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Top 10 Terms Used By Chinese Media In 2014

Posted: 12/22/2014 10:00 am

rule of law2014 was the year that gave us My Little Apple, death cults, yet another incarnation of the Monkey King, the World Cup, and an airline that vanished out of thin air. But which one ranks as the most popular among Chinese media and the Internet?

As reported by China Daily, here’s another year-end list ranking the most frequently used words by the Chinese media in 2014:

  1. rule of law
  2. loss of communication
  3. Beijing APEC
  4. Ebola
  5. One Belt, One Road (referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21 Century Maritime Silk Road)
  6. Brazil World Cup
  7. Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Exchange connection program
  8. Occupy Central
  9. National Memorial Day
  10. Chang’E 5

The report also included the most frequently searched terms by Chinese internet users. The top domestic search term was “anti-corruption”, while the most popular international search term was “Malaysian Airlines”.

Photos: China Daily, Baidu


Ignore the Smog Beijingers, City Says “APEC Blue” Could Become The Norm

Posted: 11/20/2014 3:21 pm

apec blue pollution air smogThis year’s APEC summit saw host city Beijing boasting beautiful blue skies that were a change from the smog that usually hounds the nation’s capital. And despite the extreme measures required to reach this goal, it appears “APEC blue” is something that Beijing officials want to institute as a long-term policy while the city is currently under yet another smog attack.

This mechanism will remain in place over a long time after the conference is over,” Zhang Dawei, a director with the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center, said.

Among the temporary measures used to improve Beijing’s air quality during the APEC conference was reducing carbon emissions by limiting vehicle traffic. This is now being considered as a permanent remedy to the city’s notoriously polluted skies. Local officials are even considering charging drivers a “congestion tax”.

Beijing’s plan is to continue to introduce policies aimed at reducing the local PM 2.5 level to 60 by 2017. That is ambitious, as another report suggests Beijing’s air quality will only begin to improve in 30 years.

The Beijing Environmental Statistics Bureau reports PM 2.5 levels during the 11 days of the APEC dropped 30 percent, and were the lowest such levels recorded this year.

Currently, Beijing has an AQI level of 348, and is under a yellow warning alert.

apec blue pollution air smogRelated:

Photo: People’s Daily


China Hands Out First 10-Year Visas to Americans Following Deal With Obama

Posted: 11/17/2014 6:22 pm

first visa extension china usa tourist business studnent

The first ten-year travel visa with multiple entries have been issued to Americans just days after the US and China reached a deal on visas at APEC in Beijing, reported ECNS. 

23-year-old researcher Edmund Downie was the first US citizen to receive the newly extended visa at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. Under the agreement, student visas will be valid for five years, while tourist and business visas will be valid for ten years. The agreement does not change the length of time a visitor is allowed to stay in the country, but the validity of the visa itself. In other words, people will still only be able to stay for 30 days on each entry in most cases.

Visas for each country were previously only valid for one year.

“It eases the process of visa acquisition and makes it more affordable,” Downie said, while adding this will help Americans to learn more about China.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was present at a ceremony at the US Embassy in Beijing last week where the first ten-year visas were issued to Chinese citizens.

Kerry emphasized the mutual benefit both countries will gain, saying, ”This will pay huge dividends for American and Chinese citizens and it will strengthen both of our economies.”

Through this agreement, the White House hopes to attract more Chinese tourists as a way to boost employment and inject billions into the US economy. A White House statement said that by 2021, Chinese travelers will contribute $85 billion to the US economy and support 440,000 jobs. The agreement will also “quadruple” the current number of Chinese visitors coming to the United States.

Previously, China represented an untapped source of tourism for the US.  The White House noted “Chinese travelers persistently rank the United States as their top desired travel destination, but only slightly more than 1.8 percent of total outbound travelers go to the United States.”

President Obama made the visa policy announcement at a speech during APEC in which he said he wanted China “to do well”, saying, “”The United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China.”

In light of the many tensions between the two countries, President Obama also raised US concerns over China’s stubbornly fixed exchange rate, restricted markets, and press freedoms and human rights.

Obama also touched upon the protests happening in Hong Kong over universal suffrage, saying, ”Our primary message has been to make sure violence is avoided,” adding that the US would “continue to have concerns about human rights” in China.

President Obama emphasized he would stick to his ideals, saying, ”We’re not going to stop speaking out on behalf of the things that we care about.”

Photo: ecns


Putin on the Ritz: Russian Leader Caught Hitting on Xi Jinping’s Wife

Posted: 11/11/2014 3:07 pm

russian president vladimir putin peng liyuan apec coat rumor censorChinese censors routinely target sensitive information about national security, the military, and politics. But now the country’s vast army of censors have been given an entirely new task: blocking all reference to an act of chivalry by Russian leader Vladimir Putin towards Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan.

