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For six decades, China has been a close ally to Pyongyang. It is North Korea’s leading trade partner, and main source of food, fuel and clothing. Since the shelling of artillery from North Korea to the island in disputed are, international pressure has been mounting to urge Beijing to step out. But in spite of the close ties, the influence of Beijing on North Korea is limited.

Kim Jung-il and Hu Jintao

 

C hina’s influence is just so much.

I’m not n that China will exert as much effect on Pyongyang as other countries would. As far as I can see, The North Korea has always been pursuing an independent foreign policy since the first leader Kim Il-sung came to office. The regime stressed that the North Korea is a sovereign country thanks to the older Kim, so independence acts as the foundation and justification of the Kim’s family rule.

Own Interest

As the West countries always put it, the international community has been waiting for China to act as a global player with shared responsibilities. But in the Korean Peninsula, China has interest at heart. If the Kim’s regime should collapse, millions of refuges will pour into China, and subsequently it is unacceptable that both Koreas were unified backed by the US, and a new country would emerge at the doorstep of China. So far, Beijing just want to maintain regional stability to ensure ecnomic growth.


China’s response will take credit regardless of the consequences.

A Chinese high-level official visited South and met with the president and Foreign Minister. The Chinese wants to restart the so-called six-party talks, Beijing hopes that this mechanism framework will ease the tension in the East Asia. The proposal for talk buys space for China, But it does fall short of the decisive move that the US and South Korea hopes. The pressure on China will decrease for China has been engaged in the international initiative. Now China is faced with an option, to exercise pressure on North Korea secretly, or to be openly critic to Pyongyang.

 

 

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This is an exercise to the BBC newshour.

A new opinion poll shows that the Afghan people feel less confident about future than they did last year.

Attacks on foreign forces in their land are considered justified by more people, more are supportive to negotiative settlement with the Taliban. Overall it suggests that President Karzai remains popular and the Taliban remains unpopular.

Security and Economy concerns

In the cold light of dawn, hundreds of Afghan day labors gathered at a a market in Karbul.

A man was wrapped up by a blanket, squating by the side of the road. He was linking the two issues of most concern to Afghan. Security has overtaken the economy as the main concern.

That is perhaps not surprising. It has been a year of military action by NATO.A majority being questioned still backs international intervention. But a growing minority support the attack on Nato, 27% now that triples the 8% who supported the action a year ago.

Corruption

These figures touched off a debate among a crowd of man waiting at the bus station nearby.

A majority of Afghan support the government, but people have widespread and personal experience towards corruption. That’s one of the things driving recruits into the arms of the Taliban.

I swear by the Koran, that even we cannot win 100% Afghanis. Billions of dollars have been spent in Afghanistan.The foreign cash goes into the pockets of the one with a big belly.

Uncertain Future

Opinions vary greatly according to region and ethnic groups. People are found most insecure and pessimistic in the south. Many Afgans want to know who will be in charge of their village or valley, they will support the winner, whether the Taliban or the Nato.

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In the BBC news at ten, I watched thousands of Argentines mobbed the funeral of their former president Nestor Kirchner. I was surprised that many youth attended his funeral, as an indication that the late leader was a beloved, charismatic one.

The Kirchners.

To me, it is half year ago that I first knew about Mr. Kirchner, when the China Central TV broadcasted a profile about the new-elected Argentine female president Cristina Hernadez, describing her as “the wife to her predecessor”. I found it really interesting cause to some extent it is more like a takeover of power inside a family.

Supported by the grassroot

Later on I learned from my Argenine friend that Mr. Kirchner gained support from grassroot by forcing his way to repeal the amnesty laws to bring perpetrators of anti-humanity crimes back to jurisdiction, acknowledge homosexual marriage, and refuse IMF dictates on debt repayment and fiscal austerity.

Loathed by the rich

When dictatorship ruled Argentina back before, the public broadcasting signals were monopolied by limited corporations. Soon after Cristina Fernandez took power, she overtuned the media regulation, the move obviously irritated the established and the agribusiness lobby.

Balance between liberalism and Peronism.

Jens Andermahn, Professor of Latin American and luso-Brazilian studies in University of London told the Independent that Mr. Nestor Kirchner forged a  rainbow coalition involving militans, shantytown dwellers. And did all he can to keep a balance between the liberal left and the paternal Peronism.

Prospect of the widow Fernandez.

At her husband’s funeral, President Fernandez displyed her deep sadness. But this woman herself is a highly cosmopolitian politician. let’s bless her get over the grieve of her husband and enhance the lagacy of Mr. Nestor Kirchner, advancing Argentina towards a more democratic and mature society.

