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Author Topic: Random Chinese News Thread
Mucus
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An interesting article about the perception gap between the foreign media and reality on the Shanghai Expo, interesting point, but I'll quote just the beginning to give a taste.

quote:
The personal and professional interests of the foreign media in China have never had much in common with the average Chinese people with whom they cover. Sometimes, this is a good and necessary thing: if the foreign media won’t cover Chinese dissidents, who will? But often, this produces absurd results that distort – for readers and viewers outside of China – what matters to China.

Take, for example, the near obsession that China’s foreign correspondents have with Jia Zhangke, a very good Chinese filmmaker who makes “serious,” socially conscious films that have almost no audience in China, but which win awards abroad. This year, during the Expo, the New Yorker (to choose just one English language publication) devoted thousands of words to Mr. Jia. Fair enough, I suppose, except for the fact that – at the same time Jia Zhangke was appealing to a decidedly small audience of hyper-educated New Yorker writers, readers, and editors, the turnstiles at Expo 2010 – the Shanghai World’s Fair – were rotating at a rate that eclipsed Jia Zhangke’s entire Chinese audience by noon, every day, May to October. If New Yorker readers wanted to know something about why people were rushing through those turnstiles, they’d have to look elsewhere because, aside from a few blog posts, the magazine published nothing on Expo 2010 – the biggest and most expensive event that ever took place in China (and, some argue, anywhere). Of course, the New Yorker, and its terrific China correspondent weren’t alone in this choice of coverage – they were joined in the decision by most of the China-based foreign media (and their overseas editors). What a pity.

http://shanghaiscrap.com/?p=5803
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Blayne Bradley
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianhe-I

China gets ahead in the supercomputer gap!

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
More on my prior mentioned You Will Never Learn Chinese.

In another entry in this series Don't Kettle, yay wordplay.

Another interesting, though more encouraging read is More on infixation and code-mixing in Cantonese

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Mucus
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quote:
Man in mask detained after Air Canada flight

A young Asian man is asking for asylum in Vancouver after what the Canada Border Services Agency is calling an "unbelievable case of concealment."

The young man is in detention in Vancouver after he boarded an Air Canada flight in Hong Kong on Oct. 29 disguised as an elderly man.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/101105/national/passenger_disguise

Ok, thats pretty awesome. Massive points for effort.

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SenojRetep
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More on rare earths as several industry groups from the EU, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and South Korea complain to the G20 of "of acute trade tensions between the world's major economies resulting from supply cuts."

Also, in a major case of pots and kettles, the Chinese vice finance minister complains about the Fed's quantitative easing plan. According to the People's Daily, QE is "equal to indirect exchange rate manipulation." (Paul Krugman on why it's not currency manipulation, but why the Chinese stockpiling of US currency is)

<edit>It should be mentioned that pretty much everyone is pissed at the US over QE. Dan Drezner has a typically analytically sharp analysis of the current situation, as compared to Krugman's typically slanted bluster.</edit>

[ November 08, 2010, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
It should be mentioned that pretty much everyone is pissed at the US over QE.

Yep. Even Canada [Smile]

quote:
The ramifications of a weak U.S. dollar are huge - hence the concern. Scotia Capital economists Derek Holt and Gorica Djeric were particularly harsh in their assement today, raising warnings over the potential fallout:

"[Canadian dollar] strength also proves the point that one needn't have [Bank of Canada] tightening to drive the currency. It's being driven by U.S. efforts to export its years of profligacy to its trading partners and blame everyone else in a process engineered through debasement of the greenback. That is also sparking flows out of the [U.S. dollar] into commodities that in turn reinforce strength in commodity related [foreign exchange] crosses like [the Canadian dollar] ... The U.S. is fooling itself in believing that such efforts may not come back to bite itself via creating instability in foreign markets via feeding abrupt capital flow swings and imbalances ranging from emerging markets through to Canadian housing and household finances."

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson noted last week that "there are fears that the U.S. are devaluing the dollar by a form of benign neglect, and as a result putting pressure on emerging market currencies in the process, as investors go looking for yield. This has created tensions and fears of a possible currency war as emerging market economies take steps to stem the appreciation of their currencies."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/is-the-us-debasing-its-dollar-hurting-other-nations/article1756871/

Although we're less bombastic than the Germans

quote:
But in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, extended his criticism of US policy, describing the US growth model as in “deep crisis”.

