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He has Norwegian and Irish ancestry. He started writing at age six when his father bought him a typewriter for Christmas [2] After graduating from Plantation High School in , he entered Emory University, where he contributed satirical humor columns to the student-run newspaper The Emory Wheel. Eurasia Group provides analysis and expertise about how political developments and national security dynamics move markets and shape investment environments across the globe. Bremmer is also the founder of GZERO Media, a company dedicated to providing the public with intelligent and engaging coverage of global affairs.

Them: The Failure of G. The station ceased operations on March 18, , following the revocation of the station's license. History The station first signed on the air on November 26, Wired is a monthly American magazine, published in print and online editions, that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics.

From its beginning, the strongest influence on the magazine's editorial outlook came from techno-utopian cofounder Stewart Brand and his associate Kevin Kelly. However, Wired News remained responsible for republishing Wired magazine's content online due to an agreement when Con. A clip show is an episode of a television series that consists primarily of excerpts from previous episodes.

Most clip shows feature the format of a frame story in which cast members recall past events from past installments of the show, depicted with a clip of the event presented as a flashback. Clip shows are also known as cheaters, particularly in the field of animation. Clip shows are often played before series finales, or once syndication becomes highly likely.

Other times, however, clip shows are simply produced for budgetary reasons i. Origin Clip shows have their origin in theatrical short films and serials. Every serial chapter always had a brief recap showing where the previous chapter left off, but, beginning in , entire chapters were largely devoted to material that audiences had already seen. In these recap chapters also called "economy chapters" , previous chapters were summ. Mark Russell born August 23, is an American political satirist and comedian best known for his parody music, which he performs while accompanying himself on piano.

After high school, his family moved briefly to Florida, then to Washington, D. He then joined the Marines. His comedy specials were a mix of political stand-up comedy covering current events and musical parodies, in which he accompanied himself on his trademark American flag themed piano. Russell's song parodies use melodies from old standards with new humorous lyrics pertinent to the subject matter.

For example, in , following the execution of the Romanian di. Michael Showalter born June 17, is an American comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer. A member of the sketch comedy trio Stella, he first came to recognition as a cast member on MTV's The State, which aired from to Both films featured many of his co-stars from The State, and so do several of his other projects.

Showalter is also a co-creator, co-producer, actor, and writer for the TV series Search Party. He directed the critically acclaimed feature film The Big Sick. She is a Yale-educated professor of 18th century French literature. The year involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events in the United States. February 3 Bob Hope's Overseas Christmas Tours, a two-part six-hour retrospective of Bob Hope's more than 30 years of entertaining at military bases and hospitals in the U.

His previous jobs at The Miami Herald included Mexico City bureau chief, foreign correspondent, and business writer. Jones from a story by Nancy Dowd. The film's narrative follows a perplexed woman, her Marine husband, and a paraplegic Vietnam War veteran she meets while her husband is deployed in Vietnam. The film was released theatrically on February 15, Coming Home is one of only 12 films in history to be on two lists of rare Oscar accomplishments; nominations for the "Big Five" Oscars and nomination. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, bankable stars in America were described as talents, and were distinguished from production crews, which were seen as having more technical than charismatic talents.

Careers Takeshi Kitano, a prominent director, who started out as a comedy tarento Japanese television programs often feature these media personalities. Many, sometimes dozens at a time, are called in to take part in these prime time shows. Their participation in these programs varies greatly and includes performi. Lancaster was raised in Indiana and now resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, Fletch, and their many pets.

She is an alumna of Purdue University. She is known for her humor and rampant narcissism which is mentioned in her books. Slan is a science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer A. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction September—December It was subsequently published in hardcover in by Arkham House, in an edition of 4, copies.

They have the psychic abilities to read minds and are super-intelligent. They possess near limitless stamina, "nerves of steel," and superior strength and speed. When Slans are ill or seriously injured, they go into a healing trance automatically. There are two kinds of Slans. One has tendrils and can read the minds of ordinary humans and telepathically communicate with other Slans. The tendrils are golden in color, making it easy to spot a Slan.

