Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly. And sometimes you have to make them turn yourself. The Guizhou Metropolis Daily today has a front page headline that reads “He’s lying!” (他在扯谎), which was the phrase uttered by a man who heard his brother’s murderer proclaim his innocence. For 16 long years, Yang Shunming has been looking for the man who killed his brother, and by something of a fluke, he found him sitting at another table at a society dinner. The man had a new name, a new job, and dark secret. Read more
Posts from the ‘Default’ Category
The black Audi has a reputation in China as the car of choice for the rich and powerful. Or for anyone pretending to be rich and powerful. And sometimes the dividing line between reality and pretense can become blurred. With the headline “Car blocks entrance to small community, is it the car that’s awesome or the driver?”, the front page of the Zhoukou Evening Paper from Zhoukou (周口) in eastern Henan today relates the story of a black Audi whose driver, a traffic policeman, clearly considers himself above the law. Read more
This is probably not going the get the hated chengguan any love, but one of their number has made a short video in the style of a popular recent television advertisement to try and “clear up some misunderstandings” surrounding his profession. His video probably did nothing of the sort, but you can’t fault him for ripping off another television advertisement to try and stem some of the overwhelming negative press his profession generates. Or perhaps you can. Read more
Xiaomaibu literally means small selling department, and refers to Chinese corner shops or small convenience stores usually run by an individual or a family. The person who runs such stores may sleep inside the store. The range of products and services sold in such stores varies immensely. This post highlights such xiaomaibu in a few locations around China, looking at the most popular products sold in each store along with particular services offered that make each xiaomaibu an essential local dispenser.
What’s a little embellishment of a famous man after his death? Chinese newspapers today note with sadness the death of a man that became known as “China’s most famous peasant”, Wu Renbao (吴仁宝). Wu was the man responsible for transforming little Huaxi village in Jiangsu into a prosperous city of 35,000 people: China’s “leading village under heaven” (天下第一村). Wu died last night at the age of 85 of lung cancer, and his face is on the front pages of many newspapers today (scroll down to see gallery).
The newspapers today mourn the passing of the man with fulsome praise, yet when Xinhua broke the story on Weibo last night just after six in the evening, it reported that Wu had appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 2005. Hence today this same assertion is included in all the newspapers’ coverage of Wu, making it all the more regrettable that this assertion simply isn’t true. New News (新消息报) from Qinghai province even kindly printed said Time cover with Wu Renbao, which is actually a blatant fake that compounds the embarrassment of Xinhua and the newspapers today.
Rao Pingru (饶平如) has lived a long life marked by great hardship and perseverance. Yet Rao survived war, famine, incarceration, separation and illness, and lived his entire life with undying love for one woman. Now aged 91, Rao’s long life was characterized by all the trials and tribulations that the Chinese people experienced in a turbulent twentieth century. His story is anachronistic in our current age of self-absorption and fleeting love, and will soon fade back into the mists of time. But old though he is, Rao has determined to preserve his journey and the memory of his beloved wife of 60 years, Mao Meitang (毛美棠).
So ever since his wife died in 2008, Rao has been engaged in writing a comic book history of his life and lifelong love with Mao Meitang. After working on the project daily for five years, the comic book will be finally published in April this year under the title “The Story of Us” (我俩的故事).
The Oriental Morning Post (东方早报) from Shanghai today featured Rao’s comic book history on its front page. It is a deeply moving tale. The following are the news report and some excerpts published by the Oriental Morning Post today:
The city government of Nanyang (南阳), Henan province, is taking corruption and extravagance very seriously. The front page of the Nanyang Evening Post (南阳晚报) today proclaims in a very large headline: “Saying ‘no’ to tip of the tongue waste”. The phrase “on the tip of the tongue” sounds strange when translated directly into English, as I’ve done here, but it essentially refers to the enjoyment of a country’s food and drink culture. Any foreigner’s experience of China inevitably includes savoring the many interesting dishes of Chinese food, which are enjoyed “on the tip of the tongue.” Yet the city government of Nanyang has declared war on the inherent waste and extravagance of “tip of the tongue” enjoyment. As the newspaper explains in a somber fashion today, the disciplinary inspection committee in the city yesterday launched a special new operation to “strictly investigate the use of public funds for eating and drinking”.
