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Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 12:34 PM PST

China Steps Up In Ebola Fight

by Richard Lyon

Reposted from Richard Lyon by xgz

One of the significant developments in globalization over the past 15 years has been China's growing political and economic ties with the global south. They have large investments in Africa and a substantial number of Chinese nationals working there. As the US and Western European nations have begun to establish aid missions to assist in combating the ebola epidemic in West Africa there have been questions raised as to whether China would make a comparable contribution. Those questions are now receiving a response.

China to build Ebola hospital in Liberia

China plans to build a 100-bed medical centre in Liberia to combat Ebola, officials announced on Thursday, after criticism that the country is not doing enough to fight the disease.

China will send 1,000 aid workers to Ebola-affected areas “in the months to come”, and has already sent 252 people to the three hardest-hit countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – since the deadly virus broke out in March, the official newswire Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei elaborated on the announcement at a regular press conference on Thursday afternoon. “In Liberia, we will build a 100-bed medical centre,” he said. “On 9 November, 160 medical workers will set off for Liberia.” He added that 320 additional workers would arrive at the centre at a later date.

“All the construction materials, construction workers and medical workers are in place,” he said. The centre is scheduled to open in 30 days.

Hong said: “Many countries have evacuated their diplomatic personnel, aid workers and enterprises from affected areas. However, there are still several thousand Chinese people working there.”

Reposted from ban nock at DKos by xgz Editor's Note: Hong Kong is China's hope for democracy. -- xgz

In news that is rocking the world citizens of Hong Kong have taken over not only the financial district but most of Hong Kong and across the harbor into Kowloon. Some estimates put the numbers as high as 80K. I don't think anyone actually knows what is going on as the demonstrations have taken on a life of their own.

Police who had at first used tear gas and pepper spray to control the crowds have now withdrawn. Usually protests in Hong Kong are very peaceful, it's thought that the violence on the part of the police has stirred the general populace into joining the protesters.

The protests are about China's decision to renege on it's promise to allow full democracy in Hong Kong under the "one country two systems" deal worked out when Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule.

China has cut many forms of communication with the island and surrounds in fear of the protests spreading to the mainland.

Backstory via CNN



Update: Thanks for recs, I still think this is potentially a big story that is being followed by the mainstream media a lot more than blogs like DK. I've heard of two reports of armored personnel carriers (APCs) entering the island, this photo via anonymous twitterer of one driving through tunnel. HK govt says now is not a good time to negotiate move towards Democracy behind paywall WSJ.


Fri Sep 26, 2014 at 12:10 PM PDT

Virgos need not apply

by EarthquakeWeather

Reposted from EarthquakeWeather by xgz Editor's Note: Discrimination in hiring is rampant in China. This is just one small example of it. -- xgz

There are so many brain-dead reasons for culling job candidates, from age, to gender, to race -- these are illegal, but good luck trying to prove you've been rejected because of these.

But at least you aren't a Virgo in China. You aren't, are you?  

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Reposted from Denise Oliver Velez by Yasuragi

 photo Yuri_zps6be326f8.jpg

Now she has passed on.

Rest in Peace. Yuri Kochiyama.  

May 19, 1921 to June 1, 2014.

She was a daughter, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor, activist and powerful example to so many people whose lives she touched during her long life.

The following video was made before her death.

Yuri Kochiyama is a tireless political activist who has dedicated her life to contributing to social change through her participation in social justice and human rights movements.
She was born and raised in San Pedro, California but spent two years in a concentration camp in Jerome, Arkansas during World War II. Following the war, she moved to New York and married Bill Kochiyama, veteran of the all-Japanese American 442nd combat unit of the U.S. Army.

Yuri’s activism started in Harlem in the early 1960’s, where she participated in the Asian American, Black and Third World movements for civil and human rights, ethnic studies, and against the war in Vietnam. In 1963, she met Malcolm X. Their friendship and political alliance changed her life and outlook. She joined his group, the Organization for Afro-American Unity, to work for racial justice and human rights. Yuri was present on the day he was tragically shot and killed in 1965. In the Life magazine article “Death of Malcolm X,” she can be seen crouched in the background, cradling Malcolm X’s head.

In the 1980’s, Yuri worked in the redress and reparations movement for Japanese-Americans along with her husband Bill. Support for political prisoners – African American, Puerto Rican, Native American, Asian American, and progressive whites – has been a consistent thread in her work.

She has also won numerous awards, spoken at over 100 schools and colleges throughout the country, and has been featured in several books, films (including Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice and My America: Honk if You Love Buddha) and a television documentary in 2001 (Cool Women – directed by Debbie Allen – as one of several segments on a diverse array of women in the United States). UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center published her memoirs entitled Passing It On in 2004. A biography on Yuri’s Life, called Heartbeat of the Struggle, was written in 2005.

She is the mother of six children, and has nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

(Source: adapted from a biography provided by the Kochiyama family)

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Reposted from xgz by xgz

Baidu is considered by many as the Chinese version of Google. However, unlike Google, whose company motto is "don't do evil", Baidu seems to believe the capitalist principle of money at all cost. Recently a rumor that the esteemed professor of computer science at Stanford University, Prof. Andew Ng, is going to collaborate with Baidu, triggered this open letter from someone in China. It is an indirect reflection of the kind of company Baidu is.

