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Look Like Venice? This is China’s Latest White Elephant… in Dalian

Posted: 10/21/2014 9:35 am


A boat cruises past European-style castles in the Venice replica in Dalian.

Dalian, the capital of Liaoning Province in northern China, has unveiled an RMB 5 billion replica of Venice, with 200 European-style castles, Gondolas and four kilometre-long canals, Xinhua reported.

The colossal construction project, dubbed the “Venice of the East” by local media, is the city’s ambitious move to boost tourism in the area. Boasting that it was the closest thing China had to Venice, Xinhua said the look and the amount of water in the canals were equal to the Italian city.

The announcement of China’s Venice came just days after President Xi Jinping criticized foreign-looking architecture at a Beijing symposium on the arts. Most online comments regarding the Venetian replica asked, “Why does domestic Chinese architecture always copy their foreign counterparts and lack unique, Asian characteristics?”

Judging by the photos of the site shown in the Xinhua report, the Venetian copy looks deserted just two days after its opening, with one, lone Gondola cruising the middle of the shallow canal.

Photos: CFP



Two Canadians On Trial In China For Stealing Military Secrets

Posted: 08/5/2014 10:31 am

kevin garrattTwo Canadians are currently on trial in China for stealing military secrets and national defense research from the country. Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt are currently being tried by a Chinese court overseen by the National Defense Department, reports the China Daily. Both have been called ”Canadian spies”.

Kevin Garratt, 53, and his wife Julia Dawn are originally from Vancouver. They first came to China in 1984 when they taught English in the country’s south before opening a coffee shop called Peter’s Coffee House in Dandong, Liaoning Province in 2008. As Dandong is near the North Korean border, the pair helped arrange tours for people traveling along the Yalu River.

According to Canada’s national newspaper, the Garratts are now missing, and all attempts to contact them at their coffee shop have failed.

The arrests come at a critical time when accusations of spying are flying between the two countries. Just last week, the Canadian Treasury Board said the Canadian National Research Council’s computer infrastructure was hacked into by a “Chinese state-sponsored actor”.


Photo: The Globe and Mail


Shirtless Expats Selling Burgers A Hit At Liaoning Night Market [UPDATED]

Posted: 08/1/2014 9:01 am

little black hamburgers shenyang liaoningBesides an English teaching position in China, finding employment is tough. How far would you go for a job? Would you be willing to take your shirt off, dance around, and wear a hygiene mask?

Two expats from Africa are doing just that in operating a food vendor stand at a night market in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, reports Sina.

The duo usually divides the work with one making the hamburgers, while the other takes his shirt off and puts on a muscle show said to attract squeals from female patrons.

little black hamburgers shenyang liaoning

The expats have named their popular stand “Little Black Hamburgers”. Chinese netizens have had mixed reactions:

The hundreds of thousands of black “uncles” in Guangzhou are awaiting for these screaming women to call them

Hahaha, these comments are full of self-hating losers with no muscles and jealous of others who have nothing to say but “that’s disgusting”. Hahaha, stupid cunts.

After catching this person working in an illegal trade, there’s no way this kind of person has a work permit

Do chengguan dare to deal with the likes of them?

little black hamburgers shenyang liaoning训练日壮_18:
You have the resources, you have a head for business, why not sell your body? The business is good.

While a lot of attention has been paid to this chef duo, nobody has indicated if the burgers are any good.

little black hamburgers shenyang liaoninglittle black hamburgers shenyang liaoning

UPDATE August 14: Two weeks after their story went public, “Little Black Hamburgers” show no signs of waning media interest as they continue to gather crowds. As well, the pair who are students at the local university have new competition in the Shenyang night market from a woman identified as a Brazilian who is operating a stall next to them.little black hamburger shenyang liaoning

little black hamburger shenyang liaoninglittle black hamburger shenyang liaoningPhotos: Sina


Guangzhou Evergrande on cusp of being Asia’s first “super club”

Posted: 10/30/2013 10:00 am

Guangzhou Evergrande are strong favourites to win the Asian Champions League on home soil on November 9 after claiming a 2-2 draw in the away leg on Saturday (October 26). Moreover, after recently becoming Chinese champions for the third successive time, the club deemed the “Manchester United of Asia” could be set to become Asia’s first “super club,” according to a feature in The Guardian.

