Gerald of the now defunct Chinese Adventure Blog has passed the torch; welcome to AsiaPundit’s first Carnival of Chinese Blogs.
For starters, ESWN brings us a partial translation on the most commented on post on Chinese BBS ever.:
The following story appeared in Nanfang
Weekend; It follows the story of one particular forum post at the Tianya
Club. The post first appeared in February 22, 2005. Since
then, it was been viewed more than 223,000 times, and almost 4,000 people have
commented on it. It is estimated that it will take a person 7 hours to
read the whole thread. With the national exposure from Nanfang Weekend,
there will probably be another huge traffic surge.
It is about rich
versus poor in China. The extraordinary thing is that the crucial discourse
contained little or no political, economic or sociological jargon. There
was no invocation of Marx-Engels-Stalin-Mao and no Chinese census data. It was
just two principal characters describing their daily lives and commenting on each other.
The precipitating cause for the forum post was a
frequent forum participant named Yi Yeqing. She described herself as
a Shanghai elitist and repeatedly asserted that society is divided into classes
of noble people versus the riffraff. From 2004, she wrote several essays
to express her contempt of peasants, migrant laborers, outsiders, beggars and
others. For example, in the essay "Today, I saw a migrant laborer
Fons looks at Yahoo!’s acquiescence to Chinese authorities request for information that helped secure a 10-year jail sentence for journalist Shi Tao, and notes that it’s a good idea to host websites outside of China.:
Why do I think Yahoo did more than it had to do under Chinese law. Let
go back a few year, when I attended a social event where I bumped into
one of the senior officials of the legal departments Ministry of the
Information Industry, who had just written the murky internet laws that
got introduced just months before our meeting. Since it was a social
meeting, I could not ask the 200 questions I should have asked, but the
few answers I got were interesting enough.
Since the Chinese law
writes about "Chinese" websites, companies, internet I wondered how the
nationality of a website could be established. He looked at me and it
was silent for a long time. "That is a good question," he said after a
very long time. I know that nowadays that is a standard answer on US
media you get after any question, but this developed really into a bit
of an painful silence. "We will look where a website is hosted," he
said after some time. "That would establish de nationality of a
One of the commentors at this legal website says that the servers of
Yahoo’s email service are actually hosted in Beijing. That would indeed
offer Chinese judicial authorities a handle to demand cooperation. And
it would indicate that hosting your servers in China might in this case
be a less-than-smart idea.
At the China Law Prof blog, it’s noted that Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd may have gone beyond the call of duty.:
Assuming that Yahoo HK is, as
it appears to be, a Hong Kong entity, then it is not generally subject
to PRC law. It is, of course, subject to Hong Kong law. But Article
18(1) of the Basic Law,
the PRC statute that serves as Hong Kong’s constitution, states:
"National laws shall not be applied in the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region except for those listed in Annex III to this
Law." Annex III to the Basic Law lists the following laws:
1. Resolution on the Capital, Calendar, National Anthem and National Flag of the People’s Republic of China
2. Resolution on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China
3. Order on the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China Proclaimed by the Central People’s Government
4. Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Territorial Sea
5. Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China
6. Regulations of the People’s Republic of China Concerning Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities
of these would seem to provide any basis for requiring a Hong Kong
company such as Yahoo HK to hand over information to the PRC
Andrea at T-salon has more.
Chinese authorities may soon ban Skype and other Voice-over-Internet-Protocol services, a move that could cost AsiaPundit hundreds of dollars a year (provided he can’t figure out a way to run Skype through proxies), Imagethief looks at the problem from a broader perspective.:
It’s always awe-inspiring to watch a colossal dinosaur
struggling against the inevitable consequences of
intelligent design. That’s why I was interested to read reports from both Reuters and AFX (More from China Herald.)