The full text of the letter below.

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Reposted from EricMaderLin by JKTownsend
Citizens flood Taipei's downtown in support of Sunflower Student Movement
Two weeks ago here in Taipei a large group of student activists took control of the congress building and have remained there despite police attempts to expel them.

On Sunday nearly half a million citizens filled the streets in front of the Presidential Office Building in support of the student action, many staying into the night to pressure Taiwan's president to respond to student demands. It was likely the second largest citizens' protest in the nation's history, though it may in fact have been the largest.

Taiwan's citizens are furious that the ruling party (the Kuomintang) and its current leader, President Ma Ying-Jeou, have used every means at their disposal to force through a controversial trade pact with China (the Service Trade Agreement) without proper legislative review. The trade pact gives Chinese investors unprecedented leverage power on Taiwan's economy, which would ultimately facilitate a future Chinese takeover of the island. President Ma's actions are seen by most people here as those of an autocrat rather than a democratically elected president. His approval rating before this crisis even began was under 10%, which makes his heavy-handed handling of the pact even harder to stomach.

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Reposted from buoren by JKTownsend

...There's been a bit of a brouhaha, whether deserved or not, over Colbert's use of a particular phrase for his satire of the racism inherent in the Washington football team name, and there's already been a diary about it:

As someone who's had that actually shouted at me (in San Francisco, of all places!) I have some thoughts about this (after the fold).

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Reposted from empireport by xgz

   Rarely in the history of First Ladies has an occupant made a more impactful and timely visit to a counterpart nation, in time of strategic challenge. Dolly Madison Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy charming Europe at the height of Cold War and the crisis in Berlin come to mind   And now in our times, the most important of all? We have First Lady Michelle Obama in China.  
     in a pleasant contrast to the current regional tension in Western Eurasia The First Ladies of The United States and China are giving beautiful and strategic witness to a promised future of world peace, mutual prosperity and shared cultural respect.  
      The importance of the visit to the host was caught in the surprise appearance of China’s President, Xi Jinping along with First Lady Peng Liyuan  standing together to greet America's First Family Mrs. Obama, her daughters Sasha, Malia and First Mother in Law Marianne Robinson.

. The trip to China comes days before U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to begin bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Hague on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit next week.
Xi greeted the first lady Friday evening and said he was looking forward to seeing her husband in the Netherlands.
"I cherish my sound working relationship and personal friendship I already established with your husband," Xi told Obama through a translator.

   The First Ladies  Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, poised and glamorous ground breaking and influential are showing why they at the top of the world stage. In the age of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll, they are fulfilling an unspoken but real promise of her starry reign; women coming into their own in a far better and more capable world.  Indeed Soft diplomacy, was on the lips of a billion Chinese and as many more looking on around the world through a largely favorable global press. Most looking for such a high level visit to their country.  
    The value of this type of cultural exchange in breaking down barriers for business, trade, popular rights and the free flow of ideas, is golden.   These Lady's emphasis on our joint human heritage and our growing Common Wealth is priceless and the potential endless as the human imagination.

    It is long past time for women to take the stage and show what they do to lead and inspire. The question famously asked  How many divisions does The Pope command? Can also be applied to these two spectacular First Ladies at a time of challenge to a prosperous and peaceful International System. Influencing men of power to be their better selves is essential to move the world forward.          
     One has to wonder where is Russia’s First Lady. Her guy is riding around 'half bare' on a horse in a regional hot house of largely his own creation. Abusing smaller neighbors drawing isolation and rebuke.  Could she actually fit in with these icons of style smarts and purpose. Will Mr. Putin find and give her a chance.      
     It should be noted  Great Nations spare no expense in putting their best foot forward with their global counterparts.

CHENGDU, China — Michelle Obama’s weeklong trip to China seemed to start as a spring break holiday with her mother and daughters but has turned out to include far more substance — and politics — than the cheerful advocate of fitness and healthful eating often displays at home.

At a high school here on Tuesday, Mrs. Obama pointedly told students that the United States championed “the right to say what we think and worship as we choose,” even as she conceded that Americans still lived those ideals imperfectly and that minorities had struggled to overcome a legacy of discrimination....

...her remarks have been less thunderous than the call for women’s rights delivered by Hillary Rodham Clinton as first lady in Beijing in 1995...  Although the speech transformed Mrs. Clinton’s image overseas, it is remembered sourly to this day by some Chinese officials.... Mrs. Obama has been more intimate in bringing her own personal story to China. On Tuesday, for example, she told students about her uphill journey from the South Side of Chicago to Princeton and Harvard Law School, both coveted destinations for the children of China’s elite...  In 2008, Laura Bush, then on her way as first lady to the Olympic Games in Beijing, visited a refugee camp in Thailand for Burmese citizens fleeing their repressive government, which was backed by the Chinese government. Beijing condemned the trip.

