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8/18/2007

Asian affairs, western perspective

I just read 'The week in Review' in the Straits Times this morning. There was this whole page touching on issues in Thailand, Japan, Sino Russian relations and the Asian market downturn. Only the first article had the author's name under it. So it is clear who wrote the article. The other 3 articles did not specifically said who wrote them. But at the top of the page was the photo of Jonathan Eyal of the Straits Times Foreign Desk. So presumably they must be contributed by Jonathan. There is no doubt that Jonathan is a prolific writer and an expert in Asian and world affairs. And I enjoy reading his articles. But the approach of his writings is very similar to writers like William Pesek and Tom Plates, a western view, tinted, to reflect western interest, obsession and agenda. And this is the kind of material that readers are fed with practically everyday. And eventually they will used these material subconsciously to form their opinions and viewpoints of things, especially the negative perspective and agenda of the west on Asian countries. It would be more balance if national papers of Asian countries publish more of the views of their local writers on Asian affairs and give them an Asian favour. Maybe the Asian countries truly are lack of Asian talents to write about issues and matters concerning Asian interests. This must be the greatest failure of all their institutions of higher learnings. Can't even produce writers and commentators on their own affairs. It is a pathetic state of affair that today, we are still looking at ourselves through western glasses. When will this change?

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