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Monday
Jan242011

24th of January 2011

 

The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."

 

 

 

China Daily

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Statement maps out new era of cooperation

Hu, Obama focus on advancing mutual interests, economic ties

BEIJING - President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States has charted a new course defining the nature of Sino-US relations in the coming decade, Chinese officials and experts say.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at the close of Hu's busy four-day tour on Saturday that the visit was particularly fruitful and has opened a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries.

Noting the deep, complicated changes in the international situation, Yang underscored the importance of Hu's frank, in-depth talks with US President Barack Obama, and he hailed the consensus reached on bilateral relations and a host of major regional and global issues.

The minister said the joint statement issued during the visit was instrumental to reinforcing strategic trust between the two nations, which has been - and will remain - a key concern for Beijing and Washington.

The joint statement, in which Washington reaffirms its commitment to the one-China policy, reflects both nations' desire to improve understanding and reinforce trust. It outlines a package of exchange measures to help shore up that trust, Yang said.

 

Homebuying restrictions to be extended

BEIJING - The central government will expand property-purchasing limitations to second- and third-tier cities as it steps up efforts to cool the real estate market, a report said on Sunday.

Authorities have drafted a list of cities to which the purchasing limit will apply, the Chongqing Evening News quoted an unnamed vice-ministerial-level official with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development as saying.

The list will include Qingdao city in East China's Shandong province, and several cities in Northwest China's Shaanxi province and South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the report said.

If the listed cities' leaders fail to implement the limits, they will be invited to have a "face-to-face chat" with the ministry, the report said.

Beijing became the first city to adopt the limits in April 2010. They took effect in May. The rules forbid local families from buying more than one apartment in the capital.

Other big cities followed suit. These include Shanghai; Tianjin municipality; Guangdong province's Shenzhen city; Zhejiang's provincial capital Hangzhou and Ningbo city; Jiangsu's provincial capital Nanjing; and Fujian's provincial capital Fuzhou and Xiamen city.

Shandong's provincial capital Jinan became the latest city to join the list on Friday.

See Kaixin's - CHINA REAL ESTATE


Rural forced demolition rules being developed

Amendments will address prolific disputes on farmers?collectively owned lands not dealt with in recently implemented regulations

BEIJING - Legislators are busy revising the Land Administration Law to curb forced demolitions on "collectively owned" - meaning rural-land after an updated housing demolition regulation on State-owned property took effect on Friday.

Most of the country's land requisition problems took place on collectively owned property, which was not covered in the recently implemented regulation. These conflicts can only be addressed by adjusting the national land management law, officials from the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on Saturday.

"Expropriations of State-owned and collectively owned land are separately regulated by two different rules - the regulation relevant to houses and compensation on State-owned land, and the Land Administration Law," unidentified officials with the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development told Xinhua News Agency.

"So, conflicts that occur on the two kinds of land should be resolved in different ways."

 

Beijing to build China's first design exchange

BEIJING - Beijing is planning to build China's first design exchange to offer a platform for design trading and boost the country's burgeoning creativity industry.

"China enjoys a tremendous market for both manufacturing and consumption, and sees a growing demand for design industry and an increasing supply in this regard," Song Weizu, vice secretary-general of the China Industrial Design Association, said Sunday.

In Beijing alone, there are about 1,000 governmental design businesses and 20,000 privately-run design companies, said Song, who is also secretary-general of the Beijing Industrial Design Promotion Association.

"But there is no public platform in China for design suppliers and those in need to find each other, and the two parties have to contact each other in a point-to-point way," he said.

"That not only lowers market efficiency but also hampers industry expansion," he said.

Song said the China design exchange will open this year if "everything goes smoothly."

"Some international design companies in Britain, Republic of Korea, Italy and others have voiced interest in the design exchange," he said.

