You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Global Pop Culture’ category.

-Turnout is heavy in Kenyan election – Well it is election time in Kenya. I covered the candidate that is expected to win, here a few days ago. It seems to come down to a battle between Kibaki and Odinga; Kibaki being the incumbent establishment candidate of the dominant Kikuya tribe, and Odinga; the up and comer from a less affluent tribal group. Turn out is very high and from earlier reading it seems many people from the various other ethnic groups are tired of the Kikuya running things, but besides that education and the economy seem to be big issues. Whatever happens, I’m glad the vote is being judged “free and fair”.

-Taiwan opposition presidential candidate awaits verdict on corruption case – I am pretty sure the verdict will be upheld and Ma will not go to jail or be disqualified from running for president. I’m also sure he is guilty but you know… :-)

-Japanese PM looks to boost ties through China visit – Well, looks like Fukuda will have a good trip as Beijing seems to approve of him and no major typical issues of “Chinese outrage” are on the table. This usually means that China wants something, like more Japanese investment (as they asked for a few weeks back). China is Japan’s largest trade partner and Japan is China’s largest investor. It seems most of the outstanding issues revolve around economics and military buildups on both sides. Could this be the dawn of new relations? I wouldn’t count on it, but money unites all. :-)  The capital must flow!

-Is the sun setting on Japan’s economic power?: GDP drops to 18th among major nations – This is nominal per capita, not purchasing power parity. Japan is still the second largest economy on earth in terms of GDP. Japanese people are also not poor, PPP is more accurate to measure this. This has to do more with exchange rates.

-Asia: Lure of China proves irresistible for Japanese seeking fame and fortune – Maybe relations are getting better, after all. This is a very interesting article, worth the read; especially the last part concerning the Japanese companies problems.

-Africa Brings New Financial Frontier to American Investors – This article speaks primarily  about African Americans investing in Africa.

-Inflation – China’s lost battle – There are some great examples in this article of how the rise in inflation effects manufacturing in China. The writer also speculates that part of the CCPs refusal to reevaluate the yuan (RMB) is to avoid a drop in wages, but this policy has produced a de facto decrease due inflation. He believes a reevaluation would offset a decline in wages, as wealthier Chinese would be able to afford to consume more from abroad. I do not believe the CCP is that optimistic, well at least not so much as to do an immediate revaluation or a float.

-Jet Li says China, Tibet should be unified – Not shocking, as he is from the Mainland. I did not know he was a Tibetan Buddhist. That is strange for a Han Chinese. Well, I the Dalia Lama no longer calls for Tibetan independence, because he knows it is impossible. What he calls for is the autonomy that Tibet had under the last dynasty (Qing).

-Japan monks promote Buddhism through fashion, rap – This is just bizarre. This would only happen in Japan, no place else, just Japan. LOL

-China becomes Canada’s 2nd-largest trade partner – Well, I do know China is the first or second largest trade partners for Japan, South Korea, Canada, and the list grows every year.

-S.Korea is China’s Least Favorite Neighbor – Survey – What in the world did S.Korea do to China to make them less popular than Japan? I know some Koreans nationalist have claimed that Koreans invented Chinese characters, that Kong Fuzi (Confucius) was Korean, and that China “stole land” from North Korea. Actually, North Korea sold the land to China, but it is sacred to all Koreans, so there is a fuss.

-As Korean Wave Fades, Japanese Wave Rises – Hat tip to Marmot Hole…I lived in Japan from 2001-2002, around the time of the World Cup, when the Korean wave started. It seems to be burning out though, and as a commentator at the bottom of the article mentions, the popularity of Korean actors was usually with middle age Japanese women. LOL I do not think is really a “wave” as much as normalization. I think, since S.Korea has slowly opened up its market to Japanese cultural imports that it is natural for some consumers to choose to purchases them, when before they could not. Korea, had the restrictions, for fear of the Japanization of their culture, especially since they were a former colony of Japan. Now that trade relations are normal and general social relations between the two nations are better one should expect to see an upswing in sales of these type of goods between two nations that have some cultural affinity and historic relationship.

-China marks 70th anniversary of ‘Nanking Massacre’ – A tragic event in history, one that my friend’s grandmother almost witnessed, luckily they fled to Nanjing from Shanghai. They had heard rumors of what the Japanese army was doing and that Chiang Kai Shek was not going to defend the city, so they fled by foot; following the KMT (Guo Ming Dong) and likely saving their lives in the process. One thing I did noticed is that the historical consensus of 150K being killed is half of what China claims. As I stated the other day, this is part of the “grand shakedown” of Japan, which has been going on for decades. I do not, for one minute, think that the top levels of the CCP give a crap about who was killed by the Japanese or the survivors. They never have and neither did the KMT, but I’ve addressed all of that here. Mainstream Japanese people also do not deny the massacre, but most people maintain (as do most Western historians) that the common Chinese figure is far too high.

