Asia Blog: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam

Wee Shu Min is Who?

Posted in Amused, China by Elliott Back on October 29th, 2006.

weeshumin.jpgWee Shu Min, a rich Singaporean wrote in her blog:

Derek, Derek, Derek darling, how can you expect to have an iron rice bowl or a solid future if you cannot spell? “There’s no point in lambasting the Government for making our society one that is, I quote, ‘far too survival of the fittest…’ If uncertainty of success offends you so much, you will certainly be poor and miserable. [...] Get out of my elite uncaring face.

Her father, Wee Siew Kim, is a wealthy worker for a multinational corporation in Singapore.

The problem? Elitism. And, the blogosphere in Asia reacted negatively.

Update:  For a cartoon series detailing the problems with Wee Shu Min, see The Adventures of Elite Girl. I am personally indifferent.

Keiko Hikono Snares UBS Investment Banker

Posted in Japan, Sex by Elliott Back on October 21st, 2006.

Perhaps you haven’t been following the “Keiko scandal,” essentially a 26-year-old University student publicly looking for young white men to come to Tokyo and sleep with her. In Keiko Hikono’s own words, “I have a nice apartment in Ochanomizu and you are welcome to stay with me if you are UNDER 35 and YOU ARE NICE LOOKING and YOU ARE WHITE. You can save your hotel cost (a lot in Tokyo!) and we can have fun!”

keiko-hikono.jpg

The idea is to email her some information and a picture of yourself, hopefully leading to an invitation to stay with her, speed dating for casual encounters gone digital. Unfortunately, she snared an employee of UBS AG’s Sales & Trading department, who then tried to recall the email he sent her:

From : Ashley.Harding@ugb.us
To : Keiko
Sent : Friday, October 13, 2006 9:02 PM
Subject : Recall: Great website!

Harding, Ashley would like to recall the message, “Great website!”.

This communication is issued by UGB AG and/or affiliates to institutional investors; it is not for private persons. This is a product of a sales or trading desk and not the Research Dept. Opinions expressed may differ from those of other divisions of UGB , including Research. UGB may trade as principal in instruments identified herein and may accumulate/have accumulated a long or short position in instruments or derivatives thereof. UGB has policies designed to negate conflicts of interest. This e-mail is not an official confirmation of terms and unless stated, is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell. Any prices or quotations contained herein are indicative only. Communications may be monitored.

© 2006 UGB . All rights reserved. Intended for recipient only and not for further distribution without the consent of UGB.

Keiko tells us that she censored the name and company information, but a trivial search in Google shows that the disclaimer is a standard footer for Union Bank of Switzerland: Aktiengesellschaft. I can only ask–why does an investment banker feel so lonely that he needs to email a girl in Japan for a sexual encounter? And why would he do it from work? Certainly using UBS’s computer systems to look for sex would be a violation of their professional ethics.

PRC Violates Tibetan Refugees’ Human Rights

Posted in China, Crime & Law, Human Rights by Elliott Back on October 15th, 2006.

Sometimes the most interesting news is the worst kind of news.

As you know, in 1951 the People’s Republic of China asserted control over Tibet, forcing them to sign a 17-point agreement. Before that, Tibet existed as a sovereign nation. However, Tibetan exiles say that 1.2 million people have died as a direct result of the “Great Leap Forward,” which China denies. Living conditions in Tibet are also considered substandard as a result of Chinese rule.

Yesterday, Boing Boing collected a series of stories detailing how Tibetan refugees were shot crossing the border. Stranger yet is that China admits that the PLA killed some of the refugees:

China admitted that its soldiers killed a person who was trying to flee Tibet, but the official account contradicted eyewitness reports that the troops had shot at unarmed refugees. The state-run Xinhua news agency released a short report of the September 30 incident that occurred near Mt Everest, saying soldiers had found nearly 70 people trying to illegally cross the Tibetan border into Nepal.

Interestingly enough, there is actually video footage of the atrocity:

bodyofnunshotatnangpapass.jpg

The video footage, taken by a Romanian cameraman who was at advance base camp on Mount Cho Oyo at the time, depicts a line of Tibetans walking uphill through the snow on the Nangpa Pass when a shot is heard and one of the figures falls to the ground. The video clearly depicts that the Tibetans had their backs to the soldiers, were unarmed, and offered no resistance. The nun who died, Kelsang Namtso, appears to have been shot in the back.

I have no idea what can be done about this, but given China’s poor human rights record, this will just keep on happening. It’s the classic Machiavellian state–do what you need to to browbeat the people, assert power, and silence dissidents.

Chinese Firefox Extensions

Posted in China, Language by Elliott Back on October 12th, 2006.

Filination has an interesting entry which lists all the possible Chinese-language helper extensions you can get for Firefox:

ChinesePera-kun is an excellent tool that “will popup the pinyin reading and English definition when you mouse over Chinese in Simplified or Traditional characters.”

Sounds good–sign me up, mate!

Immigration Parody Comic

Posted in Human Rights, World News by Elliott Back on October 11th, 2006.

If you’ve ever felt the US is still racist and hypocritical about allowing non-Americans into the country, and then mistreating them when they get here, you definitely want to read Peter Bagge’s latest strip:

bagge-small.jpg

“Starting 500 years ago, waves of Western European immigrants began arriving in North America without Visas or Green Cards, killing, infecting, and stealing from the native population.”

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