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« 18th of June 2011 | Main | 16th of June 2011 »
Friday
Jun172011

17th of June 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."

 

 

 

People's Daily

 

 

China to strengthen maritime forces amid disputes

China's offshore surveillance force will be beefed up to ensure that the country's maritime interests are fully protected amid increasing disputes with its neighbors.

 

Central bank: People not satisfied with price rises

People's satisfaction with prices in China is at its second lowest in more than a decade, according to the latest central bank survey released yesterday.

The People's Bank of China surveyed 20,000 household in 50 cities across the country recently and found that just 16.8 percent of respondents were satisfied with prices, the second lowest figure since the bank began conducting the quarterly survey in the fourth quarter of 1999.

 

Hu stresses all-round cooperation as China, Russia upgrade partnership

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Moscow on Thursday that China and Russia have agreed to further advance their bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the fields of trade, culture and international affairs.

 

China, Mongolia forge strategic partnership, vow to enhance economic ties

China and Mongolia on Thursday agreed to upgrade bilateral ties to a strategic partnership level and bolster economic cooperation.

 

More foreign interns seek work in China

Lauren Ratcliffe wasted no time. She graduated in North Carolina on May 8 and landed in Beijing on May 26 to start her internship.

Not knowing a word of Mandarin before she arrived, she's excited that she has now published stories outside her home country after adjusting to the first week of ubiquitous spitting in public and unstoppable car honking.

Ratcliffe, who majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one of four US interns at china.org.cn, a multi-language Web portal founded by the State Council Information Office and China International Publishing Group.

 

Cold War mentality hinders peace in Asia-Pacific

The 10th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, successfully concluded in Singapore on June 5. The attendees had in-depth discussions on bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation during the three-day summit. As a major regional cooperation platform, the dialogue will help dispel suspicion and build up mutual trust among the Asia-Pacific countries, said John Chipman, director-general of IISS, organizer of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Kaixin OpEd - Proxy War Anyone?

Kaixin's 'The Korean War & China'

Kaixin's 'The Vietnam War & China'

 

Clashes over South China Sea pose a test to new E Asian Structure

By Li Hongmei

South China Sea waters will be churned up if some regional countries insisted on risky ventures to address the so-called border issue. What is happening now is already inviting the global concerns--- Vietnam is using live ammunition in its war exercises in the waters of the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Philippine President Benigno Aquino's office stated it was renaming the South China Sea as the "West Philippine Sea" amid the mounting tensions with Beijing.

Viewed from the strategic perspective, the ongoing and escalating border disputes are not merely fighting for maritime rights, but posing a real test to the emerging regional structure characterized by the ever-growing Chinese influence due to its robust economy and "wooing diplomacy", and correspondingly, the shrinking US clout.

Why Vietnam and Philippines currently act as if they were ready to fight a proxy war representing US against China is virtually making a rash bet, expecting that their open confrontation with China would be vocally and materially backed by the U.S., and their saber-rattling rhetoric and practice could set a precedent for the future settlement of the long brewed disputes. And the concerned countries might also secretly calculate whether China, in response, would flex its economic and military muscles to force the small neighbors to bow down or it could be caught in an embarrassing dilemma as it has all the way called for a multi-lateral mechanism and claimed its rise a peaceful one.

 

Why China should seek after Inclusive Rise?

By Li Hongmei


President Hu Jintao has called at various occasions for Asia's inclusive development and made it one of the themes of the country's 12th five-year development plan, underscoring how China will reorient its growth model to make economic benefits more widely shared.

The idea was initiated by the Asian Development Bank in 2007 and enshrined by the United Nations as one of its millenium goals.

The questions popping up here are how China could translate this into more tangible policy actions, and why China is supposed to pursue the route of inclusive development and rise.

...

 

 

Resolving local government debts

By Li Hong


The lid over China's local government debt has not been fully lifted, although the banking regulatory authorities in Beijing are cautioning a potentially perilous effect the ballooning debt could have on the country's bank loan safety and economic growth. Market investors are so anxious about the debt woes that whenever a media report emerges, it would lead to a huge sell-off.

Last year, the State Council headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, ordered an investigation into local debts. No official debt numbers have been made public, but most analysts put it at between six to eight trillion yuan. Not all of the local government debts will end in bad loans for the banks, as many projects funded by the borrowings, like the state-of-the-art high-speed bullet trains, are expected to generate stable incomes, which will flow back to service bank loans.

However, it is assumed that a plenty of the loans are now overdue. If the financing and investment arms of the local governments fail to raise sufficient money, they will have to put off a spate of projects which are being built, and default on the loans in arrears - creating a financial crisis in China.

 

 

China's Power Shortage - FEATURE

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA

 

 

 

 

Kaixin Search Engine

Research China

You can SEARCH the WWW but there is no QUALITY CONTROL of the articles. This can waste a lot of time. ALL of the articles in Kaixin are substantive and come from well-respected sources. No dross, means no loss (of time) to you.

The powerful Google Kaixin Site search allows you to search Kaixin by topic, key word, name, specific date ...

Kaixin Site Search

 

 

 

China Tibet Online

 

 

 

 

 

China Daily

 

China ups holdings of US debt in April

NEW YORK / BEIJING - China, the largest foreign holder of United States Treasuries, bought more federal bonds in April for the first time since October despite concerns over the US debt level.

 

New era for Sino-Russian ties

Joint declaration pledges mutual support on key security issues

MOSCOW - China and Russia deepened their strategic relationship on Thursday by vowing to support each other on core security issues.

 

IMF hopeful woos China for votes

BEIJING - Agustin Carstens, governor of the Mexican central bank, said on Thursday that China promised to take his bid to be the first non-European managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seriously and that the Chinese government is in the process of making a final decision.

See Kaixin's - FOLLOW THE DEBATE: The Selection of the next IMF President

 

Fragile environment on Plateau gets protection

BEIJING - The State Council on Thursday published a comprehensive plan to protect the environment and ecology on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau over the next 20 years.

"The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is facing grave challenges due to its complex and fragile natural environment and the unbalanced economic structure of the region," said a statement on the Ministry of Environmental Protection's website.

Strengthening environmental protection in the region is significant for "maintaining stability, ethnic unity and the building of a well-off society," the statement noted.

 

Rivers struggling to cope as flood crisis deepens

Villagers evacuated after riverbank bursts, 2,000 people safe in emergency settlement


BEIJING - Floodwaters inundated 88 villages along the Puyang River in Zhuji city of East China's Zhejiang province after the river burst its banks on Thursday.

More than 100,000 people were affected by the sudden flood. No casualties had been reported by Thursday night.

 

China has 657 cities at all levels

BEIJING - After a series of administrative changes to urban divisions last year, China currently has 657 cities at all levels, said a report released by the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs Thursday.

Chinese cities across China largely fall into three levels: province-level cities, also known as municipalities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, prefectural cities and county-level ones.

The minimum population density for a county to be upgraded to a city in China is 100 people per square kilometer. However, the government considers other factors, such as gross domestic product, before defining an urban area as a city.

 

23% of foreign investment went into property

BEIJING -- A total of 23 percent of foreign investment in China went into the real estate sector last year, the country's foreign exchange regulator said on Thursday.

