Friday, 5 November 2010

A Slew of Stories

A lot going on in the news at the moment, but it's not too clear what all of it means:

  • The video of the collision between a Japanese coastguard vessel and a Chinese fishing boat has been leaked. Although the film on CNN does appear to show the fishing boat ramming the coastguard, without seeing the whole video (and I haven't been able to find it online) it is impossible to know what actually happened. Even more confusing is why this video has been leaked now, weeks after the Chinese captain was released.
  • Ai Wei Wei, whose display at the turbine hall of the Tate Modern Art Gallery I saw during a visit to London a couple of weeks ago, is under arrest, in an apparent effort to stop him attending a party. Why this would be done now is beyond me, except that it may be part of a crackdown on dissent and dissidents following the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo.
  • More evidence of a crackdown can be found in this story of an engineer from Guangzhou who is under arrest on charges of inciting subversion of state power. His crime? Handing out leaflets saying that people should be "proud" of Liu Xiaobo. How much more evidence is needed to counter the claims of crazed nationalists that Liu's imprisonment is justified by his foreign links, and not merely related to the content of his various works?

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