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China Dramatizes Similarities Between Xi Jinping and Deng Xiaoping for Anniversary

Xi-Xao

China’s state propaganda machine is seizing Friday’s 110th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping‘s birth to highlight similarities between President Xi Jinping and the paramount leader who set the country on the road to economic prosperity while crushing dissent.
A heavyweight official biography of Deng was published this week, and Chinese television viewers are being regaled with a 48-episodeChinese leader Xi Jinping dramatisation of his life, broadcast nationwide in primetime.

“The contribution by Comrade Deng Xiaoping not only changed the historic destiny of the Chinese people but also changed the course of the world’s history.”

– President Xi Jinping

But the series only covers the eight years up to 1984, avoiding much of the tumult of the Cultural Revolution and, crucially, stopping five years before he ordered the deadly crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

“Xi is essentially trying to get back to the Deng spirit of being reformist on the economy and orthodox on the politics.”

– John Delury, an expert on modern Chinese history at Yonsei University in Seoul

State and Communist Party media have carried lengthy articles on Deng, lauded as the “chief architect of China’s reform and opening-up”, and compared him to Xi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Meet China’s Top Graft Buster Wang Qishan: His Mighty Probe is Probing Thousands

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A broad assault on corruption in China is being led by Wang Qishan, a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee and President Xi Jinping’s right-hand man.

NANCHANG, China—When Wang Qishan, China’s top graft-buster, dispatched a dozen investigators to this south China river town last summer, his message was clear: The investigators should inspire “shock and awe” among local officials, according to an account posted on a government website.

Former party official Su Rong is being investigated for suspicion of violating party rules and state laws. European Pressphoto Agency

Former party official Su Rong is being investigated for suspicion of violating party rules and state laws. European Pressphoto Agency

Anti-Corruption Drive Headed by a Heavy-Handed Communist Party Loyalist

Mr. Wang’s inspectors told local media they had settled in at a government-owned hotel. Within days, hundreds of residents lined up to give evidence about what they viewed as wrongdoing by corrupt local officials. Complaints also flooded in via the Internet, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Penalties in Major Cases
Penalties in Major Cases

“The leadership realizes that if they don’t stop massive corruption, the regime will collapse.”

– Huang Jing, a China specialist at National University of Singapore

Yang Peng, a restaurateur, says he told investigators he was jailed and tortured because of his association with an enemy of an important local mandarin who was accused of rigging the sale of a steel mill in exchange for kickbacks. Read the rest of this entry »


FOOD in the KONG with FONG

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CHINA’S Ticking Clock: Critical Hong Kong Vote Ruling by Beijing Coming Soon

Police removed a democracy activist in Hong Kong in July. An election reform decision is expected Aug. 31. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Police removed a democracy activist in Hong Kong in JulyAgence France-Presse/Getty Images

Pro-Democracy Activists Demand Right to Nominate Candidates for Chief Executive

HONG KONG — WSJ‘s Chester Yung reports: China’s top legislative body in Beijing is expected to announce a decision Aug. 31 on the issue of how Hong Kong’s leader is elected, according to people familiar with the matter.

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[Also see - Pundit Planet welcomes new Deputy Bureau Chief & Asia Photo Editor-At-Large, Hong Kong Fong's Deb Fong]

Beijing has said elections for the city’s leader will begin in 2017, but at issue is whether Beijing will let Hong Kong residents directly nominate candidates for the chief executive post or whether only pre-approved candidates will be allowed to run.

[Also see - 5 Things to Know Ahead of Beijing's Decision on Hong Kong]

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, will convene Aug. 25-31 in Beijing, and will discuss proposed reforms for electing Hong Kong’s top leader.

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A pro-Beijing demonstrator waves a Chinese flag during a march in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against a pro-democracy campaign that has threatened civil disobedience over election reform in the city. Reuters

“Occupy Central, a pro-democratic activist group, has threatened to mobilize 10,000 protesters in mass civil disobedience if Beijing takes a hard line on the city’s election reforms.”

Two people familiar with the matter said a news conference would be held in Beijing on Aug. 31 to announce the results of the meeting. They said another news conference would be held in Hong Kong.

