Daily Reads—The Sequel: Five Valuable More-Than-Just-China Asia Sites

Last week, our blog-list focused on sites specifically devoted to the PRC or Taiwan, but astute commentaries on and information related to China Beat topics sometimes shows up other kinds of places on the web. With this in mind, we’ll be doing at least two sequels—this one on sites we value that have an Asian focus but are not China-specific, then another later on that deals with sites that have a global purview (but periodically have insightful things to say about Chinese themes).

Japan Focus
Since this site’s editor, Mark Selden, is the author or co-author of several important books on China, it is no surprise that, despite its title, it often carries pieces that move between Japan and its biggest neighbor. If you want to go directly to one of these, a good place to start is with Geremie Barmé’s smart take on anti-Japanese sentiment in the PRC.

This site has geographical breadth—again, no surprise, given who is behind it, as Rebecca McKinnon did stints as CNN’s Beijing and then Tokyo bureau chiefs, has been a close follower of North Korean affairs, and is now based in Hong Kong. China Beat has already linked to one of her PRC pieces, but for a sample of something else she’s done, check out
her take on Yahoo and the ethics and practicalities of policing internet use in China.

Far Eastern Economic Review Forum
This is the recently launched companion to the former-weekly magazine that was revamped several years ago as a monthly journal of opinion. Its goal is to generate debate via mini-essays, and the editor, Hugo Restall, is not above contributing his own provocative forays into this genre, such as
this look at colonialism and Hong Kong’s past.

Based at UCLA and largely run by students, this impressive site offers original content and links to news stories on various parts of the continent, including China. Tom Plate writes a lively regular column for it (here's a
recent sample), and others who have written for it include China Beat’s own Tim Weston and Jeff Wasserstrom, as well as Chuck Hayford, who wrote this piece on the Bingdian (Freezing Point) controversy.

Asian Review of Books
Due to the enormous amount being published on Asia in English alone, having a website devoted to timely reviews of works on Asian themes in that language intended for general readers is of great value. The reviews tend to be positive (though this doesn’t mean they are devoid of criticisms or suggestions for improvement) and are written with readers based in Asia in mind. A good place to start checking out the site is with a review of Love and Revolution, a novel focusing on the lives of Sun Yat-sen and even more so the post-Sun years of his widow Soong Qingling.

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