1071 posts tagged with China.
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Oasis lost.

The lost city of Ordos The Kangbashi district, planned to accommodate a population in excess of one million, is home to a lonely 20,000 people – leaving 98% of this 355-square kilometre site either under construction or abandoned altogether.
posted by bitmage on May 24, 2015 - 38 comments

What would comedy be without the potential for ... humiliating defeat?

Can China take a joke? The NYT Magazine examines the growing standup comedy scene in China, and its complicated relationship with traditional Chinese "cross-talk" performances, and modern Chinese society. [previously on metafilter]
posted by firechicago on May 24, 2015 - 2 comments

Funeral stripping in China, Taiwan: rural tradition vs urban modernity

[Note: *starred* links contain images of scantily clad women, making them possibly NSFW] If you've caught some of the *shorter "Crazy China" articles* circulating around recently, you've heard that the Chinese government is trying to crack down on stripping at funerals in rural communities. While you generally won't find stripping mentioned in descriptions of Chinese funeral traditions, other sources like *CNN* and *NPR* try to add context to this news. NPR notes that this **also occurs in Taiwan (Nat. Geo. video)**, but the article doesn't delve further. Luckily, we have the *research from University of South Carolina anthropologist Marc L. Moskowitz* to elaborate, capturing the more varied and complex reality of Taiwanese Electric Flower Cars and *the culture of dancing for the dead.* There's also a great Q&A recorded at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which addresses questions of class division, safety of the women, gender equality, and other related topics. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 14, 2015 - 18 comments

photos: The Chinese Art of the Crowd

"After viewing news photographs from China for years, one of my favorite visual themes is large crowd formations. Whether the subject is military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are frequently remarkable. The masses of people can look beautiful or intimidating, projecting a sense of strength and abundance. Individuals can become pixels in a huge painting, or points on a grid, or echoes of each other in identical uniforms or costumes."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on May 8, 2015 - 38 comments

Lards of the Flies

In China, Pigs Are Flying. Almost. [New York Times]
"With summer almost here, swine across China are jumping or being shoved off platforms and splashing into pools and ponds, where they bob around before paddling to shore."

posted by Fizz on May 8, 2015 - 8 comments

China announces it is scoring its citizens using big data

China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2015 - 77 comments

The Met's China Exhibit: Cultural Celebration or Appropriation?

The Met's soon-to-open exhibit, titled "China: Through the Looking Glass," tackles the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how Chinese culture has inspired fashionable imagination for hundreds of years. Juxtaposing high fashion with Chinese art, film, clothing, and artifacts, the exhibit looks to explore why Western culture is as enraptured with the East as it is. [more inside]
posted by ourt on May 4, 2015 - 42 comments

What do people in China buy online?

BBC: "Huang's new project is based on a similar idea - this time, he asked people to display everything they've ever bought online. The results are a testament to the overwhelming popularity of online shopping, particularly China's most popular internet shopping platform, Taobao." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 29, 2015 - 8 comments

John Denver, America's unofficial musical diplomat

As John Denver's US prominence waned into the 1980s, opposite the rise of new wave and harder rock, he kept touring internationally for some notable firsts. In 1979, Denver was one of the performers to welcome Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping to the US, and six years later, Denver was the first western artist to tour in the USSR, where he performed alongside Kermit the Frog. In 1992, he had another first for a western peformer, when Denver toured mainland China, to find that many of his audiences already knew his songs. Two years later, he was the first US act in Vietnam since the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 18, 2015 - 44 comments

Anthropology, already read

Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 18, 2015 - 4 comments

“But Tibetan mastiffs are so 2013.”

