Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China uses pickle index to track migrant flows [Straits Times/AFP] #RisingChina #InternalMigrantFlows

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.

Also, see

‘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.
AFP
Source – Straits Times print edition, published Aug 14, 2013

20130815-071012.jpg

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Food, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, People, Population, Poverty, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

A cool idea in summer: Carving on watermelon to boost sales [People’s Daily Online] #RisingChina #StreetInnovation

Genius – Where words fail, artful watermelon carvings speak!

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Shen Dongbin shows cartoon figures carved on watermelons at his watermelon stall in northwest China's Lanzhou on July 4, 2013. Photo Source Photo - Xinhua

Shen Dongbin shows cartoon figures (includes Paul Frank as above, PSY, Doraemon) carved on watermelons at his watermelon stall in northwest China’s Lanzhou on July 4, 2013. Photo   – Xinhua

Source – People’s Daily Online, published July 5, 2013

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Source - weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source - weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – These Are China’s Watermelon Kids (Kotaku, August 10, 2013)

 

Also, see The Chinese craze for ‘watermelon kids’ (Telegraph, August 10, 2013)

 

Filed under: Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Food, Mapping Feelings, People, People's Daily, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity

Sun crowned “distance freestyle king” with golden treble [Xinhua] #RisingChina #Sports

Sun Yang 孙杨 is a Chinese Olympic and world-record-holding distance swimmer.  At the last Olympic Games, Sun was one of two male swimmers to win two individual titles, the other being American swimmer Michael Phelps.

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Sun crowned “distance freestyle king” with golden treble
By Li Jia, sports writer
Source – Xinhua, published August 4, 2013

China's Sun Yang reacts after the final of the men's 1500-metre freestyle swimming competition in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona on Aug. 4, 2013. Sun Yang won the 3rd gold of World Championship with 1,500 meter freestyle triumph. Photo - Xinhua by Xie Haining

China’s Sun Yang reacts after the final of the men’s 1500-metre freestyle swimming competition in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona on Aug. 4, 2013. Sun Yang won the 3rd gold of World Championship with 1,500 meter freestyle triumph. Photo – Xinhua by Xie Haining

BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Chinese star swimmer Sun Yang has become the new king of distance freestyle swimming as he completed a hat-trick of world titles after winning the 1,500m final with a commanding performance at the world championships on Sunday.

Sun collected the 400m, 800m and 1,500 free golds at Barcelona, matching a feat previously achieved only by Australian Grant Hackett in the 2005 Montreal Worlds.

On Sunday, the 21-year-old won the final in 14 minutes 41.15 seconds, with Canada’s Ryan Cochrane 1.33 seconds back for silver and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri 4.22 adrift in third.

Click here to read the full article at Xinhua. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Domestic Growth, Ethnicity, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Sport, The Chinese Identity, xinhua

Being Chinese in South-east Asia [Straits Times] #RisingChina #OverseasChinese

Once overshadowed by ethnic branding and stereotypes…

This book disproves the lie that the Chinese cannot be integrated because of their racial exclusivity, their loyalty by default to China, and the cultural insecurity of indigenous South-east Asian societies.

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Being Chinese in South-east Asia

Ethnic community in this region is as deeply embedded as any other today
By Asad Latif For The Straits Times
Source – ST, published Jul 06, 2013

20130708-072506.jpg
An enactment of a Peranakan wedding at the Peranakan Museum. The book’s value lies in extending its analysis of the contribution of the Baba to Singapore and Malaysia, to ethnic Chinese in South-east Asia. — ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Golden Dragon And Purple Phoenix: The Chinese And Their Multi-ethnic Descendants In Southeast Asia
By Lee Khoon Choy
Singapore: World Scientific, 585 pages

AMONG the more than 60 million ethnic Chinese settled around the world, 33 million live in South- east Asia.

Their identity was once overshadowed by the idea that wherever there are Chinese, there is China. That assertion incorporated them into the Sinic sphere of influence, questioned the possibility of loyalty to the lands of their birth, and undermined their claim to the region.

Ethnic Chinese became targets of a deadly stereotype: To be Chinese meant to be clever, rapacious, inscrutable and suspect. They were envied for their industry and thrift, but their business success was imputed to the clannish networks that cornered commercial power. Perceptions of racial exclusiveness tinged with chauvinism threatened to turn them into eternal outsiders in South-east Asia.

The community paid a terrible price for that ethnic branding. It was the chief victim of the Japanese invasion and occupation of Malaya and Singapore during World War II.

Please click here to access the entire article at the Straits Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, People, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

Hospitals should be city’s priority – SHANGHAI [Global Times] #RisingChina #Healthcare

Global Times: Chinese fourth estate at work, using a foreign voice to draw attention to China’s public healthcare chasm.

‘Upon arriving at the hospital, I was struck by the number of people lying on gurneys in the reception area, the hall way, the corridors and throughout the hospital. China’s population problem was all the more evident from the overcrowding in the hospital. Before I could be seen, I first had to pay to register. While in some countries in the West this is commonplace, I come from England, and the idea of paying for health care was alien to me.’