 

Tencent plans $3b open platforms

Ma hopes to attract 100,000 developers and increase collaboration

BEIJING - China's largest Internet company, Tencent Holdings Ltd, will share its 670 million users via a series of open platforms in the hope of creating a 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) business enjoyed together with partners and third-party developers.

 

The looming food crisis in Asia: The crisis - VIDEO

In the first of a six part series investigating the growing gap between food production and global population growth, DJ Clark explains the key issues facing Asia and how they have arisen. Over the next five weeks DJ will be travelling across the continent to discover how this looming food shortage will affect the poorest communities and to meet the innovators who seek to find solutions. In part two he will be reporting from Asia's most food insecure district, just across the Chinese border in Nepal's western hills.

 

 

 

 

Ten photographers amazed by Tibet

 

 

The China Daily website is inviting foreign readers to share their China stories with our worldwide audience. Please send your story with your contact information to:

mychinastory@chinadaily.com.cn.

Photos of the author or the story are also welcome.

 

Kaixin Search Engine

Research China

You can SEARCH the WWW but there is no QUALITY CONTROL of the articles. This can waste a lot of time. ALL of the articles in Kaixin are substantive and come from well-respected sources. No dross, means no loss (of time) to you.

The powerful Google Kaixin Site search allows you to search Kaixin by topic, key word, name, specific date ...

Kaixin Site Search

 

 

 

 

 

 

XinHua News

 

 

Chinese, Russian presidents meet for deepening strategic partnership

MOSCOW, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday held talks with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, to review the achievements in bilateral relations over the past decade and plan for the development of ties in the next 10 years.

Hu pointed out that the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership has seen unprecedented development since the two countries signed the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation in 2001.

 

China, Russia issue joint statement on major international issues

MOSCOW, June 16 (Xinhua) -- China and Russia on Thursday issued a joint statement on a broad range of key international issues.


China's vice premier stresses redevelopment of run-down area

BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Vice premier Li Keqiang Thursday called for more efforts to redevelop the country's run-down areas.

During an inspection tour to a run-down area in Beijing, Li said pushing forward programs of redeveloping such areas and building other affordable housing projects would help raise people's living standards, expand consumption and improve the image of cities.

The programs would also serve as a major macro-economic regulation measure which is conducive to the healthy development of the real estate sector, steady and relatively fast economic growth and industrial restructuring, said Li.

Vice premier Li Keqiang (Front) looks at a run-down area in Mentougou of Beijing, capital of China, June 16, 2011. Li made an inspection tour to the run-down area on Thursday

 

FM press conference on 16th June

 

 

 

 

 

China's Top 10 Leisure Spots

 

 

 

 

CCTV

Learn Chinese Online

 

 

Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival, is a traditional and statutory holiday associated with Chinese and other East Asian and Southeast Asian societies as well. The festival is also celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as in Singapore and Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

Tele interview: Does China need to take stronger actions on S. China Sea issue?

Fore more on the South China Sea issue, we are joined on the line by Colonel Zhao Weibin from the PLA Academy of Military Science.

1. As we mentioned in the previous story, although China claims sovereignty over the South China Sea, most of the water and islands are actually controlled by other countries. What is the best way to resolve these long-term disputes? Does China need to take stronger actions?

2.China strongly opposes multilateral resolution of these disputes and the involvement of other countries. Why has China adopted this stance?

 

Live cross: PLA stance on South China Sea disputes

For more information about the South China Sea disputes, as well as the Vietnamese drill, let's now talk to Colonel Zhao Weibin, from the PLA Academy of Military Sciences.

Q1: What's the Chinese military's position on these disputes?

Q2: And what's the best way to solve these disputes, from the perspective of the Chinese military?

 

14th Shanghai Int'l Film Festival opens

The Shanghai International Film Festival, also known as the SIFF, kicked off on Saturday. The event has entered its 14th year, and in that time has become one of the biggest and star-studded film festivals in Asia.

Over 300 international and local filmmakers, actors, and celebrities attended the opening ceremony at the Shanghai Grand Theater. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng, Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon and Hollywood heartthrob actors Matt Dillon and Mischa Barton were among the A-list guests who graced the red carpet.

 

Studio interview: Is the developing world ready to lead IMF?

For more insight on choosing the new leader of the IMF, we're joined in the studio by our current affairs commentator, Professor Liu Baocheng, from the University of International Business and Economics.

Q1: IMF executive directors representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa said that the selection of the managing director on the basis of nationality undermines the legitimacy of the fund. What's your take on this argument? Is the developing world ready to lead the IMF?

Q2: What's China's attitude towards the selection of the new IMF leader?

See Kaixin's - The Selection of the next IMF President

 

Yangtze river sees both drought, flooding

The region that has been suffering from a severe drought experienced a dramatic extreme weather change following significant rainfalls over the past several days.

Heavy rain has also lashed Guizhou, Jiangxi and Zhejiang Provinces, alleviating the drought. But in some places, there's just too much water to handle.

In Guizhou, the raging water has killed more than 20 people. The rain also brings some relief to parts of Hunan and Hubei provinces at the southern bank of the Yangtze River.

But most regions in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces still remain parched. More rain is forecast to hit the region and the weather bureau is warning of possible mud-slides.

 

Students face bigger dilemmas of Gaokao application

Following the completion of the National College Entrance Exam, or Gaokao in Chinese, students and their parents find themselves facing an even bigger dilemma--the application process.

The two-day National College Entrance Exam is finally over. But very few students are feeling truly relaxed. Most students and their parents are trying to solve the difficulties that surround the application process. In theory the process should be a two-way choice between universities and students. However, the application inevitably involves Chinese parents, who traditionally put too much pressure and expectation on their offsprings.

A student of Yuyuantan High School in Beijing, said, “I personally prefer accounting or statistics. I want to choose a major like that. But my parents want me to learn something more technical, something you can make a living from.”

 

Crossover: Discussion on individual travel to Taiwan

For more discussion on individual travel to Taiwan, CCTV was joined on the phone by Joanna Lei, the former Taiwan legislator.

Q1: Tourists from the mainland are now able to roam across Taiwan without having to be part of a group. How significant is that? Do you believe it a sign the two sides trust each other more?

Q2: But restrictions on these individual tourists have not been fully removed.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TAIWAN

 

Interview: China insists on political solution - Libya

For more on Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi's visit to China and China's stance on the Libyan crisis, we are joined on the phone by Professor He Wenping, Director of African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Q1, Thank you for joining us, Professor He. What stance does China take on Libya's political crisis? Does the meeting between Chinese diplomats and the Libyan opposition send any signal at all?

Q2, Among the major powers, only China and Russia maintain contact with both sides. What role can this play?

 

Libyan envoy kicks off China visit

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says a Beijing visit by Libya's Secretary for Foreign Liaisons and International Cooperation, Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi, will last from Tuesday to Thursday.

Obeidi, who's serving as a Special Envoy for his country's government, is scheduled to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during the trip. Both sides will discuss the current situation in Libya, and discuss finding a political solution to Libyan crisis.

Hong Lei, Spokesman, Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, "China urges all sides to call an immediate ceasefire, and resolve the Libyan crisis through political channels. We believe the future of Libya should be decided by the Libyan people, and China respects the Libyan people's choices. We hope all sides in Libya can focus on the interests of the country and its people, fully consider the mediation proposals put forward by the African Union, and mitigate the situation as soon as possible."