-Hong Kong urges Beijing on direct elections timetable – I do not think that will be happening in the new future, but they can keep trying. I do not think Beijing cares what the Hong Kong public wants as long as there is no widespread social disruption and the money keeps flowing. The UK set China up. Hong Kong never had any real form of democracy until, the last British Gov. Chris Patten, made democratic forms right before the handover. The Brits knew exactly what type of position this would put China in. The Brits never cared about the Hong Kongers, if they did they would have gave them democracy decades ago, they used them to spite China. What China is doing is biding time until greater reforms can be accomplished on the mainland. Having a fully democratic enclave, that can directly communicate by media with the rest of China is a potential for instability on the mainland, the CCP knows it, and so did the Brits.

-Host-nation aid to drop by 800 mil. yen – This is something I never understood. After WWII, America forced a “peace constitution” on the Japanese and then made the Japanese pay for American military based on Japanese soil that gave strategic advantage, primarily to the United States during the Cold War. Japan is one of the few nations that actually pays the U.S. to have bases on its soil, it is usually the other way around. The U.S. position is that, “We protect Japan”. To me this is roughly equivalent to mafia insurance payments. The Japanese never asked for protection. Now America does not only want Japan to pay for its bases, but also to build up its own military capability to “support America and help created greater stability in the region”…huh???

-Made in China: Hip-Hop Moves East – Oh boy, I’m guessing this is like party music, similar to Japanese hip hop (for Western people, think Beastie Boys and Will Smith, not JayZ or 50 Cent). The closest I get to Chinese hiphop is Jay Chou(Zhou Jielun) and Coco Lee (Li Wen), which is not saying much. I found it interesting that the article stated some complaints from locals, saying “you can not rap in Chinese…it is not suitable” when Jay Chou, in Taiwan, has been doing it for some years now. The vast majority of Chinese words end in vowels and are often monosyllabic, that is perfect for rap…much easier to rhyme.

http://brettboard.dk/games/pics/global1.jpg

Hat Tip to Confidential Reporter:

…according to an international opinion poll conducted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German foundation.

SNIP

On average, half of those surveyed would already call China a world power alongside the US.

Although the US remained the undisputed leader with 81 percent, China gained 5 percentage points compared to a similar poll conducted two years ago.

The Chinese placed even more trust in their country’s future prospects. 65 percent of respondents already perceived their country as a global player. Within China, this figure has risen 21 percentage points in the past two years.

In terms of the future, 57 percent of people around the globe expected China to be a superpower in 2020, while a mere 61 percent thought the US would still hold this position.

Among Chinese respondents, 80 percent believed their country would play a global role, but only 59 percent thought the US would be a world power at that date. In 2020, the Chinese expect the leading nations of the world to also include Russia (37 percent), the UK (31 percent), the European Union (29 percent) and Japan (23 percent).
Read the rest of this entry »

-To save, South Koreans use credit cards – Koreans are learning about the convenience and dangers of credit cards.  I wish the article had some statistic on the average debt load of the Korean household as compared to American, or the percentage of defaults as compared to Americans.  I would be my money, that they handle their credit much better, despite the number of cards, and this is especially true of married couples.  I can not imagine the average S.Korean woman (who will be doing most bill paying) spending as recklessly as an American.

-Hollywood officials say China has started banning American movies – Seems the rumors were true and do not just apply to Will Smith movies. :-)   This is not just about the international property rights case at the WTO.  China has been perturbed about a few things, including American support for Taiwan and praise of the Dalia Lama.

-CHINA: China rejects demand on communique – Just a brief update on Chinese denial.

-Inter-Korean rail service resumes after five decades – More “Sunshine Policy” news.

-Vietcombank says foreign buying capped to benefit local investors – Big bank about to go public.

-Nigeria: President’s Visit Represents Start of New Relationship – Nigeria’s president visits the “George Dubya” in Washington.  The topics on the table are the Nigerian Delta (read: Oil), African peace keeping, and continued political stability.

-No White Hair in the Chinese Leadership – This is funny, I was just talking about this to my wife last night. LOL

-Bank reserve ratio raised by 1% – China’s trying to cool off rising inflation.

-WTO judge vows to fulfill promise of job – Zhang Yuejiao becomes China’s first World Trade Organization (WTO) judge.

- Number of middle-class consumers to triple: survey – This is according to international standards, not Western. Most poor Americans, for example,  are middle class by international standards, I wrote about that awhile ago. In any case, that will be 100 million people by 2016. 100 million out of 1.3 billion is not really a lot though, but it is larger than most developed countries entire populations, so a very big market indeed.

-Africa: Europe Battles China for Heart of Africa – Brief of the Africa-EU Summit in Portugal.

-Will Smith says new film ‘I Am Legend’ hasn’t secured China release – China doesn’t like Will Smith?? haha

真仙女!

That makes two wins for East Asia in Two Years, Miss World and Miss Universe. Last year, being from China’s chief regional, Mori Riyo (森 理世), of Japan.

