Wednesday, April 13, 2005

IHT: Chinese leader opposes Council seat for Japan

First things first: A plague on both their houses. Same goes for the entire Palestinian-Israeli fiasco.

I like PM Wen's statement, I think it very funny (see the front page of the Straits Times). Repeat with me people, Tiananmen Square, they still haven't faced up to that yet. But fine, it's only been 16 years as opposed to the Japanese atrocities back during the 1930s (Manchuria) and going all the way to WW2. The CCP did admit that excesses were present during the Cultural Revolution and did denounce the Gang of Four (after they were safely neutralised of course).

So two issues.

1. Sino-Japanese Ties: Yes, Japan is still blind to their historical faults and as a firm believer in the truth in history, they'll need to face up to this sooner or later. But seriously, let's put this in the context of wider ties. This is an old old old issue which comes up once every few years, so a diplomatic censure would be entirely appropriate, heck, even what PM Wen says makes sense i.e. tie this in to Japan's bid for the seat. But allowing the anger to spill over to actual demonstrations that the State-Police appear to have difficulties controlling speaks of a number of things.

a) That nationalism trumps the CCP. And the party will rue the day they allow this to happen. If the CCP is not in line with the views of the people on this, what else would the anger spill over into? Street protest rarely stick to one issue, sooner or later, this will forment another tiananmen in one form or another.
b) That this was a diversionary tactic gone wrong. Again see above. But considering that they handled the death of a reformist minister remarkably well might discredit this notion somewhat. So this either means that the CCP underestimated the anger of the Chinese people, or that they lost control over the situation. Either way, this discredits them whether before the international community or their own citizens.

20 years of cordial relations, lots of FDI and aid coming from Japan to China yearly. This ought to have been handled diplomatically or at least with reasonable street demonstrations ala the South Koreans. By not doing so, the Chinese have lost a fantastic opportunity to take the moral high ground and earn the goodwill of the international community.

2. UN Reforms. Will do a more extensive blog on this somewhat later. For a quick primer, I've got an earlier blog in my archive, either the 1st or 2nd week. But basically, Kofi Annan is saying that this very sensible set of reforms is on a take it or leave it basis i.e. there is no picking and choosing of what reforms certain nations *cough security council* would want.

So yes...another day, another threat to reforms... C'est la vie



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