Wednesday 10 October 2012
Photo, above: In Corvallis, Oregon, a mural depicting Chinese police beating Tibetans, and a self-immolating Tibetan monk, among many images alarming to Beijing. The mural was mounted by the businessman David Lin and has generated controversy: as Beijing sought to efface the painting, the mayor of Corvallis referred to the First Amendment (see: Sarah Cook, below).
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, and David Livingston, The Space Show
CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV) - A mural in the Oregon town of Corvallis is drawing international attention and controversy, even prompting the Chinese Consulate General to step in and ask the city's mayor to remove it. When David Lin (below) commissioned an artist to paint the mural outside his business, the Taiwanese immigrant said it was to tell a story: the struggle for Taiwan and Tibet to gain their independence from China.
Wednesday 905P Eastern Time (605P Pacific Time): John Lee, University of Sydney, & Hudson Institute Fellow, in re: Hugh White, esteemed professor in Australia, has long claimed that the US needs to treat China as a strategic and moral equal. China, quoth he, will inevitably dominate Asia, and the rest to the world simply needs to learn to coexist. The US and Australia have balanced economies – domestic and export – whereas China is almost wholly dependent on export and, moreover, on acquiring [polite verb] technological advances from outside the country. For the moment, Australian economy is pretty much flat ex mining, same as US.
Wednesday 920P Eastern Time (620P Pacific Time): Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for Freedom on the Net and East Asia at Freedom House, in re: Corvallis, Oregon! Population 54,000; cor + vallis, heart of the valley, in Latin. China has made war on Corvallis: a Taiwanese resident of Corvallis painted a mural that advocates for Taiwanese independence and for liberation of Tibet. Chinese consulate in San Francisco calls mayor, demands it be removed; mayor says no. A delegation from the consulate visited Corvallis to twist arms. Failed. In similar affronts, in 2009 in Bangladesh a photography exhibit was removed; in Moldova, a Chinese expat dance presentation was shut down. Countries that don’t have the protection we have here under the Second Amendment usually just collapse. Note that Beijing is much more sensitive to – feels threatened by – a Chinese-language critique, or by an ethnic Chinese person's criticism. This has created much pushback among Taiwan advocacy groups.
China has made a total ass of itself; symptom of its arrogance, feeling it has a right to do this. Chinese dips follow Beijing's line. Tibet, Mongolia, Taiwan, Tien An Men – these are the flash words that send them mad. See CHINESE MEDIA BULLETIN, FreedomHouse.org/cmb
Wednesday 935P Eastern Time (635P Pacific Time): David M. Livingston, The Space Show, in re: Falcon 9 and Dragon launch and subsequent berthing, and supply delivery to the ISS. Also, problems with secondary payload of an Orbcomm commercial satellite that was unable to be delivered to its proper orbit because engine No 1 had an outage 79 seconds after launch. Comprehensive explanation of what happened and what this means to NASA, SpaceX, and the emerging commercial space industry.
Wednesday 950P Eastern Time (650P Pacific Time): Michael Auslin, AEI Resident Scholar in Foreign and Defense Policy, in re: China calls the Diaouyutai – Senkakus – "sacred territory." This is linked to expanding claims China makes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, invest snippets of territory with vast historical weight – even including the Philippine Archipelago. Not just posturing – real possibility of conflict Chinese and Taiwanese fishing boats, activists, military boats, ambient vessels – at some point, something will happen. Japanese feels outnumbered and are nervous about controlling their own waters if surrounded by ships; one day it'll spin out of control. US, as ultimate guarantor of peace in Asia: what's it doing? Regional states ant to know. They see a lot of posturing and not much action – and now thoroughly doubt US will to stand up and protect its friends. Have put together evidence of US staying way out of any activity; this emboldens China, dispirits allies, and confuses friend. Short term, Japan suffers more; however, long term, China proves itself an unreliable trading partner, meaning that a lot of countries will back off quickly.
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The roiling dispute over a remote set of rocks in the East China Sea, known to the Japanese as the Senkaku Islands and to the Chinese as the Diaoyus [Diaoyutai], is more than a mere diplomatic spat between two of the world's largest economies. It has stripped away the thin veneer of cooperation between the two Asian giants that most observers assumed would ripen as the two countries became increasingly economically intertwined. It also serves as yet another reminder of just how potent territorial disputes remain in Asia and how little trust there is between countries where the wounds of previous conflicts are still fresh. Although the probability of actual conflict between China and Japan over the Senkakus is negligible, the current crisis is the herald of a new cold war that will persist for years, if not decades. The result will be an Asia that remains fragmented, unable to overcome the baggage of the past, and one in which the specter of accidental conflict is ever present.
This is not how Asia's most important tandem was supposed to turn out. Perhaps even without the conscious understanding of both countries' leaders, the two became ever more economically interdependent once China embarked on its market liberalization and reform period in the late 1970s. Japanese investment in China reached $6.5 billion in 2005, despite poor diplomatic relations, leading a senior official of the Japan External Trade Organization to claim that Japan and China's economic relationship is sufficiently compelling and mature to overcome occasional political flare-ups.