These Slans are hunted to near extinction. The other ty. Gwar, often stylized as GWAR, is an American heavy metal band formed in Richmond, Virginia in , composed of and operated by a frequently rotating line-up of musicians, artists and filmmakers collectively known as Slave Pit Inc.

Following the death of frontman and lead singer Dave Brockie in , the group has continued without any of its founding members. Easily identified by their distinctively grotesque costumes, Gwar's core thematic and visual concept revolves around an elaborate science fiction-themed mythology which portrays the band members as barbaric interplanetary warriors, a narrative which serves as the basis for all of the band's albums, videos, live shows and other media. Rife with over-the-top violent, sexual, and scatological humor typically incorporating social and political satire, Gwar has attracted both acclaim and controversy for its music and stage shows, the latter of which notoriously showcase enactments of graphic violence that result in the audience being sprayed with copious am.

United States president, businessman, and television personality Donald Trump became widely known during the United States presidential election and his subsequent presidency for using nicknames to criticize[1] or otherwise express commentary about media figures, politicians, and foreign leaders. Nicknames that are not original to Trump are annotated with footnotes. Himself Donald Trump has been noted to use the "rhetorical quirk" of illeism, in which he refers to himself in the third person.

Peter Liguori born January 7, is an American business executive who most recently held the position of President and chief executive officer of Tribune Media; he departed the company at the end of March Arise is the fourth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released in by Roadrunner Records. Upon its release, the album received top reviews from heavy metal magazines such as Rock Hard, Kerrang! Scott Burns reprised his role as pr. Geraldo is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Geraldo Rivera that aired in syndication from September 7, to June 12, The last two seasons aired under the title The Geraldo Rivera Show.

For its first three seasons, Paramount Domestic Television served as co-distributor. For its final two seasons, King World Productions assisted Tribune as co-distributor. History As Geraldo The title Geraldo was used on the first 9 seasons. It led to Newsweek's characterization as "Trash TV". The following is a list of notable people of the city of Flint, Michigan, United States, who have either lived or worked there in their lifetime. The Daily Telegraph. January 21, Retrieved January 13, Bernstein, Adam January 13, The Boston Globe.

Bernstein, Adam January 11, The Washington Post. Philadelphia Inquirer. Lummis, Dayton Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse. She died on March 28, after many years of illness an Folders related to Bozo Miller: American competitive eaters Revolvy Brain revolvybrain Deaths from diabetes Revolvy Brain revolvybrain Deaths from cardiovascular disease Revolvy Brain revolvybrain. Bozo topic Look up bozo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Edward Miller topic Edward, Ed, or Eddie Miller may refer to: Arts and entertainment Edward Miller musician — , English organist and composer Edward Miller playwright , American actor, playwright, and producer Ed Miller Scottish folk musician , Scottish folk singer Eddie Miller jazz saxophonist — , jazz musician Eddie Miller songwriter — , American songwriter in the country music genre Eddie "Piano" Miller, piano player and bandleader, also known as Edward Lisbona — Eddie "The Bombardier" Miller, radio talk show host, see The Political Cesspool Edward Miller born , pseudonym of British fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrator Les Edwards Engineers and scientists Edward Miller — , American civil engineer Politics Edward Allan Miller born , Canadian politician Edward B.

This latest volume, Ramblin Bob, will reveal that. Read it! I was informed, andoftenoutraged! Great stuff. I hope you have more coming. A lot more! Ramblin Bob is more. And still more. Death by Device. The author freely admits that devices are not all bad. For better or worse they have changed the world. But this book ranges far from the subject of the effects of devices, often into areas distinctly politically incorrect.

Some commentary is amusing; others might be seen as disturbing. This is a good companion book for your one-way trip to Mars! Read it, and you will never be the same again! Nor will be the society described. We live in changing times; there is a distinct sense of a rising sadness for lost America He Caught the Westbound. He caught the westbound is an old American hobo expression for someone who has departed from this life. In the case of this book it is employed to be symbolic of a passing American way of life and the people who created that.

We live in troubled times, and the author often uncomfortably reminds us so. Yet positive travel experiences relieve the pessimism wherein the author says, It could be worse. Yet theirs' is in some ways an ambiguous martyrdom, it would have been so much better if they had not died, so young. Ko Un's poem expresses the feelings of many who took part in the demonstrations of the s and s at which it was often read.

