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6th of April 2011


The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China











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People's Daily


China announces 2nd increase in benchmark interest rates this year to tackle inflation

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, announced Tuesday it would raise the benchmark one-year borrowing and lending interest rates by 25 basis points beginning Wednesday.

This was the second time the central bank raised the benchmark interest rates this year and the fourth increase since the start of 2010.

After the increases, the one-year deposit interest rate will climb to 3.25 percent while the one-year loan interest rate will reach 6.31 percent.


Chinese Premier calls for intensified fight against corruption as situation still "grave"

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for increased efforts in battling corruption, as the situation remains "grave" and the task is "extremely arduous."

In the full text of a speech released Tuesday, Wen told an anti-corruption meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on March 25 that, despite the government's anti-corruption efforts last year, some fields in China are still "prone to corruption" due to a lack of regulation or inefficient law enforcement and supervision.


China highlights revolutionary spirit by mourning martyrs

Chinese are pouring into cemeteries and memorial parks to mourn martyrs who gave their lives to the country during the Qingming holidays, in a year China will mark the 90th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

It is a tradition for Chinese to visit family graves during Qingming, or the Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls on Tuesday this year. In recent years, it has become a trend to commemorate national heroes and martyrs on the occasion.


China leading investments in some fields in Cambodia

China has been leading in the investments in Cambodia's three sectors including hydro-power dams, mineral resources, garment industry, Ith Praing, secretary of state of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.


Overwork listed leading cause of police on-duty deaths in China

About 47 percent of on-duty deaths of police officers in China over the past five years were caused by overwork, which became the leading cause of police fatalities, said a statement from the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on Monday.




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China Tibet Online



 See Kaixin's Qing Ming Jie






China Daily


Interest rate hike 'to fight inflation'

BEIJING - The central bank raised interest rates on Tuesday, for the second time this year, to tackle inflation and asset bubbles in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

The People's Bank of China said it would raise one-year deposit and lending rates by 25 basis points, taking the deposit rate to 3.25 percent and the lending rate to 6.31 percent. The new rates take effect from Wednesday.


Sales fall as tightening policies bite

BEIJING - China's key cities experienced a big fall in property sales last month over the same period in 2010, showing that tightening real estate policies are beginning to bite, China Index Academy said in a report on Tuesday.

Among the 30 large- and medium-sized cities the academy monitors, nearly 80 percent saw a year-on-year drop in property sales, with Beijing leading the trend with a fall of 48 percent.



Warning sounded for aquatic diversity

SHANGHAI - Nearly 70 percent of the fish resources in the Pearl River, the third longest river in China, are under threat as a result of excessive damming, overfishing and water pollution, according to a study.

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA


Minmetals bids for Australian miner

The Chinese company offers $6.5 billion to secure supplies of copper and other metals

MELBOURNE, Australia - Minmetals Resources Ltd, China's biggest metals trading company, on Monday offered $6.5 billion to buy Equinox Minerals Ltd, chasing Equinox's copper assets in Zambia and Saudi Arabia.

China, which accounts for 40 percent of the world's demand for copper, is on a mining-acquisition spree as prices for the red metal hover near record highs.


Beichuan quake victims mourned during Qingming Festival

People mourn for the deceased in the old town of Beichuan Qiang autonomous county, Southwest China's Sichuan province, April 4, 2011. During the Qingming Festival, or the Tomb-sweeping Day, people come to the old town of Beichuan to mourn for those dead in the 8-magnitude earthquake in 2008.








Kaixin Travel

Lijiang, Yunnan province


Witness of Tibet Photography Contest and Exhibit

2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, and the magazine China's Tibet and Federation of Literary and Art Circles of Tibet Autonomous Region are jointly holding a "Witness of Tibet, 1950-2010" photography contest. In addition to prizes, all winning works will be exhibited in Beijing and Lhasa in May 2011.