Such optimism is the same that propelled English politician and journalist Norman Angell to claim in 1909 that economic integration among the European countries was such as to make war between them impossible. Angell was proved tragically wrong just five years later, and the Japanese trade official's confidence from 2005 must similarly be seen in a more sober light in the recent wake of massive anti-Japanese protests that grew so violent that the Chinese government had to shut them down. The danger, clearly, is that politics will trump economics in the new Asian cold war.
The reverberations from the latest clash over the Senkakus continue to widen. Ever since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government announced in September that it was buying three of the five islands from their private Japanese owner, anti-Japanese protests have rocked China. The danger was great enough to force Honda and Toyota to suspend manufacturing operations inside China, and the Aeon department store chain closed its stores. (The three companies have since resumed operations.) All Nippon Airways announced in late September that 40,000 seats on China-Japan flights have been canceled, despite the upcoming Chinese holiday that usually draws thousands of tourists to Japan.
As the economic fallout became clearer and as Chinese commentators called openly for war with Japan, Noda doubled down on his rhetoric, publicly refusing to entertain the idea of compromise after Yang Jiechi, China's foreign minister, claimed the islands were "sacred territory." The war of words seemed for a while likely to become an actual shooting war, as up to 70 maritime patrol vessels and coast guard ships from both counties tensely confronted each other in the waters off the Senkakus.
How much worse will the crisis get, and what can be done to defuse tensions? There are tentative signs that leaders are trying to cool things down. On Oct. 1, Noda reshuffled his cabinet, giving a post to former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, who has close ties with Beijing. The Chinese leadership, for its part, appears to be forestalling further public protests.
Yet even as each side continues to harden its rhetoric, Noda made a departure last week from the normal pattern of contentious dispute with China. The prime minister bluntly warned Beijing that it had more to lose than Japan from a continued conflict or war, and he prophesied that foreign investors would be scared away from a China that is seen as a bullying threat to its neighbors. The statement came on the heels of nine out of 10 months of decline in foreign direct investment in China, darkening an already dim economic picture.
Noda's threat might provide leaders in Beijing with an excuse to try to climb down from the position they've taken on the Senkakus. With the leadership transition scheduled for November already upended by the expulsion of Chongqing Communist Party boss Bo Xilai from the Chinese Communist Party and the mysterious disappearance of heir apparent Xi Jinping in early September, further uncertainty and instability is the last thing the leadership needs. Using Japan as a bogeyman to stoke nationalism and let off domestic steam is a time-honored tactic in China, yet the current crisis shows how it can cause a chain reaction that could prove uncontrollable.
So far, no lives have been lost in the waters off the Senkakus or on the streets of Beijing. Yet one casualty, or one miscalculation, and the crisis could indeed become far more serious, plunging the world's second- and third-largest economies into actual conflict. This would harm both economies, destabilize world markets, and force the United States into excruciatingly difficult choices over whether to uphold its mutual defense treaty with Japan and put at risk its entire relationship with China. Yet even absent intervention by the United States, China's numerous maritime disputes with neighbors make it harder to claim that it is the aggrieved party.
Thus, while it seems evident to all outside observers that a shooting war over uninhabited, if strategically placed, islets is not in China's best interests, it may have taken the events of the past few weeks to make this clear to China's beleaguered leadership. Fresh from months of territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Beijing could outmaneuver Tokyo by making a grand gesture for stability in Asia and announce it will accept the status quo and no longer protest Japan's administrative control over the islands. Whether that is a pipe dream or not depends on two factors unknowable to those outside the power corridors of Zhongnanhai: how calculating China's leaders actually are, and whether they are ridden by the tiger of Chinese nationalism or ride it themselves.
Whatever course China's leadership chooses, it will continue to believe itself to be wronged and that Japan precipitated this crisis by unilaterally trying to change the islands' status. Japan asserts that its 40 years of administrative control simply reflect its rightful ownership of the islands dating back a century. Shots may be avoided, but the cold war between Beijing and Tokyo is real and on display for all to see. However the current crisis gets resolved, it seems a safe bet that relations will only grow chillier with time.
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Wednesday 1005P Eastern (705P Pacific Time): Frank Phillips, State House bureau chief for the Globe, in re: Brown-Warren debate in Massachusetts. Consensus at the moment is that Warren has improved her debating skills and won tonight. She has a slight edge now but it'll be tight right down to the end.
In their third debate tonight, Republican US Senator Scott Brown portrayed himself as a bipartisan lawmaker who was determined not to increase people’s tax burden, while Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren methodically listed votes by Brown in the Senate that she said demonstrated that Brown was on the side of “millionaires and billionaires”, not average citizens.
Wednesday 1005P Eastern (705P Pacific Time) bis: Stephen Yates, Chief Executive Officer of D.C. International Advisory, in re: Cybercrime – known for a long time that two major countries in he world issue the greatest threats to US cybersecurity: Russia and China. Private firms are arms of their governments. HuaWei asked for investigations last year, then refused to cooperate. Chinese govt trips over itself –it may have received bad advice fro the very expensive advisors with whom they consult in Washington. If your firm is from a country where the govt routinely inspects by a back door all - HuaWei founded by a colonel in the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. Brash attempt to spy on US firms. Does the Chinese govt think its exempt from criticism of the intl community? Pure and simple Chinese arrogance: This is how we want you to see reality and do it our way; we're the rising power and are entitled to tell you how to think.
