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China Speak: Watches, Peacekeepers & Comfort Women

Photo: Yang Dacai, an official sacked after netizens spoted him wearing many expensive watches

Quotes from around China this week

“The [Diaoyu] islands have no GDP, no tax revenues and no real value. It’s fine to be patriotic, but we have to be realistic about things.”
- Economist Yu Maoshi. Wall Street Journal

“The corruption crackdown campaign is having a big effect on luxury watch sales. High-end watches are very common gifts and they are items that are quite conspicuous and associated as a sign of corruption.”
- James Roy, senior analyst with China Market Research Group in Shanghai, on the 24 percent drop in luxury watch sales during the first quarter compared to the previous year. Bloomberg

"Are we still a university if we are not allowed to talk about even civil rights and press freedom?"
- A law professor with a Shanghai-based university on the seven subjects now off limits for teaching at Chinese universities. South China Morning Post

“Anti-prostitution drives are useless in terms of controlling the industry, but they lead to a spike in abuses.”
- Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch and one of the authors of a recent report on abuse of prostitutes in China. The Guardian

"To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time. For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That is clear to anyone."
- Osaka, Japan Mayor Toru Hashimoto defending Japan’s World War II use of comfort women. These comments have greatly angered people in China and Korea. The Telegraph

"Participating in UN missions is an unobjectionable way for China to fly its flag."
- Professor Richard Betts, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations on China having more UN “blue beret” peacekeepers than any other nation on the Security Council. The Atlantic


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