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BEIJING TODAY

And this (not so) little piggy came home. Page 10

Cold comfort at the Icehotel.

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Page 12

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Shanghai cancels plan for world’s tallest Ferris wheel

An artist’s impression of the proposed wheel. The ‘Shanghai Star’ would have towered 170 meters over the Huangpu River. By He Jianwei Officials from the district government in Hongkou, Shanghai, announced yesterday that they have

abandoned plans to build the world’s largest Ferris wheel. The plan for the ‘Shanghai Star,’ to be constructed on the north bank

of Huangpu River and scheduled to be completed in 2008, will now be shelved. The design for a wheel with a diameter of 170 meters would

IC Photo

have made the Shanghai Star 35 meters taller than current record holder the London Eye, on the south bank of the Thames.

FRIDAY JANUARY 12 2007 NO. 293 CN11-0120 HTTP://BJTODAY.YNET.COM

CHIEF EDITOR: JIAN RONG NEWS EDITOR: HOU MINGXIN DESIGNER: ZHAO YAN

Beijing surge in Meet your saucy flu cases soon sex text to be over correspondent: she’s a he Page 2

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Forced out: 798 artist battles for studio Page 4

Happiness and pain: publishing a book in China Page 8

Plug and play. Page 18

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January 12 2007

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Hou Mingxin Chu Meng Designer: Zhao Yan

E-mail:Houmingxin@ynet.com

News

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Beijing surge in flu cases soon to be over

By Han Manman Hospitals across Beijing have been deluged with patients laid low by colds and influenza. Almost eight percent of patients treated in hospitals since January 1 were sick with one or the other illness, but the peak in cases will be over by the end of this month, according to the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 6,370 outpatients visited Beijing Chaoyang Hospital last Friday, while the number attending Bo’ai Hospital was double that of the same period of last year. “The number of patients with flu or colds has doubled in many Beijing hospitals, breaking records,” said Liu Zejun, the center director. However, Liu said it was not a large-scale outbreak of influenza. Local residents need not worry too much because this year’s flu virus was similar to those of years past. Disease prevention and control authorities are monitoring variations in the flu virus and its transmission. “Not every-

Asian Games officials share experience with Beijing Olympics

Reem Khader(L), Khaled Helaly(R) Photos provided by BOCOG By Chu Meng Two officials in charge of managing volunteers at the 15th Doha Asian Games briefed their colleagues in Beijing on their experience Tuesday. Khaled Helaly, manager of the Doha 2006 Volunteers Program, gave a detailed presentation on various aspects of the program, including objectives, strategies, recruitment, maintenance and motivation. In a country with a population of less than one million, Khaled organized and prepared a volunteer management team that included nationals of thirteen countries, all people with no previous experience in large-scale international sporting events. Khaled’s efforts since 2004 resulted in the formation of a contingent of 16,000 volunteers, of which five percent were citizens of host country Qatar. Reem Khader, the official in charge of the program’s communications and public relations, told the audience how she trained volunteers to establish good relations with news media groups. The guests were invited by the Office of the Beijing Olympic Games Volunteer Work Coordination Group, and the Beijing Municipal Committee of China Communist Youth League.

Over 500 children ill with flu filled the transfusion room of the Capital Children’s Hospital waiting treatment by 10 am this Wednesday. CFP Photo one has flu, some just have a common cold,” Liu said. “The ratio is not much higher than last year’s and will drop in the last ten days of the month.” An increase of flu and colds in December and January is normal,

and a ‘rise’ is not an ‘explosion,’ Liu explained. He said the flu outbreak will continue for another week before calming down at the end of this month. The sharp drop in temperature and recent thick ‘dirty’ fog are the

main reasons for the rise in cases, Gao Jie, a doctor at the ChinaJapan Friendship Hospital said. Gao stressed antibiotics do not help against the common cold. Leave it to a doctor to decide whether or not you should use them.

New human case of bird flu discovered in Anhui

By Qiu Jiaoning China’s Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday the first human case of bird flu in six months, saying a 37-year-old farmer in Anhui Province contracted the H5N1 strain of bird flu but recovered. The farmer, surnamed Li, developed fever and symptoms of pneumonia on December 10 last year, and was released from the hospital on January 6, announced the Health Bureau of Anhui Province. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the farmer tested positive for the

H5N1 strain. Since Li lives in an area with no previously reported poultry outbreak, no one knows how he contracted the virus. Li had poultry in his backyard, but Chinese experts are still trying to determine if that’s where he caught the virus, said Joanna Brent, WHO spokesperson in Beijing. She said the Ministry of Health is doing a second batch of tests despite the negative results of the first batch. Brent said “WHO is not aware of the level of contact that the case had with either healthy or sick poultry and is in contact with the Ministry

Chinese police destroy terrorist camp in Xinjiang Police have destroyed a terrorist camp in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, killing 18 terrorists, a spokeswoman with the Xinjiang Public Security Department said on Monday. One policeman was killed and another wounded in the gun battle on Friday in the mountains of Pamirs plateau in south Xinjiang, said spokeswoman Ba Yan. The police captured 17 terrorists and are pursuing a number of others, she said. They also seized 22 hand grenades and more than 1,500 others the terrorists had not finished making, as well as guns and other homemade explosives. The police found that the terrorists operated several mines near the camp to raise funds. The Xinjiang Public Security Department said the Xinjiang

police would publicize developments in this case. The training camp was run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group that the United Nations in 2002 labeled a terrorist organization, said Ba. It is believed that more than 1,000 ETIM members have been trained by Al-Qaeda. Former head of the terrorist group, Hasan Mahsum, was shot dead by Pakistani troops on October 2, 2003 in a joint anti-terror operation along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mahsum was accused of plotting a series of violent terrorist activities in recent years, including robbery and murder in Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi, and murders in Xinjiang’s Hotan region. (Xinhua)

of Health to ascertain further information about any poultry the farmer had been in contact with. China’s strategies for monitoring H5N1 in poultry need further strengthening.” The health bureau said in a statement that those who have had close contact with Li had been put under medical observation until December 29. They weren’t found to have contracted the virus. In Hong Kong, the government announced last week that a wild bird found dead near a busy shopping district tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza.

Hostage rescue team flies to Nigeria By Chu Meng A special team from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sichuan Telecom Company, of which five workers were kidnapped last Friday in southern Nigeria, arrived at the Nigerian capital on Tuesday. The group was to meet with Nigerian authorities to assist in resolving the hostage issue. “We will cooperate with the Nigerian authorities on the rescue mission,” said the team leader, surnamed Yan. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had said he himself would assume responsibility for rescuing the abducted Chinese workers, saying the incident would not affect the developing cooperation between his country and China.

Women weight lifters first to see action at 2008 Games By He Jianwei The first gold medal of the 2008 Beijing Olympics will go to the Women’s Weight lifting 48kg category. This was revealed Monday on the official website of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. China has two athletes vying for that gold medal: Wang Mingjuan, who took first place at the 15th Asian Games in Doha last year, and Yang Lian, who smashed all three world records in the category at the World Weight lifting Championships last October in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. On the first day of competition, August 9, seven gold medals will be up for grabs – two in Judo and Shooting and one each in Cycling, Women’s Fencing and Women’s Weight lifting. According to the schedule’s draft, that morning, there will already be final competitions in Athletics and Swimming events. The schedule was arranged according to three established principles, said Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the 28th Olympiad. First, the athletes are the core of the games, so we should bear in mind their convenience; second, we should take into consideration the needs of media broadcasters; third, the final decision lies with the International Olympic Committee.

Million-dollar subsidy to boost Beijing public transit By Chu Meng Beijing this year will provide subsidies totaling 1.3 billion yuan to bus companies, which are offering across-theboard discounts to over nine million commuters in the capital, the municipal transportation authority annouced this Wednesday. “The measure will give public transit a distinct price advantage and help ease the city’s traffic gridlock,” said Li Jianguo, deputy director of the municipal transportation committee. After Beijing axed bus rates at the beginning of this year, commuters are expected to see a remarkable drop in their public transport budgets. With discounts as high as 80 percent, a bus ride now only costs only around 0.5 yuan. “Convenience, punctuality and the overall quality of the bus service also influence people’s decision whether or not to take buses,” said Shi Qixin, an expert in urban transportation planning. “Meanwhile, more bus lanes and transit hubs need to be built to improve public transit.” Investment in Beijing’s public transport will total 71.5 billion yuan by 2010. Although it may take time for the subsidies and investments to pay off, Beijing’s ‘buses first’ policy is a way of coping with the city’s traffic problems.


January 12 2007

Yang said. Nurse Wang Jing is on call 24 hours a day. Yang and his colleagues take turns playing the role. Usually four work the day shift and six at night. Subscribers to the text chats are all from provinces outside Beijing. “The company is in Beijing. In order to avoid trouble, the company decided not to provide services to Beijing mobile numbers,” Yang explained. The company has withdrawn the service now it has been exposed in the media, customers report.

Customers had complained that the service violated regulations banning mass short message mailing, but telecom operators do little to oversee such content providers according to a spokesman from the Ministry of Information Industry (MII). Content providers are obliged to get two confirmations from a customer accepting commercial services, according to regulations on fees for mobile information services issued by MII which went into effect last October.

Flood traps seven miners underground

A team prepares yesterday for a rescue attempt to free seven miners trapped underground since Tuesday at a coal mine in Benxi, Liaoning province. The seven were trapped in a flood caused by illegal mining at a nearby pit . Xinhua Photo

Criminality by debt collection companies causes stir By Gan Tian A manager, surnamed Wang, from Beijing Zhiren Hurricane International Business Consulting Company was sentenced a year in prison by Tongzhou Court last Sunday for illegally detaining a debtor while collecting a debt for a client. Wang rented residential property in suburban Tongzhou District and registered his company as a ‘business consultancy’, but he was in fact offering debt collection services. Last July, Wang was asked to recover 60,000 yuan (US$7,700) in debts from a person surnamed Liang. Wang detained the debtor for around 30 hours when he refused to pay. Local debt collection agencies usually register as business consultants. “We are guaranteed to get your money back, you don’t need to know how we do it,” said an employee of the Liaosheng Business Consulting Center, “We’ve been doing this for years and are good at it.” “These companies exist because some creditors have a poor concept of the rule of law,” said a law professor who was not willing to give his name, “They don’t use legal means, hoping their problems can be solved through unofficial groups or private companies. It also means they don’t believe in our law or judicial system.”

Seniors revive capital’s folk arts By Jiang Xubo As a chill wind blew across the north square of Beijing Worker’s Gymnasium Tuesday afternoon, a spare white-haired man in a red tracksuit practiced sword dancing, on roller skates, bringing applause and laughter from a small crowd of admiring onlookers. The sword dancer, 67-year-old Ma Runguang and a former worker at the Beijing Municipal Computing Center, was not alone. He rarely misses morning meetings with his old friends at the square, all members of Putiantongle Folk Art Group, a group of folk art enthusiasts in Dongcheng District. The members, both men and women and most in their sixties or seventies, usually get together at around six clock at the square for their morning drill, practicing the capital’s traditional performance

arts, including flag pole performing and stilt-walking. “There were only four members when we founded the group 15 years ago, but now we’ve got 81 members, including four dragon dance teams and eight pairs of lion dancers,” 67-year-old Fan Yongli, the group’s founder and one of its original members, said with pride, “We give dozens of performances across the city every year, at temple fairs and all kinds of ceremonies. ” The old people’s folk art performances mean much more than entertainment for themselves and their audience. “Many young people have developed an interest in folk art because of our performances and joined our group. Now all our lion dancers are young men under thirty,” Fan added. “We have submitted a written

Beijing’s streets host all kinds of traditional performances. Photo by Hao Yi application to the district’s cultural authorities, seeking to list their folk art performances as part of the districts’ intangible cultural heritage,” said Shi Weiping, a culture official from Dongzhimen Subdistrict Office, which since 1996 has provided the group with three warehouses to store their gongs, drums, dragon and lion costumes and other props.

Bounty paid on empty milk containers By Jackie Zhang A set price will be paid for returned milk containers from this month in Beijing, similar to that paid for empty beverage bottles, old newspapers and books, in a bid to encourage their recycling. A trial run of the scheme has been underway at 49 community recycling centers since last October. The 49 recycling centers are

located in five districts of the city including Haidian, Xicheng and Dongcheng. “Since the project formally began this month, we have set up 46 more centers in these districts,” said Li Zhixin of Beijing Lianhe Kaiyuan Recycling and Utilization, who are the main force behind the scheme. “Residents are encouraged to collect milk containers, both paper cartons and plastic bags, and sell them to the commu-

nity recycling centers as they do with drink bottles and newspapers. The containers will be sent to mills to produce recycled paper or aluminum plastic boards,” Li added. “Our figures show the capital produces around 12,000 tons of milk packaging every year; worth about 7.8 million yuan recycled at a price of 0.7 yuan per kilogram, but hardly any of it is recycled,” Li said.

News

services, Yang Gang, a worker there told the Beijing News in a report published Tuesday. Yang Gang is a strapping six foot young man, but in his work identity he is a svelte sexy single girl. “I am disgusting when I pretend to be a girl to chat with our customers,” he said. The virtual nurse was created by the company to attract subscribers to their chat services. “We are told to treat the mobile customers as our virtual boyfriends, so they can chat with us if they feel lonely,”

First forest firefighting team created

By Chen Shasha China will this year create its first special helicopter team for forest fire rescue and prevention, said Cao Qingyao, spokesperson for the State Forestry Administration, Wednesday. The team will part of the Chinese military. “In the past if there was a fire, we used to dispatch airplanes chartered from airline companies,” he said. It sometimes took rescuers hours to get to the scene of a forest fire. “Some disasters were caused by time delays,” Cao said. China saw more than 7,000 forest fires last year, resulting in 41 deaths. This year could be one of an even higher risk. International climate reports reveal that 2007 will be the hottest year in human history due to the climate change brought about by EI Nino. Thus, fire prevention will be a bigger challenge than usual.

Brief news Higher per capita GDP Beijing’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded US$6,000 last year, 11 percent up on that of 2005, according to Chai Xiaozhong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission. Illegal gambling The country’s police busted 347,000 cases of gambling involving stakes totaling some 3.6 billion yuan (US$445 million) and more than one million people last year, the Ministry of Public Security announced this week. More personal income tax The country collected 245 billion yuan (US$30billion) in personal income taxes last year, a full 17 percent more than collected in 2005, according to the State Administration of Taxation. Millions go overseas People across the country made a total of some 320 million overseas trips last year, up more than three percent on the figure for 2005, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (By Jiang Xubo)

Editors: Hou Mingxin Jiang Xubo Designer: Zhao Yan

By He Jianwei “Do men really care about a woman’s cup size?” “When did you start watching adult videos?” Just two of the saucy text messages sent by a nurse named Wang Jing to her many out of town boyfriends. Wang Jing is supposed to be a petite young woman, but is in reality a character played by a dozen different male workers at a short messaging company. “She’s” a good earner – the company makes over 10,000 yuan a month from subscriptions to short message chat

By Qiu Jiaoning Fatalities and direct economic losses due to natural disasters last year reached their highest level since 1999, according to an official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) on Thursday. “Natural disasters left 3,186 people dead, and over 13 million people displaced and relocated last year,” Li Liguo, vice minister of Civil Affairs said. “They also caused more than 252 billion yuan worth of direct economic losses.” The worst-hit areas include Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Over 11 billion yuan was allocated to support the basic well-being of the disaster-hit communities and the rebuilding of damaged housing and infrastructure . “Normally, emergency funds from the central budget can reach where they were needed within seven days,” Li said.