 

Finest Cuts: The emperor’s old clothes

When it comes to the intricate imperial robes of ancient royalty, only one family can do a makeover. Wu Yiyao visits a clan of specialists in Suzhou that has been doing that for six generations, and counting.

Even the emperor's best clothes are subjected to wear and tear, especially after hundreds of years. So it did not surprise Wang Jialiang when officials from Beijing's Palace Museum turned up at the doorsteps of his suburban Suzhou workshop bearing the imperial jacket of the Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796). They wanted repairs done for the centuries-old robe, and Wang and his family of kesi craftsmen were the only people who can do the job. Kesi is an intricate weaving process and the word literally means "carving with silk?

 

 

 

 

 

 

China's railway system is put to the test

As millions take to the rails, bad weather awaits

BEIJING - The national railway system is going through a harsh test, with increasing pressure from passengers who lined up all night for a train ticket and the icy weather in the southern part of the country that could disrupt transport at any time.

A flood of people have waited in line before ticket windows at Beijing's several railway stations over the weekend, and tickets for all trains leaving Beijing were sold out in only 30 minutes after being put on sale on Saturday morning, the Beijing Times reported.

Tickets sold over the weekend are for ordinary trains leaving in the few days before the eve of the Spring Festival, which falls on Feb 3 this year.

 

Disrobed, famed and stranded

SHANGHAI - A man who took his clothes off at a local railway station office in East China to express his anger at being unable to buy a ticket home remained stranded and anxious for help on Sunday.

Chen Weiwei, a migrant worker from Central China's Henan province, earned national attention and sympathy when a set of pictures depicting Chen, clad only in his underwear, and confronting an officer, circulated widely online.

He had lined up for 14 hours at the west Jinhua railway station in East China's Zhejiang province on Jan 17 and 18 only to find the tickets he wanted to buy were all sold out.

A report by a Shanghai newspaper said on Friday that Chen had received five tickets with assistance from staff members at Jinhua railway station.

But Chen Wanjun, spokesman with the Shanghai Railway Bureau, said on Sunday that the report was not true.

He said the tickets were sold out, and that there was no possibility to help him, though railway authorities went all out to help passengers home during the travel peak.

Chen Weiwei, dressed in his underwear, challenges a railway station official after he failed to get a train ticket home.

 

China begins annual Spring Festival travel rush

BEIJING-- China's annual Spring Festival travel rush began Wednesday in freezing weather, with some 700 million people, or half the nation's population, expected to travel within the country during the 40-day-long travel period. China's Ministry of Transport (MOT) estimates that 2.85 billion passenger trips will be made during the period, 11.6 percent more than last year.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New year, is the most important traditional festival of family reunions. This year, it falls on February 3.

 

230 million expected to go home by train

BEIJING - The volume of China's railway passengers during the coming Spring Festival peak period is expected to hit a new high of 230 million, an increase of 12.5 percent over last year's figures, officials said on Saturday morning.

 

 See Kaixin's - Chinese Folk Customs


Lunar new year merchandising market

A woman smiles as she shops at a Chinese new year merchandising market in Shanghai January 17, 2011. Hundreds of millions of Chinese geared up to welcome the Year of the Rabbit next February 3, packing temple fairs, entertainment parks, setting off fireworks and firecrackers and hurrying to train and bus stations to get home for the traditional holiday.

 

Writing Spring Festival couplets

A man (right) writes Spring Festival couplets for residents of a neighborhood in Yining, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Jan 23, 2011. Almost 100 calligraphers gathered in the neighborhood and wrote couplets for residents as Spring Festival gifts.

 

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY

OF

CHINA

 

 

 

 

Zhong Ming's Book of Insects

It's a big world of the world's smallest creatures - from Zhong Ming's lens to the compelling close-up shots here.

Beautiful -- but perhaps different from traditional beauty -- through an entomologist's eyes, the microcosm of insects is perfectly demonstrated by Zhong. He sees it as a way of getting closer to Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Global Times

Learn Chinese Online

 

China won't be a fast-growing but fragile country. It has to develop it's military strength in order to make any power think twice before trying to offend China's key interests.

