For eight years already now, a small workers’ residential community in Jingzhou, Hubei province has “quietly” been living a revolution. In 2005, errant fireworks caused a fire on a balcony in this community, and drawing the (painfully obvious yet in China excruciatingly absent) conclusion that fireworks on the whole just isn’t worth it, decided to ban the stuff altogether. As the front page of the Jingzhou Evening News reports today, for the last eight years Beiling has been living in a near nirvana-like state of calm and serenity. So can we all Learn from Beiling?
Posts from the ‘Front page of the day’ Category
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
The millions of migrant workers in China have a tough life. Leaving their homes to find work and separated from their families almost all year round, they toil in the cities for little pay and reside in ramshackle lodgings. Yet this much we know about migrant workers, what we know less about is how these migrant workers deal with the loneliness and isolation of their long and difficult sojourns. After more than a month of research and interviews with migrant workers in the city of Ningbo, the Contemporary Gold (现代金报) newspaper from Zhejiang province today published a front page story on the phenomenon of migrant workers forming “temporary couples” (临时夫妻) in the cities.
The newspaper recounts the stories of a few individual migrant workers in Ningbo that have formed temporary bonds of love and support in the cities to help shoulder the difficult burden of urban life. The newspaper quotes statistics from the Ministry of Health that around 80% of migrant workers in China are in a sex-starved state. And not only this, they are alone in an unfamiliar location, with little money, and no-one to comfort them. So perhaps it’s not at all surprising that migrant workers are seeking to make temporary arrangements.
One of the stories that Contemporary Gold relates today is that of Old Shen and Xiaoyan, both married migrant workers, who found each other in Ningbo. Their tale illustrates just how some migrant workers are dealing with the difficult circumstances they face in the cities, and how they have to face the consequences of their decisions.
Another public holiday in China, another mountain of trash. The front page of the Haixi Morning Post (海西晨报) from Xiamen today is one of a few newspapers around China looking back on a public holiday of gridlocked traffic, congested scenic spots and – inevitably – mountains of trash, again.
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
“In the Ya’an earthquake disaster zone I sobbed twice, and both times were by the side of cooking pots”.
The Chongqing Times newspaper today has a special section on the earthquake that occurred in the city of Ya’an (雅安) in Sichuan province last weekend. The special section, entitled “We are all Ya’an people now”, looks at the state of affairs 72 hours after the earthquake with the observation that “The destroyed area is calm and collected as it was before“. In eight pages of in-depth coverage, we see the extent of the destruction, how the survivors are being looked after, and how some people are trying their best to get on with their lives. One page in this special section outlines the findings of a journalist who went to take pictures of damaged homes, and found himself looking at a myriad destroyed stoves and pots as a cruel metaphor for the immense destruction wrought on people’s lives and livelihoods by the earthquake. Seeing all this destruction, there were two occasions when he wept.
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
The newspaper Daily Sunshine (晶报) from Shenzhen in Guangdong province today includes a special section entitled “Evil returns from the grave” (恶的还魂) (or perhaps another translation could be “The recycling of evil”) as a “reflection on the relationship between animals and humans”. The largest part of the newspaper’s front page is taken up by a Xi Jinping headline and a large image on the ongoing standoff on the Korean peninsula. The top corner of the front page refers to the sudden cancelling of the Tarantino film Django Unchained. Read more
Just see Swallow in action – China’s champion search and rescue dog in the making. Read more
At the north-eastern corner of Anhui University’s old campus in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, there’s a scenic pond that’s inhabited by a bevy of black swans. The swans have been there for more than a decade already, and were – as the front page of local newspaper Star News (市场新报) laments today – an object of fondness for locals.
Yet early this morning, five of these black and beautiful swans were found floating lifeless on the surface of the pond. The latest instance of floating dead animals in China – first pigs, then ducks, and now black swans – these mere five black swans became an object of heated discussion on the Internet right after the announcement was made.
How did they die? Was it a natural disaster or another man-made one? As Star News tells us today, upon hearing of the news yesterday it immediately sent a journalist to the scene to find out exactly what happened. What he found was just one more filthy pond filled with oily water and garbage. Read more
In the city of Huangshi in Hubei province there’s a lake called Cihu Lake. Situated close to the Yangtze River, the lake area appears to be an idyllic scenic spot. Yet, especially in light of recent events, Cihu Lake is blemished by the existence of ten pig farms that are situated on the south-western edge of the lake. After 108 pigs were fished out of the lake in the last few days and several thousand more in lakes and rivers elsewhere in China, the local newspaper Dongchu Evening News wanted some answers, so it sent a journalist to the ten pig farms on Cihu Lake to investigate. The situation the newspaper uncovered is startling. Not only were all the pig farms technically illegal, none of them had the proper paperwork, and the farms were falsifying the labels on their pigs’ ears.
Yet making this deplorable situation worse is the state of government regulation being applied to the pig farms, regulation which can only be described as messy and inefficient. So while we may not yet know the full details of where all the dead pigs in the rivers originated from, the out of control pig farms on Cihu Lake can shed a lot of light on the situation.
Has tragedy become farce? As the vile mystery of several thousand dead pigs floating down rivers in Shanghai continues to roil, Chinese newspapers today report that a thousand dead ducks have been found floating down a river in Sichuan, and fifty dead pigs (mostly piglets) have been found stranded on a shoal in the Xiangjiang River in Changsha, Hunan province.
Yet there’s no need to panic, the newspapers point out, the ducks and pigs have all been buried and no sources of drinking water have been polluted. No, only our own souls remain polluted with the stench of rotting animals cast into rivers to float out of sight and out of mind.