There are some serious amateur filmmakers working for the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation -- I can think of no other reason why Game of Pawns would exist: a nearly half-hour mini-movie that tells the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who was bribed by Chinese officials when he was studying in Shanghai to pass along sensitive information. Shriver made $70,000 before he was caught. He's now in the US serving out a four-year sentence in federal prison.
The US government shut down on Tuesday as Congress failed to pass the necessary bills to keep it operational -- "it" being the government. If you want a quick-and-dirty primer on the situation, CNN has you covered, as does Washington Post, and James Fallows offers wise analysis as always over at his blog.
But what does China think?
Edward Snowden -- ever elusive, unidentifiable -- is reportedly leaving Moscow for either Cuba or Ecuador. Reports AP:
The former National Security Agency contractor and CIA technician fled Hong Kong and arrived at the Moscow airport, where he planned to spend the night before boarding an Aeroflot flight to Cuba. Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his government received an asylum request from Snowden, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would help him.
Dick Cheney, former vice president, bad quail hunter, to Fox News:
"I'm suspicious because he went to China. That's not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty, and so forth.... It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this."
Winsome goof Joe Biden, giving a commencement address at the Ivy League's University of Pennsylvania on May 13, delivered a few China barbs that probably shouldn't have come from a US vice president.
"It was a humiliating experience," Chinese citizen Zhang Tianpu, a graduating Wharton senior, told SCMP. "And how can a graduation speech be this political?"
As Barack Obama's failure to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp continues to anger his liberal base, interested observers outside the US are beginning to take their potshots at the reeling POTUS. The Chinese news media, for instance, has decided to lightly prod the American president with a little humor -- not with its own humor, mind you, but with The Daily Show's.
Ed’s note: On April 19, the US Department of State published its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which included a section on China. It was typical, mundane, and features nothing you don’t already know, including restriction of Uighur and Tibetan movement, harassment of journalists and dissidents, prison labor, discrimination, extrajudicial killings, etc. On... Read more »
The United States Senate has shamed itself, its country — where 90 percent of the people can be in favor of an issue that gets defeated — and democracy. The first two statements are indisputable. The third is a logical conclusion one could draw by looking at how the Chinese reacted to Wednesday’s victory for... Read more »
President Barack Obama has drawn basically positive reviews for his second inaugural address yesterday, but at least one person was not impressed. (Note: probably tens of millions were not impressed, but you can read the comments section to Hot Air and other sites devoted to the corpse of Ronald Reagan if you’re interested.) We’re talking... Read more »
Nerds of 20th-century Chinese history will love this. Brought to us by the good folks of Tea Leaf Nation, this image on Sina Weibo imagines what would happen in an election between Mao Zedong’s Communist Party of China (red, obviously) and Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, which fled for Taiwan in 1949. Via TLN: The “election” began in... Read more »
Whatever your feelings about American politics, it’s hard to argue that Barack Obama doesn’t shine on the big stage with the lone spotlight. The man knows how to deliver a message, and it’s liable to be heard as clearly halfway around the world as by those closest to him. According to Tea Leaf Nation: In his... Read more »
Image via Digital Trends Four more years for the big guy in charge. If you’re interested in how China reacted to Barack Obama’s win yesterday, we’ll offer this post by Tea Leaf Nation, which translates several reactions from Sina Weibo, which is China’s Twitter. But plenty of China watchers were tweeting on actual Twitter, too.... Read more »
The day is upon us. First, if you’re in Beijing, the Beijinger has a list of places you can watch the election results tomorrow morning. Brussels opens the earliest, and probably has the most TVs (not to mention the biggest, a projection screen). Cuju, though small, opens at 8 am and has the best coffee... Read more »
Another day, another Mitt Romney lie involving China. Granted, this lie was told last Thursday at a rally in Defiance, Ohio -- "I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China" -- and it's a lie that mostly slanders Chrysler, Barack Obama, Italy, the US auto industry, and common sense, but we think it should be brought to your attention anyway in preparation for the next five days of Romney lies and the inevitable mention of Obama's half-brother in Guangzhou, Mark Ndesandjo, as evidence that the president loves him some Commie Red.
This ad by Karl Rove and American Crossroads is yet another reminder that American politics, at its worst, is no better than Chinese politics. Watch as a narrator, most certainly white, says, "The more Obama borrows from China, the more we'll have to bow to China." Implication: bowing is a gesture of servility, American decline, and Communism, not -- as it is in the real world -- a gesture of respect and willingness to cooperate on difficult, complicated matters such as, oh I dunno, international fucking politics.
At the third and final presidential debate on Monday, Governor Mitt Romney backed off claims he made in the previous debate to go hard on China. But as New Yorker's Evan Osnos notes, "But in China, to be frank, nobody takes it all that seriously. Romney’s tack toward the middle in his final debate (a theme that my colleague John Cassidy explores in his post today) seemed to foreshadow to a Chinese audience the kind of softening that is consistent with a pattern that has run through three decades of American foreign policy: candidates who rail against China on the stump rarely follow through if they win, because China stops being a convenient foil and becomes instead a complicated reality."
Jon Huntsman, the one-time presidential hopeful and former US ambassador to China, has probably said more sensible things about China to more Americans in the last year than just about anyone in the world. It was only earlier this year, after all, that he trashed his own party’s approach to China, saying, “I don’t know what... Read more »