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May 06

Amidst the accusations of China’s belated response to the devastating earthquake that hit Yushu county in Eastern Tibet in the early hours of April 14, the downplaying in the Chinese media of the key role that Tibetan monks played in the rescue efforts and mourning ceremonies, alongside reports of Chinese rescue workers who seemed more interested in posing for cameras than in saving lives, there is a small story that transcends it all.

There are few outside of China and Tibet who have heard of Tsering Dhondup, a ten-year-old Tibetan boy who saw his home and the homes of all his neighbors completely flattened in the 6.9 quake. Since then, he’s been living with his family in a temporary shelter in the local stadium in Jyekundo, the town most affected by the disaster, where 85% of the mud-brick houses like Tsering’s were destroyed.

Tsering volunteered to work as a translator for a Chinese medical team that was treating Tibetan survivors. The state-controlled national news channel CCTV, Chinese Central Television, aired a report about him that on April 17, three days after the earthquake….

Read full article and watch the Youtube video here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-novick/chinese-media-courts-the_b_562163.html

Apr 09

minipost-Taiwan’s Version of Whitney Houston

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, media, music, video | Tags:, , , ,
20 Comments » newest 2010-04-25 04:43:58

Lin Yu Chun is a contestant on Taiwan’s version of American Idol called Super Star Avenue. He’s quite young, a bit chubby with a bowl haircut, not the most likely candidate for stardom. But he does a dead on impersonation of Whitney Houston and has gone viral on You Tube with over 2 million…  5 million hits.

Mar 23

minipost-Media hurdle to intercultural relations

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, media | 83 Comments » newest 2013-06-06 16:50:13

By Bi Yantao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-23

Amid the latest news that Google may soon pull out of China, some Western media outlets are once again criticizing the country’s Internet regulations and press freedom record.

Just as a Chinese scholar told a reporter from The Guardian, it’s the Western media that mainly instigated Western countries to adopt a hostile attitude toward China. That’s why Chinese scholars think the media have not only failed to promote international dialogue and world peace, but also have become a big obstacle to inter-cultural exchanges.
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Mar 16

Is the Politiburo smoking weed?

Written by: Maitreya Bhakal | Filed under:General, media | Tags:, , ,
24 Comments » newest 2010-03-22 05:26:38

Surprised? No sir, this is not some comment which a random user made at an online forum. This is the question which The Telegraph poses to its readers, in a recently published article entitled – ‘Is China’s Politburo spoiling for a showdown with America?’.

Now, we are all aware of the severe Cold-Waresque bias against China in large parts of the Western media, amounting to literally a childlike obsession, but this article really takes the cake.  The author, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, is in fact the international business editor of the newspaper!

But coming to think of it, in a way it also serves to be a bit of a laugh actually. Nothing beats a taste of good old British comedy. Who knows, we might be witnessing another Mr. Bean or David Brent in the making!

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Mar 14

Recently thirteen Chinese newspapers jointly released an editorial on the hukou system in China, in a coordinated attempt to press the National People’s Congress into revising and subsequently abolishing it. You can read the whole thing here in Chinese.

“China has suffered from the hukou system for so long. We believe people are born free and should have the right to migrate freely, but citizens are still troubled by bad policies born in the era of the planned economy and [now] unsuitable.”

However, after the editorial spread beyond its origins with those newspapers, Chinese censors apparently leapt into action (or were instructed to do so), and it was promptly removed from many websites. A special website set up by the Economic Observer to discuss hukou reform also disappeared. Furthermore, one of the co-writers of the editorial, Zhang Hong, was ousted from his position as deputy editor-in-chief from the Economic Observer’s website. It was also claimed that the Economic Observer received a warning from the CCP’s propaganda department. Continue reading »

Mar 10

The two Asian Giants are still not able to figure out the line which divides them – in the longest running border dispute in modern history. This dispute offers interesting lessons on how to, and how not to, handle boundary issues. The analysis of Chinese behavior in the negotiations is doubly important given China’s perception in the west of it ‘flexing its muscles’, and China’s theory of ‘Peaceful Rise’.

About a century ago, Sir Henry McMahon, the then British Foreign Secretary, took a think red pencil and sketched a line between India and Tibet on a map – a line which has resulted in the two most populous nations in the world going to war, costing more than 2000 lives; and which has created enormous mistrust on both sides, especially in India.

Consequently, on 3rd July 1914 was signed one of the most bizarre and controversial agreements ever known to man – The Simla accord, the complexities of which have yet to be unraveled.
Continue reading »

Mar 09

The execution of a Britain in China for Drug Smuggling raises some interesting questions – including Britain’s integrity and significant lessons for Indian politicians.