3

BEIJING TODAY

Meet your saucy sex text correspondent: she’s a he

Disaster fatalities and economic losses hit record high


January 12 2007 Huang Rui appeared to be in deep thought at the press conference in on Tuesday afternoon.

Focus

4

Forced Out:

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Hou Mingxin Chu Meng Designer: Zhao Yan

798 artist battles for studio By Jackie Zhang Huang Rui, an artist regarded as the symbol of 798 District, was notified by Seven Star Group Maintenance Center, a leasing agency, that he must give up his studio and return the property to the company. The notice required Huang to vacate by Wednesday, but the maintenance center has yet to evict him out. Tuesday afternoon, Huang held a press conference in his studio with several other 798 artists to announce the establishment of the 798 Art District Residents’ General Assembly and the start of his own exhibition called ‘Open’. Some artists say it is Huang’s way to resist the maintenance center; others see it as Huang’s ‘farewell’ to 798. Commercial interests Huang set up his 798 District studio in 2002 and quickly became an active artist and was the main organizer of the Dashanzi Art Festival for the past three years. In early November, Huang was notified by the maintenance center he had to leave before Wednesday.

His contract expired at the end of 2006. “It used to be my dream to have my own working studio in 798. In 2002, I fulfilled my dream and came here. When I held that notice in my hand, I felt maybe it was time for me to wake up,” Huang says. “I tried to communicate with the maintenance center staff, but they refused to talk to me and said they wouldn’t lease me the room anymore,” Huang says. It’s true the Seven Star Group owns 798 District, “but the owner of 798 in law and owner in spirit should not be the same person. Artists should have the right to manage the district themselves,” he says. “Art is art. I’m not arguing with them about whether I should be able to stay or not. I’m more worried about whether or not 798 can remain an artist’s district when it’s so dominated by commercial interests.” Just the facts Chen Yongli, director of the 798 District’s construction and management office, denies driving out art-

ists. “There are five studios in 798 managed by or otherwise related to Huang. If we were forcing him out, we wouldn’t ask him to leave his personal studio – we’d go after the other four rooms too,” Chen says. “As for the ‘general assembly,’ I think Huang is manipulating the other artists. I heard he gathered

Huang Rui was worried about his conflict with the Seven Star Group. Photos by Tian Yufeng them to discuss the Dashanzi Art Festival and asked them to sign their names. He never told them anything about establishing a residents general assembly,” Chen says.

He says Huang never spoke with him at all. “I never heard he came to talk with the maintenance center. If he couldn’t solve the problem through them, he could have talked with me. I think we can find a solution if we talk, but he’s never made any effort to come to my office.” Solidarity However, the artists disagree with Chen. Most of the artists support Huang and hope he can stay. “If Huang leaves, I’m worried 798 won’t be 798 at all. He’s our symbol and represents our district’s spirit,” a gallery owner says. “I’m really confused by the center’s behavior,” Robert Bernell, manager of Time Zone 8 Art Books, says. “Recently, the Chaoyang District government listed 798 District as its cultural-creative industry base. Now, the maintenance center wants to drive out the artist who’s made great contributions in the district’s development. I can’t understand what they’re planning.” “The group hasn’t given us a reasonable reason for why they

asked Huang to leave. I agree with Huang: the owner of 798 should be different in law and in spirit. We all know Fan Di’an is curator of the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) now. Fan was an artist, and also a person who connected artists and the government. Everyone would be confused if a person who knew nothing about art was appointed curator of NAMOC,” Bernell says. “It’s the same in 798. The owner of 798 District knows nothing about art. I am afraid 798 will turn into a public market like Panjiayuan.” In 2004, the center issued a policy to forbid rental of 798 District houses to artists, artistic organizations and foreigners. “It was when we prepared to hold the first Dashanzi Art Festival. The center told us the festival should be canceled for crowd control, fire prevention, and so on,” Bernell says. “Huang was very active in solving the problem. The night we held the festival, the Chaoyang government sent police to beef up security.”

Pregnant mainlanders face border ban By Han Manman Pregnant mainlanders with tourist permits may be denied entry at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region border if their visit is not for tourism, but to give birth or escape fees. Mainland women will be charged up to HK$39,000 (US$5,000) in hospital fees, up from a former HK$20,000 fee, nearly double if a bill under discussion by Legislative Council of Hong Kong passes. However, the effectiveness of these and other measures is still debated. The bill comes as a response to increasing numbers of mainland women flocking to Hong

Kong to give birth. The influx of mainlanders overloads Hong Kong hospitals, which, allegedly, strains their resources and leads to poorer maternity service for locals. The council said it would urge authorities in the Hong Kong to enact regulations to reduce the number of mainland women who give birth in Hong Kong. HK’s embarrassment Pregnant Hong Kong women staged a protest against the influx of mainland mothersto-be last month. The group claimed maternity services in Hong Kong hospitals have deteriorated under the flood of mainlanders and that the local

women had, in some cases, been forced to give birth outside the wards without any privacy. Only 620 non-resident women gave birth in the city in 2002, but in 2005, Hong Kong recorded 19,538 of its 57,100 births were from non-residents. More than 12,000 babies were born to nonresident parents in the first nine months of 2006, and in many cases, the mother left without paying her bills, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security Ambrose SK Lee revealed last month. To try and cut back on nonresident births, an HK$20,000 fee was implemented for mainland mothers in 2006, but even

with the fee, the number of births fell only 20 percent. That may be because thousands of mothers come, give birth and leave without paying any of their bills: the hospital has racked up a debt of US$40 million in unpaid bills for maternity services in the past five years. Discontent has prompted the government to search for a solution. Ambrose Lee warned that pregnant mainland women could be denied entry to Hong Kong if they used their visits for purposes other than tourism. HK’s temptation The majority of non-resident women are mainland Chinese

taking advantage of relaxed border controls to give birth in Hong Kong’s public hospitals. This ‘maternity tourism’ thrives, in part, because Chinese babies born in Hong Kong get permanent residency rights. The babies have automatic citizenship in the wealthy former British colony and are entitled to free schooling, medical benefits and welfare payments. Giving birth to a child in Hong Kong can level the disparity in public services between the mainland and Hong Kong overnight. Additionally, many women seek Hong Kong’s superior public health services. The mainland’s one-child policy could be another factor.


January 12 2007

BEIJING (UPI) – Officials in Beijing have vowed to tighten supervision to prevent corruption in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. The official Xinhua news agency reported that Ma Zhipeng, secretary of the Beijing Commission for Discipline Inspection, said that during Olympic venue construction, work will be rigorously monitored and inspected. “We should try our best, using every method and mobilizing the manpower ... to supervise the preparatory work,” Ma said. The announcement came following the exclusion of Liu Zhihua, a vice mayor who lost control of Olympic construction preparations after he was accused of corruption.

5

Outlook

China fails to meet energy and pollution targets

Beijing targets corruption before Olympics

Elderly to get holiday cheer from volunteers

director of the government’s Energy Research Institute, as saying. According to the report, only Beijing and five other provinces or municipalities fulfilled their energy efficiency and pollution emission goals. In a November report, the State Environmental Protection Agency said China produced more than 12 billion tons of industrial waste-water in the first half of 2006, up 2.4 percent from the previous year. A major index of water pollution called the chemical oxygen demand (COD) increased by 3.7 percent in the first six months, the report said. Emissions of the air pollutant sulfur dioxide rose 4.2 percent, according to the report. The watchdog also said half the country’s rivers and more than 70 percent of rivers and lakes were polluted, while underground water supplies in 90 percent of Chinese cities were contaminated.

Expert comment

By Jiang Xubo There were three reasons why the targets weren’t met. First, the existing model for achieving economic growth, mainly based around increasing investment, has contributed to the rise in energy consumption. Second, the country has been slow to adjust industrial structure, so we have yet to stop high-energy-consuming industries, particularly steel production (a major energy consumer), from expanding at high speed. Last, we haven’t made full use of energy-saving technology, and the technology we do use has remained underdeveloped, leading to inefficiency in energy use. The country could set a strict quota on new projects in high consumption sectors, phase out outdated technology and equipment and shut down factories that don’t meet energy-saving targets and refuse to make adjustments. The government should also formulate strategies for industries like steel production, coal mining and electricity generation, which are key to decreasing energy-consumption. – Shi Dan, researcher, Institute of Industrial Economics of China Academy of Social Sciences

Communist Party cuts 23,800 official posts Anil K Joseph, BEIJING (PTI) – The Communist Party of China has cut over 23,800 posts nationwide in local Party committees to improve administrative efficiency ahead of its 17th National Congress this year, when a leadership reshuffle is expected. The number of leadership posts – or members of the standing committee of a local Party committee – should not exceed nine at county level or 11 at city level, according to rules set out by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. So far, 92.4 percent of China’s townships, 82 percent of coun-

Expert comment By Jiang Xubo Cutting the number of local Party deputy chiefs is a way to stimulate the development

ties, and 38.5 percent of cities have completed Party committee elections, Xinhua reported. The western province of Qinghai and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have concluded all levels of elections, the report said. After the reshuffle, most local Party committees have cut the number of deputy chiefs to only two. Meanwhile, more young, female and ethnic minority cadres have also been brought into the leadership. In a circular, the organization department on Saturday warned localities that they should not increase leadership posts with-

out permission and should not give cadres preferential treatment incompatible with their posts. The local leadership should enhance their decision-making capability and do their best to stamp out corruption as the focus of their work, the circular said. The CPC is currently in the midst of organizational elections to choose 2,220 delegates to the 17th National Congress in the second half of 2007, which may witness leadership changes. A total of 2,220 delegates will be elected by 38 electoral units across the country. The election process will be completed by June.

The number of delegates to the 17th CPC National Congress is nearly 100 more than the figure attending the 16th congress, due to an increase in CPC members since 2002 and the need to improve the representation of delegates at grass-roots level. Current Chinese President and CPC General Secretary, Hu Jintao is expected to be re-elected to the top party post at the 17th Party Congress. The CPC has more than 70 million members at present, adding six million new members since its 16th National Congress in November 2002.

of democracy within the Party’s local leading groups. Half of many local Party’s standing committee members were deputy chiefs, which meant motions at the standing com-

mittee meeting would pass unchallenged if they were passed at a Party chiefs’ meeting. This could harm local Party’s democracy. This move will foster democracy within

local Party and make for more competent leading groups at that level. – Gao Xinmin, professor, Central Communist Party School

Temples hire university graduates BEIJING (PTI) – With jobs hard to get in the highly competitive Chinese market, graduates are now stalking the corridors of holy temples. Famen Temple, one of the four most famous Buddhist Temples in ancient China, has employed four graduate students and five with bachelor degrees. They were selected at a job market at Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University on Sunday in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province in northwest China. It also hired 18 graduates from two other universities. It is the first time the temple has gone to a job market to employ university graduates, said Xiankong, an eminent monk from the temple. “Our exchanges with the outside world are increasing each year, so we need professional talents in fields such as publicity, reception and management”, Xiankong was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. The temple planned to employ two doctors, three masters, 14 bachelors and two technical school graduates who have majored in foreign languages, art, economic management, gardening, information management and Chinese literature.

Editors: Hou Mingxin Jiang Xubo Designer: Yang Gen

BEIJING (AFP) – China failed to meet targets to improve energy use and cut pollution last year, state press has said, underscoring the difficulty of protecting the environment amid the nation’s frantic economic boom. China had set two goals in 2006of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by four percent and cutting emissions of pollutants by two percent, but both goals were missed, the China Daily reported. The National Development Reform Commission, China’s planning agency, has not revealed the extent to which the goals were missed, the paper said. Energy consumption actually increased by 0.8 percent per unit of GDP during the first half of the year, while emissions of several key pollutants also grew during the period, it said. “From a nationwide perspective, it is certain that last year’s energy-consumption reduction goal could not be achieved,” the paper cited Han Wenke,

BEIJING TODAY

A worker cuts steel bars at a construction site in Zhejiang. Construction is just one of the industries fueling China’s demand for steel, CFP Photo the production of which is a major consumer of energy.

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing has called for volunteers to help thousands of elderly and sick people left alone during the Lunar New Year holiday, local media reported on Tuesday. The Lunar New Year sparks one of the greatest human migrations on the planet, with millions of people returning to their home towns to celebrate with their families. “Because a proportion of domestic helpers who have come to the city to work will leave for their home towns en masse, a shortage in home services occurs,” the Beijing News said. Beijing has set up a hotline for New Year “companions” to provide care to 3,000 families and individuals.


January 12 2007

Business

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China approves yuan bond issues in Hong Kong Hong Kong, January 11 (AFP) – China has given approval for mainland lenders to sell yuandenominated bonds in Hong Kong, a key step for the Chinese currency to move towards the international stage. “This is the first time that mainland financial institutions are allowed to issue yuandenominated bonds outside (of

China),” said Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. “This is the first step for the yuan to move towards the international stage; it’s a very important step, and it’s happened in Hong Kong; I feel very encouraged by the move,” Yam said. China’s State Council, or cabinet, approved a further expan-

sion of renminbi (yuan) business in the southern territory, paving the way ultimately for a fullyconvertible yuan. Hong Kong Financial Secretary Henry Tang believed the move will promote economic integration between both sides, providing channels for returning yuan circulating in Hong Kong back to China.

While the move was not completely unexpected, it represents a critical step forward in Hong Kong’s role as a core financial center linking China with the global financial system. The further expansion in renminbi business will help strengthen Hong Kong’s role as China’s prime fund raising center.

Google enters local cellular phone search

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Hou Mingxin Zhao Hongyi Designer: Yang Gen

By Huang Daohen Google, the world’s largest search engine, and China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, announced plans last week to cooperate in creating mobile-Internet search functions in China. The partnership will extend its service on Monternet WAP and provide Chinese users with mobile phone search services. Mobile users will be able to easily access the service via a search box or search link on Monternet’s homepage, or through a dedicated mobile search page on Monternet. Its content will include sports and entertainment news, ringtones, games, images, videos and novels. Earlier last week, Google announced it would invest in Shenzhen Xunlei Network Technology, an Internet video download service.