 

Studio interview: Time for university education reform

For more on the college entrance exam, we're now joined in the studio by our Current Affairs Commentator, Raymond Zhou.

Q1: University enrollment is reaching historic levels in China, with more than 70 percent of high school students set to enter college this year. On the other hand, the number of students taking the test has fallen below 10 million. Many institutions of higher learning are working hard to attract enrollees, but some analysts say this trend offers an opportunity to conduct education reform. What's your take on this view?

 

Jade carved in Shanghai style unveiled in Beijing

Now, as you may know, Chinese people love jade. Scholars say the affection goes back as far as the Neolithic Age. Having that much legacy, jade carvings are not simply for decoration. They are a widely revered art form in the country.

And now artists from Shanghai have brought their unique styles to their counterparts and jade lovers here in Beijing.

Shanghai-style jade carving goes back to the 1840s. The last 160 years have seen Shanghai artists take the legacy and imbue it with their own features. They have been influenced not only by China's traditional art like shadow puppets and paper-cutting, but also western art forms like oil painting, sculpture and photography. And it's clearly seen in a contrast with Beijing style known for its delicacy and rich colors.

Jade carving artist said, "Whether the carving is about natural scenery or a portrait, the key is to express your heart and your feelings."

And the carving depends on what you've got on hand. You won't get the same stone a second time, so each design is tailored for each work. And one mistake, even a small one, could spoil the entire piece.

 

CCTV DOCUMENTARY SERIES - Journeys in Time, The Untold stories from the Summer Palace (A series of 10 Documentaries)

 

This is Tibet - TV Series

See Kaixin's - China & Tibet

 

 

 

CCTV

Archive of Stories

 

 

 

 

 

Global Times

 

 

The UK taught the world how to produce in the 19th century, the US showed the world how to consume in the 20th century, and China needs to demonstrate how to develop in a sustainable way in the 21st century.

 

 

Beijing OKs role of Taiwan in spat

Safeguarding sovereignty over the South China Sea is a shared obligation for both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, an official said in Beijing, a statement which may herald an inclination to cooperate with Taiwan on the issue.

"It is a shared obligation for people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to safeguard sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters," Yang Yi, a spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference Tuesday.

Taiwan's army said Tuesday that it would send a fleet of ships to the South China Sea and would station tanks on Taiping, the biggest of the Nansha Islands, at the end of June, the Taipei-based United Evening News reported.

 

SCO hails anti-terror successes

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) marked 10 years since its inception Wednesday during a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, where the group outlined its future cooperation in anti-terrorism and trade, and its stance on international issues.

Analysts noted that although the bloc’s influence is limited, it has gained weight on the global stage in the past decade, and the Western allies, such as NATO, are mulling more cooperation with the group.

In a declaration released after the talks, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the six members of the group, pledged to continue fighting against the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as drugs and weapons trafficking, other transnational crimes and illegal immigration, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

 

Keep Sea issue simple, says Beijing

China has warned against attempts to internationalize and complicate the South China Sea issue but said it will not resort to the use of force in defusing tensions.

“The recent situation in the South China Sea was due to unilateral actions taken by some countries, which damaged China’s sovereignty and marine interests. These countries made groundless and irresponsible remarks in an attempt to expand and complicate the South China Sea issue. That is the cause of the problem,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday.

“China is committed to a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea issue through bilateral dialogues and consultations with related parties. We will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force,” he said. “China is safeguarding its own legitimate rights, not infringing upon others,” Hong said.

 

China threat in Asia-Pac: US

A Chinese analyst said on Wednesday that the US had exaggerated Beijing military threat to exacerbate frictions between China and its neighbors, as Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said China appears to be building the capability "to fight and win short-duration, high-intensity conflicts" along its borders.

"China's near-term focus appears to be on preparing for potential contingencies involving Taiwan, including possible US military intervention," Bloomberg quoted Panetta as saying in a hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Meanwhile, The New York Times (NYT) said, "China is trying hard to make up for its diplomatic setbacks in 2010, when, in quick succession, it picked territorial fights with Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan and India, and angered South Korea by not condemning Pyongyang's aggressions."

Shi Yinhong, director of the Center of American Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that the US has been active in Southeast Asian affairs in the past few years. Panetta's comments could be seen as a provocation  by the US to exaggerate tensions between China and its neighbors.

Although there were some frictions between China and its neighbors, the Chinese government has put a strong emphasis on improving regional relations this year, Shi said.

 

Putting Mongolian protests into context

A recent traffic incident and the ensuing protests have aroused unusual attention, because it occurred in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, where ethnic Mongolians live alongside Han people.

In some media reports, the incident has been depicted as a Mongolian protest against Han's dominance, similar to the Xinjiang riots in 2009 and Tibet unrest in 2008.

However, it is improper to make this link. The Mongolian protests, over a herd being run over by a Han truck driver, are not a politically driven demonstration. Some of their requests are reasonable, and should be responded to by the local government.

Inner Mongolia has been a model area where different ethnic group co-habit in harmony, but like many other ethnic areas, it faces the difficulties of balancing a growing economy and preserving minority culture and lifestyle. The best way can only be found by coming to a consensus.

Anger of local Mongolians toward the Han driver is understandable. The anger is also partly a result of their anxiety over a wave of industrialization, and how the mining industry might affect their lives. We believe the majority of Chinese sympathize with their reasonable requests.

It is worth noticing the protests saw no violence between different ethnic groups. Groups such as the little-known US-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center tried to advocate the interests of local Mongolians. With little connection to the local situation, their appeal is questionable.

 

 

Kaixin Search Engine

Research China

You can SEARCH the WWW but there is no QUALITY CONTROL of the articles. This can waste a lot of time. ALL of the articles in Kaixin are substantive and come from well-respected sources. No dross, means no loss (of time) to you.

The powerful Google Kaixin Site search allows you to search Kaixin by topic, key word, name, specific date ...

Kaixin Site Search

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dialogue

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

 

 

 

 

Sino-Russian ties hit historical high

Track record and ambitions of SCO

 

Mainland individual to travel freely on Taiwan

Future direction and chief of IMF

See Kaixin's - FOLLOW THE DEBATE: The Selection of the next IMF President

 

Fight against child labor

Libya group talks

Oil production amid political complexity

 

Does Chinese navy pose threat to US?

China's aspiration to be an innovative country

THE MAKING OF A WORLD-CLASS UNIVERSITY

 

SHANGRI·LA DIALOGUE ON ASIA SECURITY

The 10th IISS Asia Security Summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue has successfully concluded in Singapore. The Dialogue ran from 3-5 June, 2011.

 

      

 

 

 

 
 

International News Sources

 

 

The Wall Street Journal

Euro Jitters Send Chinese Stocks Near 2011 Lows

Global fretting about Greece landed on Asia’s shores this morning after a dismal day in U.S. markets, sending stocks broadly lower and Chinese indexes toward their lowest points this year.


China, Russia Fail to Finalize Gas Deal

MOSCOW—China and Russia failed to reach final agreement on a natural-gas supply deal involving two massive pipelines that they agreed to in principle two years ago, due to continued a divide on pricing.

