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Spot a Terrorist, Win Cash: Now Available for All Guangdong Residents

Posted: 07/15/2014 8:58 am

renminbi cash money After a Shenzhen resident became the first person in China to win a cash reward for providing information leading to the arrest of a terrorism suspect, all Guangdong residents are now eligible to take part in the scheme, reports Xinhua.

Police authorities stated on Sunday that a cash reward up to RMB 500,000 (US $80,000) is now offered to any resident of Guangdong who provides information about terrorist attacks, terror suspects, terrorist funding activities, extremist activities and the production of books or videos that promote terrorist activities or recruit followers.

Guangdong police say they have already arrested three suspects since the reward system began.

If you’re still worried about ratting out a potential terrorist, the Ministry of Public Security wants you to know it’s got your back. They’ve promised to protect informants, and will punish any police officers that allow informants to be harmed.


Photo: GX News


Shenzhen Resident Wins Prize For Ratting On Potential Terrorist

Posted: 07/10/2014 5:18 pm

We’ve previously told you about a new way to earn cash in China that involves informing the authorities about potential terrorism suspects. And now, somebody has come forward to collect.

A man from Shenzhen is first to claim a cash reward for turning in somebody believed to be suspicious, reports Xinhua. The winner, surnamed Zheng, provided police with information that lead to the arrest of a wanted criminal by the Xinjiang police department on terrorism charges. The suspect had fled to Shenzhen in June, and Zheng was there to help put him away.

However, we don’t know how much Zhang got for his efforts. The reward was initially set between RMB 2,000 to RMB 500,000, but that there was no firm upper limit.

We do know that you can’t put a price on public safety.


Photo: Black Money Watch


11,000 Extra Police on Patrol in Guangzhou this Labor Day Holiday

Posted: 05/1/2014 9:20 pm

guangzhou police patrol armed gunsAs if to emphasize the need for security after the bomb attack in Xinjiang on April 30, an extra 11,280 police officers have taken to the streets of Guangzhou in armed patrols with sub-automatic machine guns, Guangzhou Daily reports.

The increase in armed patrols was announced earlier, and they are stationed in several important locations around the city. At certain checkpoints, the police presence is bolstered by bomb-sniffing dogs.

guangzhou police patrol armed guns

The extra patrols can be broken down to 4,080 police officers and 7,200 deputies.

A police spokesperson justified the increased police presence by bringing up the brawl on Beijing Pedestrian Street, which was stopped by firing two warning shots into the air:

“There is a clear necessity for armed patrols. If the police patrol did not fire their guns into the sky at this time, they would not have been able to gain control of the situation so quickly.”

Police have a number of tools in their arsenal to keep the peace.

guangzhou police patrol armed guns

From left to right, these are the “eight vital implements” of a Guangzhou patrol officer:

  • handcuffs
  • CB radio
  • flashlight
  • emergency first aid
  • water flask
  • extending police baton (a la the kick-ass knife fight in SPL)
  • traffic signalling wand
  • pepper spray

No mention of a notepad with which to jot down important events and names.

If you ever happen to get into a situation where a Chinese police officer points a gun at you and can’t understand what he is saying, here’s a handy guide for you.

Photos: Guangzhou Daily


Guangzhou upgrades security in wake of Kunming killing rampage

Posted: 03/4/2014 9:11 am

Americans will be the first to testify that terrorist attacks can have far reaching implications on security checks nationwide. To date, China has been blissfully free of the invasive security now deployed at US airports and other monuments, but that may be changing in light of the deadly terrorist attack over the weekend in Kunming. The deadly violence at Kunming Train Station has stirred up fears that acts of terrorism, which used to be mostly confined to Xinjiang, are now starting to ripple across the country, Caijing wrote.

Guangzhou is among the first cities to take action. It is upgrading security at its main train stations, shopping centers and at Baiyun Airport following the attack in Kunming which left 29 people dead and more than 140 severely injured, Yangcheng Evening News reported on March 3.

Guangzhou’s Yuexiu police department has stepped up security forces along Beijing Road, a popular shopping street in the city, and sent out fully armed police officers at the entrance of the street, the report said.

