Posted by DavidDay on Oct 11, 2013 in Blog, China, China, Info Ops & Strategic Communications, Media & Communications, Northeast Asia, Our Media, PRC/China, Strategic Communications & Info Ops | 0 comments
“The first social responsibility and professional ethic of media staff should be understanding their role clearly and being a good mouthpiece.
Journalists who think of themselves as professionals, instead of as propaganda workers, are making a fundamental mistake about identity.”
–Hu Zhanfan, President of CCTV
All news media in the People’s Republic of China is state-controlled, with the larger ones (Xinhua, People’s Daily, CCTV) reporting directly to the Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department (CPD). The watchdog group, “Reporters without Borders,” ranked China 174 out of 179 countries in its 2012 worldwide index of press freedom. Journalists face harassment and prison terms for violating government censorship rules. Chinese media disseminators usually employ their own monitors to ensure political acceptability of their content.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has roughly 700 credentialed news media representatives United States. The number of U.S. reporters in China is generally less than 20. The Chinese reporters are, for the most part, government agents who are allowed free rein in the U.S. to fulfill their mission. Their U.S. counterparts in China work for independent news organizations and are routinely harassed, including having their visas denied or delayed, sources beaten and arrested, travel restricted, and their physical safety threatened.
In this program, “Asia in Review” host David Day engages in a fascinating conversation on this sensitive topic with special guest Ms. Hong Jiang, the Deputy Regional Director (for Hawaii) from the independent US-based TV network, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) and an Associate Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa; Also joining Ms. Jiang is Mr. Kerry Gershaneck, a former senior US government Public Affairs official who teaches Strategic Communication at Hawaii Pacific University.
The show focuses on the implications of this news media coverage imbalance and how it plays into the larger “information war” between the US and the PRC that former Secretary of State Clinton alluded to in testimony before Congress. Ms. Jiang and Mr. Gershaneck address the question of whether this imbalance now gives the PRC a significant advantage in its “Soft Power” and other “influence operations” directed at the U.S. and what the U.S. can begin to do to level the Information playing field with the PRC.
This show is a fascinating, in-depth conversation about the collapse of one of China’s key
Princelings, Mr. Bo Xi Lai. What is different about this program is that the guest, Mr. Michael Sacharski, is a 3+decade American China Hand who has met and spent time with Mr. Bo on several occasions.
The conversation probes Bo’s extraordinary revolutionary pedigree, his rise as a charismatic, anti-corruption mayor of Dalian, moving to other key political positions before his final post as the crime-busting mayor of the huge city of Chongqing. The program includes a conversation about how Mr. Bo departed from the consensus style of the typical senior, Chinese leadership and his political differences with members of the senior leadership. Interestingly, this discussion includes warnings to Bo from the Party about his wife, Gu Kai Lai (who is also a Princeling). The conversation includes a discussion of how this trial came about, why the Party is conducting the trial, and the relationship of Mr. Bo’s courtroom defiance to his own father’s conduct during his persecution by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. This interview with Mr. Sacharski examines the interesting quanxi relationship that exists running from Bo Xi Lai’s father, Bo Yi Bo, to Jiang Zemin (Zhang Zemin) to a number of Politboro members, including Xi Jin Ping, and back to Bo Xi Lai, the son.
Hosted by David Day, Mr. Sacharski draws upon his extraordinary meetings with the charismatic Mr. Bo and his knowledge of the history and inner workings of the Party to give the viewer a far more complete picture of this, China’s trial of the 21th century. The discussion concludes with a look towards Mr. Bo’s future and the likelihood that his opera is not over…down, but not out.
Posted by DavidDay on Aug 19, 2013 in All Southeast Asia, Blog, China, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Japan, Military, National / Regional Security Issues, Our Media, PRC/China, Regional Security/Flashpoints, South China Sea Claims, Taiwan, Taiwan Straits | 0 comments
America’s relationship with Taiwan has waxed and waned since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled there following defeat by the Communists on mainland China in a lengthy and bloody civil war.
Following this disastrous defeat and retreat, the US provided the security umbrella and economic incentives that helped propel the Taiwan into one of Asia’s leading economic “Tigers”. Taipei, in turn, supported US foreign policy and military policies. In recent years, however, a number of factors have caused that once-close relationship to drift. Some analysts say that actions by Taiwan and the US have placed Taiwan on a trajectory towards absorption by the PRC.