Once-Prized Tibetan Mastiffs Are Discarded as Fad Ends in China [New York Times]
“Then there is the Tibetan mastiff, a lumbering shepherding dog native to the Himalayan highlands that was once the must-have accouterment for status-conscious Chinese. Four years ago, a reddish-brown purebred named Big Splash sold for $1.6 million, according to news reports, though cynics said the price was probably exaggerated for marketing purposes. No reasonable buyer, self-anointed experts said at the time, would pay more than $250,000 for a premium specimen.”

posted by Fizz on Apr 17, 2015 - 34 comments

Geopolitics of Finance

Tired of waiting for IMF and World Bank recognition of its financial muscle, China stepped aside to lead the creation of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) inviting the rest of BRIC to join as cofounders. Unexpectedly, there's been a bit of a global stampede to get in an application as founding member. Here's a helpful infographic. And here are some widely divergent points of view pontificating on the geopolitics of finance.
posted by infini on Apr 4, 2015 - 18 comments

China vs GitHub

China's network infrastructure has been attacking open source hosting site GitHub for three days and counting. A primary source of the DDoS traffic was discovered by Insight Labs; Javascript injected into pages at Baidu. Baidu, one of the largest Chinese web properties, denies being involved. Chinese government officials have recently expressed a desire for new ways to censor the Internet. Experts speculate that the Javascript was injected by the Chinese network infrastructure, perhaps in retaliation for GitHub hosting the firewall circumvention projects GreatFire and cn-nytimes. GitHub has said little about the nature of the attack; its status pages document the ongoing, largely successful efforts to defend their business.
posted by Nelson on Mar 29, 2015 - 52 comments

Connecting the Dots

With all the upheaval in the skies and on the ground, here is one person's opinion on why the U.S. is fighting beside Iran in Iraq and against it in Yemen. Putin tells Iran that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Yemen. All the while...negotiators from six world powers (the P5+1) are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. As Iran nuclear talks 'enter endgame' in Switzerland...China and Russia say they will show up tomorrow. Keeping things cloaked in intrigue: the US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran and Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls, blurs the picture further.
posted by Emor on Mar 28, 2015 - 58 comments

Meeting Bro Orange.

How Matt Stopera became a minor Chinese celebrity. A romance for the spring festival. Single link buzzfeed, but worth it.
posted by idiopath on Mar 19, 2015 - 19 comments

Life as a ghost

The Ghost Children of China Forty-five years ago, China inaugurated an era of population control, amid fears that too many people would bring catastrophe. In 1980, it officially announced a national one-child policy, forcibly limiting the size of families. But there have been, inevitably, second (and, rarely, third and fourth) children: children who go unrecognized by the government, have no official identity – who are left to live outside the institutions of regulated society. Little Jie is one of them. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 16, 2015 - 12 comments

Saving species is essentially a forever-type problem.

If other horses are the equivalent of feral dogs, then the Przewalski’s horse is a wolf. In its native Mongolia, where it goes by the name takhi, it is known as the father of horses. Mongolians regard the takhi as spiritual, holy animals, and for millennia they largely left them alone... The trouble all began in the late 19th century, when the Western world finally took note of the takhi. Nikolai Przewalski, a Polish-born explorer serving as a colonel in the Russian army, “discovered” the horses during an 1878 expedition to the Mongolian-Chinese frontier. Naturally, Przewalski named the horse after himself, and when he returned to the West, word quickly spread among zoos, adventurers, and curio collectors about the mysterious wild horses.

posted by ChuraChura on Mar 13, 2015 - 5 comments

Come again?

“I don’t think the Dalai Lama would mind if you saw this through the prism of Monty Python,” said Robert Barnett, director of the modern Tibetan studies program at Columbia University. Zhu Weiqun, a Communist Party official who has long dealt with Tibetan issues, told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that the Dalai Lama had, essentially, no say over whether he was reincarnated. That was ultimately for the Chinese government to decide, he said, according to a transcript (in Chinese) of his comments on the website of People’s Daily, the party’s main newspaper.
posted by jasper411 on Mar 11, 2015 - 20 comments

American academics read too much Hegel

I Have No Idea What’s Going to Happen in China and Neither Do You
posted by Nevin on Mar 10, 2015 - 42 comments

"In Chinese, mei-mei means sister."

Best friends forever: Separated in China, 2 girls reunite in U.S.
Mae and Mai spent the first years of their lives in the same orphanage in southern China, before they were adopted by families on opposite coasts of the United States. They were inseparable in China. As close as sisters. They ate together and played together, and even after they were moved to separate foster families in the same town, they went to school together and often shared meals at one girl’s home. Adoption may have saved their lives, but they both lost someone they loved.

This week, four years after the best friends were split up, the girls reunited in Oakland, where they’re receiving treatment for the same genetic blood disease at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

posted by Lexica on Mar 2, 2015 - 6 comments

"Internet power! The web is where glorious dreams are; Internet power!"

China has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group. Called Cyberspace Spirit, the tune features a large mixed choir and four solo singers who regale an audience while informing them that they are also keeping a close eye on everything they view and type. "Keeping faithful watch under this sky, the Sun and the Moon," they sing. "Creating, embracing everyday clarity and brightness; Like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts." The chorus exclaims: "Internet power! The web is where glorious dreams are; Internet power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for."
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2015 - 50 comments

"We are a marketing team with very limited hardware experience."

The Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch has an extremely impressive feature set: Voice and gesture controls. Full integration with iOS, Android, and WP8. Shockproof, waterproof, accelerometer and activity tracker built in. Not a hard product to sell; In fact, it's a marketing person's dream. But after an extremely successful Indiegogo ($100,000 goal, $1.5 million raised) it was time to build the things, and they had no clue how to do it. [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies on Feb 9, 2015 - 107 comments

Everyday Life in Mao's China

A doctoral candidate in Chinese History at the University of Chicago collects and posts photos of everyday life in China during the Mao era. "I try to cover as many different aspects of life during this time period as possible. Where I can, I note the time and location."
posted by gemmy on Feb 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Muniuliuma 2.0

Chinese retiree builds robotic horse. Inspired by an invention of Three Kingdoms-era chancellor Zhuge Liang, Chinese inventor Su Daocheng spent two months building a petrol-powered rideable robotic horse.
posted by homunculus on Feb 1, 2015 - 18 comments

Chinese Christianity

Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - "Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China's Christian population the largest in the world. Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 1, 2015 - 47 comments

"disorder ... is cheap to create, but very costly to prevent"

The Galula Doctrine: An Interview with Galula's Biographer A.A. Cohen, who wrote Galula: The Life And Writings of the French Officer Who Defined Counterinsurgency, and an excerpt. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 30, 2015 - 7 comments

Live-Action Dwarf Fortress

The Rat Tribe of Beijing. A photo-essay about diverse folks who live in former bomb shelters turned into private apartments underneath the streets of Beijing. By Al-Jazeera America.
posted by Pfardentrott on Jan 27, 2015 - 13 comments

The Nicaragua Canal

Land of opportunity – and fear – along route of Nicaragua’s giant new canal "In an era of breathtaking, earth-changing engineering projects, this has been billed as the biggest of them all. Three times as long and almost twice as deep as its rival in Panama, Nicaragua’s channel will require the removal of more than 4.5bn cubic metres of earth – enough to bury the entire island of Manhattan up to the 21st floor of the Empire State Building. It will also swamp the economy, society and environment of one of Latin America’s poorest and most sparsely populated countries. Senior officials compare the scale of change to that brought by the arrival of the first colonisers."
posted by dhruva on Jan 20, 2015 - 64 comments

Our deep integration is because of confidence, but our disagreements are

China seeks to export its vision of the Internet. The Internet should be “free and open, with rules to follow and always following the rule of law,” Lu Wei said, in somewhat contradictory fashion, at the November conference. Asked whether he would consider allowing Facebook in, he was more direct: “I can choose who will be a guest in my home.” He wants others to assert the same power. [more inside]
posted by Nevin on Jan 2, 2015 - 34 comments

Technocracy

Maotanchang caters mostly to such students and prides itself on eliminating the distractions of modern life. Cellphones and laptops are forbidden; the dormitories, where roughly half the students live, were designed without electrical outlets. Romance is banned.

