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Old 2012-04-15, 07:33   Link #20861
Haak
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Taliban attacks in Kabul
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17719956
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Old 2012-04-15, 08:10   Link #20862
SeijiSensei
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Kim Jong-un Gives His First Major Speech

In honor of this event, and the general festivities in the DPRK, I'm rewatching episode one of The Legend of Koizumi.
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Old 2012-04-15, 09:09   Link #20863
Endless Soul
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Already something positive comes out of Myanmar since Aung San Suu Kyi's release and election to Parliament.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Telegraph

Spitfires buried in Burma during war to be returned to UK

Twenty iconic Spitfire aircraft buried in Burma during the Second World War are to be repatriated to Britain after an intervention by David Cameron.

The Prime Minister secured a historic deal that will see the fighter aircraft dug up and shipped back to the UK almost 67 years after they were hidden more than 40-feet below ground amid fears of a Japanese occupation.

The gesture came as Mr Cameron became the first Western leader to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy campaigner held under house arrest for 22 years by the military regime, and invited her to visit London in her first trip abroad for 24 years.

He called on Europe to suspend its ban on trade with Burma now that it was showing “prospects for change” following Miss Suu Kyi’s election to parliament in a sweeping electoral victory earlier this year.

The plight of the buried aircraft came to Mr Cameron’s attention at the behest of a farmer from Scunthorpe, North Lincs, who is responsible for locating them at a former RAF base using radar imaging technology.

----------------------------snip----------------------------

”Spitfires are beautiful aeroplanes and should not be rotting away in a foreign land. They saved our neck in the Battle of Britain and they should be preserved.” (-ES-: Agreed! Although it was the Hawker Hurricane that did the bulk of the fighting, it was the Supermarine Spitfire that got the fame.)
Full article here.

As a military aviation history buff, this bit of news brings a tear of happiness to my eye. Being in crates and packed for storage for an extended period, these planes should be in near-perfect condition. While I doubt Mr. Cundall's dream of transforming these into a flying squadron (It's a very nice dream though) will be fully realized, as these classic machines are very expensive to maintain and fly just one of them, it would certainly be nice to see them fully assembled and displayed.

EDIT: However, they are in a jungle environment, underground. Hopefully they aren't crushed, or worse.

Endless "Nostalgic" Soul
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Last edited by Endless Soul; 2012-04-15 at 09:22.
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Old 2012-04-15, 09:24   Link #20864
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
Already something positive comes out of Myanmar since Aung San Suu Kyi's release and election to Parliament.



Full article here.

As a military aviation history buff, this bit of news brings a tear of happiness to my eye. Being in crates and packed for storage for an extended period, these planes should be in near-perfect condition. While I doubt Mr. Cundall's dream of transforming these into a flying squadron (It's a very nice dream though) will be fully realized, as these classic machines are very expensive to maintain and fly just one of them, it would certainly be nice to see them fully assembled and displayed.

EDIT: However, they are in a jungle environment, underground. Hopefully they aren't crushed, or worse.

Endless "Nostalgic" Soul
Note : The term "Spitfire" was the Queen's English translation of "tsun-tsun".

Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday celebrated in North Korea (1:26)

1. Why are they wearing western suits when they despise the "Western Imperialists" so much.
2. Why are they playing Western instruments in their military bands.
3. North Korea doesn't look that bad with .jsf format websites and widescreens, as well as English-speaking female chicks in their university. Or is it?

It would be interesting to see the NKSOF in action. The only way to defeat them would be a Spectre....heck we might even need a Thor to take down a squad of them.
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.

Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2012-04-15 at 12:30.
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Old 2012-04-15, 12:36   Link #20865
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday celebrated in North Korea (1:26)

1. Why are they wearing western suits when they despise the "Western Imperialists" so much.
2. Why are they playing Western instruments in their military bands.
3. North Korea doesn't look that bad with .jsf format websites and widescreens, as well as English-speaking female chicks in their university. Or is it?

