Better days ahead…
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Source – The New Paper Singapore, published August 17, 2013
An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.
August 17, 2013 • 11:00 am 0
August 15, 2013 • 9:10 am 0
榨菜 (Zha Cai) literally means pressed vegetables. The now ubiquitous pickle that hails from Sichuan is not only a popular dish amongst migrant workers in China – it’s quite the staple with many Chinese worldwide too.
‘Pickle index’ measures changing tide of Chinese migrant workers (South China Morning Post, August 14, 2013)
Sceptical of often unreliable provincial statistical data, China’s chief economic engineers have turned to a large, radish-like mustard tuber to measure the country’s urbanisation rate.
Consumption patterns of the preserved vegetable, a staple dish of migrant workers, helped researchers track labourers’ movement within China, an unnamed staffer of the planning department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told the Economic Observer.
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China uses pickle index to track migrant flows.
Source – Straits Times print edition, published Aug 14, 2013
August 9, 2013 • 2:23 am 0
Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.
Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage with a cover of 龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).
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Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.
Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013
ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.
Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.
Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013
August 3, 2013 • 7:50 pm 0
The BBC with a ground up close up of what it means to ride China’s irresistible wave of land reform.The China model has a lot of mouths and expectations to feed. Much of its interior still requires some work – turning 500 million more rural folk into city folk is a great task at hand.
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This World tells the story of White Horse Village, a tiny farming community deep in rural China. A decade ago, it became part of the biggest urbanisation project in human history, as the Chinese government decided to take half a billion farmers and turn them into city-dwelling consumers.
It is a project with a speed and scale unimaginable anywhere else on Earth. In just ten years, the Chinese Government plan to build thousands of new cities, a new road network to rival that of the USA and 300 of the world’s biggest dams.
Carrie Gracie follows the lives of three local people during this upheaval, filmed over the past six years.
July 30, 2013 • 7:46 am 0
China takes step toward further media convergence… 国家广播电影电视总局 + 中华人民共和国新闻出版总署 forms tag team as print and broadcast regulator.
To prevent the homogeneous development of TV programs and to provide audiences with diversified choices, a restriction was announced on July 24. A news release from The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television to Xinhua stated, “Satellite broadcasters should stop investing in any new singing competition shows; shows that have already been produced, but have not yet aired, should not be aired until after the summer vacation; and the series currently being aired should be aligned with different schedules.” See Repeat Offenders (Global Times, July 28, 2013)
Hong Kong: Two powerful Chinese media regulators merge (see Mondaq.com, July 24, 2013)
According to the Plans for Institutional Reform and Functional Transformation of the State Council, the newly merged ministry of broadcast and press is principally responsible for the overall planning of the development of the press, publication, radio, film and television industries, the supervision and administration of the relevant organizations and businesses, as well as the contents and quality of publications and radio, film and television programs, and copyright administration….
The new “super ministry” was formed by combining and streamlining the functions previously performed by each of SARFT and GAPP separately on its own. Such combination does not appear to have changed the power configuration among itself, the Ministry of Culture, the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”).
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Talent shows get thumbs down from regulators
By Yu Jincui
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), formerly known as SARFT, is imposing new restrictions on televised musical talent shows.
It announced last week details of “regulations and controls” to cap the number of singing competition programs, demanding a stop in the creation of new entries in the genre and the postponing of the airing of shows not yet broadcast. It also warned the television stations to avoid “extravagance, dazzling packaging and sensationalism” in the shows, and encouraged originality and creativity in show content.
The purpose of the new regulation, as SAPPRFT stated on Wednesday, is to “avoid the monopoly of television programs, offer the audiences more options and satisfy people’s diverse demands for a more vibrant television culture.”
It has been reported that 13 singing talent shows were previously scheduled to be aired this summer.
Though many questioned whether Chinese audiences need so many repetitive shows, government watchdog’s decision to step in is also disfavored by quite some audience members. They think the decision should be made by the market.
Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.
July 22, 2013 • 6:18 pm 0
If you have four minutes to spare.
Please turn on English subtitles if required!
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Preferential Treatment for Foreigners (Laowai) in China
Source – Chinasmack, on Youtube, published July 21, 2013
A recently popular Chinese video covering some of the differences in how foreign nationals are treated in Beijing (and China overall) compared to “wai di ren” (Chinese citizens from other parts of the country) when it comes to purchasing homes in the city, taxes, starting and operating businesses, having children, and getting education for their children. Chinasmack, 2013
July 9, 2013 • 7:55 am 0
Because size matters; and indoor river rafting and beaches set new standards to boggle the mind… What has get rich quickly done to the frugality of the Chinese? Actually, probably nothing much to the function though the form may have changed- opulence has been a hallmark of Chinese civilisation and this looks set to continue. In a sense this is another demonstration why the Chinese need peaceful development – to fill these coffers.
Completed in April 2013, the New Century Global Center has 1,760,000 sqm indoor space.
When in Chengdu earlier this year, I had to go see with my own eyes. Despite the intense fog that channels through the winding river system there were moments where it briefly cleared, its stature was well… go see for yourself! It was out of the far extents of my peripheral vision standing at the carpark, and I had to backtrack a fair distance to get this shot.
Also – do check out the gallery below of awesome under-construction photos.
