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Today’s Japan Photo

28 Jan
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emergence, originally uploaded by TommyOshima.

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Kimjongnamology

28 Jan

Kim Jong-namChosun Dailystill relying on intelligence officers – and Hankyoreh indulge in the hallowed study of autocrats’ every utterance, this time with Kim Jong-nam, the first son of Kim Jong-il.

Kim disappeared from his hotel on Sunday, leaving behind only statements that leave room for plenty of interpretations.

That’s all.

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Don’t Expect a Chinese Livingstone

28 Jan

A visitor walks past a poster with the map of Africa at the meeting venue for the annual meeting of the Africa Development bank in Shanghai in this May 14, 2007 file photo. Chinese businessmen are taking a long-term view and pursuing strategic expansion in Africa even though China's multiplying investments on the continent have lost some lustre in the recent global downturn. Aly Song/FilesI suspect the spin, that Beijing takes the “long view” is just a nice way of avoiding saying PRC is as greedy as any non-African country can afford to be. Yet, instead of anomalies, the implosion of Congo and Guinea prove the limits of Beijing’s “don’t interfere in internal politics” approach. Actually, it’s rather shortsighted. Insofar as Dutch disease causes political instability, Beijing’s own support for extraction only accelerates the decay of local government authority all that much faster, and disrupts in turn its long-term relations. It raises the question how fast Beijing can extract before crisis ensues, and how often will the crisis prove only temporary enough not to justify worrying about internal affairs in the first place. Instead of long-term, I would call Beijing’s attitude ruthlessly myopic.

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