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Blogs China News

Evan Osnos – Letter from China

If you’re not reading Evan Osnos’ “Letter from China” blog in the New Yorker, you should be.

For much of the past two decades, the obstacles facing foreign entrepreneurs have been structural: bureaucratic delays, restrictions on moving foreign currency, and so on. But in my conversations with foreign business people these days, the current malaise centers on a less concrete–and, thus, fixable–sense of obstruction. The concern these days is not about the vagaries of what was once called the Iron Rooster, but about the reality of a canny, powerful, well-equipped, urbane counterpart in the global economy, which is beginning to express its own beliefs about fair trade and free flow of information. That, I’m afraid, is a far more difficult gap to bridge.

Winter of Discontent in Beijing: Letter from China : The New Yorker

And the Time piece that is improperly linked to from Evan’s blog post is this one (also worth reading):

In my more than two decades in China, I have seldom seen the foreign business community more angry and disillusioned than it is today. Such sentiment goes beyond the Internet censorship and cyberspying that led to Google’s Jan. 12 threat to bail out of China, or the clash of values (freedom vs. control) implied by the Google case. It is about the perception that antiforeign attitudes and policies in China have been growing and hardening since the global economic crisis pushed the U.S. and Europe into a tailspin and launched China to its very uncomfortable stardom on the world stage.

The China Fix – TIME “The China Fix”

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Blogs Japan video

KevJumba on ‘Dragonball Evolution’

I think the only mainstream movie Hollywood has produced with Asian leads is the “Harold and Kumar” series, which is fun on it’s own merit but is not an accurate representation of Asians in America.
Skip this movie, it’s awful.

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Blogs China

MacKinnon to Obama – in Talking to China, Remember its People

Great letter to President Obama from Rebecca MacKinnon.

Just as you have used new technology to engage with the American electorate, your China policy can be greatly strengthened if you conduct a real conversation with the Chinese people. Listen as much as you talk; provide a much-needed platform for open discussion. The U.S. embassy in Beijing should build a Chinese-language website modeled after change.gov, focused not just on U.S.-China relations, but on the range of concerns and interests – from environment, to food safety, to factory safety standards, to education and real estate law — shared by ordinary Chinese and Americans. Some linguistically talented State Department employees should start blogging in Chinese. Open up the comments sections, see how the Chinese blogosphere responds, then respond to them in turn. Translate some of the Chinese conversation into English for Americans to read and react, then translate it back. Sure there will be censorship problems on the Chinese side, but if enough Chinese find the conversation important and relevant to their lives, the censors ultimately won’t be able to stop it. Nor should they want to if they’re wise – because the resulting conversation would help both governments build a more stable and rational relationship that would truly benefit the people of both countries.

Dear President Obama: in Talking to China, Remember its People

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Blogs Japan

2009 Tokyo Bloggers New Years Meetup

Happy new year everyone.

I plan to attend the 2009 Tokyo Bloggers New Years Meetup on Jan. 17th here in Tokyo.  If you’d like to attend, please contact TPR over at Trans-Pacific Radio.

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Blogs Japan

2008 – Change and Japanese Politics

If you read only one article on Japanese politics this year, make it Tobias Harris‘ overview of 2008 at Néojaponisme 2008: Change and Politics

One way or another, Japan needs political change. The latest economic downturn will only exacerbate the problems already facing Japan. It will make it all the more difficult for the government to provide pensions and other social services. It will delay the government’s efforts to pay down Japan’s national debt to more sustainable levels. It will swell the already swollen ranks of Japan’s temporary workers, who now constitute nearly a third of the labor force. And it will do little to encourage younger Japanese to marry and start families.