Archive for China

In 15 Minutes You Can Save 15% on Car Ins—GULP!

We’d like to have you for dinner:

Chinese authorities are investigating allegations that senior security officials ate a critically endangered giant salamander at a lavish banquet.

A local newspaper said journalists it sent to the restaurant to report on the meal were later beaten up as they photographed guests leaving.

The paper said that last Wednesday it received a tip-off that about 28 people, including senior public security officials, were using public funds to pay for a banquet that night, where they would be eating the endangered salamander.

It sent two reporters and a photojournalist, who managed to sneak into the restaurant and from outside the private dining room reportedly overheard the party host boasting that he wanted to give guests “a special treat”.

A dinner guest later confirmed with the paper that they were served a giant salamander which the host had brought for the party.

Chinese giant salamanders, which can grow to nearly 180cm (5.9 ft), are critically endangered and a protected wildlife species in China, but are also considered a delicacy.

Guests were also seen being given bags of fish as they left. An official was heard saying the fish were taken from a reservoir where fishing is prohibited.

The situation turned violent when the officials realised that the photojournalist was taking their pictures as they left the restaurant and confronted him, said the paper. The two reporters were also surrounded by the officials and security guards.

The journalists were allegedly beaten up and throttled, and their equipment and phones were stolen.

So China.


Ils ne Sont Pas Charlie Hedbo

A couple of outlier reactions.

Boko Haram:

The leader of Nigeria’s brutal Islamist sect Boko Haram praised the perpetrators of last week’s Paris terror attacks in a video posted online Wednesday. The video, verified by jihadi monitoring group Flashpoint Intelligence, featured an animated eight-minute speech from Abubakar Shekau, the little-known figure believed to be the group’s commander. He said the group was pleased by the attacks.


‘We are indeed happy with what happened in France,’ the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video posted online.

‘We are happy over what befell the people of France… as their blood was shed inside their country as they (try to) safeguard their blood,’ he said.

What about China?

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, ran a commentary by its Paris bureau chief in which he said: “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation and free speech are not acceptable.”

A commentary posted on the Xinhua website also warns that we now live in “a reality that demands basic respect and prudence be exercised in mass communication so as to reduce inter-culture and inter-religion misunderstanding and distrust, which can easily be exploited by terrorists.”

That’s awfully measured for the Chinese. This is more typical:

Chinese police shot and killed six would-be bombers Monday in the latest violence to strike the restive far northwestern region of Xinjiang, a local government spokesman and official website said.

Critics and human rights advocates say Uighurs have chafed under the repressive rule of the Han Chinese-dominated government and complain of economic disenfranchisement with the inflow of Han Chinese to their homeland.

Authorities have responded to militants’ attacks by launching a one-year crackdown on violence in Xinjiang, where security was already tight following riots in the regional capital in Urumqi in 2009 that left nearly 200 people dead.

That’s the China I know.


That Didn’t Take Long

Climate change is so…so November:

In a historic climate change deal, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.

Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26-28% before the year 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year.

“As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama said Wednesday in a joint news conference with Xi.

Not so fast, round-eyes:

China has rejected the scrutiny of efforts to limit carbon emissions, a key tool that the US says is necessary as more than 190 countries work to come up with a new deal to fight climate change.

Chinese negotiators sought at a climate conference in Lima, Peru, to delete provisions in a draft text that would have paved the way for other countries and non-governmental organisations to submit questions about its carbon-reduction plans….

Don’t take it too hard, Mr. President. China has made asses out of many people. You’re just the latest—and biggest—ass. Kim Kardashian has nothing on you.

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We Get Results

But when we teased you yesterday about your plummeting (or is it soaring?) on the list of most corrupt nations, China, we were just kidding around. Sort of.

Don’t be so sensitive!

Ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang, the most senior Chinese official to be investigated for corruption, has been arrested and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s top prosecuting body, said it had opened a formal probe against him.

Before he retired two years ago, Mr Zhou was the head of China’s vast internal security apparatus.

Many of his former associates and relatives also face corruption probes.

