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  • Arguing Over the Diaoyu Islands Can Get You Killed

    Saying the wrong thing in the wrong place can get you in big trouble when traveling.

  • Anti-Japanese Protests Rock China

    Two severed mannequin heads were skewered on top of bamboo pikes that were held by a couple of young protesters in the streets of Taizhou, a mid-size city three hours from Shanghai. The plastic heads had crossed out Japanese flags markered onto the cheeks and Chinese characters expressing various insults were drawn all over them. [...]

  • Private Property Ownership in China Is Really Leasing

    “We can’t own anything,” Da Xia spoke. She then paused before adding, “Well, I can own my notebook.” She then flipped the book down upon the table that sat in front of us as though it wasn’t even worth the right to own. “People sometimes spend all the money they’ve ever made on their home,” [...]

  • The Reality of China’s One Child Policy

    I once took China’s one child policy at face value: a one child policy would mean that people are only allowed to have a single child, right? It all made perfectly clear sense until my first incident of travel in China in 2005. I found that there were far more brothers and sisters than a [...]

  • The South China Sea Conflict Continues

    “Whoever takes the first shot will face the full wrath of the consequences,” roared an upper tier rep for the Chinese government on the television news last night. Earlier this week a Chinese government boat prevented the Philippines navy from arresting a group of Chinese fishermen off the coast of an otherwise insignificant atoll in [...]

  • USA/ South Korea Free Trade (FTA), Parliament Brawls, Protests, and the Power of the Consumer

    Bombarding us with news of North Korea’s paranoid antics, U.S. media channels tend to downplay the consequences of such trifles as economic treaties. Yet while many Americans noticed nothing more than a favorable decrease in the prices of their phones and cars over the past few years, the controversial U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement ignited enough [...]

  • North Korea’s New Leader: Kim Jong-un, Like Father Like Son?

    The recent passing of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il received substantiaily less fanfare from both those abroad and those south of the border than one might have suspected. While North Koreans mourned excruciatingly – a phenomenal display of chest-beating, swooning, and hysterical writhing – for days on end, setting Kim’s petrified body on perpetual display, neither Washington [...]

  • Names of Countries are Different Relative to Language for a Reason

    Ivorians call their country Côte d’Ivoire, the Thai call their country Prathet Thai, the Chinese call their country Zhōngguó, the Japanese call Japan Nippon, Russians call their homeland Rossiya, the Fins call their country Suomi, the people who live in the Czech Republic call it Česká Republika, Turkey is known to its residents as Türkiye, [...]

  • Leader of FARC Killed by Colombian Military

    Guillermo León Sáenz Vargas, otherwise known as Alfonso Cano, the latest leader of the FARC insurgents, was killed during a military raid of his mountain top hideout in Cauca, in the southwest of Colombia. Cano, a Marxist, lead the FARC since 2008 when their co-founder and legendary leader, Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda, died of a heart [...]

  • The Basel Convention and the Big Business of Hazardous Waste

    CARTAGENA- Colombia- “Waste is big business,” spoke Cameroon’s delegate to the tenth meeting of the Basel Convention in Cartagena, Colombia. We were sitting at the breakfast table of a hotel, across from him sat the environmental secretary of Nepal, to his right was the delegate for Cambodia. These men were here with 115 other delegates [...]