Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Beijing to Space in Just Minutes


It's a proud time in the People's Republic of China:

—As you'd expect, China Daily is filled with news of tomorrow's planned launch of Shenzhou-VI, the PRC's second manned space flight. The official Chinese paper also has an analysis of why manned space flight capabilities put it in the big leagues here.

—China's "soft strength" is surging, a fact highlighted by a month-long Chinese Culture Festival in the U.S. The profile of this event here in Los Angeles is roughly zero, but the Chinese are excited about this "face-to-face exchange with the American people" and that's what counts.

—Click on the banner ad that runs at the top of the previous story, which hopefully says "Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Anti-Fascist War," or this link. It leads to a round-up of September's commemoration of the end of World War II, which in China was actually two wars: a War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and a World Anti-Fascist War.

Although I haven't had a chance to read it, this collection of articles seems like a great introduction to how China views World War II and thus to its current picture of itself: trod-upon in the past but plucky, tough, and heir to a great cultural tradition.

(Thanks as always to John Brown's Public Diplomacy Review for the initial item on China's "soft strength," which led me to other interesting China Daily news.)

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