Mr Zhou was accused of several crimes, including “serious violations of party discipline”, “accepting large sums of bribes”, “disclosing party and state secrets” and “committing adultery with several women” as part of corrupt transactions, Xinhua news agency reported (in Chinese).

As long as they aborted any unwanted pregnancies, where’s the harm? Also, does this sudden onset of morality extend to hacking, violating copyright, and civil liberties? The article doesn’t say. We wish Mr. Eleven the best of luck with his crusade.

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News Flash

China is very corrupt. Russia is more corrupt.

Try not to let this news destroy your faith in ex-Communist states run by the very same party hacks who ran it before.

So much for President Xi Jin Ping’s much-vaunted anti-corruption campaign.

Transparency International’s annual index of perceived levels of corruption across the world is out Wednesday, and China has slid 20 places in the ranking to joint 100th, after posting one of the sharpest declines in its index score of all the countries in the survey.

Transparency’s index, which measures perceptions of corruption from various sources, also showed alarming declines in the scores of Turkey and Russia, the latter falling to 136th place in the rankings, level with Nigeria (and one place ahead of its embattled neighbor, Ukraine).

China’s performance meant that it fell below India, which rose nine places in the ranking to 85th and which, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is promising its own crackdown on bureaucratic corruption.

There is a ray of hope, however:

Another country to post a big improvement in TI’s rankings was Greece, It’s now risen to 69th place from 94th in two years, as the austerity plan imposed by the International Monetary Fund and Eurozone has bitten hard. The good news there is that it’s now only as corrupt…as Italy, according to TI.

As expected, the top of the rankings showed no real change from previous years, with the Scandinavian Goody Two-Shoes quartet of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway taking four of the top five spots.

The U.S. edged up to 17th from 19th in 2013, level with Barbados and Ireland, and just ahead of Chile and Uruguay.

They must not be looking too hard into Obama’s shenanigans, then. And Greece is only less corrupt because it’s more broke.


Exploding Excrement Topples Building In China


A cesspool filled with excrement has exploded in central China, injuring 15 people and knocking down a building, state-run media reported.
The blast was apparently sparked by a local man burning waste close to the cesspool, igniting methane gas which was emanating from the pit, the Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday.
The incident in Zhangjiajie city, in the central province of Hunan, caused a residential building to collapse and three of the injured had to be hospitalised, Xinhua said.

So much more interesting than Ferguson, right BTL?

– Aggie

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Voluminous Bituminous

Al Gore and the Global Warm-mongers said if we kept on burning coal many would die—and they were right!

A coal mine shaft collapsed in northwestern China, killing 16 miners, an official said Saturday, highlighting the persistence of safety problems in the industry despite a leveling off of demand.

Another 11 miners were injured in the disaster, which struck just before midnight Friday in Tiechanggou township outside the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi.

China’s mines are among the most dangerous in the world, although improved safety measures have vastly lowered the number of fatalities in mine accidents in recent years.

The government’s China National Coal Administration reported 1,067 deaths in 604 coal mining accidents in 2013, down 23 percent from the year before. That’s down from more than 6,000 a decade ago, largely due to increased inspections and the closure of small and unregulated mines.

Long-time readers will remember those heady days when we covered these collapses, explosions, floodings, asphyxiations regularly. In fact, this morning has a throw-back feel to it: Obama’s corruption, anti-semitism, China’s indifference to human life and the environment.

“Boy, the way Glen Miller played,
Songs that made the Hit Parade…
Those were the days!”

While China still produces and consumes almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, the amount it burned in the first three quarters of 2014 was off by about 2 percent from the same period last year, according to Greenpeace energy analysts in China.

Don’t worry. What China cuts, India more than makes up for:

Decades of strip mining have left this town in the heart of India’s coal fields a fiery moonscape, with mountains of black slag, sulfurous air and sickened residents.

But rather than reclaim these hills or rethink their exploitation, the government is digging deeper in a coal rush that could push the world into irreversible climate change and make India’s cities, already among the world’s most polluted, even more unlivable, scientists say.