China is investing billions all over the world. Yet The US still represents the ideal. But China's is learning fast the modern power of culture and class.  It's First Lady is favorably compared to our own Michelle Obama to great national pride and delight, in her country of 1.3 billion people and the Asian region. They understand the power of culture family and respect embodied in Mrs. Michelle Obama and want the similar for their own
     Indeed with First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama at the helm, The United States of America  has effortlessly risen, once again, 'in a new global game' to the summit of leadership. In a Multi-polar world? Team Obama has put The USA back in the saddle for real. Despite the difficulties, caused during the early Bush Years. - Where a promising Presidency was virtually ‘hi-jacked’ by a VP imbued with the same type of 'small ball' penny wise pound foolish 'regional' thinking we see playing out in the Ukraine.  Sadly, one can still hear the shrill echoes today the mean mentality that landed the USA into Iraq and Afghanistan - We should all know, Trying to 'force' ways on people? Does not work.  Here or abroad. In an blossoming world driven by modernization it’s opportunities and new appreciations for once distance global cultures?  People are leveling and can see it all. like never before in human history; judge for themselves what is real and desirable. Winning hearts and minds is the real goal. 'Why not the best.'
  Today the First Ladies of China and the United States are showing the way to the better future.

    As for the regional situation counter-pointing this wonderful visit by The First Lady of The United States.  The NATO allies really don’t have to do much, beyond ratcheting sanctions and moving to systematically reduce the need for resources, from the current aggressor nation. The alliance has global reach and power to globally defend itself and contain regional threats, through a variety of means, including the timely 'soft diplomacy' now on display. Which, has helped China politely distance itself from past entanglements and more easily align with the international system and its expectations of conduct.    
     The Ukrainian and Russian people, their business interest and shared community will soon handle Mr. Putin should he stay on an aggressive course. The Berlin Wall fell and the Iron Curtain was raised for real reasons. It is a good bet, Global culture and shared values, the internal dynamic of people to lead better lives, filled with abundant health wealth and security as they find happiness will again beat out the Cold War mentality to move us forward.

    The Russian President might do well to find and listen his own First Lady and start acting like a gentleman in dealing with his neighbors and seeking redress for alleged grievances within the international system of sovereign nation states. As it stands the Russian people deserve better.    

And like a silver clarion rung, The accents of that unknown tongue.

Reposted from Vorkosigan by xgz

Last week Taiwan students occupied their legislature in protest over the ruling party's undemocratic railroading of a trade pact with China through a committee. The pact, deeply unpopular, is a follow-on to the previous ECFA pact which is not seen as a success by the public. Yesterday another group of students occupied the Executive offices before being evicted by police using water cannons and violence. The government made the usual claims that the protesters were being violent, refuted by the copious video and on-the-scene reporting by literally hundreds of people. Come below the curlicue and we'll explore this critical moment in the second Administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, whose popularity ratings were around 10% even before this event.....

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Reposted from ShiningPhoenix by hailanzhiguang
The back of the T-shirt.
The front of the Coming of Age T-shirt.
Kuang(12-year-old) ) was giving the speech
I held a nice Coming of Age Ceremony for my 12-year-old son Kuang on Feb.9, 2014, one of a day in the Chinese New Year Celebration. It was in a conference room at Teachers College, Columbia University.

This happened after Kuang and his classmates celebrated their 12 years old birthdays. So far, he has received 4 invitation of Bar or Bat Mitzvah from his Jewish classmates. He had joined two and will go to the other two soon. Each ceremony was very big and had large parties.  There were more than 100 guests, professional bands, and good food. The initial service was held in a synagogue. Then there would be a party in a hotel, restaurant or bar.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by annieli
Photo posted to twitter #NotYourAsianSidekick, started by Suey Park (@suey_park) decrying
stereotypes of Asian American women (Femi Oke/Twitter)
History is not simply the past, and young Asian and Asian Pacific Islander American (AAPI) women and their allies are pushing back and making history using today's social media. Al Jazeera examined the Anatomy of a hashtag that garnered over 95 million tweets worldwide, kicked off by Suey Park, a young Korean American writer.

The activism of AAPI women is built on the shoulders of many women's voices—some from the beginning of the AAPI presence in the U.S.—others are women who are now elder voices and still going strong after decades of struggle.

It is impossible to cover the breadth of the AAPI female historical and current-day experience at one sitting. I began this discussion in Women of color in women's history: Part four—Asian and Asian Pacific Americans and will continue to build on what was presented there.

Those elder shoulders span those of Japanese-American Yuri Kochiyama, covered in the previous piece—born in 1921, interned in a camp under the racist law enacted by FDR, who went on to follow Malcolm X (who died in her arms), and to organize in multiple communities on diverse progressive issues—to the wisdom and perseverance of Chinese-American Grace Lee Boggs, born in 1915, who will be 99 this June.  

Boggs is the subject of the award-winning documentary American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs:

Follow me below the fold for more.

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Yesterday more than a dozen men (and possibly two women according to some eyewitnesses) dressed in black, wearing facemasks and armed with long knives attacked the crowd waiting at the Kunming railroad station. The most recent report had 29 people killed and 162 injured.

Five of the attackers were shot and killed by police. The city government of Kunming announced today that according to the evidence they have, the attackers were Uyghur separatists.

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