August 24, 2004

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Asia by Blog - Month in review

Thank you to everyone for the good wishes. Everyone is doing well.

Now to keep you part of the Winds of Change team I provide a monthly briefing on Asian goings-on, particularly China and SE Asia. I thought this would give me a good opportunity to review the collection of "Asia by Blogs" from the past few weeks and pull together some of the highlights and lowlights. There will be less emphasis on Korean news because someone else is doing a Korean it leaves more room to look at the rest of Asia. As usual there will also be some new links from around the Asian blogging community.

Think of this as one of those "Best of" albums, even though the band is less than a year old and you've only heard one of the songs. More seriously if you haven't had a chance to follow the links from this series, this should give you a good taste of the high quality and wide variety of Asian blogs.

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

  • Tom reports on Hong Kong's newest metallic import from Europe. Laosan talks about China's stunning early success at the Olympics. The Ruck talks about China's outshooting the gun-loving USA. While on sport there was the Asia Cup soccer final between Japan and China. ACB was looking at the build-up the final. Fumier congratulated Japan on their weekend soccer win but says China has won too. ESWN wraps-up the stories and photos of the weekend's Asia Cup from the press. FY looks at the whole mess from Korea, saying it proves China's not ready for an Olympics. Jodi also has more. The Ruck has photos and also has some strongly worded thoughts on the hooliganism of China's fans. ESWN looks at passion in soccer and rates the Asia Cup final.

  • Chris looks at the problems with Hong Kong's list system of voting in the upcoming LegCo elections. Hong Kong was titillated with when a LegCo candidate was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in China. ESWN notes significant differences between the English and Chinese language versions of events. He also notes the rapid retreat by HK's Democrats in claiming political persecution.

  • In China, some things can be illegal but not a crime.

  • ESWN continues his translation of the controversial study of China's peasantry that's been banned on the Mainland.

  • ALN reports that doing good deeds in China sometimes has a price.

  • Richard looks at the release of a book written in 1989 that predicted many of the problems now emerging in the world's greatest toilet bowl: the Three Gorges Dam.

  • Slowly but surely Putonghua (Mandarin) is asserting itself as China's national language, but at what cost? Jodi takes a look at the same issue.

  • "The sloppy baker" finds some say it is a matter of not if but when China will invade Taiwan, while Donald Sensing takes another look at the potential for China to invade Taiwan.

  • After all the fuss over Hong Kong's ICAC raids on newspapers, it turns out all they had to do was ask.

  • China has both a new rock star and a hairy beast.

  • China is facing a shortage of migrant labour for the first time in 20 years. ALN has plenty more about it including why, as does China Herald. ALN also says China is not just attracting investment, it is starting to become a big investor itself.

  • Fons says China's efforts at clamping down on online p0rn has been primitive and largely unsuccessful.

  • Danwei has a list of China's top Google searches for July. Also Google never cut a deal with China's censors, according to one of its founders.

  • Taiping talks about the emergence of China as a force in modern architecture.

  • John at LiC talks about China's latest fashion craze.

  • Also at LiC Edward Hugh says the China economic slowdown has begun; the question is how will it end?

  • ESWN talks about sales training in China, the begging way. He also highlights two very different approaches to reporting the same event. There's additional commentary on this from ALN and CSR Asia.

  • Chris has a look at Hong Kong's alleged paper of record: the South China Morning Post. Marmot says Korean and Chinese journalists are at war.

  • Stephen says when the US releases Uygurs from Guatanamo Bay, they won't be going back to China. There are good reasons why. He also summarises the recent history and current suppression of China's Uygur population.

  • Andrea wonders if China is actually worried by a possible reunification of Korea?

  • Tom explains why AIDS is dangerous just to talk about in China.

  • Which would you rather: working in rice paddies or rubbing feet?

  • Via LiC I came across this survey of differences in attitudes between Chinese and American students on a range of issues. Also via LiC is this article by Shelley Timmins on the differences between Chinese people and Chinese tourists.

  • ACB says CCTV, China's official TV network, has subtly endorsed John Kerry.

  • Ralph Jennings talks about the case of Zhao Yan, the Chinese citizen bashed by a US border guard, and how it is being used as a pawn in a propaganda campaign. It also points out some stark differences in how the case is being handled to how it would be handled in China. ESWN says stupidity can be a two-way street in dealings between East and West. He also updates the facts on the case of Zhao Yan, the Chinese woman in question.