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TIBET & Jambhala (Photographer)



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XinHua News


10,000 pay homage to legendary ancestor of Chinese

XI'AN, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Over 10,000 Chinese from home and abroad gathered for the traditional Qingming Festival on Tuesday to pay homage to the Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, a figure in Chinese mythology who is considered to be the ancestor of all Chinese people.

The festival, also called Tomb Sweeping Day, is a 2,500-year-old tradition observed in China to mourn the deaths of ancestors and loved ones. It fell on Tuesday this year.


People mourn for martyrs of 1911 Revolution in central China

Wu Houwan (2nd L), grand daughter of Wu Luzhen, a martyr of the 1911 Revolution, mourns for her grandfather in a memorial park of the 1911 revolution in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, April 5, 2011. The memorial park of the 1911 revolution opened here on Tuesday. The 1911 Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and brought the end to the imperial rule in China.

See Kaixin's - Chinese Republic under Dr Sun Yat-Sen - Video Documentary

Kaixin OpEd – It is interesting that Mao is taking a backseat and Dr Sun is being remembered

Also interesting that Confucius has been re-habilitated and takes pride of place in Tiananmen Square opposite Mao’s Mausoleum.


China's yuan advances to new high against U.S. dollar Wednesday

BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese currency Renminbi (RMB), or the yuan, on Wednesday gained 31 basis points, from last Friday to a record high of 6.5496 per U.S. dollar.



China's top political advisor starts visit to Australia

PERTH, Australia, April 5 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin arrived here on Tuesday for a 6-day visit to Australia.


FM Press Conference on March 31





Learn Chinese Online




CCTV Three-day Qingming Festival begins VIDEO


CCTV Qingming Festival highlights tomb expenses VIDEO

With people in China breaking out their brooms this weekend to get a jump on the upcoming Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, what's grabbing people's attention isn't the mass migration to cemeteries, but the land people will be standing on.

Soaring prices for increasingly scarce burial plots are raising eyebrows across the country.

Days before Tomb Sweeping Day, this cemetery in northeastern Jilin Province sees a drastic increase of visitors.

It has also become a place for sales promotion campaigns for tombs.


Nanjing extends memorial wall for more names of massacre victims

Residents in Nanjing visited the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on Tuesday, which was Tomb-Sweeping Day, the traditional holiday for Chinese to mourn dead family members, reported.

Tang Fulong (right), a hoary-headed senior, and his grandson stand in front of the
"wailing wall" engraved with the names of victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese
Invaders on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. The Chinese traditional Tomb-Sweeping Day falls on
Tuesday this year. Many descendents of the victims visited the hall to mourn their

See Kaixin's - Nanking Nanking


CCTV Market reaction to interest rate hike VIDEO

The central bank's fresh interest rate hike was met with immediate market reaction. Gold prices have eased after the People's Bank of China, or PBOC, raised interest rates for the second time this year.

China's tightening has also dented Brent crude prices, which pulled back further from 32-month highs but stayed just above 120 US dollars a barrel. That's due to market fears that unrest in Africa and the Middle East could disrupt supply.

The rate hike caused the euro to come off a five month high versus the dollar. And it weighed on the high yielding Australian dollar, which fell against the US dollars during the trade.



CCTV Interview with Wu Po-Hsiung on cross-strait ties VIDEO

In an exclusive interview, KMT honorary chairman Wu Po-Hsiung has told CCTV NEWS why he believes Cross-Strait ties are the best they've been in recent years.



CCTV Studio discussion: Future of cross-strait relations VIDEO

For more on how Taiwan residents have been spending the Qingming Festival, we're now joined by our Current Affairs Commentator, Raymond Zhou, who's a columnist at the China Daily Newspaper. Hello Mr. Zhou.

Q1: Recently, we've seen an increasing number of Taiwan residents enjoying holidays on the mainland. The number soared to 5.14 million people last year. What's the reason for this increase?

Q2: As grassroots exchanges continue to develop, what do you foresee in the future of Cross-Strait relations?