Inside the Chinese cram school, “there’s nothing to do but study.”
posted by four panels on Jan 2, 2015 - 66 comments

Chasing Paper

An investigation for Scientific American by MeFi's own cgs06 uncovers evidence of widespread fraud in scientific publishing's peer review system. Alarming signs point to the Chinese government as a source of institutional support and funding for questionable papers and fake peer reviewers. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 19, 2014 - 26 comments

Inside Beijing's Airpocalypse

"If all the other schools have a dome, then we’ve got to have a dome." Inside Beijing's airpocalypse, a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 17, 2014 - 61 comments

Of Chinese Censorship, Punning and Braising

"China’s Web Doorkeeper", Lu Wei, may be the most powerful man on the Internet (NYT), and he has "ratcheted up restrictions in what is already the world’s most sophisticated system of online censorship." He addressed the 7th China-US Internet Industry Forum yesterday and everybody was listening (SCMP). But there is one big question: Will he joining the country’s print and broadcast watchdog's new campaign to “crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language," specifically puns and wordplay (Grauniad)? If so, he may have issues with Google searches that match up his name with a new category of take-away food in Taiwan called "lu-wei" (“lu” means braised and “wei,” flavors) (Inquirer).
posted by oneswellfoop on Dec 3, 2014 - 19 comments

Asian Art - Sale Record

A large, Yongle-Ming period Buddhist embroidery sold at auction this week for $45 million - the highest price ever paid for a piece of Asian art. The 11ft x 7ft (335cm x 213cm) silk & gold thread thangka from the early 15th century depicts "Raktayamari, a meditational deity in Mahayana Buddhism, in an embrace with his consort, Vajravetali." ~~~ Full screen hi-res zoom frame /// Short overview video /// NYTimes /// Note the 'Lot Notes' and 'Features' tabs in the main Christie's link (where there are overview/context essays too).
posted by peacay on Nov 29, 2014 - 21 comments

Open your eyes and smile

This wasn’t a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a “fashion show” and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. “We’re on our way to another ‘Miss’ thing,” a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn’t done it twice before.
Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China
posted by divabat on Nov 24, 2014 - 3 comments

And though you hate this song You'll be humming it for weeks

If Chick Chick is Rong I don't wanna be right. By Chinese pop legend Wang Rong Rollin.You gotta admit it's a step up from doing patriotic songs about China's claims to the Daioyu Islands like she did last year. (Send all blame for this here.)
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 19, 2014 - 20 comments

How Fake Fossils Pervert Paleontology

A nebulous trade in forged and illegal fossils is an ever-growing headache for paleontologists. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 18, 2014 - 7 comments

"By the assembly line I stood straight like iron, hands like flight"

The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014) is an article about a 24-year old Chinese assembly line worker and poet who committed suicide last month. He worked for the electronics manufacturer which makes products for a range of companies, including Sony, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Nintendo. The post includes Chinese originals and English translations of Xu Lizhi's poems. His death and poetry have garnered much attention, such as these blogposts from The Wall Street Journal and The London Review of Books.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 12, 2014 - 19 comments

The first step is admitting that you have a problem.

The US and China just reached a major climate deal on cutting emissions. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Nov 11, 2014 - 46 comments

Dare you enter the gates of Chinese Hell?