It would be interesting to see the NKSOF in action. The only way to defeat them would be a Spectre....heck we might even need a Thor to take down a squad of them.
This is a question I ask about Japanese extreme nationalists as well But yeah, they don't look very "Korean" do they. I always sense a lot of deep seated insecurity with those little behaviors.
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Old 2012-04-15, 12:47   Link #20866
Endless Soul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Note : The term "Spitfire" was the Queen's English translation of "tsun-tsun".
Well, the Spitfire and the Hurricane often flew together. No wonder the Luftwaffe had problems over Britain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday celebrated in North Korea (1:26)

1. Why are they wearing western suits when they despise the "Western Imperialists" so much.
2. Why are they playing Western instruments in their military bands.
3. North Korea doesn't look that bad with .jsf format websites and widescreens, as well as English-speaking female chicks in their university. Or is it?

It would be interesting to see the NKSOF in action. The only way to defeat them would be a Spectre....heck we might even need a Thor to take down a squad of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This is a question I ask about Japanese extreme nationalists as well But yeah, they don't look very "Korean" do they. I always sense a lot of deep seated insecurity with those little behaviors.
I also ask this very thing about various anti-west people in the middle east. They say they hate the west, yet dress in business suits, drive around in Mercedes- Benzes, etc.

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Old 2012-04-15, 12:49   Link #20867
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
Well, the Spitfire and the Hurricane often flew together. No wonder the Luftwaffe had problems over Britain.
I thought the Luftwaffe started to have problems only when the RAF started loading the .303s with incendiary rounds that burn/explode inside the Bf109s. And the Spitfire and Hurricane had bad squadron tactics during the Battle Of Britain that the Germans called them vics Idiotenreihen......more pilots lost their lives due to bad command rather than the skill of the German pilots. Another thing is that the 109s have 2/3 separate automatic armanents, as opposed to the Hurricane's .303 and the additional 20mm added to the Spitfire.

Of course, you don't piss off a tsundere until you call her pettanko......if I am not wrong a Spitfire can carry more ammuntion than a normal Bf109.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This is a question I ask about Japanese extreme nationalists as well But yeah, they don't look very "Korean" do they. I always sense a lot of deep seated insecurity with those little behaviors.
They are just lonely, except that they don't realise that acting like spoilt brats don't get them the positive attention they wanted so badly since 1994.

Of course the NKSOF is a real issue for the South Koreans, they have been doing alot to keep the UNSC at the 38th Parallel. The SKSOC has been hit by a serious manpower issue; I have heard tales of my local SWAT (called STAR) and NDU/CDO regulars quoting about how the 707th can mano-a-mano the ang mohs (SEALs and Royal Marines) and fight to a stalemate in hand-to-hand. And they are more thorough in urban assault courses while taking almost the same amount of time as the SEALs - these people practically trained to their deaths.

If the NKSOF had the same mental toughness and outnumber them 10:1, it would be a pretty ugly sight should Kim Jong Un unleash them in a bid to stop the rest of the world from laughing at their "backward" army.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.

Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2012-04-15 at 13:04.
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Old 2012-04-15, 13:19   Link #20868
Endless Soul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I thought the Luftwaffe started to have problems only when the RAF started loading the .303s with incendiary rounds that burn/explode inside the Bf109s. And the Spitfire and Hurricane had bad squadron tactics during the Battle Of Britain that the Germans called them vics Idiotenreihen......more pilots lost their lives due to bad command rather than the skill of the German pilots. Another thing is that the 109s have 2/3 separate automatic armanents, as opposed to the Hurricane's .303 and the additional 20mm added to the Spitfire.

Of course, you don't piss off a tsundere until you call her pettanko......if I am not wrong a Spitfire can carry more ammuntion than a normal Bf109.
Ah, now we're talking specifics instead of the names of the planes meaning something.

Sure there was all that plus other things such as the change in bombing tactics by the Luftwaffe, fighters not being allowed to frie jagd etc.

