Michael Manoochehri says that Nepal’s border guards are much nicer than the Chinese ones. Both Chinese and Nepalese babies are cute though.

It’s easy to understand why the Chinese border guards were grumpier. The Tibetan region has security problems while Nepal has… err Maoist insurgents and student rioters.

Global Voices offers another fine roundup on the blasts in Bangladesh.

When MasaMania posted his spread of Tokyo street-racing photos today, I was struck by this older link that showed up in my RSS reader today. I thought that a possible reason for the "Korea Wave," and the waning influence of Japan on Asian fashion trends, is that the trends coming out of Japan are just a little bit too freaky for the rest of the continent.


The fashion trends coming out of South Korea, meanwhile, are much safer… even if some of them are copies of trends that originated in Japan.



by @ 9:33 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, China, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Nepal, Central Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Tibet

17 August, 2005

early wednesday links

Picture3_1Ben Muse notes that 80% of China’s oil has to travel from the Malacca Strait. Noting that the nation would be at risk from a conflict with India or an incident in the Straits would be a problem. This should be an area of mutual concern for the US and China. The former has long been arguing with Malaysia and Indonesia that Straits security is a global concern. Only Singapore has agreed to allow non-littoral states to engage in anti-piracy patrols.

Via BoingBoing, Piracy kills creativity.

In China, even cats know kung fu.


An editor at the China Youth Daily has written an open letter blasting new appraisal regulations that erode editorial freedom. ESWN translates. That an 26-year veteran editor of a Communist Youth League-owned paper should be openly criticising moves to create a more dogmatic paper is impressive. But Ian Lamont at Harvard Extended  notes that the desire for press freedom by Chinese journalists isn’t new.:

Kelly Haggart, on Chinese journalists during and after Tiananmen:
"There is pride among Beijing journalists about those few days of press freedom. For one thing, it showed the potential of Chinese journalists. For the first time they were allowed to act like real reporters and they did no worse at covering the story than their more experienced foreign counterparts. … For almost all city people, no matter what they thought of the students and their hunger strike, that week of relative press freedom brought home to them the importance of more open, more enterprising media. Freedom of the press was no longer a complete abstraction." [page 50]


54_sudokuscreenThe Eclectic Econoclast points to a site offering Suduko-generating software. Wikipedia notes that the Japanese number puzzle has this year gained global popularity.

If Shappell Corby, the Aussie tourist  sentenced to 20 years in a Balinese prison for drug smuggling, is released on appeal… she could be in the money.:

4754schapelle_corbyMen’s magazines will rush to sign-up Schapelle Corby for a raunchy photo shoot if she is freed. And the convicted drug smuggler could earn up to $500,000 for a sexy bikini shoot, according to reports.
FHM magazine has revealed Corby polled strongly in its 100 hottest women vote but editors decided against including the former beauty student, fearing a public backlash.
"At the time she was on trial and potentially could have been executed . . . so it may have been in slightly poor taste," FHM editor John Bastick was quoted as saying in The Courier Mail.

Brand New Malaysian points to the hazards of overplanning photo sessions.:

How corny does that look? At best, it shows the over-enthusiasm of this senior academic to portray, perhaps how attached and devoted he is to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as to put the book on a pedestal.
At worst, he comes off looking like a brown-nosing hypocrite that set up the placement of the book for the photography session.

BeachJapan isn’t just importing cheap manufactured goods from China, Japundit notes that New Tokyo has imported a beach.

The Marmot doesn’t trust a new poll that finds South Koreans would overwhelmingly side with the North .

The survey by Gallup Korea of 833 individuals born between 1980 and 1989 also found a marked shift in attitude to North Korea and the South’s traditional ally, the U.S. Some 65.9 percent responded they would take North Korea’s side if it was at war with the U.S., while 21.8 percent said South Korea must stand with the U.S. and the rest were undecided.

Singaporean scientists have invented a device that could help solve China’s chronic power shortages. With 1.3 billion people here there is a lot of urine that could power this device.

Taiwan’s first iPod-related crime almost sparks a diplomatic incident.:

A 12-year-old girl tried to threaten her friend to get her iPod back, but accidentally dialed the Swaziland ambassador. The kind ambassador has decided to forgive the twerp who called her up in the middle of the night. Lucky for that girl it was the Swaziland ambassador she accidentally called, and not the ambassador from a certain Central American nation that bitched me out in front of everyone at a Far Eastern Hotel cocktail reception once.

Taiwan_noteA look at representations of aboriginals in Taiwanese baseball, and the origins of the image on the 500 Taiwan dollar note.

Arms Control Wonk notes that reports of the number of Chinese-government front companies operating in the US are consistently overestimated.

The existence of “3,000 Chinese front companies” is one the most persistent claims about China floating around. The number is often attributed to the FBI, but as far as I can tell that’s wrong too. Or it used to be.

