If China can impose its will in the South China Sea, at least five rival claimants—all much smaller, weaker Asian states—will be limited to a narrow band of the sea along their coastlines. China would gain greater security for its crucial supply lines of oil and other commodities; exclusive access to rich fishing areas and potentially vast undersea oil deposits; a much larger buffer against what it regards as U.S. naval intrusions; and, not least, the prestige and standing it has long sought, becoming in effect the Pacific’s hegemon, and positioning itself to press its decades-old demand that Taiwan come under its control. Arguably, it would achieve the greatest territorial expansion by any power since imperial Japan’s annexation of large swaths of Asia in the first half of the 20th century.
From a bedrock of traditional culture, and an engine of the post-Mao economic boom in the 1980s, agriculture has become a burden for China.
Farm output remains high. But rural living standards have stagnated compared with the cities, and few in the countryside see their future there. The most recent figures show a threefold gap between urban and rural incomes, fueling discontent and helping to make China one of the most unequal societies in the world.
Perched on the 2,700-mile border with Russia, the Chinese city of Manzhouli has acquired the flavour of its northern neighbour. Gilded domes gleam and buildings are adorned with white icing flourishes. Shoppers pay for fur coats in roubles and dine on borscht and salmon.
Although Ms. Yang might be best known for her Oscar-winning work, “The Blood of Yingzhou District,” released in 2006, she had already earned a reputation before that as an astute chronicler of young people caught in the middle of societies in flux.
At a contract coffee bean roasting plant in a suburb north of Bangkok, Masato Egami, managing director of Thai Ishimitsu, was sampling different cups of coffee lined up on a table, one after another. He then exchanged opinions with young technical experts dispatched from Japan and with a Thai official who runs the plant.
Yasujiro Omura, manager of the two duty-free shops, said red backpacks are popular among Chinese shoppers, regardless of gender, since the color is considered auspicious in China.
“Some customers ask us to make sure whether the products are made in Japan,” he said. “They seem to like them because they associate Japanese products with high quality.”
More and more manga are coming out with titles that refer to being alone or having no friends, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The solitary protagonists are unexpectedly tough and content in these types of manga, which may be described as “botchi-kei” (alone type) works.
“Botchi” is an abbreviation of “hitoribotchi” (all alone). Most botchi-kei manga are set in schools, an indication that the authors are targeting young readers, mainly middle and high school students.
In 2009, when I visited Brazil and Thailand, young people there frequently told me about the group. They all said the group was marvelous, and at the time I thought people overseas were less informed about Japanese music than Japanese anime. But I was wrong again. They were more aware of the essence of Japanese music than I was.
Mais de cinco meses após o trágico naufrágio que uniu a Coreia do Sul no sofrimento, o acidente polariza o país e ameaça desencarrilhar a agenda política da presidente Park Geun-hye.