Posts tagged ‘fall’

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chairman Xi – the Old Normal Cult

“How did one man come to embody China’s destiny?”, asks the BBC‘s China correspondent, Carrie Gracie. Part of the answer lies in the way the BBC designs her article – The Thoughts of Chairman Xi. Opening it, you feel as if you enter that Yan’an “cave” museum yourself. And as this is a global village, the design also resembles CCTV’s doxology.

Editors and designers – click picture above for CCTV webpage

Now, what made Xi Jingping the man who “embody’s China’s destiny”?

I’m forever a son of the yellow earth,

Gracie quotes Xi.

But the real explanation is much more simple. Xi is his father’s son. That’s not just one aspect of the story – it’s the one that really matters. The rest is useful flattery, written by the man’s hand-picked propagandists.



How yellow was my Hometown, Febr 14, 2015
How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Towering, March 18, 2013
Cross-legged on the kang, Jan 13, 2013
How they cried, Dec 24, 2012
Outgoing and incoming dictators, Jan 6, 2012



No heir apparent, BBC News, Oct 25. 2017


Friday, October 14, 2016







Cat waiting in hay
patiently for foolish rat
Tree leaves dropping dead

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This Week in Pictures





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tian’anmen Square, October 1: The Heirs of Communism, as Solemn as Ever

Links within blockquote added during translation.

The party and state leadership held a ceremony at the Monument to the People’s Heroes on Tian’anmen Square at ten local time Tuesday morning, taking flower baskets there. Party secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping and other “party and state leaders braved the rain”, together with representatives “from all walks of life” in Beijing.

Xinhua newsagency mentions Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Yu, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli as attendees. Xinhua:

This is the first time for the new generation of party and state leaders to offer flower baskets to the Monument to the People’s Heroes. At ten in the morning, the ceremony began. Accompanied by a military band, Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders, together with representatives from all walks of life in the capital city sang the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. After that, everyone stood silent, in tribute to the to the heroic martyrs who gave their lives in the liberation of the Chinese people and the cause of the People’s Republic. In the autumn rain, China’s leaders put down the umbrellas they held, standing silently.

这是中国新一届党和国家领导人首次向人民英雄纪念碑敬献花篮。上午10时许,仪式开始。在军乐队 伴奏下,习近平等中国领导人同首都各界代表一起高唱中华人民共和国国歌。随后,全场肃立,向为中华民族独立、中国人民解放和共和国建设事业英勇献身的烈士 默哀。在秋雨中,中国领导人放下手中雨伞,肃立默哀。

After the silence, the Young Pioneers’ song, “We are the heirs of communism” sounded on the scene, sung by all the young people present at the ceremony.


Nine flower baskets, presented by nine party and state organs as well as mass organizations were placed to the Monument to the People’s Heroes side by side, fragrant flowers  in clusters shining in the rain. Three-thousand representatives from all walks of life, including veteran soldiers, women, young boys and girls, families of martyrs, model workers and persons from all ethnic groups attended the ceremony.



This day’s ceremony has been officially held since 2010, one year after another, with the ceremony of presenting flowers to the Monument to the People’s Heroes. The reporter observed that although the ceremony was held in heavy rain this year, it remained unaffected by the rain. The atmosphere was solemn as ever.

The Monument to the People’s Heroes, inaugurated on April 22, 1958, was built for the people’s heroes who sacrificed themselves for the independence of the Chinese nation, the liberation of the people, and the cause of the construction of the People’s Republic.


Reporter: Yu Zhanyi.


Xinwen Lianbo, October 1, 2013

Xinwen Lianbo, October 1, 2013 – click picture for video

Obviously, the weather was different from one year ago (with an effect on the scene), but the way CCTV’s main news broadcast, Xinwen Lianbo, presented the event on Tuesday was also quite different from last year’s, from 2011, and from 2010 (not sure if the 2010 link was the 7-p.m.-broadcast) – the first year when the ceremony was conducted. The bird’s eye view on Tian’anmen Gate (reminiscent of historic film material)  was missing previously, at least in the Xinwen Lianbo coverage, and so was the distinclty Communist “Young Pioneers” song that was featured by Xinwen Lianbo this time. It seems that the party found that it is now time again for some “spiritual nourishment”.

This year’s footage, however, also makes you aware of how empty Tian’anmen Square actually is on the occasion of the flower-presenting ceremonies. If there were 3,000 people in attendance, as mentioned by Xinhua, they appeared almost lost in the huge square.

The BBC, in its regular review of Chinese media, besides hardocre CCP sources, also quotes from (seemingly or truly) more worldly-wise media and articles than Xinhua newsagency or Xinwen Lianbo. However, it is CCTV’s evening news broadcast which reaches most Chinese households on a regular basis.



» Relentless Rejuvenation, Oct 1, 2012
» Revelling in the CCP’s Favor, Oct 1, 2012


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Between Summer and Fall





Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall is Here: Grapes and Cats








Thursday, October 20, 2011

Entering the Cold Season: Newspapers and Early Birds

The Mainstream Press, Stuck in the Middle

Doppelpod took offense from an online article by German daily Die Welt, the headline of which read something like China is reeling into the big financial crash (“China taumelt dem großen Finanz-Crash entgegen”). JR had read about the coming doomsday, too, of course, but given that he has paid attention to the not-so-sexy footnotes to China’s stimulus programs for two years, he was neither inclined to take the article at face value, nor to give them credit for noticing some pretty huge drawbacks which they could have reported much earlier. Nothing is as good or bad as first reported – and what looked much more interesting were some commenters’ reactions to the article.

De la même façon (I’m in a French mood today), MyLaowai takes offense from the press on a regular basis.

Don’t these thrillers look more like penny press than like an established (and meaning to be serious) paper?

Probably. But then, online content isn’t exactly the same as the print edition, and it’s easily forgotten that what comes free of charge (online articles) can’t be as good as what you pay for at the newsstand. And maybe clicks matter more, on the internet, than to provide news with real substance.

Then again, what I’m buying at the newsstand is still not as good as many academic papers found online ( again, free of charge – I usually download and categorize the latter immediately, so as to save them before they might be turned into payware).

Here’s a problem. When I was a child, people were often satisfied with one paper only – usually the local paper, when it comes to Germany. The Weser-Kurier, Bremen, was and is a pretty good regional one, but many other local papers take their national and world politics articles and reports from bigger peers on a regular basis. Nowadays, even a national paper has little to offer that you wouldn’t find on the internet, too. A paper’s role in peoples’ lives has become much more relative than what it used to be – there are tons of alternative sources.

And where is a paper with staff where single members could, to some degree, specialize, or even just devote an entire month to research or investigation?

To make things worse, editorials are usually very predictable once you know the paper and the topic. What the public saw in the run-up to the Iraq war was a mix of lacking research and prejudice. Especially, by the way, when you read Die Welt. Some of their major columnists should have gone into the desert for a year, to fast and to reflect on having been such easy marks for the Bush jr. administration’s stovepiping. (As far as I can remember, they woudldn’t even shut up for a month. Maybe some of them changed the subject, for a while.)

But prejudice may be forgiven. It doesn’t hurt, as long as one paper’s prejudices don’t matter on another paper. (It may have a negative effect on steady subscriptions, however – a matter dear to most papers.)

The bigger problem is that the papers, even the big ones, seem to be stuck in the middle. They are more diverse in topics than academic papers (available on the internet, often for free, or in a library, also for free), but their old role of informing people – even if only vaguely – about global or national events and trends looks outdated.

The paper of the future – if there is a future for it at all – will look different from today’s papers.

The Early Bird

It’s good that I’m usually the first one who enters the kitchen in the morning. One of the young cats (born in May) has become a serial killer of root voles. That’s good. And I know that the hackly little presents are from the heart. But I wish they weren’t placed on the kitchen table every morning.



But earlier this week, I seemed to be meditating for a moment, before cleaning up the mess. There was that proud cat, acting as if it were asleep, and the dead booties next to it. I’m probably something of a Buddhist, but I felt that someone’s pleasure, even if the other one’s pain, might still be genuine pleasure.

Winter is Coming

Slight night frost on October 10th, and once or twice this week. I’m not looking forward to the cold and dark season, but the colors are beautiful.



» Rain at Last, June 19, 2011


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“Golden Week”: as Peoples’ Living Standards rise, let them Die Abroad

The following is a partial translation of an article written by Huanqiu Shibao‘s (or Huanqiu Net) reporter Tan Liya (谭利娅), republished by People’s Daily on Monday, 21:16 GMT. Links within the blockquotes inserted during translation.

