Suicide Bomber Kills Eight Outside a Chinese Kindergarten

This is a horrible murder committed in China by a deranged man upset with people having kids:

Medical workers transport a person injured in an explosion outside a kindergarten in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on Friday. (Li Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

Chinese police said Friday that they think that a 22-year-old school dropout planted a homemade explosive device outside a kindergarten, killing eight people including himself.

Written on a wall near the school was a manifesto-style rant: “Giving birth is a crime,” it said, and added that India, China and Bangladesh will not “have a good end.”

The explosion took place at 4:48 p.m. Thursday outside the kindergarten in the city of Xuzhou in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, as mothers were gathered at the school gates to pick up their children.

There was speculation initially that the source of the blast might have been a gas cylinder from a streetside food vendor, but it now appears that the explosion is the latest in a long series of puzzling and disturbing attacks on schools in China in recent years, perpetrated by people with grievances against society or with mental health issues.

Although other attacks were aimed at young children, the manifesto, if confirmed to be written by the perpetrator, would suggest that mothers might have been the target.   [Washington Post]

You can read more at the link.

Why Aren’t Major Environmental Organizations Protesting the Chinese Destruction of the South China Sea?

As the Chinese continue to destroy the ocean floor to build man made islands to build military bases and over fish the South China Sea, the world’s leading environmental groups have next to nothing to say about this.  The reason for this is not surprising and an example of how phony many of these major environmental organizations are:

So why didn’t they utter a peep about China’s degradation of the South China Sea?

Knowing when to keep their mouths shut seems to be the price these organizations must pay to enjoy the good will of Beijing. It’s one thing to offer respectful criticism over Chinese fishing subsidies within the bounds that the Communist Party tolerates as a social safety valve. But it’s another matter entirely to condemn the crimes that China is committing in the South China Sea, a position that would infuriate the Politburo.

 Greenpeace, Conservation International and the WWF all have offices in China. The WWF’s programs to protect the giant panda drive donations globally, and well-heeled do-gooders pay $10,000 per person for panda safaris in Sichuan. Mr. Gomez of the University of the Philippines laments, “Sad but true, money talks.”

As the WWF notes on its website, it operates in China “at the invitation of the Chinese government.” But invitations can be withdrawn. With dozens of Chinese nationals employed on the mainland by the WWF, Greenpeace and Conservation International, the NGOs’ operations in the Middle Kingdom are hostage to the whims of the Party.  [The Wall Street Journal]

The other thing not mentioned in this article is that if groups like Sea Shepherd began operations to interfere with the Chinese dredging and overfishing of the South China Sea the Chinese government would likely have little tolerance for it and imprison the protesters.

Compare the reaction to Japanese whaling of non-endangered minke whales that is closely regulated by an international body to the Chinese destruction of the South China Sea in violation of an international court ruling.  The hypocrisy from major environmental organizations is astounding.

Chinese THAAD Boycott Expected To Ease After Moon’s Election

Many people have kind of expected the Chinese boycott to slowly dwindle away after a while and it appears it is beginning to go away:

China appears to be easing up on a wide-ranging unofficial boycott of Korean goods and service over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here.

The state-run People’s Daily, a bellwether of official opinion, repeatedly referred to Korea as a “close neighbor” recently after a telephone call between President Moon Jae-in, who is skeptical about the deployment, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 11. This was closely followed by the dispatch of a special envoy to Beijing, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, last week.

Korean businesses are resuming marketing in China that ground to a screeching halt amid the THAAD spat, and there are signs of sales recovering.

Chinese travel agencies expect Beijing to lift a ban on cut-price group tours to Korea as early as July, and visa applications are rising to 50 to 60 percent of last year’s level after falling to as low as 20 percent.

Chinese travel agencies are asking Korea tour operators about their packages again. The head of one travel agency here said, “Last week, three or four Chinese travel agencies expressed interest in summer tours. We have yet to see actual reservations, but the atmosphere has definitely changed. [Chosun Ilbo]

You can read the rest at the link.

Chinese Government Sponsored Rap Group Releases Anti-THAAD Song

Just when you thought the anti-THAAD silliness in China couldn’t get any stupider along comes this:

A rap group backed by China’s government is warning South Korea in a music video that “you’re going too far” with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, as Beijing seeks to bring its state-supported cultural forces to bear in the international dispute.