As one analyst noted, “Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security, and by extension to the national security of the U.S. and Japan.” And the U.S., for its part, appears increasingly ready to sacrifice its national security and regional stability–and its fundamental beliefs as a nation–by refusing to reverse this drift.
David Day hosts this illuminating conversation with Kerry Gershaneck, a former US government official previously responsible for both “front line defense” of Taiwan and for developing key security cooperation programs with its military forces.
April 18, 2009 by davidfday
These two Videos, both dated April 17, 2009, illustrate the broad ends of the intellectual property spectrum vis.a.vis copyright infringement. Google setting up free downloads in China in concert with music labels in effort to capture part of share of advertising revenue. Essentially, this is the “Free” business model developing in the digital world.
On the very same date, contrast Google’s new tactic in China with the 2nd video which is the conviction of 4 persons involved in the Pirate Bay website in Sweden for the crime of copyright violations. This is the “classic” intellectual property prosecution which may become a thing of the past if the Google model in China really takes hold.Read More
May 6, 2009 by davidfday
This most recent PRC interference with a U.S. Navy ship in the Yellow sea these past few days appears consistent with an ongoing, stepped-up PRC policy looking towards an expansion of its territorial claims well into international waters. To be sure, China’s territorial waters claims are not new, it is just that we are now seeing more aggressive and confrontational action on the part of the PRC. This most recent China/U.S. naval confrontation in the Yellow Sea follows last month’s nearly mirror-image confrontations of the U.S. Impeccable in the South China sea. These events bear careful watching as they pose the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and injury not only to the U.S. and China, but to competing territorial claimants in the Region as well as international maritime players.
Complicating this picture, we need to be mindful that Hanoi, having finally resolved a 30-year northern border dispute with China, is beginning now to focus on its age-old dispute with China over the South China sea’s Paracel and Spratley Islands. While, to be sure there are other national interests claimed over these islands, the Vietnamese are the most likely to pose intense resistance to China’s claims in the South China Sea.
Posted by DavidDay on Aug 5, 2013 in All Southeast Asia, Blog, Burma/Myanmar, China, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Indonesia, Indonesia, Japan, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Military, Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, North Korea, Our Media, Pacific Forum CSIS, Philippines, PRC/China, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Vietnam | 0 comments
Pacific Forum CSIS’s Executive Director, Brad Glosserman, reviews with David Day the key tense and potentially dangerous security Flashpoints that the Asia-Pacific Region now faces.
The conversation places these Flashpoints in the context of the rising economic dynamism of the Region, the re-focus of the “whole of government and business” into the Region and its need for stability and security. Potential border spillover Flashpoints are considered with (1) the ethnic violence in Myanmar,(2) the latest developments in the South China Sea disputes (including the possibility of China now dragging Malaysia into the fray, in addition to the Philippines and Vietnam), (3) China’s dispute with Japan over the Senkakus, and (4) the current situation with the enhanced bellicose rhetoric coming out of North Korea.
Hosted by David DayRead More
North Korea has done it again, but this time at the helm of its new, young leader, Kim Jong Un. Meaning what? The current round of enflamed bellicosity has served North Korea well. It has been a 24/7 infomercial for the country’s arms sales client states, including Iran and Syria, as well as other potential rogue countries and terrorist organizations. The infomercial continues to underscore the respect that the most developed nations in the world accord North Korean arms technology and weaponry. It also sends a strong message of encouragement for other would-be nuclear regimes to get into the nuclear club as quickly as possible (i.e. Syria and Iran) as a means of status, and more importantly, regime preservation.
The nuclear option, North Korea teaches, makes even the most outrageous conduct acceptable and immunizes a regime from attack. It is a powerful message and demonstration by Pyongyang that does not serve the interests of peace and stability well. Secretary Kerry’s entreaty to North Korea that the U.S. is willing now to sit down and talk, provided Pyongyang will agree to give up the nuclear card is somewhere between silly and naive. Perhaps it is a good policy statement for the folks in Foggy Bottom, but it is just not going to happen.
Despite another successful dictator encouragement/arms sales PR round, Pyongyang still needs the final offramp to get off the current bellicosity highway. The threatened missile test is one option—but a dangerous one. The rhetoric is been cranked up so high that a missile test will have to be executed in a direction certain not to arouse confusion or mistake and a possible retaliatory strike. Even a short range missile test is a risky move for Pyongyang under the current atmosphere that it has created. What then is the offramp option? Prepare for a second nuclear test. This will allow Pyongyang to pull off a move not likely to generate a retaliatory strike– plus it has the added propaganda and PR advantage of North Korea thumbing its nose to the United Nations, China and the U.S. in the face of the recent sanctions imposed on it for the country’s last nuclear test earlier this year.
