A Beacon of Hope For Japanese Nationalists

In a publicity stunt so ridiculous it could have been cooked up by Glenn Beck, former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara has suggested that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe build a lighthouse on the disputed Pinnacle Islands. This move, he claims, would help break the political stalemate that Japan and China have been sitting in for the last year, thereby improving the situation, somehow.… [Read more]

Stormy Seas On California’s Coast

California is playing host to two of our most important partners in Asia: Japan and China. On Tuesday, troops from Japan’s Ground Self Defense Forces (GSDF) arrived for amphibious training exercises with the US Marines off the coast of San Diego. Last Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived at Rancho Mirage to meet with President Obama about national security issues relevant to both countries.… [Read more]

An Exhausting Week…

It’s the end of a week that’s ‘one for the books.’ Endless news coverage has reminded us that we’re living in times during which not much can be taken for granted. It has been exhausting.

The week brought a vote by the House of Representatives to invade citizens’ privacy on one end, and a win by the National Rifle Association against all voices in support of sane gun control legislation on the other.… [Read more]

Will the Pacific Become the New Middle East?

The old adage “generals always fight the last war, especially if they’ve won it” applies not only to the military and war, but to almost all aspects of human conflict and interaction, such as diplomacy. Paradigms often change right underneath the noses of so-called “experts” or policymakers.

The Spratly Islands are a few of many islands disputed by regional players such as China and Japan.… [Read more]

Skipping Rocks: the Quarrel Between Japan and China, and What it Means to America

As the New Year unfolds before us, we find ourselves falling off one rock and headed down toward another. We’re a bunch of Rockhounds, really, with an excellent collection going. While we’re busy arguing about the Fiscal Cliff, however, there are other dramas unfolding around the world.

Across East Asia there have been huge political changes following several important national elections this year.… [Read more]

The Six Most Important Moments From President Obama’s Burma Tour

President Obama’s message of hope may yet have another place to call home.

In keeping with his promise to pivot to the region, President Obama conducted a tri-country tour through Southeast Asia earlier this week, his first trip abroad since winning re-election. The president’s journey began in Thailand, then on to Burma, and concluded in Cambodia.… [Read more]

Romney’s Hypocrisy on Pakistan and Russia

Throughout most of his campaign, as well as during Monday’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney has taken strong, uncompromising stances on an array of countries for supporting terrorism or tyrannical actions and policies. Yet during Monday night’s debate, there was one country where Romney seemed to take a 360 on in regards to this “zero-tolerance” approach.

Despite illiberal policies and continued support for fanatical terrorist groups by factions of the government and military, Romney strongly warned against any type of weakening or severing of U.S.-Pakistani relations.… [Read more]

Stupid Questions: 28000 Series – Romney’s Chinese Taxes

You know how people say the only stupid questions are the ones not asked…

In this case stupid question are the ones unasked in the media, because we all know how smart people with “J-School” degrees are.  “J-Schools” are journalism schools that evidently teach their students about ethics and being smarter than everyone else about everything. … [Read more]

A Scene from the Romney White House

The Diplomat from China was waved through the back entrance to the White House, just like a hundred times before.

Since President Romney took office things have been great for the Chinese. The invasion of Taiwan took place and the country was securely absorbed with the mainland. Over 250,000 Taiwanese died fighting the invasion, but the island is slated to become a resort for the new Mainland’s middle class.… [Read more]

The Limitations of the United States and its President

Despite his empty-chair-talking tendencies, I still remain a fan of many of Clint Eastwood’s movies. And one of my favorite Eastwood scenes occurs in the Dirty Harry film Magnum Force where Clint observes “Man’s got to know his limitations.”

I only wish more people heeded this advice.

The Republican party used to follow the precepts of Henry Kissinger (right, pictured with former President Ronald Reagan) in foreign policy–preserving American national interest ran supreme and the country’s limitations in foreign policy were taken into consideration.… [Read more]

What Would a Romney Win Mean for America’s Relationship with China?

Sino-American relations have always been a carefully choreographed exercise. This exercise has been well-played by President Obama and has worked to manage China relations for the benefit of American business. But what would a change in choreography mean for our country’s relationship with China?

I’m afraid you won’t appreciate me…

Although not unusual, it is always intriguing to follow the logic behind the China-stance of a presidential nominee.… [Read more]

Smoking In China: A Way Of Life

Through most of my life I have considered China a country of good health and healthy habits; I thought of it as a place where everyone is always eating vegetables, drinking tea and practicing Kung Fu to stay fit. However, the reality is much different from what you would imagine. Many in China engage in one of the dirtiest habits you can think of….… [Read more]

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

It will get worse

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

The last time out, I explained to America why China is such a swell new Canadian ‘Best Forever Friend’. The former Mao men have no compunctions about buying up other countries national resources, whether farm land in Africa or scoring an ever-greater stake in the gift that keeps in giving, the Alberta Oil Sands.… [Read more]

Typhoons in China

Growing up in the midwestern region of the United States, I dealt with tornados and floods. Then, spending the majority of my adult life in Florida I dealt with hurricanes and fires. So when the locals told me that a typhoon was on its way, I was thrilled to be able to add this natural disaster to my list.… [Read more]

Canada’s New BFF? Hello, China!

The Ballad of Canada’s Oil Patch (with apologies to the sainted Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and all fans of an old ’60s fave, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’)

  • Tell ya little story ‘bout a man named Steve
  • Canada’s Prime Minister, the best you can believe!
  • He lived the dream of a true North strong and free,
  • Selling crude to the Yanks for a whopping royalty!
[Read more]

KTV: China’s Nightlife

If you are going to travel to China you need to know about the Chinese entertainment that is available to you. Although the larger cities have bars and dance clubs like most cities in the United States, the smaller cities lack this type of nightlife. However, one type of nightlife is a must in every city and town in China and on almost every corner it is KTV, better known to us as Karaoke TV.… [Read more]

The United States of America: Made in China?

By the time you have read this article you will have most likely heard the controversy over the U.S. Olympic teams’ uniforms being made in China.  Although most of the U.S. seems alarmed and shocked by this, I can’t say I’m surprised…

Most people seem to think of China as this monolithic force that’s stealing U.S.… [Read more]

Gua Sha: Traditional Healing Technique

Today I checked the weather; the temperature reached 40.5 C/104.5 F. The local news report says it is the second hottest day in China — but I would have known it was dangerously hot just by looking at the people. Let me explain. In China, when the weather becomes unbearable many of the people get red marks all over their backs, necks and faces.… [Read more]

Today’s China: Don’t Believe the Hype

When people think about Chinese people, many things come to mind — and a lot of those thoughts are stereotypes. Some stereotypes are based in truth, however I am here to debunk those that are not and some of the ideals that people assume about the people of China. As an American living in China married to a local Chinese man, I classify myself as some sort of self-appointed expert on some of the things regarding the locals  here.… [Read more]

Travel to China You Say?

You have been thinking about it for years, ever since you saw those first poorly-dubbed martial arts movies. As a kid you even tried to imitate the moves and accidentally kicked your brother in the head. Oh, wait that was me. You love the dragons, the watercolor art, the Great Wall, the haunting but beautiful music and now you are going to do it.… [Read more]