Archive | July, 2012

The Fuzzy Line Between China And India

16 Jul

India and China

Here’s another example of a debate where framing, in this case to favor the U.S. Navy, is disputable. Robert Farley and Chris van Avery continue a discussion about China and India.

But, Peter Drysdale has to make it all so messy.

Both China and India are expanding their defence budgets, China not uniquely so.

China certainly remains more open to trade and foreign investment than India – India’s foreign trade is five times smaller than that of China – and partners have levelled an equal number of complaints against them in the WTO.

China and India are also pursuing similar energy strategies via state firms and in developing economies.

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Deploying Pawns

16 Jul

Large Fleet Deployed to the Spratly's Hainan province officials, according to China Daily Mail, have deployed a 30-vessel fishing fleet from Hainan into the disputed territory near the Spratly Islands.

Among them was a 3,000-ton master ship and 29 fishing boats with tonnage of more than 140 tons each. They will fish in Nansha area near Fiery Cross Reef for about 20 days. Nansha is the name the Chinese give to the Spratly Islands.

It is the fishing expedition of the largest scale ever spontaneously organized in Hainan Province. Different from the separate fishing operation in the past, it is an organized combined fishing operation coordinated by fishing co-operatives and enterprises.

There is one commander-in-chief and three deputy commanders-in-chief in the fleet. The fleet is divided into two sub-fleets consisting of 6 groups. It has clearly determined manners of command and communications during the operation. Some fishermen told reporters that they had never been fishing so far away from Sanya.

It’s unclear if this is a National initiative, or just Hainan’s. The latter alternative seems to be confirmed by Hainan’s decision to incorporate three areas as a city, to create China’s southernmost prefecture-level city.

Meanwhile, Japan has recalled its ambassador in protest, after China deployed fishing vessels near the Senkaku/Daioyu chain in response to a Japanese Foreign Ministry plan to purchase the privately-owned islands.

On May 9, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) deployed an oil rig, HYSY 981, with a companion pipe-laying vessel, HYSY 201. But, far from being an example of Beijing flexing its muscle, this situation underscores how complicated these international issues have become.

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Taiwan Tomorrow

15 Jul

Wulai Hot Springs, TaiwanTomorrow my wife and I will fly to Taiwan for a seven-day vacation. It’s been five years since our last vacation, to the United States, and seven years since we toured Osaka, Japan. This trip, which will include Taipei and two days at the hot springs at Wulai, will be far too short than I need. In these five years, I given up on a fantasy I had of scuba diving and sky diving (I’ve done them before I met her) with my wife. My wife has been ill since March, and I hope the hot springs will do her some good. This trip will complete the triple for me – Japan, Korea, Taiwan (China – the “free” one), my minimal sightseeing goal for this region of the world. It’s as good as any time now to leave East Asia.

I don’t want to spend time on the internet, but I will try to post photographs and maybe video. One of the highlights of the itinerary will be the National Palace Museum, where artifacts from the mainland are housed after a long journey through the Japanese war and the civil war with the Communists. After that, tours of the Presidential Office Building, the National History Museum, Jiufen, and maybe even the zoo are in order. Of course, anywhere with seafood and tea will be important stops. On the weekend, we will spend two days at the Wulai Hot Springs, where I plan to do very little but relax.

It’s not the ideal time to travel. I want to think as little as possible of the future, or the semester ahead. Yet, I do have a few decisions to make, and my habit, by way of epiphany, is to take the first course that comes to me. I’ll admit my usually restive nature is stilled by depressing thoughts, and my wife’s slow recuperation is also frustrating. So, I hope this is an eventful experience. I had high hopes for this year – for about an hour back in February. Now, I wonder if it’s possible to hope for a change in my fortunes. I was prepared to call an end to the “bad days”, but now I feel I was naive.

For one week I will imagine as if times were improving.

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