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Friday, September 3, 2010

China, friend or foe....proceed with caution.


From National Public Radio's Morning Edition: click here to access story and audio.

Tensions Rise As China Launches Show Of Force

China's air force this week is conducting a five-day exercise involving scores of aircraft and 12,000 soldiers. Dubbed "Vanguard 2010," it is the latest sign of China flexing its muscles amid rising military tensions with the United States.
The strains — especially over operations in the South China Sea — represent a new area of dispute between China and the U.S.
China's military drills were once top secret, announced only after they were completed. But these days China's armed forces seem to want to broadcast its movements to the world.
This latest exercise is taking place in the central province of Henan and eastern province of Shandong, which abuts the Yellow Sea, and includes 100 military aircraft. It is the latest in a series of high-profile maneuvers, including naval exercises last week in the South China Sea, which were the largest of their kind.

U.S. Asserts Its Regional Interests
China's renewed military assertiveness comes after pointed comments by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi.
Clinton defended freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. She said the U.S. had a national interest in resolving claims on islands in the South China Sea, an area disputed by China, Taiwan Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.
It is the first time the United States has become involved in regional territorial tensions, and China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reacted with fury.
Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at People's University in Beijing, called Clinton's comments an "ambush."
"I don't think Washington made any serious pre-consultation or even [gave any] information to China, then suddenly launched this in Hanoi," Shi says. "I think that this strategic dispute is very unique and quite bad."
China had already been angered by joint war games between South Korea and the U.S. in the Sea of Japan, off the east coast of South Korea.
Actions, Reactions Following Sinking Of Ship
Those drills were aimed at North Korea following the sinking in March of the Cheonan, a South Korean warship. But China also felt threatened by the proximity of the exercises.
"What will Americans feel if the Chinese or Russian military travel across the ocean to hold exercises in the high seas not far from the coast of Florida, California or New York?" the China Daily asked in an editorial.
Now Beijing is issuing its own response with its recent military drills.
"What you see with the very rapid rise of China as a great naval power is the fact that China can flex its muscles a little bit more," says Ralf Emmers of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and the author of a book about geopolitics and maritime territorial disputes in East Asia.
"We don't know to what extent China would use military force to impose its claims on the South China Sea. In fact, what we have seen since 1995 [is] a lot of restraint, a willingness to negotiate with various Southeast Asian countries and try come up with a code of conduct," Emmers says.
'Core National Interest'
No one knows how far China would go. In March, a senior Chinese official spoke for the first time of the South China Sea as a "core national interest," a category which formerly only encompassed Taiwan and Tibet.
Beijing's sovereignty claims over the South China Sea are not new, but it is clearly becoming more assertive. It has been exercising these claims by seizing Vietnamese fishing boats, detaining Vietnamese fishermen and pressuring western oil companies not to do business with Vietnam.
Now China's increased assertiveness is scaring the same Southeast Asian neighbors that Beijing has been wooing assiduously with loans and investment.
"A lot of Asian countries seem to be willing to join the hedging game against China, like Vietnam and Indonesia — both want to have some military cooperation with the U.S.," says Huang Jing, an expert in China and security issues of the National University of Singapore.
He says the latest developments could reflect a worrying trend.
"It seems to me that Chinese navy has outgrown China's strategic thinking. The strategic thinkers are lagging behind the naval expansion, which could be very, very dangerous," he says.
Lacking A Strategy?
China's navy and top generals don't "really have a thought-through strategy. They just behave according to capacity. There are very bad historical lessons — number one is Japan in the 1930s — but I think Chinese leaders should be more sophisticated than that," he says.
The escalation of tension is taking place at a time when military ties between the U.S. and China have been suspended. China cut military contacts in January in protest at arms sales to Taiwan.
"I don't think there's a real risk of open conflict in the South China Sea," Emmers says. "But misunderstandings and the risk of accidents should not be counted out. The Pentagon and the [Chinese military] will have to find channels of communication to prevent such misunderstandings from potentially escalating into diplomatic rows and then crises."

