Friday Links: China vs. Philippines, man loses penis after circumcision, and what does Jeremy Lin have in common with Lin Zhao?

“China vs. The Philippines,” via Tea Leaf Nation

Just saw Bad Panda at Penghao Theater, and it wasn’t half bad. Two more nights to go, for you Beijingers. Links for everyone else.

War with Philippines watch: “Over the past few days tension has been rising between China and the Philippines over a disputed island. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its readiness for battle, and a slew of editorials have said things like ‘peace will be a miracle if [Filipino] provocation lasts.’ // This is nothing new. Brinksmanship over Chinese territorial claims happens pretty regularly. But after speaking with that class and looking at other current events, this time feels especially dangerous.” [Sinostand]

The last word you’ll need on Melissa Chan (for now). “A quotation which was making the rounds on Twitter this past week – and which ended up in a few different posts on the subject – was the old Orwell chestnut: ‘Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.’ // …I remember an anecdote Melissa once told a group of my students.  She said that when she first arrived, the Ministry folks were all smiles, figuring that any network which plays Osama bin Laden’s mix tapes must be alright. Six months later the same ministry folks complained to her that she was just as bad as CNN and the BBC. ‘Thank you?’ she replied.” []

Bo Xilai wipes out two provinces. “Yesterday, two major provinces — Chongqing and Liaoning — disappeared from Baidu’s Tieba. Apparently, just as Melissa Chan has become an unperson online in China, Chongqing and Liaoning have become unplaces.” [C. Custer, Tech in Asia]

Also, being investigated for torture. “With Mr. Bo’s purge, some victims of the ‘strike black’ campaign, known as ‘da hei’ in Chinese, have begun speaking publicly about being tortured, denied their rights and forced to endure horrendous prison conditions. Before he was taken into custody, Mr. Bo publicly defended the campaign, and many people here say Chongqing benefited from it. Nearly 4,800 people were arrested over 10 months. // ‘The gangs were bullying ordinary people,’ said Qi Guoping, a resident. ‘The businesspeople were protecting them and trampling on poor people.’” [NY Times]

Corollary: Speaking of trampling on poor people: This Youku video, from two days ago. [More info: (Chinese)]

Inside the Beijing beltway is good. “His downfall should not in itself necessitate a delay, because it wouldn’t alter the Standing Committee arithmetic, which is understood to be five ‘princelings/elitists’ against four ‘CYL/populists’. Unless, that is, the CYL people have decided that the Bo affair shows that the princelings… need reining in and that the PSC arithmetic should change in their favour. // It’s difficult to say what the outcome of that would be in policy terms, but its net effect would be to weaken the position of Xi Jinping, the incoming president and a princeling, both in general terms and specifically in relation to the incoming premier, Li Keqiang, a CYL man.” [Blood and Treasure]

Heartbreaking. “They are mostly in their 50s. For over 20 years, they had lived happily with their only children. Just as they started to prepare new homes and dowry for their progeny, unexpected calamities took away lives of these children. From then on, they have been living with sufferings and pangs of pain unimaginable to other people: at their age, it is practically impossible for them to conceive again.” [Guangzhou Daily via Ministry of Tofu]

Oh my god the horror, every word worse than the previous. “A 21-year-old man in Tianjin has had his penis cut off after what appears to be a botched circumcision procedure just two weeks before his wedding ceremony… // Xiaohe’s wife and former schoolmate, Xiaoli, also sued the hospital for compensation… // Xiaoli’s claims have, however, been thrown out by the court, because Xiaohe was below the legal marriage age of 22 and hence their marriage was not officially recognised by the law. // Penis reconstruction surgery is available, but is a highly complex procedure which is unlikely to give Xiaohe a fully functional penis even if successful. Moreover, the operation, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, is too much for Xiaohe’s farmer family to bear.” [Shanghaiist]

Weibo has a new user contract. “The new user contract will probably mean nothing for free speech and user behavior on Weibo, and here are the reasons:” [Tea Leaf Nation]

Chinese salsa dancer in the rain interlude:

2012 China Salsa Carnival, Chengdu


Stephon Marbury in Xishuangbanna. [Go Kunming]

Global Times writes about Lin Zhao. Unfortunate Jeremy Lin pun in its headline aside (“Restoring sanity to Lin’s story”)… wow. [Global Times]

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