<> on June 1, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

[From our July 1 2014 Edition: Hong Kong’s Occupy Central ‘Referendum’ Explained]HongKongBureau

[Exclusive report - Underneath the “Hong Kong Miracle”]

[More - What the World Owes Hong Kong, and Should Fear if its Democracy is Denied]

[EXCLUSIVE – The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong – punditfromanotherplanet.comHong Kong Fong)

So far, rhetoric from officials in both Beijing and Hong Kong suggests that Beijing will reject outright activists’ demands that the public be allowed to directly nominate candidates for chief executive. Read the rest of this entry »


Foreigner Fell Unconscious in Shanghai…


Historians Denied: China’s Archives Increasingly Off-Limits

The original document of Japanese war criminals in Jinan, Shandong Province.The Shandong Provincial Archives would reveal archives of ten Japanese war criminals since Aug. 15. Zuma Press

The original document of Japanese war criminals in Jinan, Shandong Province.The Shandong Provincial Archives would reveal archives of ten Japanese war criminals since Aug. 15. Zuma Press

“China has long complained about an anti-Beijing bias among Western scholars of the country, and has a clear interest in encouraging narratives its sees as correctives to foreign historians who are critical of the Communist Party.”

For WSJMaura Cunningham writes: At last week’s meeting of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China in Taipei, roughly 200 historians from Asia, the United States and Europe gathered to share their latest research. But during lunch hours and coffee breaks, the china-censoredone question that kept popping up wasn’t about any given paper or project. Instead it was: “How’s your archival access been lately?”

This wasn’t just idle conference chitchat.

“As one commenter at H-PRC noted, the mandate of archives now seems to be “wei dang shou dang; wei guo shou shi” (为党守档,为国守史), or “Defend the archives for the Party; defend history for the nation.”

Over the past few years, historians of China have grown increasingly worried about changes they’ve seen at Chinese archives that threaten to impede understanding of China at a time when such understanding is taking on a growing importance. Many archives in mainland China have been tightening access and imposing new restrictions on scholars, which can make conducting academic research in China a time-consuming and frustrating experience.

“By restricting access, will China get the history it wants? That’s doubtful…”

At the Dissertation Reviews website, which provides information about archival access in countries around the world, students of Chinese history have written in to warn fellow scholars about new regulations that make navigating the archives trickier than before. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] REWIND: Awakening of Hongkong, 1969

Hong Kong, 1969 (1)

From vintage everyday: Heres a collection of amazing color photographs showing everyday life of Hong Kong in 1969, taken by LIFE photographer Co Rentmeester.  Dedicated to Pundit Planet‘s own co-founder and Legal Affairs Correspondent, Primatologist and Hong Kong Fong‘s Deb Fong, our Deputy Bureau Chief & Asia Photo Editor-at-Large, both stationed at our luxurious Hong Kong Headquarters. See the whole series from this 1969 portfolio, it’s a large set, worth exploring the whole thing.

Hong Kong, 1969 (9)

[Also see - The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong]

Hong Kong, 1969 (28)

[More - Livin’ in the Kong! - by Deb Fong - The (Mostly) Great Outdoors of HK]

Read the rest of this entry »


Waking the Green Tiger: Documentary Films from the Front Lines of China’s Environmental Crisis


Hong Kong Pro-Government Activists Rally Against Occupy Protest

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Public discontent in Hong Kong is at its highest for years

AFP reports: Thousands are expected to take part in a major pro-government rally in Hong Kong Sunday to counter a civil disobedience campaign that has pledged to paralyse the city in a push for electoral reform.

Public discontent in Hong Kong is at its highest for years, with concern over perceived interference from Beijing and growing divisions over how its leader should be chosen in 2017 under political reforms.

“We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy, but please, do not threaten us, do not try to turn this place into a place of violence.”

– Alliance co-founder Robert Chow

Pro-democracy campaigners from the Occupy Central group have pledged to mobilise protesters to take over some of the busiest thoroughfares of the financial hub if public nomination of candidates is ruled out by the authorities.

Hong-Kong-journalists-assaulted

FLASHBACK 2012: SCMP’s Benjamin Garvey, who more or less live-tweeted the proceedings, tweeted this photo and message: “Cameraman was hit from behind, other cameramen lept to his defence, grabbed attacker, held him until police came.”

But the movement has been heavily criticised by Beijing and city officials as being illegal, radical and violent.

[Also see - Hong Kong Asks Beijing for Greater Democracy]

Organisers of Sunday’s rally, the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, say the silent majority of the city’s seven million residents do not support the Occupy movement.

[More - Hong Kong protests against Beijing rule]

“We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy, but please, do not threaten us, do not try to turn this place into a place of violence,” alliance co-founder Robert Chow told AFP.

More than 120,000 people have signed up for the rally, which started shortly after 1:30 pm (0530 GMT), but the turnout could reach up to 200,000, the alliance said. Read the rest of this entry »


Livin’ in the Kong! The (Mostly) Great Outdoors of Hong Kong

fong-vertical-asia-at-lrgHaving immersed myself in Hong Kong for about a year now, it seems an apt opportunity to take a moment (or rather, a few posts) to reflect.

Verdant Hong Kong

The most wonderful surprise for me has been the impressive natural elements found throughout HK – providing a beautiful contrast to HK’s more urban and iconic modern developments. Everyone knows HK is packed with glitzy skyscrapers and shopping malls, but even amidst all of that, you stumble across gigantic trees with sprawling roots that snake down city walls.

One of the most dramatic displays of sprawling tree roots - in the heart of Sheung Wan

In the heart of Sheung Wan, the dramatic interplay between the urban and the natural

Parks are full of greenery, the surrounding islands are lush with foliage. Refreshing to view, perhaps all that plant life even helps make up for the occasional smog by pumping some oxygen into this fair city.

The rich green hues of Lamma Island

The rich green hues of Lamma Island

Lush greenery and massive tree roots at Blake Garden in Sheung Wan

Lush greenery and massive tree roots at Blake Garden in Sheung Wan

Embarking on a wonderful hike on the perimeter of Cheung Chau Island

Embarking on a scenic hike on the perimeter of Cheung Chau

One of the things I love most about HK - the blend of east and west, old and new - right in the heart of the city (Blake Garden, Sheung Wan)

One of the things I love most about HK – the blend of east and west, old and new – right in the heart of the city (Blake Garden, Sheung Wan)

Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Remember When Apple Used to Crush Leaks with Ruthless Efficiency?

0814-iphone-gallery-launch-3

Me Neither!

TMZ.com reports:

…We’re told the phone was smuggled out of a Foxconn factory in China … where the majority of iPhone models are manufactured.  The owner of the phone says the smuggler is his friend — an ex-employee —  who worked in Foxconn’s hardware department designing the outer casing for the new model…(read more)

 TMZ.com


赤身裸体在中国!Rebel China Nudists Defy Communist Party Ban on Nakedness

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“Many female tourists felt too awkward to approach the beach.”

Just months after a police crackdown on China’s top nudist destination, naturists ‘flout’ government rules which outlaw skinny dipping and naked sunbathing

For the TelegraphTom Phillips, Shanghai reports: Renegade nudists have defied a Communist Party ban on nakedness by flocking to a tropical beach in southern China without their swimming trunks.

China-nude-beach

Dozens of naked bathers bared all on Dadonghai beach, a 1.4-mile stretch of sand known as China’s premier nudist destination, over the recent holiday weekend.

“The illicit display of buttocks brought a swift government response.”

Tourists at Dadonghai beach in Sanya, Hainan province, in November  Photo: Rex

Tourists at Dadonghai beach in Sanya, Hainan province, in November  Photo: Rex

“Photographs published on Chinese websites showed large groups of naked men smoking cigarettes and reclining on towels on the beach.”

Men “in various states of undress” had been spotted on the seafront, according to a report in the Shanghai Daily newspaper – “some naked, some with their underpants half stripped down”.

communistchinesehotsex

“Normal people wouldn’t do such things.”

– Luo Baoming, Sanya’s Communist Party chief

Police banned nudists from Dadonghai beach in Sanya in February following complaints from residents of Hainan, an island in the South China Sea that tourist chiefs promote as “China’s Hawaii”. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Couple Held in Bali after American Woman’s Body Found in Suitcase

bali-suitcase

The body of Sheila von Weise Mack, 62, was found in a hard-sided piece of gray luggage at the St. Regis Bali Resort

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN.com) — Roger Clark and Jethro Mullen report: An American woman and her boyfriend have been taken into custody in connection with the killing of the woman’s mother, whose body was left inside a suitcase at a luxury hotel in Bali, Indonesia, police said.

body-of-62-year-old-american-woman-found-inside-suitcase-in-bali-daughter-and-daughters-boyfriend-arrested

“Police said the couple told them that they had been taken captive at the resort Tuesday by an armed gang, whose members killed Sheila von Weise Mack, but they escaped.”

The body of Sheila von Weise Mack, 62, was found with head wounds, stuffed in a hard-sided piece of gray luggage at the prestigious St. Regis Bali Resort on Tuesday, said Djoko Hari Utomo, the police chief of Denpasar, the capital of Bali. Police are waiting on forensic information to determine the time and cause of death.