Let me put this in context for you. It costs about a buck a minute to
call the US by POTS from China. I’ve had phone bills up to about 450
yuan, or about $60, in months where I’ve made just one or two
calls to the US. Now remember, I live in a country with a median urban income of just over $1000 per year,
or about $90 per month. Other than rent for expensive, international
apartments, boutiques and fashionable restaurants and bars aimed at
foreigners, the cost of living here is pretty low (which is why
underpaid Imagethief can save any dough). International phone calls,
however, remain ludicrously expensive by local standards.
ACB notes that the government may have other reasons for the possible attack on VoIP.:
its ability to compete with state owned firms is likely to make Skype
and other VoIP technologies a concern for Beijing, another of their
concern is likely to be that data based voice services are harder to
track and tap than traditional telephone systems.
Where as a
conventional telephone signal uses a standard form of encoding that is
publicly known, uses a single circuit between two fixed points, and can
be tapped directly through the use of a wire tap or indirectly through
monitoring equipment built into telephone exchanges, Skype uses AES -
Advanced Encryption Standard - block cipher encryption, and its
messages are split up and routed over multiple paths and through
multiple servers, making Skype calls more difficult to track calls back
to those making them and exponentially more difficult to eavesdrop on.
China is assemblying its Olympic sharp-shooting team.:
China has assembled a team of 30 sharpshooters - synonym for snipers - to guard the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The official China Daily newspaper reported Friday, that the
marksmen were picked from a group of more than 200 police officers.
They competed for places on the sniper team during a month of trials.
The paper says the sharpshooters could be dispatched to handle
kidnappings, riots or any incidents involving firearms that might
develop at the Beijing games.
Ma Qiang, a senior Beijing police official, says China’s Olympic
security team includes officers with outstanding skills in fields such
as forensics, bomb disposal and negotiations.
It’s amazing what gets counterfeit in China.:
Austin pays a visit to the National Museum in Beijing, where he was moved by the exhibit on the 60th anniversary of the defeat of the Japanese:
It was hard not to be moved by the images I saw today as I cruised
through the National Museum in Beijing. Not having any idea what was
there, I entered and realized that they were having a special exhibit
on contemporary interpretations of the War against “Fascism” or the
Shanghai Chinese blogger Bingfeng notes Premier Wen’s endorsement of democracy and ponders if political development should mimic economic development, with Special
Economic Democratic Zones:
…but the underlying presumption of the idea of SDZ is that democracy
enhances the social and economic development, this is exactly what
practical, result-oriented Chinese people expect from democracy. but
what if it doesn’t come out that way? the true value of democracy is
not to help the society become better but to prevent it from the worst.
will a SDZ show this to the Chinese people in the short run?
and which part of the country should become a SDZ? developed or less developed region? rural or urban? ……..
I recommend Hong Kong, they deserve it; and they’re almost there…
I was asked a really interesting question today:
So, Zhang has basically been in detainment all year? What did he do so different from you?
Because I live in Hong Kong.
Jian Shuo Wang has some concerns about the upcoming Chinese Blogger Convention.:
I don’t know why, but I just have the mixed feeling of this event. I
didn’t got any notification/invitation of this event yet. I am worrying
about this event. I met Isaac and discussed my concerns: it is more
like a conference of only some people, instead of the blogging world.
BSPs like blogbus, bokee, blogcn, anyp.cn
seem not involved yet, and many bloggers like me are not involved yet.
The speakers are great persons but seem to be only in a small circle.
Although many bloggers are encouraged to participate, but there is not
good way to organize the participation. There are many panel
discussions, but I worry how to organize it if there are so many people
- I don’t know what the panel discussion will look like if it is 100
The KungPao Chicken lists the 10 things he’ll miss about China.
Our expat China Daily editor managed to squeeze one past the censors, securing Voice of the People instead of Voice of Youth.:
Free Tibet or
Hu Jintao - How corrupt is he?
