Wednesday, April 27, 2005

China and Winston Churchill

Sure, he was a union-busting imperialist who wanted to gas the Iraqis, but he was also pretty sharp. Like this nugget:
"Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry."
Well, Beijing is worried about the hungry tiger beneath it's legs:
BEIJING - A major Chinese state-run newspaper has said in a staff editorial that the wave of popular protests against Japan were part of an "evil plot" with "ulterior motives," suggesting that at least some elements of the Chinese leadership now wish to portray the demonstrations as a conspiracy to undermine the Communist Party.
Oops. After encouraging these riots with a wink and a nudge, there's now a lot of concern that things might get out of hand - that the 400 million members of the Chinese middle class (not to mention the 800 million poor) might actually want a say in the running of their lives. Boy, what'll they think of next? Look for the next blowup to happen on May 4th, a historic date in Chinese history, that coincidentally combined anti-Japanese riots with calls for democracy - in 1919.

In other China news, some are concerned that the KMT in Taiwan may be betraying or surrendering to China with the KMT's visit to Beijing. Obviously, this is a tense situation. The BBC says the KMT leader is resigning, and wants to pull this stunt to ensure his political legacy. Well, I can certainly think of less volatile ways to ensure one's legacy, but I don't think we should read too much in to this situation. Looking at Angelica's post, I have to say I agree - Beijing is engaged in a form of endurance Chicken, or something. But once again, with everything happening inside China at the moment, I don't think we need to worry about what goes on outside of China just yet.

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