China Foreign Affairs News Roundup

Sino-Korean Relations

1. KCNA does what it can to evoke a united front with China, from recalling Kim Il Song’s 1930s mantra about unity with the Chinese people to reporting that guerrilla leader Zhou Baozhong’s daughter sent a wreatth to Kim Jong Suk’s tomb.  These are both legit!

2. SBS, a Korean television station, reported on the discovery of Cao Cao’s tomb in Henan.

3. Qingnian Cankao carries a short netural-toned report, vai Choson Ilbo, about extensive construction of public housing in Pyongyang.  It occurs to me that, generally speaking, this type of dispatch indicates another small US-China schism on the DPRK: we in the U.S. have a total lack of “normal,” day-to-day news about North Korea in the U.S.  Maybe they don’t deserve it?

4. Blaine Harden at the Washington Post carries a solid article on anti-regime resistance in the DPRK following on the revaluation controversy.

Sino-Japanese Relations

1. As reported in 青年参考 Qingnian Cankao / Elite Reference [affiliated with the Communist Youth League] and recently discussed on this blog, the Sino-Japanese research team continues to work in Nanjing on achieving a common report on casualty counts.  The process of arguing over word choices, verbs in particular (“invade” vs. “enter”, etc.), is a fascinating one to observe as both a writer and consumer of history.  The fact that this report is the subject of consistent and moderately-toned media reports in China indicates that we may be witnessing at least a temporary moderating of tone from the CCP on the history issue.

By the same token, we have to acknowledge that these groups do not simply spring up and down at government impetus or over the span of a couple of months:

2006年10月,中日举行首脑会谈并决定共同展开历史研究,同年12月“中日历史共同研究会”在北京召开了首次会议。中日双方各派10人组成研究小组,就中日关系的古代史和近现代史互相提交研究论文,就南京大屠杀等问题展开讨论。

2. Along the lines of recent officially-promoted discussion of Japanese culture and defusing of themes which might otherwise be associated with toxic “miltarism,” People’s Daily reports on Japanese men wearing samurai-themed underwear

Sino-South Asia/Various Foreign Affairs

1. The Prime Minister of Nepal is in China for a week, beginning his tour, significantly enough, in Lhasa.

Leaving Katmandu for Lhasa, Dec. 26

2. The People’s Daily lectures the Indian media for sensationalizing Sino-Indian relations:

Over recent years, many Indian media agencies have used malicious means in order to attract attention and pursue political or economic interests, and the China-India relationship has become the main victim. The so-called “dragon versus elephant” between China and India has always been a hot topic that India’s domestic media agencies are fond of reporting. The China-focused reports made by Indian media agencies are generally negative. Many media agencies even focus only on the negative news occurring in China and make a big fuss over small details. Moreover, many Indian media agencies have even stirred up trouble in terms of China-India relations and played up the so-called “competition” between China and India, displaying an attitude that a sound relationship between the two countries is fearful. The stereotyped reports, such as ‘China seeks hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region’ and ‘a war between India and China is unavoidable’, have repeatedly appeared in Indian media. If those who cannot access the truth read such reports, they will perhaps think that China-India relations are on the verge of war.

3. China completes more intensive road building in Tibet.  It never fails to amaze one: as actively as China has been developing and modernizing, there are still very basic things occurring today for the first time; e.g., an integrated transportation infrastructure in this very physically difficult terrain:

It achieved the goal with the completion of a of three vertical and three horizontal supportive highway line which connects Sichuan, Yunnan from east, Xinjiang in west, Qinghai in north, and India, Nepal in south.

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