“If India goes deeper and deeper into coal, we’re all doomed,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the world’s top climate scientists.

But what about all the mercury-laced CFL lightbulbs I put in? Surely, that’ll make a difference.

Just because we’re all doomed doesn’t mean we have to frown all day.


Forgotten But Not Gone

Old Democrats never die. They just appear on MSNBC:

It’s been more than three years since the state Legislature redrew his congressional district, forcing ex-U.S. Rep. Barney Frank into early retirement, but the cranky liberal war horse just can’t let it go.

Case in point: The Massachusetts Humanities Council’s 40th anniversary gala at the JFK Library the other night. Frank was seated at the same table as incoming state Senate prez Stanley Rosenberg, who happened to be the point man for the Senate on redistricting, and Barney wasted no time in letting Stan have it!

“He didn’t say hello, how are you, congratulations, nothing. He just started screaming at him,” said Someone Who Was There. “It was very ugly.”

So much so that the organizers of the event moved Rosenberg and his partner, Bryon Hefner, to another table to get away from the grumpy ex-congressman!

Apparently the gist of Barney’s gripe was that Rosenberg didn’t do enough to preserve Frank’s district after the 2010 census forced the state to lose a seat in Congress. Instead, the new congressional map took New Bedford — a Barney stronghold because of his work on fishing issues — and parts of Fall River out of his district and added Blackstone Valley, where he was not a shoo-in, making the voting bloc more conservative. Instead of running for re-election in the newly drawn district, Frank retired. But apparently not without a lot of hard feelings!

“He was telling Stan that he should have gotten preference because of his seniority,” said our spywitness. “He thought that they catered to (now U.S. Sen.) Ed Markey and (U.S. Rep.) Steve Lynch over him, and he wasn’t happy about it.”

What really cheesed off some of Rosenberg’s friends who witnessed the brouhaha was that Stan had been hospitalized twice during the redistricting process for treatment of squamous cell carcinoma, but that apparently earned him no sympathy vote from Barney!

Can’t imagine why they redistricted you out of existence, Barn. What do you want to bet that he hasn’t been down to the grimy docks of New Bedford or Fall River since he left office? The closest he gets to the fishing industry these days is pan-seared bluefin tuna with Asian marinade at some chi-chi bistro in Provincetown.

Gay-on-gay crime. Very ugly indeed.

Thank God for the Boston Herald. This is the Globe:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry turned to his Chinese counterpart at lunch last month at Legal Sea Foods’ Harborside restaurant and drew attention to the view of Boston Harbor.

The port was once a symbol of pollution, Kerry told China’s chief diplomat, Yang Jiechi. But after persistent government effort, Kerry explained, it was dramatically cleaner.

“This is a small example that shows that these big problems can and must be addressed,” Kerry told Jiechi over squash bisque, Maine cod, and Boston cream pie.

The exchange, related by a senior State Department official with direct knowledge of the Oct. 18 meeting, marked a turning point in the Obama administration’s efforts to get the world’s two biggest polluters to commit to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

The landmark agreement, announced this week by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing, came after months of behind-the-scenes discussions involving other officials in addition to Kerry.

Imagine having to sit through a lunch with John Kerry. And having to eat squash bisque (whatever that is). No wonder Obama gave away the store. Kerry might have picked up the tab, but China paid plenty.


Xi Who Must Be Obeyed

What must China think of us?

Scratch that: what must China think of Obama and Kerry?

We’re the biggest badasses in the history of the world (though that title might be history now, too), and we’ve got a list of legitimate grievances against China, ranging from copyright piracy to hacking and spying to playing the regional bully to human rights violations.

China might have feared that Obama was performing his vaunted “pivot to Asia” to find out “whose ass to kick”. They would have feared in vain.

Captain James T. Jerk came to surrender:

President Obama’s trip to China has been quite a show. First, he managed to alienate the entire population by walking around with gum in his mouth, a breach of decorum severe enough to get him referred to as a “rapper” and an “idler” on Chinese social media. Yes, mainstream media Obama cheerleaders, the Chinese just called him lazy. Good luck browbeating them into apologizing by accusing them of racism.