The Chinese hell scrolls presented here treat the afterlife as a spectacle, as a display intended for public consumption. Ostensibly based on popular tales such as Tang Emperor Taizong's visit to hell in the first half of the seventh century C.E., they attract their viewers through their dark and yet cartoonish torture scenes, appealing to the same morbid curiosity fed by gothic novels, horror movies and Halloween ghosts in the West. Yet their main function was not entertainment but didactic, propagating a basic message of retribution. Every act of goodness will be rewarded; every act of evil will be justly answered.
-- From the introduction to the online collection of Chinese hell scrolls developed by Ken Brashiek at Reed College.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 11, 2014 - 17 comments

The Myth of China's Super Schools

The Myth of China's Super Schools China had all the elements necessary for an industrial revolution at least four hundred years before Great Britain, but keju diverted scholars, geniuses, and thinkers away from the study or exploration of modern science. The examination system, Zhao holds, was designed to reward obedience, conformity, compliance, respect for order, and homogeneous thinking; for this reason, it purposefully supported Confucian orthodoxy and imperial order. It was an efficient means of authoritarian social control. Everyone wanted to succeed on the highly competitive exams, but few did. Success on the keju enforced orthodoxy, not innovation or dissent. As Zhao writes, emperors came and went, but China had “no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Industrial Revolution.” [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 2, 2014 - 62 comments

American mothers around the world

Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Oct 10, 2014 - 50 comments

The Future of China's Confucius Institutes

As Western universities drag their feet, the future of China’s soft power push might be in the developing world. Confucius Institutes have been under close scrutiny recently, as many academics argue the Chinese government-funded institutes wind up restricting academic freedom at their host universities. In July, the American Association of University Professors published a report blasting the Confucius Institute model as a partnership “that sacrificed the integrity of the [host] university and its academic staff.” The AAUP recommended shutting down U.S. Confucius Institutes unless they could meet certain standards of academic freedom and transparency.
posted by Nevin on Sep 30, 2014 - 12 comments

Massive Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong

"Hong Kong police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of pro-democracy protesters near the government complex, after a week of escalating tensions." Hong Kong: Tear gas and clashes at democracy protest. Hong Kong's unprecedented protests and police crackdown, explained. South China Morning Post Topics: Occupy Central [Paywall after a few free articles]. Occupy Central with Love and Peace is on Twitter, and there is a live thread on Reddit.
posted by milquetoast on Sep 28, 2014 - 68 comments

Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

Bargeloads of art and exhibit materials have been going out to the former prison island of Alcatraz recently, all for an imprisonment- and human rights- and freedom of expression-themed exhibit by Chinese activist dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who designed and directed the installation while remaining under detention in Beijing. The barged materials include over a million Lego blocks, assembled in San Francisco.
posted by muffuletta on Sep 24, 2014 - 6 comments

Who is really listening?

An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program, the police, criminals, Chinese spammers and spies all around Washington DC and the world to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in all sizes and flavors, from tiny or body-worn professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions, to Chinese DIY (links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread, with far-reaching constitutional and technical implications.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 comments

Measure of the Sierra Madre

China's Island Factory
New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state. But a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way.
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 9, 2014 - 5 comments

Why can't our education system be more like theirs?

In China, there are now more than 200 Waldorf elementary schools, filled with the children whose parents are looking for a more child-centered alternative to the test-driven state education system. Why can't Chinese schools be more like American schools? Meanwhile, in America, Stephen Pinker argues that Harvard and other elite universities are wasting their resources on athletes and musicians, and should select students by standardized test scores, the way Chinese colleges do. Why can't American schools be more like Chinese schools?
posted by escabeche on Sep 7, 2014 - 56 comments

Paying a parking ticket in China's Far West

I’m not here to gripe about a ticket that I admittedly earned. What I couldn’t believe was just how difficult it was to pay the fine. [more inside]
posted by Nevin on Sep 6, 2014 - 17 comments

Rise like a phoenix

During the late 1970s, the Warsaw Pact states had the Intervision Song Contest, an ideologically-sound Communist alternative to Eurovision, held in the Polish seaside resort of Sopot and attended by mostly Soviet-aligned and non-aligned states. The contest as such last ran in 1980; 1981's was cancelled due to the rise of Solidarność and the protests in nearby Gdańsk and it never returned as an international spectacle. But now, Russia is reviving the Intervision contest, after a 34-year gap. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 3, 2014 - 31 comments

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