Thursday, July 31, 2008

New information on Olympic censorship

I'm not surprised by this article in the New York Times today - the Chinese government loves to censor. The Chinese government originally promised all foreign journalists that they would be able to "report freely" while they're in China reporting on the Olympic games.

Here's a quote from the article:
"Since the Olympic Village press center opened Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages — among them those that discuss Tibetan issues, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown on the protests in Tiananmen Square and the Web sites of Amnesty International, the BBC’s Chinese-language news, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse."

Now, to someone living in Shanghai - this is not shocking. The government does not want anyone to see anything that might be harmful to the countries "social stability". I hope the government changes their position on censorship for journalists, but I will be very surprised if that actually happens.

This screw up with internet censorship, the pollution in Beijing and all of the visa problems people are having are unfortunately putting a negative light on the Olympic games. Let's see if the government can pull something out of their you know what and turn things around.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Botox and Bridesmaids

Ok, this has nothing to do with China or myself but it's too interesting not to post.

Since I recently got married I know a bit about all the things brides ask their bridesmaids to go through...botox however is not one that I requested.

Check this article out!

You won't find this in the Chinese news...."hush money for greiving parents"

I'm getting ready to leave to head back to Shanghai, I've been in the USA for the last 2 weeks. I'm trying to get caught up on the news before I head out, luckily SFO has free wifi so I can stay connected literally until I step on the plane.

I just ran across this article on about the earthquake victims in China. I haven't seen too much in the Chinese news about the families of the children who died in schools, but I'm not surprised to see this article running in a western newspaper.

The little bit of information that has been shown in the Chinese news has talked a little bit about the children who died. Many children were in school when the earthquake hit, and many of the schools in the rural areas were not built according to code (for various reasons), or standards for earthquakes, so many of these school totally collapsed killing all of the children inside. I have seen a little bit about the angry parents who learned that the schools were built badly protesting in front of local and regional government offices, but from what I understand the government put a stop to the protests right away. Now it looks like they're trying to pay off the families to get them to stop speaking up about what happened to their children.

Click here to read the New York Times article

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

California woman is working to save Nepalese girls by using Piglets!

Click here for a really moving story about a California based woman named Olga Murray has been working to save young Nepalese girls from lives of domestic slavery by using piglets. Shows how something so simple can change so many lives.

Chinese release 8 "don't ask" rules for the Olympics

I just ran across this article about posters that are springing up all over Beijing. Aimed toward the Chinese population, they are the government's 8 "don't ask" rules when talking to foreigners and disabled athletes. They seem pretty logical, but it makes sense. Many Chinese feel very comfortable asking foreigners about their incomes, love life & marriage and will freely comment on your health, etc. I've had to dodge more than one question about my husbands job, what he makes, etc. Just another cultural difference!

Some samples:

"Don’t ask about income or expenses, don’t ask about age, don’t ask about love life or marriage, don’t ask about health, don’t ask about someone’s home or address, don’t ask about personal experience, don’t ask about religious beliefs or political views, don’t ask what someone does. In addition, some general rules for etiquette with handicapped athletes:
1. You should use polite and standard forms of address for handicapped athletes.
2. Try to keep as light as you can with handicapped overtones.
3. Pay attention to how you congratulate handicapped athletes.

Pay attention to avoiding taboo subjects, quit using bad platitudes, and do not use insulting or discriminatory contemptuous or derogatory terms to address the disabled. Say things such as, “You are amazing,” or “You are really great.” When chatting with the visually impaired, do not say things like “It’s up ahead,” or “It’s over there.” When chatting with athletes who are paraplectic in their upper body, do not say things like “It’s behind you.”

Friday, July 4, 2008

French President Not Welcome in China

Looks like French President Sarkozy isn't welcome in China anytime soon. According to this article on today, Chinese are saying "不是“爱来不来”,而是根本“不欢迎你来”!
~ It's not 'Come if you want,' it's basically 'You're not welcome."

The article goes on to say:

"That's the response of Chinese netizens to French President Sarkozy who said he will decide next week whether to attend the opening of the Beijing Olympics, with his choice depending on how talks go between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's envoys this week.

Sarkozy reiterated Monday that the events in Tibet were "not acceptable," but he also warned against angering a power of China's size.

"We absolutely must not push a population of 1.3 billion people into wounded nationalism," he said.

If Sarkozy does come, he may face a hostile crowd who'll be yelling "Va foutre le camp!" (Get outta here!!) According to an online survey by Chinese website Sina, more than 89 percent of the 173,527 respondents do not want Sarkozy to attend the Olympic opening ceremony. Over 88 percent of the surveyed said they found Sarkozy's remarks about China "extremely unfriendly" and "not fit for a leader of a major developed country", while about 10 percent consider his remarks only political rhetoric.

Either way, his presence or absence will be duly noted domestically and internationally with significant consequences. Whether they will be positive or negative, well, that will be very much up to le Président."

Anti-Terrorist Training in China

Here's a photo of Members of China's armed police demonstrate a rapid deployment during an anti-terrorist drill held in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province July 2, 2008, roughly one month ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Click here to see more photos and read more.