See Kaixin's - CHINA & TAIWAN


CCTV Studio interview: Soaring prices caused by land scarcity VIDEO

For more on this issue, we're now joined by our Current Affairs Commentator, Raymond Zhou.

Q1: What's your view of this phenomenon, in which plots reserved for the deceased are competing for limited space against dwellings for the living, and often drawing higher prices?

Q2: Some cities have been persuading residents to abandon earthly graves, and promoting other services like sea burials, but few people have taken those options. What are the barriers faced by this campaign?



CCTV Garbage classification: Long way to go in China VIDEO

Garbage classification is nothing new to China's urban centers. But the additional roadside receptacles are seen by most citizens as nothing more than extra trash bins. As Ren Ting tell us, many other cities are trying to work out alternatives, to keep their communities clean.

Singing a song about garbage classification. It's written by those living in this residential area about throwing trash into different dustbins.

"I put garbage in different plastic bags, and cast them away separately."

But not all the people can do that.

"I'm not quite sure about how to classify garbage."

Back in 2000, Hangzhou was one of the eight cities chosen for a pilot project for garbage classification. But a decade later, the result is not satisfactory.

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA


CCTV China, Germany call for resolution in Libya VIDEO

Germany's Vice Chancellor and foreign minister Guido Westerwelle is continuing his three day visit to China, where he has talked to senior leaders about the ongoing crisis in Libya.

Both China and Germany have called for a diplomatic and political solution, instead of military action to end the conflict in Libya.

Both countries abstained in a UN Security Council vote, that authorized the establishment of a no-fly zone.

Earlier on Friday, Westerweller co-chaired the first bilateral ministerial-level strategic dialogue with Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi.

China and Germany have held four strategic dialogues at the vice-minister level since 2006. Both countries agreed in 2010 to upgrade the dialogue to the ministerial level.


CCTV Studio interview: How will China build trust VIDEO

For more analysis into the national defense white paper, we are joined in our studio by Major General Zhu Chenghu, a Professor at the Defense Affairs Institute of the PLA National Defense University.

Q1: The white paper states that China's annual defense expenditure has been kept at a reasonable level, and is in line with its economic development. But some countries are skeptical about the transparency of China's defense budget, and see China's military development as a threat. What's your view on this?

Q2: As China's economy and military power gets stronger, it is developing a growing assertion over its sovereignty claims. But this is seen by some countries as a growing threat to China's neighbors. Do you think China is taking a more active role in defending its territorial sovereignty? And how does China build trust with its neighboring countries under such circumstances?

Q3. In the white paper, China has mentioned for the first time expanding military exchanges between the Chinese Mainland and Taiwan, and the possibility of setting up a cross-strait military security mechanism. Is the Chinese Mainland gradually changing its military strategy towards Taiwan as the cross-strait relationship continues to improve?


CCTV Tele interview: How to improve int'l monetary system? VIDEO

For more insight, we're joined on the phone by Francoise Nicolas. He's the Director of Center Asia at the French Institute of International Relations.

1) Francoise... there's a lot of talk about reforming the global monetary system. How can it be improved, to provide a more solid foundation for the global economy?

2) The dollar's dominance has been blamed by some, for financial turmoil in the past. Do you agree?

3) Seminar participants have called for a broader basket of currencies to underpin the IMF's international reserve assets... that could include currencies of emerging economies like China's yuan. What's your take on that?

4) And just briefly, can you outline what you think will add uncertainty to the global economic recovery this year?



This is Tibet - TV Series

See Kaixin's - China & Tibet




Archive of Stories






Global Times

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The UK taught the world how to produce in the 19th century, the US showed the world how to consume in the 20th century, and China needs to demonstrate how to develop in a sustainable way in the 21st century.



Law will not concede before maverick

Ai Weiwei, known as an avant-garde artist, was said to have been detained recently. Some Western governments and human rights institutions soon called for the immediate release of Ai Weiwei, claiming it to be China's "human rights deterioration" while regarding Ai Weiwei as "China's human rights fighter."

