Friday, February 27, 2009

First Chinese-American on a Cabinet Post

Gary Locke was nominated by President Obama the secretary of commerce. Locke was the first Chinese-American governor. The nomination is a major progress for Chinese in the US. Although they had been house slave Chinese Americans served varies presidents, Locke would probably be the first one who is not a house slave.

Locke is a good fit for the job because:

1) Locke grew up from a poor family, and he has been in touch to the real life majority people live in. When he was the governor of the Washington State, people often see him on the streets of Seattle, as well as in some value restaurants.

2) Being pro-trade is a virtue and strength to face off the current economic challenge.

3) Locke had publicly admitted of being discriminated because of his skin. It is a courage not seen from most of house slaves, a courage the nation needs most at this challenging time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Newspaper Girl Had Been Abducted From Parents

An amateur photographer 'wabsatg' noticed a loved little girl who was selling newspapers on streets of Changsha, Hunan Province just past 1 pm on January 20, 2009. He took a group of pictures of this girl, as well as a little boy who appeared to be a 'friendly competitor' selling newspapers together. Both the boy and the girl were wearing dirty and filthy clothes, but looked playful.

The pictures were posted on a popular web forum 'Red Net', and trans-posted to several online forums. At one point, it triggered a discussion on what kind of education benefits our next generations better. Some people left comments that a little hardship was usually good for the children's future.

The reality turned out to be less rosy, or rather cruel. The little girl's real name is Xu Qian "Qianqian". The four and half years old girl's parents recognized her face from the pictures on Web. The girl was abducted from Shenzhen, Guangdong Province around 11 am on October 18, 2008. On the left was a family picture taken before her disappear. Hundreds or thousands of children are abducted in China everyday. Many are sold to miners or circus managers for slave labor. Many parents of one child family who lost their only child are questioning the meaning of (whatever left with) life.

The desperate parents have arrived Changsha to look for clues on where to find Qianqian. The family already spent 300K RMB Yuan on advertising after the child was abducted. They even offered a ransom of 100K RMB Yuan ($17K) to whoever is controlling the child if the girl could be safely returned. Although many Changsha residents recognized the little girl after reading newspaper of the story, the child was no longer seen on Changsha streets. Actually, the entire population of Changsha city is looking for the girl everywhere. According to tips left by readers, Qianqian was last seen on Feb 6 in Spring Department Store area. There were four little kids selling newspapers that day, and Qianqian was the smallest one. One reader wrote that he saw Qianqian. He told his wife about the little girl who was selling newspapers when he came back home that day and was blamed for not buying a piece of newspaper to help. Now he regrettd that he didn't alert the authority, but he really didn't know. A taxi driver wrote he noticed a male in his 30s was monitoring the kids closeby. Another reader commented that he saw the child in Chenzhou, another city in Hunan. It's common children trafficker would move young slaves around to avoid attention. However, because of all the national media attention, we are fearful of the child's safety.

If you see Qianqian, please call her father Xu Jiancheng at 134-1209-6461, or call a hotline set up by Changsha media at 220-5000.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chinese College Students Can Do Math

A recent study published on Science showed the disturbing lagging of students' knowledge in science in the US.

What is more disturbing are the facts that the paper does not reveal. After the central government adopted a policy to stimulate internal consume, the annual enrollment of colleges was increased near 10 times, from less than 600,000 in 1990s to more than 6 millions overnight. Also, in Chinese education system, best universities are those mega-size national universities, and by and large, the quality of the university grows monotone with the number of students it has. In other words, all Chinese students who participated in the study are those who with so poor academic performance that they won't be able to attend a college 10 years ago.

Still these Chinese student were able to beat their US counterparts by a margin of 2:1 in science knowledge. Although the reasoning part showed comparable results, the overall capability of an individual is the product of knowledge and reasoning skills. Therefore, the final result still looks doom for US students.

What's even more disturbing is the shape of the distribution curve with grades of US students, which is almost a perfect shifted normal distribution. We would have expected a budge on the right hand side, which might reflect out liners of the public school systems and those who attend private schools. Alas, there are too few of them that no such budge could be detected.

