Archive for the ‘China’ Category

No Sex Themed Parks Allowed In China

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

The fact capitalism has come to China is a good thing. It is good that the Chinese people have more choices that they are able to make in their lives as well as increased prosperity.

However, China is far from a free place. The latest example is the fact that Chinese authorities have put a stop to the opening of a sex-themed amusement park. The theme park was set to have giant-sized reproductions of male and female anatomy, an exhibition about the history of sex and featured at the entrance a giant pair of women’s legs clad only in a red thong. The park did have a learning side also offering lessons in safe sex and the proper use of condoms, as well as workshops offering sex techniques.

The Chinese officials closed Love Land, the sex themed amusement park saying it was vulgar and unnecessary. I wonder if the government officials realize the appeal is that it is vulgar and unnecessary. I guess the Chinese government don’t see the necessity in teaching people about safe sex considering the fact that “an estimated 700,000 people living with HIV in China, including about 75,000 AIDS patients

In a free country you are allowed to do something the government may deem unnecessary; China fails to meet this criteria.

Link via Marginal Revolution

Obama; The Abridged Chinese Version

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

China is not really ready for Barack Obama or that is what it would seem like from China’s covering of Obama’s inaugural speech. Not only did the live news broadcast cut away when Barack Obama mentioned dissent but parts of his speech were censored when published by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

According to the Associated Press:

BEIJING – The official Chinese translation of President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was missing his references to communism and dissent, while a live broadcast on state television Wednesday quickly cut away to the anchor when the topic was mentioned.

The comments by the newly installed U.S. president veered into politically sensitive territory for China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintains a tight grip over the Internet and the entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.

At one point, Obama said earlier generations “faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” He later addressed “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent … know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

The Chinese translation of the speech, credited to the Web site of the official China Daily newspaper, was missing the word “communism” in the first sentence. The paragraph with the sentence on dissent had been removed entirely.

The censored version was carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and posted on popular online portals Sina and Sohu. Another portal, Netease, used a version without the paragraph mentioning communism, but retaining the part about dissent.

As much progress as China has made moving towards a “free-market” system, a lot of progress still needs to be made in terms of moving China toward the direction of freedom including the right to dissent. Free countries let people speak their minds China is clearly not one of them.

Link via Reason.com

Hip-Hop Coming of Age In China

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

Austin Arensberg has a post on thedevelopment of hip-hop in China. Quote:

But anyone that saw and heard the first attempts at Hip Hop in China would have chuckled showing just how far off target the MCs were. Many DJs wouldn’t even bother to rap in Chinese, offering instead the more ‘rappable’ English. But movements can’t be transplanted to a new place by mere duplication alone. 20 years after Deng Xiaoping presented China in the world’s largest debutant party it has been the critique that Chinese pop culture is as fake as the DVDs sold on its streets that has stuck.

Westerners have lamented for years that China’s cultural products were either heirlooms to the past or sad imitations of whatever was new and coolest in Europe or America. But over the past few years there has been considerable momentum indicating that Chinese cultural ambassadors are finding their own rythm. This past year saw an event in Shanghai with MCs rapping in Shanghainese, a dialect on the ropes reinvigorated with a raw and daring infusion of youthful energy. Black MCs in China sample old songs people have long forgotten, Chinese MCs sample a dying language.

China’s clubs from Ningxia to Beijing bump Hip Hop nightly and recently Star Club here in the capital had a raging night with a Japanese DJ spinning the newest hits to an adoring crowd of the young, rich, and powerful Chinese. The riots and violence of last spring seemed a world away.

Hip Hop tends to reinvent itself every few years feeding on the change rather than being redered obsolete. It is fitting than that Chinese youth, thrust unwittingly into a new hyper speed of development where all views are as foggy as the polluted skyline, have chosen to weave out of the madness a new form of music that is their own. I suspect that if those hipsters in Washinton Heights back in the early 1980’s could meet the kids in here in China’s clubs they would have more in common than most people would think.