Category Archive 'China'
14 Jun 2021

Tweet of the Day

18 May 2021

980′ Chinese Skyscraper Evacuated Due to Swaying

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NY Post:

A Chinese skyscraper had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon after it began inexplicably swaying on its foundation, prompting scores of bystanders to flee in terror, as seen in a series of viral videos circulating social media.

The shaky incident occurred around 1 p.m. at Shenzhen’s SEG Electronics Building, which is one of China’s tallest structures in the city at a whopping 980 feet tall.

“The people in the building and downstairs fled for their lives!” read the caption to one of the Twitter clips, which depicts petrified shoppers stampeding across a plaza like scene out of a monster movie.

A follow-up clip posted by local media shows the top of the 73-story structure, on which two white conductor poles can be seen wobbling precariously.

The building was sealed off around 2:40 p.m. after all the residents had been evacuated, the Daily Mail reported.

Nonetheless, authorities remain baffled by the cause of the mishap as there “was no earthquake in Shenzhen” that day, according to a statement by emergency services. Meanwhile, weather reports clocked the local wind speed at 27 miles per hour, which is not nearly powerful enough to shake a building.

“The cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments,” the statement read.

This isn’t the first structural catastrophe to occur in China, which has been criticized for erecting buildings in haste amid its rapid urbanization campaign.

RTWT

20 Apr 2021

1300 Hundred Year Old Cookies

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British Museum photo.

Atlas Obscura:

If cookies go a few weeks without getting eaten, they turn weirdly soft or dissolve into fine dust. If cookies go 1,300 years without getting eaten, they get carefully preserved in a case at the British Museum.

In the winter of 1915, the British-Hungarian archeologist Marc Aurel Stein opened a tomb in Xinjiang. Known as the Astana cemetery, these gravesites were where residents of the nearby oasis city of Gaochang buried their dead, roughly between the 3rd and 9th centuries. As the membrane between Central Asia and China, and the path to the Middle East, Xinjiang has been fought over for centuries (a fight that continues today, as China uses an iron fist to control it as an autonomous province). Gaochang, meanwhile, lies in ruins. But the Astana cemetery, with more than a thousand tombs preserved in the dry heat of the Turpan Basin, tells the story of the once-prosperous ancient city.

The Astana cemetery shows how Gaochang was once a prominent stop on the Silk Road, especially for Sogdians, a people from Eastern Iran who often traveled across Eurasia as merchants. Opening the tombs, Stein found heaps of evidence pointing to Gaochang’s role as a place of “trade exchange between West Asia and China.” Though the vast majority of the dead at Astana were Han Chinese, Stein saw corpses with Byzantine coins in their mouths and Persian textiles included as grave goods.

But inside one tomb, Stein found neither of these things. Grave robbers had emptied it of everything, “except [for] a large number of remarkably preserved fancy pastry scattered over the platform meant to accommodate the coffin with the dead,” he recalled later. Stein was taken aback by the beauty of the cookies and their wide variety of shapes—flat wafers with elaborate designs, delicate, lace-like cookies, and “flower-shaped tartlets … with neatly made petal borders, some retaining traces of jam or some similar substance placed in the [center].” In the arid earth of the cemetery, the sweets managed to survive to modern day.

Today, the pastries are owned by the British Museum, as part of what Stein described as his “haul” of artifacts sent back to the United Kingdom. During his expeditions, Stein also helped himself to priceless cultural objects, such as the first-known printed book. Stein’s plundering of the Diamond Sutra caused vociferous protests in China. In 1961, the National Library of China released a statement saying that Stein’s book theft was enough to cause “people to gnash their teeth in bitter hatred.” The cookies, in comparison, are regarded more as curiosities. A 1925 article in The Times of Mumbai, describing an exhibition of Aurel Stein’s finds in New Delhi, noted how “the most remarkable of all the objects are the actual pastries deposited with the dead as food objects,” with the author writing that they closely resembled “the ‘fancies’ of a modern confectioner’s shop window.”