However, the Spitfire, with its elliptical wings, and smooth, graceful lines, makes it quite easy to caress its shape with your eyes, stirring your soul, and lighting the fire within your heart. One can't help but regard this fine aircraft as one of the most sexy creations of man ever devised.

Erm...I think I got carried away and said too much.

Endless "Spitfire love" Soul
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Old 2012-04-15, 15:14   Link #20869
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday celebrated in North Korea (1:26)

1. Why are they wearing western suits when they despise the "Western Imperialists" so much.
2. Why are they playing Western instruments in their military bands.
3. North Korea doesn't look that bad with .jsf format websites and widescreens, as well as English-speaking female chicks in their university. Or is it?
Because they're still nominally commies, allegedly trying to emulate the revolutionary aesthetic the Russians used.
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Old 2012-04-15, 15:36   Link #20870
SeijiSensei
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How the Tech Parade Passed Sony By

Nice overview of the myriad of problems facing Sony. One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the continuing reliance on large corporations to power the Japanese economy. Unfortunately, according to the Times's reporter, Sony and many other large Japanese companies are simply short on new ideas, while beset on one side by lower-cost manufacturers like Samsung and on the other by innovators like Apple.

Update: More bad news for Japanese manufacturers

"The demise of Panel Bay [formerly the center of flat-panel manufacturing] is the latest sign of what many Japanese fear is the hollowing out of their heavily industrialized economy, which has been in a gradual but relentless decline since the bursting of its twin real estate and stock bubbles in the early 1990s. The decline is largely a result of growing competition from Asian rivals, an aging work force and merciless gains by the yen. But many officials and business leaders now fear that this trend has accelerated since last year’s nuclear accident in Fukushima, which has raised the prospect of higher energy prices and even power failures."

Why has the Japanese central bank not intervened more directly to weaken the yen? At current exchange rates I can't see how Japan's exporters can hope to compete. Japanese autos are now substantially overpriced here in the US when compared to domestic products and Korean marques like Hyundai. In the past people were willing to pay a premium for the supposed quality advantage Japanese vehicles had versus their competitors, but that advantage has shrunk radically over the past decade. These days I'm much more likely to consider a Ford or a Hyundai than a Toyota or Honda.
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Old 2012-04-15, 18:33   Link #20871
ganbaru
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China stocks czar faces battle to win back investor trust
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83E0FP20120415

DuPont's armored car kit a hit in Brazil
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83E06I20120415
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Old 2012-04-16, 03:55   Link #20872
SaintessHeart
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This whole thing looks totally like something out of a Hong Kong drama......or what the Chinese would call "the dark side eating the dark side" (黑吃黑).

Exclusive: Briton killed after threat to expose Chinese leader's wife: sources

Quote:
(Reuters) - The British businessman whose murder has sparked political upheaval in China was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a Chinese leader's wife to move money abroad, two sources with knowledge of the police investigation said.

It was the first time a specific motive has been revealed for Neil Heywood's murder last November, a death which ended Chinese leader Bo Xilai's hopes of emerging as a top central leader and threw off balance the Communist Party's looming leadership succession.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, asked Heywood late last year to move a large sum of money abroad, and she became outraged when he demanded a larger cut of the money than she had expected due to the size of the transaction, the sources said.

She accused him of being greedy and hatched a plan to kill him after he said he could expose her dealings, one of the sources said, summarizing the police case. Both sources have spoken to investigators in Chongqing, the southwestern Chinese city where Heywood was killed and where Bo had cast himself as a crime-fighting Communist Party leader.


Gu is in police custody on suspicion of committing or arranging Heywood's murder, though no details of the motive or the crime itself have been publicly released, other than a general comment from Chinese state media that he was killed after a financial dispute.

The sources have close ties to Chinese police and said they were given details of the investigation.

They said Heywood - formerly a close friend of Gu and who had been helping her with her overseas financial dealings - was killed after he threatened to expose what she was doing.

"Heywood told her that if she thought he was being too greedy, then he didn't need to become involved and wouldn't take a penny of the money, but he also said he could also expose it," the first source said.


