1. Vietnam’s Key Ally
Vietnam “can’t fight Chinese encroachment alone”, writes Tuong Lai, a sociologist, also known as Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, and a former adviser to two Vietnamese prime ministers, according to the New York Times. The key ally for Vietnam today is the United States — an alliance that the Vietnamese liberation hero Ho Chi Minh ironically always wanted.
2. Shinzo Abe ends Tour of New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe arrived back in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon. He had visited New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea during a trip that began the previous Sunday, according to Radio Japan:
He briefed leaders of the 3 countries on his Cabinet’s decision to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
He sought their understanding on Japan’s aim to proactively contribute to global and regional peace and security.
Reinterpretation – or a constitutional putsch, as Jeff Kingston describes it in an article for the Japan Times.
Abe has decided to allow his country to go to war in the defence of its allies. The polite cover story is that Japan needs to be able to help the US in defending itself against the dangerous crazies of North Korea,
writes Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald, adding that
The reality is that Japan is bracing for the possibility of war with China.
Meantime, on Saturday, China Youth Net (中国青年网) briefed its readers about what it describes as an anti-communist, anti-China policy with a continuity from former Japanese prime minister Nobusuke Kishi – be it from his days as prime minister from 1957 to 1960, be it from his days in Manchuria – to current prime minister Shinzo Abe:
The [CCTV] report says that Kishi lived a life of debauchery while in China, with alcohol and whores every night. He was called the demon of Manchuria. After the war, he was rated a class A war criminal but in the end managed to avoid trial, becoming Japanese prime minister in 1957. During his term, Kishi actively promoted anti-communism and anti-China, modified the the policies of the peaceful constitution, just as Abe is doing these days. It is exactly the mantle of this war-criminal grandfather.
The article also mentions the Nagasaki flag incident:
Kishi was hostile to New China (i. e. communist China). After coming to power, the winds of Japanese politics quickly turned right, with activities hostile towards China. During April and May 1958, the Japan-China Friendship Association’s Nagasaki branch held an exhibition of Chinese stamps and paper cuts. During the exhibition, two thugs tore the Five-Starred Red Flag down, causing the “Nagasaki Flag Incident” which shocked China and Japan, while Kishi actually said that “the article that makes the damaging of foreign flags a punishable crime does not apply to China.” This matter caused outrage in China. In May of the same year, the Chinese government announced that the limits of Chinese tolerance had been reached and that under these circumstances, trade and cultural exchange with Japan would be cut off. After that, Sino-Japanese relations withdrew to the initial stages of the post-war period. Until Kishi stepped down in 1960 and Hayato Ikeda formed a new cabinet, Sino-Japanese relations made a turn for the better again.
岸信介敌视新中国。在他上台后，日本的政治风向迅速右转，进行了一系列敌视中国的活动。1958年四五月间，日中友好协会长崎支部举办中国邮票剪纸展览 会，期间会场上悬挂的五星红旗被两名暴徒撤下撕毁，制造了震惊中日两国的“长崎国旗事件”，而岸信介居然称：“日本刑法关于损坏外国国旗将受惩罚的条款， 不适用于中国。”此事激起了中方的极大愤慨。同年5月11日，中国政府宣布，中方在忍无可忍的情况下决定断绝同日本的贸易往来和文化交流。此后，中日关系 倒退到战后初期状态。直到1960年岸信介下台，池田勇人组织新内阁，中日关系才出现转机。
While Kishi has a bad reputation in China, Japan’s current prime minister Shinzo Abe, when referrring to this maternal grandfather, blew the trumpet [to his praise]. In his book, “Beautiful Japan”, he acknowledges that “my political DNA has inherited more from Nobusuke Kishi’s genes.”
Kishi’s reputation in South Korea isn’t good either. However, his name may serve to insult South Korean politicians. A South Korean member of parliament
described President Park and her Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as the offspring of “demonic fetuses” that should not have been born ― in reference to ex-President Park Chung-hee and ex-Japanese leader Nobusuke Kishi.
In Australia, the government’s policy towards China and Japan appears to be causing headaches. Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald notes that
[t]o now, the government and opposition have agreed on how Australia should deal with China. That agreement fell apart this week. It fell apart after the leader of Japan, China’s arch-rival, came to town.
Apparently, Hartcher writes, Australia’s foreign minister
Julie Bishop spoke in anticipation of the potential reaction from Beijing in an interview with Fairfax Media’s John Garnaut.
The story in Thursday’s paper began: “Australia will stand up to China to defend peace, liberal values and the rule of law, says Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
“In the Coalition government’s clearest statement yet on how to handle China, Ms Bishop said it had been a mistake for previous governments to avoid speaking about China for fear of causing offence.
“China doesn’t respect weakness,” the article quoted Bishop as saying.
Labor disagreed. And once the can had been opened, alleged euphemisms by prime minister Tony Abbott about Japan’s war on its neighbors, made in reply to Abe, became an issue, too.
All that after Abe had left for Papua New Guinea, and before any words of disapproval had emerged from Beijing.
3. Xinjiang: Have you eaten?
The old traditional Han-Chinese greeting – “did you eat?” – has apparently become a genuine question in Xinjiang. As Han-Chinese cultural imperialism shows concern not only for the spirutual, but also the tangible nourishment of
the colony the autonomous region, Muslim students are forced to have meals with professors to ensure they are not fasting during the current Ramadan, reports the BBC‘s Martin Patience.
4. Four more Generals
Four Chinese military officers have become generals. Xi Jinping, in his capacity as the party and state Central Military Commission (CMC), issued the promotions and took part in the ceremony on Friday. The promoted officers are Deputy Chief of General Staff (副总参谋长) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Qi Jianguo (戚建国), Commander of the Shenyang Military Area Command (沈阳军区司令员) Wang Jiaocheng (王教成), Political Commissar of the Shenyang Military Area Command (政治委员) Chu Yimin (褚益民) and Political Commissar of the Guangzhou Military Area Command (广州军区政治委员) Wei Liang (魏亮). CMC vice chairmen Fan Changlong (范长龙) and Xu Qiliang (许其亮) also attended the ceremony.
In neat military formation and high spirits, the promoted officers went to the Chairman’s rostrum. Xi Jinping handed them their letters of appointment and cordially shook their hands to congratulate them. The four military officers, wearing general’s epaulets, saluted to Xi Jinping and the other leading comrades and to all comrades attending the ceremony, and enthusiastic applause rose from the whole audience.
CMC members Chang Wanquan, Fang Fenghui, Zhang Yang, Zhao Keshi, Zhang Youxia, Wu Shengli, Ma Xiaotian and Wei Fenghe attended the promotion ceremony.
The ceremony ended with the resonant sound of military songs. Afterwards, Xi Jinping and other leading comrades stood for a souvenir photo with the promoted officers.
Also in attendance were all the PLA headquarters, all big Danweis (units) of Beijing, leaders of the General Office of Central Military Commission, and others.