Argentina Team to wear Chinesemade uniforms By Han Manman The number one star in the Argentinian Men’s Basketball Team, Emanuel Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs NBA team, will take to the court in Chinese sportswear. The leading Chinese sporting goods company, Li Ning Co Ltd, signed a six-year strategic cooperation agreement with the Argentina Basketball Federation (CABB) in Beijing yesterday. Argentina’s national basketball teams will now wear ‘Li Ning’ sportswear during training, games and award presentations. Vicente Castellano, general secretary of Argentina CABB, and Sergio Santos Hernandez, head coach of the Argentinian Men’s Basketball Team, attended the joint press conference.

Guo Jianxin, COO of Lining Co Ltd, and Vicente Castellano, general secretary of Argentina CABB, at the ceremony Photo by Niu Xiwu

China’s stock market tops US$1 trillion Beijing, January 11 (Bloomberg) – China’s stock market topped US$1 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the yuan rose past the Hong Kong dollar for the first time in 13 years. The gains reflect economic growth averaging 9.6 percent in the past five years, driven by record trade surpluses that drove China’s foreign exchange reserves to US$1 trillion.

Trade surplus at US$177.47 bln Beijing, January 10 (XFNASIA) – China’s trade surplus surged to a record US$177.47 billion last year, up 74.0 percent from the US$102 billion in 2005. China exported US$969.08 billion worth of goods in 2006, up 27.2 percent. Imports were US$791.61 billion, up 20 percent.

Dulles, United win Beijing route Washington, January 10 (The Washington Times) – The US Department of Transportation awarded Washington Dulles International Airport and United Airlines coveted permission to fly nonstop to Beijing. United beat out American, which sought to fly between Dallas-Fort Worth and Beijing; Continental, which applied for Newark, New Jersey, to Shanghai; and Northwest, which applied for a Detroit-Shanghai service.

‘Fuwa’ ready to meet the world

Standard Chartered invests in real estate

A visitor stares at a football with a picture of ‘Fuwa’, the mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, at the licensed products fair held in Beijing, Wednesday. Thousands of Beijing Olympic Gamesrelated souvenir products are displayed at

Hong Kong, january 11 (XFNASIA) – Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd has invested US$35 million in Sino Ocean Real Estate Development Co. This follows an investment by Standard Chartered in Shimao Property Holdings Ltd and Greentown China Holdings Ltd in 2006. Sino Ocean is a company developing high quality residential projects and superior office buildings.

the fair for wholesale purchase from home and abroad. The organizing committee is trying to make the products cheaper, more popular and safer. Xinhua Photo

Baosteel prepares for NYSE listing Beijing, January 10 (XFNASIA) – Baosteel Group, China’s largest steel producer, has started preparations for an overseas listing, the official Shanghai Securities News reported, citing an unidentified company official. But he added that a listing will

not come as rapidly as market rumors suggest. The rumors have Baosteel listing in New York by November 2007, with the company believed to be seeking lawyers and accountants to help it meet US listing standards.

Some investment bank analysts say the company may seek a dual listing in Hong Kong and New York, the report said. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, the Shanghai-listed arm of Baosteel group, currently controls all of Baosteel Group’s steel assets.

Central bank seems to be making profit Beijing, January 11 (Bloomberg) – The Chinese central bank may have had a net earning of US$29 billion last year on investment of its foreign reserves, likely the largest such profit by a government bank, according to Standard Chartered. The People’s Bank of China’s foreign reserves, the world’s largest, exceeded US$1 trillion last year. Analysts estimate about 70 percent of the holdings are invested in US Treasuries and other dollar-denominated assets. Treasuries returned 3.14 percent last year, according to Merrill Lynch data. “We estimate that at present” the Chinese central bank “is being paid some US$4 billion each month,” Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Char-

tered in Shanghai, wrote in a report. “Not bad for a central bank which is not in the market to make money.” Green’s report estimates that the People’s Bank of China, through the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchanges, had a gross earning of 343 billion yuan, or US$44 billion, in interest payments last year on its foreign reserve investments. At the same time, the central bank may have spent 90 billion yuan, or US$11.5 billion, for interest payments on its debt and on interest for the reserves of commercial banks it holds, Green said. And the central bank lost 26 billion yuan because the yuan’s appreciation eroded the value of the bank’s dollar investments. The People’s Bank of China

has two missions: to maintain domestic price stability and to ensure stable foreign exchange, Green said. “I do not believe that Beijing sees the buildup of these reserves as much of a problem,” Donald Straszheim, vice chairman of Roth Capital Partners, said. In 2007, the central bank could earn more money if it lowers its benchmark interest rate to discourage inflow of overseas money, Green said. “2007 will likely be another profitable year” the bank, he said. The return on US Treasuries notes could increase this year if the US Federal Reserve Board raises its benchmark from 5.25 percent as expected by 22 primary government security dealers surveyed by Bloomberg News.

China’s AgBank approved QDII Beijing, January 9 (Reuters) – The Agricultural Bank of China, the weakest of the Big Four state lenders, has received the banking regulator’s approval to invest its clients’ money overseas. More than a dozen domestic and foreign financial institutions can now invest a total of more than US$13 billion overseas under QDII, which was launched last year as a way of encouraging capital outflows and relieving some of the upward pressure on the yuan.

Bank of Beijing eyes dual IPO Beijing, January 8 (Reuters) – Bank of Beijing, in which ING holds a 19.9 percent stake, will pursue a simultaneous listing in Hong Kong and the on mainland this year. The bank said that book profits for 2006 had risen an annual 70.8 percent to 2.1 billion yuan (US$269 million). It gave no comparisons or reasons for the jump.


January 12 2007

Comments out things for no reason, or you’ll throw the baby out with the bathwater – Tom Brown Most media reactions acknowledge the existence of such things as ‘cultural garbage’; they differ in how to identify and get rid of them. – Get Real Culture can be divided into levels, and people who are from different backgrounds and live in different social classes have the right to enjoy different levels of culture. You cannot oppose the existence of so-called ‘cultural garbage’ simply because it follows current fashion. To some degree, that is a form of cultural hegemony. – Dynahog I still think such a campaign is completely unnecessary. What we have to do is just wait it out – people will ultimately get tired of parodies and mockery – after which we can get down to the business of creating real, serious culture. – Liu Jiannan Cultural garbage is a product of the life cycle of human society. It has an objective existence, one that is not displaced by any person’s will. Opposing cultural garbage is no different from banning bird droppings. To a certain extent, our present and future civilization is established on the recycling and reuse of garbage. – Terry Archibald (By Huang Daohen)

Editors: Hou Mingxin Zhao Hongyi Designer: Yang Gen

Beijing will set up many sculptures related to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on its streets and lanes this year. The government encourages positive and serious creative art works, rather than the ‘cultural garbage’ commonly seen today. CFP Photo

It is a timely regulation. The media and companies who create bandwagon sensationalism are driven only by the pursuit of profit. However, deciding what constitutes cultural garbage does not seem to be an easy task. – Mutt Hu I think GAPP’s opinion has a number of implications. According to the standard that Liu Binjie outlined, the ever-popular and universally-praised classic Outlaws of the Marsh would actually be ‘cultural garbage’ if we look at the negative things in it. Outlaws of the Marsh does indeed ‘spread sex and violence’ and ‘cause harm to society and posterity.’ – Betsy Ross Culture without garbage is not culture! Regardless of what standard we use to determine whether culture is or is not garbage, cultural garbage definitely exists. Like dry leaves that fall from the trees in Autumn, these are also usually seen as garbage, but are part of a natural process. – Bubba When GAPP officials expressed their resolve to reject the trend toward cultural garbage manufactured under the auspices of the cultural industries, they were giving a signal. We now await the regulations that will follow this signal. – clarice Striking at cultural garbage is indeed necessary, but you should never apply the standard carelessly and wipe

Beijing to improve sex education in primary, middle schools Beijing educational authorities are drafting sex education guidelines for primary and middle schools to cope with a rise in sexual behavior among teenagers, an official from the Beijing Education Committee said Thursday. The guidelines will help end a lack of sex education for young people, which used to be taboo in Chinese society. Educational authorities have authorized the Beijing Sex Health Education Research Center to conduct a survey on sex education among Beijing primary and middle schools. “Sex education guidelines will be issued based on the survey results,” Zhang Meimei, vice president of the research center, said. Sex education will start at higher grades of primary schools, and cover physiological, psychological and legal aspects, according to newspaper reports. Young Chinese have become increasingly open toward sex. In a recent survey, 6.2 percent of 2,000 students interviewed admitted their first sexual experience came before the age of 16. Over half the interviewees said a onenight stand was ‘understandable’. (EastSouthWestNorth Blog)

Comments There is a trend nowadays of wanting to tell children about everything whether or not they have any real need to know. My biggest concern is who is doing the telling. In my experience all sorts of people who are totally ill-equipped are setting themselves up as experts on sex, drugs, alcohol, morality and so on. They can do more harm than good. To my mind, youngsters should be told only when they show a need to know. – Ross Halpin, Australia I don’t see why not. The more information young people get the better. I’m sure parents will have the option of not letting their daughter sit in on such a session. When I was at school, I would have preferred to speak to my teachers about sex rather than my parents. Quite often us kids would talk

about it all night in our tents on camping trips anyway. – Sue If the sentiment exists that some of the female population is unprepared for life by schools, then obviously there is a lack of education on these subjects being offered. It is irrelevant who’s job it ought to be (schools’, parents’ or religious institutions’), the point is that it isn’t being done, or at least not effectively. If the guidelines care enough to offer this education, by all means, let them try. Surely it can’t make the situation any worse. – Gina Rotherford In my opinion, the students who need the sex education are hardly the kind to be sleeping around at a young age. Those who need the sex education which they are so deprived of

Many argue that sex education is badly needed in today’s schools. CFP Photo are rural children with no access to this facility and who often have problems even attending school and college. Only when the sex education extends to all the children will sex education will be of use. – Matom The question here is really why should the schools teach

the students about sex? The responsibility lies with the parents of the students in question to educate their kids at an appropriate time when they are not plagued by teen testosterone or fragile self esteem. – Lana Mallon (By Huang Daohen)

BEIJING TODAY

“You can’t produce cultural garbage under the auspices of the cultural industries,” Liu Binjie, vice-director of GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publication) said of the race to the bottom in contemporary culture at the two-day Fourth Annual Forum on Chinese Cultural Industries, which was held at Beijing University last Saturday. “Recently, the curtain has been pulled back on sex in the arts world, serious scholarly works have been parodied, and there has been continual sensationalism in the cultural domain.” In an interview afterward, Liu said that culture is serious creative thinking. Interpreting traditional culture and the classics as one wish, dressing up settled questions of history with inappropriate content, and distorting normal scholarly activity into commercial opportunism leads to negative consequences for the transmission of traditional culture. This kind of hand-wringing has been going on for some time – Super Girls and parodies corrupt traditional culture and hamper cultural innovation – but what makes this particular complaint different is that GAPP now provides a standard by which the value of cultural works can be measured. Are they harmful? Then they must be resisted. Liu said the standard for judging whether a cultural work or action is or is not cultural garbage lies in whether it will cause harm to society and posterity. Culture, particularly that for mass consumption, does have an entertainment function, but it does not represent the leading direction of culture. (Danwei.org )

Debate

Dealing with ‘cultural garbage’

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January 12 2007

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Hou Mingxin Han Manman Designer:Yang Gen

Expat news

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Happiness and pain: the publishing of a book in China By Annie Wei An American couple’s self-paid, Chinese-language environmental book ranks top in google.cn. The book, a History and Development of Environmental Management in America, is a collaboration between Christopher E. Langer and wife Pearl Liao, both professors working for environmental programs in China and abroad, to introduce US environmental management to Chinese readers. The success of English-language books targeting overseas readers, like Oracle Bones and Foreign Babes in China, that spin stories from China have inspired many expats in town. However, many who dreamt of writing ‘the China book’ would agree, “when you’re in China for three days, you want to write an article; when you’re here for three months, you want to write a book; when you’ve been here forever, you forget about it all.” Langer and Liao wrote for another reason. They made hardly any money from the book, and spent US$3,000 to print 1,500 copies. It’s not a leisuretime novel or ‘chick-lit’; it cannot make money from book deals; it cannot be adapted into a TV serial. Langer talked about how he came up with the idea to write such a book. “At first, the idea came from myself,” he said. When Pearl left to study in Dresden, Germany in early 2001, he was trying to think of some-

Langer(left) with Liao(right) thing productive to occupy his time while she was away. His idea was to write a series of articles for translation into Chinese and publication. When Langer started his project, Pearl pointed out there were no books in Chinese on the history of US environmental management. “I believed this was something important we could contribute to environmental protection in China ... Now that it’s finished, we can see this book is valuable to people studying a wide range of disciplines,” Langer said. Liao said they published the book because China faces environmental challenges. This book summarizes the history of US environmental protection to raise Chinese readers’ understanding through a detailed progression of

Photo provided by Langer and Liao its development in America. Liao said working with Chinese publishers was difficult. Liao said she edited the work and filed forms again and again, and asked, “Wasn’t it supposed to be the editors’ job?” The publisher did not print what they agreed on – they forgot the ‘acknowledgements page,’ and botched a chapter that was finalized. Two years were spent finishing the book in English, but the ordeal spanned six. Still, after all the pain, the couple was happy with its achievement. Liao said one of her students excitedly told her they saw the book sold online and in bookstores, or heard it was recommended in environmental conferences.

Chelsea website kicks off By Qiu Jiaoning Chelsea Football Club, Premiership champions for the last two seasons, launched a Chinese language website for its millions of fans on Monday. The move is the first step for the club to enhance its role in the huge Chinese soccer market. Chelsea club CEO Peter Kenyon said, “China is a key market for us, but our philosophy is to help Chinese football, as well as our own business, and our website will reflect that.” “If we’re to be internationally recognized, we have to be in China,” he said. Kenyon, who joined Chelsea in February 2004 after his resignation from Manchester United, said Chelsea plans to be the biggest soccer club in the world by 2014. The new site (chelsea.sina.com.cn) hosted by China’s top Internet portal is the Premiership’s first Chinese language website. This site will carry translated content from chelsea.com, as well as exclusive content for the Chinese market. Sina plans to combine offline activities and online information services to push development of the site. Chelsea stars will visit

Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon (left) and Sina CEO Charles Chao Photo provided by Ma Yun the Sina Chat Room to communicate with the club’s Chinese fans. Soccer giants such as Manchester United and Real Madrid regard China as the market with largest potential. Chelsea is among the four or five most popular foreign clubs in China. Inter Milan was the first soccer club to launch its Chinese site on Sina in September 2006. “For the first time, the club will be in a position to engage directly with our Chinese fan base,” Paul Smith, director of Chelsea’s group business affairs, said. In partnership with the Asian Football Confederation, Chelsea will expand its juvenile coaching program from two cities, Qingdao and Wuhan, to 15 cities. Chelsea will also cooperate with the Chinese Football Association and send coaches to raise local standards, Kenyon said.


