We were tempted to link to Despair Inc’s Motivational Poster Generator in our daily links, but decided against it as it was not really Asian content.
We hope the below posters rectify that problem.
AsiaPundit has been accused of having too much of a China focus since all co-pundits were sacked last year. This is a scurrilous accusation that we deny. Our analytics show that this site has a strong regular readership among Asian states outside of the Middle Kingdom. That would not be the case if this were solely a China-oriented site.
However, we were alerted to some great news for our Chinese readership this morning – for the Kingdom of Thailand. This will certainly lower airfares just ahead of China’s week-long Autumn Festival/National Day holiday. It may also free up seats as some of those who have already booked seats will certainly cancel.
However, this isn’t all good news. As from shows there is still something incredibly unappealing on the streets of Bangkok.
That’s right, it’s raining.
As well, amid the euphoria about the inevitable seat sales, we should also pause for a moment to consider the shattering of democracy in a Southeast Asian state that has a lively press and civil society. AsiaPundit does not generally advocate boycotts. However — given that AP have volunteered to work in the Shanghai office over the holidays — this site is recommending that potential travelers avoid the country until an elected leader is returned to power and all restrictions on domestic media are lifted.
Instead, try visiting neighboring press-repressing dictatorships in Laos, Vietnam or even Singapore.
Austin was also live blogging the coup at his site. Global Voices has other links. For background on the political situation in Thailand ahead of the coup, the Far Eastern Economic Review’s Colum Murphy has one of the better summaries. Written ahead of the coup, but for this month’s issue, the following line stands out:
To be sure, a military intervention to oust Mr. Thaksin is always a possibility, although some—but not all—analysts agree that this seems unlikely at this point. Those with less sanguine views predict that there will be no compromise between the two (the prime minister and king), and say that this game will produce only one winner and one loser. If this turns out to be the case, then the next weeks and months could see bloody confrontation on the streets of Bangkok and throughout the kingdom.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, southeast asia, thailand
AsiaPundit has been receiving extended essay-length comments in an earlier post from supporters of a certain spiritual movement. These have not been printed because of length, and because this site tries to avoid the inevitable ‘debate’ that tends to break out between FLG supporters and CCP apologists.
The AsiaPundit view on the matter is that FLG is a cult, and it is one that authorities have been unjustly persecuting. Cults should not be persecuted, they should be made fun of. They’re wacky!
However, as a service we bring the following announcement. While we do have doubts about some claims of organ harvesting in China, we would like to warn Westerners of the dangers of accepting any organ implants from Asia. shows why.:
There is a debate on whether or not the Lonely Planet China and Taiwan editions of the popular travel guide are banned from the mainland. Bingfeng notes that he has several LP editions that were purchased in China.
AsiaPundit will note that the state-owned bookstore that is across from his office does sell the Lonely Planet Shanghai city guide, and several other editions of the guide for other Asian locations. However, there are no editions for Taiwan, China or Greater China.
Marc Van der Chij’s, in an item linked to here earlier, noted a conversation he had with a clerk at Shanghai’s best English-language bookstore.:
I could not find the China guide, so I assumed it was sold out. Then I looked for the Beijing guide, and did not find it either. The Tibet guide maybe, as as preparation for next year’s bike trip? No luck. I asked the shop assistant, and he explained to me that in China it is not allowed to sell the Lonely Planet guides for China, Beijing and Tibet.
Fons describes the ban as an “urban myth.” AsiaPundit does not believe that to be the case. Mainland authorities are very sensitive to maps that depict Taiwan as a separate state, and there is a general ban on maps that do so. This is old news.
If there is an urban myth, it is the myth that that the CPC Censorship Machine is efficient.
There are massive gaps in the Great Firewall of China through which ’sensitive’ information is available on the internet (even without the use of proxy servers). AsiaPundit has picked up locally published expat magazines that have addressed the ‘question of Tibet.’ We expect that more than 90 percent of satellite receivers are illegal. And, of course, none of those pirated DVDs that can be picked up at the neighborhood shops or street-stall vendors are state-approved (though some may be made by state-owned enterprises).
Most of this, it should be said, happens in the margins and in the black-market economy. But even in the heavily regulated world of state-run bookstores things will get through. The state-run SBT Bookstore near AsiaPundit global headquarters, and various other outlets throughout the city, are still selling copies of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans.
China does ban maps that display an independent Taiwan. And if the Lonely Planet does display such maps it would be included under such a ban. However, the CPC Censorship Machine is a rickety and incompetent beast and it misses more material than it catches.
We are incredibly thankful for this.
Technorati Tags: asia, censorship, china, east asia, jung chang, media, northeast asia, lonely planet
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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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