« July 19, 2009 - July 25, 2009 | Main | August 2, 2009 - August 8, 2009 »

August 1, 2009

Joe Wong, stand up comedian

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Transcript of a recent interview by David Moser with Joe Wong (黄西), a Chinese-born stand up comedian who recently performed on David Letterman's show.

DNS hijacking

Having problems reaching blocked sites even through your VPN? Micah Sittig explains how DNS hijacks may be the culprit.

Xu Zhiyong detained by police

Tania Branigan at The Guardian reports on the rights lawyer's disappearance:

The Beijing public security bureau refused to answer questions over the telephone and did not immediately respond to a faxed list of questions.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it was "gravely concerned" about Xu.

"That concern is due to the Chinese government's increasingly punitive approach to individuals such as Xu who are in the vanguard of China's domestic human rights movement," its Asia researcher, Phelim Kine, said in a statement.

Update: Evan Osnos at the New Yorker explains how Xu's detention is different from the disappearance of other cowboys and dissidents.

July 31, 2009

A blogger talks to a mainstream journalist

Kai Pan at CNReviews speaks with The Guardian's Tania Branigan about blogging and on-the-ground reporting, and offers reasons why the quantity and duration of coverage of the riots in Urumqi and Lhasa differed.

Workers angry over China's industrial reform

From Beijing Sky Canaves travels to Tonghua in order to investigate the murder at Tonghua Iron & Steel Group. From the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Zhang and his colleagues at the plant had received bonuses of 200 yuan a month as the company returned to profitability. Mr. Zhang says he feared that Jianlong would suspend the bonus scheme if it took over the company. Even worse, he says, there were rumors that Jianlong planned to lay off all workers who had been with Tonghua for more than 25 years, replacing them with outsiders. There are few other job prospects in this remote, hilly corner of the nation, 35 miles from the North Korean border.

Trials for Xinjiang riot perpetrators set for August

China Daily reports on the release of photos for suspects on the run as well as the trial details for the "small proportion" of detainees who will be tried:

Zhang said a detailed security plan -- including how to secure the court during the trials and how to escort the suspects - has been formulated.

It remains unknown whether the trials will be made public. But in previous riot cases, only designated personnel were allowed to attend the hearings, according to another source with the justice system.

The source said the Uygur language is likely to be used at the trials of Uygur suspects.

The eclipse UFO

With everyone looking at the sky on the morning of July 22, the day of the solar eclipse, someone was bound to notice a UFO. Shanghai Eye is amused.

July 29, 2009

Steel wars: EU slaps tariffs on Chinese steel pipe

From The Wall Street Journal:

European Union trade officials approved pre-emptive penalties on imports of steel pipe from China, a precedent-setting move that suggests the trading bloc is growing more protectionist in the face of the economic downturn.

China & US renew committment on climate change treaty

Bloomberg reports on the “memorandum of understanding” signed yesterday by the US and China:

China and the U.S. agreed to redouble efforts to craft a new climate change treaty, adding pressure on the two largest polluters to break a stalemate over how to curb global warming.

The nations made their pledge yesterday by signing a “memorandum of understanding,” which also calls for deeper cooperation on clean-energy technology. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the accord, saying it gives the countries “direction as we work together to support international climate negotiations.”

The U.S. and China are among almost 200 countries facing a December deadline to reach agreement in Copenhagen on a global accord to slow greenhouse-gas emissions and shift the world to low-carbon energy sources. Industrialized and developing nations are at odds over issues such as how much financial and technological aid emerging economies should get from developed countries.

Moldova benefits from Chinese financial aid

From the Financial Times:

A week before Wednesday’s repeat parliamentary elections in Moldova, China signed an agreement to loan $1bn (£600m, €700m) to this cash-strapped, resource-poor country, nearly tripling Moldova’s external debt and issuing a direct challenge to the US and Russia for economic and political influence in this last outpost of elected Communist rule in the former Soviet Union.

Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway on road to completion

The Shanghai Daily reports:

Construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, which will cut traveling time between two cities from 12 hours to four, will be completed by the end of next year.

It will open in 2012 and will be the most profitable railway in the world, the Ministry of Railways said yesterday, National Business Daily reported today.

Officials with the ministry said yesterday that high-speed railways are always profitable, based on the experience of some other countries.

July 28, 2009

US students quarantined for second time

CNN conducted a video interview with a school supervisor whose student tested positive for H1N1 in China. The group will only spend only three days out of three weeks not in quarantine. This time they're in Henan.

Divorce during the Cultural Revolution

Zhang Hanzhi and Hong Junyan had a high-profile divorce and different ideas about how it ended. As Mao's one-time English teacher, Zhang's version has been widely publicized. After her death Hong has published a memoir called Unbearable to Recall: My Divorce with Zhang Hanzhi. The Global Times reports.

Party magazine to get English edition

Qiushi has always been a propaganda magazine for the CPC, and now it's getting an English makeover like other State-owned media. Malcolm Moore reports for The Telegraph:

Qiushi, or Seeking Truth, was launched in 1958 as an important forum for Communist Party thought and ideology. Mao Tse-tung used the magazine in the 1960s to push the principles of the Cultural Revolution, and it was also used by Deng Xiaoping to encourage China to "open up" and reform in 1978.

Guo Baofeng, your mother is calling you home for dinner

China Digital Times gives a rundown to the Guo Baofeng (amoiist) postcards.

July 27, 2009

Over thirty minutes for ambulance to arrive at Peking Union hospital

Seagull Reference writes about the incident of a woman who was knocked down by a bus about 100m from Peking Union Hospital in Beijing, and the length of time it took (over half an hour) for the ambulance to show up:

At 10:10 am July 23, 2009, 300 feet away from the Beijing Union Hospital, a young woman was stuck by a bus. It is on a crowded heavy traffic street right at downtown Beijing. Police came within minutes, but ambulance never came.

The original Youku footage is here.

Clash at Jilin steel mill

Workers and police clashed at a steel mill in Jilin on Friday evening, where the threat of a mass layoff resulted in at least two deaths: Reuters has a good summary, via the New York Times:

China’s state-run press confirmed Monday that a riot broke out at a steel mill in north China Friday evening, leaving the executive of another steel mill dead.

The report, in the English-language China Daily, provided few details on the mayhem, but a report on Saturday by a Hong Kong-based group, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, which broke the story on the riot, said that at least 30,000 workers were involved and that about 100 people were wounded.

The riot, at the Tonghua Iron and Steel Works in Jilin Province in northern China, broke out after a visiting steel executive from a related company threatened mass layoffs at the Tonghua steel mills as part of a major restructuring of the state-owned company, China Daily said.

Sole candidate for Macao's top job wins election

From Xinhua:

Chui Sai On won the third-term chief executive election of Macao Special Administrative Region on Sunday, of which he was the only candidate.