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High School Student Commits Suicide Following Mandatory Military Training

Posted: 09/1/2014 8:00 am

military training

A Liaoning high school student committed suicide after being disciplined by a military instructor during mandatory school training, reports 21CN. Wang Jingwei took her own life in the early hours of August 19, jumping out of her sixth floor window in yet another disturbing act committed under the auspices of mandatory military training for middle, high school and university students.

A recent investigation of the Fuxin Board of Education determined that the school’s faculty and military instructors were blameless in the incident, contrary to the accusations made by Wang’s family.

After being sent home at the request of her teacher, He, Jingwei told her family about being chastised by her instructor and threatened with expulsion:

The teacher said my posture wasn’t any good. I said that I was doing my best, but the teacher said that I was selfish, and ungrateful. The teacher threatened to expel me.

The teacher allegedly told Jingwei, “If you were a boy, I’d expel you immediately,” and “I don’t want to see you anymore” before sending her home.

Ten students, including Jingwei, were allegedly singled out for special training because of improper behaviour. Given that the military instructor did not have a specific recollection of Jingwei, her family suspect that a contributing factor in her suicide was being taken to his office for a private talk.

In response to the allegations, the education board determined that the teacher and the instructor did not insult or punish Jingwei, and that their conversation was nothing out of the ordinary. Moreover, the instructor claims he never threatened Jingwei with expulsion. hunan military training protest

This is not the first time mandatory military training for students has ended in controversy. Earlier this month, a massive brawl broke out following an incident between high school students and military instructors sent to the school. The official report on the incident has sent high school freshmen and their parents to the streets of Longhua in protest. The report made no mention of the inebriation of the military instructors, placing the blame solely on a teacher at the school.

While military training for students is controversial, there are no plans to cancel the practice anytime soon. In fact, on August 28, the Ministry of National Defense reaffirmed the importance and legality of the training to the long-term security of China.


Photo: 21CN, People’s Daily


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


“My Little Apple” Viral Dance Video Becomes Military Recruitment Tool

Posted: 07/30/2014 11:05 am

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistmentIn case you haven’t heard the song or seen the video yet (and you probably have), My Little Apple is a music video from the film ”Old Boys: The Ferocious Dragon Crosses the River” by the Chopstick Brothers that has gone viral in China (you can watch it below).

The song itself is pedestrian ditty in which an apple is used as a metaphor to symbolize one’s feelings towards a lover, but the song shines as a vehicle to showcase absurd comedy that is de rigeur in China in the absence of any insightful satire.

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

However, the song’s true mass appeal lies in the emulation of its dance that, let’s face it, concentrates movements away from the hips and into the upper body, appealing to dancing grannies in public squares all around the country (here are examples of tribute videos).

We saw a huge outpouring of spoof videos during the last dance phenomenon to hit China, Gangnam Style, and it looks like everyone wants in on this latest Chinese internet meme, up to and including the Ministry of Defense. While the Ministry features enlisted service personnel dancing in its video, it also features things the other videos don’t: namely military jets and rockets.

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

As reported by China Daily, this video was made by the Ministry of Defense and serves as a recruitment tool. While you listen to a song with lyrics about how love is like an apple, the Ministry of Defense urges viewers to take up arms and charge to the front lines in order to defeat China’s enemies all while featuring military personnel taking the time out of their busy schedules to line dance on camera.

Here’s the video:

And if watching the visual spectacle isn’t enough for you, here is a translation of the text that appears onscreen along with notes when they appear in the song so that you can sing along in English if you’d like:

My Little Apple (text by Ministry of Defense)

Because youth have dreams
A bright light enchants with its glow
Because youth have dreams
Signifies that there is an extraordinary significance
Each person, each youth, all have a dream
and have wonderful rights and privileges

Graduation is when youth set sail again
As they reap a life without regret
Do you still remember flying the Nine Heavens as a child?
Do you have the impulse to travel the five seas?

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Do you still remember when good men carried meter-long swords

and stood with pride as they kept their oaths?
Come, and join the military
We will never abandon our invitation to the youth

There is no greater glory than to enlist in the military

Because a dream perseveres
It signifies that it is more valuable
Because a dream perseveres
it can reap lofty goals
Each youth has their own dream
Each dream has its shining glory

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Pursuing a dream is life’s never-ending subject
Playing a strong tone will get rid of mediocre sounds
Do you still remember the first time you saw the flag being raised?
How moved you were when you saw the parade?

Do you still remember when in defending the homeland when you were younger,

punishing evil and eliminating traitors with a steel will?
Run to the army and become a soldier!
Let each peaceful sun set and rise become warmer

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Pick up a pen, join the military
Fulfill your dreams in an army barrack

Use the opportunity of your youth
and stimulate your life!

For your dreams, charge and break through enemy lines!

Homeland! I am coming!

If you don’t have enough little apples in your life by now, here’s the original version:

Photos: Screenshots from Sohu, Youtube


Massive Flight Delays As China Conducts Military Exercises In Civilian Airspace

Posted: 07/22/2014 4:11 pm

delayed flightsGoing somewhere? For those of you along China’s east coast and getting ready to take a flight in the next few weeks, don’t raise your hand so fast.