More police officers have been dispatched to Guangzhou’s main train station, in ticketing areas and along platforms. Meanwhile, the city’s airport also tightened up its security checks. Each person entering the airport must now go through strict body checks for bombs and other dangerous materials, one person surnamed Huang told the newspaper.

Densely-populated areas including Guangzhou Library, Guangzhou No. 2 Children’s Palace and Tianhe Cheng are also seeing increased security after the Kunming attack. Other cities in Guangdong including Shaoguan and Shanwei have also tightened up security checks in stations, schools and hospitals, the report added.

On Saturday, knife-wielding attackers in black rushed into a railway station in Kunming in southwest Yunnan Province and stabbed people indiscriminately. Xinjiang separatist forces were blamed for the terrorist attack, according to the government, although no group has taken responsibility. As of the writing, state news agency Xinhua has announced the attackers who survived a police onslaught have been captured.

Home page photo credit: Yangcheng Evening News



World’s oldest woman urges Shenzhen youngsters to cheer up

Posted: 10/11/2013 2:00 pm

Alimihan Seyiti, image courtesy of The Daily Sunshine

Alimihan Seyiti, the world’s oldest woman, said she hoped that young people in Shenzhen would remember to smile everyday in an interview with Daily Sunshine last week.

Seyiti, 127, from Xinjiang was named the world’s oldest person in June this year when Luo Meizhen died in Guangxi.

Claims about her age are not verifiable enough to enter the Guinness Book of Records as documents from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) tend to be sketchy. But she obviously knows a thing or two about longevity, so the Shenzhen-based paper sent a reporter to seek her advice.

Seyiti said the secret was spending a lot of time with loved ones (she first married in 1903 and has 50 descendants, according to records) and having a carefree attitude. “Nothing is ever worth worrying or getting angry about. My advice to the young people of Shenzhen is to smile every day and live every day,” she told the paper.

According to the paper, there are 47,773 centenarians in mainland China. 80.1% of them are female. Are today’s city dwellers living in a way that might help them join them?

Well, many don’t appear to have found healthy ways of overcoming the stresses of modern life.

Much has been made about how China doesn’t appear to have got happier as it has got richer. One of the most popular texts about tapping the nation’s ancient culture to help make sense of the cut-throat modern world is “Confucius from the Heart” by Yu Dan. Even though Yu Dan, a media studies professor, has been pilloried by classical scholars for the apparent superficiality of her understanding of ancient texts, her judgment has earned her nearly 3 million followers on Sina Weibo.

The latest bright young thing to bring ancient Chinese wisdom to a modern audience is Michael Puett, a 48 year-old professor of Chinese history at Harvard University. You can read about him here.


Breaking the mold: Xinjiang band to play Latin flamenco this weekend at Idutang

Posted: 07/20/2012 6:03 pm

Rue Moyer is the founder of popular local music site Shenzhen Local Music.  He contributes a column on the music scene in the Pearl River Delta to The Nanfang each week.

So, I was at La Casa‘s Open Mic Night about two or so months ago, one of my first nights back to that scene in years, and stumbled upon these guys: the Battle Wolf Band, from Xinjiang. Well, actually, no real stumblin’ on my part; they found their way to La Casa through their own initiative to give it a go on the intimate, limelight stage that is La Casa’s venue. Since then, I’ve set them up with a regular gig at Rapscallions and they played in the SZLM Blues and Folk Festival which wrapped up last weekend.  (Video of the festival is below).

Anyone that’s performed music for an audience which doesn’t speak the language that the songs’ lyrics are in knows just how terrifyingly difficult it can be.  It’s not unheard of for people to just stare or not pay attention, completely missing the emotionally-charged words or dynamic moments that defy translation.  Yeah, it can be a lost cause at times. Which is why these guys, who humbly took the stage some months back, are all the more impressive.

And these guys have two major advantages when facing this situation: first, Latin flamenco-style music gets the body moving; second, the lyrics are in Spanish, so both laowai and Chinese listeners are not likely to understand, giving them some common ground to “fo’get about it” and let loose. This is exactly what happens at Rapscallions Café and Bar week in and week out when the Xinjiang guys bring that groove to the venue.  And this is where breaking the mold comes into the picture.