 

India, China Set to Resume Military Ties

MUMBAI—India and China will resume military ties a year after a cold freeze in relations between the two Asian giants, with a defense delegation set to travel to Beijing on Sunday, according to an official in the Indian government.

 

For China’s Rich, Paris Is Calling

The richest Chinese travelers take an average of 15 vacation days a year, they prefer the Shangri-La Hotels brand above others and for a holiday they would rather visit France than the U.S.

 

Video: Chinese Road Trip in North Korea

China’s rapidly expanding network of highways, burgeoning obsession with the car and swelling stocks of disposable income have conspired to remake a once quintessentially American past time — the road trip — into the height of recreational fashion among monied Chinese weekenders.

 

Report: Corrupt Chinese Officials Take $123 Billion Overseas

China’s rulers say corrupt cadres are the nation’s worst enemy. Now, according to a report that was given widespread coverage this week in local media, Beijing says that enemy resides overseas, particularly in the U.S.

A priest in traditional costume conducts a religious ritual to honour patriotic Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in 277 B.C. to protest against the corrupt government of his time, during the Dragon Boat Festival in Beijing, June 16, 2010.

 

The New York Times

Restoring Life to Mountain Retreat Where Mao Napped

MOGANSHAN, China — The first to build and occupy European-style stone villas atop this bamboo-cloaked mountain were the foreign missionaries. Then came Big-Ear Du and other Shanghai gangsters looking for a getaway (or maybe hideaway). Later still, the big guns rolled in: Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong.

Mark Kitto, who negotiated a 10-year lease with the military, was the first foreigner in 50 years to move back to Moganshan.

 

Caixin Online

At the Water's Edge

The ongoing drought in Southern China is pitting massive hydropower plans against flood management authorities – and creating a standoff with millions of livelihoods at stake

If the water levels drop any lower in the Three Gorges Dam, the power will shut off. But this year's scorching, record-breaking drought across six provinces in Southern China means that the Yangtze River is in desperate need of answer the Three Gorges could have stored in its reserves.

 

Economists Expect a Slow Hoist of Interest Rates

While some economists said the effects of monetary tightening policies were slowly taking effect, most predicted growing inflationary pressures would have a large impact on interest rate policies

Economists surveyed by Caixin said they expect the Chinese government will continue to tighten monetary policies in aim to rein in inflation after key economic data released on June 14.

 

Hard Landing on China's Economic Horizon?

Economists are divided over whether troubles surfacing in some data point to a downturn for China this year

Concerns about a potential hard landing for the Chinese economy after what some experts call a "policy overshoot" by the government lingered in May, with dark-minded investors driving the Shanghai A-share market down 10 percent for the month.

See Kaixin's - ECONOMIC CHINA and form you own opinion

 

UBS: Debt Crisis Unlikely in Next Two Years

Given China's relatively low fiscal deficit rate and high savings rate, Wang Tao at UBS Securities says a huge debt crisis resulting from local government financing platforms looks faint

(Beijing) -- A recent report by UBS Securities Co. suggested that the possibility of a debt crisis hitting Chinese local governments in the next one to two years is extremely low, despite soaring loans made via local financing platforms.

Kaixin - Do a KAIXIN SITE SEARCH for local government debt, and the like, and see the full story unfold.

 

PBOC Raises Reserve Requirement Ratio

Cash reserve requirements for banks will be raised to up to 21.5 percent, in the sixth such increase by China's central bank since the beginning of this year

(Beijing) – The People's Bank of China, China's central bank, announced a 0.5 percentage point rate hike for banks' reserve requirement ratios on June 14.

See Kaixin's - ECONOMIC CHINA to follow the full story.

 

Madame Lagarde's Infatuation Monetary Fund

Another chic French leader is rising from the ashes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and China has been smitten

Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister and a shoo-in for the next International Monetary Fund managing director, is adored by the Chinese media even though the Beijing government is wary about publicly endorsing her for the post.

See Kaixin's - FOLLOW THE DEBATE: The selection of the next IMF President

 

Dominique Strauss Kahn and the IMF

Of all failures that haunt the IMF, the one that looms largest comes from its institutional insularity

Those who hoped for serious reform of the International Monetary Fund have to be very disappointed by the allegations of sexual assault against its director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. If the charges prove true, this will end Strauss-Kahn's efforts at reforming an institution that is badly in need of reform.

Most people around the world do not realize the power that the IMF has in controlling their lives.

See Kaixin's - FOLLOW THE DEBATE: The Selection of the next IMF President

 

The Age

Lagarde's IMF 'conflict of interest'

MEXICO'S Agustin Carstens says his French rival to run the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, might have a conflict of interest because of Europe's high borrowing from the crisis lender.

''We'd have a situation where the borrowers dominate a creditor institution. I think that's an issue we should consider,'' Mr Carstens said of the French Finance Minister, the favourite to become managing director of the IMF.

See Kaixin's - FOLLOW THE DEBATE: The selection of the next IMF President

 

Asia Times Online

China: Pakistan's other partner
By Dilip Hiro

The Barack Obama administration's failure to properly weigh up friends and foes alike is manifest in its fickle relationship to Pakistan. Should relations continue to deteriorate, Pakistan's long-standing and deepening relationship with China adds to a formidable hand that, as US policy makers are loathe to concede, includes control of supply lines into Afghanistan.

 

Waters roil in the South China Sea
By Joel D Adriano


China has dispatched a patrol ship to the South China Sea amid tensions with Southeast Asian nations over the potentially resource-rich Spratlys. While the Vietnamese navy held live-fire drills after a maritime confrontation in the area, the Philippines' fury at Chinese "incursions" has led Manila to formally rename it the West Philippine Sea. The United States has stressed it has "no position".

 

   
China treads new path in Libya
By Jian Junbo


As the crisis in Libya has dragged on, China has abandoned its non-interference policy by seeking a role as peacemaker through contact with both sides of the conflict. Beijing certainly wants to protect its vast investments in the country, but it also wants to learn the ropes of becoming a responsible player in the international arena.

 

Three Gorges Dam crisis in slow motion
By Peter Lee


The Three Gorges Dam was once an untouchable symbol of China's determination to pursue economic growth over political reform. As criticism gets louder and the State Council pours in more cash to address festering shortcomings, the gigantic investment is now a harbinger of mounting political problems for China's authoritarian model of national development.

See a detailed article in the People's Daily (above)

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA

The New York Times   3/6/2011

China Faces ‘Very Grave’ Environmental Situation, Officials Say

BEIJING — China’s three decades of rapid economic growth have left it with a “very grave” environmental situation even as it tries to move away from a development-at-all-costs strategy, senior government officials said on Friday.

Kaixin OpEd - All ‘great’ engineering projects have un-intended consequences. We humans like to think we can ‘engineer’ a solution to everything.

Perhaps not …

So it becomes a balance of the benefits v the negatives. As just noted, that cannot be fully calculated in advance. Some of the consequences must remain incalculable due to the limited human knowledge available at the time.

The decision to proceed with the project would have been made because it was felt the benefits outweighed the negatives.

China’s population may not be growing in size, but it is growing in terms of economic wealth. That places more and more demands on the environment.