So when is such a test likely to occur? The best propaganda move for Pyongyang would be to execute the test on or around April 15, when a large celebration is planned for the country. April 15th is a significant date for North Korea. It is the birthdate of the current leader’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung. The deceased grandfather is known as North Korea’s “Eternal President” or “President for life.”
There is greater significance beyond just the office held between the former North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, and their current leader Kim Jong Un. The link between the two comes by a rarely spoken of yet incredibly important female by name of Kim Kyong-hui.
Kim Kyong-hui is one of the last living “old guard” within North Korea’s communist dynasty. She is Kim Jong Un’s aunt and just so happens to be the daughter of North Korea’s “Eternal President.” Many intelligence analysts who focus on Asian affairs believe Kim Kyong-hui is the true leader in North Korea today as she is the one who specifically instructs Kim Jong Un on each decision he makes.
So how does all of this fit together? April 15, and the days around it, is the opportunity for Kim Jong Un to please his most important Aunt and mentor. He can do this with a major display of the country’s military might. A show of strength works wonders to show her that her father’s country is in strong, capable hands.
It all comes together in the coming hours and days. This round has been won and the offramps of a nuclear test and the more risky, missile test are in sight.
Posted by DavidDay on Nov 18, 2011 in All Southeast Asia, Articles, Blog, China, China, Energy, Energy, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Indonesia, Indonesia, International Business, Myanmar/Burma, Myanmar/Burma | 7 comments
Historically, in its post-British colonial era, Myanmar has “danced” in its foreign policy and sought to maintain its neutrality, wary of foreigners. Myanmar’s dance continued throughout the Cold War as a strategy necessary to preserve its own sovereignty. This wariness extended to Western diplomats and China alike. However, as the General Than Shwe/Junta era began to take hold and the resulting U.S. sanctions began to bite, Myanmar “leaned” heavily towards China as its sanctions bypass route.
The new Thein Sein government started to shake the West with its political reforms and the release of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. These reforms also included legal changes that would now permit Aung San Suu Kyi to run for political office. Indeed, her party, the National League for Democracy, has seized upon this legal change, re-registered under the new law, and Aung San Suu Kyi herself has formally announced that she would run in the next elections.
Then there is the pushback against China commenced with the abrupt decision to suspend the construction of a controversial China-backed hydroelectric dam that would have flooded an area the size of Singapore. Given the magnitude of Chinese investment and influence in Myanmar, this has been a stunning move.
The question then becomes, what is the next step in Myanmar’s dance? That step will be heavily influenced by Myanmar’s bid to assume its leadership bid as ASEAN’s chair in 2014. However, Myanmar’s bid for the 2014 ASEAN chairmanship means that it will have to present itself as an ASEAN member and not China’s little client. In order to accomplish that by 2014, we are going to see a number of previously unthinkable reforms coming out of Naypyidaw. The notion that Suu Kyi will now run for election is but one example of the previously unthinkable.
Indonesia, interestingly, is playing a key role from its ASEAN leadership chair position, steering Myanmar in a reform-minded direction so as to position and prepare Myanmar for its own 2014 ASEAN chair. Coupled with Jakarta’s efforts, the current United States efforts on the” pivoting” front to re-engage with Asia, such as entering the East Asia Summit and cultivating stronger ties with Southeast Asia, also contains a strategy designed to encourage Myanmar into further reforms. To that end, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently dangled the bait that Myanmar would find a partner in the U.S. if further reforms were made. The possibility of removing sanctions and promises of cooperation will assist in expanding U.S. influence with Myanmar,and likely move the country into a more balanced relationship between the U.S. and China.
Myanmar took Clinton’s bait, Suu Kyi and her party are now planning to participate in the next elections, and Clinton herself is now “pivoting” and enroute to Myanmar. The winds are now shifting in the U.S./Myanmar relationship. New partners and new steps are now in play.
The China relationship is still out there. While there is a certain frostiness to the current relations between China and Myanmar, it must be remembered that Myanmar must live with China next door and its dance in the future will always need to maintain considerable weight on that foot.Read More