A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘china

[LINK] “Military parade with foreign troops an attempt to redraw China’s wartime past”

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The Globe and Mail‘s Nathan Vanderklippe reports on China’s new effort to integrate its memory of the Second World War, as a specifically anti-Japanese war in China, with global historical memory. This could lead to any number of interesting things. Thoughts?

On Sept. 3, Beijing will mount the 14th military parade in the history of modern China, as President Xi Jinping seeks to further cement the country’s major-power status by marking the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end in Asia. It will be a public display of military might that promises to show off never-before-seen weapons and, for the first time, include troops from other countries.

Plans for the parade have been made in secret. But on Tuesday, propaganda and military officials partially parted the curtains on an event they hope will bolster their argument that Beijing should be taken seriously as a long-time contributor to global security while also helping Mr. Xi secure even more power at home and shape a new identity for his country.

In a novel step, China is asking other countries to support its argument that it has played a historically important global role in fighting aggression, calling out Canada among a list of more than two dozen other nations whose “anti-fascist soldiers directly participated” in China’s efforts to fight Japanese aggression in the 1930s and 1940s.

Wang Shiming, vice-minister of publicity with the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, specifically mentioned Canada’s Norman Bethune as he spoke about China’s desire to include foreign troops in the parade. Dr. Bethune was a physician who helped Mao Zedong’s Communists during the war; Mr. Wang mentioned him to buttress his argument that fighting in Asia is a shared memory.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 24, 2015 at 9:49 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Chinese envoy says lack of oversight behind Vancouver’s house-price crisis”

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The Globe and Mail‘s Iain Marlow reports on the entirely accurate statement of the Chinese consul-general in Vancouver blaming high housing prices on a lack of effective regulation. Canadian cities need to do much better on housing.

The Chinese government’s top envoy in Vancouver says the city’s skyrocketing house prices and affordability crisis are due to a lack of regulation in the booming real estate market.

In a wide-ranging interview over tea at the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, Consul-General Liu Fei said local residents are blaming wealthy Chinese buyers for the city’s increasingly costly real estate but that the real blame lies with officials who monitor buyers, sellers and real estate developers.

“People are blaming the buyer. It’s the wrong direction,” said Ms. Liu, who has served in Vancouver since 2011. “I mean, the regulation here, nobody’s playing the role.”

Ms. Liu said this situation would not be allowed to occur in China, and pointed out that China’s government frequently wades into the country’s real estate market, and has strict policies with regard to affordable housing. She suggested a number of possible measures Vancouver could take to make housing more affordable, including the introduction of quotas to increase the number of affordable housing units within new buildings, greater oversight of real estate developers from the city and a tax or fee for overseas investors who want to buy luxury properties in the West Coast city.

“If there are not enough [affordable] houses, you can set up rules – saying, ‘Okay, we have to save 30 or 40 per cent of [the units] for those families who need housing,’” she said. “And we can put on luxury houses … a higher price for the overseas investors. We can do it this way. So everybody could enjoy [Vancouver].”

Written by Randy McDonald

June 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • D-Brief reports on some highly unusual formations, including more bright spots and a pyramid (?), found on Ceres.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the effect the activity of our own sun would have on the discovery of Earth.
  • Joe. My. God. quotes Jim Parsons on how he never quite came out.
  • Language Log reports on multilingualism in China.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the question over state debt in Greece is extending moral hazard to private debt.
  • Steve Munro notes how the TTC has to balance spending on infrastructure and on operations.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on what the Australian equivalent to the New Zealand haka might be.
  • Spacing Toronto wonders why carding refuses to die.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Ukraine should press Russia harder on Crimea.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • The Big Picture has a photo essay about albino children in Panama.
  • Crooked Timber considers African-American radicalism.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper imagining the frequency of habitable planets in other universes, and links to another suggesting that to host habitable worlds exoplanet systems will need their worlds to have aligned orbits.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that police in Seoul cannot halt the Pride parade.
  • Language Hat reports on a pavilion at the Venice Biennale featuring Native American languages.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that 19th century Chinese bet on the outcome of student exams.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the crackdown on money laundering has not hit the average Mexican.
  • Savage Minds considers race from the perspective of a library cataloguer.
  • Torontoist notes a local call for ghost bikes.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the repression of Crimean Tatars, notes a Chinese proposal for settlement in Siberia, and looks at how the war in Ukraine has given nuclear weapons new life.

