Posts Tagged China
China ‘dog-lion': Henan zoo mastiff poses as Africa cat
An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud – when the creature started barking in front of visitors.
Chinese media reports said the zoo had replaced its genuine lion with a Tibetan mastiff dog.
A zoo official in Henan province said the dog – owned by one of the workers – was put in the cage when the real lion was sent away to a breeding centre.
Outraged visitors to the zoo in Louhe city said they had been cheated.
According to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily, the fraud came to light when a mother visited the zoo, in a park in the city of Louhe, to show her son the sounds different animals made.
But when they got to the cage marked “African lion” – which had a sign describing the range and characteristics of the animal – they were shocked to hear the creature bark.
It was then that zoo keepers revealed the so-called lion was actually a Tibetan mastiff, an animal that can have a furry brown coat, making it look a little like a lion.
Gen Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army lying through his teeth!
“China has never taken foreign expansion and military conquering as a state policy,” the news agency AFP reported him as saying.
So Tibet and Xinjiang were Sunday picnics!!!!
Not to mention the absurd claims China is making in the maritime arena encroaching on the maritime demarcations of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
All backed up by the military.
Take a look at the map of Chinese links in the region, then think how long it will be before China starts making similar claims to parts of Africa that they have invested in; they’re not doing this investing to be nice.
Watch this space…
Dutch government to probe export of milk formula to China
The Dutch government is investigating a shortage of certain brands of baby formula, as well as potentially illegal exports of the products to China.
However, the Dutch Economic Affairs ministry said there was no national shortage in the country.
Tainted milk scandals in China have created distrust of local brands, with families willing to pay a premium for foreign brands.
Hong Kong, Australia and the UK have set limits on the sale of baby formula.
Let the Chinese have it!
Put Western babies back on the breast where they belong!
Google boss Schmidt labels China an ‘IT menace’
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt uses a new book to call China an Internet menace that backs cyber-crime for economic and political gain, reports say.
The New Digital Age – due for release in April – reportedly brands China “the world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information”.
China is “the most sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign companies, according to a review obtained by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
China denies allegations of hacking.
Beijing has been accused by several governments, foreign companies and organisations of carrying out extensive cyber espionage for many years, seeking to gather information and to control China’s image.
The New Digital Age analyses how China is dangerously exploiting an Internet that now permeates politics, business, culture and other aspects of life, the WSJ says.
It quotes the book as saying: “The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States at a distinct disadvantage.”
This, it says, is because Washington “will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play”.
The book argues that Western governments could do more to follow China’s lead and develop stronger relationships between the state and technology companies.
States will benefit if they use software and technology made by trusted companies, it suggests.
“Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well,” the WSJ quoted the authors as writing.
The WSJ this week said its computer systems had been hacked by specialists in China who were trying to monitor its China coverage.
It was the second reported attack on a major US news outlet in days, as the New York Times reported earlier that Chinese hackers had “persistently” penetrated its systems for the last four months.
China’s foreign ministry dismissed the New York Times’ accusations as “groundless” and “totally irresponsible”.
With all the evidence available, it is obvious that China is lying through its teeth. Not only that, but they must think we are totally stupid to believe their denials.
I have no doubt that the Americans and others are also hacking the Chinese net. I am not painting the west as lily white.
But one has to wonder at the technological gains that China has made in the last few years, they didn’t do it all so fast on their own.
Burma learns how to protest – against Chinese investors
Burma’s steps towards democracy have made it possible for people to protest publicly, for the first time in decades, against things they don’t like – and Chinese businesses have turned out to be top of their list.
Standing at the bottom of the vast open mine, I am a tiny matchstick figure.
My colleagues are standing hundreds of feet above but they can’t hear my shouts or even see my face.
From their perspective, the giant dumper trucks snaking their way to the bottom of the pit look like children’s toys.
This is one of the world’s top 10 copper deposits, expected to generate tens of billions of dollars over the next 30 years.
According to its Chinese co-owners, the metal extracted here, in the north-west Sagaing Region, is of the purest quality and much sought-after globally.
Most is destined for Japan, Malaysia and the Middle East, but Geng Yi, the young managing director from Beijing, believes Burma itself will soon be an important customer.
Although five decades of military rule have turned Burma – or Myanmar as the generals named it – into the poorest nation in the region, it has ambitions to become a “golden bridge” between the mega-economies of India and China.
To achieve this goal, cash from abroad is urgently needed.
“To be frank, we don’t have much capital to implement our economic reforms,” says Koko Hlaing, the government’s chief political adviser.
“Capitalism cannot be implemented without capital.”
The copper mine, is a joint venture between China’s Wanbao company – a subsidiary of the arms manufacturer, Norinco – and the deeply unpopular business arm of the Burmese military, which has lucrative stakes in everything from banking to beer, as well as a monopoly on the gems sector.
Its close connection to the men in khaki has also given it preferential contracts with foreign firms, such as this one clinched in 2011, before the nominally civilian government came to power.
But in the new Burma such deals are under public scrutiny.
The country recently held democratic elections, ended censorship and released hundreds of political prisoners. Now many are questioning authority for the first time in their lives.
Two cousins, whose faces are now famous across Burma, have become figureheads for opposition to a $1bn scheme to expand the mine, which will affect 8,000 acres (3,000 hectares) of farmland and 26 villages near the town of Monywa.
The farmers’ daughters, dubbed the Iron Ladies by a local poet, have led thousands of villagers, monks, environmental campaigners and other activists in protest, against what they say is the unlawful seizure of their land.
