2017: Year of the Rooster

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Ruan Hailin, a craftsman from Jiangsu Province, used paint brush to draw roosters on chicken eggs to welcome the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year, which will falls on January 28 this year. Along with the roosters in different postures, Ruan also inscribed some wishes on the eggs to signify an auspicious year. In Chinese culture, there are 12 zodiac animals to represent a year periodically, and 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.


China Ship Disaster Takes Nearly 400 Lives

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Hundreds more bodies from the Eastern Star were found, bringing the death toll to 396

JIANLI, China—The death toll in the Eastern Star capsizing rose to nearly 400 on Saturday after disaster teams stabilized the river cruiser in an upright position and searched it for more bodies, making it China’s deadliest boat disaster in nearly seven decades.

Authorities have attributed the overturning of the ship in the Yangtze River late Monday to sudden, severe winds, but also have placed the captain and his first engineer under police custody.

Passengers’ relatives have raised questions about whether the ship should have continued its cruise after the storm started in a section of Hubei province and despite a weather warning earlier in the evening.

Heavy rains in the Yangtze area over four days beginning Monday have killed 15 people and left eight others missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Hundreds more bodies from the Eastern Star were found overnight and Saturday, bringing the death toll to 396, Hu Kaihong, the vice director-general of the press bureau of the State Council Information Office, told a news conference. Read the rest of this entry »


China: ‘Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers’

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In China, friends and family of the deceased may have to do without a special form of funeral entertainment: strippers

Primatologisteditor-commen-desk alerted me to this item from WSJ’s Real Time China Report. Hopefully before those Communist Chinese government party-killers crush this unique tradition, we can convince our Hong Kong Bureau Chief to attend one of these events in person? In the meantime, Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin have it covered:

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“The point of inviting strippers, some of whom performed with snakes, was to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral – seen as a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife. ‘It’s to give them face,’ one villager explained. ‘Otherwise no one would come'”.

Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin: According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners.

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Pictures of a funeral in the city of Handan in northern Hebei province last month showed a dancer removing her bra as assembled parents and children watched. They were widely circulated online, prompting much opprobrium. In its Thursday statement, the Ministry of Culture cited “obscene” performances in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, as well as in Handan, and pledged to crack down on such lascivious last rites.

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“This has severely polluted the local cultural life. These troupes only care about money. As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”

— China Central Television

In the Handan incident earlier this year, the ministry said, six performers had arrived to offer an erotic dance at the funeral of an elderly resident. Investigators were dispatched and the performance was found to have violated public security regulations, with the person responsible for the performing troupe in question detained administratively for 15 days and fined 70,000 yuan (about $11,300), the statement said. The government condemned such performances for corrupting the social atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Chinese Construction Worker’s Vanilla Ice ‘Running Man’ Dance Goes Viral

A dancing video showing a migrant worker doing Vanilla ice’s signature “running man” moves in a construction site in east China’s Jiangsu Province hit Chinese social media recently and became a smash hit.

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Explosion at China car parts plant kills at least 69, injures more than 180

August 2, 2014: Medical staff move a severely burnt victim of an explosion at an eastern Chinese automotive parts factory from a hospital in the city of Kunshan, Jiangsu province to a Shanghai hospital which is better equipped to handle severe burns. Dozens of people were killed Saturday by the explosion at the factory that supplies General Motors, state media reported. (AP Photo)

August 2, 2014: Medical staff move a severely burned victim of an explosion at an eastern Chinese automotive parts factory from a hospital in the city of Kunshan, Jiangsu province to a Shanghai hospital . Dozens of people were killed Saturday by the explosion at the factory that supplies General Motors, state media reported. (AP Photo)

BEIJING –  A suspected dust explosion at an automotive parts factory in eastern China that supplies General Motors killed at least 69 people and injured more than 180 others, most with severe burns, state media reported Sunday.

It was China’s most serious industrial disaster since a fire at a poultry plant killed 119 people in June last year, and again highlighted workplace safety that remains a concern.

Saturday morning’s explosion occurred when more than 200 workers were on the site of the factory, which is in an industrial zone in the city of Kunshan, officials from the city said at a news conference. Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southeast of Beijing.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of large plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the plant, and news websites posted photos of the dead or injured lifted onto the back of large trucks, their bodies black, presumably from burns or soot.

Some survivors sat on wooden cargo platforms on the road outside the factory or being carried into ambulances, their clothes apparently burned off and their skin exposed.

The explosion occurred at 7:37 a.m. at a workshop in the factory, which polishes wheel hubs. Rescuers pulled out 44 bodies at the site, while 25 other people died at a hospital, officials said. At least 187 people were injured. Read the rest of this entry »


China: 382 Abducted Babies Rescued in Internet Trafficking Sting

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Over 1,000 people were arrested in connection with the bust of four Internet-based baby trafficking rings

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Chinese authorities announced Friday the rescue over 300 babies in a sting that thwarted four Internet-based baby trafficking rings.

The fake adoption websites were selling babies in a country where a one-child rule has made baby trafficking a thriving enterprise, according to the Public Security Ministry. Read the rest of this entry »


“This is a tragic incident, but this time of year can be very stressful for many people.”

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Man Leaps to His Death in Shopping Mall After Girlfriend Insists on More Shopping

CHINA – a 38-year-old man leaped to his death after an argument with his girlfriend who insisted they continue shopping. CCTV captured Tao Hsiao and his girlfriend in a mall in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, east China where they had reportedly been shopping for five hours or so before he hit his limit.

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Eyewitnesses said Hsiao could be heard telling his girlfriend that they already had more bags than they could carry, but she insisted on hitting one more store where there was a sale on shoes.

An eyewitness said: “He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime, and it was pointless buying any more. She started shouting at him, accusing him of being a skinflint, and of spoiling Christmas. It was a really heated argument.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Mmmm China vending machine sells delicious large hairy crabs

(Photo: Michelle Yun)

(Photo: Michelle Yun)

BEIJING – There’s not a lot you can’t get out of a vending machine. Add large, hairy crabs to that list.

A Chinese entrepreneur on Wednesday opened up a vending machine that dispenses the chilled delicacy like a candy bar. The crabs, prized for their sweetness, always turn up in markets around China’s mid-autumn festival, a popular harvest celebration in east Asia. Read the rest of this entry »