It is reckless collision against China's basic political framework and ignorance of China's judicial sovereignty to exaggerate a specific case in China and attack China with fierce comments before finding out the truth. The West's behavior aims at disrupting the attention of Chinese society and attempts to modify the value system of the Chinese people.

Ai Weiwei is an activist. As a maverick of Chinese society, he likes "surprising speech" and "surprising behavior." He also likes to do something ambiguous in law. On April 1, he went to Taiwan via Hong Kong. But it was reported his departure procedures were incomplete.

Ai Weiwei likes to do something "others dare not do." He has been close to the red line of Chinese law. Objectively speaking, Chinese society does not have much experience in dealing with such persons. However, as long as Ai Weiwei continuously marches forward, he will inevitably touch the red line one day.

In such a populous country as China, it is normal to have several people like Ai Weiwei. But it is also normal to control their behaviors by law. In China, it is impossible to have no persons like Ai Weiwei or no "red line" for them in law.

The West ignored the complexity of China's running judicial environment and the characteristics of Ai Weiwei's individual behavior. They simply described it as China's "human rights suppression."

"Human rights" have really become the paint of Western politicians and the media, with which they are wiping off the fact in this world.

"Human rights" are seen as incompatible things with China's great economic and social progress by the West. It is really a big joke. Chinese livelihood is developing, the public opinion no longer follows the same pattern all the time and "social justice" has been widely discussed. Can these be denied? The experience of Ai Weiwei and other mavericks cannot be placed on the same scale as China's human rights development and progress.

Ai Weiwei chooses to have a different attitude from ordinary people toward law. However, the law will not concede before "mavericks" just because of the Western media's criticism.

Ai Weiwei will be judged by history, but he will pay a price for his special choice, which is the same in any society. China as a whole is progressing and no one has power to make a nation try to adapt to his personal likes and dislikes, which is different from whether rights of the minority are respected.

See Kaixin's OpEd below (it was written befre we read this editorial)


Backlash for West's cocky Libya gamble

The West has hailed the defections of Libya's foreign minister along with other senior officials as being a body blow to the embattled regime, casting the image of Gaddafi as being abandoned by his allies and more isolated by the day.

UN resolution legality needs a gatekeeper

On March 29, Gaddafi's army recaptured two cities. This new twist to the Libyan military situation has heaped political embarrassment on the West. It is now time to prevent the West from further abusing Security Council Resolution No. 1973.

China needs flexible diplomacy in Mideast

London held an international meeting yesterday to map out what a post-Gaddafi Libya might look like. The US is looking to step back, but as long as its stalwart allies in the UK and France insist on military action, it will not let them stand alone.




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A 30 Minute Current Affairs Programme on CCTV - 9 (In English) where current issues are discussed by experts from China and Internationally:






Labor shortage in China

G20 discusses int'l financial reform

China's white paper on national defense

China in search of happiness






International News Sources

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The Wall Street Journal

Central Banks Grapple With Competing Forces

China Raises Rates to Fight Inflation

BEIJING—China raised interest rates for the fourth time in less than six months in a fresh attempt to battle rising inflation that has weighed on consumers and businesses in the world's No. 2 economy.

The People's Bank of China said benchmark rates would increase on Wednesday by a quarter percentage point to 3.25% for one-year deposits in the local currency, and 6.31% for one-year loans.

Economists React: PBOC Lifts Interest Rates

China’s central bank raised benchmark interest rates Tuesday, a national holiday, lifting one-year yuan lending rate and the one-year yuan deposit rate by 0.25 percentage point each as the country continues to battle inflation. Analysts weigh in:


Pew: China Not Ripe for Revolution

With artist Ai Weiwei the latest dissident to be officially detained or simply disappear into the widening maw of China’s security crackdown following anonymous online calls for a “Jasmine Revolution,” a new report from the Pew Research Center bolsters arguments that Beijing is overreacting.