January 12 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert milks a cow at the China-Israel Cooperation Center For Modern Dairy Technology during his Tuesday visit in Beijing. CFP Photo By Chen Shasha This week, Prime Minister of the State of Israel – H.E. Ehud Olmert, 61, was the third Israeli prime minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, January 24, 1992, to visit China. His visit is the first in 9 years and the first of any country in 2007. Nadav Eshcar, political and press officer of the Israeli Embassy, said the visit was planned for former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last January, but was postponed after his hospitalization.

Harbin history In the late 19th century, many Jews moved to Harbin. By the 1920s, 25,000 Jews lived in the northeast city – among them, Olmert’s grandparents and their children. Olmert’s father taught Chinese to Chinese students in Harbin. “He was proud of his experience,” Olmert said. Olmert said when his father died at 88, his last words were in Chinese. “China isn’t ‘just another country’ for me. It’s the country that hosted my parents. They studied in China; they spoke Chinese; they grew up in China,

and the Chinese culture is part of my heritage and part of my earliest memories as a young kid in the state of Israel,” Olmert told Xinhua in an interview. Olmert’s tight schedule limited his trip to Harbin this time. In 2004, he visited his grandfather’s tomb in Harbin’s Jewish Cemetery. Special gifts Eshcar said Bilateral trade between China and Israel reached as much as US$2.6 billion in 2005, and jumped to US$3 billion in 2006. To recognize the dairy cooperation between the countries, on the first day of

Olmert’s visit, he went to the cornerstone ceremony of ChinaIsrael Cooperation Centre for Modern Dairy Technology. Olmert arrived at the center, clad in a black coat and blue scarf, and surprised everyone as he sampled some of the milk produced by the center and vigorously milked a cow. “I hope the dairy output of the center can reach 12,000kg this year (a 1,500kg increase),” Olmert said. The visit ended at a Gala Concert by Israel’s famed vocalist David D’or, and renowned Chinese vocalists Yao Hong and Wang Haitao on Thursday night.

By Jackie Zhang Segolene Royal, 53, the Socialist Party of France’s presidential candidate, finished her first formal visit in China and left Tuesday. Royal arrived in Beijing last Saturday. During her four-day visit, she met several Chinese leaders and visited Beijing sites including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Royal, invited by the Communist Party of China, visited China with a group of 15. It’s her second visit to a foreign country since nomination as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate. Tuesday, Royal held a press conference to end her first formal visit in China. She said if she wins the April election, she will choose China as her first destination to visit; she also said she would promote Chinese language study in France.

Commerce & consulates

French presidential candidate visits China

Editors: Hou Mingxin Han Manman Designer: Yang Gen

By He Jianwei People gathered, coffee and tea in hand, to hear an expert’s online lecture at Cafe Scientifique, organized by the British Council and held in Yinfumei Coffee Bar near Tsinghua University. Andrew Garrad’s, past chairman of the British Wind Energy Association, speech about wind energy was given in London and heard by audiences in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing at the same time. After the speech, the audience in each city raised two questions that were broadcast to London and answered by Garrad. Garrad has been involved in wind energy as a chartered engineer for more than 20 years. He started his work in the Wind Energy Group in 1979 and founded Garrad Hassan in 1984, which has grown to become a world-leading wind-power engineering consultancy. Cafe Scientifique first opened in Leeds, UK, 1998 and aims to provide a platform for communication between the public and scientists.

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BEIJING TODAY

Israel PM celebrates anniversary of Israel-China ties

Cafe brings science to the masses


January 12 2007

Community

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The Sam Chronicles: Living with a pet pig By Jackie Zhang Ham, rice, flour, potatoes, carrots … When I arrived at Frans Kisner’s home, he was cooking in the kitchen. However, the delightful-looking food was not for himself, but for Sam, his pet pig. Sam was released from his ‘home’ to meet me. He sniffed at me for a while when he first saw me. “Don’t worry, he’s very friendly,” Kisner said with a smile. Sam’s about one meter long and weighs 50-60kg; black with a white stripe around his neck. While Kisner and I were talking in the living room, Sam either walked around the house or sat next to Kisner, as if to tell me he was my host as well. Kisner is a native of the Netherlands and used to sell antiques in the UK. He has been living in China for five years and is now at home most of the time, looking for a new job. “I brought Sam home in September 2005. I saw him in a pet store and bought him for 700 yuan. He was only four months old at that time and was very small.” Every day, Kisner takes Sam out for a walk four times. “Sam’s very happy to be out. He becomes excited when he sees green grass. He jumps, runs, turns and rolls on the grass. When he’s happy playing, I feel happy too.” Kisner made a home for Sam

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Hou Mingxin Wei Ying Designer: Zhao Yan

Greenpeace reveals objections to GM rice By Annie Wei Greenpeace has updated its global market report in Beijing on genetically modified (GM) rice, in a bid to raise public awareness of its health risks. The information is crucial, as more than half of the world’s total population feeds on rice, including hundreds of millions in China. The report reveals various corporations’ reasons for saying no to GM rice, as well as results of consumer surveys worldwide. It also includes an explanation by Chip Struckmeyers, president of Rice Producers of California, on why American farmers have rejected GM rice. The long-term safety of genetically modified foods has not been adequately proven, Ma Tianjie, Greenpeace food and agriculture manager, said The vice director of the Agriculture Ministry’s Genetically Modified Food Safety and Management Office, Fang Xiangdong, said that China’s very careful with GM products and currently, no GM rice is allowed to be sold in the market.

Frans Kisner feeds Sam an apple. at the balcony of his apartment. “I usually put a blanket in his room to keep him warm. However, Sam’s a super destroyer. I have to keep an eye on him in case he breaks something. He often tears things apart and eats my furniture.” Kisner pointed at a tattered sweater in Sam’s sleeping area and told me that the piece of clothing was one of his favorites and had been with him for 25 years. “But Sam tore it apart.

Photo by Tian Yufeng Although I was angry at the beginning, I finally gave the sweater to Sam and put it in his ‘home’.” “Sam gives me boundless happiness. Sometimes, when I’m in a bad mood, he easily cheers me up by running up to me and rubbing on my legs. I’m with him every day now and am very fond of him.” “I was in a hospital for several days last year and couldn’t take care of Sam, leaving him in

a dog home. When I finally went to get him, he smelled really bad. I knew then that I couldn’t leave him alone again. I think nobody can take good care of him. I want to buy a car so that I can take Sam with me wherever I go, even to work.” Kisner said that he’ll keep Sam even if he keeps on growing bigger. “I think my balcony’s large enough for him. I want to be with Sam every day.”

Cat show judge introduces world of pedigreed cats

Delabar in Beijing’s cat show Photo provided by CCF

By Huang Daohen “This year’s ‘Best in Show’ Cat comes extremely close to meeting the written standards for the Exotic breed,” Pam DelaBar, president of the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) said, at the sixth CFA International Cat Show. The cat show, organized by the China Cat Fanciers (CCF) and the US-based CFA, took place last weekend at the Jinyuan New Lufthansa. The two-day show rounded up 94 pedigreed cats, including the Persian, American Shorthair, Scottish Fold and Ragdoll breeds. Lectures on kitten care were also provided, in the hopes of promoting animal protection. A cat show judge for over 15 years now, DelaBar has been breeding cats since 1975, registering her first litter in 1980. She has 17 cats to call her own and

to greet her when she gets home. “They’re pretty much lounge cats now,” she said. “I’ve got one from the Georgia flood in 1994. I just couldn’t part with it.” As a senior ‘all-breeds judge’, DelaBar’s qualified to select the best cats out of 37 breeds. Last year, she judged shows in Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Amsterdam and Russia. “Each breed has a written standard developed by the CFA Council,” she said. To be a judge, a person must meet a demanding set of criteria. He or she must have been breeding cats and been a member of a club for at least 10 years, and have a reputation for breeding good cats. The CFA is the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, with more than two million registered throughout the world.

Badaling welcomes new snow park By Han Manman In addition to the Great Wall, Badaling is now home to a snow park. Crystal Entertainment, an all-French professional ski club, collaborated with Badaling Ski Resort to build Badaling Crystal Snowpark, which will open to the public Saturday.

Ski fans will be happy to hear that the new snow park features one Boarder Cross 100m long, one Kicker 4m long, one Flat Box and one Rainbow. On Sunday, Crystal Entertainment will hold a freestyle contest at the Shijinglong Crystal Snowpark. “Last year, Wang Lei won the

first part of the contest, and maybe this time, someone will be able to steal his crown of ‘Best Chinese Snowboarder’,” Crystal Entertainment’s Morgan Lefevre said. “For this contest, we will organize an hour-and-a-half-long jam session. Impress everybody on kickers to show who the master is!”

Events “Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend” – a book discussion by Graham Russell Gao Hodges Anna May Wong was a massive stage and screen star from the 20s until her death in the late-60s. Glamorous, exotic and a ruthless self-promoter, she was the ultimate Hollywood celebrity, starring alongside the likes of Anthony Quinn, Marlene Dietrich and Lawrence Olivier. Graham Hodges brings an array of Anna May memorabilia, including a clip from her classic film Piccadilly. Where: The Bookworm, Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang When: January 16, 7:30pm Cost: free Tel: 6586 9507 Email: books@beijingbookworm.com Lecture: The Clean Development Mechanism Dr Markus Schwegler, a German expert at the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, presents this lecture, which promotes investments for energy efficiency and renewable energy in China through carbon financing. Where: China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference and Research Center, No 1 Yuhui Nan Lu, Chaoyang When: January 16, 2-4pm Cost: free Tel: 8463 6353 Email: tangjia@gmx.net Tour: Silver Fox Cave Go with Beijing Amblers to check out a 4,500m long karst cave in Xiayingshui Village, Fangshan District, 68km away from Beijing’s center. Where: Meet at the Chinese Culture Club (Kent Center, No 29 Anjialou, Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang). Bus departs at 9am and returns at around 4pm. When: January 14, 9:30-17:00 Cost: 200 yuan (includes lunch and ticket) Tel: 6432 9341 (MondayFriday, 9am-6pm); 6432 1041 (weekday mornings and evenings; weekend, rerouted to mobile phone) Baby massage Learn massage techniques for soothing and comforting your baby. Suitable for parents with babies 0-18 months old. Where: The Children’s House Montessori Kindergarten, China World Campus, Level 1 North Lodge, No 1 Jianguomen Wai Dajie, Chaoyang When: January 17, 2-3pm Cost: free Tel: 6505 3869 For more information: montessoribeijing.com Eton language workshop Participate in an English language workshop and have your questions addressed by certified English teachers. Where: Eton’s Global Trade Campus, Floor 3 Block D Global Trade Mansion, Guanghua Road, Chaoyang When: January 17, 3-5pm Cost: free Tel: 6506 4805 (By He Jianwei)


January 12 2007

How do I tell a Chinese colleague he has body odor without offending him? This is a tough question. You can hint at it by talking to him about a good brand of deodorant or antibacterial soap. You can also be direct with him, but the most important thing is to express your genuine concern for his welfare. When your sincerity shines through, he’s likely to take your suggestion.

By Annie Wei One Wednesday noon, Josh Dominick, a young American working for a local investment bank, and his friend met up for lunch at a newly opened Hong Kong-style cafe in Chaoyang. “Is Guangdong Lachang a kind of changfen (southern food made of sausage in thin rice pancakes)?” his friend asked, going through the menu. “Just don’t order it if you’re not sure,” the waiter replied. Dominick and his friend were stunned by the response. Although the friend was furious and wanted to leave, they calmed down, tried explaining to the waiter again and managed to get what they wanted. “We hadn’t met for a long time and finally had time for lunch together,” Dominick said. “It was just troublesome to go to

some other place. Anyway, this is something we all encounter in town from time to time, but we’re not going back there anymore.” Wanted: unforgettable dining experience For people who don’t mind spending when they dine out, expectations go beyond a full stomach. They want quality food, impeccable service and the right ambience. Seeing an appetite gap begging to be satisfied in Beijing’s dining scene, Chifanwang.com was established to provide dining solutions to both local and foreign diners. The site also aims to help restaurants build an image, something tricky to do without professional help. Like many other expats in town, Gontran Mullier, PR and marketing director of Chifanwang.com and his friends spend a lot of time

dining out. “I know many of my friends like getting together over a great meal.” “You meet people who have just arrived in town with no idea where to find the type of food they want. How many Brazilian restaurants are there in town? Which Italian restaurants are good?” Mullier discussed some of the reasons for the site’s existence. “We developed a library on the site that allows users to search restaurants by area and type of food. It also gives information about food variety and prices to match diners with restaurants,” he said. Information on home delivery services is provided as well. Site for food, food, food The website was founded by Frenchman Jean Seurin, American Greg Blackwood and his Chinese wife Kyoka in July last

year. They’re currently limited to 200 diner-members, who get discounts from over 90 partner-restaurants. After the Spring Festival, the site will open to everyone, Mullier said. At the moment, Chifanwang’s developing a software system that will allow relevant data to be sent to mobile phone users. One of these is doing away with the membership card through the use of a mobile phone. It basically works this way: Eat, ask for your bill, send an SMS and automatically get a discount on your bill. “Our service has both English and Chinese versions, so it’s not just for expats,” Mullier explained. Chifanwang is not the first or only site that offers dining information and services. Fantong.com and Goodies.com have already been in business the past few years.

My Chinese friend has invited me to his daughter’s 100-day birthday. What kind of present should I bring? Practical presents are tried and tested: baby products such as baby milk powder are always welcome, especially top brands. If your friend’s wife loves dressing up the baby, cute infant outfits are also not bad. Email your questions to weiying@ynet.com (By Wei Ying)

Food delivered to your doorstep

Local restaurants will often deliver too. Photo by Peng Nian

Goodies A third party delivery service, this aspiring business teams up with local western restaurants to bring meals to your doorstep. Order from menus online, budget an hour for delivery and take note of each restaurant’s minimum order amount. Dishes offered come from over 35 restaurants around town Service hours: Monday-Friday 5-10pm; Saturday-Sunday noon-10pm Tel: 6416 7676; 6416 7070 Website: beijinggoodies.com Carrefour Chuang Yi Jia Store

Order groceries online, by email or fax for next day delivery. Choose from over 1,000 items with a minimum purchase of 500 yuan. No delivery fee. Service hours: Daily 8am10pm. Tel: 8460 1043 Website: carrefour.com Beijing Date Times Choose from over 30 authentic Chinese dishes on their online menu. Meal boxes from 7-15 yuan. Soups and fruits also included. Delivery covers all areas within the Fifth Ring Road. Service hours: For lunch,

order before 10:30am; dinner, before 4:30pm Tel: 6292 6153; 6293 3308 Website: datatime.com.cn Lihua Fast Food The biggest and longest running Chinese fast food delivery in town, with 20 branches across town to ensure your orders come fresh and fast. Choose from a menu of up to 100 food items. Service hours: For lunch, order before 10:30am; dinner, before 4:30pm Tel: 8777 9899 Website: lihua.com (By Chu Meng)

Editors: Hou Mingxin Wei Ying Designer: Zhao Yan

Modern technology adds pleasure to dining out

Where can I learn authentic Chinese cooking in Beijing? It depends on the level you plan to reach. Do you want to get a job in a Chinese restaurant or just prepare dishes for family gatherings? If you dream of working in a Chinese restaurant, there are many cooking schools advertised in local newspapers and magazines. If you want to learn for fun, why not ask your Chinese friends for lessons. There are also many books, cooking shows, websites and blogs that offer tips, along with photos.