It may not communicate so well with people living in non-heroic situations of established democracy, although they ought to realize that there are many struggles demanding of them a similar level of commitment, sacrifice, and hope. Often they do not realize it and need Ko Un's voice to wake them up. In fact he plunged into the most demanding and potentially dangerous form of Zen with such abandon that it caused him a severe psychic trauma. In any case, Ko Un is deeply influenced by the challenge to normal rational discourse and logic that is found in the Zen use of language.

A certain kind of Zen aestheticism is familiar to many today in America and Europe, again mostly identified with things Japanese. Korean monastic Zen is altogether a tougher thing, I would say, and Ko Un's Zen poems are surely far more challenging than anything else he wrote, both to translate and to read. The Zen poems in What? Ko Un seems to be a "poets' poet. Tributes like that are the greatest reward a translator can receive. It means that communication has happened, and that the readers felt confident they were reading what the poet had written and wanted them to read. A lot is written today about the act of translation and the position of the translator, but certainly, as far as poetry translation goes, the translators should leave as little sign of their work as possible.

The poet must speak, not they. Part of the effectiveness of Ko Un's Zen poems in English translation must be attributed to a third member to our team of translators. Effective translations of Korean poetry into English are rare because there are few translators who are writers or even readers of contemporary English poetry.

It constitutes a serious limitation. We have been fortunate in finding an American poet and writer, Gary Gach, who is willing to go through our versions of Ko Un's poems, point out places where the translations fail to communicate, and make suggestions for improvement. This negotiation between "literal" translation and "poetic" translation is an extremely delicate one. George Steiner quotes Dryden's definition of "to paraphrase": "to produce the text which the foreign poet would have written had he been composing in one's own tongue". After Babel p. Ko Un has established his characteristic way of writing poetry, and the works from collections published in the s that we are at present translating often show him transforming simple moments of everyday experience into poetry by a stroke of imagination, the irruption of an unexpected connection.

This can be seen as a deliberate strategy of 'defamiliarization' which means that his readers can never know what will come next. His more recent poems are longer than the Zen poems but far richer than the quite simple evocative narratives of the Ten Thousand Lives. An example, chosen at random, might be " One Apple ":. If that seems too long or challenging, readers have the option of the short poems in Flowers of a Moment :.

Today, more than 30 volumes of translations of Ko Un's work into at least fifteen languages have been published, with more to come. It might be useful to end by giving a brief account of some critical responses to Ko Un's work. When What? Williams and Charles Reznicoff, I was stopped short by the present volume.

Ko Un is a magnificent poet, combination of Buddhist cognoscenti, passionate political libertarian, and naturalist historian. These excellent translations are models useful to inspire American Contemplative poets.

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Only a handful of the poems have appeared in English translation, but they are remarkably rich. It's to be hoped that a fuller translation of them will appear.

Dayton Lummis

When we published our translations from the first 10 volumes of Maninbo in , Robert Hass wrote the foreword, and then published an article in the New York Review of Books , a splendid tribute. As Michael McClure once wrote:. In the world of poetry his reading is unique. There is no one who reads like this. Ko Un delivers his language with the intensity of one who was forbidden to learn his native Korean language as a child, but learned it anyway… Ko Un's poetry has the old-fashionedness of a muddy rut on a country road after rain, and yet it is also as state-of-the-art as a DNA micro-chip.

Beneath his art I feel the mysterious traditional animal and bird spirits, as well as age-old ceremonies of a nation close to its history. Hass describes the development of modern Korean poetry through the 20th century before quoting 2 very early poems by Ko Un from The Sound of My Waves. This is an inward poem, quietly beautiful. As English readers, we're deprived of any sense of what it reads like or sounds like in Korean. It seems like mid-century American free verse, put to the use of plainness or clarity. The sensation of the sleeper, having opened his eyes and closed them with a feeling that he was still holding the moonlight, is exquisite.

