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heying2k comments

Posted in: China orders 'patriotic' TV series targeting Japan See in context

"China orders ...." is a pretty vague but quite sensational headline, not unlike most headlines about China. If you live in China or read Chinese, the story started when the so called China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television "urges TV stations to promote antifascist TV materials". The timing I guess is mostly to do with the coming National Day in October.

This is nothing new. This government bureaucracy just can't help itself, including the periodical criticism of the thriving and "excessive" entertainment programs in many provincial TV stations. Now this is what would more nuanced and news-worthy: A "communist" country in name only, the TV stations want to show whatever attracts audience and sells commercials best, so they find all kinds of ways the get by, including melodramas with WW2 as backdrop. The heavy-handed bureaucracy and the silly programs are ridiculed relentlessly on the internet in China.

The irony is that Chinese are cynical and skeptical to the government and blatant propaganda. The revisionism and propaganda in Japan are just more subtle and skilled.

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Posted in: China food scandal drags in Starbucks, Burger King and McNuggets in Japan See in context

A silver lining in all this is that consumer and environmental activists in China are awakening. This was exposed by "China food watchdog" after all. A related but more serious issue is environment protection, and a lot has been reported about grassroots environmental activism in China recently. After being a dirt poor country for so long, the last 20+ years of unfettered rapid development has had so many bad side effects. In Japan, Minamata disease was one of such moments that catalyzed profound changes for the better. I wish China could have learned from past experiences from other developed countries. Let's hope it is getting to a point where things will turn around for the better gradually. After all that's what a growing middle class would demand.

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