Averagekorean_1Finally, scientists have determined what an average Korean looks like.

ThaRum has an excellent post on Cambodia’s emerging blogosphere.

by @ 8:17 am. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, Money, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Weblogs, North Korea, Australia, Sports

18 July, 2005

ironic pretend ‘asian invasion’ loses ground to ‘actual’ pretend asian invasion

Asian diaspora bloggers in the West with ironically-threatening names, such as America’s Angryasianman and New Zealand’s Yellow Peril, are viewing America’s recasting of China as a non-ironically-threatening geopolitical force, to be a uniquely challenging branding dilemma.  Says Yellow Peril:

Since I started my convolutedly ironic, yet politically and culturally challenging diaspora blog, if you Googled ‘Yellow Peril’, the first thing that came up was ME.  That’s the way I like it.  How is the resurgence of Sinophobia and General Zhu’s threat of a nuclear strike [see below] going to affect my hitrate?

Meanwhile, the UK-born Asian diaspora was busy trying to figure out how many of them went to school with the London bombers

And in Sydney, one of Yellow Peril’s Chinese doctor ‘cousins’ treated a shambolic, mentally ill Muslim man with a broad Australian accent.  The local police then reported the terrified Muslim to the federal authorities because in the midst of his pavement ramblings, he said the word ‘bus’.

by @ 5:04 pm. Filed under Culture, Blogs, China, Pakistan, India, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Current Affairs, Weblogs, Terrorism, Australia, Bangladesh

9 July, 2005

saturday links

Late-linkage after a blogging-free Friday.:

A new group blog for the Indian blogosphere DesiPundit

US conservatives attack Hollywood, but they should love Bollywood:

1. No sex. If you’re lucky, you might see some wet sari.

2. The films often revolve around finding a wonderful spouse and getting married.

3. The bigger the wedding, the better.

4. Lots of piety. Religion is *never* mocked or portrayed in a negative light.

From IslaFormosa, a look at Taipei’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Taiwan’s former president goes manga.

LeeEven former ROC President Lee DengHui got on the bandwagon by posing as as the fictional character Edajima Heihachi of the anime series Sakigake!! Otokojuku. It’s no secret that Lee is a pocket ‘Japanophile’. He was educated in Japan and can speak Japanese quite fluently (he was given a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University). His cosplay was widely seen as a way to shore up support from young people for his Taiwan Solidarity Union party’s Taiwan independence platform.

The first issue of the Cambodia Economic Review is online.

I mentioned that Bill Gertz’s Washington Times item on China’s rising military threat would be a good template for a Phillip K Dick-style novel, a libertarian site in the US has developed an initial treatment:

China has emerged as the world’s largest and fastest-growing economy.
After retaking Taiwan in 2007, and annexing North Korea a year later,
China then successfully "Finlandized" Japan, and now oversees a vast
Pacific empire that would have made the 1942 Japanese government green
with envy. China’s thirst for the Middle East’s oil leads it to support
radical Islamic clerics, but this support goes unpunished, as no major
country stands a chance if it goes against China’s wishes.
xhiang, introduced in 2009, is now the world’s premier currency,
followed by the euro, the Canadian dollar, and the U.S. dollar.

The top news story from Thursday? According to Xinhua and CCTV it was that Hu Jintao met world leaders. Tom Vanvanij, meanwhile, looks at Thailand’s Nation Channel.

Kevin in Pudong translates offensive reaction on Chinese bulletin boards about the London bombings:

Terrorism is the only way for the weak to fight back against the strong. No matter what reaons they may have, the US-British attack on the people of  Iraq was wrong and constitutes blatant terrorism. All the weak can do in response is to bring you down with them.

"Terrorism is the only way for the weak to fight the powerful"… it’s not surprising that so many Chinese netizens think this way. Perhaps its because they can’t access messages from birthday boy Dali Lama.

On the bombings, there was the typical reaction from the left to blame Blair and blame Bush. Reaction to the bombings from some in the anti-CCP camp was equally distressing.:

America, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the free world will never be secure until China itself is free. The road to victory in the War on Terror does not end in Kabul, Baghdad, Tehran, or Damascus, and it certainly doesn’t end in Jerusalem. The road ends, and lasting victory can be found, only in Beijing. Until China is on the list for liberation, preferably peaceful, the War on Terror will never end.

Rebecca McKinnion has a roundup of Arab reaction and displays a banner Muslim bloggers can use to show their disgust at the bombings.

Has Howard found his cajones? Australia has granted Chinese defector Chen Yonglin a visa.

Sure, sushi and sashimi can give you worms, but you should be safe if you use (sake wouldn’t hurt either).

More musings on Sinofascism.