BEIJING TODAY

Three young women from South Korea savor a taste of home at Saveurs de Coree, a restaurant in Nanluoguxiang. Photo provided by Gontran Mullier

My sister and my oneyear-old nephew are visiting China during the Spring Festival. We’re planning a trip to southern China. What are the ticket price regulations for a child as young as he is? You can try to get discounted tickets for your nephew. For children younger than one, the discount is 90 percent; two to twelve years old, 50 percent.

11

News u can use

ASK

Beijing Today


January 12 2007

12

Center stage

Bugs in the By Gan Tian

Feng Shu has been crazy about insects since he was a child. As a junior scupture major at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, he’s finally found a way to express his insect-mania. Using porcelain and stainless steel, he’s created gigantic insects for us. Scary? Let’s get even closer.

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Yu Shanshan Qiu Jiaoning Designer: Zhao Yan E-mail:yushanshan724@ynet.com

Feng Shu at the exhibition hall Photo by Chen Shuyi

After a two-hour bus ride to Caochangdi and half an hour looking for my destination, I was shivering by the time I got to F2 gallery. I thought I’d definitely feel warmer inside the building, but I was wrong. The moment I set foot in the exhibition hall, I was frightened to death when greeted by a giant blue beetle sitting on a mirror. It was the same shivery feeling cowardly little girls

get at the sight of a wiggly worm. “The show’s certainly not designed for ‘city girls,’ so be brave!” I steeled myself as I walked on. There were various insects scattered all around – mosquitoes, beetles, worms, dragonflies ... Yes, they were Feng Shu’s artworks, not real ones (thank heavens!). Each insect, resting on a mirror, was made from porcelain

and stainless steel. The showroom was a bit dark; there were only a few spotlights. This created an atmosphere of being in some tropical island jungle. I suddenly remembered the Hollywood film King Kong – you could feel danger all around. I interpreted this exhibition of insects in a jungle as a dissatisfactory reaction to industrialization. The artist, however, disagreed.

“As a boy’s growing up, he falls in love with wild things. But for people living in the city, the closest we can get to nature are insects. While I was growing up, there were no computers and no PC games yet. Insects were our toys. I used insects to convey my art only because I love them.”

Cultures side-by-side As a kid in Beijing, Feng, like others of his generation, was taken by his parents to places that symbolize historical Beijing – the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Summer Palace. “I was amazed by traditional Chinese architecture, those patterns in the palace. Then while I was growing up, Western culture permeated Chinese society, which has made this generation, especially me, complex. So I got the idea of combining porcelain, representing Chinese traditional culture, and stainless steel, representing western modern culture.” Feng employed both old-fashioned Chinese porcelain art and modern art in his insect-making.

The former mainly represents the royal class’ aesthetics, while the latter, influenced by movements in Japan and the US, talks of humanity. The artist believes that these different cultures are never contradictory. “The battle and harmony between two cultures – Chinese and Western, traditional and modern – are juxtaposed. And my insects are more inclined to show harmony.” “Drinking Coca Cola or eating McDonald’s may be the superficial characteristics of this generation, but there must be something of your own culture that touches you at the bottom of your heart. I love the qinghua pattern very much,

which is very Chinese. I painted it on the beetles and chose it to be on the first page of my book. The spider with the qinghua pattern went on my exhibit card.” Unlike other artists, Feng showed no animosity toward modern industry. He even regards it as a tool in his creations. “Industrial elements appear in my creations: in the material, the figure or in other things.” Feng’s creative process may even be said to model those of modern industries: he mass produces his insects. First he makes a large number of bodies, then does the painting all at once. He’s like an assembly line churning out ideas from the heart.

Araneid

Post-80s artist Born in 1981, Feng believes this generation is very special. “We’re more in touch with modern things,” he said. “We didn’t experience the Cultural Revolution. We lived in the years of Reform and Opening, when more and more new elements entered our lives. Creating art is an expression of life. You create this because there must be something in your life that has touched you deeply. My insects, to some extent, mean that I regard my childhood with fondness, or that I have great expectations for the future.” As a ‘new age’ young man, Feng is never in want of new ideas. “The only problem is some ideas can’t be realized, or even when they become a reality, I don’t feel satisfied. That’s also the problem of this generation – you may have dreams, but it takes struggle to achieve them.” When asked to choose an insect

Mosquito

to represent himself, Feng paused a long while, but still gave no answer. “I like them all. I don’t put special meaning to a certain piece of work. I treat them as a whole.” The super-sized bugs may frighten some people, but that’s where the core of Feng’s idea lies. “I think there’s much more power when things are big. I just want these giant things that are impressive,” he said. That’s exactly the spirit of post-80s period: independent, resolute and bold. Like other ‘trendy’ young people, Feng believes that blood type has a relationship with a person’s character. “My blood type is A. These people often stick to their beliefs and never give up, and I’m one of them. You can see that in my works. It’s very hard to paint porcelain, but I never gave up.” He worked on this bug series for more than two years, and he intends to keep producing art.

Dragonfly


January 12 2007

e city

Center stage

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Wasp

Worm

Voices I like Feng Shu’s art very much. I saw his work two years ago at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and thought it was unique. It combines traditional porcelain with contemporary techniques, so about a year ago, I decided to do his solo show. – Fabien Fryns, F2 Gallery President The artist has become adept at combining the ‘warmth’ of traditional Chinese porcelain patterns and the ‘coldness’ of stainless steel. Every piece here uses the concept of comparison and suits the modern appreciation of beauty. The size is perfectly well designed, as it looks good whether viewed from near or far. – Tian Xiaotong, an architect

I think adding in some big trees will make the exhibit more attractive. I don’t know whether it will distract people’s attention or not, but the artist can improve his presentation if he plays around with more ideas. However, this is enough for now. – Bo Shuzhu, a sales manager

About the exhibition Beetle

Photos provided by F2 Gallery

Post Period of Insects – Feng Shu solo exhibit Where: F2 Gallery, No 319 Caochangdi, Chaoyang When: Daily 9am-5:30pm, until February 16 Tel: 6432 8831

BEIJING TODAY

Feng Shu is a very clever student. I’ve been his supervisor and am satisfied with his achievements. I like all his works because they convey his ideas very well. – Lu Pinchang, Feng Shu’s supervisor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

Editors: Yu Shanshan Qiu Jiaoning Designer: Zhao Yan

I really like the dragonfly. The insects in this art form are very attractive. Every insect has a unique beauty. Maybe this is what the artist is trying to convey. – He Xiao, a student at the Central Academy of Fine Arts


January 12 2007

Books

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Local shelf

Breakfast of Champions

By Alyson Richman 320pp, Berkeley Trade, 116 yuan (Foreign Languages Bookstore, Wangfujing Ave, Dongcheng) A work of historical fiction, The Last Van Gogh explores the last 70 days of Vincent Van Gogh’s life, which he spends in Auverssur-Oise, a French village. It was the summer of 1890, and the artist leaves Paris for the countryside to continue seeking treatment for his various illnesses. This time, he goes to Dr Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, a frustrated painter, avid art collector and physician to artists the likes of Cezanne, Pissarro and Bernard. During this period, Van Gogh produces 70 paintings, two among them portraits of the doctor’s 21-year-old daughter Marguerite – Marguerite Gachet at the Piano and Marguerite Gachet in the Garden. Narrated by Marguerite, the novel’s premise is how the young woman served as the painter’s muse in this era of his life, in which he produced many of his masterpieces. Marguerite, whose existence revolves around domestic chores, is drawn to her father’s frequent visitor. Through the aid of her half-sister, she begins a flirtation with the artist, which eventually turns into a secret love affair. When their relationship gets uncovered, the woman is locked away. A short time later, Van Gogh commits suicide by shooting himself. The book has only been out for three months and currently ranks near 33,000 on Amazon.com, but it’s been slowly gaining public attention. It’s on a New York public library’s list of recommended reading “beyond the best sellers.” Amazon.com’s number one reviewer, Harriet Klausner, a Time Magazine’s “citizens of the new digital democracy” in its 2006 People of the Year issue, says, “Readers of biographical fiction will enjoy this account of The Last Van Gogh from the perspective of the final inspiration.”

By Kurt Vonnequt 303pp, Dial Press Trade Paperback, 120 yuan This novel was Vonnegut’s 50th birthday present to himself. So he pursues his fictional alter ego, the sour old sci-fi writer Kilgore Trout, and frees him from his creator, that is, himself. He does this at a small town arts festival after one of Trout’s few readers shoots up the place. These events are related as if to a young space alien who knows little of the human “machine,” as the author calls us. Stanley Tucci delivers a superbly sly interpretation of this fare. He affects a laidback, melancholy style, using his excellent timing and spurts of mischief to bring home the sardonic humor and irony with which the book is larded.

Slow River By Nicola Griffith 352pp, Ballantine Books, 185 yuan Born into a bioengineering family made wealthy by cleaning up after humanity, Lore leads a life of privilege and power. Riches don’t bring happiness, though, and the van de Oest family hides its share of dark secrets. Lore is kidnapped, but escapes from her captors when she realizes her family isn’t going to pay her ransom. Naked, alone, and wounded, she is saved by the brutally street-smart Spanner, who teaches Lore to survive by exploiting the Net (and human) weaknesses. To learn to trust, though, Lore must face her demons, one by one, until she can begin again.

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Yu Shanshan Chen Shasha Designer: Zhao Yan

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

The Last Van Gogh How is the book comparable to a Van Gogh painting? Like one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, this book blends vibrant colors and hidden emotion, telling the story of what may have happened during the final days of his life. This book is an ode to Vincent, his tragic genius, and to his last muse, who may have been his only true love. – Karen Vail, Armchair Bookstore, Massachusetts, USA What was the attraction between the lovers? A talented pianist, Marguerite, finds a connection to Van Gogh as she would love to escape her gilded cage and see the world. She thinks the frail Van Gogh might be her ticket. The painter also likes the youthful enthusiasm of the young

woman and asks her father if he can paint her. – Harriet Klausner How is Marguerite portrayed in the novel? She lives a circumscribed life of domestic duties in a rather peculiar household. She finds joy in her garden and her music and, upon the arrival of Van Gogh, the excitement that his presence brings. To her father’s dismay, she’s the one the painter seeks as a model, rather than her more favored brother ... though unschooled and naive, her passion and clarity shine through. She finds love, but it’s not destined for a happy ending. Marguerite does achieve a sort of immortality through Van Gogh’s portraits of her, but except for the secret that she holds close, her life is lonely and bereft.

– Danise Hoover, Booklist What is the book’s main pull? The storyline is intriguing; however, the support cast (including Van Gogh) comes across as more fascinating and fuller than the lead protagonist. Still, the vivid colorful look at the final days brings the era to life along with some insight into the demons eating at the artist. – Harriet Klausner Aside from the two central figures, do the other characters add ‘flavor’ to the story? Other characters are mostly memorable for their quirks –Marguerite’s father, the failed painter; her brother, the goofy sycophant; her half-sister, the gold-hearted sage. – Publishers Weekly

The novel seems to have inspired readers to better get to know Van Gogh’s art works. Ms Richman’s writing got me so caught up in the story that I found myself looking up every painting mentioned. I even went as far as to try and match specific descriptive passages to specific paintings, drawings, etc. The description of Van Gogh’s suffering and his need to complete each painting was made so real to me. – Erminia Mcccready, Amazon.com reviewer Is there anything readers should watch out for? The climax may be a bit breathless, but, then again, Van Gogh isn’t remembered for his subtlety. – Publishers Weekly (By Tiffany Tan)

By Haruki Murakami 352pp, Knopf, 180 yuan “Everything I write is a strange tale,” Haruki Murakami says in his preface to this collection. Admittedly, his fusion of Eastern and Western elements of story and reality to create a uniquely surreal landscape of human and otherworldly experiences may be a little too strange for some readers. He also asks more questions than he answers about his protagonists and their unusual situations. Yet those accustomed to his weird ways will find a lot to enjoy here, including many of his most popular New Yorker pieces. Available: Beijing Bookworm Where: Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang Tel: 6586 9507 (By Han Manman)


January 12 2007

Southeast Asian food has made some headway in Beijing in the last few years, with an increasing number of quality restaurants to choose from. This regional cuisine is essentially a marriage of cen-

turies-old Eastern and Western influences, cleverly combined, and versatile enough to satisfy virtually any palate. For two consecutive weeks, Beijing Today will be featuring a series of choice Southeast Asian restaurants. Here’s our offering for this week:

An affair with curry, chili and lemon grass Pineapple dish By Chu Meng Romantically located in a hutong, Very Siam somehow resembles a mini Thai exhibition hall, complete with a goddess statue and small, artsy Thai ornaments. Waiters tell you the sunlight streaming through the glassed roof warms both the room and your heart, a nice touch in helping you feel at home. The restaurant has quickly gained a justified high reputation among fans of Thai dishes. The place is elegant without being fussy, and friendly in the laid-back manner you would find in Bangkok. The menu is not particularly long, but contains a wide variety of traditional Thai dishes, including Thai-style hotpot and mouthwatering drinks and desserts. The chilled green papaya salad was fantastic: just the right blend of sweet and spicy. The sour coconut milk soup was also delicious, though a bit too rich for my taste. The green curry – available with beef, chicken, pork or vegetables – was quite rich as well, and surprisingly not at all spicy. The pineapple rice, which was served in a hollowed out pineapple half, was almost sweet enough to be a dessert. The entire meal was far more than two could eat. Very Siam Where: 10A Xinyuan Xili Dong Jie (northwest of Yuyang Hotel), Chaoyang Open: 11:30 am-11:30pm Tel: 8451 0031 Cost: 150 yuan per person

Mango dish Photos provided by Very Siam

Borom Piman opened in April 1990 and serves some of the best Thai cuisine in Beijing.

