The WeChat Killers

| March 9th, 2014
first draft

Translated from the Jinling Evening News on March 4:

On October 22, 2013, in Tongda International district of Taiyuan city, Shanxi province, a woman was murdered in her home. The police quickly arrested murderer Li Jian. Li Jian explained that a rich woman named Cao Lihua used a fake corporate WeChat account to recruit the killer, and she personally trained him, meticulously planning for years. Cao Lihua instigated it!

On February 16, 2014, Taiyuan’s office of the procuratorate charged Cao Lihua and [...]Read more…

Photos of Plum Blossom Festival in Nanjing

| March 7th, 2014
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Each year, Plum Blossom Festival signals that spring is coming soon in Nanjing. The plum blossom trees at Nanjing’s Zijin Mountain (紫金山) are among the most beautiful in China. In March, these plum blossoms come out in full bloom. This has been promoted as Plum Blossom Festival (梅花节) since 1996.

The best viewing areas of Plum Blossom Mountain and Plum Blossom Valley of Zijin Mountain. Plum Blossom Mountain is a hill covering 400 acres with 18 kinds of flowers and 15,000 [...]Read more…

“I wish you would return my smile”: Cartoonist’s plea to the nation

| March 6th, 2014
translated

Earlier this week, ChinaHush reported on the “I am a Xinjiang Person” social media campaign meant to discourage discrimination that has come about in the wake of the Kunming knife attack, which was reportedly carried out by Xinjiang separatist terrorists.

Xinjiang is officially a Uyghur autonomous province, and a plurality, 43 percent, of the residents are Uyghurs. Xinjiang has fallen under Chinese influence or control for much of history, but it has also been the site of wars and rebellions. [...]Read more…

Expats: It’s your own fault if you don’t integrate

| March 6th, 2014
A common site in Chinese bars.

“Why do so many foreigners still insist upon living in a land where, at this point in history, integration is impossible?” Kevin McGeary writes in a post at The Nanfang.

A common sight in Chinese bars.

I am reading his post while I sit in a coffee shop after getting back from seeing the plum blossoms at Zijin Mountain with two Chinese college students I met yesterday at Xuanwu Lake (see post: Plum Blossom Festival photos). I met the two students [...]Read more…

Gun control works in China

| March 4th, 2014
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In the wake of a massive knife attack at the Kunming Railway Station, Chinese netizens have praised China’s gun control measures on Weibo.

“The only thing I can rejoice in is China’s gun ban,” International Business Times quotes one user. “It is difficult to imagine the amount of innocent lives that could have been taken otherwise.”

American gun rights supporters, on the other hand, have mocked the attack as an example of the failure of gun control. “Another win for gun control,” [...]Read more…

“I am a Xinjiang Person”: Weibo users rally against stereotyping in the wake of terrorist attack

| March 4th, 2014
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After a terrorist attack on the Kunming Railway Station, which killed 29, was carried out by extremist Xinjiang separatists, some people have expressed fearful and derogatory statements about Xinjiang people and Uyghurs. Weibo users from Xinjiang and elsewhere in China are pushing back, urging their countrymen to stand against the stereotyping of Xinjiang people.

The topic “I am a Xinjiang Person” (我是新疆人) is trending and has spawned messages that have been liked over 10,000 times.

ChinaHush has translated some of the most [...]Read more…

Chinese justice system reform: Abolishing reeducation through labor, Creating a legitimate court system, Chinese magazine reports

| March 3rd, 2014
Protests in Wukan. Photo from Southern Window article.

Protests in Wukan. Photo from Southern Window article.

In December 2011, the citizens of Wukan, a village in Guangdong, staged an uprising, forcing the local government officials out of the village, in a protest over land sales of communal farm land. In the course of the protests, three democratically-elected village representatives had been arrested and one had died. But after the citizens took over their village, the governor of Guangdong, Wang Yang, did something notable: Instead of taking the village [...]Read more…

Terrorists kill 29, injure 143 in Kunming attack, Arrested suspect considered “key evidence,” and more updates from Weibo

| March 1st, 2014
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Late last night (China time), a team of eight* (updated) knife-wielding terrorists attacked the Kunming Train Station, in the capital of Yunnan, killing 29 and injuring 130 (143, as of March 3). Four of the attackers were shot and killed at the scene and another was injured and arrested. Five were reportedly on the loose at the time of the original posting, although as of March 4, it has been reported that there were eight attackers and all have been [...]Read more…

Guiyang bus fire that killed 6 is the latest bus arson in China — a brief timeline

| March 1st, 2014
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After noon on February 27, a man boarded bus no. 237 in Guiyang and ignited a barrel of gasoline on fire. The fire killed six and injured 35. Yesterday, a man surnamed Su was arrested for allegedly causing the arson. Su is alleged to have caused the fire because he believed his wife was having an affair.

Bus arson is apparently a fashionable way for Chinese men to “take revenge on society” by attempting murder and/or suicide. A brief history of [...]Read more…

Qingyuan: Where your electronics goes when you throw it away

| February 24th, 2014
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The computer you’re using now was likely put together in a factory in Guangdong, and it will likely end up there when you throw it out. Not just computers, almost everything with valuable metals inside it gets exported to China: video game consoles, lighting components, transformers, hardware, and more.

Up to 80 percent of American electronics waste, and, as of 2005, 47 percent of European waste, is exported to developing countries. China is the leading importer of this trash. In 2008, [...]Read more…

The 3 worst attacks on foreign journalists in China in 2013

| February 23rd, 2014
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Being a foreign correspondent in China is tough.

In 2013, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China reported five major attacks against foreign journalists in the Middle Kingdom. Tibet, Xinjiang and social issues such as the HIV blood harvesting scandal, government dissidents or the Falun Gong movement are the most sensitive topics, according to the FCCC, although recently reportage on land disputes has been sensitive as well.

After analyzing the organization’s 2013 incident reports, below are the three worst things that [...]Read more…

Fried chicken biscuits, cuttlefish smoked chicken bread, and other interesting snacks from Chinese bakeries

| February 22nd, 2014
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Chinese bakeries are notorious for their “interesting” pastries. There are hot dogs wrapped in oily buns, breads in different colors meant to evoke all kinds of tastes… In fact, chicken, pork, and other meats are popular flavors of bread.

In Hong Kong today, I ran into “fried chicken biscuits”… …with pork in them. What do fried chicken biscuits taste like?

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, the same can be said about writing about food. Nonetheless, I tried to [...]Read more…

Yushukan vs. Anti-Japanese War Museum: Comparing and contrasting China and Japan’s museums on World War II

| February 20th, 2014
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When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine in December, where 14 Class-A war criminals are enshrined along with over 2 million other Japanese soldiers, China harshly rebuked Abe. China released a statement criticizing Abe for “denying the war-waging history”, and since then, Chinese leaders have refused to meet with Abe.

In December, shortly before Abe visited the shrine, I visited the shrine and the on-site Yushukan museum. In an article for the Shanghai Daily, I concluded the Yushukan [...]Read more…