Recently the news was packed with what they called the execution by the Chinese Government of a ‘mentally ill’ Britain. He was caught carrying 4 kgs of Heroin in China. His family (surprise surprise!) said that he was mentally ill. And then human rights groups, which are always more than ready to jump in on denouncing China, picked it up.
Continue reading »

Jan 13

Google issued a press release on their blog just a few hours ago pertaining to their operation in China. It is big news and will take some time to digest. I don’t want to comment, just get the story out.  Continue reading »

Jan 07

Asian Music Update

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, media, music, Photos, video | Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,
15 Comments » newest 2016-02-11 08:15:16

TheAnalogGirl_bRather than stick to just one country, I thought I’d highlight underground music from Hong Kong on this post and add a little bit from the rest of Asia on the end. On the left is the Analog Girl, one of the hottest acts on the continent. Hailing from Singapore, the electro-rock chanteuse was named by TIME magazine as one of the 5 Music Acts to Watch in 2008. Since that time she’s toured the world with her unique sound.

I also got interested in the underground music scene in Hong Kong after I discovered “The Underground Channel” on YouTube.  After the jump, we’ll feature videos from Quasar, Tacit Closet, Soler, The Sinister Left, DJ Matthew Veith, Hardpack, Audiotraffic and Poubelle International. We’ll also hear from Jakarta’s Goodnight Electric, Malaysia’s Zee Avi and Beijing’s P.K. 14 along with Japan’s Vamp and YMCK. Finally for some of the older crowd, I want to introduce a couple of Enka style acts from Japan, which is surprisingly similar (at least to me) of some of the classic Chinese singers.

Today’s collection is very eclectic so hopefully there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Continue reading »

Dec 05

Immaculate Machine’s Tour of China

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, media, music | Tags:, ,
3 Comments » newest 2009-12-08 17:12:50

im003_10x6 (Large)We’ve written about China’s music scene in the past and remarked how few hip bands actually tour the country. Most of what appears are singers and bands that saw their heyday decades ago.

With the help of Louis Yu, Vancouver’s own Immaculate Machine is currently touring China. They are a side project of the New Pornographers, and their newest album, “High on Jackson Hill”, featured appearances by Alex Kaprano of Franz Ferdinand and members of the Cribs. They’ve also worked with such famous performers as Neko Case and AC Newman.

So for all our readers who live in China and wish they could see more quality acts, here’s your chance to catch a hot band that really knows their stuff. Their concert dates are after the jump.

Continue reading »

Nov 17

It was practically a news story that wrote itself. Soon after president Obama made a roundabout endorsement of non-censorship, it was reported via twitter and then repeated by the China Digial Times that China pulled the coverage from news portal NetEase 27 minutes after the transcript appeared.
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Nov 06

Despite great strides made over gender equality in the last 60 years, there are still a lot China can do as a nation to promote greater equality and promote the livelihoods of women – especially in the rural areas.

But in the city at least, the power dynamics between men and women seems to be changing – at least on a family per family basis.

Here is an entertaining video from James Fallow on who holds the family purse in China? Continue reading »

Oct 21

Lou Jing: Racism Gone Wild?

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, media, music, News, Opinion, video | Tags:, , , ,
393 Comments » newest 2016-05-24 04:26:56

Lou Lou Jing (娄婧) entered a competition reality show called “Let’s Go! Oriental Angels” (加油!东方天使) on Dragon TV. Though born and raised in Shanghai and a Chinese citizen all her life, her story is quite complicated. Her mother was married to a Chinese man but had an affair with an African American man and gave birth to Lou Jing. The African American man went back to the States before Lou Jing was born, the Chinese husband divorced his wife when he discovered she had an affair, so Lou Jing was raised by a single mother. She is considered a talented singer, speaks fluent Mandarin and Shanghainese and is Chinese in every way except for her looks and skin color.

However, upon entering this competition, she was shocked to find rude racial epithets hurled against her on the Chinese blogosphere. Was she really Chinese? Quite a few people felt she was not. They condemned her for her skin color and her mother’s infidelity. Many comments were blatantly racist.

I first became aware of this story when James Fallows mentioned it in his Atlantic blog. He wrote, “To be clear about the context: this is not a “blame China” episode but rather one of many illustrations of the differences in day by day social realities and perceived versus ignored sources of tension in particular societies. That’s all to say about it for now.” I want to explore those tensions further.