A member of the group CD REV said government officials worked with them on the video and helped to promote it on foreign websites, many of which are blocked in China by official censors emboldened by the ruling Communist Party’s warnings against foreign “cultural infiltration.”

In the song, group members chant that “about THAAD we say no, no, no,” a reference to the U.S. Army’s missile defense system formally known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

Later in the song, they refer to South Korea, saying, “this time, kid, you’re going too far” and “your big brother’s annoyed,” a nod to China’s view of itself as the pre-eminent political and economic power in northeast Asia.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

How Clothing Made In China May Have Actually Been Manufactured In North Korea

Remember this the next time you buy clothes “Made in China”, you may be unknowingly supporting the Kim Jong-un regime:

North Koreans performing at a restaurant in Beijing last year. For decades, the North has been accused of sending workers abroad and confiscating most of their wages. Credit Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

As the end of the fashion season approached, and the suits and dresses arrived in her company’s warehouses here in the Chinese border town of Dandong, the accountant crammed about $100,000 into a backpack, then boarded a rickety train with several co-workers.

She asked to be identified only by her surname, Lang, given the sensitivity of their destination: North Korea.

After a six-hour journey, she recalled, they arrived at a factory where hundreds of women using high-end European machines sewed clothes with “Made in China” labels. Her boss handed the money to the North Korean manager, all of it in American bills as required.

Despite seven rounds of United Nations sanctions over the past 11 years, including a ban on “bulk cash” transfers, large avenues of trade remain open to North Korea, allowing it to earn foreign currency to sustain its economy and finance its program to build a nuclear weapon that can strike the United States.

Fraudulent labeling helps support its garment industry, which generated more than $500 million for the isolated nation last year, according to Chinese trade data.  (………..)

For those with quick deadlines or detailed specifications, she turns to Chinese factories in Dandong, where quality control is better. Yet even these factories employ North Korean laborers, she said.

For decades, North Korea has been accused of sending workers abroad and confiscating most of their wages, an arrangement that activists liken to slave labor. Researchers say the practice has expanded since Mr. Kim took power, with more than 50,000 workers now toiling in up to 40 countries.

In Dandong, the local government boasts that 10,000 North Koreans are employed in its apparel factories, working 12- to 14-hour shifts, with just two to four days off each month and a monthly wage of no more than $260.

 [NY Times]

You can read much more about how North Korea gets around sanctions aided by the Chinese at the link.

Horrific Traffic Accident Kills 10 Korean Kindergarten Students in China

Condolences to the effected families; this is absolutely horrible:

A school bus heading to a Korean international school bursts into flames in a tunnel in Huancui District in Weihai, China, Tuesday morning, killing 12 out of 13 passengers, including 11 kindergartners. [SCREEN CAPTURE FROM WEIBO]

A fiery accident in a tunnel in Shandong Province, eastern China, killed 12 people, including 11 kindergartners heading to a Korean international school on Tuesday.

A school bus was passing through a tunnel in Huancui District in Weihai, a port city in eastern Shandong, at around 9 a.m., local time, when the vehicle suddenly burst into deadly flames.

The Korean Embassy in China confirmed that 10 of the 11 kindergartners killed were of Korean nationality and the other child was Chinese.

There were 13 passengers on the bus, including the teacher in charge, who is reported to have been severely injured, and the driver, who was killed. Both were Chinese.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

China Asks Trump Administration To Fire Top Commander in the Pacific

Admiral Harris must be something right to have the Chinese this upset with him:

China urged the United States to sack the head of the U.S. Pacific Command in return for exerting more pressure on North Korea amid concerns over its growing nuclear and missile threats, a source close to U.S.-China ties said Saturday.

The Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping made the request, through its ambassador in the United States, to dismiss Adm. Harry Harris, known as a hard-liner on China, including with respect to the South China Sea issue, the source said.

China’s envoy to the United States, Cui Tiankai, conveyed the request to the U.S. side, to coincide with the first face-to-face, two-day meeting between President Donald Trump and Xi in Florida from April 6, but the Trump administration likely rejected it, the source said.  [Japan Times]

You can read more at the link, but this is probably directly related to Admiral Harris’ backing of the “freedom of navigation” patrols he continues in the South China Sea in response to China’s island building campaign there.

I thought this was a funny response from Bruce Klingner: