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Rice Cooker Weblog: News about China
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October 29, 2008
Sudan recovers bodies of Chinese hostages

KHARTOUM (AFP) — The bodies of Chinese hostages and colleagues recovering from a kidnapping ordeal were to be flown to Khartoum on Tuesday as Sudan vowed to step up security for foreign oil workers across the country.

On Tuesday, China's foreign ministry said four workers were killed, four were "rescued" and one was missing.

Southern China to shed millions of jobs as economic crisis bites

DONGGUAN, China (AFP) — At least 2.7 million factory workers in southern China could lose their jobs as the global economic crisis hits demand for electronics, toys and clothes, according to industry estimates.

Now 9,000 of the 45,000 factories in the cities of Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen are expected to close before the Chinese New Year in late January, the Dongguan City Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment estimates.

Clement Chan, chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, said a quarter of the 70,000 Hong Kong-owned companies in southern China, 17,500 businesses, could go to the wall by the end of January.

Farm reform will force China to grow -Kent Ewing

HONG KONG - While the rest of the world is fixated on the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression of last century, it may seem odd that the highest decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been holed up for four days talking about farmers. There is, however, an important connection.

The collapse of the global financial system has made reform of China's land-use regime - a hot-button issue since former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping first began pushing the country toward a market economy more than 30 years ago - all the more urgent.

China sets limits on melamine levels in milk products -Wu Jiao

The limits were set at 1 mg per kg for infant formula, and 2.5 mg per kg for other dairy products including liquid milk, according to a joint statement issued by five government agencies including the Ministry of Health.

Melamine, used in products including plastics, paint and adhesives, can lead to kidney stones and other urinary tract problems. The chemical has been blamed for the deaths of at least four babies, and more than 54,000 children have fallen ill after being fed milk formula tainted with melamine.

Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang walks outside the orbit module of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft for a spacewalk Xinhua / AP

China gets a jump on US in space -Peter J Brown

The fact that the Chinese have multiple missions underway is one thing, but the sudden arrival of BX-1 on the scene - let alone the ISS incident - may signal that the US and the Europeans may not enjoy as a big a lead over China in space as once thought.

August 30, 2008
For some reason we have dropped out of Google search first page ranking.

I watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on tv and have to say became bored after a while. Athens was still fresh and had more of a grip at the time.

Farmers' incomes up 10% in 1st half -Hu Yinan

For the past five years, rural issues have been at the core of China's No 1 central documents - the name given to the first document issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council each year.

Increasing farmers' incomes was the keynote of the 2004 No 1 central document, while consolidating the nation's agricultural foundations is the theme of this year's.

Having several overcome socioeconomic barriers and natural adversities, the country's early rice harvest "is here to stay" and autumn crops are "doing well", Sun said.

However, he said the foundations of wage increases are thin, and long-term mechanisms to ensure the sustainable growth of rural incomes are still not fully in place, especially in the face of further uncertainties expected later in the year.

The urban-rural income gap, for example, has risen sharply, he said.

With the urban per capita net income at 13,786 yuan, against 4,140 yuan in the countryside, the ratio was 3.3:1 last year, the highest since China launched its reform and opening-up policies, Sun said.

Chinese defend Olympic ceremony lip-synch -ROHAN SULLIVAN

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials defended their decision to pass off the voice of a 7-year-old songbird as that of another girl at the Olympic opening ceremony, calling it a simple casting choice. Critics said it was a step too far in China's obsession with the perfect Olympic Games.

June 6, 2008
China tightens media limits loosened after Sichuan earthquake -Mark Magnier

DUJIANGYAN, CHINA -- China has begun rolling back many of the media and online freedoms that were permitted in the immediate aftermath of last month's earthquake.

The propaganda ministry and the State Council, China's Cabinet, have issued directives to state-run news media outlining forbidden topics. Among them: questions about school construction, whether government rescue efforts lagged and whether Beijing knew in advance that the earthquake would happen but failed to warn people.

China blocks quake school protesters -Cara Anna
Quake danger was well-known, Chinese scientists say -Howard W. French
Chinese Contradictions -Sascha Matuszak

China quake: Controls cautiously lifted on flood of volunteers -Peter Ford

Jiangyou, China - Standing at a dusty crossroads surrounded by thousands of homeless earthquake victims, Chen Shoujun had almost lost his voice. He had shouted himself hoarse that morning, he said, trying to organize crowds of enthusiastic young volunteers who had flocked here. "It's not so chaotic now," he said, wiping his brow. "We've got a team of 200 people cleaning the place up and spraying disinfectant."

China’s Rush to Dispose of Dead Compounds Agony -Edward Wong

They are unknown people being quickly cremated or buried in unmarked graves, and there are thousands or tens of thousands of them across quake-ravaged Sichuan Province. It may be months or years before family members discover their fate, if they ever do. They are very likely to be among the nearly 25,000 people the Chinese government classifies as missing in the aftermath of the May 12 earthquake.

