Shunde City, Guangdong Province: Ever Wondered What Being in Space Feels Like?


Ever wondered what being in space feels like? Well, in the wake of October’s launch of China’s Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, a theme park in Shunde City, Guangdong Province has given visitors the chance to experience the sensation of weightlessness. Tourists put on spacesuits before riding a capsule attached to cables. Read the rest of this entry »

Homeless Woman Lay Dead in Hong Kong McDonald’s for Hours 

The woman was thought to have regularly spent nights in the McDonald’s. Photograph: Anat Givon/AP

Woman aged between 50 and 60 entered the restaurant 24 hours earlier, but police were not called for several hours.

A homeless woman lay dead at a Hong Kong McDonald’s restaurant for hours surrounded by diners before authorities were called.

“The subject was certified dead at the scene.”

The woman, aged between 50 and 60, was found dead on Saturday morning and has been held up as an example of the growing number of homeless people who seek shelter in 24-hour restaurants.

“We endeavour to support street sleepers to enhance their self-reliance…the subject is a complex social problem.”

“Officers arrived upon a report from a female customer [that a person was found to have fainted],” said police in a statement.

“The subject was certified dead at the scene.”

Local media said the woman was slumped at a table, 24 hours after she first entered the restaurant in the working class district of Ping Shek.

She had not moved for seven hours before fellow diners noticed something was wrong, according to Apple Daily, citing CCTV footage.

The woman was thought to have regularly spent nights in the McDonald’s, said the South China Morning Post. Read the rest of this entry »

China’s Troubling Robot Revolution


China is now shifting its appetite to robots, a transition that will have significant consequences for China’s economy — and the world’s

Martin Ford writes: Over the last decade, China has become, in the eyes of much of the world, a job-eating monster, consuming entire industries with its seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers. But the reality is that China is now shifting its appetite to robots, a transition that will have significant consequences for China’s economy — and the world’s.

In 2014, Chinese factories accounted for about a quarter of the global ranks of industrial robots — a 54 percent increase over 2013. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it will have more installed manufacturing robots than any other country by 2017.


Midea, a leading manufacturer of home appliances in the heavily industrialized province of Guangdong, plans to replace 6,000 workers in its residential air-conditioning division, about a fifth of the work force, with automation by the end of the year. Foxconn, which makes consumer electronics for Apple and other companies, plans to automate about 70 percent of factory work within three years, and already has a fully robotic factory in Chengdu.

[Check out Martin Ford’s book “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” at]

Chinese factory jobs may thus be poised to evaporate at an even faster pace than has been the case in the United States and other developed countries. That may make it significantly more difficult for China to address one of its paramount economic challenges: the need to rebalance its economy so that domestic consumption plays a far more significant role than is currently the case.

China’s economic growth has been driven not just by manufacturing exports, but also by fixed investment in things like housing, factories and infrastructure — in fact, in recent years investment has made up nearly half of its gross domestic product. Meanwhile, domestic consumer spending represents only about a third of the economic pie, or roughly half the level in the United States.

This is clearly unsustainable. After all, there eventually has to be a return on all those investments. Factories have to produce goods that are profitably sold. Homes have to be occupied, and rent has to be paid. Generating those returns will require Chinese households to step up and play a larger role: They will have to spend far more, not just on the goods produced in China’s factories, but increasingly in the service sector.

[Read the full text here, at]

Making that happen will be an extraordinary challenge. Indeed, the Chinese leadership has been talking about it for years, but virtually no progress has been made. One problem is that even in the wake of recent wage increases, average Chinese households simply have too little income relative to the size of the economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis: Hong Kong is Less Competitive, Thanks to the Heavy Hand of China

 and  write: For the first time in a decade, Hong Kong no longer tops the list of competitive cities in China, and its due to the stifling hand of the Chinese regime, commentators note.

 “On the surface, Hong Kong’s economy is in the hands of the mainlanders.”

— Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu

According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ recently released Blue Book on Urban Competitiveness—a survey of 294 China cities, Taiwan included—Hong Kong now ranks number two, falling behind its neighbor just across the border in mainland China, the metropolis Shenzhen.


“If this situation continues and Hong Kong loses its judicial advantages, its financial and information center position would inevitably disappear. Hong Kong, the well-known Pearl of the Orient, would be gone.”

Epoch Times Hong Kong branch president Ms. Guo Jun

The survey report claims Shenzhen topped Hong Kong, a bustling international financial hub and former British colony, because the mainland city better backed innovation—in 2014, Shenzhen government spent 4.05 percent of its gross domestic production supporting its innovation and technology sector compared to Hong Kong’s 0.73 percent.


