As Xi Jinping has stepped back into the public eye this week, the reappearance of China's heir apparent has been upstaged by large demonstrations across the country as tensions mount over territorial claims to the Diaoy (or Senkaku) Islands. As memories of earlier episodes of over-exuberant patriotism resurface, the events have the Sinica folks recalling with some nostalgia that the last time both Xi Jinping and a bunch of islands were in the news, the excitement was over Xi's vacation stopover in Fiji on his way to a state visit to Latin America.

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo is pleased to host new guests: Damien Ma, analyst with the Eurasia Group, who also contributes frequently to the Atlantic Monthly, and Ian Johnson, former Beijing bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, now with the New York Times. We are also thrilled to be rejoined by Tania Branigan, ace correspondent for the Guardian in Beijing and soon-to-be member of our "stalwart" class of Sinica supporters.

On a final note, we would be remiss not to mention that subscribing to Sinica via RSS is the easiest way to catch up on developments in China. To get started, either sign-up for an account on Popup Chinese or open iTunes, click on the Advanced file menu in iTunes and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast". When your computer prompts you, provide the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica and iTunes will take care of everything else, downloading new episodes automatically as soon as they are available. And for the less adventurous or iTunes poor, we're pleased to bring you this show as a standalone mp3 file as always. We hope you like it!
 said on
September 21, 2012
Serving Japanese Prime Ministers have NOT continued to visit the Yasukuni shrine. The last serving Prime Minister to visit the shrine was Junichiro Koizumi. Shinzo Abe offered prayers to it, but he did not attend the shrine. Yasuo Fukuda swore never to attend and joined with other Japanese politicians to call for the founding of a secular war memorial. Taro Aso called for the Emperor to visit prior to becoming Prime Minister (which he did not) but did not visit himself while in office. Hatoyama pledged not to visit prior to election and lived up to that pledge. Kan did not visit. Noda made statements supporting Koizumi's visit at the time, but has not visited whilst serving as prime minister and requested his cabinet not to visit (although two cabinet ministers did visit).
 said on
September 21, 2012
PS - I may be wrong, but hasn't conducting vox pops in Mainland China been a bit dicey ever since the government started randomly requiring foreign journalists to make an application before conducting interviews?
 said on
September 21, 2012
Great recommendations, will you put up the links soon?
 said on
September 22, 2012
Several issues were not brought up with regard to the dispute between China and Japan. First there is the underlying issue of oil resources near the islands. And it is telling that China and Taiwan both started claiming the islands around the time that a report was made public about these resources. Second, though perhaps less important to all sides, are the fishing rights, and right of passage by shipping. Finally there is the confusing issue of who actually has legal rights to the islands.

The Japan Times recently published an article from Hong Kong by Frank Ching - "Give Deng's proposal to share Senkaku resources a chance"

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120920fc.html

and I am inclined to think that the optimum solution is for joint exploration and production of the resources, rather than risking war with prolonged confrontations.

On a side note, Chinese Television has continued to report fairly heavily on The dispute. This to me says that the Chinese government wants to keep the issue alive.
 said on
September 22, 2012
Very good program.

As for the Diaoyu / Senkaku dispute, I believe that there is no going back to the status quo as it is an unacceptable solution for China. They will continue to test Japan's response and are quite willing to engage in a low-intensity conflict. China loves martyrs and they need a new Lei Feng. That being said the rhetoric has toned down in the last few days as nationalism is a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle.

Bottom line -- shots will be fired and the Japanese will have to change their position and admit that a territorial dispute exists. These are the predicates for any long-term peaceful resolution, joint development, et. al......
 said on
September 22, 2012
Here we go! Links:

MENTIONS!

Dangerous Waters by Stephanie Kleine-Albrandt http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/17/dangerous_waters

Drawing Lines in the Water by Taylor Fravel http://taylorfravel.com/2012/09/drawing-lines-in-the-water/

RECOMMENDATIONS!

Damien: How China Sees America by Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138009/andrew-j-nathan-and-andrew-scobell/how-china-sees-america

Ian: Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-Jen (Author), Red Pine (Translator) http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Capturing-Plum-Blossom-Po-Jen/dp/1562790773

Tania: Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuschia Dunlop http://www.amazon.co.uk/Every-Grain-Rice-Chinese-Cooking/dp/140880252X

Kaiser: The North Peak by Ian Johnson http://www.chinafile.com/north-peak

What Microblogs Aren’t Telling You About China by Amy Qin http://www.chinafile.com/what-microblogs-aren%E2%80%99t-telling-you-about-china
 said on
September 24, 2012
excuse me, but how does listening to this help me learn CHINESE?
 said on
September 25, 2012
@richichd,

If you haven't yet, you need to visit this page:

http://popupchinese.com/lessons

There is a menu on the right-hand side there you can use to subscribe and unsubscribe from specific shows like Sinica, depending on your level of proficiency and the sort of content you like.
 said on
October 21, 2012
On the issue of textbooks (as the prime minister issue has already been sufficiently dealt with by fearofaredplanet), I would just like to point out that the only textbook that has actually been criticized as downplaying the Nanjing massacre, since there really is only one that denies a lot of these things, is used in 13 schools in all of Japan, most of which are notably right-wing private schools, basically housing the children of already right-wing families. These kids would have been indoctrinated with the bull in the books before even hitting school age anyway, so there's no difference whether they use the books or not. Personally I think it's a stupid thing to use textbooks that deny historical fact, but it's not like it's not any scale that actually influences 99.7% of Japanese middle school students. I'm pretty sure that lies are being taught in Chinese schools too, much earlier and much more extensively than in Japan...

your name:

leave a comment: