Dispatches From Xinjiang: Traffic Lights And Uyghur Black Humor

Uyghur funeral procession featured image
On April 13, 2014, Abdulbasit Ablimit, a 17-year-old from a small town near Aqsu, was shot twice. It appears he had run a red light on an electric scooter and, rather than stop and pay a fine, he had fled. According to his friends, he was gunned down three kilometers later. The official state narrative, posted a few days after the incident, says he attacked the police officers with stones, tried to grab their guns, and so on. Regardless of how, Abdulbasit died within hours. His body was given to his family for burial. But he was not buried. Read more »

Something Fun: Beijing Subway Stations Translated Literally

Beijing subway stations translated literally featured image
The Wall Street Journal's China blog made the cool map above, which shows Beijing's subway stations translated literally into English. They enlisted that indispensable tool, Baidu translate, to help with the task. Sadly, it's like a quarter-complete, but whatever, we all know WSJ employees aren't paid to do fun things. Read more »

One Beijing Summer: A Tale Of Status, Sex, And A Chinese Pop Star

One Beijing Summer by Hannah Lincoln
On a crisp September 1st morning in Beijing, I stood before a locked iron door. On the other side was a hutong that led to the streets and eventually my university dorm. On my side was a scruffy courtyard home, a room with no couch and only one big bed – on which slept my Chinese boyfriend. It was dawn, and the hutong roofs were limned by a light morning mist, releasing the heat of the night into a new day. Inside, I was trapped, faced with an undesirable decision: to take a hammer to the door, or to return to the bed and have sex with a person I no longer respected. Read more »

Foshan Carjacker Shot Dead By Police After Craziness At Checkpoint [VIDEO]

Foshan Carjacker Killed by Police featured image
Around 3 am on Monday, April 21, a suspected carjacker in Foshan, Guangdong province was tailed by police into a toll booth / checkpoint, where he was surrounded and ordered to get out of the car. The suspect, surnamed Tan, did no such thing. He did the opposite of getting out, which is stepping on the accelerator, even if it meant ramming his car backwards into police vehicles and officers alike. Read more »

People’s Daily Lashes Out At “Circling Vultures” Of New York Times For MH370 Article

People's Daily lashes out at NY Times featured image
On April 14, New York Times reporters Kirk Semple and Eric Schmitt published an article titled “China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as Much as Helping" that quoted two government officials -- one from the US and one from Malaysia, both unnamed -- who said China has not, to put it nicely, contributed much to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. It was a disturbing piece, not least because it seemed to signal the search may have entered a new phase in which the frustrations and difficulties of finding the missing jet could spill into finger-pointing and politics. Read more »

34 Years Later, A Finished Pashto-Chinese Dictionary

Che Hongcai and Pashto Dictionary
A receptionist at the Wangfujing Branch of China’s Commercial Publishing House got the surprise of her life when an old man walked in with a several-thousand-page handwritten manuscript. At 76-years-old, Che Hongcai had only one thing to say: “I’m finished.” In his hands was the first ever Pashto-Chinese dictionary, a project commissioned, re-commissioned and eventually lost by the State Council. Read more »

The Man Who Loves Rum

Badr knows his rums 2
There's the only picture evidence you need that Badr Benjelloun's tipple of choice is rum -- pure rum, navy rum, sweet rum, fragrant Yunnan rum, Cuban rum ("love, passion")... Captain Morgan's... it doesn't matter. The man will take your rum and sell it back, likely with a historical anecdote on the side. Read more »

Oliver Stone Rails Against Chinese Film Industry “Platitudes,” Coddling Of Mao

2014 Beijing International Film Festival - Director Oliver Stone Interview
The fourth Beijing International Film Festival opened on Wednesday, and it looks like it's already less boring than last year's. For that we have the Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone to thank, who on Thursday in a panel discussion spoke provocatively on Mao Zedong and urged the Chinese to confront their history. As The Hollywood Reporter reports: Read more »

Poetry Night In Beijing: Stephen Nashef

Poetry Night in Beijing - Stephen Nashef
Beginning today, we'll be posting, piecemeal, the entirety of our March 16 event Poetry Night in Beijing, co-hosted by Pathlight Magazine for the Bookworm Literary Festival. (A big shout-out to Patrick Lozada for filming.) Up first was physics teacher / poet Stephen Nashef, introduced by Pathlight poetry editor Canaan Morse. Read more »