The report also said Hong Kong’s standing was affected by last year’s student-led Occupy protests. From the end of September to mid December, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers held three areas of the city to protest a restrictive Beijing diktat on political reform in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ ranking is suspect, writes Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu in her regular column for the Chinese-language Epoch Times. But Meng says Hong Kong has been slipping as a competitive place to do business since 1997—the year the Chinese regime assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong from the British.

Economically, Hongkongers have been overtaken by mainlanders, Meng says, citing the increased Chinese shares in Hong Kong’s real estate, finances, power, construction and stock market. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Chinese Police Discover 51 Migrants Packed Into Six-Seater Van 在移民面包车

If you thought your commute to work was bad, spare a thought for these Chinese construction workers.

The migrants were on their way to a building site in Guiyang, Guizhou province, on Sunday when a police officer spotted their slow-moving vehicle swaying in the traffic.

Standing room only: 49 people found packed into the back of a minibus along with the driver and one lucky seated passenger

Upon closer inspection, he was astonished to find dozens of people crammed into the back of the six-seater minibus. Read the rest of this entry »

Beijing is Restricting How Often Residents of Neighboring Shenzhen Can Enter Hong Kong


China Reduces Mainlander Visits to Hong Kong

Isabella Steger writes: Can a tweak to a visa arrangement for mainland Chinese tourists coming to Hong Kong help ease tensions between the two places?

“The change was prompted by a marked increase in public anger in recent months against parallel traders. Protests have broken out in areas of Hong Kong near the border with the mainland, such as Tuen Mun, Sheung Shui and Yuen Long.”

On Monday, Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying confirmed a long-anticipated move by Beijing to address the influx of mainland visitors to Hong Kong in recent years. The move is aimed specifically at those who come from neighboring Shenzhen to Hong Kong to engage in so-called parallel trading, the practice of buying goods ranging from toiletries to food in Hong Kong to resell at a higher price on the mainland.

“Residents of these towns complain that parallel traders drive up the prices of goods and rents, pushing out small businesses serving locals.” 

According to the new arrangement, Shenzhen residents applying for an individual visitor visa to Hong Kong will only be allowed to enter the city once a week, rather than multiple times. The change is effective Monday. Residents of these towns complain that parallel traders drive up the prices of goods and rents, pushing out small businesses serving locals.

“Since 2009, Shenzhen permanent residents have been allowed to apply for one-year, multiple entry visas to Hong Kong…”

The change was prompted by a marked increase in public anger in recent months against parallel traders. Protests have broken out in areas of Hong Kong near the border with the mainland, such as Tuen Mun, Sheung Shui and Yuen Long. Read the rest of this entry »

Hammer Cocked: Satellite Photos Reveal China Military Buildup on Island Near Senkakus


 reports: Recent satellite photos of an island off the coast of China confirm Beijing’s buildup of military forces within attack range of Japan’s Senkaku islands.

“If you want to rate the level of tension, this is the PLA reaching for its holster. When forces start deploying to Nanji Island, that means the hammer is cocked.”

— Rick Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center

Construction of a helicopter base on Nanji Island was observed by a commercial spy satellite in October. The island is off the coast of Zhejiang province—some 186 miles northwest of the Senkakus, a group of resource-rich islets China calls the Diaoyu Islands.

The imagery, obtained from the Airbus Defense and Space-owned Pleaides satellite, reveals China is constructing an airfield with 10 landing pads for helicopters on Nanji Island.

The Pléiades system was designed under the French-Italian ORFEO program (Optical & Radar Federated Earth Observation) between 2001 and 2003

The Pléiades system was designed under the French-Italian ORFEO program (Optical & Radar Federated Earth Observation) between 2001 and 2003

Military analysts said the new military base appears to be preparation by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for an attack or seizure of the Senkakus.

“China’s new heli-base on Nanji Island demonstrates that the PLA is preparing for an offensive military operation against the Senkaku/Daiyoutai Islands,” said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“If you want to rate the level of tension, this is the PLA reaching for its holster. When forces start deploying to Nanji Island, that means the hammer is cocked.”

© CNES (2014), Distribution Airbus DS / Spot Image / IHS

© CNES (2014), Distribution Airbus DS / Spot Image / IHS

The military buildup on Nanji was first disclosed by Japan’s Kyodo News Service last month. Kyodo, quoting Chinese sources, said a landing strip was being built.