Several world leaders attended an outdoor event last night near Beijing’s famous “Water Cube” swimming complex for a night of dancing and fireworks. While host and Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping was busy speaking to US President Barack Obama on his right, Xi’s wife Peng was seated next to President Putin.

The newly-single Putin perhaps decided Peng Liyuan looked a bit chilly. So, as gentlemen tend to do, he took a coat and wrapped it around Peng’s shoulders. A CCTV 13 commentator caught the event, saying,  ”Putin has just placed his coat around Peng Liyuan’s body.”

russian president vladimir putin peng liyuan apec coat rumor censorEven though Peng was nonchalant about the gesture by letting the coat slip from her shoulders moments later, the video was picked up by a number of Chinese news media and inspired the hashtag #PutinGivesPengLiyuanHisCoat. However, censors put a stop to any further talk by censoring it from internet news portals and online social media circles.

Rumors about China’s leaders are not tolerated, even as others involving Chinese women and powerful Western leaders, such as those regarding the former wife to Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, Wendy Deng, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair are allowed to swirl.

And yet, this is not the first time President Putin has turned on the charm for Peng. On a 2013 trip to Russia, Peng stole the limelight from her husband with her style and grace. Not censored from Chinese news at the time was Putin’s gift of a bouquet of flowers to Peng as Xi watched from afar.

russian president vladimir putin peng liyuan flower giftrussian president vladimir putin peng liyuan flower giftrussian president vladimir putin peng liyuan flower gift

Here’s the video of Putin putting a coat on Peng:

russian president vladimir putin peng liyuan apec coat rumor censor[h/t Foreign Policy]

Photos: smh, Foreign Policy, Weibo @普京VladimirPutin, screenshots of CCTV 13


Photos: Chinese Soldiers at APEC Humbled by 5-Star Treatment

Posted: 11/11/2014 8:53 am

five star hotel soldier APEC beijingSecurity in Beijing is extremely tight with a number of world leaders in town for the APEC summit. And what better way to encourage soldiers and security personnel to do their jobs properly than by treating them well – very well.  In fact, soldiers have been checked into five-star hotels in the nation’s capital, with some even staying in the same hotels as VIP guests.

If you think five-star treatment might make soldiers soft, that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, photographs from Beijing Youth Daily show the soldiers living a spartan and humble existence despite the major upgrade in accommodation.

five star hotel soldier APEC beijingThe soldiers brought their own bedding, wash basins and face cloths all while maintaining a meticulously spotless room, making a maid’s work rather easy. Their equipment is sorted out on shelves: helmets, riot shields, truncheons, and more.

Apparently they are even passing on disposable items in the room, which has won the support of netizens around the country. More pictures below:

five star hotel soldier APEC beijingfive star hotel soldier APEC beijingfive star hotel soldier APEC beijingfive star hotel soldier APEC beijingfive star hotel soldier APEC beijingfive star hotel soldier APEC beijingPhotos: Beijing Youth Daily


Chinese and Japanese Leaders Shake Hands… Very Reluctantly

Posted: 11/10/2014 7:42 pm

abe xi handshake

The sky may be mostly blue in Beijing for this week’s big APEC summit, but dark clouds seem to hang over the relationship between China and Japan. Just a few months ago some speculated the two countries were on the verge of armed conflict as tensions rose over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, which each country claims as its own.

That led to today and a highly-publicized meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They hadn’t met in person since they had both become leaders, so when word came they’d meet each other at APEC the spotlight was on. Unfortunately, the two couldn’t even muster a basic smile for the cameras.

We have a series of photos below that show Abe making a reluctant first move, extending his hand, and Xi accepting begrudgingly after a bit of a delay. Despite Abe saying a few words, Xi didn’t say anything back, instead turning his unsmiling face towards the cameras.

Columbia University professor Gerry Curtis said, ”Xi had to be concerned about how the meeting was covered in China. Looking like he was meeting his best friend would probably not go down all that well.”

Here’s how it did go down. The Approach:

abe xi handshake

The Extension:

abe xi handshake

The Longest Five Seconds Ever:

abe xi handshake

Proving that Xi really isn’t as dour as he looks when meeting Abe, here he is meeting other world leaders. Notice everyone else had a nice backdrop of their national flag, unlike Abe:

xi handshakes apec leaders

Of course, which photo you see if the handshake partially depends on which country you’re in:


Here’s a video of the handshake with Abe:


Photos: Sina News, Shenzhen Evening Post


Herculean Effort to Clean Beijing’s Air May Be in Vain as Pollution Forecasted

Posted: 11/8/2014 11:28 am

apec ball buildingA tremendous effort has been made to clean up the air around Beijing in advance of the APEC summit. The “war on air pollution” is the largest mobilization of resources to improve air quality since the Olympic Games in 2008, 2010 Shanghai Expo and this year’s Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

However, while the sky might be “APEC Blue” right now, it looks like even Beijing’s herculean efforts won’t be enough to let the sun shine through. Heavy pollution is forecast for the region around Beijing from November 8 to 11, which means Beijing might lose face in front of foreign guests. That means somebody must be punished.

