Archive | March, 2014

Xi’s reign at one year, China 105 years ago, and Taiwan’s Chinese music industry

12 Mar

Xi Jinping has been in power for one year and his reign is already noteworthy for the ongoing crackdown on corruption and official extravagance, as well as projecting a more people-friendly image. However not everything is all bright and sunshine since crackdown on public criticism has also continued and media and political freedoms have not been increased.

Take a look at China from over 100 years ago in 1909 in these photos of people, cities and scenery.

Taiwan is on top of the Chinese music scene, but can it maintain its success?

Nuclear winter, and dark side of US

3 Mar

Beijing has had some frightful air pollution in the last few weeks, including just yesterday (Monday) and this article has some frightful news, with scientists claiming that agriculture might become seriously threatened due to the smog hampering the amount of light that gets through to plants and impedes photosynthesis.

American director Oliver Stone came out with a book and TV series about the “dark side of US history” in 2012, but he did an interview with Global Times promoting the Chinese translation of the book. He has some very forceful and blunt views, I’d even say radical, about the US, which surprised me given that he is such a famous,  mainstream personality. Stone’s very critical of US foreign policy, as well as Japan, and is a clear supporter of China and Chinese people. All in all, it’s a very interesting interview.

Affordable housing as a solution?

2 Mar

There was a very major tragedy that occurred in Yunnan’s Kunming last night, where 29 were killed and over 120 wounded by attackers using knives in a train station. This seems like a case of a planned terror attack on civilians, and it might lead to worrying developments. The case is linked to problems in Xinjiang, where ethnic tensions have led to attacks on police stations and other incidents.

For now, here’s another kind of problem common in China too- overheating housing prices and the worries about a property bubble and growing inequlity. Building more affordable housing is one of the central government’s main steps in dealing with rising prices, but as the reporter shows in Nanjing by visiting a new affordable housing project far from the city center, it’s not necessarily the most effective remedy, and might even exacerbate inequality.