The sources said police suspect the 41-year-old was poisoned by a drink. They did not know precisely where he died in Chongqing. But they and other sources with access to official information say they believe Heywood was killed at a secluded hilltop retreat, the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel, which is also marketed as the Lucky Holiday Hotel.

The sources said Gu and Heywood, who had lived in China since the early 1990s, shared a long and close personal relationship, but were not romantically involved.

The sources did not know details of the offshore transactions that Heywood facilitated for Gu, but said exposure of the deals would have imperiled her and her ambitious husband, who was campaigning for promotion to the top ranks of China's leadership. Bo has since been ousted over the scandal.

"After Gu Kailai found that Heywood wouldn't agree to go along and was even resisting with threats - that he could expose this money with unknown provenance - then that was a major risk to Gu Kailai and Bo Xilai," said the first source, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

It was not possible to get official confirmation of the case police are building against Gu. The Chinese government did not respond to faxed questions about the case. Some of Bo's leftist supporters have said the case could be a campaign to discredit him.

Gu, who is in custody and facing a possible death sentence for murder, and Bo could not be reached for comment. Bo has not been seen since appearing at parliament in March, when he held a news conference decrying the "filth" being poured on his family.

Efforts to contact Heywood's mother and sister at their homes in London were unsuccessful. The door to the mother's home carried a note saying she would not speak to reporters.

HEYWOOD WAS GU'S 'SOULMATE'

Heywood had spent his last week in Chongqing in Nan'an district, an area politically loyal to Bo, and stayed at two hotels: the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel and the Sheraton hotel.

Staff at each hotel said they knew nothing of a British man dying there. A guard was barring access to an apparently empty row of villas within the grounds of the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel on Sunday and Monday, saying a meeting was going on.

Heywood's falling-out with Gu followed a period in which she had grown distant from her ambitious, perpetually busy husband and she had turned to Heywood as a soulmate, sources said.

"Bo and Gu Kailai had not been a proper husband and wife for years ... Gu Kailai and Heywood had a deep personal relationship and she took the break between them deeply to heart," said Wang Kang, a well-connected Chongqing businessman who has learned some details of the case from Chinese officials.

"Her mentality was 'you betrayed me, and so I'll get my revenge'," Wang said in his office, decorated with pictures of himself meeting senior officials, including Bo's late father, the revolutionary veteran Bo Yibo, a comrade of Mao Zedong.

Heywood got to know the powerful family when Bo Xilai was mayor of Dalian in the 1990s. Heywood helped with getting the couple's son, Bo Guagua, into an exclusive British school, Harrow, said one of the sources with police contacts.

The scandal over Heywood's death broke in February when Bo's former police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate after he had confronted Bo with allegations of Gu's involvement. He spent about 24 hours inside the consulate before he left into the hands of Chinese central government authorities.

Bo was stripped of all his party positions last week, ending his bid to join the upper echelons of the Chinese leadership at a Party Congress late this year, and opening the door to jockeying among rivals to get a place in the new lineup.

It was not immediately clear how Heywood would have helped Gu shift large sums of money offshore, though China's capital controls pose a formidable barrier to anyone trying to move large sums of yuan out of the country.

Chinese leaders' salaries are not extravagant and there have been questions about how Bo managed to fund the expensive Western schooling and lifestyle for his son, Bo Guagua, who also studied at Oxford university and is enrolled at Harvard. Bo said in March the schools were funded by scholarships.

The sources said there had been no sign of any dispute between Gu and Heywood until October and November when the argument over funds began. The lack of a paper trail made it difficult for police to determine how much money was involved, they added.

Police suspect Heywood took a poisoned drink, according to one of the sources, and died on November 15. Both sources said Gu was not present at the scene.

