The Xinjiang Guang Hui Flying Tigers are flying high. Riding the phenomenal success of their imported stars, Americans Lester Hudson and James Singleton and a Taiwanese player named Yang Jinmin, the support of China national team players such as the Uyghur point guard Shiralijan (Xi-re-li-jiang) and the Han center Tang Zhengdong, they're back in the Chinese Basketball Association finals for the fourth time in six years -- but the first since 2011, when Quicy Douby took them within two wins of a championship.
Several more months of terrible air, bad publicity and one inspired brainstorm session with my friend Kyle convinced me that this was a movie that needed be made. Beijing right now is one of the most fascinating clusters of humanity in the world and yet it’s almost perpetually shrouded in a layer of physical and public relations pollution. I get that. I’ve read the history, I breathe the air, I eat the gutter oil, and yeah, that all sucks. But at the end of the day this place just has an energy that I’m in love with.
Last month we made an open call for poets to participate in a curated community event at the Bookworm Literary Festival, and the response was exceptional. Please consider this our official thank you to all who answered. The curators of Poetry Night in Beijing -- Canaan Morse, Helen Wing and Eleanor Goodman -- read nearly 200 poems before finally (painstakingly) choosing five writers whose works resonated with them in style and substance.
In Taiwan, it is hard to get away from the image of Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Xinhai Revolution and one of the key figures in the history of the Guomindang (KMT): his portrait is on the money, in schools, museums, and a host of other public places. He is also the only KMT figure to be officially honored in the Chinese Communist Party’s narrative of 20th century Chinese history, and even has his own memorial in Nanjing.
The narrative of the CCP’s triumph over the KMT needs Sun’s legacy to fit events in Chinese history into a Marxist framework.
Memetjan Abla, a painter, teacher, husband and father, known for his subtle use of color in his elegant portraits of Uyghur urban life, was lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. He was 35.
Those who live and work around Chaoyangmen in Beijing have noticed a recent addition to the neighborhood. Above the Burger King at U-Town Mall, a huge purple banner has been erected that reads, in Chinese, "Time Since Losing Contact," a reference to the number of hours that have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
It’s not just every night that I walk into Glamour Bar and hear someone talking about figs mixing with the juices from their crotch. Well, all right, pretty much any time that I went I could hear that, but it’s too expensive for my nightly apertif. Still, an old friend was in town and wanted to meet there, and after all, it was only five minutes from my office, so I found myself at 3 on the Bund listening to all of the erotic fictions that Shanghai -- and even one from Beijing -- has to offer.
"Festival Fever," declares the cover of relentlessly upbeat Time Out Beijing. Coming at the end of what might just be China’s worst week in recent history – starting with a massacre in Kunming and ending with 230 people, including 140 Chinese, seemingly disappearing into the Twilight Zone – it’s hard to share their enthusiasm.
There's little chance Max Baucus, the incoming US ambassador to China, will make an entrance quite like Gary Locke's in 2011. Locke, the departing US ambassador, nearly broke Weibo when he journeyed from Seattle to Beijing in coach, carried his own luggage, then bought his own coffee. Writing in China Daily, Chen Weihua contrasted Locke’s trip with the travel styles of Chinese government officials: “In China, even a township chief, which is not really that high up in the hierarchy, will have a chauffeur and a secretary to carry his bag.”
In the wake of the horrific violence in Kunming, Uyghurs around the country have taken to Chinese-language social media to create distance between themselves and the killing of the innocent. The celebrity of Uyghur-Han ethnic friendship, the Guizhou kebab-seller-turned-philanthropist Alimjan (A-li-mu-jiang), put it best. Echoing the massively popular Indian-American film My Name is Khan, Alimjan said, “My name is Jiang and I am not a terrorist.” Many people also expressed empathy with those who experienced personal loss and pain on March 1 by writing on their WeChat accounts, “We are all Kunming people today.”
At least 10 men wielding long knives began indiscriminately attacking pedestrians in the waiting hall of Kunming Railway Station yesterday around 9:20 pm. The initial death and injury count vary, but the latest from Xinhua places the number at 29 dead and more than 130 injured. (Others put the number as high as 33.) Official reports say Xinjiang separatist forces are responsible for this "3-1 terrorist attack."
Some breaking news here (in that it happened three days ago and we’ve only just learned about it): a foreign man has been hospitalized and another injured following a stabbing around Sanlitun Bar Street in the early morning of Tuesday, February 25. Information is scant.
The news was first posted at 4:32 am by a man claiming to be an employee of the Village edition of Starbucks, and he sounded pretty shaken up about it.
J.P Morgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the world, can’t stay out of the news. In the past year it suffered a multibillion-dollar trading error thanks to the “London Whale,” reached a $13 billion settlement with the government over its role in selling mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crises, and a $2.6 billion settlement for ignoring telltale signs of fraud from Bernie Madoff. If that were not enough, the firm is now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the “Sons and Daughters Program” -- the bank hires the relatives of Chinese government officials
...Sure, Hunan-based Better Life probably hung the portrait simply out of respect for their native son. But I would also believe it if someone told me that Better Life’s CEO is a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist who always believed Mao’s communist fantasies were folly and, now swollen with riches from selling jewelry and clothes to China’s ovine masses, has decided to take a victory lap by hanging a portrait where Mao’s weary, unblinking stare will forever be greeted by the former proletariat scrambling for earthly pleasures on the ruins of his communes.
The definition of irony has always been difficult to pin down, even for the most seasoned of wordsmiths, but here’s an attempt through example: an artist who achieved fame by defacing or destroying other artists’ work sees one of his defaced works defaced by another artist.
The famous artist is Ai Weiwei, whose 1995 photographic triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn is undoubtedly one of the pieces that propelled him to international art world fame and fortune.