Free condom distribution is helping the people of Uttar Pradesh, though not necessarily with birth control or AIDS prevention.:

Some workmen mix them with tar and concrete to give a smooth finish to roads, or to make waterproof ceilings, and some villagers use them to carry water when working in the fields. And, of course, youths turn them into water bombs. But the main use here is in the sari industry, where they’ve become an essential part of the production process

In Japan, it’s time to scare the neighbors - though anti-Japan sentiments from Chinese and Korean political leaders no doubt helped gain support for the constitutional amendment. An East Asian war is still unlikely. But Japan faces other security threats.

In our continuing series of links useful for tourists in Pyongyang, here’s a useful site on the city’s subway system.

The author of a slanderous tome on former Malaysian deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim has gotten one year in jail. The book’s financiers have not been established or punished.

Kenny Sia treats himself to a two ringgit luxury public toilet experience.

Imeedarna180x270_1Imee Marcos, the glamor-shot savvy daughter (see left) of Ferdinand and Imelda, says Filipinos should not tolerate liars and thieves (chortle). More on the  situation in the Philippines at  MLQIII, PCIL, By Jove and Sassy. Also Gateway Pundit has a selection of links.

Inflation in North Korea, yes the NK won has continued to become more worthless.

GI Korea and explore the even-handedness of Seoul’s press.


by @ 10:17 am. Filed under Culture, Food and Drink, Japan, Blogs, China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Media, South Asia, Thailand, Weblogs, Censorship, Terrorism, North Korea, Australia

1 July, 2005


Aussiegirl points to an argument by Thomas Lifson that Engllish is no longer required for entry.:

. . . But the Anglosphere is also a political and (increasingly) a military alliance, aimed at guaranteeing the political, moral, economic and cultural freedoms necessary for Anglospherical societies to function.
Who are the members of the Anglosphere? At its heart are The United States (its leading force) and the United Kingdom (whose culture and imperium gave it birth and made it a world force). Other members include Australia, Japan, India, Israel, Taiwan, and (less closely attached, militarily) Singapore, and even more distantly Hong Kong and Canada, which are controlled by regimes somewhat hostile to the dominance of the Anglosphere. Other nations participate in the Anglosphere in some realms, but not others, as they choose. The Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Malaysia are examples of countries which join in some ways, yet stay outside in others.

by @ 10:25 am. Filed under Culture, Japan, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia

30 June, 2005

john howard’s balls

LOST: One set of cajones.:

The U.S. is suggesting that the Australian Government is being too timid on the issue of human rights with China. All because Australia refused to attend a summit, the subject of which is how to deal with a "rising China".
The summit will be attended by the U.S., Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. Australia will instead be briefed on the meeting afterwards. Interestingly, New Zealand is also taking a pragmatic approach when dealing with China, that is while voicing human rights "concerns" they are still willing to pursue closer ties with China. I wonder if NZ would think of backing out of this summit too?
Of course, there is the whole political asylum seeking issue in Australia. The Aussies won’t want to offend China too much by then basically attending a "how to contain China" (at least that is how the Chinese would see it, I assume) meeting?

by @ 11:37 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Australia

27 June, 2005

in defense of spli—sm

Kevin in Pudong, Shanghai’s attempt at recreating Singapore’s CBD, presents a heavily hyphenated translation of a Paul Lin article in defense of spli—sm.:

China recently unveiled its “Anti-Se—-ion Law.” To tell you the truth, when we talk about unification or division, both are developments “under heaven,” just as in the opening lines of the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”: “the world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; while after a long period of union, it tends to divide.” Thus, there is really no use in striving to attain either. So what good could possibly come of this Anti-Secession Law, which is technically a call to war? In fact, an overview of Chinese history has led me to believe that the division of China wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

by @ 7:38 am. Filed under China, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Australia

18 June, 2005

great curries… legal worries

HandighandiNote to prospective restaurateurs, KFC aside, resurrecting dead people to sell food is generally a Bad Marketing Idea. (via Moderate Voice)

The family of vegetarian Indian pacifist icon Mahatma Gandhi is fighting mad over an Australian company using their beloved ancestor to sell their products and has asked the Indian government to intervene.
The firm is Handi Ghandi — "Great Curries…No Worries" and its curries reportedly include meat curries…including beef…which is a no-no for Hindus. Reuters reports:
"It’s offensive," Tushar Gandhi, the activist’s Bombay-based great-grandson and head of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, told Reuters. "It goes absolutely against all his beliefs. Using his image to sell beef curries and such doesn’t gel.
"He was not a foodie."

Indeed: Gandhi was best known for his hunger strikes.

Truth be told, I was a touch offended when the Colonel was resurrected as a cartoon, and he was already a KFC trademark.

by @ 3:37 pm. Filed under Culture, Food and Drink, India, Asia, South Asia, Australia

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