The turn in the poem—the shadow cast by the hunger for an entire purity—seems Rilkean. This has, to my ear, the toughmindedness of Korean Buddhism and the kind of raggedness and anger I associate with American poetry in the s and s, the young Allen Ginsberg or Leroi Jones. I've read that Korean poetry is not so aesthetically minded as Japanese poetry partly because it has stayed closer to oral traditions rather than traditions of learning, which may be what gives this poem its quality.

It's more demotic than "Sleep," more spontaneous and tougher, less satisfied to rest in beauty. Maninbo seems to flow from a fusion of these traditions. For anyone who has spent even a little time in Korea, the world that springs to life in these poems is instantly recognizable, and for anyone who has tried to imagine the war years and the desperate poverty that came after, these poems will seem to attend to a whole people's experience and to speak from it. Not surprisingly, hunger is at the center of the early volumes. Their point of view is the point of view of the village, their way of speaking about the shapes of lives the stuff of village gossip.

They are even, at moments, the street seen with a child's eyes so that characters come on stage bearing a ten-year-old's sense of a neighborhood's Homeric epithets: the boy with two cowlicks, the fat, mean lady in the corner house. The poems have that intimacy. Most of them are as lean as the village dogs they describe; in hard times people's characters seem to stand out like their bones and the stories in the poems have therefore a bony and synoptic clarity.

It's hard to think of analogs for this work. The sensibility, alert, instinctively democratic, comic, unsentimental, is a little like William Carlos Williams; it is a little like Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology or the more political and encyclopedic ambitions of Charles Reznikoff's Testimony. The point of view and the overheard quality remind me of the Norwegian poet Paal-Helge Haugen's Stone Fences, a delicious book that calls up the whole social world of the cold war and the s from the point of view of a child in a farming village.

For the dark places the poems are willing to go, they can seem in individual poems a little like the narratives of Robert Frost, but neither Masters's work nor Frost's has Ko Un's combination of pungent village gossip and epic reach. The characters, village wives, storekeepers, snake catchers, beggars, farm workers, call up a whole world. Hass understands this, and he concludes;. One would think that the poems would begin to seem formulaic, that the ways of calling up a life would begin to be repetitive, and they never are.

In that way it is a book of wonders in its mix of the lives of ordinary people, people from stories and legends, and historical figures. They all take their place inside this extraordinarily rich reach of a single consciousness. Ko Un is a remarkable poet and one of the heroes of human freedom in this half-century. American readers have often been drawn to poetry in translation because of the dramatic political circumstances that produced it rather than by the qualities of the work itself.

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But no one who begins to read Ko Un's work will doubt that what matters here is the work itself. One constant disappointment is the lack of extended book-reviews of our translations. I do not know how it is in other language-areas, but the English-speaking literary press is notoriously reluctant to review translations. We all know that very few translations are published in English, compared with other languages, perhaps because so much is written in English.

One other informative response to Maninbo comes in a long article on modern Korean literature by John Feffer published in The Nation August 31, :. This commemoration of Korean history and countryside, freed from strictures of form and diction imposed from the outside, follows in the tradition of minjung, or "people's" culture. Ko Un has "gone to the people" for his inspiration, much like the narodniks, the Russian radicals of the nineteenth century, and the South Korean student movement activists of the s who emulated them. But Ko Un has not summoned up some ethereal concept of the People.

Maninbo , his masterpiece, is the People made flesh. Thanks to Ko Un, they continue to walk among us. How can it best be read? Each individual poem in Maninbo reaches out to all the other poems, just as each individual person only finds a meaningful life in meetings with other people, and Maninbo only finds its full meaning when read in that way. Indra's net symbolizes a universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all members of the universe. This idea is communicated in the image of the net of the Vedic god Indra.

Indra's net is suspended with a multifaceted jewel at each of its infinite number of intersections, and in each jewel all the other jewels are perfectly reflected. One is all and all is one. One way of interpreting that is to conclude that every poem in every volume should be translated so that non-Korean readers may have access to the full Maninbo experience. Another, equally valid, is to say that it is enough to have read just one of the 3, poems with real understanding; and that is not to deny the uniqueness of each one of them.

He wrote this article for The Asia-Pacific Journal. David McCann. A few selected poems. Little Pilgrim , Berkeley: Parallax, , tr. The novel Hwaeomgyeong. Selected poems from Maninbo volumes Berkeley: Parallax, tr. A new edition of Beyond Self. One afternoon in the mids, Kimura Hiroko was taking a rest from sightseeing on a park bench in Adelaide, southern Australia. For anybody else, such a decision probably would have been forgotten as soon as they returned to their daily lives.

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Take for example, the time she resolved to teach herself to read and write. Then there was the moment she decided to become a professional artist. Not forgetting when, at the age of 18, she taught herself how to walk. Kimura Hiroko was born in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in Her father had been a middle school teacher in Yamaguchi Prefecture but, in the patriotic stampede to build the empire, his family convinced him to enroll in the military and he was billeted to a base town in China.

By all accounts, he was a reluctant soldier who, instead of waging war, much preferred to play peek-a-boo with his healthy new baby. For the first year of her life, Kimura showed no signs of being disabled, but then one day she developed a degree fever which persisted for a week. At the time, doctors attributed this to influenza.

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And now it was to take away all the happiness left for my family. Warning her mother that the disabled child would soon be a burden on them all, he handed her a bottle of poison. The post-war years were hard for the Kimuras and their rural neighbors. But as her mother continued to toil hard in the fields and at the kilns, she carried her daughter strapped to her back and kept up a constant stream of conversation, as though she were an able-bodied child. Over the next several years, she kept encouraging her daughter to talk and she taught her how to read. During the next three years, she was treated in a manner all too familiar to disabled people in the s - regarding her as a guilty secret to be hidden out of sight, her relations shut her in a cupboard-sized room where summer saw her defenseless against clouds of mosquitoes, and in winter she shivered beneath thin blankets.

Abandoned like this for over two years, her thoughts grew increasingly dark until Kimura came up with a plan. One day, she waited for her relatives to leave for work, then she dragged herself across the yard to a shed. There, she knocked over a bottle of pesticide, unscrewed its cap with her teeth and did what the soldier had urged during the war.

The first thing that Kimura pledged to do was learn to read and write. Her mother had taught her the fundamentals, but Kimura was hungry for more. Turning the pages with her left foot, she worked her way through the entire dictionary before moving on to more challenging books including, over the years, the Bible and works by Lenin and Fukuzawa Yukichi. At the same time, she trained herself to hold a pencil between her toes. Walking was much more difficult. Due to her palsied limbs, doctors maintained that she would never be able to stand, let alone move by herself.

Kimura was determined to prove them wrong. It took her eleven full days to rise out of her wheelchair, then three months of hard practice to totter a meter. Her constant falls left her covered in cuts, scars and orange splashes of antiseptic cream, but one year later, she was able to walk unassisted - an achievement that broadened her world infinitely and allowed her to pursue the next stage of her life: poetry.

At first, the teachers and classmates at the tanka workshop she attended were skeptical of her abilities. After reading her first few verses, they changed their minds. Despite winning acclaim for her writing, Kimura knew that she would not be able to survive financially through poetry alone. She learned that there was to be a workshop in a nearby town where disabled people would be taught to use knitting machines. Seeing this as an opportunity to support herself, she applied to enter the center.

When she met with the director, though, he turned down her application on the grounds that she was too impaired ever to be able to knit. Accustomed to such reactions, Kimura returned to the center the next day - only to receive the same rejection. When she was still turned down on the fifth day, she staged a hour sit-in outside the workshop, which finally convinced the director of her determination. Over the next months, Kimura learned how to operate a knitting machine with her left foot. It took her a year and a half to master the technique and when she reached the stage where she could produce a finished sweater, journalists visited the workshop and ran stories on her success.

For Kimura, however, the experience taught her an opposite lesson. I cannot make a living this way. Residents fought over food, they lay for days in their own waste and died without anybody to mourn for them. Kimura managed to persuade the doctors to transfer her to a different institute, but she found her new environment just as soul sapping. The longer Kimura stayed, the more she felt her earlier gains slip away. Three and a half years after entering the institution, she realized she would have to do something before she became like the listless patients she saw around her.

Announcing to the staff that she was just heading across the road to a nearby meeting hall, Kimura left the institution. After an arduous three-day trip by local train, Kimura arrived at the home of Takagaki Kinji, a man with cerebral palsy who was at the forefront of a campaign to encourage disabled people to live as independently as possible. Over the next months, Takagaki and his wife taught Kimura to cook, clean and - most importantly - go to the toilet for herself. In , she spotted an advert for a haiga class and she decided to attend.

Haiga , a form of art that combines poetry and painting, was not entirely new for Kimura who was already an accomplished writer. For half a year, she practiced without any improvement, but then she met a struggling, elderly artist. Even at his age, he would not throw away his brush. In , she was accepted as a member by the Europe-based organization - which meant that her paintings would be reproduced worldwide on calendars and cards, conferring her a share of the profits.

At the age of 29, Kimura achieved a degree of financial stability of which she had only dreamed. In , Kimura married. Her husband was disabled - though not as severely as she - and it was not long before she was pregnant. During this time, it was common practice to sterilize disabled women often against their will , and Kimura experienced a great deal of resistance trying to find a hospital that would help her to give birth. For three months, she was turned away by countless doctors - each of whom urged her to terminate the pregnancy.

As Kimura nursed her new daughter, Dr Nakamoto urged her to raise the girl to fight discrimination - not only against disabled people, but against burakumin and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki hibakusha. Two years after the birth of her daughter, Kimura divorced her husband. In a converted storehouse in Yamaguchi prefecture, a diverse range of people gathered with a common belief that through comprehension and cooperation, they could help one another to live.

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While Tsuchi no Kai succeeded in helping scores of disabled people become more self-reliant, the rest of the world was slower to change. With the help of Okinawan civil rights and anti-base leader, Ahagon Shoko , Kimura and Torii envisaged an inn that would welcome guests from all backgrounds while also teaching them about the sufferings experienced by the people of Okinawa both during and after the war. Its walls are open to the elements, there are two large communal rooms and it is fully wheelchair accessible with ramps, low-set light switches and a two-tier stove and sink so people of all abilities can cook together.

The student who designed the building apparently passed his course with top grades. This shared sense of community was what Kimura wanted to replicate when she saw the hateful graffiti on the park bench in Australia. In one of the fortuitous encounters which Kimura seems to naturally generate, she met an Australian man in Adelaide who shared her ambition.

It would take over two decades and they encountered several near-calamitous setbacks along the way, but finally in an Australian branch of Tsuchi no Yado opened in the Adelaide Hills. If we have Japanese guests, the Australian staff teaches them about our country and we learn a lot from them, too. Although she is based in Okinawa, Kimura makes the hour journey to Adelaide as often as her health allows.

Kimura ensures that such cultural exchanges are not a one-way street. The recent months of redundancies, repossessions and restructuring have revealed to many of us the limits of our own lifestyles. Okinawa Ken. Japan Jon Mitchell is a Welsh-born writer based in Yokohama. He has covered Okinawan social issues for both the Japanese and international press - a selection of which can be accessed at jonmitchellinjapan.

Jon currently teaches at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Homepage: jonmitchellinjapan. This is an edited and expanded version of an article which first appeared in The Japan Times. See the accompanying article by Ahagon Shoko and C. On a series of issues, the Western and Asian democracies have demanded that China accept policies that advance their agendas while sacrificing Chinese interests.

On one level this is the inevitable outcome of the Obama administration's repositioning of its foreign policy away from the amoral, Westphalian-style horse-trading of national interests of the Bush administration. The United States has now established global adherence to norms championed by the U. This does not necessarily mean, of course, that the U.

By accident or design, the insistence on these norms as the driver behind global policy leaves nations, particularly an authoritarian government like the PRC, which is outside of the U. In , China was called upon to sacrifice its own interests on virtually all of the Obama administration's key initiatives.

On global warming, China was asked to abandon the highly favorable terms of the Kyoto Protocol for an economically costly cap on its greenhouse gas emissions even as the U. On the issue of Google, the Obama administration which counts a significant number of Google insiders in its tech-policy brain trust called on China to tear down that Great Firewall, something that China considers an unacceptable political risk.

On Iran, China was pressed to put its energy security and alliance with Iran at risk in order to join the U. On North Korea, China was told to abandon its useful buffer, the DPRK, and join a chorus of condemnation over the sinking of the Cheonan that would shift the focus toward the reunification of the peninsula under the aegis of the United States and the ROK.

On currency, the U. Not only did the PRC resist American pressures on each of these fronts, but it also summoned up the energy to protest the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned activist, whose organization receives funding from the U. The East and South China Seas are home to dozens of contested islands, atolls, and sandbars, virtually all of them uninhabited. The situation in the Paracels—and China's patent unwillingness to negotiate on the question of the islands while asserting effective sovereignty through measures like organizing Paracels tourism—has provoked the strong resentment of the Vietnamese government.

For several years, Vietnam has attempted to cultivate a relationship with the United States and involve Washington on its side in the dispute. This was a temptation the U. This statement was understood as an overt attempt to multilateralize the issue. It was also, therefore, a direct challenge to China, which was asked once again to sacrifice its interests, specifically the advantages of its preferred negotiation strategy: fully leveraging its regional clout by negotiating bilaterally with its smaller Asian neighbors without the complication of placating the ASEAN group as a whole or coping with the intrusive presence of the United States.

In this case, the United States may have actually been trying to chart a middle way, but saw its policy blown out of the water by strident Japanese and Chinese nationalism. Two Japanese Coast Guard boats pursue a Chinese trawler. News reports suggest that Zhan was something of a hothead. All it took was a Japanese over-reaction to make him a national hero. Japan's hawkish minister Maehara Seiji can take a lion's share of the credit or blame for blowing up the incident. The Asahi newspaper reported the timeline as follows: Maehara was still Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism - in charge of the Coast Guard - at the time of the incident.

Reflecting back on that time, a Chinese government source said, "By sticking to a calm response, China was trying to encourage Japan to release the captain on its own accord. He told close aides: "The prime minister's office was hesitant so I had to make the decision to arrest the captain. There was no mistake in the handling of the matter. Maehara was appointed foreign minister on September 21, days after his aggressive intervention in the incident. By distance, geography, and history Taiwan has the best claim on the Diaoyutai Islands which are a mere km from Taiwan and separated from Okinawa by km and a deep undersea trench , which Japan acquired during the course of imperial skullduggery involving the seizure of Okinawa in Taipei responded to the incident by vociferously advancing its interest.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who has played the Diaoyutai card throughout his entire political career, dispatched 12 Coast Guard vessels to shield a boat of Taiwanese activists that made a symbolic approach within 19 miles of the island on September On several occasions the Kan En No. Taking into consideration the aggressiveness of the Japanese Coast Guard, it is easy to understand how frustration, fear, and anger might have combined with poor seamanship and bullheadedness to produce Captain Zhan's collision.

After Captain Zhan's detention was extended, with indictment in a Japanese court apparently imminent, China moved aggressively both in the public and official spheres. Cancelling scheduled negotiations with Japan over undersea oil and gas deposits in the vicinity of Diaoyutai, it also canceled bilateral talks on airline flights and told Chinese travel agencies not to accept applications for tour groups to visit Japan - scuppering two initiatives that Maehara had championed as tourism minister. China also allegedly cut off exports of rare earth oxides to Japan and the government detained four Japanese employees of Fujita in Shijiazhuang, capital of North China's Hebei province, on charges of espionage-related activity, apparently in retaliation.

Three of the men were subsequently released, and the fourth was returned after a period of detention that roughly matched Captain Zhan's. As exchanges with China became more heated, Maehara recklessly upped the ante by pulling in the United States. At the time of the crisis, it was well-known to Japan that the Obama administration had little interest in supporting Japanese assertions of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

The Obama administration has decided not to state explicitly that the Senkaku Islands, which are under Japan's control but claimed by China, are subject to the Japan-U. Bush, sources said Monday. Although the U. Taiwan also claims the islets. The administration of Barack Obama has already notified Japan of the change in policy, but Tokyo may have to take countermeasures in light of China's increasing activities in the East China Sea, according to the sources.

