Watch: Chinese Activists Push Past Security To Visit Liu Xia, Wife Of Liu Xiaobo [UPDATE]

Liu Xia video
On Friday, December 28 -- the birthday of jailed Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo -- a group of activists made a daring visit to the residence of his wife, Liu Xia, currently under house arrest. You can watch them in the above video, uploaded yesterday to the YouTube account of Hu Jia, activist/dissident and director of the June Fourth Heritage and Culture Association. Hu writes that he and Hao Jian, Liu Di and Xu Youyu, among others, arrived at about 9 pm and basically overpowered a surprised guard.

Blogging The Bloggers: Another New Year, Same Old Mug’s Game

Peeping weekly at the best (and worst) that was, is, and will be on the China blogosphere. Aside from family animosities, hangovers and relief in seeing in another year relatively unscathed, there is little worth celebrating in the Sino-English gulag. Drawing up lists of the best and worst sites is a fool’s errand. Ditto content. It... Read more »

If You’re In China And Haven’t Been Tweeted At By @chinesetutorbei Yet, Don’t Worry: You Will Be

Mesi Chinese
If you write about China, are slightly Asian, live here, or have generally anything to do with this country, there’s a decent chance you know Mesi Chinese, a.k.a. @chinesetutorbei. That’s because she — it — has been on a one-person rampage to find out whether you — yes, you – want to have a Chinese language partner... Read more »

Friends And Countrymen (An Expat Christmas No. 9)

BJC Christmas
BJC's An Expat Christmas series is winding down, but we wouldn't leave without a story from Shanghai. William Childress writes about friends, food, and transience in the big city. We're lucky, in Shanghai, to be in a city with so many foreigners that we can essentially experience the holidays as we would in our native land. But don't get me wrong -- we're not exactly in an expatriate haven.

Cancelled (An Expat Christmas No. 7)

BJC Christmas
BJC's An Expat Christmas series will roll on through the week. In a place where Christmas is an "event" and not part of the culture, it can be cancelled as easily as it is arranged, as Chris Clayman recently found out at his school in Lincang, Yunnan province.

How A Letter From China Decrying Slave Labor Ended Up In Portland, Oregon [UPDATE]

Letter on toilet seat
The Oregonian has this tale of a letter from China -- written in English -- folded into eighths and planted inside the box of a Kmart "graveyard kit." This "message in a bottle" traveled more than 5,000 miles to the home of Julie Keith in Portland, who purchased the Halloween kit but left it unopened for a year. When she finally opened the contents, she found this chilling letter:

Guinness Names 115-Year-Old Japanese Man World’s Oldest Person, Ignoring China’s 127-Year-Old Woman

Old people
Dina Manfredini of Iowa died on Monday at 115, passing on the mantle of "world's oldest person" to Jiroemon Kimura of Tokyo, who was born on April 19, 1897 -- 15 days after Manfredini -- the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed yesterday. But not so fast, says Xinhua. In a story published two hours ago, it reports that the world's real oldest person is actually Chinese, and apparently 127 years old:

Chinese State TV Airs Tibetan Self-Immolation “Documentary” [UPDATE: You Can Watch It Here]

CCTV on Tibetan self-immolations
State media is reporting that state media aired a documentary on Tibetan self-immolations on Sunday. Here are the opening paragraphs of Xinhua’s story about China Central Television: National broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has released a documentary on self-immolation in the country’s Tibetan-inhabited areas.

The Gift (An Expat Christmas No. 5)

BJC’s “An Expat Christmas” series continues, as Jocelyn Eikenburg shares her experience of gift-giving — and receiving — from one Christmas in Shanghai. By Jocelyn Eikenburg When you spend Christmas in China as an expat, it’s easy to feel a little forgotten by the holiday season.

Christmas In Changsha (An Expat Christmas No. 4)

BJC’s “An Expat Christmas” series continues, in which foreigners in China write about the holiday experience from their respective cities. If you’re in Changsha, look up our next contributor, who’s been finding Christmas cheer — and creating some of her own. By Amanda Roberts

The Tree (An Expat Christmas No. 2)

BJC Christmas
Beijing Cream's "An Expat Christmas" series continues, in which foreigners in China write about the holiday experience from their respective cities. Our second of two stories from Beijing comes via Allison Reibel, about a tree rooted in the Christmas spirit no matter how much things around it might change.