  • ACB says China has compiled a summary of China's assessments of various naval powers.

  • They say that sex sells...firstly Danwei says sex education classes are starting early in China. Secondly there was another trade fair in China: the adult toy expo. It includes this interesting bit: "In Australia we sell three million vibrators per year, mostly made in China," said Michael Rutner, of 'Next to nothing'. That means on average one vibrator for every sexual active woman." Now you know why Aussie women smile so much.
  • Korea and Japan

  • Again with all things Olympic, Tom talks about Japan's latest efforts to capture Olympic gold, and they are extreme. It's not the Olympics butJodi follows Bobby Fischer's Japanese chess game.

  • Marmot and Cathartidae covered the ongoing tussle between Korea and China over that most delicate of topics: history. Marmot goes through the background of this tiff here. Oranckay has more and thinks the spat will serve to cure those in Korea fixated with China. Marmot has plenty more on the Koguryo controversy here and here.

  • Coinciding with Liberation Day in Korea (FY has the historical details) Kimchee GI translates an article that says South Korea's economy is being dragged down by left wing values.

  • South Korean President Roh doesn't want North Korean refugees. Marmot has more on those pesky defectors. Meanwhile Jodi looks at that little known group: defectors to North Korea.

  • Kevin says the Korean blog block continues in part, as does FY.

  • Conrad explains that smell in Tokyo.

  • Jodi talks about some forgotten survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. She also explains why it's not good to be a Korean dog when it gets hot.

  • South Korea was trying to ban reporting on its deployment of troops to Iraq.

  • Just in case readers in America thought North Korea was nothing to worry about, maybe you should think again
  • SE Asia

  • Everybody is blogging these days...although most people just stop blogging when they've had enough instead of abdicating their throne.

  • First Conrad says "Crooks Endorse Fool", then Myrick finds a coalition of the dispicable building in Indonesia. Myrick also disagrees with Lee Kwan Yew about what Beijing did in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

  • The Swanker says cedrtain prisoners were celebrating Indonesia's Independence Day; there may even be a family reunion in the offing, including mass murderers. Jakartass talks about some who didn't get to celebrate the big day and excerpts an editorial that hopes the day will be a reason to look forward as well as back. The Swanker says another crook in Indonesia's military got away with it. Jodi also takes an insightful look at the mess. Jakartass looks at Indonesia's judicial system and finds it wanting. Conrad asks why foreigners would bother investing in Indonesia.

  • Mr. Brown says political freedom may be coming to Singapore, via the mobile phone. Apparently Singapore is not even a U.S. ally. Rajan said happy birthday, Singapore. Nicholas looks at the Singaporean blogging of its National Day and isn't impressed; instead he gives a dose of realism. Mr. Brown asks is Singapore a country or a child-care centre? (also at Andrea)

  • Richard looks at another country following North Korea's example.

  • Giles has found an alternative to the traditional wedding cake in the Philippines.

  • Jodi follows the aftermath of Malaysia's PM remarks on religious tolerance and how it took less than a week for tolerance to give way to warring. She also talks about religious tolerance (or lack thereof) in Asia.

  • CC asks where are the Philippine press in reporting on the revelations of Gracia Burnham and he takes the Philippine Government to task over its spin efforts on the testimony. Wretchard talks about the whole mess in the Southern Philippines and wonders how much (if at all) the US should help.

  • Jodi measures the toll of the massive monsoons that wrecked havoc over South Asia.
  • Miscellany

  • The alternative Big Mac index continues compiling the numbers from around the world. The premise is simple: how long does it take a McDonald's worker to earn enough to buy a Big Mac?

  • Wayne has found a fake Chinese document with interesting contents.

  • Spirit Fingers has the results of HK's beauty pageant. There's also the new series of lesser-known brands to shop for and the "fashion road-kill" series continues.

  • Tony conducts an interesting experiment in racism.

  • Jodi says it ain't easy being a husband in Thailand. She also gives a detailed account of "booking" (with an intro here).

  • Roy's trying his hand at redrawing maps.

  • Via Doug comes this article on how it can be tough for single Western women living in Asia (printed from the Asia Wall St Journal from September 2003).

  • In the history section, Joel looks at some of the last holdouts from WW2.
  • (This will be cross-posted at Winds of Change later this week).

    posted by Simon on 08.24.04 at 08:21 AM in the


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