The freshness of Thai cooking By Chu Meng The capital’s rst Thai restaurant, Borom Piman, opened in April 1990. Until now, it serves some of the best Thai cuisine in town, offering your taste buds the freshness of Thai cooking. Specialties use only the freshest of ingredients and spices. All traditional Thai dishes are available, and the table settings and service will transport you to Thailand. Of note is how the curries here are regarded as the very soul of Thai cuisine, and thus accorded a special reverence in the cooking. Special recommendations go to the following dishes: Chicken in Pandan Leaves, Spicy Prawn Soup with Lemon

Fruits from Thailand are a specialty in Borom Piman Photos provided by Borom Piman

Grass, Beef with Yellow Curry and Sago, Honey Melon in Coconut Milk and Thai Vermicelli Salad, BBQ Fish Paste and Deep Fried Prawn Balls stuffed with Mozzorella Cheese. The sweet herb Lemon Grass grows in abundance in Thailand and is widely popular for its nutritional and medicinal values. Thais use the grass as a main spice in all manner of dishes, all of which seem as popular overseas as at home. Borom Piman Where: Holiday Inn Lido Beijing, Jichang Lu, Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang Open: 10am-11:30pm Tel: 6437 6688 ext 2899 Cost: 100 yuan per person

By Tiffany Tan For people who crave the taste of ‘home’ in a city where practically no restaurant offers their native cuisine, it seems regional dishes will do the trick. A fellow Filipino discovered Little Penang, a Malaysian restaurant half a year ago. She keeps returning for their Sambal Belacan Long Bean (24 yuan), green beans with shrimp paste, the latter a delicacy among many Southeast Asians. Their menu, of course, contains all-time regional favorites like chicken satay (36 yuan), meat grilled on skewers and dipped in peanut sauce; Beef Rendang (38 yuan), beef cubes cooked in spicy coconut sauce; and Roti Canai (12-18 yuan), at bread usually eaten as an appetizer. Those who live for seafood will nd a good selection here. The Malaysian Sambal Fish (59 yuan), Curry Prawn (48 yuan) and Assam Curry Fish (59 yuan) are some of their most popular dishes, says the restaurant management. To give their food that authentic Malaysian avor, they import ingredients all the way from Malaysia, Michelle Guo, the owner’s assistant, says. On top of that, “all our food’s halal,” which is a big plus among Muslim diners. Little Penang is housed in a twostory building; glass runs the length of one wall, looking out into restaurant-lined Xinba Lu. Four sofa-style dining table sets line the second oor glass wall, making for an intimate meal among friends or lovers. There’s also room for larger groups – long tables that allow for plenty of interaction. Big eaters should note that some of the food comes in relatively small servings, so be prepared to order more. Little Penang Where: No 32 Tianze Road (near Lady Street), Chaoyang Tel. 6462 0004 Cost: 50 yuan per person

Little Penang’s fried rice is also tasty. Photo by Tiffany Tan

Editors: Yu Shanshan Zhao Hongyi Designer: Yang Gen

When home is oceans away

BEIJING TODAY

Very Siam

15

Food

By Chu Meng


January 12 2007

Discounts & bargains

16

Restaurant discount card

Jeans sale

To welcome the New Year, Goose “N” Duck Pub (No 1 Bihuju Nan Lu, west Chaoyang Park, Chaoyang) is giving out one-year discount cards. For details, call 6538 1691.

Tough Jeans at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 10-25 percent off until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Hotpot discount

Sushi discount

Dine at Yu Gui Fei Hot Pot Restaurant (No 45 Jing’an Li, Chaoyang) and pay only half the standard menu price (beverages not included) until January 14. For reservations, call 8608 1619.

Enjoy sushi at Yuan Lu Sushi Snack (No 1 Yuanda Lu, Jinyuan Yansha, Haidian) and get a 12 percent discount until January 15. For reservations, call 8887 5388.

Gift voucher Spend over 200 yuan at Bei Chen Shopping Center (No 8 Anli Lu, Chaoyang) and get a voucher worth 100 yuan until January 14. For details, call 6499 3263.

Karaoke discount Have fun at the K2 KTV in Long Bo Plaza (No 16 Dongsanhuan Bei Lu, Chaoyang) and get a 40-50 percent discount until January 13. For details, call 6595 2288.

Shop at a discount Goods at Bai Sheng Plaza (No 101 Fuxingmen Nei Dajie, Xicheng) are on sale at 10-30 percent off until January 14. For details, call 6601 3377.

Watches on sale Selected Swatch watches at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 10 percent off the original price until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Winter shoe sale Shopping discount

BEIJING TODAY

Editor: Zhao Hongyi Designer: Yang Gen

Most Belle items at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 30 percent off until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Staccato winter shoes at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 32 percent off until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Shoe sale

Shopping discount

Ecco shoes at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are on sale at 25 percent off until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Selected Only items at Hua Tang Plaza (No 108 Beisihuan Dong Lu, Chaoyang) are on sale at half the original price until January 14. For details, call 6481 2633.

Free cosmetics Spend over 780 yuan on Clinique products at any shopping mall in Beijing and get a free set of cosmetics worth 720 yuan.

Clothing sale Selected Jack & Jones items at Hua Tang Plaza (No 108 Beisihuan Dong Lu, Chaoyang) are on a half-price sale until January 14. For details, call 6481 2633.

Sports shoe sale Nike and Adidas products at Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 20 percent off the original price until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Dine at a discount Dine at Tong Chi Dao Restaurant (No 72 Xisanhuan Bei Lu, Haidian) and enjoy a 15 percent discount until January 15. For reservations, call 5179 9999.

A fifth off shopping Selected items at the G-Star counter of Xin Zhong Guan Plaza (No 19 Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian) are 20 percent off until January 16. For details, call 8248 6688.

Sports shoe sale New Balance shoes at Hua Tang Plaza (No 108 Beisihuan Dong Lu, Chaoyang) are 30-50 percent off until January 14. For details, call 6481 2633.

Gift voucher Dine at Mao Ge Duck Soup Restaurant (No 16 Xiuyuan Anhui Beili, Chaoyang) and get a voucher worth 50 yuan until January 15. For reservations, call 6497 3362. (By Terrence Lu)

Send us your discounts & offers. Email us: bjtoday@ynet.com or call: 6590 2626

ADVERTISE IN PLACE YOUR ADVERT NOW AND GET INSTANT RESULTS! Call: Jian Zhong 139 0135 4788 Xiao’ang 133 8106 4865


January 12 2007

1kg More members connect village students with the outside by sharing photos.

A traveler teaches students to use his digital camera. Photo provided by Wang Xueyan

Trends

17

A boy is happy to receive a new book. By He Jianwei “I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea, To travel the world alone and live more simply, I have no idea what’s happened to that dream, Cause there’s really nothing to stop me, It’s just a thought...” DIDO’s “Life for Rent” talks of most people’s dream. In China, young people are fullfilling their dreams of travelling and living simply and some in ‘1kg More’ are helping others along the way.

1kg More: pack your heart on your travel

founder of 1kg More In April 2004, Andrew Yu heard a story about volunteer teachers in Yubeng Village, Yunnan, from his friend who had traveled to the village. They had taught students for over a year. One of them came from Kunming and the other came from Beijing. “The village teachers always encourage each other, saying things like ‘You’re not alone!’ and ‘Keep it up! We’re almost done.’ I was touched by their stories and wondered what we could do to help teachers and students in the poorer areas if we visit,” Andrew says. He made a program to accomplish his dream by building a website. “The core of the program is to encourage travelers to bring materials for the students, like books and stationery,” he says. Andrew’s first destination with 1kg More was Shijikeng Village, Anhui. He still remembers the day he said goodbye to the students. “They walked 4km with me to the bus station. I was reluctant to go, but happy about what I accomplished on my travels,” he said. “When I got home, I reflected on the experience. Although the students are poor, they have a happy childhood. We should be inspired by their happiness instead of just exposing and showing sympathy to their poverty.” The story about the starfish inspired Yu to participate in the charity. “Just stay within your limits and don’t have unrealistic expectations,” he says. More and more people have participated in 1kg More. “We have 20 staff as core members in charge of managing activities and the websites. The members are usually white collar workers and college students. Over 500 people are involved in the program,” he says.

CFP photo

Wang Xueyan: former principal of Beijing’s 1kg More group Wang Xueyan is a sales manager for Thai Airways Co. She used to be in charge of Beijing’s 1kg More, but has passed the reigns to a college student. She first connected with 1kg More in February 2006 after following links given by a NGO. “I was interested in 1kg More as soon as I learned about it. First, it’s about children’s education; secondly, it’s not only about donation of goods,

but also having a devoted heart,” she says. “Aside from bringing books or stationery, we also play games with the children and teach them. For instance, we teach children to write letters, draw, do arts and crafts – such as kite-making, paper-folding, leaf patchwork – to sing, recite poems, and teach them some folk stories and cultural and geographical knowledge

of other places,” she says. However, Wang worried about the future of Beijing’s activities. “We need information about village schools – especially what they really need,” she says. “More and more people want to backpack. The problem is that they don’t know what to bring to the children before their trip if they don’t have information about the schools.”

How to participate in 1kg More? If you are a backpacker and would like to bring your love to the children, there are three steps to become a member of 1kg More: 1. Pass On: Prepare 1kg of books or stationery for underprivileged kids you may meet in your journey. 2. Communicate: Talk to and play with kids and get to know them. 3. Share: Share your travelogues with people via the 1kg forum and spread the word among friends. When horses and donkeys aren’t on hand, 1kg’ers are ready to proPhotos provided by 1kg.cn vide transport for children.

BEIJING TODAY

Andrew Yu:

Editors: Yu Shanshan Chen Shasha Designer: Zhao Yan

A story in Chicken Soup for the Soul describes a man throwing starfish from the beach back into the ocean. When a passerby asks him what he’s doing and if it will make a difference, since the ocean already has so many starfish, the man tossed another and said, “Made a difference to that one!” In China, a group of would-be starfish throwers have connected through 1kg More (1kg.cn), an unofficial charity program for travelers to participate in. The idea behind 1kg More, short for ‘1kg extra in your luggage,’ is for travelers to pack an extra 1kg of inexpensive educational materials, in addition to their normal luggage, to give away to the needy on their journey: for example, children who cannot afford erasers.


January 12 2007

Shopping

18

USB gloves

B S U

show-off your gadgets Pinky piggy USB speaker

USB Christmas tree

By Gan Tian Remember when you were still a child? There were kids in the neighborhood, and each wanted to show off the strange new toys they got from their parents or friends. For us adults, USB toys make great gadgets to show off in the office ... Just remember, don’t play in front of your boss.

“La-da-di-dup-dup die dy, on the stereo, let those speakers blow your mind, to let it go, let it go! La-dadi-dup-dup die dy, on the radio, the system is gonna feel so fine!” The Black Eyed Peas never forget to praise this pink pig in their songs. Maybe they’re paid for the promotion. The speaker sounds its best when playing their songs. “It’s especially designed for funk music,” the shop owner says. Available: B111, B1, Dinghao Computer Market, Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian Price: 45 yuan

BEIJING TODAY

I never imagined these would be combined. A fan with a desk lamp? Or is it a desk lamp with a fan? They’ll have to fight it out to find a good name for this blue chunk of junk. When I turned the two on at the same time, the lamp didn’t give strong light and the fan gave a weak breeze. Available: F4, Pacific Computer Market, Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian Price: 40 yuan

USB massager USB mini computer vacuum

If your hands get the shivers after long hours of typing, you can put on these gloves to warm them up. Of course, like any useful item, it’s neither pretty nor fashionable. If you want to enjoy warm hands, you’ll have to sacrifice beauty. Available: shop33437191.taobao.com Price: 20 yuan

USB Christmas tree

USB cup warmer

If you want to show off your fashion store, have a great collection of fashion accessories and knick-knacks or just want to recommend the best places around town to find fun and flashy items, drop me a line at gantian@ynet.com or call 6590 2527.

A USB camera is common, but a wheel-shaped camera isn’t. It’s said, in the middle of the night, the wheelshaped USB camera can turn slim people fat and fat people slim. Actually it doesn’t have any magic – only a distorting mirror. Available: 4105, F4, Dinghao Computer Market, Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian Price: 110 yuan A USB port has enough power running through it to warm a cup of water? Wait a minute ... I didn’t believe it at first sight, but after I heard there are people using these to cook, I realized how stupid I was. It’s amazing the things they come up with ... Available: F3, Pacific Computer Market, Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian Price: 28 yuan

USB gloves

Editors: Yu Shanshan Qiu Jiaoning

Designer: Zhao Yan

USB Desk fan and lamp Photos by Gan Tian

Wheel-shaped USB camera

USB cup warmer

USB Desk fan and lamp Wheel-shaped USB camera

Pinky piggy USB speaker

I’m sorry to recommend this after Christmas is over, but I have to – it’s too cute. When you connect it to a USB port and turn it on, you can see snow blowing around inside. The lights light up and Christmas music plays. The tree was designed as a gift by Runat, a Japanese company. There are three versions: Doraemon, Stitch and Snoopy. Which one do you like? Available: F5, Huawei Shopping Center, Xidan, Xicheng Price: 59 yuan

This blue monster will rattle your neck nerves after you connect to a USB port. It should really get your blood pumping away. It looks like a useful gift for people who get neck pains after sitting in front of the computer for a long time. Available: shop33477206.taobao.com Price: 25 yuan

USB mini computer vacuum Stop complaining that everything I recommend is useless, colorful junk! Here’s a useful one! Ever had a hard time cleaning the dust out of your computer’s keyboard? Well you can try cleaning it out using a USB mini vacuum! It’s fast and easy! ... I’ll never recommend this thing again. It makes me look like a stupid salesman. Available: F4, Dinghao Computer Market, Zhongguancun Dajie, Haidian Price: 18 yuan

USB mini aquarium You can heat up a bowl of water beside you – even if it’s not real water. Whenever you’re feeling dry and down in your office, maybe a glance at this will be refreshing. Available: F5, Huawei Shopping Center, Xidan, Xicheng Price: 44 yuan USB mini aquarium

USB massager


January 12 2007

By now, many of you will already have broken or quietly forgotten those oh so scrupulous New Year’s resolutions made in the last moments of 2006. This week we say: let auld acquaintance be forgot, but remember the pledges you made to yourself.

Keeping your New Year

resolutions

A study conducted by the behavioral research center at the University of Washington has looked at the factors behind why so many people don’t stick to the good intentions they had as the old year drew to a close. The research focused on health matters, as these are the most common areas people seek to improve. To keep your resolution they recommend: • Having a strong initial commitment to make a change • Making coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up • Keeping track of your progress The best way to set yourself up for failure is: • Not thinking of making resolutions until the last minute • Framing your resolutions as absolutes by saying, “I will never do ‘X’ again” With this in mind let’s look at some expert advice on how to keep your health pledges as 2007 unfolds.