And these are not merely empty words, because the newspaper recounts that teams were dispatched to hotels to winkle out those gorging themselves at the public’s behest. To spice things up even more, at the very top of the article, city residents are called upon to denounce any government officials violating the rules by engaging in “eating and drinking big” (大吃大喝). Clearly, Nanyang has put its money where its mouth is. Read more
“Education through labor” (劳教) has been the fate of many people in China since the 1950s: confinement to a labor camp to be reformed through hard work. The system is still very much in operation in China today, with more than 60,00 people apparently still confined in labor camps. Anyone can be sent to a labor camp for any kind of offense. Social society attempts to have the system reformed have in the last decade all been rebuffed.
Until yesterday. Xi Jinping, about to take the reins of government in China, yesterday made a somewhat passionate statement unequivocally calling for an end to “education through labor.” Today, China’s newspapers are full of portentous words such as “new era”, “complying with the interests of the people”, “fair justice for all”, “resolutely opposing unfair law enforcement and corruption”, “improving people’s safety and happiness”, and “the rule of law”.
The rhetoric is almost breath-taking. For now these are only words, yet you have to hand it to Xi Jinping, what words! Intending to capture the true essence of Xi’s momentous statements, the front page of the Sanxiang City Express (三湘都市报) from Hunan province today proclaims the end of the labor camp in China with the headline “Education through labor: 1957-2013″, along with a simple design of a wall broken through, a great barrier breached.
When a user snapped and posted on Weibo a picture of trees mysteriously uprooted on a road in Ningbo and then left there to die, a journalist picked it up and decided to investigate. What he found was no massive corruption scandal, flagrant malfeasance or incompetence; just bad management and professional neglect that left all the many trees over a ten kilometer stretch of road uprooted, and slowly dying in the open, one by one.
Also, we mention a few other stories from China’s newspaper front pages today:
- From Beijing Morning Post (北京晨报): The first job fair in Beijing in two years at which 43,000 graduates turned up with only 18,000 jobs on offer
- From the Henan Business Daily (河南商报): China’s first female astronaut returns to her home in Henan saying she feels “warm inside”
- From Modern Evening Times (新晚报): A girl with a master’s degree takes a job as a street cleaner in Harbin and says she “likes it just fine”, and
- From Yangzi Evening News (扬子晚报): Do we eat 60 tons of food in an individual lifetime, or just nine?
In November 2011 Danwei published a brief excerpt and short Q&A with Liu Jing, a Beijing-based entrepreneur and comic book artist. Our post showcased Liu’s Understanding China through Comics, Volume One, a comic book on Chinese history for iPad and Kindle (Amazon and iTunes). The first volume in the series focused on the Yellow Emperor through the Han Dynasty (ca. 2697 BC – 220 AD).
In 2012 Liu released Understanding China through Comics, Volume 2 (Amazon and iTunes), focusing on the Three Kingdoms through the Tang Dynasty (220 – 907). As Liu himself put it, “To the Chinese, China’s rise to world power in the 21st century is called ‘the great restoration.’ But we learn from history that this rise is the result of embracing other cultures, not isolation or prejudice.” In Volume 2 Liu illustrates a key driving force in Chinese history, namely the evolution of Chinese philosophy. Thus he notes that without adopting Buddhism, which originated in India, the Tang Dynasty China would not have reached the heights it did.
There are still two forthcoming volumes in the series, namely Volume Three: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms through the Yuan Dynasty (907 – 1368), and Volume Four: The Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911). Read more
Now readable in full on Danwei, and with a new update from the author two years on, “Out of Tibet” by Alec Ash is a chapter in the new book Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, edited by Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, published by the University of California Press, © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California. Click here to buy the book.
This has been the year of the flash mob in China, the breastfeeding flash mob to be exact. In May, August and September of this year, Chinese mothers bared their breasts in public to help galvanize a tiny yet growing movement that encourages natural births over Caesarian sections and breastfeeding over infant formula. Read more