Christmas Island

Christmas Island, located at 10°30′S 105°40′E, 500 km south of Java in the east Indian Ocean. An Australian territory since 1957. Area 135 km2, population 2,072 (as of 2011). A place where several migrations intersect: Chinese and Malay ‘coolies’ (i.e. migrant workers, indentured labourers, or slaves) imported by the British to mine the high-quality guano phosphate …

Poem to the Senkaku/Diaoyutai mole

There’s a photo-tagging war raging around the Senkaku / Diaoyu / Tiaoyutai Islands on Google Earth, and it’s hilarious. Many of the photographs are accompanied by messages more or less well parsed by machine translation, often with exclamation marks in full patriotic profusion. Images of Chinese rockets and torpedos, annotated with the words “To defend …

Crowdfunding for a Maltese passport – a good idea?

In response to Malta’s decision to sell citizenship – and its corresponding EU passport – to “ultra-high net worth individuals” in return for a one-time ‘donation’ of €650,000 (plus a €7,500 “Due Diligence fee” for the private company which has been given exclusive competence to market and sell the scheme), last weekend, I sent a …