Kaixin OpEd – ‘The report starts off acknowledging that it’s difficult to get a clear read on the appetite for democracy in China, as: “Unlike in the Arab world, where opinion surveys have demonstrated public support for such basic democratic rights as free elections and freedom of speech, in China it is not possible to ask citizens about their views on democracy. The government won’t allow it.”’

I suppose this may be the case in a formal survey, but Kaixin discusses such things in China all the time.

All Pew had to do was have an informal discussion with a few normal people.

Not the career dissidents or the grey desperates lurking in dark corners.

Certainly not young students, and certainly not young students living overseas who are finding it difficult to absorb western concepts of things like democracy, etc, and tend to regurgitate what they hear and read uncritically.

It’s also a fact that the young students living overseas are just about all from rich families, otherwise they could not afford to study and live overseas, so it is curious that as soon as they land they start criticising China. Oh well, the right of passage for young people, I suppose.

No, walk down the street and find some day-to-day people and ask them.

You will find they do understand democracy, they do understand the concept of human rights, but they also understand that China has been exceptionally well run for the last 30 years or so.

They do understand that their standards of living and their freedoms have steadily increased in that time.

They do understand that their voice is being heard more and more.

They do understand that they do NOT want to become another America.

They do understand that there are still many problems in China, which have to be addressed, but that over time these problems will be either addressed or minimised.

Kaixin has asked Footrot for the final word on Pew

“Pew’s got views?? … aww, go-on”

China’s Minmetals: Overseas Expansion, Minus Hassle?

China is making one of its  biggest pushes ever to acquire an overseas mining asset – and the deal looks like it has an unusually clear path toward approval.


China's Huawei Is Finalist for U.S. Cellular Job

Chinese telecom-gear maker Huawei Technologies Co. is a finalist for a contract to build out the fourth-generation wireless network for U.S. Cellular Corp., the country's sixth largest wireless carrier, people familiar with the matter say.


Ministry of Civil Affairs: Burial Plots Not Private Property

Call it cemetery management with Chinese characteristics.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, responding to growing controversy over the rising costs of burial plots in urban areas and limited-time plot rental agreements, reaffirmed over the weekend that families of the deceased do not hold property rights over grave sites and announced a series of new measures aimed at subsidizing burial costs for the country’s poor.



Growing old in China: The business of going grey

It is not just Western societies that are going grey. Developing countries are ageing even faster than developed societies, says a United Nations study. Taking care of the elderly is becoming a global problem, says reporter Danwei Zhang.

Kaixin OpEd – Yes, this is a looming issue for China.

The traditional family support has been broken apart; parents and grandparents can no longer rely on their family to care for them in their old age.

This is one of the downsides of rapid economic growth, increased mobility and the one-child policy.

It leaves some Chinese scratching their heads and wondering what is the point of all this money if it does not buy happiness.

This is something the ‘west’ learned long ago.

That money certainly does not buy happiness.

You can have money and be happy, but it is not the money that makes you happy, that comes from within.

It is interesting that yesterday there was a report of China’s uber-rich descending on Hainan to frolic and display their obscene wealth.

Kaixin wonders if they are any happier than the average person in China.

Probably not.

The wealthiest person Kaixin knows is his broth-in-law. He lives in a basic apartment and does not have much money, but he enjoys life to the full, has friends bursting from his apartment at any one given time and has a strong and united family.

But that is now.

Will he have such strong support in his old age?

Who knows?

China will have to address the issue of an ageing population. It is unfortunate that it is unlikely the old values of family are probably not an option.


China SignPost

China Defense White Paper 2010: Better transparency, but what key developments were left out of the discussion?

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “China Defense White Paper 2010: Better transparency, but what key developments were left out of the discussion?"


Ministry of Tofu

Chinese demand execution of a student, accuse state TV of siding murderers

Yao Jiaxin, a 21-year-old student at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, knocked down a peasant woman named Zhang Miao while driving at around 11 p.m. on October 20, 2010.

