Monday, 6 June 2011


Since I have been bothering Adam's site as well as JRs and CMP (see See Sites I Enjoy) about Chongqing's supremo Bo Xilai, there comes a time when one needs to aggregate one's thoughts on this photogenic, chick magnet pol. Consequently, I went looking for a suitable photo of young Bo, when I came across this excellent entry on Chongqing/Bo Xilai by Joel Legendre-Koizumi.

Asian Gazette Blog of Joel Legendre-Koizumi here.

Not only does Joel cover Bo's personal as well a Chongqing's history, which would have been my initial task, but his site is pure eye candy to behold, and I highly recommend it to my half dozen or so readers.

Bo has been getting a lot of media oxygen for his go-go pro-business stance, Red Texting and his faux retro Red Songs programs in both the media and the workplace, as well as his low-cost housing for the less-than-wealthy in his vertical city. Wont be providing links here. Hey, reading is not a passive activity as Roland Barthes et al pointed out in the '70s.

A couple of entres before the main course.

Since the rise and rise of Bo in Chongqing was based on his anti-mafia campaign, here is a must read by John Garnaut on business practices in this now squeakier-than-clean city here. It reads like a thriller and involves bribes by the suitcase load, kidnapping as standard business practice plus provided female companionship.

I should also note that I have already argued that Garnaut did not acquire this dirt firsthand, but throught his friendship with that windbag Yang Hengjun. Back scroll thru ChinaGeeks and China Media Project for my fevered speculations. (Both Garnaut and Yang live in Sydney.) Furthermore, the Bo clique excecised their cross-province influence and scared the living crap out of Yang when he was detained a few months ago in Guangzhou. Yang's attempt to engineer a bit of publicity prior to PM Gillards visit went horribly wrong - a bit like one of his thriller plotlines which went off the rails - and he was reduced to a scribbling idiot here and here after being invited to a very bitter tea party. These are the two key backscrolls noted above.

Every blogger needs their very own CDE.

Now that ChiCom mouthpieces like China Daily etc are beginning to cast a critical eye on the mega-hydro disaster projects like The Three Gorges, it is nice to see that the Chonqqing governemt is able to swim against now-critical public opinion, and get its very own mega dam here

However, any modern Armani suited warlord is not satisfied until he has covered all bases, and Bo does it in spades with his new digital surveillance system here. 500,000 cameras with a centralised feed and costing $2.6 billion. London's Boris Johnson, another charismatic pol, must be green with envy.

Once again Bentham's panoptic principle goes digital and rather than be articulated within a single institutional building, be it a hospital, prison or a school, it can now cover the total public space of a city. Wikipaedia has a particularly good entry here.
As Foucault points out in Discipline and Punish, we are dealing with seriously disciplinary societies with their pervasive ambition to observe and normalise.

"The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body". Page 30

Individuals never know when they are being observed, so they adjust their behaviour

So you had better sing out The East is Red with enthusiasm, or else!!!

And if you think our Princeling is impervious to mockery, you would be dead wrong and would be heading for some time in the Big House plus a few struggle sessions.

Crikey, I would be moving to Albania.


  1. Thanks, very kind of you!

    Blog: Asian Gazette

  2. Look forward to giving your site a thorough exploration. Again, many thanks for your permission. I must pull this offline now and finish it this eve.


  3. Really, Albania is not a bad place. China Radio International (CRI) operates its broadcasting center for Europe there, so you'd never be out of touch.

  4. JR. Didn't know that. However, I expect much more substantial comments from you *all* the time. Smile.
    Actually, I did listen to a bit of CRI when I lived in Hanoi. Its soft power message failed to wrap me in its warm embrace, and that was before my long tour of duty in the PRC. Best.

  5. CRI's English programs are extremely poor as far as information is concerned, but the propagandistic message is much more carefully wrapped as used to be the case with Radio Moscow, for example. I can imagine that they find a substantial audience, but I'm certainly not one of them.

    I prefer to listen to the Chinese programs, which are available both from Albania (at breakfast time on weekends) and directly from China - stuff like "a PLA doctor answers overseas students' health questions", or essays apparently mostly written by overseas Chinese peoples' children read out on the air, in the "Confucius Learning Hall" program.

    Even that, of course, only with moderation, so as not to get an overdose. My favorite programs are those from China National Radio, which are domestic programs, mostly for the FM-less Chinese hinterland, but also easily audible here in central Europe.

    I expect much more substantial comments from you *all* the time
    Impossible. I need to save that for a book project, which would pay me 1,000 Euros per page.

  6. Thanks JR. I do miss a lot as I don't have the language. Love the idea of health questions and essay readings.

    Bit tired of my predictable Sino stuff at the moment, so am really going to indulge myself in the next few posts, however non-renumerative.

    Also, finally caught up with Under the Jacaranda.

    Best KT

  7. [My third try to post this comment, now with "open ID rather than with "wordpress account"...]

    The dark princeling doesn't appear on my radar screen too frequently, so I'm certainly glad to read up here.

    And I'm glad you caught up with the Jaracanda Tree. Unfortunately, C.A. doesn't post there as frequently as she used to, not even close, and most of her discussions seem to take place on social media these days - playgrounds I'm staying away from.

    Just to be clear, I'm not really in the process of writing a book.

  8. "open id" seems to work better. - JR