I shall return to some serious blogging tomorrow when I get my keyboard
fixed. Now I’m off out to a North Korean restaurant with the other
In the myriad of pro-democracy, anti-Communist events that I have been
fortunate enough to attend, I am usually the only one who brings up the
War on Terror (and I have nearly every time, in large part because I
have written a book
on this subject). Sadly, the consensus inside and outside the
“movement” is that Communist China and the War on Terror are separate
and distinct issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact,
when one examines our enemies in the War on Terror – the Taliban, al
Qaeda, the Ba’athists in Iraq, and for the more expansive among us, the
regimes of Syria, Iran, and Stalinist North Korea – one finds only two
things they all hold in common: hatred for America, and support from
the Chinese Communist Party.
Thomas Barnett posts an article with a different perspective.:
History has already proved that the United States is not China’s
permanent enemy. Nor does China want the United States to see it as a
foe. Deng Xiaoping’s prediction that "things will be all right when
Sino-U.S. relations eventually improve" was a cool judgment based on
China’s long-term interests. To be sure, aspirations cannot replace
reality. The improvement of Chinese-U.S. relations will be slow,
tortuous, limited, and conditional, and could even be reversed in the
case of certain provocations (such as a Taiwanese declaration of
independence). It is precisely for this reason that the thorny problems
in the bilateral relationship must be handled delicately, and a stable
new framework established to prevent troubles from disrupting an
international environment favorable for building prosperous societies.
China’s leadership is set on achieving such prosperity by the middle of
the twenty-first century; with Washington’s cooperation, there is
little to stand in its way.
I won’t argue whether Taiwan is a part of China, but it is a part of the carnival.
Mei Zhong Tai notes that People First Party head James Soong has received a guarantee of peace in our time.:
The heads of the two main Pan Blue parties, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang and James Soong of the People First Party, have agreed to oppose the special arms budget requested by the Ministry of National Defense.
The ministry recently reduced the size of the arms budget by shifting
some weapons to the general military budget in hope of gaining Pan Blue
support. According to the China Post, the weapons were rejected because they are still too expensive, unnecessary and against the people’s wishes.
Most amazing about this whole ordeal is a quote from James Soong explaining the decision:
May, when I went to China, (Chinese President) Hu Jintao clearly said
if Taiwan doesn’t pursue independence, there won’t be any military
threat in the Taiwan Strait.
Mr. Soong is taking the word of
President Hu that Taiwan needn’t fear China and thus doesn’t need to
buy more sophisticated weaponry. This is baffling to say the least.
Meanwhile, reports of KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou’s death have been slightly exaggerated.:
Two months ago, Ma Ying-jeou beat Wang Jin-pyng to become the new
chairman of the KMT. This weekend there’s an interesting contrast of
news articles on the two men involved in that race. On Friday evening, Yahoo! Taiwan released a story on their website that (election winner) Ma Ying-jeou had been assassinated - which came as a bit of a surprise to the man himself:
general manager of the Internet company, who was in the U.S. when the
incident occurred, telephoned Ma to present the company’s deepest
The company promised to strengthen its internal management in order to avoid similar episode from occurring again in the future.
Who needs a pit-bull when you can have one of these loyal beasts.:
"’The Formosan has more capabilities than most breeds: It can be a
guard dog, a companion, a hunting dog and a stunt dog. It is very
intelligent and loyal," Chen said.
Traditionally kept by
Aboriginals as a hunting dog, the breed is athletic and has a jaw like
a vice grip. This tenacity, coupled with the Formosan’s famous loyalty
makes it an excellent guard dog, if a bit on the small side. Their
medium-small frame can pack tonnes of attitude."
For more on Taiwan, check out Michael’s most-recent weekly Taiwan Blog Roundup.
AsiaPundit is looking for hosts for future Carnivals, and always welcomes tips on blogs of interest.For a chance to host the next edition, or to highlight a post that deserves inclusion email me at "AsiaPundit @ gmail . com"
For more on China do check out the main page and the China economic roundup section.
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