I doubt you’d be seeing those comments on China’s “social media” without the approval of the communist regime, which sized Obama up as accurately as Vladimir Putin, the mullahs of Tehran, and every other bad actor in the world. They saw a delusional ideologue ripe for a shakedown, because he was desperate to bring something, anything back home from Beijing to prove he was relevant.

That paragraph fits him perfectly—a hell of a lot better than that stupid Romulan smoking jacket. What an utter embarrassment of a president. Come back, Jimmy, all is forgiven.

But I get him. I get him completely. He was raised to believe, as I was, that America was what wrong with the world. Never mind those flowery words written centuries ago by dead white men—dead white, slave-owning white men—this nation needed cutting down a notch or seven. Take us out of the equation, and peace and justice would reign. Obama believes in American exceptionalism, all right, only in our exceptional capacity to sow evil.

Which leads to this:

China’s rulers must have been cackling with glee when Obama gave them everything they could have dreamed of, and more, by announcing a big “climate change” deal. It’s the sort of “deal” where one side gives up the store today, and the other side vaguely promises to think about doing something in thirty years or so. No prizes for guessing who emerged from the negotiations wearing a barrel.

A barrel. Funny. You don’t see barrel imagery much anymore.

China plays games like this all the time; they’re currently in violation of the last vague promise they made to cut back on their carbon emissions, supposedly because their economy boomed beyond expectations. They know how to play the Greens like fiddles, and they understand how much Western politicians love to use global-warming theology as an excuse to expand their own personal power. The Politburo doesn’t need to worry about disguising its appetite for power, and they certainly aren’t going to cripple their economy to meet any “climate change” goals, but they love watching their global competitors agree to do so.

There’s so much more, but I want to come back to the question of what must China be thinking. Putin’s on the march, the Muslim world is in flames, his own people voted him to all but oblivion, and Obama shows up in Beijing bearing the crown jewels and enough Nicorette gum to numb a herd of pandas (unless they’re solitary).

Even those Godless communists must believe in a higher power when providence smiles this broadly on them.


Clinton was right. You should be getting me coffee.

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Bottom Story of the Day

An emasculated leader prostrates himself before a new power on an issue of no importance, about which it can and will do nothing—and got bubkes in return.

Film at 11?

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. has set a new goal to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by between 26 percent and 28 percent over the next 11 years as part of a climate change agreement with China.

The new target is a drastic increase from earlier in Obama’s presidency, when he pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020. By contrast, Obama’s counterpart, Xi Jinping, did not pledge any reductions by a specific date, but rather set a target for China’s emissions to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible.

This is as empty of substance as a vegetarian dumpling, and harder to swallow. Obama replace one arbitrary number and irrelevant date with another one of each. What else?

If possible, China did even less—which is at least more honest.

This is news?

PS: CNN says it is:

In a historic climate change deal, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.

Who is lying more?

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Nixon Went to China

And they didn’t write like this about him:

[I]ts state-run media says “U.S. public opinion has downgraded” the American leader in the wake of this week’s elections.

“Obama always utters ‘yes, we can,’ which led to the high expectations people had for him,” reports the Global Times, which has close ties with China’s Communist government. “But he has done an insipid job, offering nearly nothing to his supporters.”

It added: “U.S. society has grown tired of his banality.”

“He has managed to take U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but left no peace,” the state-run media organ said. “Osama Bin Laden was killed during his tenure, but the IS (Islamic State) has emerged from the Middle East.”

I’m no fan of the ChiComs, but they sure have Obama nailed. I grew tired of his banality in 2008. Glad the rest of America finally followed suit.


Why Can’t We Be More Like China? Pt. 72

Tom Friedman’s favorite government:

Two officials in China’s Guangdong province were arrested for allegedly buying corpses so they could meet government cremation quotas.

There’s plenty more at the site, but how much more do you need to know? Government cremation quotas? Grave robbing?

Don’t anyone tell Obama; after the election, he’ll be all over this.


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