News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

U.S. Aims to Improve Military Ties With China: "They really went out of their way to accommodate nearly everything I wanted to do," he said. The goal, he added, is to push for more contacts, "to see more things and different things, and to be more open and transparent in military matters." Seeking to accelerate the movement, Fallon said, he invited senior Chinese officers to observe U.S.-led joint military exercises next summer near the Pacific island of Guam, promising them the opportunity to review U.S. bases and board U.S. warships during air-sea drills. Implicit in the invitation, he added, was the idea that, if the Chinese attend, they would reciprocate by inviting U.S. officers to observe future Chinese exercises "in a manner we would like to make a standard for both countries."
China's Crackdown On Foreign Law Firms -- The Heat We Get/The Heat We Generate: Many legal documents, such as opinions on how Chinese law applies to a transaction, can only be rendered by a Chinese attorney, which foreign law firms are prohibited from employing. Potentially, all transactions that have taken place to date, including contracts, financing agreements and IPOs, that have used documents drafted by foreign law firms as their legal basis could be declared null and void by the government on the grounds that the firms lacked the authorization to issue such documents, said Dickinson.
...However, I agree with Dan [Harris of the China Law Blog] that it's not all that remarkable. China is no more insular, territorial and medieval toward "foreign" business lawyers than the 50 states are toward China lawyers. Moreover, several American states in particular are arguably more backward and restrictive than China. For example, California, one of four jurisdictions where I am licensed, is supposedly a progressive state with a huge and vibrant economy. But it still has a non-reciprocity bar admission policy with respect to licensing out-of-state lawyers--as if it refuses to recognize that business is done across both state and international borders. Massachusetts' Alan Dershowitz would have to take the 2-day "lawyers" California bar exam--a world-class waste of time and money--along side hundreds of 25-year-olds named Justin, Brandon and Brittany to argue more than one appellate case a year here. So would Florida's Roy Black and New York's David Boies in the trial courts. So China and California (and other non-reciprocity states) are about even on the anti-business and general madness meters.
New charges expected in defense data theft ring: Chi, Tai and Rebecca Mak have pleaded not guilty to the original charges in the case. "We presented evidence throughout this case that undermines the government's conclusion that these individuals were involved in espionage," Ronald Kaye, Chi Mak's attorney, said in an interview. An attorney for Mrs. Chiu, Stanley Greenberg, said he is confident that his client will be found not guilty. An attorney for Tai Mak could not be reached for comment. U.S. officials described Tai Mak, an engineer with Phoenix Television, as an intelligence courier for the Chinese military who was carrying an encrypted computer disk holding defense technology data when he was arrested. Tai Mak also will be charged with aiding and abetting and possession of property to aid a foreign government. He and his wife were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport as they were about to fly to Hong Kong. Tai Mak was carrying an encrypted disk that FBI officials said contained data on a new technology for destroyers known as quiet electric drive. Earlier charges that Chi Mak, Tai Mak and Rebecca Mak failed to register as Chinese government agents will be kept in the new indictment. Chi and Tai Mak were born in Guangzhou, China. The new charges were based on thousands of pages of documents found at the home of Chi Mak, officials said.
North Korean "brides" are prized in China, where there is a shortage of young women thanks to Beijing's one-child policy, Chinese families' preference for sons, and the government's blind eye toward rampant female infanticide. In northeast China, where many ethnic Koreans live, North Korean women are "known to be polite and clean," says Hannah. "Young Chinese women from rural areas marry into the cities," adds Naomi. "It's difficult to find young women in the countryside."
A North Korean in China--even one who is there against her own volition--quickly learns that there is a worse fate than being sold into sexual slavery: being captured by the Chinese authorities and repatriated. It is a crime to leave the North, and Koreans who are sent back end up in prison camps or worse. "I had no choice but to depend on the man" who bought her, Hannah says. But "for the first time in my life, I felt like a sinner, because I had a family in North Korea and I was living with this man."
..."When I was eight months pregnant, I was captured by the Chinese," she says. "Somebody from my neighborhood reported me. . . . [The Chinese] pay people to report North Koreans." Her relatives paid the fine, but seven months later, when her son was still nursing, she was captured again. This time she was sent back to North Korea. Her son was wrenched from her.
She spent the next period of her life in a succession of prison camps. "I went into the Musan Security Center. There if you even spoke a word, they would make you hold out your hands and beat you with a large wooden stick." She did farm work in another camp. It was harvest season. "You start at 4 o'clock in the morning and work until 10 or 11 at night." When the guards moved prisoners from camp to camp, "they would use shoelaces to tie our thumbs together to the thumbs of the person next to us so tightly that our thumbs would swell up."
Next Wave of Camera-Wielding Tourists Is From China: For the first time in history, large numbers of Chinese are leaving their country as tourists, resulting in an unparalleled explosion in Chinese travel. If current projections are met, the global tourism industry will be undergoing a crash course in everything Chinese to accommodate the needs of what promises to be the greatest wave of international travelers ever.
As usual when something goes over big in China, the numbers are staggering. In 1995, only 4.5 million Chinese traveled overseas. By 2005 that figure had increased to 31 million, and if expectations for future growth are met or approached, even that gargantuan growth will be quickly dwarfed. Chinese and international travel industry experts forecast that at least 50 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas annually by 2010, and 100 million by 2020.
In 2004, the last year for which there is complete information, 61.7 million Americans traveled abroad.
...Chinese tourists have been fined heavily in France recently for arriving with counterfeit luxury goods, like fake Louis-Vuitton handbags.
In Shanghai and other cities, travel agencies post people at airports warning Chinese travelers about penalties for importing fakes and imparting advice on etiquette in the West. "Don't pick teeth, touch your belt, pull at your pants or take off your shoes in public," reads one common brochure. "Don't point fingers at people you're talking to, and don't put your hands on others' shoulders."

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