 

 Global Times 2010 Year in Review 

 

  

 

US ties shine, bumps linger

Calling President Hu Jintao's recently concluded trip to the United States a fruitful diplomatic maneuver, officials and analysts called on the world's two biggest economies to cement their burgeoning mutual trust, as they are almost certain to run into future disagreements.


Winding road to national integration

Spring Festival travel, or chunyun, brings pains for not only migrant workers who are heading home, but also residents staying in big cities during the season.

In coastal cities, you will see lots of restaurants suspend business, express delivery companies cut service, household helpers absent, and calls to the carwash met with no answer. Due to an exodus of migrant workers, the service industries will become semi-paralyzed.

While globalization integrates the world into one village, China's national integration appears to be another giant movement. It has created chunyun, the largest migration in human history, and has set the path of life for hundreds of millions of people. It serves as a thrust for both prosperity and bitterness in large cities.

For many Chinese, the charm of big cities is colossal. Compared with taking risks in the US or Europe, chasing dreams in domestic cities seems less risky. The flow of labor and resources into larger cities has supported China's high-speed economic growth in the past three decades.

The flow of people from villages into cities also causes a series of problems, such as a swelling population, shortages in resources and environmental deterioration. Society has to accept these problems along with the benefits.

In the long term, the national integration movement will shorten the distance between different regions. But this is bound to be an ordeal. China's population migration remains a seasonal, pendulum-style movement at the moment. Lots of migrant workers have to rush in and out of cities, since they cannot really be absorbed into these crammed cities and get permanent residence.

Big cities are still unsure about the role these migrant workers play, and it is unknown how much social welfare the newcomers can share in the future.

National integration is an irreversible journey. The number of migrant workers has reportedly reached 9 million in Shanghai and over 10 million in Beijing. These people contribute a lot to the economic vigor in cities in East China. Yet the cities have not been prepared to give them equal social benefits.

China's urban-rural dual system is deeply rooted. At the same time, the income gap between coastal and inner areas is wide, and the registered residence system is still rigid in big cities. National integration struggles against all these facts. But it is not a well-organized struggle - it mainly comes out of spontaneous market forces.

The movement involves the fate of numerous Chinese. It is spectacular in a macro perspective and the details are sad at times. As the entire country face this goal of integration, the Chinese have to remain strong and patient.

 

Media holding up mirror to society, for better or worse

Is social inequality in China getting better or worse? Two recent news items may help answer the question.

The State Administration of Civil Service has disclosed that over 90 percent of newly recruited public servants come from ordinary families, and not from elite or privileged ones. When juxta-posed with several scandals over the recruitment of officials' children, this makes for a typical Chinese scene.

They are both true, reflecting a complex China, full of imperfections, full of expectations and full of hope.

 

The Lang Lang side effect

Swiss conductor Adrian Schneider had a simple dream: to bring good music to the people through an independent professional wind orchestra based in Beijing.

For a country that churns out prodigies like pianist Lang Lang and exports musicians to the world's top symphony orchestras, Schneider found it no easy task.

Despite a massive Chinese mainland base of string instrument and piano students, Schneider said he was surprised to discover he had no other choice but to build a multinational team to form a top-level wind orchestra.

Half of the principals of his Dunshan Orchestra hail from Europe, the US, Japan, together with several from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

"It's about 50 years behind the West," he said.

Lang Lang performs in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province

 

See Kaixin's - A Selection of Chinese Folk, Contemporary & Classical Music


 

 

 

 

 

Dialogue

A 30 Minute Current Affairs Programme on CCTV - 9 (In English) where current issues are discussed by experts from China and Internationally:

 

 

US & China's best way forward through trade

 

China-US relations in transition

 

Strategic reassurance to be tested

 

Gates' fence-mending visit to Beijing


US-Japan security ties

 

Japan-ROK ties of expediency

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

International News Sources

Learn Chinese Online

 

 

The Wall Street Journal - China RealTime Report


The Wall Street Journal

Pictures of China

Slideshows

 

 

WSJ - Photos of President Hu's visit to America

 

 

 

Chinese flags were wrapped with American ones outside the White House during Hu Jintao's state visit. Kaixin OpEd - I wonder if that was Hillary's idea ....

