Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Prize laureate and one of China's finest, died tonight in a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province, having never been officially released from his 11-year sentence for state subversion. He served more than seven of those years behind bars.
Protestors in Hong Kong clashed with police in the early morning hours today, reportedly over the removal of illegal street food vendors in Mong Kok. The AP says the violence was the worst in the city since the pro-democracy protests of 2014.
Ursula Gauthier, erstwhile Beijing correspondent for the French newsweekly L’Obs, left China for good in the early hours of January 1. It was not, as they say, of her own volition.
When the clock struck midnight on 2015, Gauthier’s press visa expired and was not up for renewal. According to official organs, she had offended the Chinese people with her November 18 article written in the aftermath of the November 13 terrorist attacks on Paris. Gauthier’s refusal to publicly apologize for remarks concerning China’s attempts to link Paris with its own problems in Xinjiang was taken as the final straw.
You may think you've seen them all, but this one has that little something extra. It's worth watching from the beginning, but go to the 30-second mark for a mushroom cloud of commentary. Noooooooo fucking way.
Sina Weibo's watershed came in 2011 after two high-speed trains crashed in Wenzhou: as officials bungled the response, and then censored news stories, netizens stormed onto Sina's microblogging platform to voice their outrage and fill gaps of knowledge with educated speculation. Four years later, just as Weibo has seemingly run its course, a different program is stepping into its place as the prime facilitator of unfettered discussion in this country of shackled exchange.
Tianjin was woken last night by a massive warehouse explosion that killed at least 44 and injured 500 others -- numbers which will surely rise in the coming days. As authorities investigate the cause -- was it arson? -- we sit here sifting through some amazing photos and videos of the incident. You may have seen some of these already. But they're worth another look.
We have two videos from the stabbing this morning, in which a man wielding a meter-long sword attacked -- seemingly at random -- two people outside Uniqlo in Sanlitun, Beijing. The first video, above, is graphic, and I wouldn't recommend it if you'd rather not watch a woman bleeding from stab wounds.
As heard on social media, there was a stabbing this morning outside the Uniqlo in Sanlitun, one of the busiest areas of foot traffic and commerce in Beijing. Police appear to have subdued the assailant and roped off the area.
Look, I dislike the IOC as much as the next rational person, and think the Olympics are a form of corporate imperialism, but the facts don't preclude me from admitting my feelings: the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were a lot of fun, and I'm kinda excited for it to come back. It'll be in 2022, when most of us will be DEAD, and it's the Winter Olympics, which Sochi probably ruined for everybody, but, you know, whatever. Beijing is getting the Olympics!
It doesn't have to be Uniqlo. (Actually, better if it isn't -- spread the wealth.) It doesn't even have to be a dressing room. But here's an honest chance for us, the little people, to make a real difference in the fight against censorship: we can -- by a simple bit of sex in a public place, a camera phone, and an Internet connection -- show the world just how fucking dumb this fucking government can sometimes fucking be.
I passed by Uniqlo just now on my way home, the infamous Sanlitun branch where a young man and woman had sex in the fitting room and put the video of it online. Maybe that part of Sanlitun Village always has a large crowd of young folks milling about. Maybe there are those who ironically take selfies in front of retail chains, and journalists often un-ironically do work there (CNN!). I don't know. Or maybe shoppers are lining up for this season's hottest new item:
If you've been anywhere near WeChat or Weibo today (or China's corner of Twitter, for that matter), you've likely heard that a young man filmed himself having sex with a young woman in a fitting room in the Sanlitun branch of Uniqlo in Beijing recently. The video was uploaded to the Internet yesterday evening and has been making the rounds. It's out there. Someone was gonna post it. [...] Here it is.