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These days the territorial dispute between China and Japan was rife among front pages all around the world. And civilians from both sides have separately taken to the street in protest .

Chinese protesters were furiated by Japan’s claim to the Daiyu Island in the East China Sea. The Japanese far-right wing group set up picket lines outside the Chinese embassy in Tokyo and shouted “shina-jin” via megaphone, an insulting word equivalent to “chink”

The long history of China and Japan

Speaking of “Shina-jin”, the word makes me extremely uncomfortable and reminds me of the long-term relationship between China and Japan. It is known to the world that China has fighted for eight years to driven away the Japanese army during the World War Two, contributing to the final victory against the then Fascist Coalition by Germany, Japan and Italy. But the north eastern part of China, where I come from, was invaded by the Japanese army in 1931, long before the outbreak of World War Two. And my home town had been Japan’s colony for 14 years,

Unforgettable Hatred

My grandparents, who were teenagers back then, were forced to speak Japanese rather than Chinese. Every day before class they should stand up singng the National Anthem of Japan and bow down in the east direction to show respect to the Japenese emperor.Lots of Chinese people were kidnapped to Japan as free labor in minerals and factories owned by big companies like Mitsubishi, and most of them were missing, never came back home. Considerable natural resources were exploited and transported to Japan via the Manshu Railway for industrial use. The experience of losing one’s nationality and dignity is definitely bitter and anguished. Even now the elder in my hometown, including my grandparents cannot hold hatred towards the Japanese. They still call Japanese “Ri Ben Gui Zi”, which means the Japanese devils.

Chinese youth engulfed with Japanese cultural product.                                         As far as I am concerned, I grow up with the Japanese animations. Japanese cartoons, mangas companied me during my childhood. As I grew up, Japanese TV dramas and films were all about my adolescence. Essetially, I find Japanese culture much closer to me than the Americans. Moreover, I like the peaceful beauty, harmony and resolute spirit, which are the core of the Japanese culture. Also, I have to admit that the Japanese people are patient, persist , never complacent and always willing to learn from others, we Chinese lack these characteristics and we must learn from our neibour, just as they have been doing all the time. I have learn Japanese for three years, and the more I get familiar with Japanese culture, the more admiring and respectable I feel about it. And I know that lots of Japanese people are Chinese fanasitics

Complicated complex                                                                                                               So my feeling about Japan is so complicated that I confess that I can hardly express my point of view when I read recent news about the sino-Japan relation. China and Japan are absolutely not allies, but we should not be enemies, because culturally we are so close, and have so much in common.

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Burma’s first election in twenty years is to be held on November 7th. But the forth-coming poll is criticized by the Western world, because the best-known democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party NLD have been ruled out of the election.I have telephone interviewd Zoya Phan, the Coordinator of a pro-democracy campaign organization called BurmaCampaignUK. The situation she told me about Burma, a country under dictatorship, is absolutely moving and pathetic. I have made part of the interview into a audio clip and attach it to the post.

International reaction

Western governments have criticized that the poll will not be “free, fair or inclusive”, because the famous opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi is still under house arrest.

Calibrated conspriacy

It is believed that the military government carefully plotted Ms Suu Kyi’s detention to keep her out of the election. Her party NLD won the last election back in 1990, but the ruling military generals ignored the result and refused to give up power.

Since the NLD is not allowed to stand this time, the pro-government party USDP will probably win because it is the only party with enough funds to put up candidates in all constituencies.

The electoral process has infuriated Burmese democracy activists. Zoya Phan, the International Coordinator of the London-based Burmese organization, BurmaCampaignUK, condemns the poll as “a fake election”.

” this election will bring in a constitution that designed sorely to continue military dictatorship rule with civilian face, and it doesn’t guarantee human rights, ethnic equality and democracy. That’s why people in Burma oppose this election. the election will not solve social, economic and politic problems. ”

In Washington, the US Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell expressed disappointment to the election.

“We believe everything we have seen these days suggests that these elections lack legitimacy.”

Mr.Campbell also said the US will continue to push Burma to democratic reform.

But Zoya Phan doesn’t believe that the military generals will carry out democratic reforms.

“They rule the country with fear to militarize the people, to terrify the people, and in defence area, they also exploit natural sources just to live a luxury life for their family members and their business kernels while people in Burma are very poor, sitting in the dark and some families can afford only one meal within three days. So as long as the dictator ship is in power, the people in Burma will continue to suffer. That’s why we need to change.”

Can change really happen by the election?

Critics say that the election would merely provide a democratic cover for the continued military rule, others say however flawed; the poll could be a first tentative step toward meaningful change.

Suu Kyi in Chinese newspaper coverage

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