14 March, 2006

america doesn’t want the pandas either

Not only is Panda Diplomacy doing little for cross-strait relations, it now seems that there is some Panda Diplomacy backlash on the Sino-American front.:

Dc Zoo PandaZoos in the United States have told China they cannot afford to keep paying $1 million (£580,000) each year for the loan of Giant Pandas. […] Washington National Zoo spokesman John Gibbons told the BBC: "There is a possibility that there may be a day when there may not be Giant Pandas at the zoo.

"We have had informal discussions with the Chinese and told them that we can’t sustain the current expenditure and we are waiting for a response."

The Washington zoo was the birthplace of "panda diplomacy" in the 1970s when the Chinese Government donated two pandas amid efforts to improve Sino-US relations.[BBC]

It’s not so much the panda as all the other items in the contract… like those the bottomless bowls of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed.

D.C. Panda pic from the Flat Stanley Project.

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by @ 8:40 pm. Filed under China, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

the new yuan and other proposals

Peter Dorsman at Peaktalk notes a proposal from the China’s legislative advisory body, the CPPCC, for a change to the nation’s banknotes that AsiaPundit would welcome.:

At the moment I am reading Mao : The Unknown Story which even after all that we’ve learned about communism and its depraved despots still is a revealing read. The question is how many copies have made it into mainland China and to what extent it will influence a rethink of the Chairman. Well, he may no longer find himself on Chinese banknotes:

Delegates to an advisory body to China’s parliament have proposed that Deng Xiaoping, architect of the nation’s economic reforms, and Sun Yat-sen, father of the revolution that toppled the last emperor in 1911, should grace the new bills, state media reported on Monday.

It may be a small gesture, but it is a siginificant move in the ongoing process of China rewriting its own history.

While AP is in agreement that the addition of Deng and Sun to the country’s banknotes would be good news, he doesn’t really see the proposal as one of great significance.

But more on that in a moment.

On Peter’s other question, AsiaPundit offers his assurances that there are absolutely no copies of the Chang-Halliday book in China.

And if there were they would certainly not be brought to the Great Hall of the People to be read by journalists ahead of boring press conferences.:


And the book would definitely not be brought anywhere near the Forbidden City.:


There is simply no way to get a copy of such a book in China.

Back to the currency matter. Unfortunately, the proposal on the new notes isn’t a proposal that is imminently likely to pass. Jeremy at Danwei notes some other CPPCC pitches that were made.:

See also gay marriage, the one child policy and edible toothpicks.

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by @ 8:15 pm. Filed under China, Money, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Books, Censorship

great firewall weirdness

AsiaPundit is noticing much oddness with China’s Great Firewall right now. Google in
Shanghai but remains accessible in Beijing and Xiamen.

Even stranger, unproxied access is currently possible for two strictly forbidden FLG sites (http://www.ninecommentaries.com/ and http://english.epochtimes.com).
Are any other China users experincing either problems with Google sites or finding other weirdness, such as blocks being mysteriosuly lifted or imposed?

(Update: Unabrewer says the two FLG sites and the BBC are available in Haining.)

(Upperdate: GZ Expat says yes to Google but no to the FLG in Guangzhou. And Fons has noted that he had been seeing a change in the way blocks are implemented - with access being denied at the municipal Shanghai level rather than nationally.)

Wnaked14(Uppestdate: AsiaPundit is more puzzled by the accesibility of the FLG sites than the inaccessibility of Google in Shanghai. He can’t think of any reason for the former. The crackdown is still policy.

However perhaps the Google outage is due to an excessively large number of people using the search engine today to find nude Chinese .)

by @ 3:51 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech

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