[CAT] “Japanese robot cat Doraemon helps ease diplomatic tensions with China”

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The Guardian‘s Justin McCurry reports on how the popularity in China of a film starring a Japanese robot cat, Doraeman, might lead to a softening of Chinese attitudes. Might.

Just a few months ago, Chinese media denounced him as a counter-revolutionary.

Now, though, Doraemon – Japan’s beloved robot cat – is easing diplomatic tensions between Tokyo and Beijing, and breaking box-office records in the process.

The 3D animated film Stand By Me Doraemon brought in 30m yuan ($4.8m) in receipts on its opening day last Thursday, and repeated the feat the following day.

As parents and children packed out Chinese cinemas, receipts surged to 85m yuan and 88m yuan on Saturday and Sunday, surpassing the previous single-day record for animated movies, held by the US film Kung Fu Panda 2.

According to estimates, revenue from the Doraemon movie accounted for more than half of China’s total box-office revenues on Sunday, easily beating the US superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm

[LINK] “A Chimera in Growing Cooperation Between China and Brazil”

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Mario Osava of the Inter Press Service is critical of the emergent China-Brazil relationship, noting critics who argue that Brazil’s exports to China are overdominated by commodities, with few value-added goods.

Oil and iron ore make up nearly 80 percent of Brazil’s exports to China. Hence China’s interest in improving this country’s transport infrastructure, to reduce the cost of Brazil’s exports, besides providing work for China’s construction companies now that domestic demand is waning.

Another agreement opens up the Chinese market to exports of cattle on the hoof from Brazil.

Brazil has exported some industrial products to China, mainly from the aeronautics industry. The sale of 22 planes from the Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica (Embraer) to a Chinese company was finalised during Li’s visit. A prior accord had established the sale of a total of 60.

Bilateral trade amounted to 77.9 billion dollars in 2014, with a trade surplus for Brazil, although it is shrinking due to the fall in commodity prices. The goal is to reach 100 billion dollars in trade in the near future, according to the Chinese prime minister.

The stronger relations, especially the increase in Chinese investment, “could be positive for Brazil, but we have to control our enthusiasm over the closer ties,” said Luis Afonso Lima, president of the Brazilian Society of Transnational Corporations and Economic Globalisation.

“China may have more to gain than us in this process: they are seeking suppliers (of raw materials) throughout Latin America, but without any urgency because their economy has slowed down; they can think things through strategically, with a view to the long term,” the economist told IPS.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2015 at 10:42 pm

[LINK] “In West Hollywood, gay couples from China fulfill a dream: marriage”

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At the Los Angeles Times, Hailey Branson-Potts and Julie Makinen note how seven Chinese same-sex couples won a contest in China that saw them win trips to get married in California.

(I wonder how long it will be before same-sex marriage breaks through in China.)

For seven Chinese gay couples, a trip to California offered something that wasn’t legal at home: marriage certificates.

The couples were among hundreds who entered a high-profile online contest offering an all-expenses-paid American dream wedding.

On Tuesday, they wed at the West Hollywood Library — the same place where, two summers ago, gay couples married en masse after same-sex marriage became legal in California.

[. . .]

The “We Do” contest, as it was called, was sponsored by the e-commerce behemoth Alibaba and its shopping site Taobao, as well as China’s largest gay dating app, Blued. The couples got marriage licenses at the Beverly Hills Courthouse this week. Though their marriages will not be recognized in China, they are legal in the U.S.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 10, 2015 at 10:50 pm


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