"Chinese citizens can file petitions about their grievance with so-called letters and visits offices of various levels of government organs and courts, a mechanism set up in the 1950s. Under the current system, the number of petitions filed during an official's tenure is used as a yardstick for performance evaluation, prompting local governments to use every means possible to stop petitioners and shuffle them home. It has become an open secret that local governments hire "black guards" in the capital to stop petitioners from filing a grievance, thus reducing the number of petitions that are recorded." -- A day in the life of a Beijing "black guard"
posted by MartinWisse
on Apr 3, 2013 -
James Fallows, in a series of interesting blog posts
, questions the typical English pronunciation of China's capital city arguing that "the "jing" in Beijing is pronounced basically like the "jing" in Jingle Bells. It's essentially the normal English j- sound. What it's not like is the Frenchified zh- sound you hear in "azure" or "leisure," or at the end of "sabotage.""
One reader suggests, "My working theory about "Beijing/bay-zhing" is that at some deep, unconscious level, English speakers secretly believe that all foreign languages are French and should be pronounced as such in the absence of instructions to the contrary."
Another reader argues, "Major cities and countries have historically had different names in different languages, and these names serve a good purpose by being easy to pronounce and identify in the languages where they are used. There is really no more reason to say "Beijing" in English than "München" or "Moskva."" [more inside]
posted by beisny
on Aug 13, 2012 -
A Beijing graphics design house makes with the stylish and creepy in a Neil Gaiman adaptation of his tongue-in-cheek mini-story, "Nicholas Was."
posted by Kitteh
on Dec 23, 2010 -
Beijing's underground: "Five years ago, none of my students at Tsinghua or Beida had any interest in what we would call countercultural stuff," says Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Beida's -- that is, Peking University's -- Guanghua School of Management who owns D-22 and the Maybe Mars label. Today Mr. Pettis estimates that a quarter of his students have been to rock clubs and maybe 5% to 10% "are really knowledgeable and sophisticated."
posted by kliuless
on Jul 26, 2009 -
We are in the midst of a Ferris wheel craze. In 2009.
"This year, Germany will unveil the Great Berlin Wheel
. Upon its completion, the wheel will be 606 feet high — as high as two football fields are long, as high as three Niagara Falls. It will be taller than what’s currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer
, a soon-to-be-disappointing 541 feet high. This year, China also plans to unveil the Beijing Great Wheel
. At an awesome 682 feet high, it will be taller than both the Great Berlin Wheel and the Singapore Flyer (which only debuted as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel last year) ... China has, in fact, built wheels in six cities since the start of the new millennium."
posted by geoff.
on Feb 12, 2009 -
Some of the female Chinese
gymnasts are apparently under-age. It wasn't their skulls, their chins or their eyes that gave them away: it was the internet
posted by chuckdarwin
on Aug 20, 2008 -
As Beijing prepares for the Olympics next year it is trying to clean up some of the shadier sides of the city. Apparently, one way of doing this is going to the popular bar street, Sanlitun
, and arresting and beating
all the men who appear to be of African decent, even if one happens to be the son of a diplomat
posted by afu
on Oct 4, 2007 -
In her autobiography, "Living History," Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recounts how China's imprisonment of a prominent human rights activist, Harry Wu, caused a sensation in the United States and nearly derailed her plans to attend a United Nations women's conference held in Beijing in 1995.
In the officially licensed Chinese edition of Mrs. Clinton's book, though, Mr. Wu makes just a cameo appearance. While named, he is otherwise identified only as a person who was "prosecuted for espionage and detained awaiting trial."
But nearly everything Mrs. Clinton had to say about China, including descriptions of her own visits here, former President Bill Clinton's meetings with Chinese leaders and her criticisms of Communist Party social controls and human rights policies, has been shortened or selectively excerpted to remove commentary deemed offensive by Beijing.
My question: is anybody other than Hillary really suprised by this
posted by RevGreg
on Sep 24, 2003 -
"Architecture is the only art that moulds the world directly ... Nobody in the 20th century grasped this more firmly than Speer's patron and employer, Adolf Hitler."
Albert Speer was the man
Hitler picked to mould his future empire, starting with its capital, Berlin
, that would have been rechristened Germania
In an ironic twist of fate, Albert Speer's son
, also named Albert Speer and also an architect, is currently in the running to radically rebuilt Beijing
posted by costas
on Feb 6, 2003 -
'XIAMEN: A senior Beijing researcher on Taiwan affairs yesterday called for immediate measures to resist an ongoing bid by the island to promote its cultural independence..
posted by Kino
on Jun 26, 2001 -
Don't look behind that wall
, Mr. Olympic inspector. In advance of the ongoing assesment by 17 Olympic inspectors, thousands of unwanted people have been tossed into a detention center in China, without trial. For a month, 500 to 600 people a day have been tossed in. Human Rights in China interviewed former inmates of the detention centre, and they reported
"There were no bathing facilities, food was poured from buckets and fought over by mice, and beatings with leather belts were common."
Is this what China does to "put on its game face"?
posted by will
on Feb 24, 2001 -