The Beijing government has started a new round of demolitions and renovations of the hutong homes in the Dongcheng District. We spoke to neighbors and found out that most residents will move back into their homes, which are being renovated at the government's expense, to make them safer and replace coal heating systems with electric. The downside is that these low-income residents, who rent from the government, were only given two weeks notice and had to find their own alternative housing and move at their own expense. Some say this is part of a Chinese stimulus plan and neighbors complain that the government is cutting corners to get the job done quickly. The government promises that it will take no longer than four months, and more like two months, to finish the project. Considering that most of the homes are being demolished with sledgehammers powered by migrant labor, they are coming down mighty fast.
admin @ 18:45 | .(646) |
CCTV 6 did broadcast the 81st Oscar Awards Ceremony, all except for the night's climax--the acceptance speech of Milk screen writer Dustin Lance Black and part of Sean Penn's acceptance speech for his leading role in the same film.
Viewers in Hong Kong also reported that Star TV (owned by Rupert Murdoch) aired the speeches in their entirety but muted the volume whenever any of those commie Hollywood types uttered the words "gay" or "lesbian."
Here and here are some links on Chinese blogs about the homophobic Oscar coverage.
CCTV 6 did the same thing when Brokeback Mountain won Oscars. See here.
But as hard as the CCTV nanny works to protect innocent Beijingers from
all of this homo talk, same sex love seems to be catching on. It was a
Gay Valentine's Day this year in Beijing. Here are the pictures to
For more on this go to the Wall Street Journal blog by clicking here.
Sufei and Mia @ 17:58 | .(3069) |
The recent takeover of Pakistan's Swat Valley by the Taliban is bringing the Islamist unrest in Afghanistan and Pakistan closer to the Chinese border, and seems certain to impact Chinese-Pakistani trade.
According to the website valleyswat.net, "The valley is an integral part of the strategic and significant region where three parts of the Asian continent?outh Asia, Central Asia and China, meet." The famed Karakoram Highway, linking China's westernmost city of Kashgar with the Pakistani capital Islamabad, runs through, or at least very close to, the Swat region. It will be interesting to see how trade between the two countries is impacted on what is the only land connection between them. In addition, China and Pakistan agreed in 2006 to widen the highway, but with unrest growing in the region, these plans may be impacted as well.
Already the important tourism industry in the Swat Valley has been decimated, and certainly neighboring portions of the Karakoram will see significant drops in tourism. It does appear from Lonely Planet bulletin boards that adventurous tourists are still braving the Karakoram. Personally, I cancelled a trip to that region in 2007 after several bombings in Islamabad.
There is an interesting New York Times web documentary about the Swat Valley. However, it is very difficult to find reporting on how this spreading conflict is impacting Pakistan's connection with China, if at all, so anyone who has anything to add on this, please leave something in the comments section.
Luke @ 15:59 | .(462) |
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