In short, US won't be able to compete with China in the years to come.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Russian Navy Sank Chinese Cargo Ship

According to Russian media, a Chinese cargo ship was sunk by the Russian coast guard. New Star, the Chinese cargo ship left Russian port of Nakhodka before obtaining permission from the port authority. The Russian warship fired at least 500 rounds and sank the cargo ship into the sea.

The Chinese media held the story until a Sino-Russia oil accord was signed. China will providc $25 Billion loan in exchange of privileges of importing oil from Russia in the next 25 years.

Russian media alleged smuggling goods, but later clarified the cargo ship did not carry any smuggling goods. Russia stated the firing was legal and had been authored by higher authority. However, they would investigate the accusation that Russian warship did not make any effort to rescue drowning sailors during a period of 24 hours after the cargo ship issued a distress signal and started sinking.

Hong Kong based ship owner issued a statement, revealed that the Russian port would not release the ship without a kickback. Ship owners to Russia always faces the choices of bribing the port authority, or paying $10,000 port fee for each delayed day. Some chose fled Russian ports, but this is the first case when a cargo ship was sunk by Russian warships.

Seven Chinese sailors are assumed dead.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Japanese Vender Argues Game Pulled by Amazon pulled a Japanese video game from its online market place on the Valentine's Day after receiving several angry complains from customers.

Remember famous PC game 'Leisure Suit Larry' in the 1990s, where Larry would have to get laid by flirting and honey-mouthing around? In the Japanese version, the goal is also to get laid, but by violent means. The plot starts when a guy is released from the jail. In order to earn credit, he would need to rape a single Mom at a subway station, then follow her to find her two daughters and rape them repeatedly. However, the player must watch out when they got pregnant. The fetus must be aborted by force, otherwise the game ends. In the online mode, individual players across the world can join up to gang rape a common target.

The rape simulator titled 'Rapelay' is produced by a Yokohama studio 'Illusion'. Illusion argues the game was not sold directly to the US or UK market. Also it had been cleared by a Japanese ethics committee. A spokesman for the company was quoted saying 'We believe there is no problem with the software.'

No Suspects

No suspects have been named in the first (?) blogger attack case. The writer, Xu Lai, works for several news media in Beijing, but is better known for his blog, Qianliexian wants to speak (if you articulate the words in Chinese, it sounds 'prostate inflation').

It's ironic, though, for many Chinese netizens to openly question the possibility that the government might be behind the attack, or having a role in it. The Communism government has been used to heavy hand simply solutions dealing with political dissidents. However, Xu is never a real critics of the government. There might be some jokes or satire in his blogging, but there's nothing at the level of sounding not 'harmonic'.

On the other hand, it's irresponsible and insensitive for the NYT to quote one of the comments left by a Chinese netizen to imply the government's role behind the attack.

In the comments area of Mr. Xu’s blog, one reader expressed a defiance that was reflected in many postings: “Comrades, netizens, such a despicable trick cannot stop the progress of Chinese people towards freedom and democracy, because this is the tide of history.”

Not only it sounds a desperate spin to appeal to the sentiment of China-bashing, it will probably cause serious trouble to whoever posted that comment, if he resides in China. The communism net cops never needs an excuse to leash out, and they never cares what it might look.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Macaca Gang Fights in Parliament

Former Virginia government and senator George Allen was caught on tape introducing an Indian descendant stalker from his opponent (Jim Webb)'s campaign the 'Macaca', and subsequently lost his 2006 reelection campaign as well as his once hailed presidential aspiration. Allen was not the first career politician stepped on his own foot for telling the truth, but he was in the first one stabbed by the YouTube phenomena. The one seat flip also tipped the balance of the Senate and gave control to the Democrats.

Well, there could be time when (even domesticated) macacas find it hard to cover their tails. Had camera phones been allowed in Indian Parliament by 2006, Allen probably could have a chance to prove his point. Now Allen is probably rolling all over in his retiree housing.;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CCTV On Fire, Captured on Tape

In incredible home video captured the entire process when the under-construction new CCTV building was torched by holiday fireworks shot by, CCTV.