The sources said Heywood had stayed at the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel, a secluded complex of rooms and villas in green hills overlooking Chongqing that Gu Kailai had visited in the past. Staff there said they had no knowledge of the death of a British man at the hotel in November.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-04-16, 05:24   Link #20873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Why has the Japanese central bank not intervened more directly to weaken the yen? At current exchange rates I can't see how Japan's exporters can hope to compete.
I believe the JCB has already tried several times to weaken the yen, but to no avail. Paradoxically, the curreny has become a "safe haven". No central bank can hope to overcome global demand for its currency on its own.

The Bo Xilai scandal has been bubbling in the background for several months now. To me, the point of interest is that it has barely been mentioned here in the News thread. A shadowy power struggle on this scale has not happened in Beijing for a while and, yes, it makes for some very gripping drama with several far-reaching implications for Chinese politics.
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Old 2012-04-16, 06:46   Link #20874
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Smirking Norway killer Breivik refuses to recognize court
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83F09F20120416
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Old 2012-04-16, 09:24   Link #20875
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Quote:
Chinese leaders' salaries are not extravagant and there have been questions about how Bo managed to fund the expensive Western schooling and lifestyle for his son, Bo Guagua, who also studied at Oxford university and is enrolled at Harvard. Bo said in March the schools were funded by scholarships.
If true, I doubt the scholarships were provided by the universities involved. Foreign students now attend America's more prestigious private colleges and universities in record numbers, and few if any of them receive scholarship aid. My daughter attends one of the "Seven Sisters" women's schools and has some Chinese friends. (Foreign students now make up about 20% of the enrollment at her college.) The ones I know of come from wealthy families and receive no scholarship aid whatsoever. Enrolling wealthy foreigners who pay full tuition and fees frees up scholarship aid for domestic students. Most of these schools pursue a "need-based" scholarship approach for American students so that middle-class families can afford to attend these colleges where tuition and fees now total well over $50K per year.

Quote:
The Bo Xilai scandal has been bubbling in the background for several months now. To me, the point of interest is that it has barely been mentioned here in the News thread. A shadowy power struggle on this scale has not happened in Beijing for a while and, yes, it makes for some very gripping drama with several far-reaching implications for Chinese politics.
I keep hearing about these "far-reaching implications," but I've yet to really see what they might be. Yes, Bo was ousted, and yes, he was an up-and-coming power in the CCP, but there must be an array of others waiting in the wings. Certainly a scandal of this magnitude is an enormous embarrassment to the Party, but will it change the balance of power among Party factions in some way? Won't it be easy to simply blame all this on Bo's inability to "control" his wife and not really challenge any of the basic ruling principles of the CCP?

I guess I could see these events leading to a greater exposure of corruption in the top echelons of the Party, but don't most informed Chinese citizens know that such corruption exists already? It might also highlight the growing economic divide between rich and poor and urban and rural Chinese, but, again, those trends should be fairly obvious as well. I'm obviously not talking about the vast bulk of Chinese living in rural areas whose lives have hardly changed in the past few decades. But the disparities between wealth and poverty in the cities is not something that's easy to conceal.
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Old 2012-04-16, 10:17   Link #20876
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I keep hearing about these "far-reaching implications," but I've yet to really see what they might be. Yes, Bo was ousted, and yes, he was an up-and-coming power in the CCP, but there must be an array of others waiting in the wings.
Yes, there are any number of ready and willing substitutes, but none like Bo Xilai. That's what has turned this scandal into such a sensational affair. Over the years, Bo has been uncharacteristically flamboyant and attention-seeking, in sharp contrast to the consensus approach to top leadership since the days of Deng Xiaoping. Particularly in Chongqing, in his readiness to revive Maoist "red" communism, Bo seemed keen to build a cult of personality around himself, something that Premier Wen Jiabao criticised, albeit indirectly, at last month's National People's Congress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Certainly a scandal of this magnitude is an enormous embarrassment to the Party, but will it change the balance of power among Party factions in some way? Won't it be easy to simply blame all this on Bo's inability to "control" his wife and not really challenge any of the basic ruling principles of the CCP?
The No. 1 priority of the Party is to keep the Party in power. That, of course, will never change. The make-up of the nine-men Politburo Standing Committee, however, may be affected, as Bo's sacking opens a gap, forcing another round of closed-door horse-trading barely a year away from leadership succession.

