Watch: Xi Jinping Takes Lunch At A Beijing Eatery, Is Just Like Us

Posing with Xi Jinping 3
Look at Xi Jinping eating lunch. When the story broke yesterday that the president of China was spotted in Beijing ordering steamed buns at a local restaurant called Qing-Feng, I noted that we'd be seeing more pictures, since if you can't take pictures of the president of China on your camera phone, you might as well never take another camera phone picture again. Well, here's a video, which surfaced on Youku about nine hours ago. It is wonderful in the following ways:

Is This Xi Jinping In Line In A Beijing Bun Shop?

Xi Jinping at baozi shop
This certainly looks like Xi Jinping in a crowded Beijing restaurant. Weibo user @四海微传播 wrote at 1:20 pm today: "People, I'm not seeing this wrong, am I? Uncle Xi came to Qingfeng to eat steamed buns (baozi)!" The same user messaged again at 1:34 pm: "Uncle Xi queued to buy steamed buns, even paid his own bill, carried his tray, chose his own buns." The message was forwarded by none other than the official Xinhua Sina Weibo account at 1:38 pm.

CCTV News Tweets About Zhou Yongkang Corruption Case, Quickly Deletes Tweet [UPDATE]

CCTV tweet
As reported last month, former security chief Zhou Yongkang, now retired, has been the target of high-level corruption probes since at least late August. "How far and high is [Xi Jinping] willing to go to clean up China’s political elite?" the New York Times's Chris Buckley asked in a September 25 article. Now we kind of know. The South China Morning Post reported today, citing unnamed sources, that Xi Jinping is overseeing a "special unit" to investigate Zhou, "bypassing the Communist Party's internal disciplinary apparatus."

Provincial Courts Turn To Social Media To Knock Beijing’s Anti-Rumor Campaign

Zichan of Zheng Kingdom
The relationship between China's central and local governments has never been linear or completely top-down. There are times of harmony, but more often, there's tension. In the recent past, thanks to social media, conflicts and disagreements usually kept behind closed doors have begun leaking into the public domain. Several recent posts on Sina Weibo by legal organs revealed that tensions are as manifest today as they were during historical times. Many netizens have gone as far to call these posts an act of “rebellion.”

Chinese Embassy In Washington DC Tagged “Chai” – Demolish – At Outset Of Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Chinese embassy in DC vandalized chai
The character for demolish (or dismantle) -- 拆, chai -- appeared on the Chinese embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday morning. According to Voice of America, the characters appeared three times: on two of the pillars on the embassy's front gate, and on the entrance of an office building. This happened on the same day as the opening of the fifth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a two-day session between top leaders of China and the US.

Edward Snowden Reportedly Leaves Hong Kong, US Request For Extradition Failed Due To Paperwork [UPDATE]

Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong
And he's gone. Screams the latest SCMP headline (all-caps theirs): SNOWDEN LEAVES HONG KONG ON COMMERCIAL FLIGHT TO MOSCOW The report isn't confirmed, but SCMP notes that Snowden "would continue on to another country." The Hong Kong government issued a short statement today, in which it said the US's request for extradition "did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law."

Tragedy Politicized: Xinjiang Violence Used As Diplomatic Fodder, Already

Xinjiang violence
A mere two days after 21 were killed in violent attacks in Bachu county, Kashgar, including six police and six ethnic Uighurs, Beijing has politicized the incident, using it to call out the United States for failing to condemn the attacks as "terrorism." Reuters: But the U.S. State Department on Wednesday merely expressed regret at the loss of life and urged China to "provide all Chinese citizens, including Uighurs, the due process protections to which they're entitled."

BJC Redux: The PRC’s “Human Rights Record Of The United States,” Explained

Human Rights Record of the United States
Ed’s note: On April 19, the US Department of State published its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which included a section on China. It was typical, mundane, and features nothing you don’t already know, including restriction of Uighur and Tibetan movement, harassment of journalists and dissidents, prison labor, discrimination, extrajudicial killings, etc. On... Read more »

Here’s Peng Liyuan Singing In Russian And Dazzling A Moscow Crowd In 2005, Cause That’s What She Do

Peng Liyuan singing in Russian featured image2
Peng Liyuan, who’s warming up to her role as China’s “First Lady” — a term that, lest you forget, has basically never been applied to the wives of Chinese leaders — is currently traveling with her husband in Africa as part of Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip as Chinese head of state, and it’d be... Read more »

In First Interview With Foreign Media, Xi Jinping Reveals Fondness For Paul The Octopus

Xi Jinping interview
Xi Jinping sat down with foreign media yesterday for the first time since becoming CPC chairman, speaking with reporters from BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa — ahead of the BRICS summit later this month. This historic occassion drew almost no English-language media coverage, leading Foreign Policy’s Isaac Stone Fish to ask,... Read more »

Following Press Conference, Reporters Race To Steal A Drink From New Chinese Premier’s Bottled Water

Stealing Li Keqiang's water
We’ve read enough stories about Li Keqiang’s inaugural press conference as premier, and there’s not much more that can be said. But apparently what happened after he spoke may be more interesting. After Li and the other vice premiers left the venue, many reporters rushed to the stage to snatch up pencils and papers used... Read more »

Saying Goodbye To China’s 64-Year-Old Ministry Of Railways

Ministry of Railway
The Ministry of Railways (MOR) is as old as New China, having been in operation since October 1949. But on March 10, toward the construction of a newer China at the 12th National People’s Congress, the government announced a series of reforms and reconstructions, which included the decision to dissolve outdated ministries. The Ministry of... Read more »

Xi Jinping Anointed PRC President, Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected As Pope Francis

Xi Jinping and Pope Francis
It’s been said before by many commentators — e.g., Eric Fish of Sinostand (“The Catholic church and CCP: estranged brothers?”) and Adam of Visions of Paradise (“Several times in the past I’ve read quotes stating that Communist governments learned how to manipulate their citizens by imitating the Catholic Church”) — that the Chinese Communist Party... Read more »

Toddler Moons National TV Audience During Vice Premier Li Keqiang’s Impromptu House Visit [UPDATE]

Naked kid pops out of closet featured image
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang made an unexpected visit to a farmer’s family in Baotou, Inner Mongolia earlier this week. How unexpected? According to Sina Weibo, the farmer’s son was still sleeping (half-)naked in the room, so the father told him to go hide in the cupboard. With CCTV cameras rolling, the kid ran out of oxygen,... Read more »