Asia Today reports the following twelve airports will experience delayed flights from July 20 until August 15: Shanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai Pudong, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Jinan, Wuxi, Ningbo, Qingdao, Lianyun Harbor, Zhengzhou, and Wuhan.

In fact, civil authorities are asking airlines to reduce their total number of flights by 25% during this time period.

The military will apparently be conducting air drills, or “high frequency exercises”, during that period. All the same, the reasons behind the air space shutdown remain secretive. Internet users Ma from Beijing and Pei from Hainan were both arrested and charged for spreading rumors online, having said “said military exercises is just a decoy”. Thirty-seven other people were warned about spreading rumors, but not arrested.

Rumors aside, the number of delayed and canceled flights is not inconsequential. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said that 101 flights had been canceled at Shanghai Pudong International Airport by mid-day July 14, and 103 were delayed by more than two hours. Across the city over at Hongqiao Airport, 98 flights were canceled.

If there is a solution to this mysterious process that will inconvenience air passengers, it would be the readily-given suggestion to bypass the use of planes and use China’s high-speed railway system instead.

Photo: Shenzhen Police 



Hong Kong Independence Activist Assaulted Outside Courthouse

Posted: 06/20/2014 1:14 pm

hong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independenceA member of the group “Hong Kong People First” was assaulted as he stood before a courthouse to stand trial for having trespassed upon a People’s Liberation Army military base, reports Sina News.

Zhao Xiancong and other members of Hong Kong People First gathered outside the Eastern Law District Office on June 19 and were shouting slogans like “Independent Hong Kong” and “Long Live Hong Kong”.

Then in full view of reporters at the scene, a middle-aged man suddenly charged at Zhao and struck him twice across the face, shouting in Cantonese, “Are you Chinese? What kind of country are you trying to establish?”

Zhao later stated he does not know the person who assaulted him.

Zhao and three other people, all members of Hong Kong People First, are charged for trespassing upon the Chinese mainland military base stationed in Hong Kong. Last year, on December 26, Zhao and the others burst onto the base waving the flag used by Hong Kong under the British colonial government.

Zhao was sentenced to two weeks in jail and given a suspended prison sentence of 12 month for his role, described as a “ringleader”. Two other people, Zhang Hanxian and Xie Yongwen, were fined HK$2000.

A fourth person was a minor at the time of the incident, and has had their case transferred to juvenile court. They will be tried on June 25.

Hong Kong People First is a group that opposes issues that concern mainland China such as the grey market of smuggling goods across the border.

Hong Kong is becoming more volatile ahead of a vote today on three proposals for full universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Beijing opposes all three options, and has warned a planned protest in Central this summer could destabilize the city.

hong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independencehong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independencehong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independencehong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independencehong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independencehong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independence


Photos: Sina, Southern Metropolis Report 


Guangdong Man Jailed Ten Years for Spying Via Internet Browser

Posted: 05/6/2014 10:11 am

Holy crap: anything that you see and watch can get you in trouble in China. Even if it is non-privileged information. Even if it is your own information.

A Guangdong national surnamed Li has been convicted of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison for disclosing state secrets to a foreign spy, reported state media.

When we first heard this story we didn’t think too much of it. After all, we expats are having too much fun to be concerned with espionage. But the details of the story started to hit home once it was revealed that the spy material deemed as ”state secrets” came straight from the internet.

This is how the spooks worked: a foreign spy only known by the online handle “Feige”, (“Brother Fly”?) had Li funnel him military information taken from subscriptions to websites such as a military enthusiasts community accessible only from mainland China. In all, Feige organized 12 people in Guangdong and some 40 other people throughout China to gather this information for him.

If you thought espionage was performed by the likes of James Bond or Jason Bourne you’d be grossly inaccurate. Feige’s online operation of a human RSS feed was termed a “foreign spy ring” by China Daily.

Just by using the internet, Li was able to obtain 13 highly classified documents ranked at the second-highest tier of secrecy in China, and 10 classified military secrets from the third tier. By standing near military bases with a camera to help Feige monitor them, Li posed “a serious threat to the country’s military security”.

Wow. We’d perhaps suggest not publishing sensitive military information on websites, but then only foreign shows like The Big Bang Theory get banned online.

We’d also suggest that expats not gather sensitive military information when browsing on the internet (stick to porn), nor watch the many fine military-themed shows on Chinese state television that tell us how great the Chinese military is, nor watch locally made versions of Top Gun and Apollo 13 with Chinese characteristics that espouse the greatness of the Chinese air force and space program via a multi-generational family melodrama, nor even to take part in the viral meme of pointing off-screen with your back to the camera that celebrates China’s new aircraft carrier.

And if you thought that paying for privileged information means that you own it, the New York Times reminds us otherwise (emphasis added):

Chinese courts have sometimes ruled that materials readily available within the country can be considered classified. Xue Feng, a Chinese-born American petroleum geologist, was sentenced to an eight-year prison term in 2010 for buying a database that his lawyers said was made secret only after Mr. Xue purchased it for IHS Energy, a consulting firm based in the United States.

For our part, the Nanfang will continue to provide its readership only the best of China’s declassified content.

Photo: Kym-Cdn

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