Alcohol

However, what is a good plan is to take a brisk walk the day after your aerobic exercise to stretch those muscles and get the most benefit from your workout. Why not walk for ten minutes before catching your taxi to work in the morning?

most.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink – just try to keep your alcohol intake down and enjoy the resulting benefits to your health.

Cigarettes Cigarettes are considered one of the most addictive drugs on the planet, and it’s not just due to the nicotine, but the whole act of smoking. To break a habit you need to make changes in

If last year you started each morning with coffee and a cigarette, then try starting the day with a shower and some juice or tea.

your daily routine.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to the smoker’s logic. You may think

a cigarette relaxes you, but that’s just the effect of reducing the nicotine cravings. Many smokers admit they find it almost impossible to stay away from cigarettes when they drink at a bar. This is partly because you’re surrounded by other smokers – breathing in their fumes and staring at their packets till they offer

you one. Finding a non-smok-

ing venue in Beijing can be tricky, so why not hold dinner parties at home? Don’t invite the smokers.

If you’ve found the advice in this article useful, why not keep it? You can seek out more ideas and motivation throughout the year. Don’t forget, if you already failed your resolution the first time, you can try again next month at Chinese New Year.

BEIJING TODAY

If you are drinking a lot, then it’s recommended not to stop suddenly, but to cut down over time. That can be done by drinking later in the day, drinking less and sticking to drinks with a lower alcoholic content. This is where planning comes in. Aim to arrive at the bar or friend’s party a bit later, let your glass sit on the table for a while in between sips and look at switching from “something a bit stronger” to something a bit weaker, like a Chinese lager.

Editors: Yu Shanshan Chen Shasha Designer: Yang Gen

The recommended maximum number of alcohol units is 14 per week for a woman and 21 for a man. A bartender may scrupulously measure out each drink, but if you are drinking at home, then the glass of wine you pour could easily be over two units. The only way to be sure how much you are drinking is to hang onto those empty bottles. At the end of the week, you may be surprised how many empties line your kitchen floor. The goal is to see less next time.

Exercise The fitness craze has really taken off in China over the last few years, and why not? Weight loss, better moods, lowered blood pressure, sounder sleep and a longer life to enjoy all that good health. No wonder “losing weight” or “getting exercise” are two of the most popular resolutions. Essential, however, is setting yourself more specific goals and to adapt your plan throughout the year. What for many starts off as trying out the treadmill at the local gym can turn into running the Great Wall Marathon the same time next year. As January in Beijing can be rather nippy, indoor exercise is recommended – which can also have a useful social element. Yoga and dance are two such activities, or you can stick to the tried and tested at one of the many gyms that has sprung up in Beijing. Few people have time to go to the gym every single day, and that’s not a problem. In fact, running day after day is not a good idea for

Health

19

By David Drakeford


January 12 2007

Travel China

20

By David Drakeford

January is Beijing’s coldest month with daily lows averaging -9.4ć. To escape the chilling winds and icy streets, you might consider a visit to one of China’s many hot springs. A hot spring is more than a glorified bath. Heated water

can contain more dissolved particles than regular H2O, which is why hot spring water often has a high mineral content with proven medical benefits. One of the choices for a great Chinese hot spring is practically at your doorstep, so there’s no reason not to take a soak – the water’s lovely.

Getting yourself into hot water Huaqing Hot Spring has a romantic history involving the Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty.

Historical Huaqing Located at the north of Mount Lishan, some 30km from Xi’an, Huaqing Hot Springs is famous for its royal patronage. Tang emperor Xuanzong spent an extraordinary amount of money to construct a luxurious palace here and gave the site its most famous tale – the love story between himself and Yang Yuhuan. None of the beauties in his palace caught his eye, so a high-ranking eunuch arranged a visit from the exquisite Yang. Xuanzong was taken by her radiant beauty and ordered Yang to divorce her then husband, Prince Li Mei. Later, she was named Yang Guifei, meaning ‘imperial consort,’ and is considered one of the four great beauties of ancient China. At Huaqing palace you can stroll

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Yu Shanshan Chen Shasha Designer: Yang Gen

Rehai – Plentiful hot springs China Daily claims Rehai, near Tengchong in Yunnan, is China’s ultimate attraction for its numerous hot springs and volcanic lakes. Tengchong has yet to become a crowded tourist destination, and has a quiet broken only by the snore of its dormant volcanoes. The geothermal heat creates a varied and fascinating landscape including sulphuric acid and poisonous carbon dioxide springs. Rest assured, there are more inviting pools for the heatseeking traveler. Rehai, ‘The hot sea,’ is only 12km from Tengchong and features geysers, streams and the hot springs your body craves. Considered the main attraction at Rehai, Dagunguo, ‘The big boiling bowl,’ is a large spring with a temperature of 97ᲇ. Too hot for a dip, of course, but you can sample eggs cooked in this natural pot before checking out some cooler springs such as the Frog’s Mouth, Lion’s Head or the Pregnant Well, which is believed to cure female health problems. The other main draw for Tengchong is the volcanoes, which number nearly one hundred, and the traditional villages of the Lisu ethnic minority. Each village enjoys its own hot spring. Practicalities: Hourly buses arrive at Tengchong from Kunming. Public buses, hired bicycles or cars can take you around the area if you have enough time to explore. You can take a bus from the local bus station to Rehai Park.

Hot springs in Rehai, Yunnan Province

by a dragon-shaped marble boat and several pavilions to reach the Imperial Pool, a unique bathtub indeed. Nearby is Haitang Pool, intended for concubines, and the Shangshi Pool, which was set aside for officials. You can take a bath in the Guifei pool, which has a stable temperature of 43ᲇ. The water contains minerals, which have a therapeutic effect on the skin and have been used to treat arthritis and rheumatism for 2,000 years. Practicalities: Huaqing can be conveniently reached on return to Xi’an from a visit to the Terracotta Warriors, or by taking bus 306 from the Xi’an train station. The entrance fee is 30 yuan.

The Jiuhua Resort – both romantic and healthy

Hot springs in Jiuhua Resort are famous for their medicinal properties.

CFP photos

The Beijing International Travel Website lists Jiuhua Resort foremost in its top ten of romantic hot springs in China. Located in Changping district, the resort has been an imperial playground of Chinese emperors since the Yuan Dynasty. It’s now owned by the Ministry of Health and offers numerous treatments, entertainment and pampering. It’s also a four-star hotel with suites from standard to presidential quality. The water at Jiuhua wells up from 1,200m underground with a stable temperature around 40ᲇ. It’s supposed to be beneficial for diseases and conditions from arthritis and muscle strain to hypertension and eczema. Even a swollen prostrate can allegedly be tamed here. There are twenty outdoor pools for relaxation, fun and treatment at the Jiuhua Resort. Here are three of the most distinctive. Mud, glorious mud The Jiuhua mud bath is rich in vitamins, minerals and has added

herbs. It’s almost good enough to eat. The main purpose of the bath is beautification. Herb time The herbal bath is a hot spring with added special ingredients. It is touted as being beneficial for rheumatism and arthritis. Fit for a queen The queen pool consists of an upper and lower pool with water that flows between them. According to records, it was used by imperial concubines during Qing Dynasty. Practicalities: A standard room at the hotel lists at 360 yuan per night, but it’s possible to get a discount, or you can just pay 120 yuan to access all their outdoor springs, pools and saunas, then head home when finished. Add: Jiuhua Resort, Xiaotangshan Zhen, Changping District, Beijing Open: 9 am to midnight jiuhua.com.cn (English available) Tel: 6178 2288


January 12 2007

21

been looking at the famous ice hotels located around the Arctic Circle. If sipping an icy drink from an ice glass in an ice bar, or watching a wedding in the ice church sounds like a good idea, you may want to consider a trip to the Icehotel.

Travel abroad

It’s been a busy winter, and with Spring Festival approaching, for most of us it’s only getting busier. Beijing’s snowfall this year has been next to nil, and it makes me wish I could go somewhere buried in snow and ice for a nice winter break. That is why I’ve

Crystal-clear days in an icy wonderland From left to right: beds in the Icehotel, the reception desk, the global theater and the bar.

Icehotel born from a river The Icehotel is built in Juk.. kasjarvi, a village 200km north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Swedish Lapland. The heart and backbone of Icehotel is the Torne River, which flows freely along its 600km path

through Lapland to the Arctic Sea. Each year, a team of snow builders, architects, designers and artists from all corners of the world create the Icehotel out of ice harvested from the river. Every year the hotel is a new experience.

The interior temperature remains at a frosty -5ᲇ to -8ᲇ. But such a low doesn’t feel all that bad – especially when it’s -37ᲇ outside! If you’ve never wintered in the Article Circle before, prepare for

darkness. During wintertime, the sun vanishes for weeks at a time – longer the further north you go – in a phenomenon called “Polar Night.” The skies become perfectly visible, along with the Aurora Borealis.

A day-plan for the hotel :

the Arctic Circle. People venture into the wilderness by snowmobile or dogsled. The camping participants will prepare meals in Sami style huts, situated along the shores of the Torne River and enjoy the delicacies of the local cuisine. You can choose an overnight excursion, which enables you to stay at specially equipped camps in secluded locations. After an adventurous day in the outdoors, the hot sauna offers great relaxation before dinner. Ice sculpting: For the nonoutdoorsy, there’s ice sculpting – a must-try activity for Icehotel

patrons. Crystal-clear ice is plen.. tiful around village Jukkasjarvi, and Icehotel artists can introduce you to the magical world of ice sculpting with their special tools and professional guidance. Ice sculpting starts at 11 am every day. The Icehotel will provide a mug of hot lingonberry brew, but only people 12 or older can participate. Ice church ceremony: The Ice Church is built up and melted down in a cyclical movement. Each year, couples from world-over come to pledge eternal fidelity to each other; children from far and wide are baptized

here; already married couples have their marriage blessed in the celestial chapel.

hours and the Iceshop is open from 9am-8pm. Booking rooms: Remember to book rooms in advance. Call +46 980 66800 or email info@icehotel.com.

Transportation: .. Jukkasjarvi is located 12km from Kiruna airport and 17km from Kiruna train station. Buses and flights are easy to arrange. Clothes to bring:

The Icehotel offers warm outer clothing. It’s good to bring thermal underwear. A scarf and your own gloves are good, as well as plenty of woolen socks.

Opening time: The Icehotel opened last month and will close April 30. The reception desk is open all

After an exciting day of trailblazing and hunting, dinner is available in the Icehotel Restaurant. The famous Absolut Ice Bar, a popular room with a vaulted ceiling in the Icehotel, is the place to spend the night. Sitting on its ice-block seats covered in reindeer skins next to the see-through bar, you can sip vodka cocktails served in glasses made of ice.

Editors: Yu Shanshan Zhao Hongyi Designer: Yang Gen

Tips:

Fun at night:

Other recommended ice hotels: Alta Igloo Hotel This hotel is Norway’s largest and the world’s northernmost ice hotel. It’s built at the Alta Friluftspark, 15km from the city of Alta. How to go there: Daily bus service from city center of Alta at 5pm. Buses return the next day at 10am. Flights available from

Shanghai to Alta. Tel: +47-784-333 78 Email: info@ice-alta.com Website: alta-friluftspark.no

Aurora Ice Hotel The Aurora Ice Hotel is 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. Six themed rooms, an ice bar, five fiber-optic lit ice chande-

.. The Icehotel in the little village of Jukkasjarvi, northern Lapland, Sweden

liers and a wedding gazebo make it quite a tourist attraction. Tel: +1-907-451 8104 Fax: +1-907-451 8151 Email: chenahs@polarnet.com

Ice Hotel Quebec–Canada The hotel is only 30 minutes west of downtown Quebec City. It melts each spring and is recon-

structed every fall. The hotel has a church, gift shop, picture gallery, restaurant and bar. Tel: +1-418-875 4522 Fax: +1-418-875 2833 Email: information@icehotelcanada.com Website: icehotel-canada.com (By Luckie Zhang)

CFP Photos

BEIJING TODAY

Hunting: Start your day with a ptarmigan hunt. You can approach a flock on skis and take aim. For those not gifted with accuracy, you can swap bullets for buckshot and take a dog. Hunting groups who take a guide may be able to kill as many as ten birds per day. Usually, there will be one to two dogs and two to three shooters as guides. Camping: The wilderness camping is an exciting side-attraction to hunting. You can cook your own meals under the open sky and experience outdoor life in


January 12 2007

Interns

22

By Han Manman

Jointly launched by Hong Kong-listed recruitment groups Recruit Holdings Ltd and Netease.com, 1010job.com is the first vertical recruitment portal in China. It targets groups of jobseekers, providing them with job relevant information and services. “Since 1010job is still a growing com-

From jobseekers to job recruiters

Editors: Yu Shanshan Han Manman Designer: Yang Gen

Liang Jiani graduated from the Southern Sydney Institute of TAFE with a major in marketing. She began her internship in July 2006 and five months later, got a full-time offer as a receptionist.

BEIJING TODAY

pany, we’re flexible when it comes to recruiting staff. We have no secret formula for choosing our people. When we find interns with potential, we’ll provide them with various opportunities to enhance their skills. We’ll also help them find a job that best suits them within the company.” – Sally, HR manager of 1010job

When I graduated, I believed it wouldn’t be difficult to find work after studying hard and finishing a four-year business administration and marketing course. Although things didn’t go as smoothly as I expected, I told myself not to panic. One day, I saw a 1010job advertisement on a bus and I registered, hoping to get some job leads. I did receive a lot of job recommendations from other members, and also got a three-month internship at the company. On my first week, I basically acted like an assistant. I helped the sales department look for new clients and update information. It was a bit boring. The following week, I began doing customer service-related work and gradually understood the whole process, from buying an advertisement to publishing it on our site to making contracts. I also did temporary receptionist work, which I found unique and quite complicated. It mainly involved answering the phone, recording staff attendance and buying office supplies. It not only needed patience to deal with trivial matters, but also good interpersonal skills, since you’re communicating with all sorts of people. I didn’t do well at the beginning and wasn’t sure I was right for the position. However, I told myself the more challenges I faced, the more experience I’d bring to my future work. I think the company recruited me not because I’m clever or exceptional, but because of my attitude to work. If I were a boss, I’d rather hire an enthusiastic person even if he or she isn’t outstanding, rather than someone talented but lazy. Comments from Sally: Liang’s a very diligent girl. Her boss also told me that whatever task’s assigned to her, once she’s finished, she’ll always give feedback. If she doesn’t understand something, she’s going to ask about it until she understands. She doesn’t just keep silent, which has demonstrated to her boss her abilities.

