Front Page of the Day
Posted by Eric Mu on Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 4:08 PM
China's Shandong Province is struggling with an electricity crunch which is the "worst in a decade". Since June, electricity rationing has been introduced in the province; electricity for households is limited to designated hours, and factories only have electricity four days a week.
So far no official explanation has been given for the power shortages. Many people believe soaring coal prices are to blame while others find the Olympic Games a convenient target at which they can vent their grievance: there many rumors at the moment blaming the central government for cutting down on Shandong's electricity ration to ensure the power supply in Beijing.
Today's Yantai Evening News, a local newspaper based in Yantai, Shandong Province, ran a top headline "electricity will be limited to factories during the Olympic Games" followed by a subhead "Neon lights and advertisement lights will be turned off". According to the newspaper, from August 8 to August 25, all big power consumers including steel plants, mines (except for coal mines), cement mills and chemical factories will suspend production; half of all street lamps will be turned off; air con thermostats in shopping mall, hotels, offices will be kept above 26 °C.
A vice president of Yantai Electricity Supply Company said in the article that "industrial use of electricity will be cut down further to make sure that people will be able to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at home."
The article also quoted an expert named Xia Zhongmin, who suggests that appliances should be unplugged when not being used because, according to him, a TV set or a computer in sleep mode uses just as much electricity as when they are active. To prove the point, the expert cited the result of a joint research conducted by University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory according to which 10% of electricity has been wasted in the "standby equipment" in the US.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.