However, the satellite photos, reported last week by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, a trade publication, did not indicate construction of an airstrip, only helicopter landing pads. The helicopter pads are an indication that China plans to use the base for transporting troops and forces by helicopter and not for longer-range air transports or fighter jets.

China has been engaged in a tense confrontation with Japan over the Senkakus since 2012, when Tokyo, in a bid to clarify the status of the uninhabited islands, purchased three of the islands from private owners in a bid to prevent Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara from buying them.

Since then, Chinese ships and warplanes, as well as unmanned surveillance drones, have been flying close to the islands, prompting numerous Japanese maritime and aerial intercepts.

Jane’s reported the helicopter base construction is new. The construction is not visible in photos taken earlier than October 2013.

Google Earth screenshot

Google Earth screenshot

Wind turbines also are visible additions to the island that are located on a ridge on the southeast part of the island. Radar and communications equipment also is visible.

China’s Defense Ministry did not dispute the military buildup on Nanji. Read the rest of this entry »

魔鬼 WEARS PRADA: Even with Slowed Growth China Mints 40,000 New Millionaires


China created 40,000 new millionaires in 2013, bringing the total to 1.09 million, according to a new study

CNBC reports: The growth of 3.8 percent is a bit of an improvement from last year’s 3 percent gain. But it’s still only about half the growth rate of 2010 and 2011, suggesting that China’s economic slowdown and the government’s crackdown on corruption is slowing its millionaire manufacturing machine.

“Beijing and Guangdong have the most millionaires, with 192,000 and 180,000 respectively, followed by Shanghai with 159,000.”caviar

[punditfromanotherplanet celebrates the sublime, guilt-free enjoyment of breathtakingly expensive luxury goods]

According to the Hurun Research Institute, the number of people in China with personal wealth of 10 million yuanor $1.6 millionin mainland China reached 1,090,000, up from 1,050,000 in 2012.

The number of people in China worth 100 million yuan, or $16 million, increased by 2,500 people to 67,000.

justcaviar[We also celebrate the scandalous pleasure of obscenely affordable luxury items]

The slower millionaire growth comes as sales of high-end luxury goods in China—everything from watches and wine to handbags and Lamborghinis—have also cooled. But Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, said this year’s millionaire growth was still solid.

“Although we have been seeing a slowdown in spending, the money is still very much there,” he said in the report. Read the rest of this entry »

Journalists Detained in China

With the detentions of employees of a business news website, China is increasing oversight of journalists; above, a Beijing newsstand. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

With the detentions of employees of a business news website, China is increasing oversight of journalists; above, a Beijing newsstand.  Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

BEIJING— Brian Spegele reports: Police detained at least two editors and other employees at a major Chinese business news website and placed them under investigation for suspected extortion, state media reported, as the government steps up its scrutiny of journalists.

“Authorities have issued a series of orders in recent months to enforce greater control over media by demanding reporters heed the government line.”

[Also see – Journalists Ordered to Learn ‘Marxist News Values’, Uphold Principles of Communist Party]

State broadcaster China Central Television said two editors from the 21st Century Business Herald website were among eight people placed into custody Wednesday. At least two public-relations companies were also facing scrutiny as part of the investigation, CCTV said.

[More – CCTV broadcasts fresh bribery claims against baby formula firm Dumex]

Police in Shanghai, who are leading the investigation, didn’t answer telephone calls seeking comment.

The news website, in a statement posted to its microblog account, said it would “actively cooperate with public security organs in their investigation work.” Guangdong Twenty-First Century Media Co., a major Chinese publisher of business newspapers and magazines and controller of the site, declined to comment. Read the rest of this entry »

UPDATE: Dog Bitten by Albino Cobra, Highly Venomous Snake Still on the Loose

Report: Cobra on the Loose in Thousand Oaks


From Wikipedia:

Monocled cobras are terrestrial and most active at dusk and in the evening. In rice-growing areas, they hide in rodent burrows in the dykes between fields and have become semi-aquatic in this type of habitat. Juveniles feed mostly on amphibians, and adults prey on small mammals, snakes and fish. When disturbed they take flight, but they have rarely been observed to spit venom. 

However, when threatened, they will raise the anterior portions of their bodies, spread their hood, usually hiss loudly, and strike in an attempt to bite and defend themselves.

