Thought Singles Day last month was a bit random? It seems that December 2 is now, perhaps unofficially, Traffic Police Day. The date, 12/2, coincides with China’s emergency traffic number: 1-2-2. In celebration of themselves, the Huizhou traffic police in Guandong released a professional music video showcasing traffic rules, as found by Eric Jou of Kotaku, set to the Korean band Crayon Pop’s song "Bar Bar Bar."
Pacman, Peso, and I recently returned from a 16-day Asia trip that included a five-day stay in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (as in America, the N-word is taboo in DPRK). This journey started in August when our record label, Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group, launched a Kickstarter seeking $6,000 to fund the trip and a music video called "Escape to North Korea." With the help of a five-page feature in the Washington Post Style section and a generous $5,100 donation from James Passin (aka "The American Who Bought Mongolia”), we were able to raise $10,400 and get a lot of attention in the process. People actually cared, for some reason.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Beijing yesterday to boost China-UK relations -- to "appease" Beijing, as Western media types would put it -- and to back a new EU-China free trade agreement. A few days before, on November 29, Cameron opened a Sina Weibo account, with the first message reading: "Hello my friends in China. I'm pleased to have joined Weibo and look forward to visiting China very soon."
The above photo, taken by legendary photographer Lang Jingshan in 1928, is the country's oldest known nude shot, reports China.org. The model, surnamed Zhang, "suffered brutal kicks and blows from her father who heard it four days later."
Xinhua host and moonlighter for the Daily Mail’s venerable China Bureau Nikki Aaron has been blissfully peddling the British tabloid yarns of her “China adventures” for the last few months. All well and good.
Here’s her latest, on dating, a subject she has visited before. The extremely confessional tone of the Mail piece begs the question: who is Nikki Aaron?
The New York Times's Austin Ramzy has a story you should read about Liu Xia, painter/poet/artist and wife of (as routinely noted) jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. The entire thing is worth your time, but we'd like to highlight a letter Liu Xia, who remains under house arrest in Beijing, wrote to an American friend in July. In a word, it's heartbreaking.
Holland Got Talent judge Gordon Heuckeroth made several racist remarks at a Chinese competitor, singer Xiao Wang, last week. You might have already seen it, but if not, check the above. What's interesting, however, is the tepid, almost indifferent response from netizens in China, a study in contrast to the outrage expressed after the now-infamous and actually inoffensive skit by Jimmy Kimmel.
An entrepreneur in Dallas got in touch with me last month saying he had a product called Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards, asking if I'd like to review them. Chinese political prisoners. Playing cards. Dallas. I live in Beijing. It made no sense. How could I say no?
Wu'er Kaixi, who fled China following the 1989 student-led protests at Tiananmen, reportedly flew into Hong Kong this morning via Taiwan and is pleading with authorities to extradite him to face trial on the mainland.
“Sometimes the mountains faded into the whiteness of the clouds and it was difficult to distinguish what was snow and what was clouds. Yet some days there were no clouds and the mountains seem to float in the air. This caused me to have a good and proper smile.” –Ai Qing, The Poetic Life, 2007, 67 (looking south from his labor camp in Shihezi to the Heavenly Mountains)
Spain, which recognizes universal justice -- meaning its court magistrates walk eternally with backs bowed under the burden of universal injustice, the weight of sadness -- issued a warrant on Tuesday for the arrest of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four others "as part of a probe into alleged genocide in Tibet," reports AP and Al Jazeera.
Swedish underwear brand Björn Borg have made good on a pledge to "love bomb" 450 pairs of underwear in Pyongyang. The company hired a "journalist" who went "undercover" and threw the garments from the 41st story of a hotel window.