“It’s not right when the Americans accuse China of manipulating exchange rates and then push the dollar exchange rate lower by opening up the flood gates by turning on the printing presses,” Mr Schäuble said.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f34b2026-eab3-11df-b28d-00144feab49a.html#axzz14iZ98pzi
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Mucus
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They're not kidding about capital flows either. Already had a nice(?) big boost in Canadian and Hong Kong stock prices.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
It should be mentioned that pretty much everyone is pissed at the US over QE.

Yep. Even Canada [Smile]
...
Although we're less bombastic than the Germans

Even Sarah Palin hates it! Does her agreeing with the Chinese finance minister make her a communist or just a communist sympathizer?
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Mucus
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Humorous interlude:

US-Sino currency rap battle from Next Media Animation

(Link Removed by Janitor Blade. There's a bit of frontal nudity in the film, which I felt tipped it into unsafe territory for a link. Anybody interested in finding the link can easily google 3-D Sex and Zen)

[ November 13, 2010, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Mucus
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The Asian Games in Guangzhou have started.
The Big Picture

Looks like they spent quite a bit on the production, I'm going to have to figure out how to get video of it in HD. (Might even be able to get Cantonese since it looks like the protests against Mandarin succeeded)

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BlackBlade
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Cantonese folks still feel resentment at having Mandarin thrust upon them? Who knew!? [Wink]
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Mucus
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To the bitter end [Razz]
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Humorous interlude:

US-Sino currency rap battle from Next Media Animation


by 3d do they mean a film that happens to be cgi/graphics or 3d as in compatible with a 3DTV?

[ November 13, 2010, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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JanitorBlade
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3D as in what any other movie being released in 3D would be saying.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Anybody interested in finding the link can easily google 3-D Sex and Zen

*L*

Anyways, for the record, you may or may not need to add the term "AFP" in the search. The original link was to the AFP news video wire which is significantly more conservative than the trailer which you may also find.

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Blayne Bradley
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What got edited there?
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Xavier
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quote:
The Asian Games in Guangzhou have started.
The Big Picture

Jeez, I don't know what's more beautiful in that set of pics, the colors or the women.
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SenojRetep
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A couple of recent articles about China's uneasy engagement with political dissent:

Nobel ceremony in doubt as China refuses to allow any of jailed winner's family out of the country.

Chinese woman sent to re-education labor camp for a year because of tweet.

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Mucus
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Yeah, their foreign ministry stance on the Liu Xiaobo affair has been totally idiotic and counter-productive.
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JanitorBlade
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I just found out a good friend of mine knows Xi Jin Ping very well, apparently he has a very high opinion of Xi.
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Mucus
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Only three news bits for Wikileaks re: China. Looks like the main day of focus on China will be either Thursday or Sunday

First, one seems to be from one anonymous source and may or may not be reliable (but funny if true)

quote:
How the hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticising him personally.
Second, looks more reliable, North Korean weapons being transferred through Beijing capital airport (awesome airport to go through BTW).
quote:
"The [state] department is seeking both immediate action ... and a strategic approach with regards to this critical issue," Rice's cable states. "We now have information that the goods will be shipped on 4 November and insist on a substantive response from China ... We assess that the best way to prevent these shipments in the future is for Chinese authorities to take action ... that will make the Beijing airport a less hospitable transfer point."
Three, South Korea has communicated to China their plan to unify the Korean peninsula promising commercial deals for Chinese co-operation. Separately,
quote:
American diplomats in East Asia reported about members of the Beijing leadership who had grown sick and tired of the escapades of their North Korean ally Kim Jong Il and who could conceive of reunification under the control of South Korea.
Edit to add:
Oooo, le ban stick.

Also
quote:
MalcolmMoore: Wikileaks China docs include embassy cables from June 3, 5, 1989.


[ November 28, 2010, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
MalcolmMoore: Wikileaks China docs include embassy cables from June 3, 5, 1989.
I am so interested in those.
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Mucus
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You and me both.

Supposedly, there is going to be a "Canada Day" as well as a "China Day." I couldn't have predicted how much fun this stuff is (so far anyways), although I almost feel like I'm getting reports read in Londo Mollari's voice due to the gossipy nature of the majority of the content.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

American diplomats in East Asia reported about members of the Beijing leadership who had grown sick and tired of the escapades of their North Korean ally Kim Jong Il and who could conceive of reunification under the control of South Korea.

And what you said above that pretty much confirm my thoughts on Chinese-Korean policy.
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Mucus
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"confirm" with caveat that we don't have the cable or what sources it relies upon yet. But yes, I do hope.
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Mucus
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Notes:
Some humour
quote:
quote:
Without naming names, XXXXXXXXXX also suggested the strong possibility that someone had made a payment (on the order of USD 10,000) to secure the premier’s support.
That’s right: somebody at the US Consulate in Shenyang reported the “strong possibility” that China’s premier had been bribed for less than the cost of a used Buick in Shanghai. That is to say, somebody at the US Consulate in Shenyang – probably several somebodies – believes that the Premier can be bribed for less than the cost of a used Buick in Shanghai.
http://shanghaiscrap.com/?p=5944

Some views on Xi Jinping from Singapore

quote:
In Chinese domestic politics, Hu had wanted Vice Premier Li Keqiang from the Communist Youth League to emerge as his successor, not Vice President Xi Jinping, but Hu did his calculations and accepted Xi when it became clear that Xi had the necessary backing from the rest of the leadership. Similarly, on Taiwan, Hu will be pragmatic. It does not matter to Hu if it takes 10 years or 20 or 30. The key is building links with Taiwan.
quote:
Xi is a princeling who succeeded despite being rusticated. When the party needed his talents, Xi was brought in as Shanghai Party Secretary. Xi is seen as a Jiang Zemin protege, but in another three and a half years Jiang’s influence will be gone. The focus now is on maintaining the system. There are no more strongmen like Deng Xiaoping. Jiang did not like Hu, but could not stop him, because Hu had the backing of the system and he did not make mistakes.
http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09SINGAPORE529.html
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Blayne Bradley
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Maybe the 10,000$ bit might be plausible if seen entirely through the cultural translator as seeming to them, something akin to them paying their 'respects' as a sign of respect while not thinking of it in terms of being a bribe.

The same way business friends will bring wine and some money to see their politician friend.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
... First, one seems to be from one anonymous source and may or may not be reliable

Hep

quote:
In China, at least, among the most anticipated of the wikileaks cables was the one that purportedly suggested that a member of the Chinese Politburo set off a crackdown on google after finding that searches for his name produced unflattering results. To me, at least, this seemed implausible (at least as a source-able news story), but I thought I’d at least wait for the actual cable to make a judgment. And today, I got that cable, dated May 18, 2009 .... Interesting enough, Wikileaks blacks out the name of the Politburo official who purportedly was offended by the search – but the New York Times, for reasons unclear, could not resist and unmasks him as Li Changchun, China’s Propaganda chief. Neither party, however, identifies the source of this very high-level and damning story. But we do know this: a) there is only one source for this story, and b) it was not Li Changchun. Furthermore, we know that the author of the diplomatic cable wasn’t nearly as confident in the story as the authors of the New York Times piece, and s/he states this lack of confidence in the second to last sentence of the cable:

“While we can neither confirm nor deny the provocative language and views attributed to xxxxxxxx, the claims of government-forced retribution by the major SOE telecom companies are cause for serious concern.”

Now, it’s worth nothing that a single source anecdote, backed by doubts from the reporting journalist, would automatically disqualify the Li Changchun story from any major newspaper or magazine in the United States – especially those with fact-checking departments, and especially the New York Times (newspaper of, ahem, record).

http://shanghaiscrap.com/?p=6007

A lot of the intelligence in these cables doesn't seem to be panning out. No wonder we got the Niger-Yellowcake/WMD claims.

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fugu13
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It isn't the diplomats' job to sort out truth from fiction, just to collect things they hear that could be important to the US, and are important for US actors to be aware of the possibility of in their interaction. They also include a brief analysis of how reliable they feel their source is, as you saw.

The Niger-Yellowcake/WMD claims happened because there were analysts and politicians who were idiots, using bits of information they had heard without looking at them critically. That diplomats report things they hear that turn out to be untrue (or unlikely to be true; this could still turn out to be true) is a strength, not a weakness, of the intelligence gathering process. Any intelligence gathering process that only collects true things is an intelligence gathering process that isn't looking very hard.

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Mucus
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That doesn't seem to contradict what I said.
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fugu13
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quote:
A lot of the intelligence in these cables doesn't seem to be panning out. No wonder we got the Niger-Yellowcake/WMD claims.
Then what is this supposed to mean? You seem to be asserting there's some sort of causative link between information in diplomatic cables not panning out and claims like the ones mentioned, when there isn't.
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Mucus
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*shrug* I also highlighted
quote:
but the New York Times, for reasons unclear, could not resist and unmasks him as Li Changchun
as an example of how intelligence gets analysed. It's a two part assertion, which doesn't seem terribly different from what you said.

Unreliable information + overeager analysis => Danger

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Mucus
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quote:
Zhejiang Province Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, a contender to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2012/2013
quote:
Xi said he particularly likes Hollywood movies about World War II and hopes Hollywood will continue to make them. Hollywood makes those movies well, and such Hollywood movies are grand and truthful. Americans have a clear outlook on values and clearly demarcate between good and evil. In American movies, good usually prevails. In contrast, “Curse of the Golden Flower,” a recently popular Chinese movie directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li (she of “Miami Vice” movie stardom) had been confusing to Xi. Some Chinese moviemakers neglect values they should promote.
quote:
He criticized Zhang Yimou by name as well as the kungfu action movie genre. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Wu Ji” and imperial palace intrigues -- all are the same, talking about bad things in imperial palaces.
http://46.59.1.2/cable/2007/03/07BEIJING1840.html

Ah, moral ambiguity. I'd have to disagree anyways. I daresay Chinese movies (mainland actually, although its starting to infect HK too) already tend to be too simplistic, like, well, American WWII movies.

There's been a real irritating push to put clear messages about good and evil (and that evil doesn't pay) which has been especially grating on Hong Kong movies.

quote:
Xi would act
to ensure that Jiang was not harassed or that Jiang's corrupt
son would not be arrested, xxxxx.

quote:
... Such a mindset could potentially place the "princelings" at odds with Party members who do not have
similar pedigrees, xxxxx, such as President
Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Party members with a CYL
background, who were derisively referred to as "shopkeepers'
sons." xxxxx had heard some princeling
families denounce those without revolutionary pedigrees by
saying, "While my father was bleeding and dying for China,
your father was selling shoelaces."

http://46.59.1.2/cable/2009/07/09BEIJING2112.html

Not terribly controversial stuff, but interesting for the future nonetheless. Xi Jinping is AFAIK affiliated with the "princeling" group.

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Mucus
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Fairly lengthy portrait of Xi Jinping
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201101a.brief.htm#007

Nothing particularly damning, but nothing particularly praiseworthy though.

A bit of an associated controversy on the (wrong?) identify of the informant

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Blayne Bradley
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I like just how free wheeling Chinese politics is for some people, one day your up, then your down, and then your back up. It's like Londo Milari on crack.
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Mucus
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Glenn Beck goes at it

Obviously flawed, but an interesting companion to the Chinese professor campaign ad in assessing American opinions on China

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BlackBlade
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I didn't make it very far in. I found it way too inconsistent for Beck to be completely unfamiliar with Zhu Zhu Pets since that was what he was the supposed impetus for the show, and yet he wants to convince me he is piecing together things about China the other media folks aren't?

Not to mention Zhu Zhu Pets were designed by a foreigner, not the Chinese. But hey, nice try with the Chinese culture is becoming too strong for us. I guess Chinese food can be eaten in copious from amounts over here in China, and we can even have China towns in major metropolitan cities, but it's toys *from* China that were the lynch pin for him.

[ January 17, 2011, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Blayne Bradley
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It's Beck.
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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I guess Chinese food can be eaten in copious amounts over here in China...

Well, yea, but I think over there they just call it food.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by jebus202:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I guess Chinese food can be eaten in copious amounts over here in China...

Well, yea, but I think over there they just call it food.
Heh, the word "from" was missing.
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BlackBlade
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I'm sad they didn't get an actual answer, but I admit it's kinda nice for Pres. Hu to have his feet racked against the coals for just a few moments.

Link.

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All he had to do was email me ahead of time and I could have given him the perfect answer to that question [Mad]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
All he had to do was email me ahead of time and I could have given him the perfect answer to that question [Mad]

It's too late for Mr. Hu, but I'd be much obliged to hear your perfect answer here.
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Mucus
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The Chinese foreign ministry really sucks at dealing with the media, probably because they own most of it back home.