I’m sorry, I know I will get railed for this, but I think Mori Riyo is hotter and I’m not saying that because my wife is Japanese either!! Still, its cool East Asia took home the prize two years in a row. As far as Mori-san, you decide. Mori-san Vs Zhang Xiaojie??

http://www.ednevnik.si/uploads/m/mojaseksi/35176.jpg

** Any nasty ethnic remarks will be deleted, so don’t try it! :-)

-U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement Roundtable – R.O.C. the Boat did an excellent analysis of a prospective U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement (TUFTA).  A lot of it comes down to, do the benefits outweigh the negative impact on U.S.- China relations.  Remember he has a strong pro-Taiwan bias, so take it with a grain of salt.  Here are some excellent factoids:

Taiwan has experienced an average annual growth in GDP of 7.8 % over the past half century, and currently engages in foreign trade to the tune of $437 billion U.S. dollars and is the second largest holder of Foreign Exchange Reserves in the world ($266 billion).

Taiwan produces 72% of the world’s laptops, 79% of PDAs and 68% of LCD monitors. In the cover article of a May 2005 issue of Business Week, Bruce Einhorn referred to Taiwan as “the hidden center of the global economy.”

In 2006, Taiwan was the United States’ 9th largest trading partner, 11th largest export market, and the largest importer per capita of U.S. agricultural products. In the same year, the United States served as Taiwan’s 3rd largest trading partner, second largest export market, and Taiwan’s largest source of foreign direct investment. Taiwan-U.S. bilateral trade was worth $62 billion dollars last year.

-China AIDS rate slows, main transmission now sex – As I said before, HIV infection in Mainland China is very low, something like 700,000/1.3 billion, so not even close to 1%.  That being said, I’m glad that the infection rate is down, but I’m guessing this is due to less transfusion and dirty needle issues.  The heterosexual transmission concerns me because I question the amount of condom use in China.  I realize that Mainland people are not promiscuous by Western standards, but that is rapidly changing.  Social openness and migration of poor peasants to urban areas has also lead to a rise in prostitution, which is likely an major vector for transmission.

-U.S. expects full North Korean nuclear disclosure soon – Why do I not think this is going to happen?  When you “buy peace” from a regime like N.Korea I do not think it is ever going to be a lasting one.  This is a stopgap measure, not a solution.  There is no way in the world N.Korea will reveal all their nuclear facilities and especially not their mobile all of their mobile fissile material.

-Investigators search Defense Ministry in Japanese bribery scandal -

-Fighting off the wolves – An Interesting interview with a Chinese novelist.

Hat Tip to The Shanghaiist

Apparently a New Yorker, who calls himself the Red Laowai (Hong Laowai), has posted on every Chinese Youtube-like site videos of himself singing traditional Chinese Communist Propaganda songs, such as “My China Heart” (Wo De Zhongguo Xin, 我的中国心). His Chinese language blog has received over 80,000 hits in a month!!

In his latest song, he sings and raps a Jay Chou (周杰倫) song. :-O  Why didn’t I think of that???

Anyway, enjoy.

The image “http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/clothing/pictures/tangyinming.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I have often often seen on the web, especially on minority sites (particularly black American) comments accusing East Asians of wanting to be white because they favor light skin in their women or eyes with double lids.

The latest example is this:

I saw this today posted on Booker Rising, a site I regularly post on, owned by a person named Shay, who I admire, but sometimes she lets some of her personal hangups eat away at her ability to reason (which is usually vast). My response to her comments and the original writer of the post, John Hope Bryant:

I lived in Shanghai, China in 1999, and also in Tokyo, Japan from 2001-2002. While in Japan I managed to visit Taiwan and South Korea too.

South Koreans, like Japanese, and Chinese have had a white skin fetish for their women that preexisted any Western European contact.

You can see this reflected in Tang Dynasty China which was roughly the same time as the later part of the Western Roman Empire. There were envoys that were exchanged, but for most Chinese had never seen a European.

http://library.thinkquest.org/C005742/tang%20-%20zhou%20fang%201.jpg

There are some East Asian women naturally as pale as in the link (my sister in law is, the younger one), but most are not. Typical make up was used and in later centuries, Geisha, in Japan, also pained their faces white, as it was considered beautiful.

Geisha go back a long time before any Dutch or Portuguese contact with Japan, which would be the initial sustained European contact in the mid-16th century:

http://www.danhagerman.com/images/Pseudo%20Geisha.jpg

This is true in Korea as well:

http://www.askasia.org/images/teachers/display/670.jpg

The explanation I have heard is that the upper classes did not do physical labor and stayed in doors so they were lighter, many Asians are naturally pale but unlike many Europeans they do not burn easily, but tan darker (yellowish-brown), so being dark became a sign of being low class.

This goes back to at least the time of Confucius in China (over 2,000 years, around the 6th century BCE)…maybe longer, but that is based on the art I have seen. It is likely more ancient.

So sorry, no it is not about white people.

As far as “big eyes”…
Read the rest of this entry »

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers