BEIJING - Recently the headlines read that the CO2 emissions of China may actually be 20% greater than previously thought, essentially equal to adding the emissions of #5 emitter Japan to China’s total (see article). The difference lies in how the central and local government authorities measure energy use as a means of calculating greenhouse gas emissions.
Every morning after one hour commute in Beijing, I come to Zhong Guancun, a place the Chinese call China’s Silicon Valley. Some Internet companies and countless computer products stores are located here. The streets in morning rush hour are packed with cars, buses and people going to work.
In yet another stellar issue of World Literature Today (May/June 2012), the dastardly practice of censorship of literature and writers in general was given due attention. In his informative piece on censorship in Iran, Blake Atwood ends his piece with the following commentary:
BEIJING - I woke up at 6am this morning to discover that my main Gmail account was sending out emails to all of my contacts. I quickly tried to change the password, and discovered that I couldn’t because Gmail takes you first to a plus.google.com domain, and all “plus” sites in China are blocked. I did an SSH tunnel just to change my password, something usually reserved for the times when I want to sneak a peak at Facebook or Twitter.
BEIJING - About a week and a half ago a co-worker sent a message in Chinese that army vehicles were spotted in east-central Beijing near where I used to live. That day and the next rumors swirled, in no part due to the fact that Bo Xilai, the Mayor of Chongqing, the largest city in China had recently been dismissed. In subsequent days there have been articles in a multitude of news sources about Bo Xilai, following earlier articles about Wang Lijun, his dismissed police chief who created news by fleeing to the United States Embassy in the nearby city of Chengdu.
MASERU, Lesotho – Last week was one filled with nostalgia and melancholy.
The rhetoric coming out of the Republican presidential primary candidates would have you believe that President Barack Obama is actively engaged in a foreign policy whose sole purpose is to weaken America's standing on the global stage. This is, of course, nonsense. But it also hides the fact that Obama has been rather consistently engaged in a foreign policy strategy followed by the hero of the Republican Right, Ronald Reagan, who himself was following a policy originally laid down by Pres. Harry S Truman.
BEIJING Last month while home for Christmas I attended a ninetieth birthday party for my Grandma with family and friends. Like others returning from China I went through that process of trying to explain the unexplainable fascination with China. Yet more than once I sensed a certain fumbling for questions from my interlocutors, it was them for a change struggling to small talk, not me.
Ultima Ratio Regum Latin for “[War,] the last argument of kings,” this quote summed up the classical approach to warfare, that it was the method of achieving a specific strategic goal of the realm when other methods had failed. In modern times though, it seems that war is often the result of a chain of political miscalculations by heads of state. Such is the situation with Iran and the United States, where armed conflict seems more and more likely the eventual outcome of our current diplomatic standoff.