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How to explain national performance at the Olympics?

China and both Koreas were in the top 5 medal winners as of Aug. 1. Gold medallists Kai Qin and Yutong Luo of China pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's Synchronised 3m Springboard final on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  /Adam Pretty/Getty Images

John J. Metzler PARIS — As the London Olympics set new records for athletic achievements, the Summer Games equally highlight global competitions, both in the field of sport and nationalism. And despite all the naysayers that the London Games would not be ready, the traditional British can-do attitude prevailed (as they did in London 1948), [...]

August 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,England,Exclusives,France,John Metzler,NE Asia,South Korea,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Culture | Read More »

Hu Jintao talks tough on corruption but doesn’t say how he will stop it

Chinese President Hu Jintao confers with Vice President Xi Jinping.

Special to By Willy Lam, While Hu Jintao’s tenure as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) won’t end until the 18th Party Congress in October, he has already delivered a tough farewell speech to the Party faithful. The occasion was a special study session of Party dogma for top Party, government [...]

August 1st, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,Top Stories | Read More »

From the safety of the West, recalling Stalin’s infinitely dangerous madness

Stalin in the background and his daughter Svetlana sitting on the lap of Lavrentiy Beria.

Lev Navrozov Let me remind my dear readers that I was born in 1928, that is, I was to live in Stalin’s hell on earth. Created in pre-Soviet Russia were works of genius (such as those of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, or Chekhov), which were translated into the languages of all culturally advanced countries. The Russian classical [...]

July 30th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Germany,Lev Navrozov,NE Asia,Russia,Top Stories | Read More »

Frenchman turns states evidence in murder mystery involving wife of once-powerful Bo Xilai

Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, with Patrick Henri Devillers, the French architect with whom she may have had an affair.

Special to A former intimate of Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Chinese strongman Bo Xilai, flew to Beijing only days before prosecutors announced she was being charged with murder. Patrick Henri Devillers, the Frenchman who shared an apartment in Britain with Gu, surrendered to Chinese authorities on July 17. Gu’s indictment for [...]

July 29th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,England,Exclusives,France,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,Top Stories | Read More »

China constructing extensive transportation network along N. Korea border

Cargo trucks cross a rail bridge over the Yalu River into North Korea from China’s border city of Dandong on Dec. 22, 2011.  /Yonhap News

Special to By Lee Jong-Heon, China is building a massive highway and rail network along the border with North Korea in an apparent bid to tap into its neighbor’s natural resources and to secure easy access for troops in case of an emergency in the destitute nation. China will spend more than $10 [...]

July 26th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

U.S. intel: Iran developing anti-ship missiles with China’s help

An Iranian produced version of the C-802 anti-ship missile, concealed inside a commercial truck.

Special to WASHINGTON — Iran has been developing advanced anti-ship missiles with help from China, a report said. The U.S. intelligence community has determined that the Iran Navy has enhanced its missile arsenal over the last few years. In a report, the community said Iran’s missiles, particularly its anti-ship weapons, were increasing in range [...]

July 25th, 2012 | Posted in China,Daily Brief,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Iran,Mideast,NE Asia,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Military | Read More »

With Syria set to implode, Russia and China check UN action

Members vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria on July 19 in New York.  /Don Emmert/AFP

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — These are tumultuous times in Syria. Civil war has engulfed the country, fierce fighting plagues the capital of Damascus, a bomb blast decimated the ruling regime’s top security chiefs, and the Arab League called on President Bashar Assad to step down. But as the world watches in suspended animation, [...]

July 25th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,England,Exclusives,John Metzler,Mideast,NE Asia,Russia,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations,World Links | Read More »

Beijing signals support for ‘Marshal’ Kim and his supposedly reformist policies

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with former chief of general staff of the Korean People's Army Ri Yong-Ho at a military parade in Pyongyang.  /Kyodo/Reuters

Special to By Willy Lam, While much of the world is scrambling to figure out the meaning of the latest power shifts in Pyongyang, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has signaled early — and staunch — support for Kim Jong-Un and his supposedly pro-reform policies. Kim, who is believed to be in [...]

July 25th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

There’s a word for Beijing’s new island dispute tactics with Tokyo: Hardball

A Japan Coast Guard vessel (bottom) monitors a Chinese fisheries patrol boat (top) near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in August 2011.

Special to By Willy Lam, Since territorial disputes erupted between China and Japan in the early 1970s over the Diaoyu islets (called the Senkakus in Japan), Beijing has stuck to late patriarch Deng Xiaoping’s famous dictum: “Leave the question of sovereignty for the next generation; let’s put the emphasis on joint [economic] development.” [...]

July 18th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Japan,Life,NE Asia | Read More »

China economic dragon’s fire turns out to be hot air

A tricycle porter transports packs of tissue paper outside a wholesale market in Beijing, China on July 10.  /Alexander F. Yua/AP

Sol W. Sanders   It’s taken quite a long time but now even National Public Radio’s Beijing correspondent acknowledges Chinese statistics are a little more than dubious. It’s become an even more critical issue for more than a minority of us who have cast doubt on them for a long time. For there’s now general [...]

July 16th, 2012 | Posted in China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,NE Asia,Sol Sanders,Top Stories | Read More »

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