As the first comment noted, China is out-sourcing some of the problems, ie: food production.

However, the reality for China when deciding to proceed with the project was that the domestic power demands would increase. The Three Gorges Dam helped to solve the power issue and also partially tamed a wild river ……. for good or ill.

There are two aspects to this current debate, about the un-intended consequences of the projects:

i)    The ‘western’ media like to trumpet any issue in China as proof positive that China is a child and cannot handle these things like grownups, like for instance, America. Perhaps journalists and editors do not read history … ?? They certainly pander to a negative stance on issues related to China.
ii)    Environmentalists, I find, tend to live in a world of ‘ought’, not ‘is’. Yes, the human species ‘ought’ not have trashed the planet where it has, it ‘ought’ not have built large dams in the many countries, all of which have had un-intended consequences, … and so on. However, the ‘is’ demands that we either substantially lower the population, or we adapt the environment. Until the 20th century humans were able to just concentrate on adapting the environment.  That is the probable mindset that commissioned the Three Gorges Dam, and other large dams around the planet. In the 21st century it is clear that we humans will have to adapt to the environment. It will be an interesting challenge.

In the mean time, the Three Gorges Dam is now a reality, an ‘is’. Beijing will address the consequences as they arise to the best of their engineers’ ability. Many of those ‘solutions’ will have un-intended consequences.

It is great political fodder for the west, which does not seem to notice the sound of tinkling glass as it hurls it rocks at China.

 

India deepens Africa role
By Sudha Ramachandran


India's involvement in Africa, where it denies vying with China for influence and resources, is set to deepen with a pledge of billions of dollars in lines of credit, help in building infrastructure and additional assistance in developing the skills of the continent's young people.

 

Mao's army on the attack
By Kent Ewing


Mao Zedong romanticists are so worried that the mythology of the Great Helmsman may be officially debunked they are calling for the growing band of Mao bashers to be prosecuted. The campaign is unlikely to gain official traction though: China's leaders, including Red Book-waving Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai, use Mao's words, never his policies, and only when it suits them.

 

 

THE ROVING EYE

An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination

 

 

 

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See Over for the 16th of June 2011

 

 

 

 

CULTURAL CHINA

Articles of interest from the week's news

Insights into China's Society & Cutlure

 

 

A selection of photos published

 by

China Daily

 

 

 

CCTV9 - Rediscovering the Yangtze River

 

Dragon Boat Festival Folk Culture Festival opens in Jiaxing, China's Zhejiang

Actresses perform a dance at an evening party in Jiaxing City, east China's Zhejiang Province, June 3, 2011. The 2011 China Jiaxing Dragon Boat Festival Folk Culture Festival opened Friday in Jiaxing. The traditional Dragon Boat Festival falls on June 6 this year.

See Kaixin's - The Duanwu or Dragon Boat Festival

 

 

Zhou Xun on the cover Harper's BAZAAR

Chinese actress Zhou Xun on the cover of the July issue of Harper's BAZAAR.

 

$108m green jade pieces displayed

A model poses with green jade jewelry in Hefei, Anhui province

 

Ancient tomb found in S China

A tomb is discovered at a construction site in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, June 14, 2011. The 8.2-meter-long tomb from the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220) contains a heap of copper coins and close to 100 pieces of ceramic, agate and jade wares.

 

Exhibition of Chinese classics, cultural heritage opens in Beijing

On June 8, Chinese Classics and Intangible Cultural Heritage Special Exhibition opened in Beijing at the National Library in Beijing, June 8, 2011, showcasing nearly 200 precious historical documents on intangible cultural heritage. During the exhibition, a number of artists, who possess the state-level intangible cultural heritage skills, are invited to demonstrate their traditional skills for the audience.

 

Sowing time on watery terraces in SW China

Farmers plant rice in fields after days of rain soaked the terraces at Gaopo village, Southwest China's Guizhou province

 

A lesson in hardship for migrant kids

It is 11 o'clock in the morning in Xinli village, Daxing district, Beijing. Zhou Xiaohong sits on the roadside, hands propping up her chin.

She's a little sleepy, but she tries to follow every move of her 3-year-old son, Tong Tong. He is entertaining himself beside her, using chunks of wood as building blocks.

Tong Tong has a 3-centimeter scar on his right cheek. The scar is the result of an accident on May 9, three days after the Xinshijie kindergarten, which Tong Tong had attended for almost a year, closed.

Xinshijie was one of about 200 illegal kindergartens - those without business permits and sanitation licenses - that the Daxing district education bureau closed in the first week of May.

Most of their pupils were children of migrant workers, who appreciated the lower fees and the flexibility of attendance hours.

After the kindergarten was shut down, Tong Tong was locked at home alone while his parents went to work. He broke a glass and fell on the shards.

A boy enjoys riding his bike around Xinli village in Beijing's Daxing district. There's much time to kill, or explore, since the forced closing of about 200 illegal kindergartens

 

A 'mistress' just means more work

Wives know that playing away will result in having one more mouth to feed -- literally

Wiping the last, fuzzy vestiges of sleep from my face, I shuffled into the kitchen and fired up the stove. When the oatmeal was cooked I poured a cup of coffee and carried the tray over to my husband. A quick kiss of gratitude in return and I went back to make my own breakfast. It struck me then why polygamist marriages consist of many wives but only one husband: serving one man is more than enough.

From the daily news bringing us tales of celebrity men and their mistresses, to the predilection of well-dressed women scouring the lobbies of office buildings at lunchtime for a speedy "language lesson", it's clear that a significant proportion of married men have rationalized away the bonds of monogamy -- but what about the wives?

See Kaixin's - Marriage in China: Ancient & Modern

 

Experts' insight on Jokhang's restoration - VIDEO

Jokhang Temple is the key center of Buddhist pilgrimage for centuries. In the past centuries, the temple complex has undergone several important expansions and renovations. But experts on cultural heritage protection have pointed out that it's really a piece of work.

The wooden structure used to appear extremely shabby.

Time has worn out the wooden beams and rafters as visible signs of distortions, crevice and moth-eaten fabric are everywhere.

Now, the decayed wooden components have been replaced and the askew ones are adjusted. They have also undergone rot-proofing and moth-proofing treatment.


 

Tibetan monastery gets face-lift - VIDEO

The Tashihunpo Monastery is one of the six big monasteries in the southwestern Autonomous Region. With a history of over 600 years, the monastery is the main venue where generations of the Panchen Lama carried out religious and political activities.

A major renovation project started in 2009, trying to restore the luster of the ancient construction.

Located at the foot of Mt. Tara, the Tashihunpo Monastery was founded in 1447 and was expanded by the fourth and successive Panchen Lamas.

In the center of one of its major halls stands the world's tallest bronze statue with a height of 26 meters. The monastery is a big draw for Buddhist followers as well as tourists from around the world.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TIBET

 

Taiwan Cultural Week kicks off in Xi'an - VIDEO

Visitors to Xi'an International Horticultural Expo are invited to embark on a musical and cultural romp through the island of Taiwan. As one of the headline events at the Expo, Taiwan Cultural Week was kicked off over last weekend.

A performance of the "Wild Fire Music" Band from Taiwan opened the Taiwan Cultural Week on Sunday.