Main Link:

As peoples’ living standards rise, more and more Chinese people travel abroad during the “golden week” which starts with October 1. China’s neighboring countries and regions have also gradually ascertained this business opportunity, and before the October-1 golden week, they try all kinds of channels to attract Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists spend big amounts abroad, especially on high-price goods, which makes the local businesses click on their tongues.

According to Beijing media, China Tourism Resarch Institute data forecast that during the October-1 “golden week”, 2.2 million people want to travel abroad, which would add a double-digit percentage to last year’s numbers. It is estimated that on average, each person will spend 950 US dollars, a total of up to 2.1 billion dollars.

South Korea, for its proximity to China, has always been one of the hot travel destinations, and this year is no exception. According to a report by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo on October 2 estimated that during this years golden week, the number of Chinese tourists has already reached more than 7,000. On September 30 alone, 70 passenger planes on 25 routes flew from China into Incheon International Airport. Those waiting for seats and reservations included, the rate of reservations made for flights to South Korea reached 120 per cent during the national holidays. To solve this problem, South Korea will add 24 passenger planes on 12 routes. South Korea’s Tourism Development Board said: “During China’s national holidays, the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea will reach 70,000, that’s an increase of 20 per cent compared with last year. The tourism revenue they will bring will reach 100 billion US dollars.

Chinese tourists also fire up South Korea’s retail trade to an unusual degree. According to Chosun Ilbo, the huge influence of these customers on the retail trade even brings fashion brands back to life. Reports say that on September 30, there were many Chinese women busy buying at the EnC womens’ clothing store, at Hyundai Department Store Center. A few years ago, EnC was still in crisis, because of management problems which were about to lead to a withdrawal from the Hyundai Department Store Center, but when E.Land Fashion (衣恋, 衣恋时装) bought the brand in 2006, for the Chinese market , events turned again [in its favor]. E.Land Fashion opened EnC stores in top-grade Chinese department stores, and sales in South Korea skyrocketed, too. It is reported that this is because many Chinese tourists who travel to South Korea believe that EnC is “South Korea’s top-grade brand”, and buy five or six pieces of clothing a time. Enc’s sales volume reached 48 billion Korean Won last year, an increase by 30 per cent compared with the previous year. This year’s sales target is 90 billion Won, almost twice last year’s.

China’s neighboring countries and regions, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, have ascertained the “October-1 golden week” business opportunities, and pulled all the stops to attract these “trees of money”. According to Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po, the Hong Kong Touriswm Board and Tourism Council have predicted that during the peak period of the golden week, the daily average of hinterland travel delegations will be 400, and that during the seven holidays, some 700,000 entries to Hong Kong will be recorded. In just 7 days, mainland visitors will spend up to 4.2 billion Yuan. According to Taiwan’s “Central News Agency”, the tourism offices of the Taiwan area have required travel agencies to strengthen quality control during the golden week. […]


Australia isn’t far behind in attracting Chinese tourists. According to a report by America’s “Time” magazine on September 26, the fast-rising number of Chinese tourists is paid close attention to in Australia. During the past year, the number of visitors from China surged by 23 per cent, contributing 3.26 billion US dollars to Australia’s economy. Australian tourism authorities announced a “China 2020 strategic plan” in June. During the next eight years, Australia plans to double the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia, to a number of 860,000 entries. Reportedly, different from other countries’ approach, Australia values China’s “super-rich” most highly, and wants to attract those people, who are able to stay in five-star hotels, buy luxury articles including top-grade clothes, and to frequent top-grade restaurants. Australian hotels and business people are also trying all kinds of changes to cater to the likes of Chinese tourists. For example, some hotel chains, as they arrange the hotel rooms’ furniture in accordance with the traditional elements and theory of life’s “Fengshui”, hoping that this will add to the Chinese tourists’ convenience.

[Anecdotal retail stories from Hong Kong, apparently based on Wen Wei Po coverage, and from South Korea.]

No comments to be found on People’s Daily’s commenting section, but there is quite a number of them on Huanqiu’s original article:

Poor devils haven’t seen the world (穷鬼们没有见过世面, 2011-10-04 17:28),

Stupid people, lots of money
(人傻钱多, 2011-10-04 16:44), and

Let them die abroad
(死在外面好了, 2011-10-04 16:32).



» How Tourists spend their Money, Chosun Ilbo, Oct 1, 2011
» Quality Control, CNA, September 29, 2011
» Carrots and Sticks, July 18, 2010
» Chinese Tourists, Taiwanese Traitors, M. Turton, May 30, 2009


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