They are often found in tree holes and areas where rodents are plentiful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Occupational Hazard: Chinese Chef Dies after being Bitten by the Severed Head of a Cobra

More bad food news from ChinaRocketNews24 reports:

Snakes are a delicacy in many parts of the world and among them the Indochinese spitting cobra is held in high regard for both is scarcity and the alleged health benefits it holds to those who consume it… (read more)

All 403 words of snake cuisine horror…

Coming Attractions: Pundit Planet Welcomes New Hong Kong Photo Editor Deb Fong


Pundit Planet is proud to welcome a new addition to our Hong Kong BureauDeb Fong.

My name is Deb Fong. I am American by birth, Chinese by heritage (my grandparents were born and raised in Guangdong, China, before heading to America), and now a Hong Kong-based expat recently relocated from NYC.

Funny where life takes you – I never expected to actually live here, although I have always treasured trips throughout Asia more than anywhere else in the world….


I plan to immerse myself in everything – the amalgam of cuisine, culture, the incredible natural surroundings, the promise of new friends with their own unique stories.

Hong Kong is also an incredible base for the rest of Asia, and I cannot wait to explore the continent in greater depth than ever before…(read more)

hong kong fong


China Father Beats Daughter to Death for Copying Classmate’s Homework


An 11-year-old girl in China was beaten to death by her father for copying a classmate’s homework, state-run media said on Wednesday.

The man “ordered the girl to kneel down, tied her hands and beat her”, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The father took her to hospital after she stopped breathing but she died the next day, Xinhua said.

Doctors at the hospital in Hangzhou found bruises and injuries on the girl’s neck and back and signs she had been choked for as long as five minutes, the Xiandai Jinbao said.

The incident is the latest in a series of child abuse incidents in China that have drawn widespread outrage. Read the rest of this entry »

China and the U.S. are Racing to Turn Poor, Naive Millennials into Spies


Someone’s always watching. Reuters/David Gray

The FBI video describes Chinese intelligence officers plying the young American with cash and luxury liquor, and appealing to his fascination with China.

For QuartzLily Kuo writes: Chinese state media are accusing an “unnamed foreign country” of recruiting spies at Chinese universities and through popular blogs and social media. This week, a series of news reports claim that unsuspecting Chinese, some of them as young as16 years old, are being lured into working for foreign intelligence agents.

 “…an unnamed foreign country recruited at least 40 people in 20 provinces to give military secrets to an agent whose online alias was Feige or ‘Flying Brother.'”

The reports seem to be a response to a short documentary posted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations last month, telling the story of a 28-year-old Michigan native, Glenn Duffie Shriver who says he was was recruited to spy for the Chinese while living in Shanghai, and was eventually caught by US authorities. The FBI video describes Chinese intelligence officers plying the young American with cash and luxury liquor, and appealing to his fascination with China. Read the rest of this entry »

China Central Television Investigation Sparks Sex Trade Crackdown: 6,525 Police Officers Bust Up Flourishing Prostitution Services


Just hours after a national broadcast program accused police of doing nothing about the rampant sex trade in Dongguan, 67 suspects had been detained and 12 entertainment venues shut down in the city in southern Guangdong Province.

The highly visible trade in sex, according to CCTV, included beauty contests where prostitutes wearing revealing dresses and number tags paraded along a catwalk in front of prospective clients. Sometimes presenters promoted girls like products on shopping channels

Zhongtang Town public security bureau chief He Cheng has been suspended.

A total of 6,525 police officers took part in a crackdown that began at 3pm yesterday and was due to continue until early this morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can China Stop Organ Trafficking?

China News

Guo Bin, a six-year-old boy from Shanxi province, in northern China, thought the sky had gone permanently dark when he woke up, one day this summer, bloody-faced and crying near his parents’ home. “We originally thought he had fallen down and smashed his face,” Guo’s father, a farmer, told a local television station. “We didn’t notice that his eyes were gone when we first discovered him.” But then he saw that there were only pits where his son’s eyeballs should have been. The boy told his mother that the last words spoken to him by the still-unidentified woman who kidnapped and drugged him were “Don’t cry, and I won’t gouge your eyes out.”

[MORE: See China Daily Mail’s initial coverage of the Guo Bin kidnapping]

Immediately after news of the savage assault broke, an apprehensive public leapt to the conclusion that the perpetrators were driven by an…

View original post 1,817 more words

Jailed Dissident Yang Maodong Finally Allowed Access to Lawyer



Buckley reports from China for The New York Times that writer and activist Yang Maodong has finally been allowed access to a lawyer, three months after his detention and two after his formal arrest.