"Wild Fire Music" is one of the few bands in Taiwan that work diligently on promoting traditional music among the island's indigenous communities.

Brightly dressed with ethnic costumes, the singers were crooning a folk ballad with a refreshing and intoxicating melody.

Next, another art group presented a modern rendition of playing diabolo, or the Chinese yo-yo. With a combination of multi-media projection and superb techniques, the program has been well received during its tour to thirty countries.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TAIWAN

 

Kesi silk craftworks exhibited in Shanghai

Another tradition worth preserving is "Kesi" -- a style of Chinese silk tapestry, admired for its extremely detailed pictorial designs, lightness and clarity of double-sided pattern.

Now in order to arouse public attention of the traditional craft, an exclusive exhibition for Kesi products was held for the first time in Shanghai last week.

First appearing a thousand years ago in the Tang Dynasty, the popularity of Kesi tapestry reached its height during the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The highlight of the exhibition falls on several calligraphy works of kesi, as well as three replicas of an emperor's gown from the Qing Dynasty.

Unlike continuous weft brocade, each color in Kesi style is woven from a separate bobbin, making the method both technically demanding and time-consuming. However, according to one expert, that's also where the charm comes from.

 

Complex craft fights to survive

Few people would argue that the craft that most represents China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is cloisonne enamelware.

The mainly blue metal artwork that requires more than 100 steps to finish used to be recognized as something reserved for the royal family and the nobility, not only because of the complicated process needed to make it, but also because of its price, which took into account the cost of pure gold and lots of copper, things ordinary folk could hardly dream of in that era.

Completing a piece of cloisonne is time-consuming. Craftsmen say it takes about three months to finish a vase only 15 centimeters high; pieces as large as 1 meter take much longer.

"There are roughly six major steps," said Zhang Li, a staff member of the Beijing Enamel Factory, the only time-honored brand in this industry. "The most important one is the second, pinching copper wire, which is the first thing we do in our factory."

 

Inner Mongolia protects grassland culture

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region government is stepping up efforts to preserve and promote local ethnic culture. Some of the initiations underway include introducing folk music into the college curriculum, setting up intangible heritage protection centers, and encouraging people to make money with their craftsmanship.

Let's find out what's being done to rejuvenate the precious grassland culture.

This is a lecture on Long Tune given to students in the Arts College of the Inner Mongolian University. Long Tune is a distinctive style of folk song sung by generations of nomadic herdsmen. It has also been inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Louis Vuitton’s Intrepid Effort to Court China’s Tourists

Louis Vuitton is making a pitch to consumers in a spot no Western brand has ventured before: the National Museum of China.

A guide looks in from the entrance of a hall for a Louis Vuitton Voyages exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing May 31, 2011. Photo Jason Lee/Reuters

 

National museum, Louis Vuitton reject criticisms of design exhibition - CCTV VIDEO

 

 

The New York Times

UN names Chengdu 'Role Model for Resilient Development'

Chengdu became the first Chinese city to be named "Role Model for Resilient Development" by the United Nations.

The award was presented on May 11, 2011, during the 3rd UN Conference Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Geneva International Conference Center in Switzerland. The lobby of the conference center displayed dramatic pictures of the disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction work of Chengdu following the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Words and pictures captured the incredible challenge of a region where 1 million people were left homeless by an earthquake that caused an estimated economic loss of 124.7 billion yuan. Chengdu immediately began responding, leading rescue and renovation work involving 14 million people.

Chengdu 成都) is the capital of Sichuan province, of Southwest China, maintaining sub-provincial administrative status. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centres, transportation and communication hubs in Western China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.

More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jīnshā (金沙) established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is also known as "天府之国" (Tiānfǔzhi Guó), which literally means "the country of heaven", or more often seen translated as "the Land of Abundance". It was recently named China's 4th-most livable city by China Daily.(Wikipedia)

Clockwise from top: Anshun Bridge on the River Jin; Jinli Street near Wuhou Temple; Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding; and Huaxi campus of Sichuan University

 


Care bears - Chengdu

The protection of giant pandas is a black-and-white issue for the 'pambassadors' who recently graduated from a training program in Chengdu. Matt Hodges reports

Having spent the previous few days tracking wild pandas in a remote Chinese jungle, Florida resident Ashley Robertson returned to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to find her cubs all grown up.

Robertson, one of six "pambassadors" who graduated from a five-week training program at the base to promote panda protection on Nov 5, found the cubs she had taken care of were bigger, naughtier and devouring stacks more bamboo.

Sweden's Ali Shakorian has a close encounter with a giant panda.

 

Justice in a makeshift village court

Judge Wu Xiangbo (third left) hears a divorce case with Tribunal Clerk Feng Guangjian in a makeshift court in a village in Xishui county of Northwest China's Guizhou province, May 23, 2011. A Chinese banner reads "Mobile court of Xishui People's Court". A China's national emblem which is usually hung on the wall of a Chinese courtroom is displayed on a table under the banner. Wu and Feng, judges with the People's Court of Xishui County, go to the county's remote villages to hear cases, so that villagers don't have to travel a long distance to a court to submit lawsuits. "It's always been difficult for people living in remote rural areas to make lawsuits, and it's hard to enforce judgment in these areas. (As a result,) A mobile court helps us to hear local cases that are simple and clear," said Wu Xiangbo.

Kaixin OpEd - Barefoot Lawyers?

 

 

Drought affects 35 million, no end in sight

BEIJING - The drought that has affected 35 million people and caused an economic loss of almost 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River is a persistent "yellow alarm", the National Meteorological Center said on Sunday.

Fishing boats are stranded on grassland, which was once the bed of Poyang Lake — China’s largest fresh water lake, in Jiujiang, East China’s Jiangxi province, on Saturday. Because of a severe drought, the area of Poyang Lake has shrunken to less than half its usual size.

 

 

 

 

Ten photographers amazed by Tibet

 

 

China Daily

FEATURE - The past is another country as reports take us back in time

How the world media covered events in China three decades ago

To much of the world, China remained a mystery in the summer of 1981, when China Daily came into being.

By 1986, colorful skirts and fashionable sandals had grown common for summer wear in Beijing

Kaixin OpEd: Xiaosui smiled when she saw this picture. She was about the age of the young women in the photo and at university "Yes, it was just like this."

 

 

 

China marks 60th anniversary of Tibet's peaceful liberation

Tibet is an inseparable part of China and its fate has always been closely linked with that of this country, said top political advisor Jia Qinglin at a symposium marking the 60th anniversary of Tibet's peaceful liberation on Monday.

 

Tibet in western writer's eyes

In the past six decades, Tibet has seen the earthshaking changes. How an open and modern Tibet impressed the westerners?

In 2009, a German writer Tom Kahn published a novel titled "Das Tibet Projekt", meaning "Project about Tibet" in English. This book introduces many true stories of Tibet which are different from what most western countries propagated.

Tom Kahn said, "For most of the westerners, the only way to know about Tibet is via the local media reports, which led to a very narrow negative and one-sided understanding of Tibet. The first impression is half the battle. That's why many westerners are still willing to believe what the western media propagandized Tibet."