Couple-arrested-after-US-womans-body-found-in-suitcase-in-Bali

“When the taxi driver and a manager opened the trunk, they saw blood on the luggage and drove the car to a police station. Police opened the suitcase and found the woman’s body inside.”

Her daughter, Heather Mack, and the daughter’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were later found by police sleeping in a hotel room in Kuta, according to Utomo. Kuta is a town about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the St. Regis.

Police have not named Mack and Schaefer as suspects, Utomo said. According to Indonesian law, police can keep the couple in custody for up to 24 hours before they are named as suspects. If named, they can be held up to 20 days. Read the rest of this entry »


What the World Owes Hong Kong, and Should Fear if its Democracy is Denied

Originally posted on Quartz:

This month could bring major protests in Hong Kong, as Beijing is expected to announce proposed rules for the semi-autonomous territory’s 2017 election for a new chief executive. Students and other pro-democracy activists have promised widespread demonstrations in Hong Kong’s central financial district if, as expected, Beijing tries to limit the slate of candidates who can participate to a pre-screened group approved by the Communist Party leadership.

Former chief secretary Anson Chan, the highest-ranking civil servant in Hong Kong under British rule before the onetime colony was handed over to Beijing, is one of several public figures that have been lobbying Beijing and the international community to reach some sort of compromise. She spoke to Quartz about what’s at stake.

Quartz: How does the political climate in Hong Kong right now compare to previous times of transition?

Anson Chan: I’ve never seen Hong Kong so divided. We see a steady chipping away of our freedoms. The main concern…

View original 1,436 more words


The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong, Part 2

Greetings from Hong Kong Fong! Continuing in my new role of China Deputy Bureau Chief and Hong Kong Photo Editor for Pundit From Another Planet, and following my inaugural PFAP post, The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong, Part 1, I now share with you Part 2.

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Reflecting on Hong Kong and Chinese New Year celebrations

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Quiet deliberation before the boisterous Chinese New Year parade

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Winged dancers perform for thousands at the Chinese New Year parade

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An unguarded moment amidst adoring fans, after a traditional Chinese opera performance at the temporary West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre

The ICC skyscraper (replete with its own CNY-specific light facade) punctuates the skyline near the West Kowloon Bamboo Promenade

The ICC skyscraper (replete with its own CNY-specific light facade), punctuating the skyline near the West Kowloon Bamboo Promenade

The Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, during which children appear to 'float' through the narrow streets of Cheng Chau island

The Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, during which children appear to ‘float’ through the narrow streets of Cheung Chau Island

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Burning incense at Pak Tai Temple on Cheung Chau Island

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Massive incense sticks perfuming the air outside Pak Tai Temple

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Mother-and-daughter tableau at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival

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The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong, Part 1

Elder woman paying tribute at Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, HK

Paying tribute at Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan

Dear PFAP readers – my name is Deb Fong (aka Hong Kong Fong), and I am honored to take on the new role of China Deputy Bureau Chief and Hong Kong Photo Editor for Pundit From Another Planet. Thanks to PFAP for such a kind and generous invitation!

An ‘ABC’ (American-born Chinese), I moved from New York City to Hong Kong with my husband, Mark, about one year ago. In just the past year alone, I’ve experienced what feels like a lifetime of events, a string of colorful moments. Along the way, I have begun to observe the visual feast that is Hong Kong, capture it in my own way – and now I relish the opportunity to share it with you.

Dried octupi in Sai Ying Pun

Dried octopi in Sai Ying Pun

Frolicking inside the walk-in fountain at Hong Kong Park

Frolicking inside the walk-in fountain at Hong Kong Park

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The LED light and recycled water bottle ‘Rising Moon’ installation at Victoria Park, commemorating the Mid-Autumn Lunar Festival

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Fierce dragon boat competitors race toward the finish line on Victoria Harbour

Fierce dragon boat competitors race toward the finish line on Victoria Harbour

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My favorite sprawling trees, along Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan

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A view from the top of HK’s iconic Victoria Peak

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Creatures watching creatures at Ocean Park’s aquarium, on Halloween Day (yes, it’s celebrated in Hong Kong, too)

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In China, writers are raking in millions publishing online-only novels


Vintage Chinese Coca Cola Ad

Asian-coke-ad-vintage

Delicious!

Retrogasm


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