First posted 8-5-2010
With this proliferation of war games, the heat is rising. And it could rise further. The South Korean navy is reportedly planning more war games in the Yellow Sea and monthly drills with the United States.
China's army-run daily newspaper is in a bellicose mood, warning that the army should "strengthen preparation for warfare."

Internet Television, the Next Generation









Amazon.com eyes film, TV service

E-tailer plans Web subscriptions for catalogue content

and

YouTube eyes pay-per-view films

Move would put it in more direct competition with Apple


Netscape dominates the Internet TV market, with Hulu and other services competing for attention and acces in an age where more and more new televisions and DVD players are Internet ready...






Google's YouTube video service is in talks with Hollywood studios to launch a streaming pay-per-view movie service by year's end.

The Financial Times reported that the service is expected to launch in the U.S. and then get rolled out globally. The move would put YouTube into more direct competition with Apple and others, such as Hulu and Netflix, as players try to become the preferred destination for distribution of content in the digital age.

Hollywood seems intrigued by the idea of YouTube's big reach, according to the FT report.
It said newer film titles would cost about $5 on the planned on-demand streaming service.

The news of the planned YouTube film service launch comes after Google top executives wooed studios and guildsduring a chat with reporters on the sidelines of Herb Allen's annual Sun Valley media mogul gathering in July.



Amazon is scaling up its video rental and sales and lining up allies to take on Apple, despite the pending giants of Google and an expande Netflix.


So far Apple has lined up Fox and Disney/ABC products, with NBC Universal set on going on its own and CBS inclined toward Google.


Wall Street Journal reports that Apple represents 57% of the on-line video sales market and 53% of television sales. Netflix is not considered as it does not sell product simply "rent it" though various models.




Sci Fi Center Labor Day Weekend Screenings

THE SCIFI CENTER:
  • FRIDAY SEPT 3RD 8pm   NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and COLIN THE ZOMBIE MOVIE $5.00


  • SATURDAY SEPT 4TH      9PM WIZARD OF OZ W/PINK FLOYD DARK SIDE OF THE MOON $10.00


  • SATURDAY SEPT 4TH      1130PM ARMY OF DARKNESS $5.00


  • SUNDAY SEPT 5TH     1PM THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) AND JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING $1.00


  • FRIDAY SEPT 10TH  8PM ANDY WARHOL'S  BLOOD OF DRACULA AND FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN


  • SATURDAY SEPT 11TH     8PM BATTLE ROYALE $7.00


  • SATURDAY SEPT 11TH     10PM SICK GIRL $7.00

  • Flue Shots at CSN

    Attendance down, prices up at theaters

    Movie theater operators have gotten away with the biggest year-over-year price increases ever in 2010 as attendance has stayed pretty much unchanged compared to 2009.

    TheWrap.com reported that average admission costs are up more than 40 cents, or 5%, this year. The National Association of Theater Owners said attendance is down less than 1% from 2009.

    The question facing industry executives is whether consumers will revolt sooner or later.
    TheWrap argued that high 3D prices had at least some role in the disappointing performance of recent boxoffice fare, such as "Piranha 3D."

    BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield in a research note on Thursday argued that "consumer 3D fatigue is already starting to show given the abusive ticket prices that exhibitors are charging for poor 3D content." And he criticized studios for a lack of quality product. "Hollywood is putting out bad 3D movie after bad 3D movie," he said, citing that the recent "Cats and Dogs" sequel in 3D was priced $3-$5 above "Inception."

    Greenfield is particularly concerned about family films in 3D "as we have witnessed numerous five-year-olds spending more time playing with their 3D glasses than watching the movie."



    The above is from the Hollywood Reporter. To find our more or read the Hollywood Reporter.com click here. Subscription may be required and is highly recommended by this blog. Students may wish to access using school computers where fees pay for services.

    Also see: Box Office

    Box Office Record

    Industry Downturn

    It's Not Your Mama's Movie Theater