Brazilian attacker Elkeson after scoring in Seoul, image courtesy of The Guardian

A Chinese club hasn’t become Asian champion since Liaoning in 1990, but Guangzhou has swept all before them under World Cup-winning Italian coach Marcello Lippi this year, winning the semi-final 8-1 over two legs.

Although the outcome on Nov. 9 is far from a foregone conclusion, the first leg saw an encouraging performance and result by the Guangzhou team.

South Korea’s capital club took the lead in the 11th minute after a quickly taken free-kick caught the Guangzhou defense flat-footed and Sergio Escudero, a Spain-born naturalized Japanese striker, raced through the center to score.

The Chinese team turned the game around with goals either side of halftime: a header from Brazilian Elkeson after a corner and a close-range finish from Chinese forward Gao Lin.

FC Seoul’s Montenegrin striker Dejan Damajanovic equalised seven minutes from the end, giving the Koreans a better chance at upsetting the odds.

A feature in The Guardian by John Duerden discusses the improving fortunes of the Guangzhou team that was in the second flight as recently as 2010:

Guangzhou are not the only Chinese team to spend big but they did it best, certainly better than Shanghai Shenhua with their ill-fated Anelka-Drogba adventure. Others have followed, such as Guangzhou R&F who are coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson, Lippi’s regular dining partner at a local Italian restaurant, but they are way behind. All this investment is partly the result of a political desire to see the Chinese game first cleansed of corruption and then improved to become Asia’s best. Businesses have been happy to spend, at least in part, to please officials at the local, regional and national level. The new president of China, Xi Jinping, is a big fan.

The one worry is that Evergrande may reduce support if the real estate market in China continues to be sluggish but fans care little and there are more and more of them. The club have plans to open supporters groups elsewhere in Asia as well as Europe and America. Guangzhou are determined to become ever grander on a global scale.

The Tianhe Stadium, where Evergrande play their home games, holds 50,000 but has an average attendance of just 45,000. Therefore you can probably get tickets if you go along on most match days, though obviously not on November 9.

Huang Bowen, one of China’s best players is a midfielder for Evergrande

Some of the useful players on show include Brazilian Elkeson, Argentine Dario Conca who has been described by his employers as “brilliant on the pitch and difficult off it”, and China’s Huang Bowen.

Now hopefully some of this success will rub off on the national team.


Disabled man requests handshakes from strangers on street

Posted: 07/17/2012 5:11 pm

Before 1980 disabled people in China were described with derogatory terms such as “canfei” which implies that they are useless. But China is gradually developing a more enlightened attitude toward the disabled.

The country’s more than 60 million disabled people meet with slightly less discrimination now, and one Shenzhen man is making his own contribution to the cause.

Holding a sign explaining that he is travelling across China to raise awareness, Jiang Wenshan was seen on a street in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province offering handshakes July 15, according to local media. Around 40 percent of pedestrians stopped to shake his hand, said the man, Jiang, aged 30.

Why were the remaining 60 percent of pedestrians so standoffish? Jiang says it’s perfectly understandable, and you may agree. Jiang does not have a left hand, so what you would be shaking is a stump.

Jiang intends to do this in 88 cities, travelling over 30,000 kilometres, he claims. He has already travelled over 17,000 kilometres and Shenyang is his 36th city. His next port of call will be Changchun.

Jiang told reporters that he was an introverted child who would spend most of his time in his room looking at maps, dreaming of travelling the world. He intended to start such a trip in 2005, but his father had a car crash putting great financial pressure on the family, forcing Jiang to work several unglamorous jobs.

His still intends to take 3 or 4 years to travel the world and he has already collected over 30,000 yuan in donations to pay for this.

In 2006, a campaign was introduced on the streets of Beijing, Changsha and Xi’an to offer free hugs to strangers. However, police stopped it shortly after.

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