The China Dream is in trouble according to a recent report by The Mirror. The investigative report, published on February 7, said the number of impoverished counties in China rose from 331 in 1985 to 592 in 2012.
This purported slide into poverty runs contrary to three decades of explosive economic growth and seriously clashes with the government’s official reporting of 98.9 million people in poverty nationwide.
But rather than unmasking a hidden class of impoverished citizens... Read more »
I’ve asked many people why Abdulla “Aka” (Older Brother) Abdurehim is the undisputed King of Uyghur music. It’s not that he has the gravitas of a young Elvis Presley, the steely resolve of Johnny Cash, the working-class poetics of Bruce Springsteen, or the song and dance routine of the trickster Bob Dylan. People talk about the catchiness of his melodies, the way the best song writers flock to him like pigeons to a master, and women flutter around him like moths to a flame. Yet these explanations always leave me unsatisfied. Abdulla is, after all, an average-looking middle-aged man from Kashgar. He’s average height. He has a moustache. Read more »
The event is live! Tickets for Poetry Night in Beijing on March 16 at the Bookworm Literary Festival are officially being sold at the Bookworm. Please let this be a reminder that we are still seeking submissions for those interested in participating in the event, i.e. reading in front of an audience. Along with Pathlight, our lovely event partners, we are accepting poems until March 1. Please see here for guidelines. Read more »
Police mounted a surprise raid on Dada Bar on Wednesday at 8:30 pm, where the group “Beijing Creatives" was hosting a speaking event where, among others, a photographer, a book designer, and Beijing Cream’s Anthony Tao were giving short talks. Read more »
2014 has been an auspicious year so far for elephants. In January, the Chinese government crushed -- the technical term for destroying -- a whopping 6.15 tons of tusks, equivalent to one-sixth of the illegal ivory seized worldwide in 2012. The following week, Chinese officials worked with Kenyan authorities to apprehend the Chinese kingpin of a Kenya-based ivory ring. Read more »
Hope you had a nice Lantern Festival links. PS: I'm speaking at Dada on Wednesday at 7 pm or so for Beijing Creatives 7.0, so swing by if you're interested in some inside-baseball blog talk. Read more »
Four female students from Wuhan University in Hubei province demonstrated on February 14 to call for respect for sex workers in China.
One student held up a pair of underpants as a metaphor for the Big Underpants building in Beijing, i.e. the headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), which has been pejoratively called "CCAV" (AV being adult video) by Chinese netizens. Read more »
Caption: "Recently, a detachment of officers and men from the People's Armed Police in Liangshan, Sichuan held roses to depict 'thousand-armed Guanyin,' celebrate Valentine's Day's arrival, and use this opportunity to express sincerest wishes to their sweethearts a world away." Read more »
This morning, my wife and I set out to make a trip to the hospital. Because we were in a rush, we decided to rent a sanlunche (motorized tricycle) to take us to the nearest subway station. We hailed one on the main road outside the north gate of our community at about 8:45 am.
Our driver proceeded westbound on Chaoyang Road until reaching the McDonald’s across the north gate of Beijing International Studies University. At the intersection, she turned right onto Dingfuzhang Street and proceeded north toward Dalianpo station on Subway Line 6. Read more »
A lot of cash changes hands around Chinese New Year. Despite the convenience of electronic payments, China is still very much a cash-based society, and pink 100-yuan notes featuring the plump visage of Mao Zedong proliferate wallets, pockets, and purses.
Most stories analyzing the Chinese demand for cash focus on the stress it puts on the banking system, but let's take a look at it from a historical angle: what can we discern about recent Chinese developments by looking at who -- and what -- appears on the renminbi? Read more »
Within the marriage market of the urban Uyghur community it has almost become a cliché to discuss the moral aptitude of young men in terms of their frequency of prayer. When introducing a potential boyfriend, the line given is “he prays five times a day." Although this description often overlooks other moral failures such as drinking, smoking, and general carousing, the overall connotation conveyed is “this is a good, responsible guy.” In the short film With Me, Hezriti Ali, another self-made migrant actor-muscian from the southwest edge of the Taklamakan Desert, tackles this problem in an unusually subtle and implicit way. Read more »
Before it closed last year, Kin Hong’s Taco Bar was a gem of a restaurant tucked away in the hutongs. You had to reserve in advance, and it was tough to find. But it was totally worth it for the killer fish tacos and liberally poured glasses of sangria and tequila. Read more »