"As far as I know, the western journalists required by their own television stations only report certain images of Tibet. Like the German proverb described: 'When you hold the hammer in hand, you will see all the problems like nails.' So those journalists usually dig out the negative news, inside of the positive sides. That's how the one-sidedness reports come out."

In April this year, Tom Kahn visited Tibet invited by Chinese government. During the tour, he saw a different Tibet from what most westerners thought. Overall developments have occured on the plateau region, Tibet. And people are making a good living and are contented.

In Tom Kahn's mind, Tibet is a modern place with great developments. The increasing flight courses, and popularized English and newly built beer manufacturing workshops adopting German technology have added vigor to this holy place.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TIBET

 

 

Top five boutique and designer hotels in Beijing

Tired of those characterless business hotel chains or comfort-deprived inns? The capital offers some marvelous choices for you. Hotels are no longer a place to sleep, but also a place to experience luxury and uniqueness. For the sake of thorough pleasure, we have selected 5 top boutique and designer hotels to maximize your enjoyment during your time in the capital.

 

Exotic flavor at Horticultural Expo Garden

Performances by international participating organizations are scheduled throughout the ongoing Horticultural Exposition in China's host city of Xi'an. The photo taken by a CRI reporter on location shows Samba staged by Brazilian dancers.

 

 

Truly, madly, deeply

A love story that had its beginnings in 1953 Hangzhou, survives personal and political upheavals, to come to fruition decades later. Liu Zhihua reports

It was in the autumn of 1953 that Danny Li met Yuan Dibao in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and fell in love. But fate intervened forcing the pair to live on two different continents for 54 years. Miraculously, in May, the couple came together again and got married in September.

Their story became a hot news on Chinese newspapers and TV stations. Netizens declared their love "was the purest in the world".

"It was like a dream. I never expected to see him ever again," 83-year-old Li says.

Li was born in Beijing in 1927, to a French mother and Chinese father.

Yuan Dibao, 82, and Danny Li, 83, come together again and get married after separating for more than half a century. Feng Xiao Fei From Dongnan Morning Newspaper / for China Daily

Yuan Dibao and Danny Li in the 1950s. Provided to China Daily

 

Thirsty Fenghuang town goes in caves for water - CCTV VIDEO

In Chinese, Feng Huang stands for Phoenix. The mythical bird is a good omen of longevity. The town of Feng Huang gets its name from a legend saying these fantastic birds flew over the town and found it so beautiful they hovered over it. Located on the western edge of Hunan Province, Feng Huang's beauty lives up to the story.

 

 

Split painting reunited in Taipei - CCTV VIDEO

One of China's best ancient paintings is to be restored. After a separation of 359 years, the two pieces of "Dwelling in Fuchun Mountain," are being brought back together again. To mark the occasion, there will be an exhibition at the Taipei Palace Museum from June 1st to September 5th.

After a separation of 359 years, the two pieces of "Dwelling in Fuchun Mountain," are being brought back together again.

SPLIT PAINTING REUNITED IN TAIWAN - CCTV VIDEO

 

WSJ - A Romantic Twist in China

At a key moment in “A Beautiful Life,” Shu Qi explodes into a teary outburst over her failing relationship with a married executive, who dumps her.

That’s about as spectacular as the action gets in this tear-jerker from director Andrew Lau, who is best known for high-energy action movies. Set against a backdrop of China’s bustling, smoggy capital, “A Beautiful Life” plays out like a 1930s Hollywood soaper: an unlikely romance between an honest Beijing cop, played by Liu Ye, and a materialistic Hong Kong woman, whom he rescues from her self-destructive life.

Shu Qi and and Liu Ye as fated lovers in ‘A Beautiful Life.’

 

 

 

Kicking Up a Stink

On eating cheese in China.

By Fuchsia Dunlop

Food writer Fuschia Dunlop brings stinky European cheeses to Shaoxing, capital of “stinking and fermented” (chou mei) delicacies, and compares tastes with the locals. From Slate (originally published in the Financial Times):

At the Xianheng, a waitress cut the cheeses into pieces, and the assembled tasters began to pick them up with their chopsticks, sniffing and tasting. And where I had been impressed by what cheese and stinky soya products had in common, these culinary professionals were immediately struck by their differences. "Although in some ways you could say the flavours of cheese and fermented beancurd are similar," said Mao, "vegetable stinky foods are very clean and clear in the mouth (qing kou), and they disperse quickly, while milky foods are greasy in the mouth (ni kou), they coat your tongue and palate, and they have a long, lingering aftertaste."

Two other chefs said the cheeses had a heavy shan wei (muttony odour), an ancient term used by southern Chinese to describe the slightly unsavoury tastes associated with the northern nomads. Another said that the selection "smells like Russians". "The difference," he added, "is that the stinky things Chinese people eat give them smelly breath, while stinky dairy things affect the sweat that comes out of your skin."


Kaixin OpEd - A lenghty and informative article, well worth the read.

 

Taoist Wudang Mountains lure foreigners

SHIYAN, Hubei - On a sweltering afternoon, a group of Europeans in traditional white Chinese shirts and dark baggy pants sit in a big circle on a lawn meditating. After about half an hour, they start to practice tai chi in pairs, pushing each other's hands.

They are from the Wudang Five Dragons Tai Chi School in the Wudang Mountains, Central China's Hubei province. The mountains attract tens of thousands of foreign kungfu fans every year, not only for its deep Taoism culture but also for its legendary Wudang tai chi martial arts.

Unlike other kungfu schools in Wudang, the two teachers are both German, rather than Chinese.

Norman Torok (L) and Ismet Himmet, both from Germany, practice tai chi at the Five Dragons Palace in the Wudang Mountains, Central China's Hubei province

 

Saving stage beauty

Students and teachers at Peking University are committed to keeping Kunqu Opera, one of the world's oldest and most refined art forms, Han Bingbin reports.

Crowned as the mother to many forms of Chinese opera, Kunqu Opera has been refined by musicians and literati through hundreds of years until it is now considered one of the world's most precise art forms. However, like many old art forms, the opera style is being crowded out by modern artistic tastes. Experts and teachers have realized that the best way to preserve and promote Kunqu Opera is to rely on the vitality of youth and teach and perform it at colleges.

Peking University launched its Kunqu Opera Inheritance Project in 2009, aiming to spread the word among students within five years through performances, lectures and workshops.

 

单雯 Kunqu Opera -- " The Peony Pavilion • Broken Dream"

 

 

Meeting with famous pianist Lang Lang

Virtuoso Pianist Lang Lang has been telling CCTV of the childhood pressures he endured before becoming a worldwide star. The 28 year-old classical pianist is in London for a record breaking concert with 100 children and 50 Steinway pianos. He joined our London Correspondent Richard Bestic to share memories of his childhood and his happiness at inspiring a new generation.

Lang Lang was in playful mood for this unprecedented event.

100 children drawn from the length and breadth of Britain learning from the Master at London's Royal Festival Hall.

See Kaixin's:

 

Video: Touring Hengdian, World’s Largest Outdoor Film Studio

Welcome to “Chinawood,” the world’s largest outdoor film studio in the fastest-growing film market. At more than 2,500 acres, Hengdian World Studios, as it is officially known, is larger than Universal and Paramount Studios combined, boasting a full-scale replica of the Forbidden City, a Qin Dynasty palace and an evening variety show involving volcanic explosions.

 

 

 

An old poem chanted by 1,000 young voices

Pupils sit together whilst reading aloud classical works of Sinology - China Studies - on the ground of Bianbjinglu primary school, Kaifeng city, Central China’s Henan province, May 20, 2011. Nearly a thousand pupils gather to read the ancient traditional Chinese poetry to mark the start of the local “Reading Festival” and the establishment of the Dongfang Youth Sinology Academy in Bianjinglu primary school.

 

Twenty days in Tibet - VIDEO

If you love a place, it's the people who are responsible - that's what reporter Feng Xin experienced during her 20-day backpack multimedia reporting in Tibet. In her travelogue, she tells you what her biggest barrier was and what struck her most in Tibet.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TIBET

 

Stinky corpse flower blooms in Beijing - VIDEO

Flowers are usually popular for their beautiful colors and sweet scents. But there is one flower at the Beijing Arboretum that's attracting visitors for a different reason.

The plant is called the Amorphophallus titanum. But most people know it by its more common name, the corpse flower, because it exudes the smell of rotten flesh.

Originally native to the tropical rainforests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the plant rarely blossoms, even in the wild. In terms of artificial cultivation, there have been only 134 recorded blooms worldwide. And in China, this is the first.

This plant is now growing by ten centimeters everyday, but its flower is yet to bloom to its full potential, which is when the smell becomes the worst. Park staff expects this flower to fully bloom on May 26 or 27. And once that happens, the flower's full bloom lasts no more than 48 hours.

So if you want to get a closer look – or smell – of the flower that smells like a corpse, you'd better hurry up.

 

Past and present:Xibe's use of a bow and arrows - VIDEO

The bow and arrow played a big part in the history of human development. Not only are they hunting tools, they are also good fighting weapons. In the developing history of ethnic groups, bows and arrows are very frequently mentioned. Xibe, which is located in Xinjiang's Qapqal Xibe autonomous county, is an example of such history.

1764 AD, Xibe took orders from Qianlong, the emperor of the Qing dynasty, to move west to guard the country’s frontier. Their excellent archery skills made them a very strong group.

 

Wedding customs exhibited in Ninghai, China's Zhejiang

A decoration for traditional Chinese wedding is seen at a museum in Ninghai, east China's Zhejiang Province, May 18, 2011. A museum in Ninghai, highlighting objects related to the wedding customs in east Zhejiang Province since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and Qing Dynasty (1616-1911 AD), opened to public on Wednesday. The wedding customs of east Zhejiang Province was enlisted as one of the national intangible cultural heritages.

See Kaixin's - Marriage in China - Ancient & Modern

 

 

Suzhou: Heaven on Earth

Time-tested adages sing praises of Suzhou.

Many cities have slogans to entice you to visit and spend your tourist dollars. These are usually written by some tourism office or travel agency, and no matter how clever or well thought out, they often fall on the deaf ears of seasoned travelers or the cynical.

But there are adages that are time-tested - like this one, which roughly translates to: Up in the sky there is heaven, down on earth there is Suzhou and Hangzhou.

That's a pretty bold declaration when you consider the size of China and the many beautiful places to see within its borders. Yet, Suzhou's beauty has won it boasting rights.

Suzhou, built in 514 BC, has a storied past.

Marco Polo spent time there in 1276 while on the Silk Road. Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in Suzhou when it was the kingdom of Wu.

 

Wooden pagoda seeks for world heritage status

TAIYUAN - Authorities in north China's Shanxi Province said Sunday that they would finish the application for the Sakyamuni Pagoda, the oldest wooden structures in the world, by July for it to be included on the UNESCO list of cultural relics by 2013.

The Sakyamuni Pagoda, also known as the Yingxian Pagoda as it was housed in the Fogong Temple of Yingxian County, is the oldest full-wooden pagoda still standing in China and believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

Standing 67.31 meters tall, the octagonal pagoda was built in 1,056 AD during the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty.

 

On-line Dating:A New Craze Sweeping China

Due to the dating pressure, millions of China’s singletons log on dating websites to find love, especially for men, which has been driving a major boom in on-line dating business.

Where does this dating pressure come from? As a Chinese saying goes,”A man should  get married on coming of age, so should a woman ” Nowadays, Chinese parents commonly expect their daughters to be married by the time they’re 25 and sons by the age of 30. There’s even a word for those who are not married by the time expected: Shengnan and shengnv, literally a “left-over man” or “left-over woman”. Shengnan and Shengnv are bearing all aspects of pressure coming from their worried and pushy parents as well as their busy jobs. “I was very busy; my life circle was very small” Ada Zhang, one of my ex-colleagues, said, “So I turned to on-line dating, and I made it, now I’m married. I believe everyone can find their true love on the internet” She is just one of millions of Chinese people who are turning to on-line dating as a solution to their relationship woes in a society where the pressure to find a partner can be very oppressive.

According to research by the National Women's Union and Baihe.com in 2010, China currently has 180 million bachelors, 23.8% of who are going on dates arranged by their parents, the rest are looking for dates by themselves. A male netizen makes a joke of his being-busy in his blog,“if I’m not on a date, I must be on the way to it”. Among 180 million bachelors, some ask for dates from matchmakers, some “sneak” into dating agencies in a low profile, some even step out and chat up with girls on the streets, however, up to half of whom are thought to be looking for love on-line.

By Jan, 2011, there are three main stream on-line dating websites: Jiayuan.com with 32 million registered members, Baihe.com and Zhenai.com with 26 million members each, which all together account for nearly half of singletons in China.

Those numbers mean big business. In china, the combination between the immense demand of finding love and the advanced network has started generating the windfall profits. Every on-line site now is like a 24-hour convenient store, collecting and selling their member’s information. What makes people jealous is that those websites are taking in billions of revenues annually, with the annual growth rate at 200%. Every year, there are 20 million singletons who would become the potential clients for the on-line dating sites. According to Time.com, it's estimated that online dating sites attracted three million paying customers in 2010, who collectively spent more than $150 million.

See Kaixin's - Marriage in China - Ancient & Modern

 

Gan En Store in Sichuan - VIDEO

Liu Anrong runs a store called Gan En Store in Sichuan, which was hit by a massive 8.0 magnitude earthquake three years ago.

She named the store Gan En to show her gratefulness to those who have been offering help to the quake zones.

 

 

Old Beijing hutong reopens with new look

After years of renovation, the much noted Xianyukou Hutong in the bustling Qianmen area of downtown Beijing is welcoming visitors with a whole new look.

Xianyukou is literally translated as Fish Street. It's an appropriate name because it was the fish market for old Beijing.

The alley, packed with time-honored brands of Beijing snacks, was once among the most frequently visited places by locals.

See Kaixin's - Beijing Hutongs

 

Miao ethnic singer Song Zuying debuts in Taiwan

Song Zuying, one of the most capable singers on the Chinese stage, held her first solo concert in Taiwan on Sunday night.

The success of her concerts could blaze a trail for more top singers from the Chinese mainland to perform in Taiwan.

Clad in glamorous costumes, Song Zuying performed a program of Chinese folk songs for her debut in Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

ChinaLoveCupid/ChineseLoveLinks - Serious Chinese Dating Relationships