Bo had revealed, over the past few years in Chongqing, that there is a very clear faction of reactionary communists opposed to the more consensual, reformist faction headed by the likes of Wen. Will Bo's fall from grace mean a setback to the more hawkish elements in the Politburo? Is this an opportunity for more reform-minded individuals to rise to the top echelon? What is the potential impact on foreign policy, particularly with regard to military strategy? All these things are currently in flux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I guess I could see these events leading to a greater exposure of corruption in the top echelons of the Party, but don't most informed Chinese citizens know that such corruption exists already? It might also highlight the growing economic divide between rich and poor and urban and rural Chinese, but, again, those trends should be fairly obvious as well. I'm obviously not talking about the vast bulk of Chinese living in rural areas whose lives have hardly changed in the past few decades. But the disparities between wealth and poverty in the cities is not something that's easy to conceal.
The major difference this time are China's Weibo blogs. The very public exposure of corruption and conspiracy at the highest echelon of power has been tremendously embarrassing for the Communist Party, and the scandal has been magnified a thousandfold by blogs and tweets gone viral. The prevailing consensus has always been that the local politicians are corrupt, while those at the top are relatively less corrupt, or almost noble even. This scandal has the potential to shatter that myth and the Party is naturally very anxious to make sure the public anger over the fallout doesn't turn into a China Spring.

The conceit is that as long as the Party makes sure that men of relatively strong integrity form the core, then the people can accept the lack of transparency over succession planning. If that myth is broken, will the people still remain compliant? If handled badly — and plenty of Chinese in Chongqing, fiercely loyal to Bo, are already plenty angry — the survival of the Party could be threatened.

The bright side? At least things are being handled with a modicum of civility today. In the past, Bo would have either been made to "disappear" or be thrown into a gulag for reeducation through hard labour.
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Old 2012-04-16, 10:53   Link #20877
Vexx
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I got the impression that Bo was a poster child for the Chinese Communist equivalent of "corporatist robber barons" .... to borrow some phrasing from the new ruling members in the novel Animal Farm: "Four legs good, two legs better!"

Striking him down by whatever means necessary (lucky tragedy there) .... the consensus people recover their edge.

Quote:
The prevailing consensus has always been that the local politicians are corrupt, while those at the top are relatively less corrupt, or almost noble even. This scandal has the potential to shatter that myth and the Party is naturally very anxious to make sure the public anger over the fallout doesn't turn into a China Spring.
That's been my "post-Mao" view up to this point at least.
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Old 2012-04-16, 11:06   Link #20878
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I got the impression that Bo was a poster child for the Chinese Communist equivalent of "corporatist robber barons" .... to borrow some phrasing from the new ruling members in the novel Animal Farm: "Four legs good, two legs better!"

Striking him down by whatever means necessary (lucky tragedy there) .... the consensus people recover their edge.

That's been my "post-Mao" view up to this point at least.
The Chinese beat you Yanks in almost everything, even to the Syndicate-style corporate infighting of the future.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-04-16, 12:30   Link #20879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I got the impression that Bo was a poster child for the Chinese Communist equivalent of "corporatist robber barons" .... to borrow some phrasing from the new ruling members in the novel Animal Farm: "Four legs good, two legs better!"
That's the popular view and it probably isn't far off. I certainly don't buy the idea that Bo was "Maoist". More like he was just trying to burnish his credentials for top leadership. It seems however that he was an idealist when he was younger. His wife, Gu Kailai, also has a dramatic rag-to-riches story of her own. But, sadly, power corrupts.

I don't know if anyone had published a timeline of events. If not, this might be useful:
Quote:
Bo's fall from grace

Feb 2 (Thu): Chongqing police chief and vice-mayor Wang Lijun, a close ally of the south-western city's leader, Mr Bo Xilai, is removed from his security post.