Around 50 seconds into the video, a male's voice was heard questioning whether the building had just caught fire. Then a short discussion ensued as bystanders went back and forth on whether the building was actually on fire. A female voice commented that a fireball from the fireworks fell on the roof of the building before it exploded. Around 1:20, they were heard all agreed that the building was indeed on fire, and someone suggested to dial 119 (fire alarm).

Surprisingly, the mood among Chinese netizens were cheering or ridiculing when initial report said there was no causality. Some thought the CCTV complex was plain ugly, while others were not happy on the government propaganda agency in general.

As expected, the CCTV did not report the fire of its own building, a stone's throw away from its studio building while waiting for the official instructions from the CCP. When curious Beijing residents turned on their TV last night after the fire broke out, they were amazed to find endless nonstop coverage of the fire in Australia. Han Han blogged (and was promptly removed by CCP Net cops):

from 韩寒 by 韩寒











A detailed coverage via Zhou Shuguang's Blog.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Poor Chinese, Wealthy Chinese

Examining social phenomena with quantitative methods starts in the west, and most of the commonly used models are based on culture and study in the west. It should be noted that the cultural differences must be taken into account when applying popular models on China studies.

Sixty percent of wealth in the United States are owned by top 5% people. The corresponding figures in China, however, are 70% and 0.4%. When the world is tapping into the 'high personal saving ratio' of Chinese to drive it out of the economic downturn, what people may not have realized is that 80% of the deposits in China are made by 20% of its people. These 80% is unlikely to be spent on normal commodities, and family appliances is not likely to make a dent on it either. The rest 20% is shared by 80% of Chinese people, which equivalents to 3,385 Yuan RMB or $500 per capita. So a bunch Chinese with $500 saving in the bank are going to save the world? Not to say that these group of people will not be making extra spending to jeopardize their very survival.

Traditional values and family architecture have helped maintaining stability despite the huge gap between rich and poor, though. In 2007, professor Li Yining of Beijing University announced a new method to calculate the Gini Coefficient. Because the huge income gap between residents live in city and rural areas (72:1), two separate number will be calculated, one represents the Gini Coefficient among city dwellers, while the other represents that of farmers. Finally, a third number is calculated as the mean of the two numbers, and to be used as the official Gini Coefficient of China.

Xin Hua Blog

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I Am Sorry Mom

"I am sorry Mom, I can't no longer be with you. Please transplant my liver to Daddy's body after I died. Save Daddy!" The suicide note reads.

When her mother found out, it had been 10 hours since 13 years old girl Linlin took 300 sleep pills. The doctors did all they could, but Linlin was still in a critical condition today.

Linlin's father was diagnosed with terminal stage liver cancer. Doctors said he had at most 3 months. The family is deep in debt after the father was sick. Both mother and father were unemployed because of bad health. The three person family lives on 1,000 Yuan RMB ($150) pension per month.

Doctors and staffs at the Wuxi People's Hospital raised more than 2,000 Yuan RMB for the family. The local community also raised 450 Yuan RMB.

The father, who is also hospitalized, hasn't been told of the tragedy.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Throwing A Wrong Shoe

A British man threw his heavy shoe to the visiting Chinese premier Wen Jiabao during his public speech. The copycat action was not a refection of courage, but a call for growing up.

Wen is probably the only saint in the Communism Chinese government. In his short, slim, and fast ailing figure, he was seen in places only Mother Teresa would be seen, where his people needs him the most, often, the most dangerous and exhausting places in the world.

Unlike Iraqi reporter who cursed the command in chief of the occupation army with risk of torture and life, the clown trying to hit a respectable old man at comfort of a university campus demonstrated the lack of courage and abundance of cowardness.

Throwing shoes at their guest only solidifies stereotyping of islander's blind ignorance. From a bystander's perspective, the Brits will always be crawling under the moral bar before they could face up what they have been doing since The Opium War.