Kyoko Altman at PostGlobal

Kyoko Altman

Hong Kong, China

Kyoko Altman has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC, and as a news-magazine reporter for Japan's top-ranked news program 'News Station' on TV Asahi. She has covered more than twenty countries. Close.

Kyoko Altman

Hong Kong, China

Kyoko Altman has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC, and as a news-magazine reporter for Japan's top-ranked news program 'News Station' on TV Asahi. more »

Main Page | Kyoko Altman Archives | PostGlobal Archives

June 19, 2008 11:33 AM

Distrust of National Leaders a Good Sign

The Current Discussion:A new poll finds widespread mistrust of world leaders. Are trustworthy national leaders a thing of the past? If not, who's an exception?

Mistrust in national leaders may be a healthy thing. One possibility is that the media is doing its job – examining and questioning the state of affairs. In a world reeling from the Iraq war, genocide in Sudan, skyrocketing oil prices, acute food shortage and a global economic downturn, it’s not surprising that a new international poll finds people mistrust today’s leaders. These leaders have failed to resolve these problems.

In the poll, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Hu Jintao fair better than many of their counterparts. Both of them are bosses of authoritarian states where the media is under their control. Their images are carefully honed. Criticism of their leadership can lead to arrest. Foreign correspondents are kept at bay, unable to get a close up look at the inner workings of their leadership. Their citizens voiced strong support for them but when combined with overseas’ responses, only 32 percent expressed confidence in Putin and 28 percent in Hu. That’s better than the 23 percent who say they believe in Bush - but not by much.

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April 18, 2008 5:36 PM

Panic and Asia's Rice Crisis

I must confess: when I saw the front-page photo in the local Hong Kong newspaper of people hoarding rice, with a headline that shouted, ‘Threats of Curbs on Thai Rice Sends Jitters in Hong Kong,’ my first thought was, “Maybe I should load up on some extra bags of rice, too – just in case.”

Unfortunately, it is this kind of panic mentality that is feeding a rice crisis here in Asia. Soaring prices and the fear of scarcity have prompted not just consumers but also governments to hoard. India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia have all announced drastic limits on the amount of rice they will export. As these traditional rice exporters tighten their grip on reserves, countries that rely on imports are scrambling to secure supplies.

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October 22, 2007 5:00 PM

Hu's In Charge?

It’s not about who leads China. Whether the top man is Hu Jintao , Li Keqiang or Xi Jinping makes little difference. As long as China chooses leaders through an ossified, secretive process that draws on candidates from a small pool of like-minded elites, all from the same party, it will only face more of the same.

China’s Communist Party has succeeded in engineering rapid growth, transforming the nation into the world’s fourth largest economy. But as that economy matures, the limitations of its authoritarian political system are becoming ever more apparent.

Communist leaders talk about tackling the overheated economy and narrowing the gap between rich and poor. They hold meetings about controlling the country’s voracious energy consumption. They make pledges to clean up rampant pollution. They call press conferences to talk about product safety. But too often, it’s all just talk.

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May 21, 2007 4:39 PM

Many Ways to Hate America

According to a recent book, "Anti-Americanisms in World Politics" by international relation scholars Peter Katzenstein and Robert Keohane, anti-Americanism comes in four distinct forms. There is "liberal anti-Americanism" seen in European democracies like France in which critics charge America is not living up to its values and ideals. "Social anti-Americanism" found in developing countries like Bolivia in South America comes from supporters of the social-welfare state model who oppose U.S.-led globalization. "Radical anti-Americanism" is the kind associated with Islamic fundamentalism found in the Middle East.

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April 19, 2007 1:58 PM

China – World's Next Eco-Villain

America is the favorite target now in the debate about global warming. But with China set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest carbon emitter as early as this year, Beijing is fast emerging as the no. 1 eco-villain. Global warming seems likely to join trade and human rights as a preferred cudgel for condemning China as it emerges as a global power.

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March 1, 2007 10:59 AM

China's Frightening Beauty Industry

“The women’s cleavage displayed in the film ‘Curse of the Golden Flower’ has sent ladies rushing to plastic surgeons for breast enhancement,” writes the Shanghai Daily. In 1999 Shanghai had hardly any plastic surgery hospitals. Today there are more than one hundred. Women in China are racing to get their eyes double-lidded, their waists slimmer, their breasts enlarged in the pursuit of beauty and sexuality with dangerous consequences.

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February 26, 2007 6:30 AM

Martin Scorsese's Movie, The Departed, Weakens Hong Kong Classic

The movie The Departed -- a remake of the Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs -- may be considered one of the hottest movies of the year in America. But here in Asia most film critics and movie-goers agree that the original is far superior.

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November 4, 2006 3:38 AM

A Selective Superpower

Hong Kong- China deserves full credit for dragging Kim Jong-Il back to the negotiating table in the aftermath of North Korea's nuclear test. Chinese diplomats brokered the diplomatic breakthrough after intense behind-the-scenes haggling with North Korea. And Chinese support enabled the UN Security Council to slap Pyongyang with sanctions soon after the blast. China's promise to crack down on illicit bank transactions with North Korea, reiterated this week, have also put steel into U.S. efforts to lock down Pyongyang's overseas assets. And last but not least, China appears to have cut off oil shipments to North Korea in September, just to make sure Kim got the message.

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October 24, 2006 5:25 AM

Beijing Cracks Down in Shanghai

Hong Kong - The biggest news event in China is Beijing's widening corruption probe in Shanghai. The investigation has toppled key members of the city's elite, including Shanghai's Communist Party boss, China's 16th richest man and the impresario behind the Shanghai's Formula One raceway.

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October 10, 2006 3:21 PM

An Explosion of Japanese Nationalism

Hong Kong - Could North Korea's nuclear test push Japan into the nuclear club? Until Sunday the nuclear question was unthinkable in Japan. After all, it was the world's only nation to suffer the horrors of a nuclear attack. Since its defeat in WWII, Japan has not only renounced nuclear weapons but also the use of any offensive military capability. It made peace the cornerstone of its foreign policy. But now Japan's vaunted peace diplomacy has fallen under the cast of a mushroom cloud.

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