Top-of-the-Week Links: Joe Biden in Beijing, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela (or not), and Bloomberg going after Michael Forsythe’s wife?

Models wear masks in Nanjing
Models in masks in Nanjing due to pollution, via Shanghaiist

An untimely computer failure meant no Friday links, some of which you’ll get here instead.

Words for Chinese students. “Arriving midday in Beijing, Biden paid a visit to the U.S. Embassy, where he surprised Chinese citizens waiting to get visitor visas processed in the embassy’s consular section. Thanking a group of mostly young people for wanting to visit the U.S., Biden said he hoped they would learn during their visit that ‘innovation can only occur where you can breathe free.’ // ‘Children in America are rewarded — not punished — for challenging the status quo,” Biden said. ‘The only way you make something totally new is to break the mold of what was old.’” (AP)

And then? “Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. sharply criticized the Chinese government’s crackdown on the foreign press, telling an audience of American business people Thursday that the United States had ‘profound disagreements’ with its ‘treatment of U.S. journalists.’” (NY Times)

Let’s all, again, laugh at the Maoists. “With the death of Nelson Mandela, the internationally beloved former president of South Africa, on December 5, 2013, that political tilt was on full display as Maoist and nationalistic left-wing Weibo users took the opportunity to praise Chinese communist revolutionary and Mandela inspiration Mao Zedong and, surprisingly, criticize state-controlled media outlets for giving too many compliments to Mandela.” (Global Voices)

Intrigue to the ongoing Bloomberg story. “The spouse of former star Bloomberg China reporter Michael Forsythe, Leta Hong Fincher, sent tweets late Friday night that suggested she and her husband are being pressured by lawyers representing his former employer. // ‘Has anyone heard of a spouse being sued for breaching a company’s confidentiality agreement when the spouse never worked for that company?’ // In a tweet minutes later, she added, ‘Can anyone recommend a feminist lawyer in Hong Kong?’ By Saturday morning, Hong Fincher’s tweets had been deleted.” (Buzzfeed)

Sanlitun expats, watch out. “Foreign residents of China, have your passports at the ready. The Beijing Times reports that police in Sanlitun are launching a crackdown on ‘illegal foreigners’ which will include 24 hour patrols of the popular shopping and drinking district. // 60 cops have reportedly been seconded to the foreigner hassling detail, which will patrol the community 24 hours a day.” (That’s Online)

Bitcoin recoil. “China’s government banned financial institutions from trading in bitcoin on Thursday, in what analysts said was a restrained first step towards regulating the digital currency that has exploded in popularity in China and soared in value in recent months. // A statement by the central bank and four other agencies said that, while the computer-generated currency does not yet pose a threat to China’s financial system, it carries risks. It did not, however, curtail the use of bitcoin by individuals.” (Reuters)

Big-ass porn site’s operators busted in Hong Kong. “A vice racket that pocketed an estimated HK$60 million a year running the city’s biggest porn website has been smashed by police following the arrest of 114 people in the past three days. // Officers seized three computer servers in Kwai Chung used to host the Sex 141 site, which featured advertisements for hundreds of prostitutes.” (SCMP)

Believe it or not (probably not). “Retired Chinese domestic security Chief Zhou Yongkang (周永康) was involved in a plan to assassinate Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) in order to take over the country, New York-based Mingjing News reported on Dec. 5. // Zhou, who had already been restricted for his alleged involvement in numerous corruption scandals, will likely face serious consequences, according to the report.” (The China Post)

AngelHack. “Last weekend, Silicon Valley-based global hackathon organizer AngelHack wrapped up its second-ever event in mainland China, Apphack Beijing. The number of attendees was nearly double that of AngelHack Shanghai, which took place last November and marked the organizer’s first foray into the Middle Kingdom.” (Tech in Asia)

An old debate with one obvious correct answer. “The real question that needs discussing is, does criticism of the government necessarily mean criticism of the country? // …Later I posted this on my microblog: ‘Some people still aren’t clear about the difference between nation and government. And so anyone who aims a criticism at the government gets denounced as a traitor. Let me make an analogy: The nation is like one’s parents, and the government is like a steward; loving the steward and loving one’s parents are completely different things. One can’t change one’s parents, but one has every right to replace the steward.’” (Yu Hua, NY Times)

Corollary: “Chinese patriotism vs. nationalism.” (The Peking Duck)

Migrant workers in Beijing trying to get movie roles interlude, via ChinaFile:


“Expelled journalists face bleak Christmas at home with family, friends.” (China Daily Show)

“Will China Shut Out the Foreign Press?” (ChinaFile)

“Life After Dark: Exploits at a Guiyang gay bar.” (Sasha Draggeim, the Anthill)

“The Rolling Stones Coming to Macao.” (Hongkie Town)

“‘Murky’ drug trade: How did North Korea become a meth hub?” (Leonid Petrov’s KOREA VISION)

“The One Thing Jackie Chan and Ai Weiwei (Almost) Have in Common.” (Jing Daily)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Xi’an. (Sina)

“I was an exception to China’s one-child policy.” (The Wang Post)

Big Home Plate opens in Sanlitun. (the Beijinger)

Welcome back, The Box, a fine Beijing bar. (Beijing Boyce)

“Generous Tianjin parents give 99 rolls of uncut bills worth 10 million yuan as part of the dowry to their daughter ahead of lavish wedding.” (Hug China)

Finally, finally…

Woman saved in Beijing, via That’s Online:
Woman saved in Beijing Subway

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