Continue reading »

Oct 15

Oct 13

The Chinese government has been repeatedly criticised by various countries, such as America and European states, for its lack of action/results over protecting intellectual property. Thus it’s welcome to hear that a group of Chinese and foreign firms have united to take matters into their own hands, even if they are motivated by different factors. The Economist has the story.

In mid-September the China Internet Video Anti-Piracy Alliance, a group comprising both big Chinese internet portals and foreign rights-owners, including the Motion Picture Association of America, announced a broad legal attack. It said that it had begun collecting evidence against more than 1,000 suspected violators of intellectual property and would start filing lawsuits, with the first target being 503 videos found on Youku, an increasingly popular website, that the alliance claims are pirated. Youku has counter-sued for defamation. Continue reading »

Oct 05

Mind as well dress all these musicians in panda costumes. 🙂

Sep 23

minipost-Sound Unlimited!

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, media, music | Tags:, ,
1 Comment » newest 2009-09-25 00:05:49

Louis Yu’s new show called Sound Unlimited has hit the net. This show features indie music from all over the world, including the hottest bands in China. The format is in Chinese and you can download the podcast here or subscribe to it on iTunes.

Take a few minutes to check it out. It’s very rare (if not unique) to be able to find a music podcast from North America (in this case, Vancouver) that caters to the Chinese market. I can guarantee you that Lou knows his music and you’ll be exposed to many top bands you’ve never heard nor seen before.

Sep 20

admin’s note. The following is a blog post from 多维博客(h/t to Snow). Besides re-posting an article originally published on the Study Times (a weekly publication of the CCP’s Central Party School) in 2008, it drew a vigorous debate among Chinese with nearly 300 comments (I hope that someone could translate them too), many of them are interesting. Although we posted the Chinese version last year and A-gu commented on that, it was until recently that btbr403 volunteered to translate it. DeWang and Allen helped with the translation.

Following is the translation of the original post:

The Study Times of The Central Party School published an article by Zhang Weiwei (he was Deng XiaoPing’s interpreter, and he wrote an opinion piece The allure of the Chinese model ), a senior research fellow at the Modern Asia Research Centre, University of Geneva, Switzerland. He showed his excellent eloquence in the invitation only Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs, saying that he had visited more than 100 countries, but couldn’t find one that achieved modernization via democratization. The European and American scholars present couldn’t find any examples to refute him.
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Aug 18

minipost-Letter:Why is western democracy fundamentally wrong ?

Written by: Wahaha | Filed under:-mini-posts, media, politics | 132 Comments » newest 2009-10-09 02:42:21

This post is not a comparison between the system in China and western democracy. It doesnt in any way imply the system in China is a better system, either economically or politically.)

Recently, there is “war” in USA about obama’s plan of healthcare reform. It has become an issue of if government should be allowed to butt into the private business of healthcare insurance. I am not here to judge which way is better, but after reading most media reports, it seems to me that media is trying to make it a conflict between government stand and public opinions; to make it an issue if government should have such power (or do you want socialism in US?).
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Aug 17

From August 6-9, southern Taiwan was hit with the worst typhoon in 50 years. Per the Associated Press story:

“Morakot dumped more than 80 inches (two meters) of rain on the island last weekend and stranded thousands in villages in the mountainous south. A total of 15,400 villagers have been ferried to safety, and rescuers are working to save another 1,900 people. The storm destroyed the homes of 7,000 people and caused agricultural and property damage in excess of 50 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.5 billion), Ma told the security conference.”

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Aug 17

Louis Yu’s Indie Podcasts

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, General, media, music | Tags:, , , ,
8 Comments » newest 2010-10-09 18:42:27

Louis Yu It’s not often a guy working on his PhD in theoretical computer science is also one of the hottest Chinese DJs in North America, but there’s always an exception and Louis Yu (余雷) fits that role. Originally from Guilin, China,  he’s currently in Vancouver, Canada studying at the University of Victoria while also doing a weekly podcast featuring world indie music.

And where can you find his 30 minute weekly podcast? It’s right here on  www.wooozy.cn where you can catch this week’s show plus access the archive for all previous editions once you’re hooked. The difference with Louis’ show is that all the introductions are in Mandarin rather than English. It’s his way to bring a new style of music to an audience more familiar with Asian pop in a easy to digest manner. Starting in September, he’ll be switching to a show highlighting an equal balance of both Western & Chinese music.

Lou was kind enough to share his thoughts on China’s current music scene. As he is a Chinese expat very familiar with indie music throughout the world, I felt his opinions would be a nice contrast to the western voices we’ve heard reporting from China.

Continue reading »