Mid-Week Links: Police confuse blow-up sex doll for real human, Xinhua sets American politicians straight, and influential Chinese papers muzzled

Via Daily Mail

We salute you, good readers. Here are links.

American politics can be as nauseating as Chinese politics at times. Thank goodness for the American media. “This morning, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua published an editorial slamming U.S. politicians for their recent outrage over the made-in-China uniforms of the U.S. Olympic team. In case you missed it, lawmakers bristled at the news that the Ralph Lauren outfits were made in China rather than the United States. ‘I think they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. Today’s editorial is having none of it: // … // The editorial hits it on the money. For every lawmaker that came forward whining about the origin of the uniforms, we’d love to poll them about the origins of their computers, mobile phones, undershirts, footwear and pretty much anything else they keep in their home.” [The Atlantic Wire]

Meetings among the younger set to discuss the course of the Communist Party. Would it surprise you to know there are different factions? “’Compare now to 1989; in ’89, the reformers had the upper hand,’ said Mr. Zhang, a historian formerly associated with the government’s Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, referring to the pro-democracy student protests that enjoyed the support of a number of important party leaders but were crushed in Tiananmen Square. ‘Twenty years later, the reformers have grown weaker. Now there are so many vested interests that they’ll be taken out if they touch anyone else’s interests.’ // To Mr. Zhang and others, this is the conundrum of China’s rise: the autocracy that back-flipped on Marxist ideology to forge the world’s second-largest economy seems incapable of embracing political changes that actually could prolong its own survival.” [NY Times]

The next time people talk about China’s pollution, perhaps mention this: “The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently published the first-ever International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which evaluates the energy efficiency of 12 of the world’s largest economies across 27 metrics, including energy efficiency spending, residential and commercial building codes, energy intensity of the industrial sector, appliance and equipment standards, and investment in rail transit. // The results, from most to least efficient: the United Kingdom; Germany; Italy; Japan; France; the European Union, Australia, and China (3-way tie); the U.S.; Brazil; Canada; and Russia.” [Co.EXIST, Fast Company]

Long Hair strikes again! “Hong Kong’s embattled new leader, Leung Chun-ying, announced a series of welfare measures on Monday and pleaded for time to deal with scandals that have rocked the city, including illegal structures in his own home. // As Leung spoke in the legislature, maverick activist lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung hurled an effigy of Pinnochio, the cartoon character prone to telling lies, at the new leader, missing him by a few meters.” [Reuters via MSN, with photos]

Art world: full of mystery and intrigue, pretty much everywhere. “The frothy contemporary-art scene here has lost some of its ebullience in the three and a half months since a German art handler and a Chinese associate were detained on charges that they undervalued imported art to avoid customs duties. // …Nils Jennrich and Lydia Chu, employees of the art-handling company Integrated Fine Art Solutions, languish in a Beijing jail on suspicion of smuggling, a crime normally associated with the illegal importation of drugs or arms. The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence.” [NY Times]

South China Morning Post broke two important news stories today, but both are behind paywalls. Therefore, we give you Shanghaiist instead. “The editor-in-chief of the Guangzhou-based New Express, Lu Fumin, has been axed after 14 years at the paper, and moved to head the political desk at another sister paper within the group. Key sections in the paper, including the editorial page, have also been axed, and coverage on national and international news has been drastically cut in a major reshuffle that will see the paper focus more on local and lifestyle news going forward. // …A similar crackdown has also happened at the Oriental Morning Post, which is by far the most outspoken, liberal paper to come out of Shanghai. The publisher of the paper, Lu Yan, was moved to another division within the group, and deputy editor-in-chief Sun Jian has apparently been suspended.” [Shanghaiist]

A conversation with New Yorker’s A1 China correspondent, Evan Osnos. “Osnos is a journalistic heavy-hitter. He has a Harvard pedigree, speaks Chinese fluently, and did eight years with the Tribune before joining the New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. Before he got to China, he spent three years in the Middle East, which included going into Iraq with the US Marines during the invasion that started the 2003 war.” [Hamish McKenzie, Pando Daily]

Interesting. “Ms Zhen, who is now 30 years old and prefers to use a pseudonym, is one of an estimated 16m straight women who are married to gay men in China. Zhang Beichuan, a scholar, estimates that more than 70% of gay men marry straight women. Using census data from 2011, Mr Zhang estimates that somewhere between 2-5% of Chinese men over the age of 15 are gay, or between 11m and 29m.” [Analects]

The Internet is not a feeling beast. “The mother of a Chinese student who was killed and dismembered in one of Canada’s most grisly crimes says the fact a video of the butchery was posted on the Internet means her son ‘is being murdered again and again.’” [Reuters]

Public officials: don’t do this. “A top government official sparked public outrage at a famous tourist attraction after his privilege compromised interests of thousands of tourists. // On the morning of July 15, all shuttle buses that travel back and forth between the park entrance and Heaven Lake, a crater lake on top of Changbai Mountain in Northeast China’s Jilin province, were put out of service to give way to a military-plated vehicle that carried a high ranking official.” [Ministry of Tofu]

Didn’t realize there were only five types of Asian American expats. Which one describes you, fair reader? “The Hedonist in Heat / The Self-Righteous and Self-Important Sanctimonious Turd / The Burning Sphincter of Stupidity / The Expat Bubble Airhead / The Quisling Exile.” [8Asians]

At least that’s better than what they could be using it for. “KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced it will purchase 2,000 tons of gutter oil from Shanghai, and refine it into aviation fuel for its aircraft.” [Shenzhen Daily]

Cute toddler interlude:


Olympic preview: Liu Wei profile by NiuBBall’s newest contributor. [Leon Zhang, NiuBBall]

Chen Guangcheng memoir set to be published next year. [Reuters]

Didier Drogba profile. [Wild East Football]

“Ching chong a-ling long” fortune cookie from The Hub. [Angry Asian Man]

Finally, finally…

Via Hexun; as explained by Kotaku: “Police worked for an hour to retrieve the body. Once they fished it out, cops discovered it was no dead body. Rather, it was actually a blow-up doll. According to reports, the police then quickly cleared the scene.”

Via thats_mandarin: Workers block cars to protest for lack of pay in Xi’an.

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