Things are heating up in East Asia!

Hi, friends.

Along with working on, and struggling with, an Australia- and Canada-centric story, I’m also working on something I’ll be submitting to the one and only Cracked.com. If they actually decide to publish my trash, ya’ll will be the first to know.

But I’m back here today, specifically, to throw a small heaping of international affairs f#%kery at you. Lately, North Korea has been incredibly naughty (read as: homicidal and destructive) and I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about it.

Continue reading “Things are heating up in East Asia!”

One China two China Red China blue China

In light of recent events, here’s a quick revisit to the story I wrote that briefly explores the China-Taiwan issue.

Prejudice & Politics

Header image for One China Two China Red China Blue ChinaSmoke filtered through the gaps in the beaded curtain that hid their booth. Between both of their cigarettes, the air around them matched a Beijing skyline.

Long nails clicked against porcelain as Taiwan fixed her tea. China smoked quietly and every so often resisted the urge to check his buzzing cellphone. Should have silenced it.

“Have you been well?” She asked after a long lull of silence. It was a safe question.

China kept his eyes off of her. “Yes, I think so.”

Taiwan leaned down and breathed in.”What a nice scent.  You said this was chun mee, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe I could make us tung-ting next time.”

“I don’t like oolong.”

Taiwan’s lips pursed. “You are being impossible.”

He sat up suddenly. “Excuse me? Green tea is healthy. You ought to drink it more. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. You could benefit–”

“Oh, shut up. I’ll drink your tea.”

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One China two China Red China blue China

Smoke filtered through the gaps in the beaded curtain that hid their booth. Between both of their cigarettes, the air around them matched the Beijing skyline.

Long, red nails clicked against porcelain as Taiwan fixed her tea. China smoked quietly and, every so often, resisted the urge to check his buzzing cellphone. Should have silenced it.

Header image for One China Two China Red China Blue China

Smoke filtered through the gaps in the beaded curtain that hid their booth. Between both of their cigarettes, the air around them matched a Beijing skyline.

Long nails clicked against porcelain as Taiwan fixed her tea. China smoked quietly and every so often resisted the urge to check his buzzing cellphone. Should have silenced it.

“Have you been well?” She asked after a long lull of silence. It was a safe question.

China kept his eyes off of her. “Yes, I think so.”

Taiwan leaned down and breathed in.”What a nice scent.  You said this was chun mee, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe I could make us tung-ting next time.”

“I don’t like oolong.”

Taiwan’s lips pursed. “You are being impossible.”

He sat up suddenly. “Excuse me? Green tea is healthy. You ought to drink it more. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. You could benefit–”

“Oh, shut up. I’ll drink your tea.”

Continue reading “One China two China Red China blue China”

The most hated man in Asia

North Korea always, without fail, had a way of knowing when China was stressed out. North Korea always, without fail, had a way of making it worse.

chinese-flag

The smell of sizzling eggplants and bell peppers brought life to the kitchen. China was just about to pour the rice wine vinegar and brown sugar sauce over his saute when sudden lute music jarred him out of his tranquil state. After brushing his hands against his apron, he grabbed his cellphone from the counter.

“Vietnam, you may have caught me at a bad time.”

“July 12th. That’s when the decision will be made?”

For three years, Philippines has been trying to win a case in the international court against China. Vietnam, naturally, supported her in this endeavor. They, like most of Southeast Asia, believed China’s claim to the South China Sea was unnecessarily aggressive at best and criminal at worst.

For three years, China has refused to participate in that nonsense. Now, he didn’t really have a choice.

“You sound as if you were already aware.” He then turned most of his attention back to cooking, loathe to let a perfectly good dish burn.

“I’m not participating as a judge,” Vietnam said, characteristically terse. “But if I were, I would make sure to reiterate Philippines’ claim that you’re a territorial, chauvinistic bastard.”

Continue reading “The most hated man in Asia”

Gambling

by maorix / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Photo by maorix / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There was a room in the back of a bar where three nearly intoxicated companions shared second-hand smoke and a mellow, effortless discussion. Russia drank the most, but she held it well. North Korea drank the second most, but he couldn’t really feel it. China drank the least, but the mess in the ashtray at the center of the table was mostly his doing.

“Why did we stop playing?” North Korea asked gently as he looked over the cards scattered on the table top.

They answered at the same time.

“Because Russia was cheating.”

“Because China hates losing.”

Continue reading “Gambling”

Gossip

Warmth spread through hands that were hugging a hot cup of Shou Mei tea. North Korea sat with his legs crossed, an unusually subdued posture for the high-strung man, and lips in a faint frown. His eyes, glistening with a hint of dolefulness, were occupied with the etched drawings of dragons that circled the small, round table. Across from him, China was coolly watching him and thinking about money.

“I feel sorry for her,” North Korea said finally. “That’s what it comes down to.”

An eyebrow was raised. “Oh?”

North Korea looked up at China and began slowly, as if he was thinking through this own words. “We don’t think alike and we never will. But we both know that America is… a problem. She wants him gone as much as I do.” Then he added quickly after noticing China give him a disbelieving look, “almost as much as I do.”

“They’re friends.”

“But not really.”

“Is that right?”

“He’s overstaying his welcome.”

China sipped his tea, nodding at the flavor–or perhaps the statement. “You prompted her to extend that invitation.”

“That’s irrelevant.”

China nodded again. “Right.”

“Whatever use he was to her then is irrelevant now.”

“You scare her.”

“I should.”

Continue reading “Gossip”