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Hospitals should be city’s priority – Shanghai
By Rebecca Flood
Source – Global Times, published July 7, 2013

20130707-075020.jpg
Illustration: Lu Ting/Global Times

I recently experienced firsthand the Chinese health care system after a nasty cut on my arm left me needing stitches. Most people’s worst nightmare when abroad is illness or injury; from food poisoning to broken bones, a medical emergency seems worse when you’re thousands of miles from home.

I had lacerated my right arm on a rusty metal fence, and the cut was so deep, you could see the layer of fat under my skin. I made my way to the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was struck by the number of people lying on gurneys in the reception area, the hall way, the corridors and throughout the hospital. China’s population problem was all the more evident from the overcrowding in the hospital. Before I could be seen, I first had to pay to register. While in some countries in the West this is commonplace, I come from England, and the idea of paying for health care was alien to me.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Health, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession? [BBC] #RisingChina #WorldsBiggestMiddleClass

Again, the fact that China’s urban population has only just surpassed its rural equivalent is an important consideration. Zooming in – In a way, it also depends on what this generation of young parents imbue their young with to keep up the next leg of China’s revival. The current generation X and Y retain the lineage of the family-centric worldview of consolidation and growth. When they spend its often with family at the forefront of major decisions.

A pal of mine foots a huge bill raising his daughter in Chengdu. With his wife they make a decent living but raising a child in the urban centers becomes possible only by extended family effort. On top of that, the scarcity of experienced healthcare staff make a grim overview to what should otherwise be a great time to raise a child along with China’s step up. The price of everything has gone up, impacting all demographics.

Along with the optimism, perhaps certain teething problems can be addressed and sorted out with this crop. The root of what others often misunderstand is to the Chinese, a simple act of reciprocating to benefactors and family. It will be hard to go away. The form may change, but the function remains.

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Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession?
By John Sudworth
Source – BBC News,
Zhengzhou, China,
published 19 June 2013

Meet the Zhangs, one of China’s new middle-class families who some economists believe are going to spend their way to a revival of the global economy.

Zhang Dongyang runs his own construction company in Zhengzhou, one of China’s fastest growing cities.

His wife, Zhang Min, is a hospital administrator, and together they earn about $40,000 (£25,000) a year.

20130621-100332.jpg

My parents didn’t even have enough to eat, and enough to eat, and weren’t that keen on children’s education. We can afford almost anything we want” Zhang Min, Hospital administrator

They own their own apartment, mortgage free, drive a Japanese-made Lexus car and will, they say, soon start taking not one, but two holidays a year.

Their six-year-old son, Zhang Zhiye, attends a private school.

“Yes I do feel middle class,” Mr Zhang tells me, adding that it’s now become acceptable to admit it.

“People who are more capable rise to the top. This is natural. It is the survival of the fittest.”

Please clIck here to read the full article at the BBC website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Health, History, Ideology, Inflation, Influence, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Property, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Percussion shows me the world [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #GlobalPulse #Percussion

Good stuff! No pulse = no life.

Better days ahead for the global pulse…

without the excess baggage of visual culture nor colour symbolism.

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Percussion shows me the world
Edited and translated by Huang Jin
Source – People’s Daily Online, published June 14, 2013

The performance “Mountain Drums” played by 39 visually impaired students from Guiyang Special School won gold prize at Disabled Arts Festival of Guizhou Province on June 7, 2013. The 39 students, from 9 to 21, are from a world without color.

Because of the visual impairment, the practice is very hard for them. However, the percussion brings them happiness and tears, and shows them the world…

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto - Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto – Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

A teacher holds the students' hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

A teacher holds the students’ hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disabilities, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Music, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Population, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

This is Shanghai [Rob Whitworth/Vimeo] #RisingChina #Timelapse

0-4000 skyscrapers in three decades: no mean feat.

Timelapse of Shanghai’s skyscrapers from that many angles and vantage points – no mean feat either.

That this was accomplished with local Shanghainese synergy – bonus feat!

A wonderful example of cross-pollination significant in painting the narrative that it’s not all just us and them.

To understand the city, the team carried out rigorous urban exploration. In the words of JT “we walked, walked and walked, the Jane Jacobs way”. Weibo, China’s main social media platform was used to ask local Shanghainese people to share ideas of different vantage points and what they thought were the over-riding characteristics of the city. Stealth and curiosity were required to find and gain access to rooftops and locations. It became addictive for the team discovering breath-taking vantage points of the city. There was always an adrenaline rush upon reaching the top of a different building to see the vast urban jungle of Shanghai….

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This is Shanghai
by Rob Whitworth
Source – Vimeo, published April 2013

In 1980 Shanghai had no skyscrapers. It now has at least 4,000 — more than twice as many as New York. ‘This is Shanghai’ explores the diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai going beyond the famous skyline.

Photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces combining deep city exploration and pioneering filmmaking. ‘This is Shanghai’ is a roller coaster ride seamlessly weaving between the iconic, sparkling and mismatched buildings of the financial district travelling by boat and taxi touring Shanghai’s impressive infrastructure whilst glimpsing some of the lesser-known aspects of Shanghai life such as the lower stratum areas or the stunning graffiti of Moganshan road. And of course there is the opportunity to try some of the vast variety of street food and Shanghai’s most popular homegrown delicacy, the pan-fried pork dumplings, the shengjian bao. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Climate Change, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Nationalism, People, Population, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Video

Censoring Remembrance: China’s Twenty-Fourth Unrealized Commemoration [Three Torches] #RisingChina #TianAnMen

How China sees itself: An encouraging college student post on Tiananmen and the agenda setting chasm of the Great Firewall – between true events and their representations.

Official recognition for this wrong is a long way off, and moving forward, online activity will continue to be a forum where people can lament and lash out, but much of it will remain in electronic form — digital dust in the large scheme of things. Dissent will become more creative, but so will the censorship regime, and at year number twenty-four, Tiananmen is still just one more irreconcilable trauma. Soon it might even cease to exist online, and with that little else can serve as an effective platform for remembrance and discussion in China. Three Torches Blog, June 5, 2013

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CENSORING REMEMBRANCE: CHINA’S TWENTY-FOURTH UNREALIZED COMMEMORATION
by Jonathan Lin, Three Torches Blog
Source – Three Torches Blog, published June 5, 2013

Much has been said — and much more has gone unaddressed — about China’s June 4th 1989 Tiananmen massacre. Yesterday marked the 24th anniversary with still no sense of closure, justice, or answers. One can get a small glimpse of the events of that chaotic and tragic day from Pulitzer-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, and his New York Times article from more than two decades earlier. But as the years pass, and less of the younger generations realize the significance of the famous ‘Tank Man‘ image or ‘Statue of Democracy‘, anniversary commemorations remain an important annual reminder for something yet to be be laid to rest. The city of Hong Kong, a special administrative region located to the south of mainland China, has been the site of Tiananmen anniversary commemorations for a few years now, though this year local journalists have come away with photographs that show important variations in this year’s peaceful vigils, including shots of a demonstrator carrying placards saying “Thank you, Hong Kong”

As reporting of the events that commemorate the 24th anniversary still unfold, I would like to draw attention more to the state of Chinese censorship and the online crackdown of anything remotely related to the events back in 1989. According to The Guardian, China’s biggest blogging platform Sino Weibo — the homegrown Chinese variant of Twitter — kicked its censorship platform into overdrive, banning search terms such as ‘today’ ‘tomorrow’ and date references, where numerous combinations of digits and figures bring netizens to dead links and webpages. Such combinations include ’25′ (89 subtract 64), ’10′ (6 + 4), ’17′ (8+9) or ’24′ (twenty-fourth anniversary) — all have become taboo in recent days because of the political sensitivity of the anniversary. Though Hong Kong journalists and netizens are savvy and adopt a range of parody, panache, and perseverance to reference the anniversary, China’s authoritarian Internet censorship regime remains in place and will prevent the government’s power from eroding. Indeed voices of resistance, grief, and frustration on the mainland are largely stifled by what the authorities have put in place online.

Please click here to read the full article at Three Torches.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Tiananmen 20th anniversary, Tiananmen security, U.S.

A better way to learn Chinese? [BBC] #RisingChina #LearningChinese

To find consensus through a common language is great, but unmatched by the narrative when two are able to speak the other’s native tongue to comprehend the ideologies behind each other’s world view.

That there is much attention in mastering Chinese is inspiring for the future. The Chinese are still sparing no expense to master English. A return in favor by the global village will be a positive reply.

Apart from committed socialization, perhaps watching Mandarin MTVs (they usually come with lyrics and feature commonly used words and expressions) could be added to the learning repertoire. Have a mental singalong and play mix and match with the lyrics while the visuals provide a useful imprint.

Move up to TV shows next. With reading of Chinese characters upgraded, the semantic toolbox gets pre loaded with familiar symbols.

Just recall scenes from the MTVs for more advanced idioms for instance.

In any case, to treat it as an academic subject is a whole different ball game altogether. The BBC talks about the constructivism underlying Chinese characters and meaning.

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A better way to learn Chinese?
By Philip Ball
Source – BBC, published March 18, 2013

20130529-045431.jpg

There’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China, but scientists think they may have an answer.

There’s no way round it: learning Chinese is tough. As far as reading goes, what most dismays native speakers of alphabetic languages is that Chinese characters offer so few clues. With virtually no Spanish, I can figure out in the right context that baño means bath, but that word in Chinese (洗澡) seems to offer no clues about pronunciation, let alone meaning.

There seems no alternative, then, but to slavishly learn the 3,500 or so characters that account for at least 99% of use in written Chinese. This is hard even for native Chinese speakers, usually demanding endless rote copying in school. And even then, it is far more common than is often admitted for Chinese people to forget even quite routine characters, such as 钥匙 (key). As a result, there’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China in recent years.

Is there a better way? Physicist Jinshan Wu of Beijing Normal University, a specialist in the new mathematical science of network theory, and colleagues have investigated the structural relationships between Chinese characters to develop a learning strategy that exploits these connections.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Research, Science, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K.

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China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

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Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

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A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

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