The Nanfang / Blog

Stranded, Broke Zimbabwean MPs Call Time in Guangdong “Hell”

Posted: 07/8/2014 1:04 pm

zimbabwe-parliamentThe stranding of 27 Zimbabwean Members of Parliament in Guangdong Province for five days last week has become a case of finger-pointing after they missed their flight home, reports NewsDay.

The 27 Zimbabwean MPs had separated from the official delegation in Beijing to head to Guangzhou for some shopping. But after blowing all their money, they were unable to get back to Beijing in time for their scheduled flight home. The stranded MPs, who have all mostly returned to Zimbabwe, described their ordeal as “hell”. The MPs had no money, nothing to eat, and nowhere to shower.

ZANU PF Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene said the incident began when Zaka Central MP Paradza Chakona (Zanu PF) led a group of MPs to go shopping in Guangdong against her orders.

READ: Zimbabwean MPs Blow Money on Shopping Spree,
Trapped Penniless in Guangdong

Chimene refuted the suggestion that she had abandoned the breakaway MPs, and gave her own opinion as for why the Zimbabwean MPs got stranded:

Maybe it was God’s form of punishing the MPs for not obeying my advice and revolting against all my efforts…
I did nothing wrong, but helped MPs to get exposure. Maybe God was angry, even Moses had the same experience and God punished the Israelites by sending snakes. Maybe that was the same case here. 

Chimeme then elaborated upon Chinese regulations, and how the stranded MPs did not abide by the rules:

They were told by an Embassy official that if they go there, they should not come back on a Saturday (the day of departure) but they disregarded that and chose to travel that Saturday. They were told to come straight to Terminal 3, but again they argued saying they wanted to pick-up another MP at Terminal 2. I tried to negotiate with officials, but their things have systems. 

We agree that life in Guangdong can be tough, maybe even a little unforgiving, but to call being stranded here “hell”? We’re just glad that they weren’t stranded in Shanghai.

Photos: Amazing Victoria Falls


Dangerous Snail That Can Transmit Diseases With a Single Touch Invades Fujian

Posted: 07/4/2014 10:00 am

giant african snail fujian fuzhou invasion invasive animal danger public safetyFujian Province is the site of an insidious invasion, and people in Fuzhou are being warned. A headline in the Strait Capital Report says:

African Giant Snail Has “Invaded” Fuzhou, Can’t Be Touched or Eaten,
Will Transmit Diseases

giant african snail fujian fuzhou invasion invasive animal danger public safety

Watch out, Fuzhou: The African giant snail is an invasive species that has infiltrated China. The report says it can be harmful to humans and livestock. Most notably, the African giant snail is a host for parasites and pathogens and can transmit such deadly diseases as tuberculosis and meningitis.

Experts recommend to cook food the African giant snail may have touched at temperatures of 100 degrees Celsius. Just by crawling over the surface of fruit and vegetables, the African giant snail is able to transmit diseases by the trail it leaves behind.

giant african snail fujian

The Strait Capital Report says:

A snail as big as a fist has shockingly appeared on the streets of Fuzhou. Yesterday evening, city resident Miss Cao saw such a “giant snail” near Tongpan Road. Curious, Miss Cao took a picture, and then called 968111 to report it.

giant african snail fujian fuzhou invasion invasive animal danger public safety

giant african snail fujian fuzhou invasion invasive animal danger public safety

This isn’t the first time the dangerous snail has been found in China. Stories on the slithery mollusk were done in 2013, 2012 (this time over in Xiamen), 2010, and 2005.

But while residents have been warned, some of the snails are still being sold as food.

giant african snail fujian fuzhou invasion invasive animal danger public safety

A market vendor was quoted admitting the public health menace is available at markets:

They’re selling very well. Many of them are sold in an afternoon. 5 yuan for half a kilogram. These snails are both cheap, and delicious.

As per the advice of the experts, we’re sure hope that these snails were cooked at temperatures over 100 degrees Celsius.

Photos: Strait Capital Report, qianlong, Sohu, fznews, xmnn, xinhuanet


Zimbabwean MPs Blow Money on Shopping Spree, Trapped Penniless in Guangdong

Posted: 07/2/2014 10:25 am

zimbabwe parliamentTraveling to China can be an overwhelming experience. There’s the culture, the language — and of course the amazing shopping.

Bargain hunting became too much for a delegation of 27 Members of Parliament from Zimbabwe. The group of MPs were in Beijing to promote the country’s “Look East” policy, but took an unofficial detour to Guangdong Province by bullet train to go on a shopping spree. They ended up not only running out of money, but also missed their flight back home, reported Newsday.

To complicate things further, the Zimbabwean MPs fly Air Zimbabwe, and the next flight from Beijing to Harare isn’t until July 10.

The breakaway party of MPs were apparently warned not to travel to Guangdong, according to a source with the group:

We tried to persuade them not to travel to Guangdong as it is very far and they did not have enough money, but they did not listen… They did not have enough money and now they are stranded. We do not know where they are sleeping, what they are eating and how they will come back.

Guangdong is 2,294 kilometers away from Beijing and requires at least ten hours of travel by high-speed rail.

The Zimbabwe Parliament convened yesterday, so the 27 stranded MPs are now missing sessions in the Senate and National Assembly.

Photo: SW Radio Africa


Xiaobeilu: Photographic project on Africans in Guangzhou

Posted: 01/18/2014 7:00 am

American photographer and filmmaker Daniel Traub, who has been doing photography projects on China since 1998, has completed a project titled Xiaobeilu on Guangzhou’s African community. Half-Chinese, Traub is fluent in Mandarin and in 2010 approached a Chinese migrant worker named Wu Yongfu about exhibiting some of the portrait photos of African migrants he had been taking and selling on a footbridge in Xiaobeilu. Wu agreed and the portfolio contains both his images and Traub’s originals.