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Grand playhouse capacity: 2,000
Theater capacity: 1,000
Concert hall capacity: 1,000
International conference center: 10,000 square meters
Showroom: 12,000 square meters
Contemporary art gallery: 30,000 square meters
Artificial beach: 5,000 square meters (400-meter “coastline”
World’s largest LED: 150m x 40m
River rafting: 500 meters
Lobby: 10,000 square meters and 65 meters tall
Number of on-site five-star hotels: 2
Total number of deluxe suites: 1,000
Central business tower: 720,000 square meters
Number of (“international famous brand”) elevators: 244
Number of parking spaces: 15,000
Figures available from – GoChengDoo.com
July 4, 2013 • 7:08 am 0
There is still some way to go before Beijing consensus and civilised society go hand in hand. How the new leaders set an example is vital.
‘...following a rule is not considered a matter of pride in China. Many people think of rules as an obstacle to surmount rather than a positive social norm that can protect us from danger, chaos or unfairness, and moreover, contribute to the establishment of a lawful society. Hence, breaking a rule is regarded as a way to cut corners and save hassle. In this case, for example, the customers brought their own cart because they didn’t want to bother moving the heavy water from a supermarket trolley to their own cart. Sadly, they didn’t think of the possible consequences of their action.’ Zhang Yu
For instance, smokers are still aplenty in restaurants across all the Chinese cities I’ve traveled to. This is despite a ban since 2011 that still sees regular violators today. On occasion a waitstaff would try to dissuade the smokers but upon revelation of their party (actual or perceived) status, the service staff always take a step back, the smoking continues. See – New Smoking ban effective in China (Xinhua, May 2, 2011) That said in 2009 – nearly 8% of Chinese revenue came from tobacco-related taxes and profits.
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Rules shouldn’t be made to be broken
By Zhang Yu
Source – SHANGHAI – Global Times, published July 3, 2013
Last month, at a supermarket in Shanghai’s Jiading district, a 66-year-old woman was struck and killed by an overloaded pushcart on an inclined moving walkway. The pushcart, which was brought into the supermarket by two customers, lacked the safety devices all supermarket trolleys have that automatically lock the wheels onto walkways. As 15 boxes of bottled water were loaded onto the cart, it plunged rapidly down the walkway after the men lost control of it.
A shocking detail of this case was the fact that not only are these carts forbidden to be used in the supermarket, but the security guard on duty noticed the cart beforehand. He tried to dissuade the men from taking the moving walkway, but after they insisted, the guard gave in, finally leading to the tragedy.
This is a classic case of rules being ignored and flouted, eventually leading to a tragedy that could so easily have been prevented. But I don’t want to assign all the blame to the two customers who used the cart or to the security guard who let them in. The deeper problem lies in our society which lacks a basic respect for rules, whether it’s a supermarket regulation or a national law.
Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.
July 3, 2013 • 7:20 pm 0
The commodification of education meets the Chinese mind.
A 28-sq-m one-bedroom apartment recently sold for 2.35 million yuan – an incredible 83,000 yuan per sq m – in the downtown district of Jing’an. The buyers bought their apartment simply so their child would be eligible to attend a well-respected school, the Shanghai Morning Post reported in June.
To keep up to date on China’s education reforms, please check out the China Daily special here.
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Parents learn a costly lesson on homes
By Wang Ying
Source – China Daily, published July 2, 2013
The battle for a better education goes beyond schools, as Wang Ying reports in Shanghai
University lecturer Jiang Ying is a typical Chinese parent. She has high expectations for her daughter and adheres firmly to the following logic: To be successful in competitive Chinese society, you have to graduate from a prestigious university.
Before that, you must attend a respected middle school, which means, in most cases, you will need quality education at primary school.
Although her daughter is only 3, Jiang has become embroiled in a battle to win admission to a well-respected primary school in southwest Shanghai’s Xuhui district.
“We’ve lived in Minhang district for years. We have a nice apartment and are familiar with everything there, but I have given up a convenient lifestyle for the sake of my child,” said Jiang.
Under China’s nine-year compulsory education system – six years of primary schooling followed by three at middle school – parents are not allowed to choose the public school their children attend. Instead, they can be enrolled only at the school nearest their home.
Please click here to read the entire article at China Daily.
June 24, 2013 • 8:50 am 0
Horse meat, dog meat, it’s getting tricky dealing with cultural preconceptions as they collide head on in global village and its 24-hour on-demand, new media cycle.
… Meanwhile, Yulin residents ask for more understanding of their local tradition. “We eat chicken, pork and beef, why not dog meat?” asked a local resident named Ma. “I hope outsiders show some respect for our traditional festival.”
Also – see No legal basis to cancel dog meat festival in Guangxi: local authorities (Want China Times, June 22, 2013):
The event, which is held once every year, highlights the city’s dog-meat culture and involves the mass consumption of dog-meat hotpot served with lychees and a strong grain liquor. The local residents consider the festival an ancient summer solstice tradition and believe that eating the dish on the specific day can help prevent illness.
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By Lin Meilian
Source – Global Times, published June 24, 2013
Despite widespread outrage, an annual dog meat festival kicked off on June 21 in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to mark the summer solstice.
Thousands of people crowded food streets in the city of Yulin to enjoy a feast of dog-meat hotpot with lychee wine, a local tradition that is said to keep diseases at bay. It is estimated that over 10,000 dogs were killed on the one-day festival.
In an open letter to the Yulin government on June 18, 20 animal right organizations called for the festival to be cancelled.
Please click here to read the full article at the Global Times.
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