Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Asian issues

China has accused Japan of distorting history, by minimizing wartime abuses. Yet, China itself--surprise--distorts its own history. More anti-Japanase demonstrations are being planned in China, yet the government is becoming concerned that thosed demonstrations may get out of hand. Note the riots taking place in a southeastern city over pollution; the riot has lasted three days.

Do take note of this by the former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review

: For the first time in over 500 years, the Chinese navy is back Arabian Sea, near the Straits of Hormuz, a strategic choke point through which 40 percent of the world’s oil passes. The whole piece is worth reading, quite instructive, and this pregnant sentence is explained: "China’s search for energy security also dovetails, however, with its long-term strategic effort to expand its regional influence and box in India." China is calling Japan’s gas drilling plan in disputed waters a "provocation." Pakistan’s Musharraf
will be in India, conducting some cricket diplomacy. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, visiting Pakistan, told Musharraf, that the U.S. will meet that country’s "legitimate defence needs." Afghanistan’s Karzai seems to want a permanent American presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. has bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

Discussions - 3 Comments

Dear Peter, Thanks for continuing to bring Far East/South East regional developments to our (my) attention. It’s a genuine public service. Especially since I’m teaching a course this semester on Japan, China, India and Pakistan! Take care.

Paul: Thanks. Good time to be teaching such a course! The things that have been worth watching for many years are now becoming more visible. Many interesting consequences to follow.

a few points i want to raise:-
- governments and individuals "distort" history, or to call it mildly, interprete events the way they see fit better. tibetans call China the occupiers, while chinese call them separatists. chinese said the japanese "invaded" china during the WWII, the japanese said they "entered". whichever side you take, the facts remain, and so is the act of distortion.
- double standards is one of the golden rules in understanding government behaviour, China or the U.S. alike.
- the incident of "distorting history" was just a trigger of mass riots. to understand why the chinese (citizens) were furious, it’s useful to see that all the following acts which have been going on for the past few decades - the act of revising history textbooks, refusal to apologise for the war crimes committed, refusal to apologise to and compensate to the war time "comfort women", and the regular visits of a shrine worshipping war criminals of the WWII by prime ministers and high-ranking officials.
- the chinese government might or might not have taken part in "planning" (as you called it) the mass riots, i tend to think that it hasn’t. but the choices the government has is to suppressing them or not, depending on whether it serve its interests.

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