A few links to start off your day:
- China claims that all government agencies will be using legitimate software by the end of 2012. Uh-huh. If they’re for real, Microsoft is going to have a pretty sweet year.
- In an Op-Ed for the NY Times, Georgetown professor Victor Cha predicts that China will move towards effectively adopting North Korea as a province to prevent any possibility of growing US influence.
- A piece by Damien Ma in the Atlantic this week covers the rise of social media in China, and whether or not it can become a force for making the government more open and accountable: “In the absence of a robust legal system, the government is now being forced to answer itself in the court of public opinion.”
- Evan Osnos also has a very eloquent piece on Kim Jong-Il in The New Yorker, well worth reading: “Kim died as he lived, emboldened by his own deceptions and unhurried by the urgent deprivation of his people. When it came to “the building of a thriving nation,” he left, at his life’s end on Saturday, December 17th, the hardest work untouched, and wreckage of his own making.”
- In a rare show of emboldened sarcasm, on the day of Kim Jong-Il’s death, Chinese online news portal Netease put up a special subject page on Netease Weibo entitled “Kim Jong Il’s Death Shows The Importance Of Losing Weight” with the subheading “Government Organizations and People’s Bodies Are The Same, Neither Can Be Excessively Fat.” Props to Bill Bishop over at Sinocism for catching a screengrab before it was taken down.
- Despite Chinese media’s repetitive and enthusiastic support of the new real-name regulations being put in place for microblogs in China, China Media Project knocks them all down with four poignant reasons why the regulations are totally bunk.
- This week the Diplomat interviewed Li Yan, head of Greenpeace East Asia’s Climate and Energy Campaign, about the results from the Durban climate talks, and what’s happening with Chinese CO2 emissions, nuclear power, and renewable energy.