Here is a documentary about the project, presented by Traub himself and uploaded by last week.

Traub says on his own website that the project offers insight into several vital issues: China’s growing influence in Africa, immigration from the developing world into China and race relations between China and Africa.

Below are some of the images snapped by Wu and Traub on the footbridge.


Canton Fair attracts new buyers from emerging markets

Posted: 04/27/2013 7:52 am

The international prestige of the Canton Fair has attracted new buyers from a number of countries around the world. For three exhibitors in the international pavilion, their presence has marked a new trend in product consumerism.

India’s presence among international exhibitors provides a glimpse of the Indian government’s reform, which was announced in late 2012 as part of its foreign participation in direct investment into the Indian economy.

According to a 2011 census, China remained India’s largest trade partner in various goods and service and, in 2012, India’s GDP purchasing power was ranked fourth in the world, immediately behind China.

According to Indian exporter, Sachin Gupta, “China is becoming expensive nowadays.” Gupta runs a trading house that exports primarily bicycle and gardening tools; but, because “there are some products that China doesn’t produce,” it now exports ceramic tiles. Approximately 30% of Gupta’s sales are made in China (a whopping 50% of its sales are from India, and the remaining 20% is from Africa).

Behind India, the buying power of Africa has increased such that it has become “the new China” for business opportunities. This sentiment was echoed by Shiva Vachhani, a manufacturer and exporter of stainless steel cutlery from Mumbai. Vachhani reported that the majority of its buyers are from the North, East, and West of Africa. At each Canton Fair, he strives to bring in enough new samples to meet African demand.

Securing a booth inside the International Pavilion is a golden ticket for the lucky few; other international exhibitors, like those from Russia and European countries, have booths on the bridge linking to Area C of the complex. In full formal attire, these representatives are forced to hold a fan to provide respite from the humidity.

Still, the booths inside the International Pavillion are small, says C.M. Son, a sales manager, “they should make them bigger. The limited space makes it difficult to show other merchandise to customers.” Son’s largest segment of buyers come from the Middle East.  When questioned about his best sellers, Son noted that dishwashers remain high in global demand.

A badge at the Canton Fair is a passport of sorts and, once inside the pavillion, an endless number of business opportunities are available. According to one Canton Fair representative, the badge can be used so long as the Fair continues to attract buyers and sellers.


Nigerians call for a consulate in Guangzhou to “eliminate harassment”

Posted: 06/16/2012 7:00 am

It’s believed Guangzhou has some 20,000 African residents, the majority of whom hail from Nigeria.

Life isn’t always easy for them in Guangzhou, which has been nicknamed “Chocolate City“.  There has even been some friction between Nigerians and the local police department, particularly after a Nigerian man allegedly jumped to his death after being cornered by police in 2009.

Still, people from Nigeria are flooding into Guangzhou because of its opportunities.  And with so many here, wouldn’t it make sense for Nigeria to have a consulate in the city?  Many Nigerians think so.

Right now, Nigerians who need assistance ranging from consular protection to help with procuring residency papers have to go through the embassy in Beijing.  That’s a three hour flight north, and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

One Nigerian businessman in Guangzhou, Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, makes a strong case for a southern-based consulate:

“Most times, our people here face challenges on visa issuance because there is no consular office to educate them on how to go about it. I strongly believe that if Nigerian authorities see the need to establish a consular office in this area, Guangzhou authorities may adjust their policy on issuance of visa and they will  relate with visa applicants in times of emergency. This measure, if taken, will also reduce the problems of illegal immigrants, as most of the problems of illegal migrants arise from the absence of a consular office.

“Too many Nigerians find it difficult to process their visas or office documents because many are referred to Beijing or Nigeria for ratification. This measure often exposed Nigerians to untold hardship.”

The article in The Nation also points out that hundreds of Nigerians are believed to be languishing in prisons in China for minor offenses, possibly partially because of a lack of consular assistance.

To date, Nigeria has no plans to open a Guangzhou consulate.  In fact, as far as we know, no African countries are represented in the City of Five Rams.



Shunde cyclist home after getting lost in the Sahara desert

Posted: 02/23/2012 12:40 pm

Take a tent, a bike, and head out into the world—or, as the increasingly popular trend is known, zixing, a new form of lüyou with has emerged in recent years from online communities and refers to people who travel in an eco-friendly way, such as hiking or biking.

Not an option without its risks, however, as Shunde resident Mr. Lai, whose story was told in Guangzhou Daily this past weekend, discovered when he recently became stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Setting out in November last year, Lai cycled through the UK, France and a number of other countries before reaching Tunisia in January. After a short stay there, a visa denial left Lai with no choice but to head south on February 9. Things took a turn for the worse when Lai literally took a wrong turn and found himself not only lost but in the dark in the desert, out of food, unable to find signal on his mobile phone and with only neon glow sticks for comfort.

Later that evening, a run-down car approached an increasingly desperate Lai. Two men got out and insisted he join them.

“I had absolutely no idea what they were saying,” Lai recalls, “I thought they were going to kidnap me. Given the circumstances, though, being kidnapped seemed a better option than dying in the desert.”

Fortunately, they weren’t kidnappers. Lai got in the car and soon found signal on his phone, then began furiously texting family and friends in China begging for help. The men took Lai to a village where he was able to get in contact with the Chinese embassy in Tunis and eventually return to his home in Shunde on February 18.

Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV