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Pride and Shame: Student Assaults Foreign Teacher in the Name of Putonghua

Posted: 10/9/2014 9:18 am

HKU attacking foreign English professorChina is a country of great pride, a place of fervent nationalism. If you’re wondering where such strong feelings come from, you’ll find it comes from the same place where deep regret and humiliation dwell.

Two days ago, a 26 year-old mainland Chinese student named Liu physically attacked Cliff Buddle, a British instructor at Hong Kong University, for speaking English in class. Most of HKU’s classes are taught in English, but that didn’t seem to matter to Liu. Immediately before the assault, Liu spoke in Putonghua, saying, “Hong Kong has already returned to the mainland for 17 years now, why do they still use English in classes?”

While attempting to leave the class after the assault, Liu muttered, “A Chinese should be patriotic, and learn less English.” When the police finally arrived, the self-described Tsinghua University student admitted that he thought there was nothing wrong with assaulting foreign nationals.

This isn’t the first case of Mainland resentment towards Hong Kong. Many Mainland people who live in the city complain of discrimination, as Hong Kongers have traditionally seen their Mainland counterparts as “bumpkins” with less political and financial freedom. Some who have felt the wrath of discrimination have lashed out, most notably when a teen complaining about Hong Kong admitted to killing his dog by putting it into a washing machine to incite Hong Kongers.

But then there’s the general disgust towards Hong Kong for maintaining its western-style way of life, most notably the English language. Physically assaulting an instructor, completely unprovoked, takes this nationalism to another level, and anytime something is done in the name of China naturally draws conflicting views from the people who live there.

Most of the comments online in China were disgusted by Liu’s behaviour:

What does using English to teach a class have to do with the reunification of Hong Kong? Don’t say that you’re a university student; so easily prone to violence despite your schooling, do you call this civilized behavior? [angry.emoji]

A loss of face!!!!!

[waving.emoji] Sick people need to take their medication.

An idiot who knows how to study.

If you’re not able to adapt, then don’t go to university.

No matter how long its been since reunification, it has nothing to do with your low abilities.

Patriotic without reason

Some couldn’t even believe it happened:

Is there any proof? Yet another classic case of an inflammatory post.

This has to have been meticulously set up. Normal people are incapable of doing these things.

I feel that this story is not as simple as it appears. Also, during this time of sensitivity, I think that the original poster shouldn’t post this kind of story.

And then, those who applaud what Liu did:

A beating well done. This increases our national prestige (happy.emoji)

Hong Kong people should still learn how to speak Putonghua.

Why insist on calling him a “mainlander”? In fact, what he’s saying isn’t without merit. After so many years of reunification, the English level in Hong Kong is still so much better than Putonghua!

Although I agree that everything he is saying is true, but extremism… all the same, you can’t hit people.

That guy doesn’t even understand Cantonese. On the day the world has been unified, once my great empire of China has vanquished a hundred countries, English will cease to exist.

To finish, there’s a grab bag of sarcastic comments along with those that don’t fit anywhere else, but make an argument of their own:

It’s true, you must speak Putonghua within the borders of China. This is the unbreakable rule. And yet, this is not to speak of the fact that since you’re taking my money, you have to provide me with the proper service. You don’t expect me to accommodate you, do you? Even if you’re going to teach me English, you still have to do it in Putonghua [stiflelaugh.emoji]

You have given much face to your countrymen. [tongueout.emoji]

Just saw the picture and read the comments and feel that the person in the middle of all this is still living in an age of face. The amount of face he lost is directly proportional to the amount he’s invested in this lifestyle.

(This guy is) not the least bit cultured. At the very least, Hong Kong was better when it was under the control of the UK. Chinese can’t be too arrogant and have such a high opinion of themselves.

Was it the archaic notion of “face” that prompted this assault? Did Liu feel so embarrassed at being so positively humbled by the worldliness of Hong Kong, so influenced by the west, that he was compelled to physically attack Buddle to preserve the honor of China?

Ironically, if Liu committed the assault because he felt he lost face, his assault lead to a much greater loss of face for Mainland China. Pride and shame are completely opposite emotions, but the other is never far away when you keep one close at hand.


Here’s a Youtube video news report of the assault.

Photo: Cantonese Report Station


Global Times: “All iPhone 6 Owners Deserve to Be Despised”

Posted: 09/28/2014 11:53 am

iphone 6 retail saleChina’s firebrand mouthpiece has published an editorial advocating open hostility towards anyone who owns an iPhone 6, which still isn’t officially on sale in China.

The nationalist newspaper Global Times said lust after the product and the opportunists that are trying cater to it have both made China lose face on an international scale; “face”, of course, being the ancient concept that the respect of a person or entity is entirely dependent upon what others think of you/it.

READ: iPhone 6 Selfie Spreads on Chinese Social Networks

The Global Times points to three individuals arrested for fighting outside an Apple store as an example, noting all three are “Chinese nationals”. In fact, the paper even printed this passage:

A US police officer insulted (the Chinese people waiting in line), saying, ‘Haven’t you people ever heard of soap?‘ After this incident comes to be known in China, it will be an embarrassment for many people here.

READ: Unreleased Hong Kong and US Versions of iPhone 6
Already on Sale in Beijing for US$4,500

So what does the Global Times think of iPhone 6 owners?

Most people do it for vanity so that they can show it off. It’s as though having an iPhone 6 right now is so awesome, as if it were trendy, cool, and impressive. But in fact, the people that now have the iPhone 6 aren’t what they think they are.

READ: Chinese Line Up Globally To Buy – And Then Sell – the iPhone 6

The reckless drive for profit is not just something that Chinese have done, but Marx described how profit can warp human nature. At the time he said it, he was referring to Westerners.

To borrow a phrase, “If there is no buying or selling, then there is no loss of face.”

READ: Shenzhen: The Cradle of the iPhone, and Also its Huge Resale Market

The op-ed concludes by saying why Chinese people should be ashamed:

Many people say the iPhone 6 exploits the Chinese people by performing mental experiments in the form of number of marketing tricks, thus proving that there are fools with too much money in the Chinese market. This is the place where there is a real loss of face. That’s why whomever has an iPhone 6 deserves to be looked down upon with despise.

With the blame fully doled out, no mention was made in the op-ed of the reason behind the delayed launch of the iPhone 6 in China. As reported by AsiaOne, Beijing’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not list the iPhone 6 as having been approved for the Chinese market before its worldwide launch.

READ: No Mooncakes, No work! Workers at Apple’s Supplier
in Dongguan on Strike

Though the iPhone 5s launched in China simultaneously with the rest of the world, this iPhone hit a snag when CCTV accused Apple of threatening national security by being able to track a user’s location. However, rumors are the iPhone 6 is set to go on sale in China on October 10.


Photo: Reuters


Six Year Old Girl Shames Wuhan University Students For Being Lazy

Posted: 09/17/2014 10:52 am

cafeteria child laborerThat’s a picture of a six year-old girl who is picking up dirty dishes at a cafeteria in Wuhan, Hubei Province. As shocking as it is to see such a young person working, most of the online commentary in China is focused on the laziness of the school’s freshmen students, who don’t clean up after themselves.

These pictures were taken at Huazhong Normal University. The girl is the daughter of a stall operator that sells barbecue goose in the cafeteria. The People’s Daily Online says the girl comes out to bus tables when her father is too busy working.

cafeteria child laborer

The girl isn’t the only person cleaning up. There are a number of cleaners at the cafeteria who are responsible for busing tables and washing dishes, but there’s simply too much to be done. As a result, the university is trying to encourage students to collect their own dirty dishes and used cutlery, but students haven’t bothered.

cafeteria child laborer

Their behavior may change now that these photos have surfaced, though. The young girl is shaming the students in to taking action. One Weibo user said, “First year university freshmen, male and female, take this opportunity to learn good habits.” Another said, “Taking back used dishes to the service counter is a sort of friendship, a love that you show to the dining hall of the school.”

Other comments focused upon the school’s inability to hire enough cleaners and that people don’t normally collect their own dishes in China. But the majority believe the girl has shamed the students.

China’s primary school system begins for students aged six or seven

cafeteria child laborer

The sign at the area where dishes are to be bused reads:

We thank all students who voluntarily return their dishes
Warmly thank you for this simple service.

Photos: People’s Daily Online



Paris Fashion Mag Features China’s Famous “Facekini” In Photo Shoot

Posted: 08/14/2014 3:24 pm

cr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiesAunties of China: you never cease to amaze. Known for their propensity to public dance in squares and buy up vast amounts of gold, they may be most famous for encouraging the use of facekinis, a beach accessory used to keep the sun away from their faces.

Since they first appeared in the public eye in Qingdao in 2012, Facekinis have been the talk of summertime in China. But they’ve never really gotten the attention they’ve deserved… until now.

cr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese aunties

As reported by Sina, fashion magazine CR Fashion Book has published a pictorial featuring the facekini. Photographed at Piscine Molitor, the pictorial centers on the concept that a “deep tan is the enemy”:

While our summer beauty routines are devoted to bronzing, self-tanning, and tan-extending, in Asia, beauty-seekers are more likely to center theirs around lightening and brightening… These beautiful eyes are peering from behind a mask—still enjoying summer, but avoiding a summer glow at all costs.

CR Fashion Book is run by Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. Who knows? Perhaps the facekini is set to take the world by storm.

cr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese auntiescr fashion book pool mask facekini Chinese aunties


Photos: CR Fashion Book


Conde Nast Names Beijing One of the World’s Most Unfriendly Cities

Posted: 08/13/2014 4:31 pm

forbidden city crowdsConde Nast Traveler has recently published the results of a poll that shows Beijing is considered among the world’s most unfriendly cities according to tourists.

The term “unfriendly” isn’t necessarily a reflection of a city’s residents. Instead, it’s a judgment on how accessible and accommodating a city is towards its international tourists. For example, Johannesburg was ranked first because of its high crime rate and “danger of traveling alone”.

Beijing ranks at number six on the list, apparently because of its “terrible pollution” and “dirty streets” that detract from its beautiful attractions. With that, China Daily issued the following post:

worlds unfriendliest cities

Is Beijing the world’s most unfriendly city?
US travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler has published a list of the world’s most unfriendly cities for 2014 upon which Beijing is ranked at number six. The magazine thinks that environmental pollution, traffic congestion and overcrowding are the main reasons for being on the list. The top city on the list is Johannesburg, and there are three well-known romantic French cities on the list: Paris (#4), Marsailles (#4), and Cannes (#2).

As China’s capital, Beijing certainly has its problems. Beijing does have bad air pollution, congested streets and too many people, so it can’t dispute these facts. The contention seems to be over the word “unfriendly”.  Netizens in China, of course, have sounded off over the news:

I don’t understand the meaning of the word “unfriendly”. [tragic.emo]

This list was determined by the Americans themselves, no wonder there aren’t any of their own US cities on this list.

Let’s see you make New York, Los Angeles, and Washington not be congested with traffic!

There really aren’t any US cities listed.

In truth, Beijingers fear important foreigners!! Especially important people who are black!! It’s just that the foreign media doesn’t know this.

Actually, (they) treat foreigners very well.

I’ve never been to Beijing; I support this.

It seems as though this isn’t wrong. In loving our country, we must look at all the facts.

Take a hike, Beijing!

Or, it may be time to accept that Beijing is a terrible place to find yourself at the end of a journey. In May, a survey of 54,000 people by TripAdvisor determined that Beijing is the second-worst travel destination in the world, topped only by Moscow.

The survey ranked cities by the quality of taxi services provided, the helpfulness of locals, and, yes, the friendliness of its residents.

Photo: Jez and Jennie’s


Taiwan TV: “Chinese Blue Collar Workers Can’t Afford Home Computers”

Posted: 08/13/2014 9:15 am

taiwan computer show 03

Who knew tech talk could be so sassy? A Taiwanese news report insinuating Chinese blue collar workers are too poor to afford home computers has, predictably, ruffled a few feathers.

The story, posted by Sina News Video, involves an August 6th discussion between the television host and a computer expert about smart phone trends in mainland China. The interview appears relatively harmless, until the computer expert is asked to explain the mainland popularity of smartphones, particularly as a device used to access the Internet. That’s when this little gem of an exchange occurred:

Computer expert:
The poverty gap is especially wide on the mainland, and some people at the blue collar level aren’t able to purchase personal computers.

Using a phone to surf the internet is cheaper, and so has become popularized with the mainland public.

If you read that comment as an insinuation that “Chinese mainlanders can’t afford computers because they are poor”, you’re not the only one.

The reaction to this story has been swift as many mainland Chinese were apparently very hurt by the comments.

taiwan computer show

Here is a taste of the uproar:

Not worthy of being called the same people. Both mainland and Taiwan experts are good at farting!