Whatever was said in private, publicly the State Department did not inject itself in the controversy by explicitly extending the US security umbrella over the Senkakus. It appears that Maehara abused the secretary of state's confidence by making public her sensitive and probably strongly caveated assurances of US support for Japan, in order to secure U. The actual transcript of the Department of Defense briefing was long on waffling and offered no explicit commitment:.

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I'm wondering, does the US security umbrella extend to the Senkakus - the Senkaku islands? And, you know, we're hopeful that the political and diplomatic efforts would reduce that tension specifically, and haven't seen anything that would, I guess, raise the alarm levels higher than that. And obviously we're very, very strongly in support of, you know, our ally in that region, Japan. Further awkward parsing was pre-empted as Prime Minister Kan cut the legs out from under Maehara and Okada in the best circular firing squad tradition of the hapless DPJ by agreeing to Zhan's release.

The two hawks are striving to disguise their embarrassment with escalating anti-Chinese bluster. At a time that China was saying that the case of Captain Zhan was "basically over " [8], Maehara told the Japanese media that China's demand for an apology demonstrated its "undemocratic nature". He also made the provocative statement that China might be preparing to violate an agreement with Japan not to drill unilaterally for oil and gas in contested portions of the East China Sea.

watch Despite Japan's humiliating retreat from its initial aggressive posture, the U. Any threat, real or imputed, that China will deploy its military, economic, and financial clout to advance its interests in the East and South China Seas, strengthens the desire of China's neighbors for a closer US alliance, or so U. Asia strategists believe. Actually, the root cause of friction in East Asia in is the Obama administration's determination to "return to Asia", most evident in the planned series of U. Certainly this has emboldened Japan, Korea, and Vietnam to confront the Chinese dragon.

The issue gained heightened visibility with the report that China "formally declared to the United States that the South China Sea is a core interest", implying to Western observers that China regarded the fate of the uninhabited islands and their associated oil and gas deposits as an existential issue presumably worthy of the attention of the People's Liberation Army. In keeping with the theme of dubious, thinly sourced news reports with a Japanese link, however, this news item derived, virtually in its entirety, from a brief report filed by Kyodo News Service's Washington Bureau on July 3, that the Chinese had stated this position to James Steinberg and Jeffrey Bader when they were in Beijing in March The report is anonymously sourced from somebody who was apparently not directly involved in the meetings — it states that the Chinese position was "presumably" conveyed by State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

It would appear noteworthy that the Chinese saw fit to announce this position to the only party they are attempting to exclude from the South China Sea dispute, the United States, while not conveying it to Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, or Indonesia, the interlocutors with whom it is trying to impose a series of bilateral negotiations. The United States is now apparently happy to spread the "core interests" meme, at least in private conversations between U. China has never officially confirmed or denied the story.

Within China, there is skepticism that the Chinese government made any statement claiming South China Sea core interest. Yet the fact remains that such statements remain exclusively in the realm of US journalism. As such, U. The "core interest" story has been a public relations gold mine for the United States as China has watched in dismay and frustration as several ASEAN nations led by Vietnam and Singapore lined up with the United States to push for internationalizing the dispute.

However, the welter of islets and rocks presents a nearly intractable problem even if all the concerned parties desire a friendly solution. Even in the unlikely event that the ASEAN countries were to maintain a united front against China with US encouragement, it is unlikely that China will surrender its claims in an adversarial venue. Benign neglect—in PRC terms, a policy of postponing thorny territorial issues while negotiating joint development of resources in disputed areas—has served the South China Sea pretty well over the last three decades and would probably be the best way to handle the problem in the future.

A universal commitment to free passage through the vital waterways of the archipelago - a principle already accepted by all parties to the myriad territorial, fishing, and undersea resource disputes - is probably worth the price of tacit acknowledgement of the less than ideal status quo.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Tuesday expressed his concern over territorial disputes in the South China Sea mainly between China and Southeast Asian nations, saying the instability in the area could hamper Japan's trade and pose a threat to regional peace. Given the realities of the situation, the eagerness of the U. On Friday, Mr Obama and the Asean leaders will issue a joint statement in which Washington has proposed text reaffirming the importance of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, according to the Associated Press.