World View: Japan Arrests China Fishing Boat Accused of Fishing Japan's Fish

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Mali's 'Savior' says that France's fight is far from over
  • Hong Kong faces a powdered milk crisis
  • Japan arrests China fishing boat accused of fishing Japan's fish

Mali's 'Savior' says that France's fight is far from over

Timbuktu woman: 'I just want to say thank you from myself and the people of Mali - Vive la France! I hope Francois Hollande continues to help us and that that we can stay free like this' (BBC)
Timbuktu woman: 'I just want to say thank you from myself and the people of Mali - Vive la France! I hope Francois Hollande continues to help us and that that we can stay free like this' (BBC)

France's president François Hollande visited Bamako and Timbuktu in Mali and received a rapturous welcome from his former colonial subjects, with shouts of "Hollande the savior," and "the angel who stopped the disaster in Mali." However, Saturday may well be the high point of France's military adventure in Mali, because France "won" the war with barely a single casualty. According to Hollande,

"There is still a whole part of the north that remains unconquered ... There are terrorist elements concentrated in some areas of the country, others who are dispersed. There are risks of terrorism. So, we have not yet finished our mission."

The jihadists could not counter the well-equipped French and Malian armies, supported by air power, and so they simply melted away, taking refuge in the mountainous and inaccessible areas on the borders. From there, they can mount hit and run attacks, and fighting that war will require the use drones in the way that the U.S. military is using them in Pakistan and Yemen. However, France does not have the capabilities to fight that kind of war, and may be forced to call on Nato and the U.S. for help. Hollande said, "We do not foresee staying indefinitely," (famous last words), but didn't specify any specific time frame for departure. Reuters and BBC

Hong Kong faces a powdered milk crisis

Hong Kong's government has announced a string of emergency measures to cope with the shortage of milk powder and baby milk formula on grocery store shelves. The problem is that mainland Chinese mothers don't trust the quality and safety of milk powder manufactured on the mainland. In 2008, thousands of babies got sick because Chinese milk producers added melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizer, to their milk products, in order to give the appearance of higher protein levels. (See "A generational view of China's growing melamine food disaster" from 2008.)

The recent crisis has been exacerbated by a surge in "parallel trading" in milk powder. That phrase refers to unauthorized exports of a product to another country (in this case, milk powder to mainland China), in order to make unauthorized profits. Parallel traders have been flooding Hong Kong markets and carrying as much milk powder back to the mainland as possible, where they take advantage of mothers' anxieties and charge extremely high prices.

Among the measures that Hong Kong authorities are taking to stop parallel trading of powdered milk are:

  • Any person departing Hong Kong is limited to 1.8kg of milk powder.
  • A 24-hour hotline has been set up for parents needing milk powder. It received 3416 calls on the first day.
  • The weight of luggage carried by passengers on mass transit will be restricted.
  • The government will profile people entering Hong Kong from the mainland, and refuse those who appear to be parallel traders.
This parallel trading dispute is only the latest example of the contempt that Hong Kongers have for mainland Chinese. As we described last year, a popular song in Hong Kong is "Locust World", which describes how mainlanders come to HK like a swarm of locusts that are "experts in stealing, cheating, deceiving and lying." South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and People Daily (Beijing)

Japan arrests China fishing boat accused of fishing Japan's fish

Japan's coast gard arrested the captain and 13-man crew of a Chinese coral fishing boat on suspicion of fishing in the Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without permission from Japan. The boat tried to escape after it was originally spotted by a patrol plane, but Japan's coast guard caught up. A similar incident in 2010 set off an international uproar and caused a huge wave of xenophobic nationalism in Japan. Japan was forced into a humiliating climbdown after China threatened severe trade sanctions. Earlier in the day, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the island dispute with China to a Coast Guard audience:

"Since the country has acquired the ownership of the Senkaku islands, there has been an increase in incursions and patrols by Chinese government vessels. I highly commend the daily work and the effect that you of the Coast Guard [have] as you protect the waters around our country.

It can be predicted that the situation in the southwestern ocean will continue to be difficult. I hope that you of the Coast Guard will continue in your work of protecting Japan's sovereignty."

Japan Times and VOA


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