Typically in Shenzhen, any group that does music outside of classic rock, Billboards, Western folk and DJ music stray away from the bar scene. Not to mention the bars don’t exactly draw or invite local Chinese bands to bring entertainment. It’s just been the way of the world in these parts. But, this is changing and the “Battle Wolf Band”, the guys from Xinjiang, are leading the trend. Mind you, they’re not on some kind of mission to break through, they’re just trying to make some bread – the foreigner bars pay far better than the regular Chinese spots with far less competition.  Still, it’s making a difference in the variety of music foreign bars can offer and the exposure that non-mainstream bands are able to get.

Usually, local bands like “Battle Wolf” won’t make it outside of OCT Loft, Brown Sugar Jar and BaseBar circles. For years, Yerboli and his crew played his original Kazakastan influenced music, which also had a touch of Flamenco in it. But, if you didn’t go to Yidutang or weren’t in that circle, you had absolutely no chance of knowing about it. Again, it partly comes back to the language barrier issue, but it’s also because the venues and promoters involved in these shows don’t market outside of those circles.  The question is, why?

I’m sure they have their reasons, but ultimately those same reasons are limiting the exposure the musicians get. Maybe this is a ‘cool’ image to have for the venue operators or perhaps some other political reason I’m not aware of. Either way, most people living in Shenzhen will never know about the music happening in these circles. As a musician myself, I loathe this type of protectionism and attitude and choose not to leave my exposure in the hands of venue owners. I suppose Battle Wolf do too, given that they asked me to push their show this weekend and keep the foreign community in the loop!

This piece is my way of showing the Xinjiang guys my appreciation for their years of studying and practice, their determination in finding a way to succeed and their bravado in bringing their flavor to the local foreign music scene. Come check them out at their first formal concert, tomorrow night at Idutang OCT Loft. Tickets are RMB50 at the door and the show starts at 9:30.

For more info on venue location, band biography, and more videos of the group check out this piece on my blog.



Security checks at PRD airports about to get American-ized

Posted: 09/2/2011 5:14 pm

Anyone who travels to America – or especially within it – will know that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA for short) makes life miserable by fondling everything from breasts to colostomy bags to little kids as they pass through security. Some call this “security theatre“, other’s call it a pain in the a**.

Unfortunately, it looks like airports in China will be taking a page from the TSA and stepping up their own airport security. Life of Guangzhou has the details:

Passengers from some flights will be required to undergo a stricter body check, which can include removing shoes and leather belts. Passengers demanded to open belongings will increase by 50 percent.

The airport authority reminds passengers not to bring contraband goods such as lighters, matches or lithium batteries. To avoid huge crowds and flight delays, the authorities have increased the current 25 security gates to 52.

Beijing and Shanghai airports have also concurrently implemented the level II security check. Level II security check was once operated during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai Expo.

The question here is… why? The Asian Games happened nearly a year ago, and the Universiade is all wrapped up. The Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo are ancient memories. Seems an odd time to step up security, unless the authorities know something we don’t.

And perhaps they do. Without treading too far down a path which might get this website blocked, there has been some unrest in certain sensitive regions of China. I Want China Times sums it up:

The Civil Aviation Administration of China didn’t give any reason for the increased security and passengers hadn’t been notified in advance but there was speculation the move was related to the recent discovery of knives and other banned items at an airport in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions in the country’s northwest, Shanghai Daily said in a report.

No word on how long this treatment will last, but it’s nice to know that Chinese passengers don’t take any more kindly to it than their American counterparts:

The sudden imposition of stricter checks caused problems at Beijing Capital International Airport with long queues, arguments and even scuffles breaking out among passengers having to wait a much longer time to get through the security checks.

Many passengers complained on the microblog. Photos posted online showed the airport crowded with passengers in scenes that were described as like a “busy and noisy railway station during the annual spring rush.”

Passengers said it took them more than one hour to get through security and about half of them had their luggage opened and inspected.

Make sure you arrive at the airport extra early. And leave your dignity at home.

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