Kaixin OpEd – A disturbing report of the abuse of power and privilege, which still occurs in China.


The New York Times

China’s Central Bank Raises Interest Rates

SHANGHAI — China raised interest rates on Tuesday for the fourth time in six months, the latest move aimed at reining in inflation and a looming property bubble and slowing an economy that is threatening to overheat.

An Artist Takes Role of China’s Conscience

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who disappeared into police custody in Beijing after he was arrested on Sunday while trying to board a flight for Hong Kong, is a fully 21st-century figure, global-minded, media-savvy, widely networked. He is also the embodiment of a cultural type, largely unfamiliar to the West, that dates far back into China’s ancient past.

Kaixin OpEd – Kaixin tries to ignore these professional dissidents, but as the NYT has made it a leading headline we feel we must respond.

Ai Wei was part of the establishment.

Yes, his father was banished during the Cultural Revolution, but a return to Beijing in 1976 indicates rehabilitation long before the rest of those banished. Xiaosui is an expert on this, as her family was at the rough end of it. It took until the early 1980’s for them to find their place again, but they were an average family.

Ai Wei went to America in the early 1980’s.

‘…a late-1970s free-speech agitator, later a member of renegade art movements, and a full-time resident of New York from 1981 to 1993.’

As Xiaosui points out, it was generally very difficult to leave China in the early 1980’s unless you were well connected.

That he was well connected is illustrated by the commission to help design the ‘bird’s nest’ Olympic stadium.

After that, he seemed to want to become a career dissident.

Yet, he had missed a lot of China’s transformation from 1981 to 1993. He certainly did not contribute to it.

Plonked back into Beijing he started to show off his ‘western’ thinking (pretentious prick).

A good way to promote his art (and Kaixin often wonders at the rear-end gazing that goes on in modern art) was through a successful Blog.

A good way to have a successful Blog in China is to whinge about the government.

The powers that be probably tried to ignore him, but he had struck a chord.

Kaixin was in China at the time of the Sichuan earthquake. It was a triumph for the Chinese people who reflected that they were able to respond quickly and effectively to the emergency.

Xiaosui was immensely sad about one aspect. She remembered the Tangshan earthquake that occurred in 1976 and how China was unable to effectively respond because it was too poor.

Kaixin witnessed the outpouring of grief and the generosity of the Chinese people.

Kaixin also read about the substandard buildings.

The Chinese people were appalled and demanded that something be done. Beijing responded and those responsible were sought out and building codes revised.

It would have been better if it had not happened, but it was the result of the rapid economic transformation of China and the entrenched corruption that is still being addressed.

If Beijing had not done anything, then people such as our modern artist would have had reason to complain.

There were many problems in China in the 1990’s and still are.

Perhaps our modern artist could help to address them, rather than make a career out of complaining about China for the sake of selling his art.

The main thing he is selling is himself.

The ‘western’ media love to take up the cause of these people and use a Chinese face to heap criticism on China.

Perhaps our modern artist might like to ponder that he is being used by that media.

He has done well out of China, isn’t it time he gave something back?

See Global Times Editorial above.

*The Tangshan Earthquake also known as the Great Tangshan Earthquake, was a natural disaster that occurred on July 28, 1976.


Asia Times Online

China's scruples cost it Libyan advantage
By Jian Junbo

By seesawing on Libya - first not vetoing the United Nations resolution and then criticizing the West for veering from its "humanitarian" objectives - China has lost both the moral high ground with developing countries and some trust from its Western allies. Beijing could have focused on greater shared interests with the West - big business and Islamic extremists.

Kaixin OpEd - An informed analysis



Tripoli, the new Troy
By Pepe Escobar

Muammar Gaddafi is "winning" like the king of besieged Troy did for 10 years. The problem with the Odyssey Dawn script is that a rebel Ulysses or a Helen is nowhere to be found and a cast of characters of infiltrated special forces including Central Intelligence Agency covert ops will be key. Many a Libyan will eventually have to acknowledge it's best to beware of Westerners bearing gifts.