As an intern in the customer service department, I admired people in the headhunting department; I thought their work was prestigious and exciting. Whenever I saw senior consultants talking with job candidates and doing in-depth analyses of various industries, I told myself to work hard so that one day, I’d become one of those consultants too. After college, the company gave me a call, offering me a five-month internship with the headhunting department. They said they noticed my previous good performance and thought I’d do well at headhunting. That period taught me a lot and made me grow up fast. I was transformed from an ignorant graduate to a person knowledgeable in the industry, especially in the finance and purchasing sector. I met many senior candidates in the industry, who’ve broadened my outlook in life. Some of them have even become good friends. I love my current work. I’m an energetic and talkative girl and I can’t imagine doing repetitive office work. What I’m doing now awakens my fighting

spirit. Whenever candidates become successful because of my recommendation, I feel happy. As I like to put it, “In headhunting, when you achieve, others achieve along with you.” However, our work’s very difficult and stressful. Working overtime’s common – even on weekends. I also come across disheartening circumstances like the client company or the candidates changing their mind. In such a situation, I’ll need to do a lot of troubleshooting. When I spend a lot of time looking for suitable candidates but don’t succeed, I also get depressed thinking I’m not accomplishing my goal. My advice to graduates is not to send out their resume at random. That’s just going to be a waste of your time. Think carefully what kind of work you want to do and remember to practice your English. If possible, make the Top 500 Companies your priority. If that doesn’t work out, then choose a big European or American company. Afterwards, moving from an established company to a smaller

Comments from Sally: I was impressed when Zhang asked, “How much do you get?” Her question showed that she’s a girl who shows responsibility not only for herself, but also the company. During her internship, she was very patient in the face of difficulties, and gracious even to clients who weren’t so polite.

My responsibility as an intern was to input candidates’ resumes into our database. It was an easy but vital job, since the resume is a core element of our website. I really cherished the work. Two months later, the company boss evaluated my performance and transferred me to the membership department. There, I dealt with resume checking, statistical data and website forum maintenance. The move gave me more room to show my talents. I want to share with students the lessons I’ve learned so far. If your boss gives you work, whenever you finish it, tell him or her

Wan Jiayi graduated from the Shanghai University of Engineering Science with a major in aviation business. After a five-month internship, he got a full-time job offer from the membership department.

company will be easier. What’s most important, though, is to be happy with your job. If your classmates have already received a job offer or an internship, don’t get anxious. Anyway, God is fair and everybody will get what he or she works hard for.

Zhang Pin graduated from the Shanghai Economic Management College with a major in business English. She started her internship in July 2006 and got a full-time offer from the headhunting department five months later.

immediately, instead of waiting to be asked about it. Be proactive, enthusiastic and tell your boss about your ideas. Despite your busy schedule, don’t neglect your colleagues. If you want to become a member of a ‘corporate family,’ you must make an effort to become part of the team. Say ‘hello’ to everyone when you arrive in the morning and join others for lunch. When others point out your mistakes, don’t say ‘I believe’ or, ‘I guess,’ if you’re really at fault. On the other hand, don’t keep on explaining or making excuses. Just avoid making the same mistake again.

Comments from Sally: Wan’s interview gave me the impression that he’s serious and meticulous, so I assigned the resume work to him. Given such a trivial job, Wan never displayed any impatience or dissatisfaction. He lives very far away from the office but everyday, he’d arrive half an hour early and immediately start work. This moved me, and was an important factor in our offering him a job.


January 12 2007

given on how to improve the Chinglish sentences in your articles. All interesting stories are welcome. Please be sure the article is written in English, around 500 words in total. Please do not forget to include your name and address.

Reading first thing in the morning

23

Chinglish on the way This column aims to identify chinglish in public areas. If you see any chinglish signs, please take a picture and send them to Shirley_chen@ynet.com with your name and address.

Easy life come from now!

Chinglish

Follow Beijing Today This column is open to those who want to improve their English but lack foreign specialized help. We will review the English articles you send to Shirley_chen@ynet.com. Suggestions will be

By Hu Yichuan The college of Foreign Language has held a morning reading activity whose theme is “flames of Olympic, daylight of campus” on every Monday morning. Every one of our students has an opportunity to take part in it. We read some short articles, meanwhile,

we known more about Olympic Games and some rules of it in English. In my opinion, the activity is helpful for us to broaden our views and build up our bodies by getting up earlier. Fortunately, the 28th Olympic Games international sports competition will be held in Beijing,

and every one of us can throw our emotion into the service of volunteers. It’s a good opportunity for us to improve ourselves and make contribute to 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The activity could rich our knowledge about Olympic Games, and then we will do better in 2008.

Therefore, I think we should treat the activity seriously. It is not only for our responsibility, but also for our common dream in 2008. Hu Yichuan is a student at the Beijing University of Technology’s College of Foreign Languages.

Lip Blam

English expert’s comments By Angela Barker In your short article, you have chosen to look at a subject close to the hearts of many in Beijing – the 2008 Olympic Games and how city residents should respond to this amazing sporting event. First of all, I would like to address two linked areas of importance: unity of ideas and structure. Unity of ideas means that every paragraph is supporting the same general theme, or point, of the article. Structure and organization add coherence and clarity to those ideas. Let’s look at your paragraphs. The theme of paragraph one seems to be the purpose of the morning reading activity, which is reasonably clearly expressed. However, in your second paragraph, the issue of the morning reading is dropped entirely, and you talk about volunteering. There is a lack of unity here. The third and concluding para-

graph states that, “we should treat the activity seriously,” but which activity do you mean – the morning reading or the volunteering? What you need is a first paragraph that basically defines the issue and outlines your article. It should end with a thesis statement that says something like this, “Both through reading about the preparations for the Games and volunteering for the event, Beijing people can be proactive and engaged in helping to make this sporting extravaganza a success.” That way, you coherently lead into the following paragraphs. In the first paragraph you have a useful topic sentence introducing the morning reading sessions. However, in the first sentence, a singular noun is once again used where the plural is needed: ‘Languages’, not ‘Language’. Moving on, the theme, “Flames of the Olympic, daylight of campus” sounds

very vague in English. Less poetry and a more direct choice of words is required here! My third major point about this paragraph would be the use of the adjective ‘meanwhile’ when the phrase ‘as a result’ is needed, preceded by the simple conjunction ‘and.’ Also, rather than ‘known,’ the word ‘learn’ suits your requirements more closely. Therefore, the sentence should read thus, “We read some articles, and as a result we learn more about the Olympic Games.” For the second paragraph, you need a tighter link with the paragraph before, to emphasize unity and coherence. An opening topic sentence such as this would suffice, “While reading about the Games is very useful, we can also show our interest in the event by becoming volunteers.” Secondly, “throw our emotion into the service of volunteers” is a faulty expression and over-wordy. Normally, we would say, “throw our

energies into volunteer service.” A similar problematic phrase is “make contribute to.” Alter this to “make a contribution to,” thereby changing the verb ‘contribute’ into the noun ‘contribution’ and adding the indefinite article ‘a.’ Also, beware of using the words ‘Olympic Games’ three times in three consecutive sentences. Language variety is necessary to sustain reader interest. A final paragraph serves the function of summarizing what has been said and allowing the writer to state concluding comments. You state a final viewpoint here, but it must be clearer what ‘the activity’ you mean actually is. A couple more sentences restating previous points are also in order. Angela Barker is an IELTS and EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teacher working on an international program in Beijing.

Photo by Chen Shasha By Tiffany Tan If you’ve got perennially chapped lips, finding the right lip balm can be a real mission. I thought I’d finally found The One until I realized a few days later that it was suffering from an ‘identity crisis’. On its green tube, printed in bold shiny silver letters were the words “Lip Blam.” It sounds like a wrestling move, which reminded me of brawny WWF fighters balancing themselves on the ropes of a wrestling ring and slamming down on their opponents. The “blam” was clearly a misspelling, easily solved by switching the positions of letters “B” and “L.” Nevertheless, reading its label, I sometimes can’t help but feel my lip balm is an impostor.

BEIJING TODAY

CFP photo

Students practice reading in the morning.

By Tiffany Tan The ATM machine stands at the warmly lit lobby of a modern, fully equipped recreation center. The machine looks shiny and new; even the buttons appear freshly polished. When I insert the card into the slot, it smoothly goes in, then a message appears on the screen, which shatters the atmosphere of intelligence: “Easy life come from now!” My mind automatically grapples to understand, homing in on dozens of credit card ads stored in my head, “The great life starts here,” and, “This is where the good life begins.” When I read the Chinese, I realize that what it’s actually promoting is a convenient, rather than lavish lifestyle – one where you no longer have to wait in long lines at the bank to be served by the teller. Here, you can withdraw money 24/7 and use your card to pay for bills. The message can be more clearly understood by saying, “Convenient banking begins here” or the more advertisement-sounding “This is where the easy life begins.”

Editors: Yu Shanshan Chen Shasha Designer: Yang Gen

Photo by Tiffany Tan


January 12 2007

Weekend

24

Friday, January 12 Exhibition

Movie

Group Exhibition of Contemporary Oil Paintings

De Battre, Mon Coeur S’est Arrete (The Beat that My Heart Skipped)

Where: Qin Gallery, Enjoy Paradise, 1-1E Huawei Li (North of Beijing Curio City), Chaoyang When: Daily 9:30am-6pm, until January 31 Admission: Free Tel: 8779 0461 Ren Fuxin Solo Exhibition

Where: Melodic Gallery, 14 Jianguomen Wai Dajie (opposite Friendship Store), Chaoyang When: Daily 10am-4:30pm, until January 20 Admission: Free Tel: 6515 8123

The film is a gritty psychological drama set in the dark, dank streets of Paris. Twentyeight-year-old Tom leads a life that might be termed ‘criminal’. In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of his father, who made his money from dirty – sometimes brutal – real estate deals. Tom’s a pretty hard-boiled guy, but also strangely considerate as far as his father’s concerned. Somehow he appears to have arrived at a critical juncture in his life when a chance encounter prompts him to take up piano and become a concert pianist, like his mother. He senses

Stage in February Music

this might be his final opportunity to take back his life. His piano teacher’s a Chinese piano virtuoso who has recently come to live in France. She doesn’t speak a lick of French, so music becomes the only language they have in common. Before long, the bid to become a better

person means that he begins to yearn for true love. Where: French Culture Center, 18 Guangcai International Apartments, Gongti Xi Lu, Chaoyang When: 8pm Admission: 10-20 yuan Tel: 6553 2627

Saturday, January 13

Golden Songs of Teresa Teng Symphony Concert Who: China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra Where: Zhongshan Music Hall, inside Zhongshan Park, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 14 Admission: 80-980 yuan Spring Festival Symphony Concert Who: Russian Symphony Orchestra Where: Poly Theater, No 14 Dongzhimen Nan Lu, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 18 Admission: 50-1,000 yuan 2007 Spring Concert Who: China National Opera Where: Great Hall of the People, west side of Tiananmen Square, Xicheng When: 7:30pm, February 9 Admission: 100-1,280 yuan Mantovani Orchestra Pop Concert Who: The Mantovani Orchestra (Italy) Where: Great Hall of the People, west side of Tiananmen Square, Xicheng When: 7:30pm, February 7 Admission: 180-1,680 yuan

Dance Exhibition

BEIJING TODAY

Editors: Yu Shanshan Qiu Jiaoning Designer: Zhao Yan

Group Photography Exhibition

Features artists including Shao Yinong, Mu Chen, Cang Xin, Wang Jinsong, Wang Guofeng, Tian Yubin, Dai Guangyu and Yu Ji. Where: First Sound Gallery, No 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang When: Daily 10am-6pm, until February 6

Admission: Free Tel: 6431 2501 My Bride and I: Qiu Zhen Photography Exhibition

Where: 798 Photo Gallery, Dashanzi Art District, No 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang When: Daily 10am-6pm, until February 1 Admission: Free Tel: 6438 1784; 6437 5284

Movie Un Fil à la Patte (The Art of Breaking Up) In the circles of Parisian high society, caddish lothario Bois d’Enghein is about to wed Viviane Duverger, the daughter of a wealthy baroness. Reports of their impending union are all over the morning papers, with the marriage contract due to be signed later that afternoon. There’s only one small hitch: Bois d’Enghein has yet to break the news to his longtime lover, Lucette, who happens to be one of Paris’ most celebrated divas. Despite their love for

each other, the couple realize they must find other (rich) people to maintain their frivolous and costly lifestyles. Where: French Culture Center, 18 Guangcai International Apartments, Gongti Xi Lu, Chaoyang When: 6pm, until January 17 Admission: 10-20 yuan Tel: 6553 2627

Sunday, January 14 Exhibition Yan Club Artists’ Group Exhibition

Features artists including Liu Baomin, Yu Xiaodong, Shen Dapeng, Xiao Se, Lao Dao, Ma Yue, Tong Zhengang, Zhu Lan and Hou Qing. Where: Yan Club Art Center, No 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang When: Daily 10am-6pm,

until February 28 Admission: Free Tel: 8457 3506 Wu Mengchun Solo Exhibition

Where: Art Scene Beijing, Dashanzi Art District, No 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang When: Tue-Sun 11am-6pm, until January 26 Admission: Free Tel: 6431 6962

Movie Glenn Gould: Au-Dela du Temps (Glenn Gould: Hereafter) Combining his talents, as a pianist, essayist, audiovisual producer and director of radio documentaries, Glenn Gould mesmerized audiences with his brilliant public performances. Therefore, it came as a shock when he decided to abandon the stage at the age of thirtytwo, and devote himself to studio experiments in sound and recording techniques. Nearly twenty-five years after his death, Gould remains a phenomenon in the world of classical music. This profile sheds new light on his life

and work, while attempting to seize the intrinsic nature of his genius. Where: French Culture Center, 18 Guangcai International Apartments, Gongti Xi Lu, Chaoyang When: 8pm, until January 17 Admission: 10-20 yuan Tel: 6553 2627

Swan Lake Who: Russian National Ballet Theatre and Russian Symphony Orchestra Where: Poly Theater, No 14 Dongzhimen Nan Lu, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 12-13 Admission: 80-1,280 yuan Sleeping Beauty Who: Russian National Ballet Theatre and Russian Symphony Orchestra Where: Poly Theater, No 14 Dongzhimen Nan Lu, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 14-15 Admission: 80-1,280 yuan British Modern Dance Who: Henry Oguike Dance Company (UK) Where: Tianqiao Theatre, No 30 Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu When: 7:30pm, February 14-15 Admission: 80-800 yuan Don Quixote Who: Russian National Ballet Theatre and Russian Symphony Orchestra Where: Poly Theater, No 14 Dongzhimen Nan Lu, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 19 Admission: 80-1,280 yuan Giselle Who: Russian National Ballet Theatre and Russian Symphony Orchestra Where: Poly Theater, No 14 Dongzhimen Nan Lu, Dongcheng When: 7:30pm, February 20-21 Admission: 80-1,280 yuan (By Qiu Jiaoning)

Beijing Today (January 12, 2007)  

Beijing Today is the Chinese capital’s English bi-weekly newspaper. We’ve been serving the expat and English-speaking communities since May...

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