Archive for August 1st, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Real-Name Registration may become Mandatory

Beijing — The State Council Information Office issued a notice on July 27, requiring Chinese news websites implementing a real-name registration procedure for online commenters, reports Radio Free Asia (RFA), quoting Hong Kong’s Da Kung Pao (大公报). News websites should also not be allowed to offer opportunities for online voting, or conduct opinion surveys, says the report.

Hangzhou’s People’s Congress Standing Committee had considered similar regulations earlier this year, but then shelved the plans which had been “met with strong doubts”.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

JR’s Weekender: You blocks me, me nukes you

All India Radio‘s (AIR) Press Review of July 29 focused on the country’s new, nuclear-powered submarine. I couldn’t discern single newspapers quoted, but they are apparently all very proud of the vessel. The station’s Daily Commentary, only minutes later, was about the country’s newly-installed airborne warning and control system (AWACS). The Daily Commentary also worried that Pakistan may misunderstand this peace-securing installation and start an entirely unprovoked arms race. After all, only Indian arms can help to maintain peace in Asia.

Obama Meter

Obama Meter: 7

As mentioned before, the Obamameter in India looks friendly. It still does (while it has gone down a bit at home in the U.S., on account of the economy). This month, another commentary on AIR referred to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama as the first truly post-cold-war presidents who can do business with each other (as continuing Russian cooperation in the war in Afghanistan showed).

An old, late American admiral, Alfred Thayer MahanChinese admiral Liu Huaqing (劉華清) invented him in the 1980s -, has become popular in India, too. So he has elsewhere in East and South East Asia, the Economist wrote in June. Many Indians would like to combine their country’s (considerable) naval forces with America’s (still overwhelming). “Now would be a good time to re-hyphenate your India policy, less India-Pakistan more India-China”, Aditya Tiwathia advised the Obama administration on the Foreign Policy Blogs Network last month. Indeed, America and India share long-term common interests in the Indian Ocean which will probably be more durable than the short spring between Washington and Beijing in the late 1970s (when Deng Xiaoping taught the Vietnamese some necessary lessons) – and they share similar values. But if the goal of all nations involved is just about safe shipping line for everyone, one may wonder if a few nuclear submarines at the disposal of every country with a stake in the Indian Ocean, including China and Taiwan respectively, wouldn’t be just as good as tons of aircraft carriers and frigates – and much cheaper. You blocks me, me nukes you.

Ouch. Germany has a stake in the Indian Ocean, too. OK – JR is no great armchair admiral. The security of everyone’s access to the seven seas might be a too complicated topic for this blog.

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Related: India enters an exclusive club, Deccan Chronicle, July 25, 2009

Disclaimer: Learning Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power Upon History by heart may not be enough. German Kaiser Wilhelm II tried , and still lost World War One.

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