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Posts tagged ‘Beijing’

Wastelands of Beijing

About 20 km outside Beijing, tourists sitting in tour buses from Beijing north-eastwards towards the Badaling section of the Great Wall can spot the apparent remains of a medieval castle some distance from the expressway. Its concrete spires rising above a muddy corn field, the eerie shell remains as a relic of the grandiose ideas of once-powerful men who’ve since passed through the grinding mill of elite politics, corruption and prison in China. All around Beijing, architectural artefacts of previous decades remain, many decayed and going to ruin.

This article is a tour through some of the more spectacular wastelands of contemporary Beijing, places that will surely be developed into something entirely different at some point in the future – when the interest groups that control the land and construction finally make a deal they can live with.
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Beijing Morning Post investigation reveals horrid state of pet dog market in the city

It has often happened in China that buying a dog can turn into a nightmarish experience. The same little puppy that looked so lively in the shop window would suddenly become sick beyond help and die. The front page of the Beijing Morning Post today features a harrowing investigation into the dirty secrets of the pet dog market in China.

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Guangzhou pays best

The front page of the New Express (新快报) from Guangzhou today reports on new statistics released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showing that Guangzhou in 2011 had the highest average salary among 22 provincial capitals and four municipalities in China, namely 57,473 yuan. Read more

Puyi’s former home demolished — but when?

Puyi’s final residence is no more. A house formerly occupied by last emperor of the Qing Dynasty was so badly damaged in the rainstorm that flooded Beijing at the end of July that it had to be pulled down, The Beijing News reported on August 15.

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The life of other people

This is the 1510 Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published in Chinese on, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.

This week’s digest proposes three personal reflections on urban life in contemporary China. All three posts are well-crafted pieces of creative non-fiction that explore relationships, interpersonal feelings and a sense of place, from a male and a female perspective. All three were published over the last month on 1510.

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Sinica Week of Floods

This is the Sinica Week, a summary of the most important China stories from the last seven days. Sinica is a weekly podcast about current affairs in China, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Danwei’s Jeremy Goldkorn.

On each week’s Sinica podcast, guests discuss and choose the top stories about China published in English over the past week. Read more

Beijing rainstorms, a revelation for Chinese people

This is the 1510 Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published in Chinese on, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.

After the recent floods in Beijing,1510 opened a special section to cover the topic; this week’s digest echoes some of the discussions exchanged on this platform. For more on the Beijing floods you can read this post on danwei.

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Death count of Beijing’s rainfall reaches 77

The front page for today’s Beijing Morning News shows a candlelight vigil against a black backdrop. The headline reads: “The death count from the July 21st rainstorm has risen to 77.” Sixty-six bodies have now been identified; they are still waiting to confirm the identities of the remaining eleven.The front page then says “may they rest in peace,” and printed the names of all sixty-six identified dead. Read more

The Beijing deluge of 2012

Xinhua reported on Monday morning that the death toll after torrential rains pounded Beijing on Saturday had climbed to 37.

The report said that “Among the victims, 25 were drowned, six were killed in house collapses, one by lightening strike and five were electrocuted.” Read more

The uncertain return of Beijing wildlife

Outside a cafe in east Beijing, a small bird fluttered to the ground and hopped and pecked at the concrete. Beijing Bird Watching Society member Li Ming cracked a smile and said “Passer montanus.” A humble sparrow, which Li says is the city’s most common bird, with the magpie a close second.

You can find both species in the Illustrated Guide to Wild Birds of Beijing (北京野鸟图鉴) published in 2000. The book contains photos and descriptions of 276 species, but Li says he and his fellow bird watchers reckon there are now 430 species in the city and the surrounding countryside if you include migrants that only come for the summer. Read more