Congressional report: not al have become intoxicated with the Chinese dream. Within the last 24 hours, House Intell Committee announced a probe, and Canada dropped restrictions If your company has any intellectual property, good idea to do a total audit of your eqpt to see if you have anything from HuaWei or ZTE. Remember Scotland!
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HuaWei and ZTE: enemies of the United States and any democratic nation
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Wednesday 1020P Eastern (720P Pacific Time): Mike Davis, professor at University of Hong Kong Law School, in re: "de-Sinofication" of Hong Kong: thinking about separating the cultures of Hong Kong; in response to the Basic Law, perceived overbearing behavior of Beijing. Also: Beijing's national education project. Hong Kongnese people pick up British flags to show their independence; point out that Hong Kong is a city-state, and thereby autonomy.
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."Wednesday 1035P Eastern (735P Pacific Time): Bill Roggio, Long War Journal, in re: Lara Logan’s war cry: the CBS News and ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent stunned a Chicago audience with her interventionist critique of America’s response to the attacks in Libya. James Warren reports. Her outburst clarified that the US is, indeed, "" its war in Afghanistan, but the Taliban is confident, aggressive, planning for the future. Al Qaeda is celebrating not just Benghazi but the unwillingness/inability of the US to pursue the conflict. Zawahiri issued video on Abu Yaya al Libi – martyred by a drone – and a clip of AYL's elder brother appears in the video. The elder brother was a primary figure in planning and executing the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi. Further: black al Q flag raised above US embassy in Cairo, Tunis, and Sanaa.
Wednesday 1050P Eastern (750P Pacific Time): Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia, in re: Korean economy: chaebol account for big percentage of the economy; chaebol-bashing now popular. Long kept a domestic monopoly in order to be able to charge high prices to Koreans.
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Korea's costly war on conglomerates: Politicians have targeted the mighty chaebols, but the firms remain central to growth and innovation. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?shva=1#inbox/13a4db6068eb044d
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Wednesday 1105P Eastern (805PPacific Time): Mary O’Grady, WSJ, in: Chavez victory; the losers and the future.
Wednesday 1120P Eastern (820P Pacific Time): Mary O’Grady, WSJ, continued, in re: Chavez victory for Cuba, Honduras, this Administration
Wednesday/Thurs 1205A Eastern (905 Pacific Time): John Lee, University of Sydney, & Hudson Institute Fellow, in re: Hugh White, esteemed professor in Australia, has long claimed that the US needs to treat China as a strategic and moral equal. China, quoth he, will inevitably dominate Asia, and the rest to the world simply needs to learn to coexist. Of course, the US and Australia have balanced economies – domestic and export – whereas China is almost wholly dependent on export and, moreover, acquiring [polite verb] technological advances from outside the country. For the moment, Australian economy is petty much flat ex mining, same as US. China
Wednesday/Thurs 1220A Eastern (920 Pacific Time): Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for Freedom on the Net and East Asia at Freedom House, in re: Corvallis, Oregon! Population 54,000; cor + vallis, heart of the valley, in Latin. China has made war on Corvallis: a Taiwanese resident of Corvallis painted a mural that advocates for Taiwanese independence and for liberation of Tibet. Chinese consulate in San Francisco calls mayor, demands it be removed; mayor says no. A delegation fro the consulate visits Corvallis to twist arms. Fails. In 2009, in Bangladesh a photography exhibit was removed; in Moldova, a Chinese expat dance presentation was shut down. Countries that don’t have the protection we have here under the Second Amendment usually just collapse. Note that Beijing is much more sensitive – feels threatened – by a Chinese-language critique, or by an ethnic Chinese person's criticism. This has created much pushback among Taiwan advocacy groups.
China has made a total ass of itself; symptom of its arrogance - feeling it has a right to do this. Chinese dips follow Beijing's line. Tibet, Mongolia, Taiwan, Tien An Men – these are the flash words that send them mad. See CHINESE MEDIA BULLETIN, FreedomHouse.org/cmb
Wednesday/Thurs 1235A Eastern (935P Pacific Time): David M. Livingston, The Space Show, in re: Falcon 9 and Dragon launch and subsequent berthing, and supply delivery to the ISS. Also, problems with secondary payload of an Orbcomm commercial satellite that was unable to be delivered to its proper orbit because engine No 1 had an outage 79 seconds after launch. Comprehensive explanation of what happened and what this means to NASA, SpaceX, and the emerging commercial space industry.
Wednesday/Thurs 1250A Eastern (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Sid Perkins, in re: early Earth granite and the geology of Mars.
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Music (according to New York City broadcast times):
9 hour: The Raid, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Call of Duty: modern warfare.
10 hour: Call of Duty: modern warfare.
11 hour: Empire: total war, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
midnight hour: The Raid, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
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