A Project Worth Your Attention: Ivan Xu’s Ride For Ultimate Frisbee And Charity

Iavn Xu featured image
In a recent discussion held as part of the inaugural Lean In Beijing Mentorship Event, a college student in my circle noted, “In China, it’s so difficult to stand out sometimes. We all pursue the same goals, we all do the same things, we all study hard and we all have similar experiences and ideas. In order for us to stand out and be unique, I really think we have to be unafraid to be different.” It’s true, especially in a country of 1.4 billion people. But it’s not common to see young Chinese doing what's necessary to stand out: pushing themselves to their limits and going beyond their comfort zone. Which is why Ivan Xu's project, the Ultimate Ride, is interesting: Read more »

Why Is The Beijinger So Callous Toward Sanlitun Drug Dealers?

Foreigners arrested in Beijing Sanlitun drug bust 2
Because it's politically expedient to do so -- proven by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, etc., to work -- Beijing conducted a drug investigation that recently culminated in a bust of street-level slingers in Sanlitun. This news doesn't affect the vast majority of Beijingers, foreign or local, which is to say, there's little reason any of us should cheer. If anything, we should cringe, knowing these "crackdowns" almost always disproportionately affect those on society's fringes who are most powerless to defend themselves. Read more »

How Beijing Authorities Conducted Their Great (Insipid) Sanlitun Drug Bust

Foreigners arrested in Beijing Sanlitun drug bust 1
More than 30 foreigners, most of “black complexion,” have been arrested on drug charges, and more than 790 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana have been seized, according to an article on Tuesday in Legal China. Expect a few less head nods and “You good?”s around Taikoo Li. Also, you might need to find a new drug dealer. Read more »

Announcing: Beijing Cream’s Flash Fiction For Charity At Great Leap Brewing

Flash Fiction for Charity
Attention, writers of Beijing: we're holding a flash fiction reading on Sunday, July 13 at Great Leap Brewing's Original No. 6 location (Doujiao Hutong No. 6). Space is limited, so we're asking those interested to register by emailing us -- spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is 50 RMB, which includes a select GLB beer, with all proceeds going to the charity Educating Girls of Rural China. Also, importantly: we're seeking readers! Read more »

Here’s An Animation Of Liao Yiwu Streaking In Stockholm

Streaking in Stockholm animation
On December 10, 2013, Chinese dissidents Liao Yiwu, Bei Ling, Wang Yiliang, Meng Huang, and Wang Juntao streaked outside Stockholm Concert Hall during Nobel ceremonies to protest the continued incarceration of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Yesterday, an animated video was released recounting that night and the events that led up to it. Read more »

Chinese Netizens Applaud Foreigner Spotted Picking Up Litter On Qingdao Beach

Foreigner picks up trash
It really doesn't take much to impress local Chinese if you're white, does it? Spotted in Qingdao and posted to the Sina Weibo account of @天璇妈妈, here's a foreigner picking up trash. "The Weibo post heated up discussions among netizens, racking up hundreds of likes on Weibo," reports Sina. "Some bloggers said we should learn from the foreign man, even foreigners are help protecting our environment." Read more »

Beijing From Above: Aerial Shots Render City In Amazing New Light

Kapital Creations featured image
Matthew Niederhauser, who's putting finishing touches on a film called Kapital Creation that documents Beijing's development, recently uploaded a Vimeo featuring stunning aerial footage of this city. It's interesting how a simple rotation of perspective can completely change how we view a place -- and makes you realize the value of a window office atop a skyscraper (or a blimp). Watch the video; you're unlikely to find urban Beijing rendered more beautifully. Read more »

You Should Probably Avoid These Beijing Subway Stations

Beijing security check on subway 2
If you find yourself needing transportation around Bajiao Amusement Park on Subway Line 1, Tiantong Yuan North Station on Line 5, or Longze Station on Line 13, perhaps it's best to take the bus or a cab. (This is the first and only time I'll recommend taking a taxi over the subway, considering this city's traffic). If you need a reason, check out the video above. Read more »

Friday Links: Murong Xuecun vows to turn himself in, China finalizes oil deal with Russia, and 2 Kolegas’s 9th anniversary

Catching a falling baby
Have a nice weekend links. Speaking of weekend... on Sunday, in an event that will probably be cancelled (shh, don't tell anyone), professors Yan Hongbiao and Ding Dong will talk about "ordinary Chinese people's views of the Cultural Revolution" from 3 to 5 pm at the Crossroads Centre (18 Da Shiqiao Hutong, Jiu Gulou Dajie; directions and contact info here). 40 rmb (30 rmb for students). The talk will be in Chinese, if it happens. Read more »

Tan Jun And China’s “New Ink” Movement

Tan Jun art 1
If China’s contemporary art market has one fatal fault, it is an obsession with cultivating and trading stars. Artists born in the 1960s have become darlings of the market, producing some of the most expensive works traded at auction houses anywhere in the world. But the next generation, born in the 1970s, has very different goals for creation and social recognition. Most use their skills to express an attitude or convey their artistic perspective to the public in plain language. Read more »

At Least 31 Dead, More Than 90 Injured In Urumqi Terrorist Attack

Urumqi terrorist attack kills 31b
Two vehicles rammed into pedestrians in an open market at 7:50 this morning on Gongyuanbei Street in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing at least 31 people and injuring more than 90, according to Chinese state media. AP reports that "the Xinjiang regional government said in a statement that the early morning attack was 'a serious violent terrorist incident of a particularly vile nature.'" Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance

So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance
With so much attention on the violence emanating from Xinjiang, many of you may have missed the parade of Uyghur dancers who have recently taken the stage on the Chinese version of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Zhongguo Hao Wudao). Not only do we have the child-star-turned-adult-tap-dancer Yusupjan, the nine-year-old break-dancer Surat Taxpolat (who goes by the stage name “Little Meatball”), and the teenage break dancer Umid Tursun, but we also have the model family of Gulmira Memet, a young dance instructor from the Xinjiang Art Institute in Ürümchi. Read more »