Endgame: Divide, rule and get the oil
By Pepe Escobar

Western moral uprightness on Libya to coalition Gulf countries goes something like this: If you sell us a lot of oil, buy our weapons, and smash al-Qaeda, that's fine; you may even kill your own people, provided it's dozens, not thousands. That's how Saudi Arabia can get away with anything. The forces of counter-revolution are now joined at the hip with the West.


Syrian sauce for the Chinese gander
By Peter Lee

The official Chinese mood over Libya is shaped by the speed with which a regime was stripped of legitimacy and exposed to military intervention, but whether it will shake the convictions of China's interventionist liberal hawks is another matter. The darkening fate of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, which models itself on China, is altogether more pertinent to Beijing's yearning for stability.

The issue in Libya is the astounding ease with which a regime that found itself at cross-purposes with the United States was unilaterally stripped of its legitimacy and exposed to military intervention through aggressive and creative interpretation of an ambiguous UN resolution - in a mere three days.

Kaixin OpEd - An insightful analysis




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See Over for the 5th of April 2011






Articles of interest from the week's news

Insights into China's Society & Cutlure



Old Characters in New Ways - MULTI-MEDIA PRESENTATION

Is Technology threatening the ability to write Chinese Characters?

See Kaixin's - How to Learn to Speak and Write Chinese



Casualties of China’s One Child Policy

A shocking account of family-planning attitudes and practices in China.

In 1989, the Chinese writer and broadcaster Xinran was in a remote mountain village in Shandong Province having dinner with the headman when she heard cries from an adjoining room, where his daughter-in-law was giving birth. A while later, as the midwife collected her fee, Xinran noticed a movement in the slops bucket. “To my absolute horror,” she recalls, “I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail.” But she was the only one who was shocked. “It’s not a child,” the headman’s wife told her. “If it was, we’d be looking after it, wouldn’t we? It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it.”

                                            A complex moral dimension

Kaixin OpEd – A breathtakingly shocking account of the effects of the one-child policy in China.

Kaixin reflects, though, that the same thing is happening in abortion clinics throughout the ‘west’. The major difference is that the one-child policy was implemented out of necessity; abortions in the ‘west’ are usually a lifestyle choice.

Or do you argue that killing a child at 6 weeks is different to killing a 36-week-old newborn child?

There is a complex moral dimension to this issue.

The one-child policy was implemented after the Mao era, when people were encouraged to have as many children as possible and where improvements in health meant that many more lived.

This uncontrolled growth in population had to be curtailed and the one-child policy was implemented in the early 1980’s.

It went against millennia of tradition but was accepted and implemented by the vast majority of people in the cities as a matter of necessity. These people were generally well educated and did not need a large family.

People in rural China were either un-educated or ill-educated and for millennia large families were a way of ensuring survival. In particular, male children ensured the survival of the family and the parents in their old age.

The one-child policy was soon changed to allow for two children in rural China.

However, the tradition of having a large family could not simply be legislated away. The powerful imperative to have a male heir cannot simply be legislated away.

The complex reasons behind the one-child policy were not understood by the vast majority in rural China who, as noted above, were either un-educated or ill-educated.

Hence, almost all of these horror stories will be about people in rural China.

The killing of new-born children or abandoning them is not supported by the educated people of China, who also see it with horror and disdain, and is certainly not supported by the government in China. However, as noted above, you cannot wipe away millennia of tradition with legislation.

One of the major initiatives of the government has been, as is, to educate the people from rural China as to the need for limiting the number of children.

Another initiative has been the banning of the results of a scan, so the sex of the foetus remains unknown (of course this is open to corruption, but the penalties for doctors or anyone who breaks the law are severe).

This does not excuse the killing of newborn babies. It does, perhaps, bring a little understanding as to the driving forces behind it.