 

China Portrays Hu's U.S. Visit as Start of a New Era

BEIJING—For Chinese citizens following President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S., the message from Communist Party is loud and clear: The world's dominant power is finally treating China as an equal, and Mr. Hu, who steps down as Communist Party chief next year, is the man to thank.


Hong Kong Booms with Dollars Wrapped in Yuan

A Chinese property developer's recent record-breaking bond issue highlighted soaring demand for ways to play appreciation of China's currency. It also underscores the limits of China's nascent efforts to create an international market for the yuan in Hong Kong.

See Kaixin's - YUAN REVALUATION & INTERNATIONALISATION

 

Video: China’s Next Leader–Who is Xi?

With Chinese President Hu Jintao poised to step down by 2013, WSJ’s Jeremy Page tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Xi Jinping, the man most likely to take over the reins of the world’s second largest economy:

 

 

The New York Times

In China, Hu’s Successor Is Being Quietly Groomed

BEIJING — President Hu Jintao of China returned home this weekend after a trip intended to repair relations with the United States. But the next time the White House marches out the honor guard and polishes the crystal for a Chinese leader, it is unlikely to be for Mr. Hu.

 

Maybe Japan Was Just a Warm-Up

The trade tensions with China sometimes seem like a rerun of the 1980s rivalry with Japan. But can Washington use its old strategies?

The real answer to the China challenge, like the competition from Japan in the 1980s, must come from the United States, the industrial policy thinkers say. A mix of several ingredients will undoubtedly be sought: skillful government policy, smart private-sector strategies, national investment in research and development for long-term innovation, and improved performance of the American education system. In short, all the things the United States should be doing anyway, but with an added measure of urgency because of the global competition that China epitomizes — an economic Sputnik.

Kaixin OpEd - An informed article that is well worth reading.

China is definitely NOT Japan and has approached it rise to economic power in a completely different way. Japan was always hostage to America post WWII. China prised open America in the 1970's and has not looked back.

The author, Steve Lohr, is correct in saying that America has to learn to compete with China and go back to basics. Complaining about the Yuan and crying on Washington's shoulder won't fix the problem of a stagnated economic America.

Steve Lohr is also right in saying that America has a great wealth of talent and energy in its people and corporations. Harness that and America will compete successfully with China.

Rather than see the rise and rise of China as a threat to be controlled, America should see it as an opportunity to compete: compete in business, economics, philosophy and ideals.

America became a great nation because of its ability to embrace competition. It lost a lot of that greatness when it suckled up to mummy's tit (aka GFC) and started to cry like a baby (aka Yuan).

 

Op-Ed Columnist
Banned in Beijing!
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF


To measure the democratizing effect of the Internet on China, I conducted a little experiment. I survived. But will my blog?

Psst. Don’t tell the Chinese government, but I started a Chinese-language blog here in China, and it contains counterrevolutionary praise of dissidents. It’s at http://blog.sina.com.cn/jisidao.

Kaixin OpEd - Kaixin had a peek and got this message:

抱歉,您要访问的页面不存在或被删除!'Sorry, the page you want to access does not exist or is deleted!'

Perhaps Mr Kristof would like to publish what he wrote in the Blog.

Censorship is a tricky issue in China. Kaixin has learned that it is not black and white like a second rate American western, it is complex and the rationale behind it is at times obscure.

Still, it is an issue well known in China and probably worth discussing from time to time.

Though, in the final analysis, it is the people of China who have the right to decide, not the west.

