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Sunday, April 10, 2005

What matters more--the size of the protest or the size of the press coverage?

I see that CNN (on their web site, at least) is paying far more attention to anti-Japan protests in China than it did to either the anti-American protests in Iraq yesterday or the pro-AMLO rally in Mexico on Thursday.

I don't see any problem with CNN giving a lot of coverage to the Chinese protests--they are certainly a far bigger story than the Pope's funeral or Chuck's second wedding (although of course not on CNN). And, knowing what I think I know about China, the chances are good that the protests occurred with at least tacit approval from the government, despite their expressions of regret to the Japanese. So the rift between the two most powerful countries in Asia, based in part on the numerous war crimes committed by the Japanese in China in World War II and in part on the battle for economic hegemony, may be growing wider. Last month, I linked to a Chalmers Johnson article which described the tensions between China and the US-Japan axis over Taiwan and other issues. These protests may be a start by the Chinese on ramping up those tensions, possibly leading to economic battles and an Asian arms race. And if China and Japan start spending a lot of money on weapons, that means they'll have less to loan to us--meaning our deficit problem immediately becomes our deficit crisis. And perhaps an increase in Sino-Japanese tension is a sign that Joel Vialls may be right about an anti-US alliance forming, headed by China, Russia, India and Brazil, but also including Venezuela, Iran, and other countries.

I'll probably have to wait for another Chalmers Johnson article to get a fuller understanding of what this means, but I think the curse of living in interesting times may well have been cast upon all of us.