The women come from the village of Wet Hmay (which means Sleepy Pig in Burmese). Along with dozens of other households, they are refusing to move from their homes into a brand new village of identical, neatly spaced houses with corrugated metal roofs.
The younger cousin, Thwe Thwe Win has a round face, a husky voice and a manner as pungent as the garlic she sells in the market.
“We want the mine closed down immediately,” she says. “No-one should colonise our land.”
In their fields, which lie in the shadow of a towering waste dump, I meet her cousin Aye Net, who complains that her sesame and beans are much sparser since the mine expansion started.
“When it rains, water drains through the dump and on to our land. There’s something acid in it,” she says.
“We don’t want compensation. We just want to grow our crops and live here as we have for generations.”
Environmental campaigners and activists from the pro-democracy youth group Generation Wave joined the villagers’ protest.
Some locals have complained that the sulphuric acid used to leach copper from ore has contaminated drinking water although the Wanbao Company denies this.
U Wi Tatatema, a 21-year-old monk from the central city of Mandalay, says he read about the mining project in the newspapers and came to give his support.
“When I saw the village women sitting on the ground and singing the national anthem in protest, I cried,” he says.
“The mountains are as precious as our parents – so I felt as if they were slaughtering my own mother.”
Plans to relocate a sacred pagoda which was once home to a famous Buddhist teacher, helped to mobilise hundreds more of his fellow monks.
Along with other protesters, they occupied the hillside temple, in the heart of the mining complex, for several days.
Since they were forcibly evicted, it has been guarded night and day by police.
Geng Yi, the mine’s director, admits the protests made him feel “uncomfortable and unsafe” and he is still clearly frustrated by all the delays holding up the expansion plan.
“Without the rule of law and stability how can this country attract or protect foreign investments?” he asks.
“From our point of view, we would like the government and important people to pay attention.”
When the government finally reacted, the confrontation turned ugly.
On 28 November, riot police cleared the protest camps which had brought the mine to a standstill.
Nearly 100 villagers and monks were injured. Many suffered horrific burns caused by incendiary devices – possibly phosphorous shells.
The brutal crackdown was a stark reminder that the country’s transition to democracy is still in its infancy.
Many suspect the government acted to avoid angering China – the country’s powerful northern neighbour and biggest investor.
President Thein Sein’s popularity shot up last year after he suspended the $3.6bn Myitsone hydro-electric dam on the Irrawaddy river – another controversial Chinese mega-project – but perhaps he was warned not to make the same mistake twice.
Whatever the case, latent Sinophobia has recently exploded.
At a demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in Rangoon one banner said “This is our Country – Dracula China Get out!”
Kyaw Min Swe, editor of The Voice newspaper, said many Burmese bitterly resent Beijing for its cosy relationship with the former military junta and are now determined China’s unchallenged dominance should end.
“The old regime got everything it needed from China – legitimacy, weapons and political support, like a veto in the UN Security Council and people had to put up with this for so many years.
“Now they are channelling all their anger with China into opposing this copper mine,” he says.
Six activists from the demo outside the embassy have been charged with holding a protest without permission. If found guilty they could face fines and two years in prison.
A parliamentary investigation into whether the mine expansion should be allowed to go ahead – chaired by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi – is likely to condemn the police for their heavy handed response, when it reports in the next few days.
But the investigation is a poisoned chalice for the Nobel laureate.
It is unclear how far she will risk antagonising either China or the Burmese top brass – outside the halls of the new parliament the military still wields formidable power.
Immediately after the crackdown, at a rally in the nearby town of Monywa, Aung San Suu Kyi got cheers for denouncing police brutality, but she also stressed the importance of friendly ties with neighbouring countries.
As the icon of Burmese democracy her role was clearly defined – she struggled for freedom against one of the world’s most oppressive regimes.
But now that she is an elected politician, she has to deal with Iron Ladies as well as army generals.
(Reuters) – Chinese netizens on Wednesday bit back at a government decision to ban serving shark fin soup at state banquets within three years, mocking it as a timid step by leaders who spend lavishly on other delicacies and are aloof from common concerns.
“You have to wait three years to do this?” demanded Wu Yaxue, a psychologist in Beijing, on his microblog account.
“Given the way Chinese civil servants eat, in three years you won’t need to enforce this ban; the shark fin will be all gone.”
Shark fin can sell for up to $600 per pound, increasing the practice of fishermen sawing fins and leaving the ocean predator to bleed to death. Environmental groups have called for an end to the eating of shark fin soup which is often served at special occasions by Chinese communities worldwide.
“Ordinary people eat starch noodles, officials use the people’s money to eat shark fin,” growled “Nova Zhou” on his microblog.
China’s has legions of microbloggers on sites like Sina Corp.s (SINA.O) Weibo, which offers a rare opportunity for open discussion, especially on the lifestyle of the communist party elite, though breaching restrictions can lead to arrest.
Others ridiculed the government remarks on shark fin made on Tuesday, saying the decision was aimed at saving costs for official functions, a sore point in China where a growing wealth gap has caused social tension.
“This just proves that solving the problems of housing, the elderly, the environment, corruption, employment, education, health care, food safety, migrant workers, stock markets, buying train tickets, and banning shark’s fin and maotai (expensive rice wine) are all more difficult than launching a rocket into outer space,” posted “Heng in South Korea“.
Heng was referring to China’s recent manned space shot from which three astronauts returned to Earth last week.
“So, are they going to eat panda now?” scoffed another Weibo blogger.
(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Ed Lane)
Chinese authorities have censored all weather reports after this cloud formation appeared over Beijing. The threatening nature of the phenomenon was considered to be an ominous sign for the communist regime and felt it was not in the ‘interest’ of the people to be informed.