 

Chasing the China Bandwagon

The recent visit of China’s president gives investors more reasons to take notice of its surging economic growth.

 

Superpower and Upstart: Sometimes It Ends Well

Thucydides knew fear can trap states into war. President Obama and Hu seemed to take a lesson from him last week.

 

SINOGRAPH
Confucius takes a stand
By Francesco Sisci

Chinese authorities last week placed a statue of Confucius in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, near the portrait of former paramount leader Mao Zedong. The move to give such a public face to the great philosopher is in line with Beijing's decision to cut down on Maoist paraphernalia in the political heart of China. Maoists are up in arms.

See Kaixin's - Confucius, Traditional Chinese Medicine ... best represent Chinese culture

See Kaixin's - Confucius - Video Documentary

See Kaixin's - Mao’s Last Swimmer - Chairman Mao's swim anniversary Nanning China

Kaixin OpEd – Xiaosui recalls the Cultural Revolution (which she lived through) and how Mao wanted to wipe Confucius from Chinese history.

Why?

Mao came from a village in rural China. He had seen how lofty ideas such as Confucianism had not benefited the rural population and peasants of China one jot.

He wanted to leave all that behind and forge a new China.

Yes, his ideals were corrupted by power, but the Cultural Revolution was actually founded on a sound idea, to rid China of the old ways that had contributed to grinding the average rural worker/farmer into the dust.

However, an idea, a philosophy, as strong as Confucianism cannot be wiped from the face of history.

It is re-emerging in China as China is taking its place in the world as a leading power. A place it held for most of recorded history.

The leaders of China know that the Chinese people, in particular the youth, need a powerful philosophy to guide them.

The influences and temptations of China’s re-gained wealth are great, and distracting.

Communism is a strong philosophy, but it is mainly political and economic. Also, China has let it evolve to benefit the needs of China, rather than wear it as a straightjacket.

Confucianism has 1,000’s of years of history in moral guidance.

Communism may provide the physical sustenance to the people of China, however Confucianism will provide the philosophical sustenance.

 

Global Times - Demented art

As a child, Guo Haiping witnessed his disturbed brother Guo Enping being dispatched to a mental hospital after reading The Selected Works of Mao Zedong nonstop for three days and three nights.

Kaixin OpEd - This article featured on the front page of one of China's leading overseas English newwspapers (news website). Along with the statue, it says something of how China is viewing Mao's legacy. Not all bad, but in perspective.

See Kaixin's - Mao’s Last Swimmer - Chairman Mao's swim anniversary Nanning China

 

 

 

Chapter One

Zanzibar

'A maharaja’s ruby cast on a Persian carpet by the blackest of hands'

The ancient dhow stirred in the soft morning breeze, moving through the water like a sated lion, snuffling about the other boats on the harbour; some scurrying, some at anchor, some darting before a brief gust of wind. The lateen sails a bustling panorama of blood-red and sun-bleached white.

Aft, the woman's eyes searched the skyline, drinking in the architecture of Stone Town, the heart of Zanzibar; its jagged, cluttered silhouette so familiar, so much a part of her soul.

Abruptly, her eyes ceased their restless searching, jagged by an invisible hook, transfixed by the grand buildings on the northern shore, Beit-al-Ajaib, the House of Wonders, Palace to the great Sultan of Zanzibar. The distinctive architecture captured in the tropical light: coconut white outlined by contrasting shadow plays of pepper black.

A smile, ever so slight, started to play on the edge of her mouth, then disappeared. A memory that should have been fond instantly turning to sharp unbearable pain. Her eyes hardened and moved on.

Without warning the captain threw the rudder over. Stumbling, the woman barked her shin on a wooden box, a rough-hewn coffin. She recoiled, knocking over an untidy stack of cane baskets. Imprisoned in the baskets, rusty cockerels, their scruffy heads straining through the latticework, snapped at her, cried out to her; their raucous din overwhelming her, drowning her.