Before people in the ‘west’ point their collective fingers in righteous indignation, perhaps they should ponder on the moral dimension of killing a new life at six weeks and at around thirty six weeks, killing a new-born life.

One, the taking of life driven by the practical imperative of curbing population and by millennia of tradition, the other, a life-style choice.

Stories of Loss and Love

By Xinran

Translated by Nicky Harman

Extract from Google Books



 Xue Xinran

"Real China is made by Chinese mothers and grandmothers, from each individual family's hard work," says Xinran.




'Beautician' for the Yangtze River

A dedicated team works tirelessly to ensure the Yangtze River flows smoothly

Zhu Wenfu and his wife Li Xianmei still rely on the Yangtze River for their livelihood - despite the fact the building of the Three Gorges Dam displaced them and forced them to stop fishing for a living.

Today, they are working to keep the river clean, being part of the Wanzhou environmental sanitation team, set up in 2003 to ensure that floating garbage would not reach the dam's generators.

"If the river is not clean, there will be difficulty in fishing," Zhu told Xinhua News Agency. "My wife and I joined the team for the sake of next generation."

The couple is among 100 workers of the Wanzhou team, in Chongqing municipality, who work 12 hours a day on vessels rented and operated by the Three Gorges Corporation and the local government for the clean-up work.

Zhu Wenfu (L) and his colleague scoop floating garbage from the Yangtze River section in Wanzhou, Southwest China's Chongqing municipality

See Kaixin's - GREEN CHINA



Yulan blossoms welcome spring in Beijing

Children play under a Yulan tree in blossom in a park in Beijing, capital of China, April 2, 2011. The Yulan festival opened Saturday in Beijing International Sculpture Park, where more than 5,000 Yulan trees are in blossom, attracting numerous visitors.


Picking a burial site is a grave decision

Feng Shui master helps people locate an ideal spot for the dead and the living

Zhen Yi was extremely busy between Spring Festival in February and April's Qingming or Tomb Sweeping Festival, the peak season for Chinese people to select graves and move the deceased to graveyards. The 64-year-old Beijing-based Feng Shui practitioner often accompanied his customers to cemeteries to help them choose an ideal place that balances the yin and yang, as well as the five elements of nature, to achieve harmony.

Stone statues line the 'Sacred Way', the road leading to the Ming Tombs in Changping county, Beijing, the final resting place for 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The road was designed to allow emperors travel between heaven and Earth.

See Kaixin's - Feng Shui 风水


"I think of Buddha." - VIDEO

Bow after bow, prayer after prayer, tens of thousands of devout Buddhists worship Buddha every day. For followers who believe in reincarnation, life doesn't really have a beginning or an end, just like a circle, so they call their worship "circling the scripture".

China Daily's multimedia reporter Feng Xin was in Tibet to circle the scripture and meet some Buddhists.


CCTV Exclusive interview: Bejing - New fashion capital VIDEO

Born in Brussels, made in New York and now here in Beijing. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is an icon of our times.

She's just opened a major career retrospective in the Chinese capital.

Married first to a prince, and then to a media magnate, it's been four decades since her "Wrap Dress" rocked the world.

As she told James Chau in this special interview China is the place to be.



China Fashion Week

A model presents a creation for the 2011 Aimer Swimwear Collection during China Fashion Week in Beijing.



Bikini fever at China Fashion Week - VIDEO

A bikini show presented by Beijing Aimer Lingerie was the climax of China Fashion Week at D-Park Beijing House in the 798 Art District


China Fashion Week



Young minds remodel future style

The ongoing China Fashion Week in Beijing is providing a platform for new comers and new ideas. This season, the fashion fiesta is holding seven professional competitions. Our reporter Zhang Song went to the one presented by young fashion designers from China and the United States.

Zhang Song, Beijing said "I'm here at the 798 contemporary art zone in Beijing -- famous for presenting new ideas. And now it's offering a fitting backdrop for the semiannual China Fashion Week. Young designers from China and abroad won't miss the opportunity to interpret the style of future."