That indeed will happen as 24 Shijiazhuang officials will apparently face consequences for failing in their promise to make Beijing’s air quality comply with regulations for APEC. Another five people working for ‘problematic companies’ (which we think are companies that add to pollution) have been detained and fined RMB 350,000.

The efforts to reduce emissions and increase air quality have involved a number of provinces including Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Inner Mongolia, and Henan. Tianjin has also been doing everything it can.

The New York Times outlines some of the extreme measures being taken to cut down on pollution:

Thousands of factories have closed and thousands more have been ordered to reduce emissions by 30 percent. Around Beijing, in an area nearly the size of California, tens of millions of people in 17 major cities can drive only on alternate days, depending on whether their license plates end in an odd or even number. Trucks carrying goods can enter Beijing only between midnight and 3 a.m., affecting deliveries of supplies like furniture and milk.

Gas stations have been barred from selling gas in canisters, and some have been shut entirely, though these measures may be aimed more to discourage the making of firebombs than to clear the air.

The government has also tried to shed some of the city’s 21 million people, declaring an APEC Golden Week, a six-day vacation modeled on the Golden Week public officials get each year around National Day in early October. Public schools have been closed, work has been halted on construction sites, and public services such as issuing marriage licenses and passports have been suspended.

Newlyweds may not set off firecrackers, a common feature of a wedding celebration. Hospitals have closed nonessential departments and are turning away patients with nonemergency ailments.

All mining in Hebei is reported to have stopped as well, and police will investigate any reports of people burning their trash.

Photo: Caijing


Don’t Hang Underwear on Your Balcony During APEC, or Beijing Police May Mistake You For a Sniper

Posted: 11/6/2014 4:12 pm

sniper rifleWith the APEC summit in Beijing fast approaching, the city is abuzz with excitement… if hiding in your own home out of fear of being shot counts as excitement.

This document comes to us from Facebook and while we can’t verify its authenticity, it has all the precautions and warnings Beijing residents have become familiar with whenever something important happens in the city.

The following appears to be an official notice posted in a public location:

notice apec


From November 6, 2014 until November 13, 2014, a world conference will be convening in Beijing. For this reason, precautions are being made to ensure the safety of every participating country from sniper attack from tall buildings located near the Third Ring Road.

Please refrain from wantonly opening your windows without restraint or hanging clothes from them in order not to be mistaken for an attacking sniper, thus leading to one’s injury or death. Be sure to pay attention to your own safety.

Office of On-Duty Staff

November 2, 2014

It goes without saying that if you are, in fact, a hostile sniper, you should turn yourself over to the authorities immediately before an innocent man hanging his underwear gets mistaken for you.

[h/t Brendan O'Kane]

Photos: Facebook, Guns America


Beijing To Impose Mandatory Work Holiday During APEC Summit

Posted: 10/29/2014 9:00 am

apec beijingWith the APEC summit fast approaching, authorities are looking for help from Beijing residents to ensure things go smoothly. And by help, authorities are asking that residents not go to work for six days.

The order applies only to municipal and central government workers, but private businesses may also choose to close up shop as well. Before you start celebrating, keep in mind that the holiday won’t be without its conditions, as workers will most likely be asked to make up the days on future weekends.

The purpose of the holiday is to help ease traffic during the summit, reports China Daily, and of course, ease the smog. This is the first time since the 2008 Summer Olympics that Beijing has imposed such stringent measures to alleviate pollution.

Not to be outdone, neighboring Langfang, Hebei plans to impose a similar six day mandatory holiday for some of its residents in order to alleviate pressure upon Beijing services and infrastructure.

Photo: cbda


[Photos] APEC Leaders Treated To Opulent Accommodations in Beijing

Posted: 10/21/2014 9:00 am

apec summit huairou buildingsResidents of China’s capital can expect the requisite traffic jams next month as the APEC summit descends on the city. Dignitaries and VIPs will be ushered around the city behind tinted windows, clogging up the ring roads even more than normal. Beijingers have even been told they may be given a work holiday during the summit, which runs from November 5 to 11, to help reduce the strain on the city’s infrastructure.

After the VIPs hop out of their fancy cars, they will have some incredible accommodations. Located at Lake Yanqi in the Huairou district of Beijing, these venues look luxurious and regal, befitting any world leader.

apec summit huairou buildingsHowever, that’s not to say that netizens are impressed. On the contrary,many take exception to not only the summit but the buildings built to host it:

Are they going to use these buildings once, and then never use them again?

Will they spray water everywhere in order to get rid of the smog [picknose.emoji]??

In short: simply ruthless [byebye.emoji]


Here are a few other venue photos:

apec summit huairou buildingsapec summit huairou buildingsapec summit huairou buildingsPhotos: China Daily

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