RTWT

22 Dec 2020

Tweet of the Day

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13 Dec 2020

Big Tech’s Morality in Action

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HT: Ed Driscoll.

08 Dec 2020

Trump Tweets Rather Interesting Video

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Daily Mail:

Trump tweets video of Chinese professor claiming that Beijing can swing US policy because it has ‘people at the top of America’s core inner circle of power’ in clip that has been deleted from social media in China

Di Dongsheng, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, appeared on a Chinese television show about Wall Street and international trade last month.

The video was deleted from Chinese social media soon after being uploaded but copies were made which have since been circulating including YouTube.

Professor Di stated how China had ‘people at the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence’ for years.

Di said the relationship was true for decades until President Trump came along.

He also notes how the Obama administration was easy to manipulate.

Di believes the old ties between China and the U.S. will be restored once President Biden is in the White House.

Excerpts of the video were tweeted by President Trump on Monday night after Tucker Carlson shared a clip on his show.

29 Nov 2020

Video of Phone Call Recording to Chinese Manufacturer Requesting a Bulk Order of Fake US 2020 Ballots

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Via Gateway Pundit:

A video was released on Friday in Mandarin Chinese of a phone call request for fake ballots customized by Chinese factory.

The manufacturer is reportedly in Kwangtung, China.

In the video a caller is heard requesting a bulk order of ballots to ship to the United States.

FYI- Our Mandarin speaker confirmed the translation is accurate.

Two readers say at the 0.54 second mark you can see Charlotte County Florida on the ballots.

30 Oct 2020

Big Tech

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08 Aug 2020

Chinese Artist Makes Costumes from Antique Porcelain Shards

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My Modern Met:

Chinese contemporary artist Li Xiaofang uses porcelain to make wearable art that pays homage to China’s past while looking toward the future. Xiaofang takes hundreds of shards of porcelain, some dating back to the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties, and puzzles them together into magnificent porcelain dresses. His wearable art acts as both a coat of armor and a sculptural masterpiece.

Xiaofang sews together the shards using thin metal wire, and each is lined with a leather undergarment. Looking at the artist’s work, it’s impossible not to marvel at the precision and care taken, not only to find the exact shapes to form the curves of the dresses, but also how the pattern and color of the porcelain are used to create new shades and silhouettes. But Xiaofang doesn’t only limit himself to porcelain dresses, he’s also experimented with creating suit jackets, pants, blouses, and even a military hat.

The Beijing-based artist has seen his work exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has engaged in collaborations with fashion giants like Lacoste and Alexander McQueen. A visionary in his field, his work was by the rapid development engulfing Beijing. “These blue shards, bathed in the sunny skies of socialism and caressed by the contemporary cool breezes blowing from the west throughout the capital, assume a bewildering array of postures as fashion items entering the new century,” the artist once stated. “These are the blue-and-white costumes! These emanate the splendor once crushed! These are the illusions flowing with sorrow!”

RTWT

06 Aug 2020

China’s Maritime Silk Road

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Francis Pike, in the Spectator, warns that China is well on the way to adding strategic domination of the Bay of Bengal and the sea lanes to the Middle East to its ruthless appropriation of the South China Sea. Only the superior power of the US Navy stands in China’s way, but China is planning a massive naval expansion, and the US is not.

The forthcoming geopolitical struggle for supremacy between China and India will not be on land. It will be on water and a much larger body of water than Pangong Lake. The Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea will become the defining-battleground.

Xi Jinping’s ‘Maritime Silk Road’ policy is less talked about in the western press than ‘One Belt One Road’. The economic and military strategy is to dominate the sea lanes between China and the Middle East. As in the ancient Chinese board game of territorial control, Go, which inspired the great military theorist, Sun Tzu, Xi’s China is in the process of placing ‘stones’ (Go’s playing pieces) on Asia’s maritime seaboard that will enable it to achieve this dominance.

China’s first offshore naval port in Djibouti, adjacent to the Suez Canal, is already built. Pakistan’s Chinese-financed port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, guarding the approaches to the Strait of Hormuz, is another one of the stones. Closer to home, China, by its placement of airfields and naval facilities on reclaimed reefs in the Spratly Islands, has now gained probably irreversible control of the South China Sea.

From China’s viewpoint this is not enough. A third of global shipping and most of China’s oil imports pass through the Strait of Malacca between Singapore and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. As a Portuguese envoy noted in the 16th century, ‘whoever is lord of Malacca has his hands on the throat’. With the US navy embedded in Singapore’s Changi naval base, China sees the Malacca Strait as the weakest link in its maritime strategy. Thus, the digging of a $30 billion, 80-mile canal across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand is being mooted. The canal would bypass the US-controlled Malacca Strait and give China unimpeded access to the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Reputedly, Chinese companies are already buying up land around the projected route of the canal. Importantly, over the past 20 years, Thailand, once a staunch US ally, has become a quasi-satellite of China.

Further inroads into the Bay of Bengal are being established by Chinese financing of the new port at Chittagong in Bangladesh, a country whose relationship to India, if not hostile, is nevertheless equivocal. It is somewhat overlooked that Bangladesh, a country of 165 million people, is now one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

Myanmar is even more in thrall to China. As the old Burmese saying goes: ‘When China spits, Burma swims.’ Here too China is financing a major port development on the coast of Rakhine state, home of the Rohingyas. In January, during Xi’s state visit to Myanmar, there was a joint announcement that they would push ahead with the construction of a new port in the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone. It is planned to link both this and the port in Chittagong by rail and road to Kunming, the capital of western China’s Yunnan Province. An oil pipeline is also planned. Meanwhile in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal, the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka have been close allies since the 1950s.

Although India is fully alive to China’s ‘string of pearls’ strategy, the West appears to be asleep. …

With 11 aircraft carriers to China’s two, America still commands maritime Asia. However, the balance is changing rapidly. As the US congressional report on Chinese naval modernisation concluded in May, by year end the US will have 297 naval vessels, the same number as 15 years ago; China will have 360, up more than 50 per cent over the same period. A third Chinese aircraft carrier is under construction and the hull of a fourth is expected to be laid down next year.

The direction of travel is clear. The US navy could find itself in China’s wake if current trends continue. ‘There is no doubt that they’ve been investing hugely in this,’ says Nick Childs of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. ‘They’ve been outbuilding everybody.’ Unless the West wakes up to the challenge, it is likely to be outgunned within 15 to 20 years by the People’s Liberation Army navy. The European Union, of course, unwilling even to pay for its own strategic defence, is an embarrassing irrelevance. The risk for India and the West is not armed conflict with China. It is that the struggle for supremacy in Asia will be lost with hardly a shot being fired. Sun Tzu would be proud.

RTWT

13 Jul 2020

Perhaps They Will Be Unable to Shop at Walmart

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BBC

China has announced sanctions on top Republicans after the US imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.

Among those targeted are senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both outspoken critics of China.

The nature of the sanctions is unclear.

China is accused of detaining more than a million Uighurs and others in Xinjiang but China denies abuses in the far-western region.

Ted Cruz is a senator for Texas while Marco Rubio represents Florida. The pair competed with Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

China also imposed sanctions on Republican congressman Chris Smith; Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback; and a government agency, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The foreign ministry said the move was in response to America’s “wrong actions”.

“We urge the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, and stop any words and actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

She gave no details what the sanctions entailed. …

RTWT

06 Jul 2020

Wave Good-bye to Hong Kong

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Elizabeth Flux denies that her essay is a eulogy for Hong Kong, but it is.

[I]n 1997 Hong Kong was handed back to China as agreed. From there the clock started—a 50-year countdown. Hong Kong would be a part of China but remain independent, with its own government and laws and economy. ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

Except that’s not what is happening. What will happen after 2047 has never been clear, but in the interim Hong Kong is supposed to retain control and autonomy. Instead things have gone from a gentle background hum of uncertainty and unease, to a low dread, then to a sudden and accelerated horror that feels difficult to believe.

RTWT

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