Haha, nowadays every household in every village has a computer.

A (laptop) computer only costs three to four thousand yuan, while a smart phone requires five to six thousand yuan.

Citizens of Taipei like to show off the limits of their IQ.

As yours truly, esq, can’t even afford to buy a tea egg, what’s the point of bringing up computers and phones?

That man is an alien.

I’m guessing that many of these comments have been misled. Please take another look at the video! [sweat.emo]

We last saw a number of overly sarcastic comments in China after one person in Taiwan suggested that many mainlanders are too poor to purchase a tea egg.



People’s Daily Blames Jinan Restaurant Closures on Local Government

Posted: 07/5/2014 11:07 pm

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationA few days ago, The Nanfang brought you the curious story of hundreds of restaurants closing en masse in Jinan, Shandong province on the same day a national-level municipal health check was to be held in the city. We figured this would impact the faith Jinan folk have in their restaurants, and it turns out the People’s Daily Online agrees.

But there is a twist to the story. The restaurants, it turns out, probably didn’t close on their own volition. It was actually in response to a local government directive.

Here’s their commentary on the Jinan story:

‘Hygiene Initiative’ is a Farce
Against the City Hygiene Initiative, [the local government of] Jinan has ordered hundreds of restaurants to close. This has caused great inconvenience to city residents as well as attracting a lot of criticism. The Hygiene Initiative is an idea; however, the essence behind it is [as formless and insubstantial] as the art movement of Formalism. How can it bring about lasting reform to people’s perspectives on the environment? Through their governing, the new leaders of the current administration repeatedly emphasize not to reap [personal rewards] in the name of China nor to delight in false actions. Please tell us, corresponding Jinan departments: have these words gotten into your heads?

The People’s Daily Online stops short of directly accusing the government of ordering the closures, but treads awfully close. The conjecture  is that the Jinan local government wanted to save itself from any possible risk of losing face on a national level. By not allowing any of its hundreds of restaurants to be evaluated, no Jinan restaurant could suffer the humiliation of being rated below standard, a shame that will come back to haunt the local government.

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation


Photos: the Nanfang


Woman Beaten to Death at McDonald’s for Refusing to Give Her Phone Number [GRAPHIC, UPDATED]

Posted: 05/30/2014 9:27 pm

mcdonalds victim gang beating  death phone number rejection[This story contains violent and graphic images that may offend some readers]

UPDATE: Several of the details provided here are out of date, and have been compiled in another story, “McDonald’s Cult Leader Gets TV Interview, More Details of Deadly Attack Emerge“]

This is a terrible story, and does not end well.

Miss Wu has out having dinner at McDonald’s on May 28 in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province.

Mr Zhang was also at that McDonald’s. Zhang was there having dinner with his friends, and upon seeing Wu, Zhang asked her for her phone number. Wu refused, and perhaps because he had lost face in front of his friends, Zhang may not have reacted well to this rejection.

An argument broke out. Then, a physical dispute. Then, all of Zhang’s friends joined in. They beat her, violently. As described by a Weibo user named @无主蜜桃 who was an eyewitness, Zhang and his friends kicked her in the head when Wu was lying on the ground. Then, they used an iron bar to strike her head. They continued until the iron bar broke.

Emergency responders confirmed that Wu died at the scene. Except for this very brief and violent conflict, Wu and Zhang were total strangers.

The Weibo eyewitness describes this incident occurring from 9:10pm to 9:30pm. The McDonald’s is located across the street from a local police station.

No one was reported to have tried to help the victim.

mcdonalds victim gang beating death phone number rejectionmcdonalds victim gang beating death phone number rejectionmcdonalds victim gang beating death phone number rejectionmcdonalds victim gang beating death phone number rejection

Here is some live video at the scene, but it is very shaky and does not show many details. However, it does align with what a number of bystanders said they saw.

UPDATE 11:52am May 31, 2014. The People’s Daily Online has a very different take on this story, reporting the six people involved in the attack as all part of an “evil cult” who were trying to enlist a new member.

Of the people arrested, one is still a minor and can’t be charged as an adult. The rest will be charged with intentional homicide.

CCTV reports that the attackers had warned spectators to refrain from intervening by saying, “We’ll kill anyone who gets involved!” as well as saying horrible things to the victim like “[once I kill you,] you’ll never come back in the next life”.

Photos: Weibo (2)

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