Tag Archives: News

Chinese in Africa (continued)

Good Al Jazeera 20 minute documentary on Chinese immigrants in Senegal.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, Dispute, Film, Politics

The Nike Detox Plan

I have just read an interesting article from China Dialogue on how top sporting brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Li Ning etc are getting together for a ‘detox’. The world’s top sporting brands are setting out a plan to ‘wean themselves off’ the toxins they use to dye clothing.

In August last year Nike committed to a challenge set by Greenpeace to ‘eliminating all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain, and the entire life-cycle of its products by 2020’

Puma have also agreed to up their game and have been taking steps to evaluate their environmental cost. They have ‘calculated that the cost their operations had imposed on the natural environment last year through their greenhouse-gas emissions and water consumption was 94.4 million euros’

I happen to be reading an excellent book on the history of cancer at the moment and just read about how many of the toxins this article talks about were discovered.

In the mid 19th century, the cotton industry was undergoing a revolution and  represented about 50% of all of the British exports, however, extracting the dyes used to colour the cotton was still a labour intensive process. The booming cotton industry led to new techniques of dyeing being developed and hastened the creation of the field of synthetic chemistry.

The new dyes that were being developed led chemists to create a whole range of chemical byproducts: solvents, alcohols, alkaloids, amides, alizarins and other non natural chemicals. It was the development of these synthetic chemicals that gave birth to modern pharmacology. They also have serious environmental consequences and it has taken a while for any clothing corporations to take notice. I wonder how long it will take big pharmaceuticals to follow suit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Dispute, environment, Propaganda, Sport

Bawtry dog-meat scandal – wait, am I being stereotyped?

Zhang Lijia’s Guardian piece ‘Dog meat at a Chinese restaurant inYorkshire’ – why do such myths spread? was prompted by the story of a Chinese restaurant that has been put in financial difficulty by a local rumour of a diner choking on retired racing greyhound’s microchip.

While I have sympathy for a business that suffers due to vindictive rumour mongering, the article presents a number of strands of criticism that don’t really tie up.  Zhang takes the opportunity to comment generally on the fascination of westerners with the oddities of Chinese cuisine, calling our obsession a form of racism.    To my mind, she throws out the “R” word too freely.

I understand her frustration, for example, that UK prime time television documentaries on China are more likely to end up with a donkey penis feast than a serious social discourse.  However it is hard to deny that examining the eating habits in other countries can be educational and entertaining.  And for those who are interested, programs on China’s social, economic and political issues are also common (recently, BBC Four’s excellent Storyville series Law of the Dragon).

Always an alternative

But I was most surprised by Zhang’s claim that although “China has a fabulous and sophisticated cuisine, westerners always focus on the tiny percentage of what we eat that is weird”.  This seems factually unsound.

Chinese food is one of the globe’s “3 Grand Cuisines”, a feature of every UK high street and a major draw for visitors to China (and perhaps part of the reason some stay).  However it is reproduced, Chinese food is hugely popular worldwide, and not for being weird.

But secondly, since she brings it up, there is no way that it is only a “tiny percentage” of what is eaten in China that people in the UK might consider weird.  You can eat dog.  Generally, many more parts of many more animals feature on menus.  When living in Dalian I saw the phrase 天上龙肉 地上驴肉 (In heaven dragon meat, on earth donkey meat) adorning restaurant exteriors.  But nobody’s going to force you to eat anything you don’t want (note: that is not true).

Some elements of Chinese, or any other, cuisine may not be to everyone’s taste.  But Zhang doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the majority take an interest in aspects of cultural diversity for making the world a more interesting place.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, News

World’s most popular beer? Want to pee on a turtle?

Any idea what the most popular beer in the world is?

Sitting back with your friends enjoying a bud? Waaazzzzup?

enjoy drinking what is probably the best lager?

Would you give a XXXX for it? Best things come to those who wait?

No. The world’s most popular beer is Snow Beer (雪花啤酒)

According to the Telegraph, the Chinese drank 16.5bn pints of Snow last year.

Although most Chinese beers taste quite samey (think of a watered down bud light), I happen to think Snow actually tastes quite nice with a spicy meal. It is pretty inoffensive. At least I thought they were until I saw their latest marketing campaign…..

Snow beer are offering several lucky punters the chance to go to Kekexili – the Tibetan plateau. Here the fortunate winners can trod around on environmentally protected ground pissing off endangered species such as the Tibetan antelope . According to Jonathan Watts’ article in the Guardian, the plateau is “China’s most treasured nature reserve’ and has a ‘No Human Zone’, which as the name implies, is not supposed to be visited by anyone, yet Snow have gone ahead with their promotion even before they have permission.”

It would be as if Fosters offered their punters the chance for a lads holiday to the Galapagos islands to go and drink some brews, piss on a turtle’s face and eat its eggs in a giant fry up.

I should stop now, I don’t want to give them any ideas for competitions.

1 Comment

Filed under Advertising, Animal, Beer, comedy, environment, Film, News, Tibet

CCP celebrates 90 years

The Associated Press call in their most irritating reporter

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Wen Jiabao nailing a lay up

Watch: Wen Jiabao hoops it up for Children’s Day celebrations – Shanghaiist.

There is a disturbing trend of politicians getting their hands dirty and posing for the cameras none more than when it comes to sport. Here is Premier Wen showing us his hoop dreams:

This week Camron (as he now likes to be called) and O’bama posed like the best mates they are, playing ping pong in an attempt to show their solidarity in an attempt to say to the Chinese “we can play ping pong too”.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under comedy, News, Sport

China stamps out ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ style plots

China bans time travel for television – Business 360 – CNN.com Blogs.

As part of the cultural crackdown in China, State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) has decided to discourage plots using time travel or other surreal devices in its TV shows.

According to CNN: they are discouraging plot lines that contain elements of “fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking.”

If you have ever watched a Chinese epic drama you may be perplexed how they are going to do this. The Chinese classic ‘Journey to the West’ centers around a Monkey born out of a stone egg who eats a magic peach and then gains immortal powers. His powers include the ability to pluck hairs from his body, blow on them and convert them into whatever he wants.

Surreal?

I remain naively hopeful that the SARFT regulations are more of an attempt to stamp out lazy writing devices

Leave a comment

Filed under comedy, Film, Propaganda, TV, Video