April 01, 2005

You are on the invidual archive page of Daily linklets 1st April. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.
Daily linklets 1st April

This is a daily collection of links, some with commentary, to news stories and interesting blog posts. It will be updated throughout the day with a new timestamp for the updates.

Scroll down for today's other posts.

  • Quite frankly we are witnessing an incredible historical event and it is going largely unnoticed. 55 years after the Chinese Civil War ended, the two opponents are now openly embracing each other. The visit is seen as a welcome thaw in frosty cross-Straits relations. Thanks should be given to the DPP for bringing together the Communists and KMT. And perhaps the pessimistis on the Taiwan question will realise it's not all doom and gloom and that China has a carrot and stick approach...not just a stick approach.
  • Mrs M. kindly bought me a copy of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a good read, linking together anecdotes and research and in an easy to read style. It comes down to a simple rule my high school science teacher once told me: go with your gut instinct. What is illuminating is the unconscious influences and prejudices on our decisions. As I said, worth a read.
  • Triads in Hong Kong are learning that upsetting the status quo with the cops doesn't pay. Since a police raid last weekend in Kowloon turned ugly, police have raided well-known Triad owned premises nightly, despite major Triad leaders apologising to the police and telling their young "brothers" to pull their heads in. Some might wonder why it has taken such an event to get the police to launch these raids. But in Hong Kong that's how it works: there is an unwritten understanding between police and Triads which keeps Hong Kong largely free of petty crime.
  • Sobering times for Korean bankers. Sell your Korean beer shares now. I can categorically state there are no harder drinkers in the world than Koreans.
  • It's not easy being a woman in China. Besides being vastly outnumbered by men, 71% are sexually harassed.
  • Happy birthday Helen. And Jim's gone and organised a nice present.
  • (13:20) Virgin have announced they have finalised details of commerical space flight and the first trip will be in 30 months. Instead of a mile high club there will now be the 100 mile high club. Problems of squeezing pass trolleys in aisles are eliminated as you can now float over the top. Leg space issues in economy class disappear. But what does a spacecraft do if there are no landing slots on its return?
  • The SCMP Group reported an annual profit of HK$317.5 million on turnover of HK$1.37 billion! That's a 23% profit margin! I gotta start me a newspaper. Maybe they could spare a few dollars and send some reporters to Hunan Normal University's class on sensationilising news.
  • Prince Charles' quest for true love hasn't been easy.
  • (15:21) I recently wrote about the meme that China will gobble the world's natural resources. Thomas Collins of Quillsnews runs a site looking at links between oil, terror and politics.
  • DEL points to a NYT article discussing the current massive petition in China against Japan's bid for a UN Security Council permanent seat. I mentioned this yesterday and note in passing that what both the SMH and NYT have seen fit to print remains absent from the South China Morning Post. Joseph Kahn points out this petition will force China's Government to take a stronger diplomatic line with Japan and re-inforces my view that China's public opinion is more hawkish than the Government's on Japan. But will the rest of the world allow this to disrupt a much needed and desired reform of the UNSC? I doubt it. In the end the most likely is China will abstain on Japan's entry to the Council and cop a huge amount of domestic flak for it. It's not easy being a dictatorship. Thomas Barnett points to several other interesting China related articles today and rightly deals with them.
  • April Fools Day: usually a lame attempt by the otherwise dull to appear clever and fun. But Tim Worstall points to some of the better gags over the years...
  • It makes you wonder. China's Foreign Minister visited Nepals' King Gyanendra and declared his recent actions an "internal matter". This is the kind of tortured position the "internal matter" of Taiwan forces China into.
  • New HK Blog, I think: Madonnalisa.
posted by Simon on 04.01.05 at 03:21 PM in the Daily linklets category.


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I don't see how the PRC's position on Nepal is “tortured” from its position on Taiwan. If Taiwan fell after 1949 and there never was a standoff at the Straits, I'd imagine the PRC government would still say the exact same thing and not feel anything out of place.

Hehe read enough Angry Chinese Blogger and you'll know that the Chinese public opinion is to force every human being in Japan into one spot, then nuke said spot repeatedly (saving just enough for Taiwan, if we have to obliterate it to keep it ours, and deterrents against India and America). :P

And therefore, we are talking about a LOT of domestic flak. Like, seriously, if Japan makes it into the UNSC permanently, the Politburo is probably going to cross its fingers that nothing controversial happens in the next two years, at least. At least, that's the gut feeling that I get from it.

posted by: Kelvin on 04.01.05 at 08:48 PM [permalink]

I think Chinese responses to a security council seat for Japan will revolve around what kind of position Japan will get. If it's a non-vetoing position akin to the present 10 non-permanent member seats then they may very well tolerate it. If Japan's security council position comes with a subsequent veto that matches the present 5 permanent security council positions, I'm fairly sure China would never allow that. Frankly, I'm pretty sure Russia would also move to block that as well and the only real support Japan would have is from the United States.

posted by: Jing on 04.01.05 at 10:10 PM [permalink]

FYI: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-korematsu1apr01,1,7864656.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

posted by: mdmhvonpa on 04.02.05 at 02:33 AM [permalink]

I should also point out that South Korea has openly come out against Japan's security council bid.

[SEOUL — South Korea has decided to work to block Japan's bid to win permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council, the country's envoy to United Nations said Thursday, according to a Yonhap News Agency dispatch from New York.

Ambassador Kim Sam Hoon said: "There are difficulties for a country that does not have the trust of its neighboring countries because of its lack of reflection on the past to play the role of a world leader. We do not think Japan has the qualifications to become a U.N. Security Council member, and we will try to make sure it does not become one."]

Come to think of it, are there any Asian countries that are particularly enthusastic about Japan's security council bid? As far as I am aware, its only the U.S. that has any interests involved in the matter.

posted by: Jing on 04.02.05 at 02:47 AM [permalink]


I can't read that article...do you mind sending me the text.

Japan should get a seat if they decide to expand the Council. But China has lit a fire that it cannot control. A compromise will be reached but I'm sure whatever it is it won't be enough to satisfy the Chinese public.

posted by: Simon on 04.04.05 at 12:40 PM [permalink]

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