China Sacks Plastic Bags -David Biello

SHANGHAI—Thin plastic bags are used for everything in China and the Chinese use up to three billion of them a day--an environmentally costly habit picked up by shopkeepers and consumers in the late 1980s for convenience over traditional cloth bags.

May 19, 2008
China begins three-day mourning for quake victims -Xinhua

The death toll from the massive quake rose to 32,476 nationwide as of 2 p.m. Sunday, while the injured numbered 220,109, according to the emergency response office under the State Council.

Among the dead, 31,978 were in Sichuan alone with the rest in six other provinces and a municipality.

The quake hit Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, at 2:28 p.m. of May 12. Many other areas were also affected.

China pauses for three mournful minutes -Calum MacLeod

BEIJING — A wail of grief sounded across China on Monday to remember the tens of thousands killed in the earthquake exactly one week ago to the minute. The observance came on the first of three days of national mourning.

People across the country stood silently for three minutes at 2:28 p.m. — the exact time of the magnitude-7.9 earthquake — while air raid sirens blared, along with horns from cars, ships and trains.

For the three days, flags will be at half-staff, public entertainment is canceled and the Olympic torch relay for the Summer Games in Beijing will pause, resuming its journey around China on Thursday.

The widespread devastation and recovery effort, carried live all week by China's state-run news media with unprecedented openness, has moved millions of Chinese to donate their time, money, blood and clothes.

To treat trauma victims, the Red Cross announced a program to send two dozen psychologists to the quake zone.

"I hope some of the money reaches us here and can help us recover," Li said. "My greatest hope is to go home and rebuild our house, but I don't know when I can do that."

May 15, 2008
A Rescue in China, Uncensored -Andrew Jacobs

BEIJING — Mothers wailing over the bodies of their children. Emergency workers scrambling across pancaked buildings. And a grim-faced political leader comforting the stricken and reassuring an anguished nation.

While such scenes are a staple of catastrophes in much of the world, the rescue effort playing nonstop on Chinese television is remarkable for a country that has a history of concealing the scope of natural calamities and then bungling its response.

The Sichuan Earthquake -ESWN

Numerous photos from various sources about the earthquake centered in Sichuan province.

四川发生大地震 全国大部分地区出现震感-搜狐新闻

Olympic flame summits Mount Everest -Tini Tran

BEIJING - Cheering mountaineers raised the Olympic torch at the summit of the world's highest peak Thursday, producing the triumphant image that China has longed for in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.

The final ascent along Mount Everest's icy ridge was broadcast live and provided organizers with a dramatic counterpoint to the pro-Tibet protests that marked parts of the torch's international relay.

"One World, One Dream," team captain Nyima Cering, a Tibetan, yelled in English as his torch was lit a few yards from the summit — the slogan for the Beijing Olympics in August.

The flame was passed up a line of five torchbearers to a Tibetan woman named Cering Wangmo on the summit. The other team members unfurled Chinese and Olympic flags as a Tibetan prayer flag lined the path and fluttered in the wind.

April 18, 2008
China tries to cool down 'patriotic fervour' over Tibet -AFP

On Friday, the email boxes of major news organisations in Beijing, including AFP, were flooded with emails furious over "vicious distortions" in Tibet coverage.

Some Western media in China have also reported receiving threatening phone calls.

Don't Be Too CNN, don't turn black into white -Zhang Haizhou

The wave of anger and patriotism generated by CNN's recent offensive coverage of China has produced a smash hit song and stirred millions of Internet users into an online show of solidarity.

Carrefour in Kunming -ESWN

On Aprl 16, a dozen people showed up to protest in front of the Carrefour store in the city of Kunming, Yunnan province. A citizen named Zhu said aloud, "Why are you boycotting Carrefour? The majority of the products in Carrefour are Chinese products ... this is irrational."

Chinese vent anti-Western fury online -Peter Ford

In an opinion piece published in the same paper, China's ambassador to London, Fu Ying, complained of "the media's attempt to demonize China" and warned that "we all know that demonization feeds a counter-reaction."

"I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions," she wrote.

Vox Pop in China -Washpost

IN THE DEBATE over Tibet and the Olympic torch, a great deal has been said and written about what the Chinese people believe. Pundits inform us that the Chinese people want their government to crack down harder on Tibetan protesters.

Hundreds Protest Dalai Lama in Seattle -Manuel Valdes

Demonstrators held signs alleging media bias and protesting the violence from rioting by Tibetan monks.

Some echoed Beijing's stand that the Dalai Lama is behind the recent uprising against five decades of Chinese rule. Signs called the Dalai Lama a liar and a "CIA-funded militant." Many people waved large Chinese flags.

"I think that people are misinformed. They have media discrimination," demonstrator Jiange Li said. "Tibet was freed — 50 years ago."

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