Dimly, through the fog of noise, the strident swearing of the sailors in Kiswahili seeped into her conscious. Understanding, she smiled mirthlessly.

The coffin had been carelessly stowed, a chore, rather than a labour of respect or love.

 

 

London 1910

“Hello, who are you? I am Oliver, is Edward at home?”

The words were spoken by a tall, impeccably dressed young man rushing into Edward’s flat, shaking off surplus water and calling for whisky while shoving his umbrella into a stand; a shaggy grey Irish wolfhound, impeccably dressed by savile row.

Susan laughed, her hazel eyes dancing with the exhilaration of the new. “Yes, he is having a bath. I think he is trying to get warm. I’m Susan, Susan Carey, his sister.

$US4.99

 

 

Pick'n Season

Short stories on a theme set in Tasmania, Australia

Where style and story telling are explored.

$US2.99

 

 

The Cultural Revolution through my Eyes

By Zhou Xiaosui

$US2.99

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

This is the story of my life, and my family's life, in the time of the Cultural Revolution. I hope you will be interested in seeing China through my eyes.

 

Chapter One

I was Born in this Time

This was a time of unrest and uncertainty. A time that was to last for 10 long years and profoundly affected my family.

Just after I was born, the Government accused my father of being a counter-revolutionary because his family had moved from China and all lived overseas. So he lost his job as a teacher. He wasn’t allowed to work and had to stay at home reflecting on what he had done wrong. This was bad for my father, but it was good for me. My father could look after me at home, and over the early years of my growing up I became very close to my father who was also my first teacher.

I remember, he hung a blanket by the four corners to become a hammock, and he put me inside. He would rock me to and fro when I cried or became restless. He needed to write two pieces for the Government about his thinking and saying sorry that his family left China and lived overseas. He also had to embroider a Mao Zhengdong photo.

Just like this, my father looked after me and finished his thinking “reconstruct”.

My parents told me I was a lambkin, a fat lot cry. My father really loved me. At that time, no-one listened for him, so he talked to me everyday. He talked and talked and I laughed and laughed. My father said he looked at me and I made him so happy.

By the time I was one year old, I had worn out four blankets!

When I was one year old, my father who had lost his job as a teacher, had to go to a Government building company to become a general labourer. It was very hard work for a teacher. At night he had to go to re-education meetings. When I was older and started to understand something of what had happened in my family, my sister, who is six years older than me, told me, “in this time, many nights she saw my father come back from the meeting with bruises and wounds all over the body." These had been inflicted by the Hong Wei Bing. My mother, who was a Doctor, cried and helped my father clean the wounds. These beatings went on night after night, my father wanted to die. My mother told him, “I need you, your two children need you, they need to have a father, you must live!’

Hong Wei Bing: Hong = red; wei = to guard, to protect; bing = soldier

In Chinese culture, ‘hong’ is lucky and represents good.

The Hong Wei Bing was the Communists Party’s youth cadre. It was made up of students in high school aged between 12 and 18. They were given authority over any person branded as a counter-revolutionary. They were, of course, too young and callow to be given that much power, so they abused it. It would be like giving the students at your local High School authority, without boundaries, over anyone in your town who did not seem to conform, including their teachers.

The Government officials ran the re-education meeting with the Hong Wei Bing.

The Hong Wei Bing harassed anyone who was at the meeting. Asking questions like, ‘Did you do the bad thing for the Government, for Mao?’, ‘Do you love Mao?’, ‘Why does your family live overseas?’ ………… questions that had to be answered quickly and with enthusiasm. If the Hong Wei Bing were not satisfied with the answer, or even if they did not like your demeanor, of if they just wanted to hurt you, then they would beat you up. Many people died from these beatings.

My father did not, he lived.

 

$US2.99

 

 

My Father's Wisdom

By Zhou Xiaosui

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

These are some of the stories my father taught my in this time.

$US2.99