Friday, September 23, 2005

The dirty white slut map...

Flipping through the Taiwan news I came across a story about the " Dirty White Slut" taipei map I had blogged about before . I guess someone finally complained to the proper authorities. It's about time.

Here is the story and the pic if you haven't been lucky enough to see it.

Taiwanese publisher withdraws tourist map
2005-09-23 / Associated Press /

A Taiwanese publisher has withdrawn tourist maps from Taipei's international airport showing a pop singer with profanity written on her T-shirt, the company said yesterday.

The free map of Taipei shows singer Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄) wearing a pink sleeveless T-shirt with the three words in gothic letters, a pink cap and hot pants. The words seemed to refer to promiscuity.

The map's publisher, the Vision Group, said there had been no complaints about the slogan, but still decided to remove the maps from the airport.

"The person responsible for issuing the map didn't understand English, but when we saw the picture, we thought it better to withdraw it from circulation," said Yin Ming-jing, a company spokeswoman.

The map is still available at some hotels in Taipei, though. "We have no right to interfere with the hotels, they make their own decision about the map," she said.

Vision also publishes travel magazines and promotional material for official tourism bodies, but the map was the company's own project, Yin said.

The singer's picture was supplied by her record company.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

English adaptable and accepting...

Take a peek at this article about some of the new words that have found their way into the Oxford English Dictionary. We usually hear about the "bling bling"'s and other slang terms that find their way in but I have never seen an article about words that have snuck in from other cultures.
Check this article out about how many words are coming from Indian origin!! Apparently a lot.
Who knew "Shampoo" and "Bungalow" were of Indian origin?

Try this nice English sentence on for size...

You might think wearing a lehnga to a kitty party is bindaas but your yaars may think you're a filmi freshie. You have nothing to tom-tom about. Don't get your chuddies in a twist.

Watch out here comes Hinglish!

Mirror article

***** If anyone has some special Chinglish they use please post in comments or e-mail me. I would love to get a Chinglish dictionary going!**********

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

US-China and Canada's importance...

"The global geopolitical implications are very important. Canada's role in the global economy and in the political sphere is about to increase dramatically in importance. 's nice to have a world-class bounty that the two largest economic powers desperately."
Sherry Burns, chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

This quote is from an article about the improtance of the Alberta Oil Sands for America and China in today's Taipei times.

With the huge increase in the price of oil oilsand projects have huge margins for profit. Canada, as the article states, has the second largest proven oil reserves in the world at 175 billion barrells. This will certainly helps the soft power that Canada weilds become that much stronger. This can certainly be leveraged against the US if need be (soft wood lumber?! US get off our back if you want some oil action) and can also provide Canada with a carrot to weild in negotiations with China on everything from trade to human rights.

China is certainly in a rock and a hard place with its soaring economy but few stable sources of oil. Certainly new projects and cooperation with countries such as Venezuela, Kazhakstan and Iran will go a long way but Chinas thirst for oil will only be quenched from a number of sources.

Another article ran in today's paper about China's navy. There are a lot of articles about the rapid build up of China's navy in the media lately. This one is by a retired vice-admiral in Japan's self-defense forces. Sounds like it's time for a Pacific arms race! Japan's turn to rise and forced by China's hand. China's accusations of Japan's increased potential for a return to a more aggressive stance could turn out to be self-fulfilling.

Labour launches new attack on Walmart

Walmart is under attack again from labour.

Wal-Mart workers on four continents sued the giant retailer today in California Superior Court in Los Angeles. They maintain that Wal-Mart failed to meet its contractual duty to ensure that its suppliers pay basic wages due; forced them to work excessive hours seven days a week with no time off for holidays; obstructed their attempts to form a union; and, made false and misleading statements to the American public about the company's labor and human rights practices. For the rest go here.
This of course will likely be a long legal battle not easily won. Perhaps if labour does win this one the US-China trade gap will close significantly. Walmart is a big part of China's economy.

Here's a nugget from the Daily Show on Walmart.
Here's a great doc on PBS's frontline about Walmart and America. This doc gives a great explanation of the power that Walmart commands in the market when sourcing goods and how it leans on suppliers.
Here's a labour site on Walmart.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Struggle for independence? How about domestic control first...

A proposed Taiwan independence flag.
For quick info on Taiwan go here

Yesterday supporters of Taiwanese independence held a flag raising ceremony in Taipei to mark the signing of the San Francisco peace treaty when Taiwan was finally formally ceded from Japan. The likelihood of Taiwan gaining independence is of course slim to none. The ill-mannered threatening neighbour (China) just won't allow this to happen and the position of power that it occupies means other nations just can't afford to offer Taiwan support even if they accept Taiwan's aspirations as justified.

Taiwan is often hand-tied while dealing with the outside world as it is stuck in the precarious position of having de facto sovereignty but de jure sovereignty. Recently the condition of being hand-tied has enveloped national politics as well. The struggle for power over control of Taiwan between the DPP and KMT has reached a nasty new phase. The KMT is refusing to cooperate at all with the DPP and because they hold a majority in the legislature they have an effective veto over anything the DPP proposes. The special arms purchases budget bill that includes submarines, Patriot missile batteries to defend Taiwan from China's 700 missiles, as well as P-3 anti-submarine aircraft is being blocked by the KMT. The KMT is offering dubious reasons for blocking it based on an invalid referendum on the purchase in which less than 50% of the population voted and of those that voted a majority supported it. Get a Taiwan News article here.
Sadly the KMT is also blocking a bill that is aimed at flood control measures. This year many areas suffered from flooding and the government is trying to make the needed changes for the future but the KMT complains what is offered is poorly written. I do not recall seeing any counter proposals or negotiations from the KMT.
If one looks at these actions and includes the visits to China by KMT senior officials and the on-going dialogue between the KMT and CPP it looks more and more like the KMT's goal is to turn the DPP into a lame duck. It appears that if the KMT don't have control over Taiwan then they are completely prepared to leave Taiwan and its people in the lurch with a government that is incapable of functioning.
What is the KMT thinking? Obviously only of itself and not the Taiwanese people.

If we look at the China-Taiwan issue, overwhelmingly the majority of Taiwanese people want the status quo kept in relations with China. This means no formal move to independence and no move toward unification. However, to maintain the status quo there must remain a balance of strength in the Taiwan strait. The KMT is actively undermining this. Undermining the special budget and increased cooperationwith the CPP only moves Taiwan closer to China and puts Taiwan in a weaker position. This is in opposition to the status quo.The status quo does not simply mean not declaring independence and not unifying. The status quo means keeping Taiwan's ability to defend itself against a Chinese attack and maintaining a strong position from which to negotiate if that is what the Taiwanese people wish.
I hope the Taiwanese citizens break out the whip and give the KMT a good lashing in the next election for being a bunch of self-absorbed power hungry bastards. They will sell this whole country out in a second if given the chance. Nothing matters more to the KMT than power, at any cost.
The KMT is poison--letter to the editor in Taipei Times
There is a good editorial in the Taipei times today too.