North Korea’s Crumbling Facade & Imploding China Relations

Jang Song Taek formerly, Kim Jong Un's Uncle

Jang Song Taek
formerly, Kim Jong Un’s Uncle

 The execution of the No. 2 leader in North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Jang Song Taek, was beyond brutal–savage by any account. At the time that this broadcast was made, it was believed that Jang’s execution was by machine gunning him down while tied to a stake (this was the fate of Kim Jong Un’s former girlfriend). Some hours after the show was taped, we learned of an even more savage execution from the Singapore Straits Times (http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/china/story/jangs-execution-bodes-ill-china-20131224 )

“According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called “quan jue”, or execution by dogs.

Military_dog_barking

The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.

The horrifying report vividly depicted the brutality of the young North Korean leader. The fact that it appeared in a Beijing- controlled newspaper showed that China no longer cares about its relations with the Kim regime.”

It is hard to imagine such savagery which puts it on a scale rivaled perhaps only by Pol Pot’s genocide, the Holocaust, and others of similar ilk. Whether or not the report is true, we shall have to wait and see but whether Jang was e executed by machine gun or by dogs, the result is the same–the former is less sensational.*

Jang’s execution means what for North Korea? Was there, in reality, a coup d’état or an attemped one?  Was the Jang execution a good or bad? Was it necessary?  

Patrick Border Citizen Diplomat Veteran North Korea Visitor

Patrick Border
Citizen Diplomat
Veteran North Korea Visitor

The North Korea policy wonks and observers are all over the map as to why this has happened and what it means for the future of the Hermit Kingdom. We turned to the fascinating perspective of an American who has recently returned from yet another trip to North Korea to understand what is actually going on on the ground. Patrick Border is an American citizen diplomat and veteran Hawaii North Korea traveler. We had an unusual conversation with Mr. Border as to the real “why” behind recent events in North Korea (Kenneth Bae, Merrill Newman and Dennis Rodman’s NBA exhibition game tryouts) and, in particular, Uncle Jang’s execution and its future implications.  

 

During this interview, Mr. Border discusses the armed conflict within North Korea between the respective factions of economic reformer Jang and the North Korean military, with officers of military being killed. He talks about the instability of the Regime, the “overreaching” that Jang’s execution signals as well as the potential for steps towards a “People’s Power” tipping point in North Korea. Mr. Border emphasizes that Jang was North Korea’s point man for its relations with China and that relationship is now bitterly shattered and he reveals just what he has seen in Pyongyang that proves this. He left us with the ominous perspective that North Korean Regime is now isolated–even more than ever with its old mentor and protector, China, shut out–and that the shabby facade that the Regime holds up to the global community is crumbling, its dirty linen has been aired like never before, and there are now clear factions in North Korea with people forced to choose sides.

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* On this particular point, you might be interested in a related piece on this website called, “Execution by dogs or machine guns: ‘What difference does it make?’” here. 


 

 

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China’s Next Moves Following its East China Sea ADIZ

So what are China’s next strategy moves in the Asia-Pacific Region? What does the PLA really think about the U.S. military and its capabilities? –a bizarre perception that encourages them to push harder now.

China has now been successful at establishing its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea. In the process, we have seen a bizarre, almost schizophrenic, series of contradictory communications on the subject coming out of Washington that have enhanced China’s successful roll-out.

Following the roll-out,  China’s lone aircraft carrier (sans aircraft) departed for the South China Sea for a “show the flag” cruise. Next, we witnessed a near collision by U.S. and Chinese naval ships in the South China Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This program is Part 2 of the conversation between  David Day and China-Hand Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has spent some 3+ decades in China, met and worked with various members of its leadership and has fascinating perspectives to share about China’s ADIZ planning & gameplan, its unexpected success in the imposition of its new ADIZ in the East China Sea, and what strategic moves we can now expect China to make in the Asia-Pacific Region in the near term. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.

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China’s New ADIZ

Are there unusual crossovers of the new China ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) with both Taiwan and South Korea? There are and the Taiwan piece is perhaps something that most people do not know.   Is China’s new ADIZ over the Senkaku islands a precursor to further ADIZs China may have in mind? What is this new Air Defense Zone that China has imposed in the East China Sea all about? How did we get here? What about the schizophrenic, wires-crossed responses coming out of the Pentagon and the State Department? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia in Review” host David Day engages in a fascinating conversation with special guest Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has lived and worked in China as an American executive and entrepreneur for some 3+ decades and shares some interesting insights into the Chinese thinking behind this new strategy. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.

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The China-U.S. News Media Imbalance

“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.  

Hong Jiang Deputy Director New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) Assoc Prof, UH Manoa

Hong Jiang
Deputy Director (Hawaii)
New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV)
Assoc Prof, UH Manoa

    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. 

Kerry Gershaneck fmr US Govt Public Affairs Official fmr U.S. Marine Officer Senior Associate at Pacific Forum CSIS Adj. Prof. Hawaii Pacific University in Strategic Communications

Kerry Gershaneck
fmr US Govt Public Affairs Official
fmr U.S. Marine Officer
Senior Assoc, Pacific Forum CSIS
Adj. Prof. Hawaii Pacific University in Communications
Strategic Communications Expert

      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.

 

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China’s Trial of the Century: The Real Bo Xi Lai–A Tiger By the Tail

This show is a fascinating, in-depth conversation about the collapse of one of China’s key

Michael Sacharski, CEO Pacific Enterprise Capital

Michael Sacharski, CEO
Pacific Enterprise Capital

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.

 

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Taiwan (Republic of China) at a Dangerous Crossroads

 

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. 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

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.

 

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New Business Models, IP & Corruption

New Business Models, IP & Corruption

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.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/showbiz/2009/04/17/chang.china.google.w.music.cnn

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.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2009/04/17/curry.pirate.bay.verdict.cnn

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China’s Confrontation in the Yellow Sea — Part of a Broader Strategy?

 

China’s Confrontation in the Yellow Sea — Part of a Broader Strategy?

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.

China's Claim to the South China Sea

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.

Known Oil fields Overlayed with Competing Territorial Claims

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