Yang Maodong, a writer and businessman better known by his pen name, Guo Feixiong, was detained by the police in Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, in early August on allegations of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” He is one of several well-known rights advocates held on similar accusations after participating in grass-roots campaigns pressing the Communist Party for stronger legal and political rights. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Businessman Accused of Being Mob Boss in China

(BEIJING) —  reports: When more than 500 policemen swooped in to arrest 40 suspected gangsters in southern China last year, the alleged kingpin was a Los Angeles businessman who had hoisted an U.S. flag amid a crowd to welcome Xi Jinping, now China’s president, to California.

Location of Guangzhou in the province

Location of Guangzhou in the province

Vincent Wu’s children and lawyers say he’s an upstanding, philanthropic Chinese-American entrepreneur who has been framed by business foes who want to seize his assets, including a nine-story shopping mall. But police in the southern city of Guangzhou say he was a ruthless mob boss who led gangsters with nicknames such as “Old Crab” and “Ferocious Mouth.”

Wu is expected to stand trial within weeks in Guangzhou on charges of heading a crime gang that kidnapped rivals, threw acid at a judge, set fire to farmers’ sheds, operated illegal gambling dens and committed other offenses. Wu has told his lawyers that police interrogators tortured him into confessing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Powerful typhoon kills 20 in southern China, swipes Hong Kong

People watch waves hit the shores as Typhoon Usagi approaches in Shantou

People watch waves hit the shores as Typhoon Usagi approaches in Shantou Credit: Reuters/Stringer

HONG KONG  (Reuters) – A powerful typhoon hit Hong Kong and the southern China coast on Monday, killing at least 20 people on the mainland, crippling power lines and causing flooding and gale force winds.

Typhoon Usagi, the strongest storm to hit the Western Pacific this year, began pounding the Asian financial center late on Sunday. More than 370 flights were canceled.

The No. 8 signal warning remained in force early on Monday, with financial markets closed for at least part of the morning. The weather observatory said the storm had weakened from “super” typhoon status and that it would consider lowering the warning signal before 10 a.m. (0200 GMT)

China’s National Meteorological Centre issued its highest alert, with more than 80,000 people moved to safety in Fujian province and authorities deploying at least 50,000 disaster-relief workers, state Xinhua news agency reported. Read the rest of this entry »

Typhoon Usagi menaces Hong Kong, China’s southern coast

(CNN) — Typhoon Usagi had Hong Kong and China’s Pearl River Delta in its predicted path Sunday.

At 9 a.m. Sunday (9 p.m. Saturday ET), Usagi was about 242 miles east of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Observatory said. It was expected to move west-northwest at about 11 miles per hour.

The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said the storm had sustained winds of 115 mph. That was a drop from the 162 mph recorded on Friday, but Chinese authorities were bracing for major effects from landfall expected Sunday or Monday to the east of densely populated Hong Kong. Read the rest of this entry »

Hong Kong in a Tizzy Over Newfangled Nuclear Reactors

HKNukeTe-Ping Chen writes: A set of nuclear reactors being built just 60 miles away from Hong Kong is unnerving residents, tapping into deep-seated fears about what a nuclear accident might do to the city.

The plant is currently being constructed in Taishan, a coastal region due east of Hong Kong in southern China’s Guangdong province, and will rely a French technology that has never been used in a fully operating plant before. Accordingly, green groups in Hong Kong say they are worried that its construction will put Pearl River Delta residents at serious risk, should it ever malfunction. Read the rest of this entry »

Angry Father Bites Off 6-Year-Old Son’s Penis In Shenzhen, China

WARNING: The following story includes disturbing content

Mental illness suspected. The good news: Penis later medically reattached 


Doctors in Shenzhen, China have reattached a 6-year-old boy’s penis after his father bit it off, the Shanghai Daily reports. Read the rest of this entry »

Guns Against Tyranny

Tiananmen Square, April, 1989.

Tiananmen Square, April, 1989.

Lily Tang Williams writes: I was born in Chengdu, China. When I was growing up, the Communist Party controlled everything. There were no choices of any sort. We were all poor except the elite. The local government rationed everything from pork to rice, sugar, and flour because there were not enough supplies. We were allowed only a kilogram of pork per month for our family of five. We lived in two rooms, without heat in the winter. I got impetigo during the cold, humid winters. There were eight families living around our courtyard, and we all had to share one bathroom (a hole in the ground) for males, one for females. We had only government-run medical clinics, where the conditions were filthy and services were horrible. I was afraid of going there because I might get some other infectious diseases. Read the rest of this entry »