You need to look at how the pros do it. Obama doesn't generally take more than one question from the local press, instead only answering questions from White House reporters that are suitably neutered by having "access." For example:
quote:
The live global broadcast of Obama's press conference was not supposed to have any questions from non-American reporters. Obama pointed only at the White House reporters who traveled with him. This is Obama's custom. But he decided at the spur of the moment to add an extra question at the very end. He emphasized that he wanted the question to come from the Korean media.
...
President (1) comes to country (2) to attend an economic summit and holds a press conference. However, the President only took questions in his own language from his own national reporters who were traveling with him. At the end of the press conference, he allowed one question from the host country.

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201011a.brief.htm

Thats a much smarter idea, control the format, only allow questions in your own language, and leave a local question till the end so you can just obfuscate and leave.

That said, I also find the self-congratulatory tone of the piece pretty silly. The true measure of freedom is not your ability to criticize foreign leaders when you have nothing at risk.

We can reverse this to make the silliness of the piece clear. How much would we congratulate a "gutsy" CCTV Chinese reporter for "unexpectedly" finding themselves allied with the Politburo and asking a tough question couched in criticism of Obama? None at all.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
We can reverse this to make the silliness of the piece clear. How much would we congratulate a "gutsy" CCTV Chinese reporter for "unexpectedly" finding themselves allied with the Politburo and asking a tough question couched in criticism of Obama? None at all.
Actually, if a CCTV reporter asked something like, "You promised to close Guantanamo Bay and give terrorists basic rights, and yet your administration has not delivered on these promises, why?

I would applaud.

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Mucus
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Maybe you're a lot less cynical than I am [Wink]
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Mucus
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Bah, turns out we're both working off of false premises. The WP article is just fantasy.
quote:
(China Times) January 21, 2011

The first question came from an American reporter who asked Obama and Hu to discuss the issue of human rights. Obama thought that there was simultaneous interpretation service, so he responded immediately in a comprehensive manner without waiting for the interpretation of the question into Chinese first. After he finished speaking, the Chinese interpretation began. Obama realized what was going on and apologized. The emcee then asked a Chinese reporter to pose a question. This meant that Hu had no opportunity to respond on the human rights question.

The third question came from an American reporter who said: "Chairman Hu did not respond to the human rights question." Hu Jintao looked perplexed and said that he did not hear the human rights question. Then he began to speak readily. The fact is that all the questions were selected before hand. Thus, Hu came prepared with a printed speech in front of him. He did not have to evade this question.

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201101a.brief.htm
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Bah, turns out we're both working off of false premises. The WP article is just fantasy.
quote:
(China Times) January 21, 2011

The first question came from an American reporter who asked Obama and Hu to discuss the issue of human rights. Obama thought that there was simultaneous interpretation service, so he responded immediately in a comprehensive manner without waiting for the interpretation of the question into Chinese first. After he finished speaking, the Chinese interpretation began. Obama realized what was going on and apologized. The emcee then asked a Chinese reporter to pose a question. This meant that Hu had no opportunity to respond on the human rights question.

The third question came from an American reporter who said: "Chairman Hu did not respond to the human rights question." Hu Jintao looked perplexed and said that he did not hear the human rights question. Then he began to speak readily. The fact is that all the questions were selected before hand. Thus, Hu came prepared with a printed speech in front of him. He did not have to evade this question.

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201101a.brief.htm
Or perhaps, zonaeuropa is in the pockets of the politburo! We'll never know will we?! [Wink]
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Mucus
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There's an interesting back and forth on the subject of religion in China. The start is an article on Huffington Post depicting a massive resurgence of religion in China based on some (relatively) new survey. There's a counter-argument based on the study here and the original survey is available at ARDA with the caveat that the survey data is collected by the Templeton Foundation which has a somewhat colourful reputation. I actually recommend starting with the data actually.

The upshot is that the initial article is garbage, the Templeton survey does seem to have some interesting data on religion in China, but that it actually has much lower estimates of religious activity in China than an official government survey out of Shanghai (an encouraging (from my POV) 17.8% versus 30%).* There are many questions on the importance of religious belief, Christianity, and what rituals are still performed.

Reading through it, it also seems to support my belief that the Cultural Revolution certainly did a number on superstitions like astrology, fortune telling, and feng shui, knocking it below my estimate of their popularity in Hong Kong. Ancestor veneration appears to be the biggest survivor.

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BlackBlade
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I think the CR certainly did knock out religion quite throughly in ML China. I think the country is quite ripe though for a revival of religion, not just traditional religions but Western ones as well.
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