Feb 6 (Mon): Mr Wang flees to the United States consulate in neighbouring Chengdu, allegedly to seek political asylum. It is believed he had information related to corruption by Mr Bo's family and feared for his life. Chinese police surround the consulate.

Feb 8 (Wed): Mr Wang leaves the consulate of his own volition and is escorted to Beijing by a vice-minister of state security.

Feb 11 (Sat): Mr Bo meets visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Chongqing, a sign that he is still politically kosher.

March 9 (Fri): Mr Bo meets the media for the first time since the scandal, and admits his "negligent supervision" of Mr Wang.

March 14 (Wed): Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao slams Chongqing leaders over the scandal in his annual press conference with local and foreign journalists in Beijing. It is a rare public rebuke in elite politics.

March 15 (Thu): Mr Bo is removed as Chongqing party secretary, but keeps his more important position as a member of the Politburo, the Chinese Communist Party's decision-making body.

March 25 (Sun): Britain asks the Chinese authorities to further investigate the death of British businessman Neil Heywood. There are rumours that he was close to the Bo family and that he was ordered poisoned by Mr Bo's wife, Ms Gu Kailai, after a business dispute.

March 31 (Sat): Chinese tycoon Xu Ming of Shide Group, a close business friend of Mr Bo, is said to have been detained on suspicion of corruption. It is believed he "disappeared" on the night of March 15, the day Mr Bo lost his Chongqing post.

April 6 (Good Friday): Mr Xu is thought to have been arrested because of irregularities in a massive land deal and alleged match-fixing in football. He bought the land via a firm registered in Chongqing in 2009.

April 10 (Tue): Mr Bo is suspended from the Communist Party's Central Committee and Politburo. His wife is named as a suspect in the murder of Mr Heywood.

THE STRAITS TIMES

I had the opportunity to attend a short session with Mike Chinoy, former CNN senior Asia correspondent, a couple of weeks ago. Being an ex-journalist, he doesn't know any more about the scandal than the public does. But he did make an interesting observation: even those in US diplomatic circles who ought to know more aren't talking. Normally, he said, there would be some tidbit or two leaked to the press. In this case, you had a close ally of Mr Bo hiding in the US consulate, and not a peep emerged from the staff about what Mr Wang revealed. Nothing, zero, nada, zilch.

That, to Chinoy, seemed highly unusual. Read into that what you will.

(By the way, Chinoy was one of the few American broadcast journalists who was present in Tiananmen on June 4, 1989. He had some terrific insights to share, one of which surprised me tremendously, because it spoke volumes about the long-lasting harm of sloppy reporting. But that's another story for another time.)

Chinoy's observation dovetails nicely with mine:
Quote:
The Bo Xilai scandal has been bubbling in the background for several months now. To me, the point of interest is that it has barely been mentioned here in the News thread.
The relative absence of interest in the West over the scandal, to me, speaks volumes. Over here, it has been prime news for several weeks running, especially now that it has built up to such a titillating crescendo. In comparison, updates on the Republican primaries have long been relegated to secondary news.

That is, for several weeks now, US news has been "nice to know", not "need to know", from our Asian perspective. This is just Singapore. Hong Kong has been distracted by its scandals of late, along with its electoral debacle, while Taiwan had just recently concluded its parliamentary polls. But I would bet that they've been closely following the scandal's development as well.

Again, read into that what you will.
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Old 2012-04-16, 12:33   Link #20880
Xellos-_^
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Age: 38
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The relative absence of interest in the West over the scandal, to me, speaks volumes. Over here, it has been prime news for several weeks running, especially now that it has built up to such a titillating crescendo. In comparison, updates on the Republican primaries have been relegated to secondary prime news.

That is, for several weeks now, US news has been "nice to know", not "need to know", from our Asian perspective. This is just Singapore. Hong Kong has been distracted by its scandals of late, along with its electoral debacle, while Taiwan had just recently concluded its parliamentary polls. But I would bet that they've been closely following the scandal's development as well.

Again, read into that what you will.
that is because American Idol is on.
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